Hexahydrocannabinol (HHC) is a hydrogenated form of THC, a cannabinoid naturally found in cannabis varieties. It has similar effects and potency to THC, but with a longer lifespan. Currently, there is no evidence that HHC is less safe than THC, but due to the lack of research, it is difficult to determine its safety. Manufacturers of HHC suggest that it is safe since it comes from the hemp plant, but caution should be exercised when using HHC products.
There are more than 10 versions of HHC, including HU211, 7-OH-HHC and HU243, along with the original hexahydrocannabinol. THC, CBD and other cannabinoids have a strong reputation for relieving pain and as sleeping pills, but HHC is not yet used enough to test those effects. The Ninth Circuit Court decision has not expressly mentioned HHC and its “semi-synthetic” status means that it is still in a legal gray area. Early preclinical studies in animal test subjects suggest that it has analgesic and anti-cancer properties.
To make HHC, you have to break the double bonds of delta-8 and insert two hydrogen atoms to make it stable and ready for use. So far, no serious or life-threatening side effects have been reported from the use of HHC or its products. Those who have used it claim that the effects of HHC are similar to those of THC, such as euphoria, impaired auditory and visual perception, and changes in cognition. If you start with a good, high-quality delta-8, the conversions you get to HHC are of very high quality.
There is some evidence to suggest that HHC is not metabolized to 11-hydroxy-THC and, therefore, will prevent most drug testing on marijuana. However, the chosen HHC product could contain more contaminants or impurities as a result of poor production or hydrogenation techniques. Unscrupulous HHC suppliers sell unsafe and potentially harmful formulas to hemp brands that unknowingly transmit these toxic products to consumers. At this time, there is no solid research on the metabolites of HHC or on its short- and medium-term adverse effects. Future research is likely to discover that HHC is as safe as THC, but until then it is important to exercise good judgment and caution when using HHC products.