What is HHC?

Written by Antonio DeRose

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

HHC 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 HHC production, cannabis experts have found a way to create it synthetically through a hydrogenation process involving cannabis extracts. If there’s HHC 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 HHC is similar in structure to THC, and there have been some  anecdotal reports that the effects of HHC can be similar to the effect of THC because of this reason. This means HHC may be just as potent at THC for some people. There are very few research studies on the benefits of HHC when compared to the research on the benefits of other cannabinoids like THC and CBD. [1]

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

HHC 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 HHC 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 HHC and humans, not a lot can be said about how safe HHC 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 HHC is relatively safe, but more research is needed to fully conclude if there are any negative side effects to HHC 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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