The Complete Guide to the HHC THC Cannabinoid

Tim Rosenberger Tim Rosenberger

March 17, 2022

HHC is one of several new hemp-based cannabinoids that have taken the cannabis industry by storm in recent times. Comparable to the famous but restricted THC cannabinoid, HHC has a similar set of effects but is legal in the United States.

In this detailed review of HHC, I’ll touch upon what it is and why it’s becoming so popular, and how it matches up against THC and delta-8 products. I’ll also look at the benefits of HHC and how to use it responsibly. 

But let’s get the ball rolling with my top three HHC products of 2022! 

Top 3 Here

1. Best Selling HHC Cartridges

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HHC Cartridges by Genesis

An ever-present name in the legal hemp industry, CBD Genesis has delivered once more with this superb collection of HHC cartridges. 

Federally compliant, hemp-derived HHC distillate blends with mouth-watering natural terpenes to create these mouth-watering disposable carts. A hefty 1000mg of hemp extract promises a punchy and intense HHC high, much like that from THC.

CBD Genesis manufactures a variety of sativa, indica, and hybrid HHC carts, so you can hone your HHC experience to your needs. All products are regularly third-party tested.

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

2. Most Popular

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ELYXR LA – HHC Tincture (1000mg)

ELYXR LA specializes in hemp-based highs and has joined the HHC party with this impressive range of nano-infused tincture oils. Checking in at 1000mg (33.3mg/ml) HHC, these sublingual tinctures are super-potent and guarantee a powerful high.

Marketed as Premium Enhanced Oil, ELYXR LA goes further than some brands, making tinctures designed for specific experiences. For example, the Awake oil helps improve focus while the Sleep tincture promotes relaxation.

All HHC Tinctures from ELYXR LA have passed third-party tests. KCA Labs and Ritually Pure analyze products for potency and legality.

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

3. Runner Up

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Work – HHC + Delta-8 + Delta-10 THC Disposable

These unique legal disposables from Work have a mixture of HHC, delta-8, and delta-10, three of the best-known psychoactive cannabinoids. And at 2.5g, the Sledgehammer carts are among the largest on the market.

For HHC regulars, the big tank size and powerful psychoactive effects provide maximum convenience. Unfortunately, some customers have complained about Work shipping products in inferior packaging, stopping them from featuring higher up my list.

Work currently makes these disposables in four different strains, offering sativa, indica, and hybrid HHC experiences. All products are third-party tested and have less than 0.3% THC.

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

What is HHC?

Hexahydrocannabinol (HHC) is a cannabinoid. It’s also the hydrogenated derivative of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). HHC has psychoactive effects which closely resemble those of THC. However, research indicates that HHC is a little less potent.

HHC binds with CB1 receptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which explains why it is similar to THC in effects. Interestingly, the slightly weaker bond between HHC cannabinoids and CB1 receptors likely explains the reduced potency.

Where did HHC originate?

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It’s logical to presume that cannabis has always generated small concentrations of THC. Even though humans have consumed cannabis for thousands of years, we only started identifying its compounds in the early 20th century. Scientists first synthesized HHC in 1947.

Researchers describe HHC as a semi-synthetic cannabinoid. It’s true that cannabis and hemp naturally produce small amounts of HHC, but most HHC is created in laboratories from either THC or CBD.

Despite its psychoactive nature, HHC was pretty much unheard of until the past couple of years – even in the marijuana industry! 

But obscure, psychotropic cannabinoids like HHC and delta-8 have become a huge deal since the federal government legalized hemp in 2018. Lawmakers didn’t intend on freeing up these substances, and they are only allowed thanks to a legal loophole.

The federal government sought to stop the relaxation of hemp laws from being a vessel for legal highs by capping THC levels at a mere 0.3%. But otherwise, all “naturally occurring” derivatives of hemp were legalized without restriction.

But it’s given companies the green light to start selling hemp-based products with high concentrations of HHC. Technically, since these e-liquids, tinctures, and edibles have less than 0.3% THC (often none), they are legal!

Will the Government Ban HHC?

The huge question is whether the federal government will close the loophole that has opened the door for the HHC industry. Given that most HHC distillate is generated in laboratory conditions, there’s an argument that companies are operating against the spirit of the Farm Bill. 

That said, it’s impossible to prove that businesses are not making products with HHC derived directly from hemp. And even so, the CBD used to make HHC still has natural, hemp-based origins.

From what we’ve heard from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), we can assume that the likes of HHC and delta-8 are not a priority. But while the federal government might not be concerned, not all states are as open-minded.

So far, I haven’t spotted any targeted crackdowns on HHC at the state level. But HHC – even relative to delta-8 – is still new. Several states have banned delta-8 by passing new laws or revising their versions of the Farm Bill.

We await to see whether places like Washington, Colorado and Kentucky will apply the same playbook to HHC. But I’m optimistic about its future, especially if it remains legal at the federal level!

Comparing HHC with THC, Delta-8, and Delta-10

You may be wondering why the industry needs all these different cannabinoids if they broadly do the same thing. But subtle differences can matter a lot to users – and if there’s one thing that cannabis users love, it’s choice!

HHC vs. THC

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The best guesses point to HHC being 80% as potent as THC. Effects-wise, the slightly less intense psychoactive high may reduce the risk of side effects, such as anxiety and paranoia.

But legality is the vital difference between HHC and THC. Federally, THC remains banned and a Schedule 1 drug, whereas hemp-based HHC is legal. THC is only better than HHC if you live in a legal recreational state like Colorado.

HHC vs. Delta-8

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Studies show that delta-8 is about 50% as psychoactive as THC, making it somewhat weaker than THC. If cannabis-induced anxiety is a big concern for you, then the milder effects of delta-8 may be preferable. Otherwise, it’s HHC all the way!

Interestingly, users report HHC as having a relaxing effect, whereas delta-8 tends to be more energizing. While both cannabinoids are available in sativa, indica, and hybrid forms, it’s worth keeping these natural properties in mind.

If you’re seeking a calming and soothing high, choose an HHC product. For a more cerebral and stimulating experience, delta-8 products may be more desirable.

HHC vs. Delta-10

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Delta-10 is also considerably milder than THC and HHC and is noted for having both relaxing and uplifting effects. I recommend delta-10 if you are new to the psychoactive properties of cannabinoids and HHC for those more familiar with them.

As a more intense compound, you’re a bit more likely to experience anxiety with HHC than delta-10. But both are less prone to causing these side effects than THC. If you want a product to help you unwind and relax, go for something with HHC.

Potential Health Benefits of HHC

HHC is most popular among recreational users who want to get high without breaking the law. But just like many people swear by the medicinal benefits of THC, it’s possible that HHC also has some therapeutic qualities.

Admittedly, HHC is under-researched, but we can infer a few things about it given its likeness to THC. Please consider this section as educational and informative – this is not medical advice.

Pain relief

Since HHC works via the same mechanism as THC, it may be an effective painkiller. Pain sensation appears to be regulated at the CB1 receptor in the endocannabinoid system. By binding with these receptors, HHC may initiate pain relief.

In the future, HHC could be an alternative to addictive prescription opioids. With fewer side effects and zero apparent overdose risk, it certainly seems as if HHC is safer.

In theory, fast-acting HHC vaping products would work best against acute pain. The more gradual effects of edibles and capsules could be more effective versus chronic symptoms.

Appetite stimulation

Activation of the CB1 receptor also stimulates appetite. We see this effect with classic marijuana, which is famous for giving users “the munchies”. 

But more seriously, some need an appetite boost to ensure they eat a consistent and healthy diet. HHC may help people fight off the harmful effects of eating disorders.

Enhanced mood

HHC’s mood-enhancing properties could serve a therapeutic purpose, too. 

We know people take HHC recreationally to experience its euphoric effects. But for those suffering from persistent low mood and depression, the mood-boosting qualities of HHC could be a significant health benefit. 

Better still, as HHC is less potent than THC, you won’t get so intoxicated, allowing you to keep functioning while high!

How to Find High-Quality HHC Products

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Like other hemp-based products, getting hold of safe and effective HHC is often challenging. HHC is new, and even so, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t regulate any hemp-derived products, never mind HHC.

With new brands emerging seemingly every week, it’s hard to know who to trust. But the third-party testing system used with CBD, delta-8, and now HHC can help you stay safe and avoid getting ripped off.

HHC products tested by an independent laboratory come with several assurances – specifically on potency, legality, and safety. A third-party report should document how much HHC is in a product and the overall percentage of THC (must be less than 0.3%).

Some independent labs also examine the purity of a product by testing for residual solvents, bacteria, mycotoxins, heavy metals, and other nasty stuff. 

While not a deal-breaker, I prefer purchasing HHC products from brands that comply with such extensive testing. And I only ever buy from third-party tested companies that make the results freely accessible.

How to Stay Safe When Using HHC Products

Once you’ve found some high-quality HHC, it’s all about using it responsibly. Even regular THC or delta-8 users should still take some time to get acquainted with its strength.

How you should approach taking HHC depends on the product you have. Smoking HHC flower or vaping HHC carts results in an intense, hard-hitting high, whereas HHC gummies and other edibles are slow to kick in but last much longer.

When vaping or smoking, take a couple of hits and wait for 15 to 30 minutes. Determine how high that first dose got you before deciding to take any more. For edibles and capsules, I suggest waiting a minimum of two hours before dosing again.

If the worst happens and you start experiencing side effects – known as a “bad trip” – find a comfortable, quiet spot and try to relax. Having a good friend close by to keep you calm can help. Taking some CBD will also take the edge off your high.

Buying HHC Products Online vs. Shops Near Me

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I always shop for HHC products online. It’s more convenient, there’s more to choose from than at the store, and I can take some time to research the brands I’m considering.

Online vendors focussing on hemp-based products like HHC and CBD are more trustworthy than the average headshop or convenience store. These brick-and-mortar shops have a reputation for stocking products from sketchy brands that aren’t third-party tested.

Furthermore, why limit yourself to a couple of HHC products when you could be picking from several? Most brands have a unique selling point, and it’s worth taking time to see what’s out there, so you can find a product that matches up with your needs.

I recommend shopping for HHC products at CBD Genesis. With lab-tested e-liquids, disposable carts, tincture oils, and more, CBD Genesis is a superb place to buy legal HHC!

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