Is HHC Legal in the United States?

February 17, 2022

HHC sounds too good to be true. It gets you high like marijuana, it’s almost as potent, and according to the federal government, it’s legal! 

“Is HHC legal?” is one of the most common questions that I get. So, I’m pleased to report that HHC is everything that it’s made out to be. 

In this post, I’ll be looking at why HHC is legal, and whether it’s likely to stay so. First, though, I want to show you my five favorite HHC products on the market in 2022!

Top 5 Begin Here

1. Best Selling HHC

HHC Disposable by Genesis (2000mg)

HHC Disposables by Genesis (2000mg)

Make vaping easier with HHC Disposables by Genesis. My top pick, these hard-hitting HHC vaping products come infused with almost 2000mg HHC extract and a sprinkling of natural terpenes.

Disposables are even more convenient than classic vape cartridges since you don’t need a battery to get started. The built-in battery comes fully charged and can be topped up using a USB charger if required.

Right now, Genesis produces five types of HHC disposables, giving you a choice between sativa, indica, and hybrid highs. This product is third-party tested and does not contain any detectable THC. 

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

2. Most Popular

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ELYXR LA – HHC Tincture (1000mg)

ELYXR LA has taken a keen interest in minor hemp cannabinoids, and these tincture oils are the jewels in their HHC collection. Consisting of 1000mg HHC extract (33.3mg/ml) and an MCT carrier oil, these tinctures produce potent effects.

ELYXR’s Premium HHC Enhanced Oils also incorporate nanotechnology, which helps increase the rate of HHC absorption into the bloodstream. 

If the thought of smoking or vaping puts you off HHC, tincture oils could change your perspective.

Either take them sublingually (under the tongue) or by adding to food and drink. All HHC Tinctures from ELYXR LA are third-party tested by KCA Labs.

Blends: Citrus Orange, Peppermint, (Awake) Lemon Verbena, (Relax) Blueberry Lavender Lemonade), (Sleep) Mellow Grape 

3. Running Up

HHC E-liquid by Genesis

HHC E-Liquid by Genesis

Fancy mixing HHC with regular THC, delta-8, or perhaps even CBD? Now you can with HHC E-Liquid by Genesis! A standalone e-liquid, this HHC vape juice is more versatile than those that come sealed in cartridges and disposables.

Sold in mighty 100ml bottles, the 1000mg of HHC dilutes into 10mg per ml. That’s not an enormous amount of HHC, but it’s ideal if you’re new to HHC or want a relatively moderate high.

Genesis HHC E-Liquid is made up of HHC distillate and flavorings. All products are third-party tested for potency and Farm Bill compliance. Currently available in four flavors.

Flavors: Watermelon, Starburst, Bubble Gum, Blue Raspberry 

4. Running Up

Work - HHC + Delta-8 THC +D10 Disposable

Work – HHC + Delta-8 + Delta-10 Disposables

If you can’t choose between HHC, delta-8, and delta-10, you no longer have to with this three-in-one Sledgehammer disposable from Work! These guys have brought together all three psychoactive hemp cannabinoids into one 2500mg vape!

The Sledgehammer has more than earned its heavy-duty tag, effortlessly delivering intense highs. The thick, flavorful vapor is a delight on the tastebuds, and the HHC and delta-8 in particular combine to produce a well-balanced high.

At present, Work offers its Sledgehammer disposable in four unique strains. Third-party testing from Encore Labs shows these vaping products have less than 0.3% THC and conform with federal regulations.

Strains: Rainbow Candy, Strawberry Banana, Strawberry Slush, Watermelon Punch

5. Running Up

HHC Cartridge 1 Gram (1000mg)

ELYXR LA – Premium HHC Cartridges (1000mg)

For vaping enthusiasts, 510-threaded HHC cartridges represent the most convenience and best value for money. These stellar carts from ELYXR LA contain a blend of nearly 90% HHC, with the rest topped up by tasty plant-based terpenes.

ELYXR LA’s Premium HHC Cartridges fit with any 510-threaded vape battery and allow you to vape discreetly at a moment’s notice. The terpenes in the vapor generate a mild weed-like smell, but nothing as potent or persistent as from smoking.

The KCA Labs third-party analysis reports precisely 870mg (87%) HHC in these one-gram carts. The carts have trace amounts of non-intoxicating and relaxing cannabinol (CBN), but not even a milligram of that pesky THC!

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

What is HHC?

Hexahydrocannabinol (HHC) is a psychoactive substance and a hydrogenated derivative of THC. While a slightly different compound to THC, HHC is part of the cannabinoid family and impacts the body similarly.

HHC works in the endocannabinoid system (ECS) as a CB1 receptor agonist. By binding with CB1 receptors, HHC triggers psychoactive effects and euphoria, stimulates appetite, and appears to reduce pain sensation.

HHC products come from hemp and are in high demand as an alternative to marijuana. Even though cannabis is now legal in a few states, it’s still inaccessible for most Americans.

As a substance with similar effects to weed, HHC is the perfect legal high. The only differences are that it’s a bit weaker and more sedating than THC. 

Why is HHC legal?

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HHC is legal because of the 2018 Agriculture Improvement Act (Farm Bill). Lawmakers decided to legalize hemp, a non-intoxicating cannabis plant with health benefits, practical uses, and immense economic potential.

But the way the federal government went about de-scheduling hemp opened the door to hemp-derived legal highs, including delta-8, delta-10, and HHC. To understand why, we need to look at how lawmakers defined hemp in the bill.

According to the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp is the Cannabis Sativa plant “and any part of that plant including the… cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts… with a delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol concentration (THC) of not more than 0.3% on a dry weight basis.”

In a nutshell, all cannabinoids in hemp are now de-scheduled except for THC. That’s why all hemp-derived products – whether they are CBD, delta-8, or HHC – must have less than 0.3% THC. 

Is the government going to ban HHC?

Unsurprisingly, those who have taken a liking to HHC products are worried that the federal government might spoil the fun. 

We can’t kid ourselves. Lawmakers never planned on legalizing HHC products – it was a happy accident that came thanks to wider hemp legislation!

The federal government, and more specifically, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), could move to close the legal loophole. It wouldn’t be the first time an oversight had been corrected.

But the signs are promising, with no crackdown on the immediate horizon. Recent DEA comments that may even suggest a bright future for hemp-derived legal highs like HHC! 

We must look at what’s happened of late with the prominent delta-8 to guess what’s next for HHC. The argument of whether HHC should be legal or not centers around if it’s synthetic.

Is HHC synthetic?

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The most significant update to the 2018 Farm Bill came when the DEA published an Interim Final Rule (IFR) in August 2020. In the ruling, the DEA clarified that “all synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinols remain Schedule 1 substances.”

Both delta-8 and HHC are naturally occurring substances, but delta-8 and HHC products are made from distillate created in a laboratory. 

Labs make delta-8 and HHC as hemp doesn’t generate much of either. Natural extraction, as happens when making CBD products, is too expensive.

The initial IFR merely added to the confusion surrounding hemp-derived legal highs. But in a November 2022 update, the DEA noted that it considers THC “synthetically produced from non-cannabis materials” as a controlled substance.

Although lab-made HHC isn’t 100% natural, it does come from cannabis materials. HHC distillate starts as CBD or THC before undergoing hydrogenation.

The DEA’s comments have come more in relation to delta-8 than HHC. But given the similarities between the two, we can assume that anything applying to delta-8 would also be relevant to HHC.

We’re in a fluid situation and hemp-based legal highs are still relatively new. The DEA could take a firmer stance in the future and move to restrict other cannabinoids. But for now, it seems the DEA does not view HHC products as synthetic.

Types of HHC Products

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Disposables and vape cartridges: Convenient and fast-acting, HHC vape juice products are perfect if you want hard-hitting and flavorful highs. 

Disposables come with a built-in battery, whereas cartridges attach to vape batteries using the 510-threaded system. Disposables and cartridges typically consist of 85 to 95% HHC distillate, with the rest made up of terpenes.

Vaping is an effective and reasonably safe alternative to smoking. UK-based researchers have suggested that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking

Flower: HHC flower describes CBD-rich hemp flower soaked in or sprayed with high-strength HHC distillate. Perfect for smoking in joints or bowls, HHC flower delivers an authentic weed experience, while ensuring you stay within the law.

If smoking isn’t your thing, try vaping HHC flower in a dry herb vaporizer. By heating but not burning the plant material, vaping doesn’t expose you to toxic, smoke-based carcinogens.

Tinctures: HHC tincture oils consist of HHC distillate extract, a carrier oil (often MCT oil), and usually artificial or natural flavorings. Primarily enjoyed sublingually (i.e., under the tongue), choose tinctures if you don’t like smoking or vaping.

Sublingual absorption of HHC is a slower method of administration than inhalation, but it will still get you high more quickly than edibles and capsules. You should start noticing the psychoactive effects about 15 minutes after taking your tincture.

Edibles: You might pick edibles if you prefer long-lasting cannabis highs. Rather than wearing off after about three hours, an HHC gummy dose could get you stoned all day!

But to experience these extended effects, you must accept a delayed reaction time. HHC edibles are notoriously slow to kick in, and it can take two to three hours for your high to peak.

Does HHC Show Up on a Drug Test?

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I’ve seen conflicting reports on whether HHC shows up on a drug test. All standard drug tests can detect THC consumption, but it’s not clear if HHC also triggers a failed test.

As HHC’s emergence as a popular substance is new, scientists haven’t studied it much. A paper from the early 1990s found that HHC’s metabolites are 8 alpha-hydroxy-HHC and 8 beta-hydroxy-HHC. THC’s metabolite is THC-COOH.

Remember that HHC is a hydrogenated derivative of THC. Given the similarities of the cannabinoids and their metabolites, it wouldn’t be a surprise if HHC metabolites set off a positive test.

Even if HHC does evade drug tests, HHC products could still cause you problems. For instance, some products, such as HHC flower, contain trace amounts of THC – regular consumption of these products could easily show up on a test.

Furthermore, shoddy hydrogenation practices could leave an HHC product with plenty of THC residuals. Many companies claim to make THC-free HHC products. But don’t take their word for it – make sure they have a third-party lab report to back it up.

Is HHC Better than THC?

If you live in California, Colorado, or any other location where marijuana is legal, HHC probably isn’t better than THC. But if you’re in Alabama, Arkansas, or any other prohibited state, HHC is much preferable!

HHC is my favorite hemp-derived legal high, as it replicates THC more closely than delta-8 or delta-10. I agree with the estimates that HHC is around 80% as powerful as THC, and I only need to adjust my dose slightly to hit my sweet spot.

Effects-wise, you might enjoy HHC more than THC if you’re prone to side effects from regular weed. HHC’s milder nature somewhat lowers the risk of anxiety, paranoia, and hallucinations. 

Where Can I Buy HHC Products?

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You can buy HHC products online. I recommend purchasing HHC from companies that have a history in the hemp scene, and experience in selling CBD and delta-8 products. 

These guys either know how to make products themselves or how to find brands that do. Quality is hard to come by in the world of hemp, as is always the case in unregulated markets. But specialist online HHC retailers know what to look for!

I get my HHC products from CBD Genesis! They have an impressive selection of HHC, and a stellar range of CBD and delta-8 – if that’s your thing! 

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