For the last few years, chemists have been paving the way in semi-synthetic cannabinoids, creating unique compounds that could offer a number of health benefits for both medical patients and adult use consumers.
One of these curious compounds is HHC, also known as Hexahydrocannabinol, has been making a name for itself as a potent pain and anxiety relieving drug.
Let’s break down everything you need to know about HHC and what makes it such a special alternative to phytocannabinoids like THC and CBD.
Simply put, HHC is a naturally occurring minor cannabinoid. This compound is found in cannabis and hemp plants, however it can be produced safely in a laboratory setting in more purified forms such as resin extracts or powderized crystal.
HHC is created when THC’s double bond is broken. The molecule becomes unstable as a result of this process and thus turns into a different molecule.
It all started with famous cannabis scientist Roger Adams, who synthesized HHC in 1947. This was done by degrading the THC into a broken down form, creating the hydrogenated form of THC, HHC.
Synthesis of chemicals often requires a multistep laboratory process. In the case of making HHC, a chemist must break down the natural cannabinoids and then purify the remaining materials to leave a safe and clean extract, void of impurities or any unknown byproducts of the processing.
Hydrogenation happens when the compounds are treated with hydrogen, causing a chemical reaction between hydrogen (H2) and another compound, while in the presence of a catalyst such as nickel, platinum, or palladium.
This process is conducted in order to reduce or saturate organic compounds, which imbues them with properties not found on the original compounds.
The result is cannabinoid analogues like HHC, HHCA, or HHCP – which all have promise for medical applications.
This change in the molecules happens by adding hydrogen across the double bonds of the cannabinoid, changing its molecular weight, geometry, and thus its effects on the body.
Based on the distinct differences between HHC and THC, one might prefer HHC for a number of reasons. This contrast can be especially obvious in distillate form, as this is one of the most potent sources of cannabinoids, often testing between 85-99% purity.
HHC is described as being less powerful than THC, as HHC has a lower affinity for the CB1 receptor in the body’s nervous system.
According to researchers, HHC has been observed as being 10-25 times less powerful than Delta 9 THC (another common analog cannabinoid on the market).
Consumers have reported the effects of HHC feeling 70-80% milder than the effects of Delta 9. This could make HHC a safer option for beginners that are not familiar with the psychoactive effects of THC or Delta 9 products.
Dosing is critical in how strong or long lasting the effects are, however the average dose of HHC can produce effects that last roughly 2-6 hours.
Additionally, HHC has a faster onset based on how the body metabolizes hydrogenated compounds, and will typically store less of the molecule in fat reserves within the body (thus making it a more bioavailable product).
Similar to other cannabinoids, HHC is a powerful anti-inflammatory aid and could play a critical role in fighting disease and chronic illness associated with long sustained inflammation.
Based on a study referenced in the US patents for cannabinoid hydrogenation (US10071127B2 & US9694040B2), hydrogenated cannabinoids were examined in reference to their effects on tumor growth in mice.
It was found that hydrogenated cannabinoids showed significant improvement and reduction of tumor sizes.
Beyond its anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor effects, HHC may also metabolize differently in the body, changing how HHC feels in the body compared to other cannabinoids.
HHC is less prone to dehydrogenation (converting to DHC and CBN), which may create a resistance to oxidative metabolic breakdown in the liver.
Compounds like CBN are cannabinoids known to increase the sedative effects of cannabis, meaning HHC would have slightly less drowsy or body load effects like its sister cannabinoids THC and CBN.
There is still a lot of work to do before clinical evidence supports this, however similar studies have been conducted on other hydrogenated compounds that all successfully showed this level of stability.
Beyond the benefits for consumers, brands should be keeping a close eye on the benefits of incorporating HHC into their products.
Currently on the market there are HHC vapes, distillates, capsules and edible products, available around the globe. Not only does it behoove a cannabis or hemp business to get into HHC for the growing demand from customers, it is actually incredibly beneficial from an operational perspective.
This is because HHC and all hydrogenated cannabinoids for that matter, are incredibly shelf stable. These compounds are stable on the molecular level, meaning they can withstand a long shelf life and an impressive resistance to heat.
In the same way they are resistant to thermo-oxidative breakdown in the liver (like when we discussed metabolism above), it is also stable even when exposed to air on the shelf.
If you’re a manufacturer or brand curious about working with HHC distillate, check out our online shop for bulk novel cannabinoids.
We have a wide selection of unique cannabinoids that will keep your products fresh and trending on the ever-growing cannabis and CBD market.
We get a lot of questions about our CBN isolate, so below we’ll do our best to answer the most common questions you might have.
Hexahydrocannabinol (HHC) distillate is essentially the liquid form of HHC. It can be added very easily to commercial products like vape carts, edibles, drinks and other infusions. It can also be dabbed on it’s own. You can simply sell syringes of the distillate for your customers to enjoy.
Many feel the high given from HHC is less than traditional Delta 9 THC, but it’s still a very potent option.
Our CBN Isolate comes as a very fine powder, giving it a wide range of applications. You can easily create capsules, mix it into drinks, tinctures or food products, create sublingual products and so much more. It’s an incredibly versatile powder that can be added to just about anything for consumers.
Yes, our isolate is tested consistently and we can send the Certificate of Analysis results by request. Simply reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the number above to get access to the COA and order your samples.
Yes, as with most isolates, our HHC distillate is 100% THC free and is ready to be used commercially. We can provide up to date results by request.
Yes. Our minimum order for CBN Isolate is a single kilogram. We do offer tiered price breaks as the volume gets larger and we can handle orders of hundreds of kilos per month.
Yes! We have a number of premium distillates and isolates available at bulk pricing like:
Feel free to request samples of any of the products listed above if you’d like to add them to your product lines.
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