HHC Vs HHC-O – Everything You Need to Know

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The cannabis plant is truly fascinating because it has components and extracts that produce stunning effects. While THC and CBD are taking the spotlight, other hemp-derived cannabinoids are making their way into the cannabis industry. Two of these new derivatives include HHC and HHC-O acetate.

HHC and HHC-O are relatively new in the hemp market. Nevertheless, you can now buy HHC flowers, HHC oil, and other HHC products made from the highest quality HHC. There are also HHC-O vapes and other HHC-O products. What are these hemp products, are they good or bad, and should you try them?

What Is HHC?

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Hexahydrocannabinol (HHC) is a relatively new cannabinoid, a hydrogenated form of THC. It has an almost similar chemical structure to THC but with more hydrogen atoms (two more, exact). Therefore, it has a potentially longer shelf life than its more famous cousin. HHC does not occur naturally in nature, but it can be semi-synthesized in a lab.

To make HHC, lab technicians have to separate the double carbon bonds on THC through a hydrogenation process. Due to its chemical structure, scientists believe that more of it gets metabolized by the body and utilized to a better extent than THC and CBD. Therefore, it produces a more potent effect.

Fortunately, the 2018 Farm Bill makes HHC legal because it is made from hemp-derived CBD. Our systems do not fully absorb THC and CBD because they are not as bioavailable as HHC. Therefore, many cannabis enthusiasts are eager to determine how strong it is.

HHC was first discovered by Roger Adams in 1944 when he added hydrogen to delta 9 THC. The process is simple but quite dangerous to the untrained technician. Therefore, it cannot easily be made at home. It has to be made in a controlled laboratory environment. Today, it is not necessary to make HHC using delta 9 THC. For legal reasons, lab technicians use CBD to produce delta 8 THC and hydrogenate it to form HHC.

Although HHC is not as common as delta 9 THC, it remains one of the most viable alternatives. If you want to get into a enjoyable high without consuming illegal THC, you can take HHC.

How Is HHC Made?

HHC is a semi-synthetic compound. Technicians in a laboratory produce it. First of all, professionals have to isolate CBD from the hemp plant. The CBD isolate can then be processed to become delta 8 THC, a less potent cannabinoid than delta 9 THC but legal in many areas in the United States.

The hemp-derived delta 8 THC is then hydrogenated to form HHC. When a specific amount of hydrogen atoms is added to the compound, it changes its chemical structure. With a metal catalyst, the technicians speed the chemical reaction process. The catalyst can either be nickel, platinum, or palladium.

Once the hydrogenation process is complete, the HHC cannabinoid is produced. The body can absorb the compound and utilize the endocannabinoid system to create a euphoric high. Remember that HHC is 100% derived from hemp. Hence, it is federally legal.

HHC Effects and Benefits

Many cannabinoids produce a euphoric high. However, HHC has almost similar effects at delta 9 THC. The reason is its closeness to the chemical structure of delta 9. Some of the effects that many users report include the following:

  • Head and body high
  • Pain relief
  • Euphoria
  • Relaxation

Although there have been no scientific studies on the HHC, firsthand user experiences show that it may aid pain management, enhance mood, and relieve stress. We have to wait for further studies on the cannabinoid before making conclusive claims.


How is HHC different from THC?

Although HHC and THC are almost identical in chemical structure, THC has a double bond on the top ring structure. When it comes to potency, THC is still 20% more potent than HHC, while other studies suggest that it can be as potent or even more. On the legal side, HHC is more accessible to many people because it can be made from hemp-derived cannabinoids.

Is HHC legal?

As long as it is derived from industrial hemp, HHC can be considered legal. The 2018 Farm Bill makes hemp derivatives legal on a federal level. Therefore, you can buy HHC products without breaking the law. However, you have to check the source of the HHC product before ordering. It has to be hemp-derived.

Hemp-derived products contain less than 0.3% delta 9 THC. Many products derived from hemp, such as CBD, CBG, and other cannabinoids, are legal in many states. Nevertheless, you have to check with your local legislature to determine if HHC is legal in your area.

Will HHC show up on a drug test?

The HHC metabolites may trigger delta 9 THC drug tests. Therefore, you should avoid taking HHC products if you anticipate a drug test.

Is HHC present in hemp?

Although HHC is derived from hemp, it does not occur naturally in hemp. It has to be semi-synthesized from hemp-derived cannabinoids. Lab technicians have to isolate CBD, turn it into delta 8 THC, hydrogenate it and mix it with a catalyst to form HHC.

What Is HHC-O?

HHC-O or HHC-O acetate is a newly discovered cannabinoid that can deliver a potent high. What does the ‘O’ stand for? The o stands for the additional acetate molecule that’s added to an HHC molecule. It changes the molecular structure of HHC and makes it even more potent.

HHC and HHC-O are essentially the same, except for the added acetate in HHC-O. The addition of acetate enhances the properties of various cannabinoids. This process makes HHC-O even stronger than HHC.

How Is HHC-O Made?

Lab technicians make HHC-O by adding acetate to HHC. The entire process is synthetic and does not happen in nature. Therefore, the cannabinoid is artificial. It requires human intervention to occur. Also, it takes an expert lab technician to blend HHC with acetic anhydride. The chemical combination makes the cannabinoid more potent than its predecessor.

Unless you are a professional chemist, you should never attempt to make HHC-O at home. It would be best never to make DIY cannabis extractions at home without sufficient training. Only experienced lab technicians who have the proper knowledge and equipment should handle these operations.

HHC-O Effects and Benefits

HHC-O is an artificial cannabinoid that requires more research to determine its potential. Nevertheless, anecdotal evidence shows that it is mind-altering and more potent than regular THC. While the potency of HHC is in between delta 8 and delta 9, HHC-O is around 1.5 times stronger than delta 9.


Is HHC-O safe?

HHC-O is a relatively new cannabinoid. There is no research on the safety of the cannabinoid, but there have been no reports about anyone suffering from any harmful effects of consuming HHC-O products.

Therefore, we cannot say if there are any safety issues with the compound. Based on user reports, it may have potential recreational and medical benefits. Nevertheless, it is essential to take a controlled dose to avoid unpleasant side effects.

Is HHC-O legal?

HHC-O is made from hemp-derived compounds. Therefore it is legal based on the 2018 Farm Bill. Nevertheless, it may be illegal in some areas that explicitly prohibit mind-altering substances. Better check with your local laws before using the compound.

Is HHC-O present in hemp?

Hemp does not contain any mind-altering cannabinoids, but HHC-O is produced from hemp-derived compounds. HHC-O is an artificial substance made from naturally occurring substances from hemp. The compound is produced to enhance the potency of cannabinoids and bring a more intense experience to cannabis users.

Can HHC-O make you high?

Although the cannabinoid is made from CBD and other hemp compounds, it has been chemically morphed to produce a mind-altering high. If you are residing in an area where delta 9 THC is illegal, you can still experience euphoria with this compound. The effect of the compounds on your mind and body depends on how much you take, what your THC tolerance is, your body’s chemical composition, and so much more.

Similarities and Differences Between HCC and HCC-O


Both HHC and HHC-O are made from hemp extracts. Therefore, they can be distributed, sold, and consumed in many places in the US because hemp derivatives are legal under federal law.


Both cannabinoids can induce a mind-altering high but may also provide potential benefits, such as pain management, stress relief, and relaxation.


HHC has a potency between delta 8 THC and delta 9 THC. However, HHC-O has a more enhanced potency because of the addition of acetate. Based on a rough estimate, it may have at least 1.5 times the potency of delta 9 THC. Therefore, if you are looking for a more intense high, you may want to try HHC-O.

Should You Choose HHC or HHC-O?

It depends. While HHC-O is more potent, not all people can handle the overwhelming mind-altering effects of HHC-O. If you are new to mind-altering substances, you may want to start with HHC or delta 8 THC. Check out our selection of HHC products. If you are a more experienced cannabis user seeking a more intense experience, go for HHC-O. Check out our HHC-O products.

Please understand that both these products are mind-altering. Do not attempt to take them if you have a low THC tolerance. If you have a medical condition or are taking prescription medications, speak with a healthcare professional first. Be careful of dosage as well. Start with a small amount of HHC or HHC-O and increase your dosage only when necessary.

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