New cannabinoids have taken the hemp scene by surprise as new terms start to slither their way into the vocabulary, and things might seem more complicated at first. Specifically, new cannabinoids like HHC might seem complex, especially with their semi-synthetic origin.
And with so many legal ways of getting high, like the mild THC sibling delta 8 THC, you might feel confused about whether one is stronger and which one is better for you.
Below, we’ll discuss the difference between HHC and delta 9 THC, their chemical process, the benefits, and which one better depends on your needs. We’ve also added a small guide on how to buy HHC if you decide to try it on your own once your concerns about these cannabinoids have been satisfied.
Curious about the difference between HHC and THC? Try them both and see for yourself!
- Both HHC and delta 9 THC are hemp-derived cannabinoids that interact with our nervous system to produce a psychoactive effect.
- HHC is basically an analog of delta 9, replacing carbon bonds for hydrogen atoms through a process called hydrogenation.
- The molecular structures of THC and HHC are almost identical, except that the carbon double bonds are replaced by hydrogen.
- HHC has plenty of benefits, like being federally legal, having a more stable shelf life, and keeping products potency’ fresh for longer periods.
- While both have similar effects, delta 9 THC tends to be stronger as a molecule but weaker as it degrades with time compared to HHC.
What are the Differences in HHC vs. THC
Let’s start by saying what HHC is. This compound is a cannabinoid you can naturally find in hemp, but the concentration is so low it would be really hard and expensive to actually get distillate from organic matter.
So, legal HHC found in products today is considered to be semi-synthetic. It is first processed from hemp-derived delta 9 THC, which goes through a chemical process called hydrogenation.
This process replaces THC carbon bonds with hydrogen, making it a more shelf-stable chemical. HHC is then added as an extract to vape pens with a carrier oil or to foods and drinks, like edibles.
Delta 9 THC, on the other hand, is one of the six major cannabinoids in hemp. That means it is fully naturally occurring, but unless it complies with the 2018 Farm Bill that allows for only less than 0.3% of this compound, it cannot be as freely produced and sold.
Both compounds are psychoactive, meaning they will both get you high. While we’ll explore the effects and potency later on, it is important to mention that HHC is federally available, while THC tends to be a little more difficult to come by.
Some states might have a lot of entry barriers due to the classification of THC as medicinal cannabis, which requires licensing. Other states don’t even have regulations and instead have a full ban on these compounds, no matter if it’s cannabis or hemp-derived.
HHC products are easily accessible and can be bought and sold since they are not under the jurisdiction of cannabis or an analog but as a hemp-derived cannabinoid. So think of it as the margarine of cannabinoids, the direct substitute of regular THC where it’s hard to access it.
And as a fun fact, margarine was actually invented after HHC was discovered. The patent of hydrogenation was then used to turn oil into margarine to keep it in good condition and as a butter alternative at a more accessible price point.
What are the Benefits of HHC
Due to the lack of scientific research on HHC, most of what we know about its effects comes from anecdotal evidence. This also applies to the potential benefits of this cannabinoid since most of what is known comes from its pharmacology and how users feel.
It is believed that HHC in the hemp market is slightly more potent than the popular delta 8 THC. And with similar mechanisms, delta 8 THC and HHC produce pretty similar effects and benefits in the body.
Thanks to how they both interact with our endocannabinoid system, most psychoactive effects will also have the potential to aid several things in our system. Specifically, users have said to feel more relaxed, that it has aided with pain and inflammation and even diminishes certain symptoms from insomnia.
Other users have said it feels more like a sativa-like experience when trying HHC or delta 8 THC. This could lead to creative thinking, feeling social, and even helping with a mood uplift and general happiness feeling.
HHC vs. THC Potency
Now, HHC basically shares a pretty similar structure to THC except for the hydrogen bonds. In general, it is believed that delta 9 THC is stronger, as it can bind more easily to the CB1 receptors in our endocannabinoid system (ECS).
HHC, however, has shown promise to keep edibles and extracts fresh for longer. This means that in the long term, delta 9 THC edibles that have been kept in some warehouses will eventually have their potency go down much quicker than HHC edibles.
It is also important to say that most hemp-derived delta 9 gummies have very little of the actual cannabinoid. Meaning that an HHC edible, thanks to its freshness and general absorption, could feel stronger, even if the cannabinoid itself is weaker as a molecule.
Sadly most of these come from anecdotal evidence as the information and comparative research between both cannabinoids is pretty scarce. But so far, we’d stay with fresh delta 9 THC for vapes or smaller doses and HHC for bigger doses or if you want to stash your vapes and edibles away.
HHC vs. THC Effects
Another important difference between the two cannabinoids is how they feel in our bodies. Delta 9 users have reported feeling relaxed, with a mind and body buzz that extends throughout their bodies.
Depending on the added terpenes and strain, delta 9 THC could be more euphoric or relaxing, but in general, it gives a stronger body sensation than some hemp-derived products like delta 10 or delta 8.
That said, some users say that the body high from HHC is even stronger than regular THC. Paired with the euphoric feeling, it might experience elevated effects and a pretty balanced experience that mixes the best of both delta 9 and delta 8.
Most of these effects come from anecdotal reports. Hence more research would be useful to determine which one is better. But for now, HHC gives a strong-yet balanced mind and body experience, while delta 9 THC usually goes for a stronger body experience.
Is THC or HHC Stronger?
In general, delta 9 THC tends to bind more efficiently to the CB1 receptors of our endocannabinoid system. In simpler words, this means delta 9 can hit harder than HHC, which is one of the main reasons why most delta 9 products have lower quantities of this cannabinoid.
That said, HHC can stay fresh for longer. Meaning that a delta 9 edible versus an HHC edible will be less potent with the passing of time thanks to the longer shelf life that the latter has.
Since HHC is generally resistant to light and temperature degradation, edibles and pens will lose less power than delta 9. In fact, some edibles and pens tend to get that “old weed” flavor as time passes due to THC breaking down into CBN, which is a natural process that also happens in hemp.
So, in a nutshell, HHC is less potent in general but will keep its potency for longer. So if you want to go all chipmunks and store edibles for the winter, your better choice is to go with Hexahydrocannabinol products.
How To Shop For HHC Products
When looking for HHC products, there are a few key things to look out for. Since this cannabinoid is fairly new to the scene, you must consider at least two things in a dispensary: the lab results and reputation.
One key thing that sets online dispensaries apart from your local dealer is having a third party check if your products have the reported amounts of different cannabinoids.
This is essential with newer compounds as you want to check the composition to understand what you are truly consuming. Not only is it important due to legal reasons to abide by the 2018 Farm Bill, but to ensure you are getting the best quality products for your money.
The second thing is a little more complicated. The website’s design, delivery, customer service, and even reviews are all important to get an idea of your brand’s reputation. If your online dispensary seems sketchy, you might be better off with a dispensary that has a streamlined ordering process.
Where to Buy HHC Online
If you want to try safe HHC products with lab test results, Delta Munchies is the place for you. With high-quality cannabinoid extract, feel safe to enjoy new hemp-derived compounds in edibles or carts without worry.
Our HHC Gummies are perfect for trying this cannabinoid for the first time. With 25mg of our sweet extract, you’ll find these stay fresh for even longer and keep their potency game sharp through the passing of time.
With 25 and 40-piece options, you can try these on your own or share around. Or, if you are trying HHC for wellness reasons, try microdosing them. These come in three incredibly tasty flavors: Melon Dreams for the sweet-flavor aficionado, Fruit Punch for the fruit-lover, or the sour and berry-like Blue Razz.
Or, if you want some discreet tokes, the Maui Wowie Vape Cartridge could be a better option. This cart has delicious tropical yet sour flavors that mix great with the high-quality HHC extract. It comes with a whole gram of extract and added terpenes, lasting up to 600 tokes in a single pack. This is a better option if you want a quick toke or don’t want to have an edible to experiment with HHC.