The cannabis plant contains beyond 100 different cannabinoids. The major components are THC and CBD. However, researchers have discovered HHC in cannabis but in trace amounts. How do HHC and THC compare? Let us find out.
Historians found cannabis use in various civilizations while scientists began understanding its real potential. The recent cannabis legalization caused several states to promote cannabis recreation and medicinal use. The 2018 Farm Bill stipulated by the federal government legalized hemp with 0.3% or fewer THC levels. As a result, massive experimentation, production, and research started. During this period, over 100 different cannabinoids were discovered. Among them were tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), constituting the major compounds. While concentrating on THC, someone cannot easily know whether other THC forms exist. Fortunately, hexahydrocannabinol (HHC) was discovered recently. Thus, let us determine what HHC is and its comparison to THC.
What is HHC?
Obonga (2015) stated that Hexahydrocannabinol (HHC) is the stable THC form, resistant to UV radiation and heat. Additionally, it contains a significantly longer storage life than tetrahydrocannabinol. The molecule is saturated with hydrogen atoms to boost its storage life without significantly affecting the profile. Usually, cannabinoids bind to the body’s cannabinoid receptors. This starts a chemical reaction, stimulating regulatory performance that balances the bodily function systems. Nonetheless, the body does not completely absorb these compounds implying that the consumer cannot achieve the maximum effect, including high amounts. However, HHC can increase cannabinoid bioavailability. In general, cannabinoids better get into the human bloodstream, producing stronger effects. HHC offers greater bioavailability since developing the substance increases its resistance to light and heat, degrading cannabinoids. Nonetheless, the HHC availability is limited, but its real products trending in the marketplace assume the vape cartridges form. Yet, HHC products are expected to increase like Burtman’s, provided the manufacturers employ the hydrogenation process for the existing cannabinoid-related product, especially hemp products.
According to Akpunonu et al. (2021), Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta-8 THC) cannabinoid compound occurs naturally in cannabis and hemp plants, although small. It resembles delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, the major marijuana compound. Delta-8 functions like delta-9 THC and is approximately two-thirds the strength milligrams. Delta 8 has greater market availability, especially in convenience stores, gas stations, online, vape, and weed shops. This product is produced in various forms, including tinctures, oils, candies, and gummies. Generally, the Delta-9 THC cannabinoid compound is what people call THC because it forms the cannabis highest percentage. This molecule forms the fundamental cannabis compound responsible for euphoria, psychoactive effects, and high feelings. Delta-9 THC name comes from the double bond formed on its 9th carbon chain in the integral molecule. As a result of its atomic configuration, delta 9 THC is specifically meant to attach to the Endocannabinoid systems (ECS) receptors, such as CB1 receptors in the human nervous system and brain and CB2 receptors located in immune and different systems. Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol is developed by enzymes in the cannabis plant that produce cannabinoids. Furthermore, the molecule is easily oxidized and unstable. This instability compares to Delta-8 THC. It differs from delta-9 THC because its double bonds form on the 8th carbon chain affecting the mechanism used by this compound to interact with the endocannabinoid system and the effects produced. Delta-8 THC does not bind to CB1 receptors, although it contains affinity for CB2 receptors. Although delta-8 effects are not clearly understood, they have similarities with delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol but are weaker. Surprisingly, delta 8 THC is generated when the accumulated THC starts degrading. Nevertheless, this molecule is longer-lasting and has greater stability than delta 9.
Is HHC Stronger than THC?
Regarding potency, Canning-Clode et al. (2015) noted that HHC products have lesser potency than THC present in federally banned marijuana extracts or standalone THC. However, HHC has lower potency, specifically in its potential to produce psychoactive effects. Also, it has greater potency in this aspect than delta-8 THC. Hexahydrocannabinol has earned popularity for offering more unresponsive, relaxing impacts that suit many consumers’ lifestyles faster. In addition, consumers are better equipped for daily activities due to this low potency. The HHC ingredients cause body improvement without paranoia or different side effects of normal THC.
The Distinction between Delta-8 THC and HHC
In several cases, Delta-8 and HHC similarities resemble those between delta-9 and HHC. Nevertheless, delta-8 THC extracts are authorized federally because they are sourced from hemp instead of marijuana. This implies that they have 0.3% or below THC and provide reduced amounts of THC’s normal benefits. Because delta-8 THC has decreased-key and smooth effects, HHC extracts have a higher potency than delta-8 merchandise. This is because HHC lacks THC’s double bond within its structure, causing HHC to have higher stability than THC. Such structural distinction affects HHC’s potential to attach to body receptors. As a result, HHC has greater bioavailability than delta-8 THC.
What is the distinction between THC and HHC?
Somparn et al. (2007) noted that when dealing with THC versus HHC, there exist numerous similarities. The two are closely related in structure and potency, and consumers claim analogous effects on pain control, moods, memory, potential to relax, coordination, appetite, and pain control. However, the two have a distinction. The five major differences between THC and HHC products are:
- Different bioavailability levels
- HHC contains higher storage life
- Different composition amounts in cannabis herb
- Structurally, HHC does not contain double bonds in the chemical structure.
- Distinct plant derivations
THC and HHC have almost similar ways in the human body. In particular, the high effects they produce are closely related.
HHC and THC products have increased significantly in the market. In relation consumers are escalating daily, thus making the demand high. In such cases, people should understand each product exhaustively to make wise decisions. Sometimes individuals might wonder which product is better for their consumption. Although THC and HHC have many similarities, they also differ significantly. For instance, they have different bioavailability levels, structural forms, storage life, individual amounts in cannabis herbs, and sources. These differences affect their stability. In addition, HHC contains 0.3% or below THC legal amounts implying that it is lawful federally. Before taking any HHC or THC product, ensure your doctor knows.
Akpunonu, P., Baum, R. A., Reckers, A., Davidson, B., Ellison, R., Riley, M., … & Gerona, R. (2021). Sedation And Acute Encephalopathy In A Pediatric Patient Following Ingestion Of Delta-8-Tetrahydrocannabinol Gummies. The American Journal Of Case Reports, 22, E933488-1.
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Obonga, W. O. (2015). Evaluation Of Phyto-Chemical And Medicinal Properties Of Cannabis Sativa Linn.(Family: Moraceae) (Doctoral Dissertation).
Somparn, P., Phisalaphong, C., Nakornchai, S., Unchern, S., & Morales, N. P. (2007). Comparative Antioxidant Activities Of Curcumin And Its Dimethoxy And Hydrogenated Derivatives. Biological And Pharmaceutical Bulletin, 30(1), 74-78.