Since legalization of hemp derived products in the 2018 Farm Bill, we are seeing an array of cannabinoid-based products far beyond CBD. If you use cannabinoids to elevate your health and wellness, HHC is one of the popular new cannabinoids that you should definitely know about. Let’s take a look at this analogue of THC and how it may be able to benefit you.
What is HHC?
HHC may seem like a “newer cannabinoid,” however, it was first identified in the 1940’s by chemist, Roger Adams, who also identified CBD in the same decade. HHC was formed when Adam’s added hydrogen molecules to Delta 9 THC, through a process called hydrogenation. Since it was first identified, there have been over 10 different versions of HHC discovered.
HHC was originally formed from cannabinoids extracted from the cannabis sativa plant, though current products available with HHC are derived from hemp for legal reasons. HHC can be found in small traces in both hemp and cannabis plants, though only in trace amounts. To extract usable amounts from the hemp plant, a complex process is performed to add hydrogen atoms to THC. The process begins with high purity CBD extracts that have been converted to analogues of THC, such as Delta 8 THC and Delta 10 THC. Active catalysts, such as palladium or nickel are then introduced to the process, along with high pressure, to convert THC to HHC. The extract then goes through a filtration process to remove any heavy metals that are harmful when consumed.
What are the benefits of HHC?
Though HHC was first identified in the 1940’s, research on the cannabinoid has been limited. With recent popularity, more clinical trials are underway to learn more about HHC. Here is what we know so far:
HHC for Pain Relief
A study in 1977 found HHC demonstrated pain relieving properties approaching the same effects as morphine when administered to mice. Additionally, when HHC was administered to the mice it reduced pain 10x more than Delta 9 THC, suggesting HHC is a more potent therapeutic than Delta 9 THC for pain relief. It was also found HHC did not increase motor activity, nor did it demonstrate cross tolerance or dependency, like that of morphine.
HHC for Sleep
HHC was found to have anti-nociceptive effects and promotes sleep in a study conducted in 2007. Anti-nociceptive is the action of reducing or blocking the detection of painful stimuli by reducing sensory neurons. Within the study, it was found HHC reduced the pain felt by the mice and increased their sleeping time by 8x.
Though research is limited on HHC, it was found HHC interacts with the same receptors as THC, suggesting it can produce the same therapeutic effects. HHC also has a greater affinity to certain receptors, including the bodies TRP pain receptors, suggesting it may be more effective than THC as a therapeutic for reducing pain. As more clinical trials are concluded, soon we will know of even more benefits HHC holds.
What’s the difference between HHC and THC?
THC and HHC may share many similarities, but they also differ from one another. Research has found HHC is more stable than THC, meaning it will not degrade over time. When exposed to oxidation and degradation, THC converts to CBN. While HHC does not lose its potency when exposed to environmental factors, including light, and heat. This is because the hydrogenation of HHC strengthens the molecular structure.
Is HHC legal?
When derived from hemp, HHC is federally legal per the 2018 Farm Bill. The only restriction is the product must contain 0.3% or less of Delta 9 THC.
HHC can be a great cannabinoid to boost overall health and wellness and can be a great ally for an array of ailments. HHC is available in a wide range of products, including smokables and tinctures. The great news, there has never been any severe side effects reported, so there is nothing to lose when trying HHC, yet so much to potentially gain.
Always consult your primary health physician prior to adding any health and wellness products into your routine.