Americans can currently buy it freely on the internet or in stores. Hexahydrocannabinol (HHC) is slowly making its way into consumers. This craze is driven by brands, which highlight a legal vacuum created by the legalization of hemp in 2018. Problem: this minor cannabinoid is not approved by any ISO standard or certificate of analysis. In addition, it is potentially very powerful.
HHC is a compound found in small amounts in cannabis. Its chemical base is close to THC, except that it has two additional carbon atoms. To create HHC, therefore, hydrogen must be added to THC. A process called hydrogenation.
But it is not enough to take an eyedropper and add hydrogen to a cannabis plant, as one does to turn oil into margarine. For the HHC, it’s a little more complicated than that. To obtain it, the chemical reaction is carried out in a laboratory, often with heavy metals.
“HHC is not a molecule you come across easily on a cannabis plantation. The chemical reactions to obtain it are so far from a classic manipulation of a cannabis grower, there is nothing in common between the two “, warns Doctor Markus Roggen, boss of Delic Labs, quoted by Cannabis Life Network.
In addition to these disrespectful methods, no standard or certificate gives the green light to the HHC. It is therefore sold freely, without being independently tested. The Binoid brand, for example, ensures that “Each product is tested five times before being sent to a third party lab. We test every sample to make sure it meets our standards ”. However, there is no mention of a standard set by an agency protecting public health.
Add to this that the HHC is consumed only in e-liquid, a mode of consumption already pinned for the presence of undesirable substances, and you get a 100% natural cocktail. Or not.
Equivalent to morphine, or close to THC?
The other main risk associated with HHC is its potential potency. A 1977 study even considers it 1000% more potent than THC. It would be equivalent to morphine, although the effects differ. HHC is indeed very close to “Spice”, the overkill synthetic cannabinoid developed by the giant Pfizer in the 1980s. Today, it is considered to be roughly equivalent to THC in terms of potency.
The truth is, we know very little about it. Even HHC dealers are not very familiar with what they are selling. ” There are no long-term and definitive studies on the effect of HHC “, written in black and white Binoid, in the description of its product. In the comments, customers talk about an effect “So close to THC that it is impossible to tell the difference”, of “Soft and soothing” or even “Super relaxing”.
Will HHC go over the counter for a long time? We saw it with Delta-8-THC: the minor cannabinoids that surf on a legal vacuum never resist for long. The D8 was very popular, and even celebrated by the New York Times. But the tide has turned in just a few months, and several US states are already banning it.