What is HHC: A Review of the Hexahydrocannabinol Cannabinoid

Hexahydrocannabinol (HHC) is a semi-synthetic type of cannabinoid that is prepared through the hydrogenation of THC. It has several euphoric and mind-relaxing properties.

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what is hhc

Today, we shall be going over HHC, a semi-synthetic molecule. All your questions regarding ‘What is HHC?’, and ‘What can it do for me?’ will all be answered here. 

HHC is another type of Cannabinoid that has been making rounds over the internet these days. It is very beneficial and useful for human beings. 

A Definition of Hexahydrocannabinol

Hexahydrocannabinol, abbreviated for HHC, is a semi-synthetic type of Cannabinoid. It has just recently started gaining popularity, owing to its uses and benefits in several walks of life, both medicinal and non-medicinal.

Hexahydrocannabinol is not a much-studied and researched variant of Cannabis. The main reason is the fact that its importance was just recently realized. Before this, it was always THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol that had been making rounds for being such a helpful type of CBD. 

Interestingly enough, HHC has several similarities with THC. It has more or less the same effects, the same benefits, and the same uses for which it is employed in the human body. However, the intensity of these effects is much milder and less potent with HHC than it is with THC.

THC was found to have a much stronger and more potent effect. However, with this difference, it was seen that people would be much more comfortable using HHC. This was because it is a much lighter and less intense form of Cannabis.

HHC also has several distinct effects that have made it a clear winner for people struggling with chronic, resistant conditions such as Diabetes Mellitus Type II and weight gain. 

The Production Process of HHC

Unlike the other popular variants of CBD, there is a problem with the production and cultivation of HHC. This problem is the scarcity or the less frequent occurrence of this variant of CBD in nature. It grows in such small and restricted quantities that it is not always possible to make it available for use by the masses of people who routinely use it. 

It is for a reason like this that HHC is manufactured synthetically in laboratories using THC and other forms of Cannabis as the raw materials.

However, this makes HHC to be labeled as a ‘semi-synthetic’ product since the raw material – mainly THC is a naturally occurring Cannabinoid. 

The preparation of HHC requires the isolation of THC from its extract and then subjecting it to ‘hydrogenation’. In the process of hydrogenation, THC is exposed to Hydrogen gas at high temperature and pressure in the presence of Palladium as a catalyst.

This process causes the double bond of THC to get converted into a single bond, which saturates the product and adds additional Hydrogen atoms to it. This transformation results in the production of HHC, a stable compound.

The absence of the double bond of THC ensures the stability of HHC. The single bond of HHC is seen to be more stable, and less prone to oxidation and breakdown when exposed to environmental extremes. This also makes it easier for HHC to be used for different purposes. 

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The Effects of HHC Compared to THC

Like it has been stated earlier, HHC is similar to THC in many ways. It has been clarified above that the process of preparation of HHC is carried out in such a way that the final product is structurally different from THC. 

There are still several properties that make both of them quite similar in their work.

For the purpose of convenience, here is a list of both similarities and differences between THC and HHC.


  • Psychoactivity: Certain psychoactive effects, such as euphoria, altered perception of time, and changes in mood could be experienced through both CBD and THC.
  • Pain Relief: Both THC and HHC have potential analgesic properties, which can help alleviate pain and inflammation.
  • Appetite Stimulation:  Both these compounds may stimulate appetite to some extent. 


  • Potency: THC is generally more potent than HHC in producing psychoactive effects. This makes THC a more potent intoxicant.
  • Effects on Anxiety: Some users report that HHC has a milder impact on anxiety and paranoia compared to THC, although this can vary among individuals.
  • Legal Status: The legal status of these compounds can differ widely. THC is often regulated as a controlled substance in many regions, while HHC may be less regulated or not specifically listed.

As compared to THC, the anecdotal evidence regarding HHC’s effects and side effects is quite limited as it has been less extensively studied. 

However, from what has been heard, many users have reported experiencing a milder “high” with HHC, potentially making it appealing for those seeking a more moderate cannabis experience. However, the limited research also means that the full range of potential side effects and long-term impacts of HHC remains uncertain.

HHC in the Market: Availability and Forms

Since HHC is seen to have several benefits for the human mind and body, it is only fair to introduce it in the markets in the hopes that more people would use it wisely and make the most out of their experiences. 

However, regarding the availability and promotion of HHC, it is always better to first see whether that particular region favors the presence of such products or not. 

The reason for this is the legal status of Cannabis and all its variants, which is still controversial and not talked about in several states of the U.S. and other parts of the world as well, even today. 

In light of this matter, it was seen that earlier, HHC was primarily available in select regions with more permissive cannabis regulations, such as parts of the United States where recreational or medical cannabis was legalized. 

In these places, HHC was found in various forms.


Some cannabis cultivators may produce strains with higher HHC content, making them available in their natural form for smoking or vaporizing.


HHC concentrates, such as oils, tinctures, or distillates, may have been produced for use in vaporizers or as ingredients in edibles and topicals.


HHC might have been used as an ingredient in cannabis-infused edibles, offering an alternative consumption method.

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All in all, the availability of HHC in the market could vary significantly by location and the legal status of cannabis in that area.


So, to summarize, HHC is indeed a very helpful and beneficial form of Cannabis. Although it is prepared using THC, it does have effects of its own that make it stand out as a helpful product for human beings.

The role of HHC in treating and managing diabetes, anxiety, depression, pain, and other conditions is found to be of great help in adults. 

However, only research could help provide more insight into the potential of HHC. There is still a need to research more about the potential of HHC to see how far it could go in providing benefits and comfort to the people who use it for good. Only research could help provide more insight into the potential of HHC. 


What is the difference between HHC and THC?

HHC (hexahydrocannabinol) and THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) are both cannabinoids found in cannabis. HHC is a hydrogenated derivative of THC, and while they share psychoactive properties, THC is generally more potent.

There are several differences between HHC and THC, however, the major differences lie in the fact that both these products vary greatly in their ‘intensity’ to affect human beings for the purpose for which either of them is used. 

The legal status of HHC varies by jurisdiction; it may be unregulated or prohibited in some areas. Depending upon the state or country, there could be either partial or complete restrictions imposed upon the buying and selling of HHC and other CBD-related products. 

However, HHC is seen to be legal under state laws. 

Can HHC show up on a drug test?

Many drug tests target the presence of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and its metabolites in the body. 

Since HHC is a derivative of THC, it can produce metabolites that some drug tests may detect, leading to a positive result. If you are subject to drug testing, it’s essential to be aware of the substances being tested for and the specific testing methodology used.

What are the potential side effects of HHC?

There are several side effects and adverse events that might take place if a person consumes too much of HHC or does so carelessly. 
The potential and commonly seen side effects of HHC may include dry mouth, dizziness, increased heart rate, and altered perception, similar to THC, but research on HHC-specific side effects is limited.

Andleeb Asghar - Pharmacist

Andleeb Asghar - Pharmacist

Andleeb Asghar holds a “Pharm-D” degree from Lahore College for Women University, Lahore. She is an official Registered Pharmacist (RPh) in Punjab, Pakistan. She has also got a “Master of Philosophy” degree from the University of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, Lahore. Andleeb has worked in various practice settings as a clinical Pharmacist and has a wide range of experience. She has been cited in Healthline and Telehealth for her expertise. She has also served as a distinguished guest speaker at various local hospitals and high-profile organizations. She has been writing Cannabinoid & Marijuana related content for the past five years for different reputable companies. She is passionate about serving others by crafting information and helpful pieces for her readers.

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