HHC vs. Delta-9: Which is Better?

Tim Rosenberger Tim Rosenberger

March 16, 2022

With so many cannabinoids to choose from, finding the ideal hemp product can be a challenge. Today, I want to compare the two big hitters in hemp-based legal highs: HHC and delta-9.

HHC and compliant delta-9 are legal psychoactive cannabinoids that replicate the effects of marijuana. HHC is a slightly weaker alternative, whereas compliant delta-9 is effectively a like-for-like replacement for classic cannabis products.

In this guide, I’ll take a deep dive into what these substances have to offer. But I’d like to start with a combined top five list of the best HHC and delta-9 products that money can buy in 2022!

Top 5 Begin Here

1. Best Selling Delta 9 THC

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Delta 9 THC Edibles by Genesis

Each of these delightful all-round gummies from Genesis consists of 7.5mg compliant delta-9 and 1.25mg of CBC, CBG, CBN – three therapeutic powerhouses.

The full-spectrum hemp distillate makes for a wonderful psychoactive trip, with the famous entourage effect taking center stage. To ensure these gummies remain Farm Bill compliant, every candy weighs in at a whopping 3.3 grams!

Currently, each purchase comes with a mixture of two delicious flavors – Berry and Passionfruit! The third-party analysis from Botanacor Laboratories proves Genesis gummies contain less than 0.3% THC. 

Sizes: 20-count, 40-count, 80-count 

2. Most Popular

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ELYXR LA – HHC Disposables (1 gram)

With HHC disposables from ELYXR LA, anticipate intense highs complemented with an array of complex flavors. How about the sweet-flavored, heavy-headed high of Pink Rozay? Or maybe the energizing, yet mellowing effects of Amnesia Haze?

Whichever you choose, you’ll be vaping from a premium HHC disposable pen that’s as classy as it is ergonomic. When not in use, tuck it away in your jacket pocket or handbag – it’ll be ready and waiting whenever you fancy a hit!

ELYXR LA’s premium HHC disposables are independently tested by KCA Labs and THC-free. Choose between six strains and a mix of sativas, indicas, and hybrids.

Strains: Amnesia Haze (Sativa), 99 Problems (Sativa), Apple Fritter (Indica), Pink Rozay (Indica), Bonkers (Hybrid), Kush Mints (Hybrid)

3. Runner Up

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Delta Effex – Delta 9 THC Gummies

Six-gram gummies? You heard that right! But you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do when it comes to compliant delta-9. Each one of these super-size gummies from Delta Effex packs in 10mg of delta-9, a hefty serving by anyone’s standards!

Part of the company’s Urb line, you get 10 gummies to a pack, which equates to 60 grams of candy and 100mg of THC. Delta Effex uses hemp-derived distillate. They then add clean, natural terpenes, which give them a gorgeous authentic taste.

Vegan-friendly and third-party tested. Delta Effex’s compliant delta-9 gummies are currently available in three flavors: Blueberry Citrus, Guavaberry Fruit, Kiwi Mixer.

4. Runner Up

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HHC Cartridges by Genesis

Cartridges are all about convenience, and that’s what you get with these HHC beauties from Genesis. Powerful psychoactive effects are in order with 1000mg of pure HHC distillate, which blends with plant-derived natural terpenes.

If you have a vape battery, cartridges are cheaper than disposable pens. They are also better for the environment! 

HHC Cartridges by Genesis work with all 510-threaded vape batteries. Third-party tested with 0% THC. The current collection consists of indica and hybrid carts.

Strains: Slurricane (Indica), Purple Urkle (Indica), Maui Wowie (Hybrid), Pink Kush (Hybrid), Ekto Cooler (Hybrid)

5. Runner Up

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Delta Effex – Delta 9 THC Shot

A genuinely unique product in the hemp market, the Delta 9 THC Shot from Delta Effex will have no difficulty taking you to new highs! The 30ml shot contains 75mg of compliant delta-9, making for a total THC content of 0.25%, within the legal limit!

The Blue Raspberry Slushie contains hemp-derived distillate, clean terpenes, and flavorings. Delta Effex never uses any additives, and you won’t find any residual solvents or heavy metals here.

The shot works like an edible, and you should start feeling stoned within the hour! Be careful not to swig the whole thing at once – most people could probably get five servings out of this delta-9 shot! Third-party tested with less than 0.3% THC.

What is compliant delta-9?

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Compliant delta-9-THC (delta-9) is the term used to describe hemp-based products that contain legal amounts of THC, the primary psychoactive constituent in marijuana.

The 2018 Farm Bill states that hemp products cannot have more than 0.3% dry weight basis. Rather than completely banning THC, lawmakers appreciated that it is a naturally occurring cannabinoid in hemp.

However, the emerging compliant delta-9 market uses a creative interpretation of the law. 

Here’s how it works. Imagine a company wants to make delta-9 gummies that will get you stoned while remaining Farm Bill compliant.

A 12mg serving of THC would make for a fairly intense psychoactive experience. The manufacturer would then have to ensure that the 12mg of THC makes up less than 0.3% of the gummy’s weight.

Therefore, the gummy would need to weigh more than 4000mg (4 grams). If you’ve seen delta-9 gummies before, this explains why they are so large!

What is HHC?

If you love cannabis but live in a state where it’s still illegal, HHC is the answer to your problems! Hexahydrocannabinol (HHC) is a legal, hemp-based cannabinoid with psychoactive properties and it’s the hydrogenated derivative of THC.

HHC is the latest in a line of hemp-based highs, but arguably has more in common with THC than delta-10 and delta-8. Based on the limited evidence we have, researchers estimate that HHC is almost as psychoactive as THC.

HHC has a similar influence on the body, with the mind-altering effects coming through the activation of CB1 receptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS). 

HHC doesn’t form quite as strong a bond with these receptors as THC does – that’s why it’s not quite as potent! HHC promotes more relaxation than delta-9, too – think indica-style highs.

The Legal Status of HHC and Delta-9

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I know what you’re thinking. If HHC and THC are nearly identical, how come HHC is federally legal, while the Controlled Substances Act still categorizes THC as a Schedule 1 drug?

Firstly, HHC is only legal when extracted or made from hemp products. HHC obtained from marijuana with more than 0.3% THC, or HHC products with more than 0.3% THC, are still illegal.

Hemp and hemp-derived cannabinoids were made federally legal after Congress passed the 2018 Agriculture Improvement Act, better known as the Farm Bill.

The bill determined that all naturally occurring components of hemp were to become legal, with limits only imposed on THC. 

The assumption was that since THC is the main cannabinoid behind the cannabis high, restricting it would stop the emergence of legal highs protected by the Farm Bill.

Clearly, the opposite has happened! Savvy cannabis-minded folk realized that while hemp makes only a little HHC, you can make vast quantities of the compound in laboratory conditions.

In a nutshell, chemists take hemp-derived CBD-isolate, subject it to an array of complex processes, and create potent HHC distillate! 

Now that companies can produce lots of HHC at low cost, they can make and sell high-strength HHC products like edibles, vape carts, and even flower!

HHC vs. Delta-9

So, is HHC better than compliant delta-9? While it depends on your circumstances, I usually recommend compliant delta-9 products over HHC.

Firstly, if a classic marijuana trip is what you’re looking for, the best way to get it is with the delta-9 cannabinoid! Compliant delta-9 is as potent as regular THC products and has the same effect.

Furthermore, the THC in delta-9 comes from natural hemp and doesn’t undergo laboratory processing. In contrast, HHC distillate must be lab-produced, and exposure to chemicals increases the risk of impurities. 

That said, third-party reports should clear up any uncertainties on product purity. As an aside, you should be wary of third-party lab reports that don’t test for bacteria, mycotoxins, heavy metals, and residual solvents.

Despite the many advantages of compliant delta-9 over HHC, the latter might be better if regular cannabis products make you anxious and paranoid. 

The slightly weaker effects are a downside for recreational users looking for the most eye-popping high possible. But they are ideal if you prefer an old-school, milder marijuana high.

HHC and delta-9 side effects

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With HHC and delta-9 so similar, it won’t come as a shock that they have broadly the same side effects. Anxiety and paranoia are common with both when you’ve taken too much, but these symptoms are more pronounced with extra-intense delta-9.

Psychoactive substances can trigger psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia. This is very rare, but if you have a history of mental illness in your family, you shouldn’t use HHC or delta-9.

Over time, your body will acquire tolerance to delta-9 and HHC, meaning you’ll need higher doses for the same effect. Most users won’t get addicted, but it’s estimated that 9% of people who ever try cannabis (i.e., delta-9) become hooked.

Compliant Delta-9, HHC, and Drug Tests

As compliant delta-9 and THC are exactly the same substance, the drug test risk is also the same. Delta-9 and THC both produce the metabolite 11-hydroxy-THC, detectable on all standard drug tests.

Whether you will test positive for marijuana use after taking delta-9 depends on how much you have taken and the sensitivity of the tests. Some tests have a low threshold and can pop for tiny amounts of THC.

There’s no concrete evidence that HHC shows up on drug tests, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe. The concept of HHC as a substance for human consumption is so new that we don’t know for certain how it breaks down.

One line of thinking suggests that because HHC and THC are chemically close to each other, HHC probably will show up. But others claim to have tested negative after using HHC products.

Given the repercussions of a failed drug test, I would avoid both compliant delta-9 and HHC products. 

Prepared to take your chances? At least ensure that your product contains pure HHC distillate, no full-spectrum hemp extract, and that it is THC-free.

Staying Safe When Buying HHC and Delta-9

Purchasing from a dodgy brand could leave you with an unsafe HHC product, or even something illegal! Customers have fewer protections when buying hemp-based products, with no Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations.

But that doesn’t mean you’re left in the dark. Third-party or independent lab testing is helping clean up the industry and shine a light on bad practices.

The top brands selling HHC and compliant delta-9 products want to distinguish themselves from sketchy companies cutting corners. Third-party testing helps achieve this by giving products an independent seal of approval.

Independent lab testing is a voluntary measure and therefore more effective. It gives genuine companies a chance to show their products are Farm Bill compliant and manufactured properly without any impurities.

HHC brands publish all the relevant third-party certificates of analysis (COAs) on their online store. As a rule, the easier the results are to find, the more likely it is that the company is acting ethically!

Purchasing HHC and Delta-9 Online vs. Shops Near Me

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Whether you go for HHC or delta-9 is entirely up to you! But whichever you choose, do yourself a favor by purchasing online rather than at a local store.

Over recent years, online vendors like CBD Genesis have built up their brands and become an authority in the hemp industry. These guys are much more trustworthy than your average convenience store, where quality checks are non-existent.

Specialist online hemp stores spend time checking each brand before offering it in their shop. You’ll never have any difficulty finding third-party lab reports – and if for some reason you can’t, you only have to ask!

Moreover, brick-and-mortar shops might only have a couple of HHC and delta-9 products from obscure brands. The best online stores are like emporiums, with seemingly unlimited choice!

Ready to experience HHC or delta-9 for yourself? Then make your way over to CBD Genesis and start picking up some bargains!

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