Whenever a new product is introduced into the market, consumers are curious to know what makes it better than the previous one, the components of the product, the retail price, where to get it, and so on. The same case applies to a new product in the cannabidiol industry that is causing a buzz among users of cannabinoids. This article seeks to answer some of the most asked questions regarding HHC.

Have you heard about hype within HHC? Most people have desired to understand much concerning HHC. Hydroxyhexahydrocannabinol (HHC) has less popularity than THC. After delta-8 products legalization, the cannabis companies have introduced a wider cannabinoid product range to address consumer needs. Like Delta- tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), HHC is extracted from hemp-sourced cannabidiol (CBD). Therefore, it contains legal benefits over delta-10, delta-9, and delts-8. The HHC effects resemble THC, although has minor than delta-8 but stronger than CBD. In addition, it calms the mind and body while delivering a euphoria effect. For people desiring to know more about HHC, consider this blog.

What is HHC?

Hydroxyhexahydrocannabinol (HHC) has many isomers. It is a hydrogenated THC naturally found in cannabis strains with effects of approximately 70-80 percent of the THC potency. This denotes that its strength is higher than for delta-10 and delta-8. When this compound undergoes chemical hydrogenation from tetrahydrocannabinol, it is called semi-synthetic. HHC doses between mild and moderate generate high euphoric effects. These are similar to tetrahydrocannabinol with more sedative and relaxing qualities analogous to delta-8. For this reason, some people question HHC’s federal authority. Nevertheless, some cannabidiol companies manufacture and market HHC products around the US.

Is HHC synthetic or natural?

Some individuals regard HHC as a semi-synthetic and natural cannabinoid-based on its manufacturing method and source. HHC seems natural in cannabis, although in minuscule amounts. Small HHC concentrations besides delta-10 THC and delta-8 THC arise when tetrahydrocannabinol is oxidized into cannabinol (CBN) over a prolonged time. Usually, CBN is a cannabinoid compound found in mature cannabis. Nonetheless, because the natural HHC concentration in cannabis exists in trace amounts, manufacturers cannot extract HHC from it. Thus, they hydrogenate tetrahydrocannabinol instead. Hydrogenating THC to HHC follows an easy process. Manufacturers take tetrahydrocannabinol, saturate it with hydrogen atoms chemically in zinc or nickel catalyst, and transform it into HHC. The product (HHC) becomes more stable than tetrahydrocannabinol with greater UV resistance and heating due to the addition of hydrogen. Because hydrogenation utilizes a chemical to change tetrahydrocannabinol’s natural molecular geometry and weight, HHC is considered semi-synthetic.

Is HHC legal?

Individuals have debated cannabinoids such as delta 8 THC or HHC legality. Nevertheless, like different THC analogs, HHC exists in insignificant amounts naturally. Therefore, it is manufactured in laboratories to acquire usable quantities. Debates are conducted to determine whether the product is a synthetic or natural compound. Notably, the claim that HHC is sourced naturally is zeroed into its existence in marijuana and hemp flower. In case caffeine is manufactured in a laboratory, it cannot be called synthetic but normal caffeine. However, the debate that HHC is obtained synthetically converges to the science behind converting THC into HHC using technology and chemicals. Hilderbrand (2018) showed that federal laws consider HHC legal, provided the final product rests below 0.3 percent legal delta 9 THC limit and starting compound is hemp sourced. If HHC is synthetic, it is federally illegal with similar consequences as delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol. Currently, the whole alternative cannabinoid market legality is questionable. Some people might claim the compound is legal while illegal federally.

Manufacture of HHC

 Adams et al. (1940) showed that many ways are available for manufacturing HHC. Analog techniques involved using acid (synthetic gastric juice) to transform tetrahydrocannabinol to HHC. However, more developed methods involved terpene conversion called hydrogenation or citronellal using palladium as the catalyst. Since THC is prohibited, the brands manufacturing and marketing HHC strictly focus on the legal market. In this regard, HHC should be produced from other compounds besides THC to avoid breaking federal laws. One way to attain this is to change cannabidiol into HHC through manufactured gastric juice. This generates Delta 9 THC, 9 alpha-OH-HHC, and 8-OH-iso-HHC. After that, delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol should be isolated and removed from the overall product. The process is as follows:

Hydrogenating THC to HHC

Any THC isomer qualifies to be utilized in manufacturing HHC via hydrogenation, such as delta 10, delta 9, and Delta 8 THC. Many processes change THC to HHC. According to Adams et al., it involves exposing concentrated tetrahydrocannabinol to hydrogen atoms, high pressure, and a catalyst with inert metals like rhenium, platinum, ruthenium, nickel, rhodium, palladium, and iridium. The reaction breaks the double bond in the THC structure, thus causing molecules to destabilize. In such cases, hydrogen is required to stabilize this molecule. The process is called hydrogenation because extra hydrogen molecules are added. In this regard, hydrogenating THC to HHC was conducted with Adams catalyst, which constitutes platinum oxide.

Caution: Manufacturers should conduct the above reaction with inert gas and a vacuum. Contact with oxygen in the atmosphere might cause combustion. Therefore, only chemistry experts should perform this experiment appropriately.

Conversion of Cannabidiol to HHC through Artificial Gastric Juice

Holowinski et al. (2022) noted that an analog technique established a process for transforming cannabidiol to delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol, 8-OH-iso-HHC, and 9 delta -OH-HHC with manmade gastric juice. This procedure has had few updates since its publication in 2007.

Hydrogenation of Terpenes to HHC

Bloemendal et al. (2020) discovered that HHC is also manufactured from L-carvone or terpenes citronellol using different hydrogen atoms, pressure, high temperature, and catalysts. Although the source is unclear, scientists have proposed involving the changing L-carvone to HHC utilizing Wilkinson’s catalyst (tris-triphenylphosphine rhodium chloride). In 2008, scientists published a technique for changing citronellal to HHC by employing the Diels-Alder reaction.


The cannabis plant is loaded with numerous cannabinoid compounds. Some include terpenes, CBD, cannabinoids, and HHC. These cannabis constituents have various therapeutic properties. Also, they have a distinct extraction process. For this reason, the HHC industry is dominating the cannabis domain. Actually, for most people, HHC is a hydrogenated THC naturally found in cannabis strains with effects of approximately 70-80 percent of the THC potency. All tetrahydrocannabinol (HHC) products are produced by hydrogenating THC chemically through semi-synthetic HHC. Many beginners become excited by using HHC effects and will purchase more online. Therefore, consumers should consider HHC from reputable companies and satisfy consumer needs. Also, research more about HHC 8 before using them


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Nutritionist, Cornell University, MS

I believe that nutrition science is a wonderful helper both for the preventive improvement of health and adjunctive therapy in treatment. My goal is to help people improve their health and well-being without torturing themselves with unnecessary dietary restrictions. I am a supporter of a healthy lifestyle – I play sports, cycle, and swim in the lake all year round. With my work, I have been featured in Vice, Country Living, Harrods magazine, Daily Telegraph, Grazia, Women's Health, and other media outlets.

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