HHC Has a Mild Buzz — But Is This Buzz-worthy Cannabinoid Legal?
When we talk about hemp-derived cannabinoids, we have a regular cornucopia of products to discuss these days. From CBD to Delta-8 THC, and from THC-O to Delta-10 THC, it almost sounds like we’re talking about college degrees or the menu at Mcdonald's as much as we’re talking about hemp-derived cannabinoids. And now, we’ve gone and added another product to the list — HHC or Hexahydrocannabinol. This all-natural cannabinoid built on a foundation of CBD is bound to be at the top of your holiday list.
So what is HHC? Think of it like something akin to Delta-8 THC. It will give you a buzz but will be much more smooth and subtle. The same way the Delta-8 THC is a chilled down version of cannabis, HHC is a chilled down version of Delta-8 THC. It’s like microdosing without having to microdose. HHC really is a revelation in the hemp game.
And the best part, now it’s available to purchase just about everywhere? But is it available legally?
“Since HHC is a semi-synthetic compound, it is made in a laboratory where smart people isolate the molecules in our favorite plant to deliver specific cannabinoids that have the potential to rival their family tree,” writes the website Herb.
“This hemp-derived cannabinoid is created when a specific amount of hydrogen is added to a cannabis compound, influencing its chemical structure. Then a metal catalyst is used to cause a reaction with the compound,” Herb continues.
However, calling HHC synthetic or semi-synthetic does the cannabinoid no favors, nor does it really capture the true essence of this wonderful compound. After all, HHC is naturally found in hemp and was first discovered way back in the 1940s. It is an all-natural byproduct of hemp. It’s just found in such small quantities.
Because of that, many manufacturers use CBD to make, well, larger quantities. But since the HHC you find in vapes and gummies and any other store-bought products still come from hemp itself, it hardly counts as synthetic. But why all the fuss over semantics? Well, our friends, the feds usually determine whether something is legal or not by whether it’s synthetic (that’s hardly the only thing they use to make a determination). Still, it’s important here.
So, is HHC legal? Does it sit in a grey area? WIll the feds try and kill our fun all over again? Sure, HHC has a mild buzz, but is this buzz-worthy cannabinoid legal?
What Is HHC and Why Should I Try It?
HHC, or hexahydrocannabinol, is a new hemp-derived cannabinoid with a buzz. As you might have figured out already, since the Farm Bill went into effect a few years ago, legalizing hemp, it opened the door to a myriad of new cannabinoids and compounds. It’s the reason why we now have Delta-8 THC, Delta-10, THC-O, and so many more in addition to CBD. When Congress passed this bill, they left the hemp industry a lot of leeway — and they did so on purpose — and the hemp industry has been doing what it does best, innovating.
But, as we mentioned earlier this week, HHC isn’t exactly new. “It was first synthesized way back in the 1940s, although, like Delta-8 THC, it does occur naturally in the hemp plant. It’s just that, like Delta-8 THC, it isn’t found in large quantities. But that also doesn’t mean that HHC is a synthetic cannabinoid either. In fact, it very much still comes from hemp,” we wrote in a previous post.
And as a recent Leafly article on the compound mentioned, HHC is made from CBD by most manufacturers. Now, that doesn’t mean that HHC is synthetic — far from it — it just means that this new cannabinoid is created in innovative ways using all-natural compounds from the hemp plant. And when it’s all-natural and comes from the hemp plant, it should, in theory, be legal. Whether or not it is, we’ll get to in a moment.
So what does HHC feel like? Most users compare it to Delta-8 THC. Still, some also say it is a lot like good old-fashioned cannabis. As a recent article in Herb explained, “Out of all the cannabinoids that have been introduced lately, HHC has the potential to be the most similar to Delta 9 THC in terms of effects. Its close chemical structure could be the reason why users report effects like: Pain relief, Cerebral and body high, Anxiety relief, Happiness, [and] Relaxation.”
There’s a lot of information right now floating around about HHC, but here’s what you need to know. It’s safe, it’s a bit milder than Delta-8 THC, and it’s a lot of fun. “In other words, HHC can have THC-like effects on the body and mind, but HHC is less potent, milligram-per-milligram, than delta-8 THC. Delta-8 THC is itself generally regarded as about half as potent as the standard delta-9 THC,” Leafly noted.
But is HHC legal?
The Real Question: Is HHC Legal to Purchase and Use
As with all hemp-derived cannabinoids in circulation post-Farm Bill, you probably want to know if HHC is legal. And it’s a fair question because we just don’t know the honest answer most of the time. Take, for example, Delta-8 THC. According to the language of the Farm Bill, Delta-8 THC is perfectly legal under federal law. It comes from hemp, it’s derived from hemp, and hemp is lawful. Therefore Delta-8 should be legal.
And yet, almost 20 states have enacted laws to either restrict or ban the sale and use of Delta-8 THC.
This has happened for a few reasons. Most notably, we live in a country that fears substances that cause euphoria. Moral panics have always been a thing in America, dating back over 100 years. But second, Delta-8 THC is a threat to cannabis producers. Cannabis isn’t federally legal, and so the cannabis industry has been applying pressure to hemp manufacturers. It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there.
Which brings us to HHC. Most companies argue that it is legal — and rightfully so. As Leafly wrote recently, “[One] company’s website argues that since HHC is hemp-derived, and not actually THC, they should be in the clear. ‘HHC vapes, gummies, or edibles are perfectly legal on the federal level and will most likely remain legal on the state level as well,’ the website reads.”
But there are those who disagree. “Other experts are more skeptical. James Stephens, the cannabinoids scientist at Creo, believes HHC is subject to the Federal Analogue Act, which states that any substance analogous to a Schedule I drug—in this case, conventional THC—would itself qualify as a Schedule I drug. Since THC remains illegal, HHC would be illegal too. Stephens also believes it bears significant similarities to the synthetic drugs K2 and Spice, which mimic THC and are also classified as Schedule 1 drugs,” wrote Leafly.
For now, HHC will probably fall under the same umbrella as Delta-8 and Delta-10. It is federally legal, but different states will enact their own rules. And the only thing you can do is fight back. Write your Congressperson and let them know you want HHC. It’s safe, it’s effective, and the buzz is incredible.
So, until next time, enjoy your buzz.