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

    HHC is a novelty on the market, 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 (e.g. platinum). And although, 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 widely known, the use, sale or distribution of THC is prohibited by law in Poland. This is why hexahydrocannabinol has been hailed as "legal THC", because although its properties are almost identical to those of THC, it is not banned either in Poland or 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. Whereas with HHC, all the double bonds are broken, and replaced with hydrogen.

    How does the 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, a number of scientific groups have studied it, concluding that it is a substance with great potential. This was found from behavioural observations in rabbits and dogs, where the psychoactivity of HHC was remarkably similar to that of THC. 

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

    There is not a lot of research on the long-term effects of HHC on the body, but suggesting the mechanism of action, it can be concluded that they are the same as those of THC. There is a great deal of opinion about its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, for example, similar to those of THC. It is also said to significantly improve the quality of sleep. Research on this substance has not been conducted on a large scale, but user feedback on HHC is that, when used, it causes relaxation, a significant improvement in mood and well-being. This is a result of CB1 agonism, as is the case with THC.

    How strong is the HHC?

    Opinions vary. And these are both those issued by scientists after (still few) studies have been carried out and by users. 

    One study says that hexahydrocannabinol consumed in the form of 'edibles' 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 of this potency, but it is still an extremely high potency compound for a legally available product.

    Scientists believe that HHC metabolises in the human body much more efficiently than other cannabinoids. They are referring to THC and CBD. This allows the body to use it much more productively. 

    We will still have to wait to discover all the cards of HCC. For research is still ongoing and there is indeed a long way to go before all the secrets of cannabinoids are uncovered. But it is worth noting that the perception of cannabis has been changing in recent years. Both patients and research are increasingly confirming the therapeutic 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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