Like the United States, where the legalization of hemp has paved the way for the marketing of cannabinoids present naturally in hemp, but in very small quantities, and therefore synthetically recreated, certain products containing HHC, hexahydrocannabinol , begin to arrive in France. With an essential question: is HHC legal in France?
What is HHC?
HHC was created in 1944 by American chemist Roger Adams, when he added hydrogen molecules to delta-9-THC. This process, called hydrogenation, converts THC into hexahydrocannabinol.
While Adams created HHC from cannabis-derived THC, nowadays HHC is usually derived through a process that begins with hemp.
How is THC made?
HHC can be made from a multi-step process. First, CBD is extracted from hemp as an isolate. From there, things get a little more complicated.
HHC is created from CBD by a chemical reaction inside a chemical reactor using a catalyst. The details of this process are unknown, but toxic chemicals are likely involved.
The HHC contained in marketed products is therefore produced synthetically, without any traceability on the solvents involved and on what is left in the final product.
What are the effects of HHC on the body and mind?
There is no consensus on the potency of HHC. The complication stems, in part, from the fact that when the cannabinoid is made, the end result is a mixture of two different types of HHC molecules: 9R HHC actively binds to the body’s natural endocannabinoid receptors, while 9S HHC , due to its slightly different molecular structure, does not do so well.
“He who binds [aux récepteurs] produces similar effects” to delta-8 THC, but it takes a much larger amount to achieve this, says Richard Sams, of KCA Laboratories, for example. “With a sufficient dose, one can observe effects similar to those of THC”.
In other words, HHC can have similar effects to THC on the body and mind, but HHC is less potent, milligram for milligram, than delta-8-THC. Delta-8-THC itself is generally considered half as potent as standard delta-9-THC.
Is consuming HHC safe?
Like all new hemp-derived cannabinoids (delta-8, delta-10…), there is no standard dose and little or no research on the immediate or long-term effects of HGH consumption.
Since hemp-derived cannabinoids (including HHC) are not properly regulated in France, sellers of HHC products are not required to test the potency and purity of their products.
Is HHC legal?
And now we come to perhaps the trickiest question of all: is HHC legal?
For the moment, hexahydrocannabinol is not classified on the list of narcotics in France nor prohibited as such. Be careful though:
- HHC is originally a derivative of THC. Its molecular structure very close to the prohibited cannabinoid and its psychotropic effects, even weak, could disqualify it quite easily.
- HHC shares important similarities with the synthetic drugs K2 and Spice. No traceability is carried out on its production or its composition after manufacture by solvent
At the moment, HHC products exist in a dark area. Until HHC is brought under state regulation, consumers will only be able to assess the risks and benefits of these compounds for themselves.