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    Home / Newsy / How does HHC work and how strong is HHC?

    HHC is a novelty on the market, by the way, not only in Poland. It surprises with properties that are remarkably similar to those of THC and, despite its status as an illegal substance in Poland, raises many questions. Complicated? Not at all! But about that below.

    What is hexahydrocannabinol (HHC)

    Hexahydrocannabinol was discovered (synthesized) in 1947 by Roger Adams from hemp seed (Cannabis Sativa). It was formed by the hydrogenation process of delta-9-THC. Hydrogen molecules were mixed with THC molecules, using a metallic catalyst (such as platinum). And while, as you can see, the product of hydrogenation has been known for a great many years, it is only recently that this compound has come out of the shadows as a substitute for THC. 

    As is well known, the use, sale or distribution of THC is prohibited by law in Poland. That's why hexahydrocannabinol has been hailed as "legal THC," because although its properties are almost identical, to those of THC, it is banned neither in Poland nor in the European Union. And all thanks to the fact that although it is virtually the same in action, their chemical structure is completely different. This is because when THC is broken down, it gains double bonds. By contrast, with HHC, all the double bonds are broken, and replaced with hydrogen.

    How does HHC work?

    Hexahydrocannabinol has been studied since 1940 due to its structural similarity to other cannabinoids found in cannabis. Therefore, scientists have been interested in HHC as a biologically active compound for many years. Even after Adams, many scientific groups have studied this product, concluding that it is a substance with great potential. This was found through behavioral observations in rabbits and dogs, where the psychoactivity of HHC was remarkably similar to that of THC. 

    As for HHC in food form, in 1991 Harvey and Brown discovered how HHC is metabolized by the human body. They found that, like THC, hexahydrocannabinol is oxidized by liver microsomes. These microsomes form derivatives, including 11-hydroxy-hexahydrocannabinol (11-OH-HHC) as the main metabolite identified. And this way of metabolizing HHC according to scientists may be responsible for the psychoactive effects of HHC after its consumption.

    There are not many studies on the long-term effects of HHC on the body, but suggesting the mechanism of action, it can be said that they are the same as the effects of THC. There are many opinions about its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, similar to those of THC. It is also supposed to significantly improve the quality of sleep. Research on this substance has not been conducted on a large scale, but the feedback from users on HHC is that after use it causes relaxation, a significant improvement in mood and well-being. This is due to CB1 agonism, just as it is with THC.

    How strong is the HHC?

    Opinions vary. And these are both issued by scientists after the conducted (still few) studies and by users. 

    One study says that hexahydrocannabinol consumed in "edibles" form has 80% of the potency that delta-9-THC has. This would mean that as a substitute it is very potent. Other studies indicate that it may have a little less potency, but it is still an extremely high potency compound for a legally available product.

    Scientists believe that HHC metabolizes in the human body much more efficiently than other cannabinoids. We are talking about THC and CBD here. This allows the body to use it much more productively. 

    We will have to wait a bit longer to find out all the HCC cards. Research is still ongoing and there is a long way to go before all the secrets of cannabinoids are revealed. But it is worth noting that the perception of cannabis has been changing in recent years. Both patients and scientific studies are increasingly confirming the medicinal properties of cannabinoids. THC, CBD, CBN, CBG and now HCC, are just the beginning. 


    1. "What is HHC and how does it affect the body?"; by Dr. Mark A Scialdone;  2021 r.;
    2. "What is HHC? Hydrogenated Cannabinoids & Apocalypse-Ready THC",sc
    3. "Epimer" -;2556902

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