What is HCC?

Written by Antonio DeRose

You just saw your first HCC product, and like most people, you’re wondering, what is HCC? Well, we’ve got the answer for you. HCC stands for hexahyrdrocannabinol. As the name suggests, HCC is a cannabinoid just like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are cannabinoids.

HCC is produced naturally within the cannabis plant. It is considered a trace cannabinoid because it only occurs in small amounts. To get around this lack of natural HCC production, cannabis experts have found a way to create it synthetically through a hydrogenation process involving cannabis extracts. If there’s HCC in your cannabis or hemp product, then it’s most likely been synthesized versus having been produced naturally in the plant.

The molecular make-up of HCC is similar in structure to THC, and there have been some  anecdotal reports that the effects of HCC can be similar to the effect of THC because of this reason. This means HCC may be just as potent at THC for some people. There are very few research studies on the benefits of HCC when compared to the research on the benefits of other cannabinoids like THC and CBD. [1]

One study on HCC showed it to have potential as an anti-cancer medication. In their study, researchers were able to conclude that HCC stopped the formation of new blood vessels and inhibited tumor growth. More research on HCC is needed, but these results do look promising. [2]

HCC is said to have a longer shelf-life, meaning it degrades slower than other cannabinoids like THC. It’s more resistant to high heat and exposure to high heat. This means HCC products are likely to hold their potency for a longer period of time, without breaking down and degrading due to environmental facto like temperature and light.

Since there is very little research surrounding HCC and humans, not a lot can be said about how safe HCC is. However, there is no current evidence to suggest it’s harmful. Knowing what we know about the safety of other cannabinoids, we can assume HCC is relatively safe, but more research is needed to fully conclude if there are any negative side effects to HCC that we aren’t aware of yet.



1- National Center for Biotechnology Information (2021). PubChem Compound Summary for CID 522237, Hexahydrocannabinol Times Cited: 0 Journal Impact Factor: N/A

2- Thapa D., et al. Novel hexahydrocannabinol analogs as potential anti-cancer agents inhibit cell proliferation and tumor angiogenesis. Eur J Pharmacol. 2011 Jan 10;650(1):64-71. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2010.09.073

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Antonio DeRose

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