Comparing HHC and THC: What You Need to Know

HHC and THC are two of the best-known cannabinoids found in cannabis. While THC is the cannabinoid most associated with the psychoactive effects of the plant, HHC is the more potent of the two. The main difference between HHC and THC is the duration of their effects. HHC produces effects that can last up to 12 hours, while the effects of THC only last a few hours.

This makes HHC a better option for those who want lasting relief from their symptoms. Chemically, HHC is different from THC because it has no double bonds in its chemical structure. During the “conversion process”, all the double bonds in THC are broken and replaced by hydrogen atoms. This process is known as hydrogenation and creates HHC, the exact opposite molecule to CBN (cannabinol), a by-product of THC with additional double bonds. Chemically speaking, HHC includes a hydrogen molecule that THC does not contain. Legally speaking, THC is illegal in the United States, while HHC is currently not classified.

This could change in the future. Understanding HHC is complicated in part because it has only recently arrived on the market and only a few retailers sell it, mainly in the form of vaping carts. In addition to HHC, Colorado Chromatography also produces CBG, CBN and other specialty compounds at its facilities outside Denver. For now, HHC products exist (and thrive) in the murky legal zone between hemp (which is legal across the country) and cannabis (which isn't). As HHC continues to gain popularity, consumers have begun to discover its lesser-known cousin, HHC-O, also known as HHC acetate. The main goal is to help you decide which one is best for you by directly comparing how each one makes you feel, their benefits, side effects, and legal status.

Both cannabinoids have therapeutic benefits, but THC has been further studied. If judges determine that HHC is natural, as long as the final product is derived from hemp and contains less than 0.3% of THC delta 9, it is legal at the federal level. As for side effects, it is important to mention that they tend to vary, but they are similar in both HHC and THC. Kyle Ray, from Colorado Chromatography, noted that the company only manufactures its HHC in an “explosion-proof space”. This is likely if HHC becomes popular enough to threaten sales in the legal cannabis market, as we have seen with THC delta 8.James Stephens, a cannabinoid scientist at Creo, believes that HHC is subject to the Federal Analogical Act, which states that any substance analogous to a Schedule I drug in this case, conventional THC, would qualify in and of itself as a Schedule I drug. The main problem is that HHC is so new that there is no standard testing protocol for it yet, meaning that even companies that test their products are unlikely to provide accurate results. In other words, HHC may have similar effects to THC on the body and mind, but HHC is less potent, milligram for milligram, than THC delta-8.

Micaela de Gallardo
Micaela de Gallardo

Friendly sushi ninja. Award-winning bacon advocate. Avid food junkie. Hardcore zombieaholic. Award-winning tea expert. General coffee ninja.