A newbie's guide to THC vs. HHC cannabinoids. You've probably heard of THC, the cannabinoid that gets you high, but what about other cannabinoids? There has recently been buzz around minor cannabinoids that mirror the intoxicating effects of THC, such as THCa, THC-O, and HHC.
Today we will discuss the minor cannabinoid HHC, hexahydrocannabinol, and how it compares to THC, tetrahydrocannabinol.
The Difference Between THC and HHC
Think of cannabinoid compounds like twins: Both THC and HHC may be born into the same family, but they differ fundamentally in many ways. While both originate from the cannabis plant, THC is the cannabinoid that makes us feel those famous euphoric effects while HHC is the cannabinoid with a hydrogenation process that keeps us feeling the same, but different.
HHC is even made from THC through a process called hydrogenation, or in simpler terms adding hydrogen to THC molecule. This changes the molecular structure and creates a more stable molecule overall.
Interaction with Endocannabinoid System
Due to their different molecular structures, HHC and THC do not interact with the endocannabinoid system, ECS for short, the same way. The ECS is a complex system of neurotransmitters and enzymes located throughout our bodies that cannabinoids can bind to. THC is known for bonding to the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors.
Binding to CB1 receptors is what produces the traditional “high” associated with cannabis consumption. The structure of HHC decreases its ability to bind to the CB1 and CB2 receptors. So while it still binds with these receptors, the connection is not as intense as a THC “high”.
Cannabis vs Hemp
THC is found in abundance in raw cannabis flower. The cannabinoid can be extracted from the raw flower and turned into a distillate or concentrate for consumption, or the raw weed can be smoked to experience the effects.
HHC is not found in abundance in the cannabis plant, so consumers using traditional cannabis will not get the effects from their flower. Instead, HHC is extracted and then infused into flower or put within a vape cartridge to be used by consumers.
The Effects of THC
THC has become well-known for its user experience, with reports of enhancing appetite, improving sleep, and providing that famous psychoactive feeling. While feelings of euphoria and heightened sensory awareness sound great, users should be aware of the drawback also felt by users. Some report feelings of anxiety, paranoa, and nausea. Overall the effects will depend on the users tolerance and biological makeup.
The Effects of HHC
Regular cannabis users report feeling similar effects to THC, but at a milder level and with more body relaxation. Many compare the relaxed feelings to the effects experienced when using Delta 8 THC. Generally, the users report experiencing heightened sensory awareness, along with a feeling of euphoria.
Along with reporting feelings of euphoria, users can also experience the downside of a traditional “high” with HHC. Anxiety, paranoia, and dry mouth are side effects consumers should look out for.
It’s important to remember, however, that individual user results may vary depending on tolerance and other factors. Despite this, there’s no denying that HHC cannabinoid produces one-of-a-kind user effects responsible for making it sought after in the marijuana user community.
Are THC and HHC Legal?
When it comes to THC and HHC, legality still varies from state-to-state in the United States. THC is mainly categorized as either recreational or medical cannabis. While some states have legalized medical and recreational cannabis, others only permit its use for medicinal purposes, while some restrict all cannabis related activities completely.
HHC is considered federally legal under the 2018 Farm Bill. The bill allows for the production and sale of hemp based products. Since HHC is typically consumed as infused hemp flower, it falls into this category. However, laws can still differ from state to state, so you should check your local legislation regarding HHC products.
Now you know the difference between THC and HHC, as well as the effects of each, and their legal status. As always, check with your local authorities to see what is legal in your area before consuming any type of cannabis product.
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