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  • Alternative Cannabinoids
  • Delta 8

May 4, 2023

HHC Vs. Delta 8

Estimated Read Time: 15 min

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By Valerie Orta on May 4, 2023

Are you looking to compare HHC and delta 8? These two hemp cannabinoids offer unique benefits you'll want to explore. Here, learn how they compare in potency, effects, legal status, etc.

Key takeaways:

  • HHC and delta 8 are two naturally occurring hemp cannabinoids.
  • Both are primarily used for unwinding and relaxation but offer unique effects.
  • Because of its popularity, delta 8 comes in a wider variety of products than HHC.
  • The two compounds are federally legal in the U.S., although each state can set its regulations and laws.

Exploring different types of cannabinoids can add to the adventure of relaxing with the help of hemp. Fortunately, the availability of hemp cannabinoids has expanded in recent years, offering a wide range of options for you to try. T

wo such compounds are HHC and delta 8, with the latter being more widely known and used. However, HHC is the more newly available of the two, and while less popular, it has been receiving positive reviews from those who have tried it.

Whether you're an experienced user of one compound and not the other or completely new to both, this guide is for you. We'll explore the ins and outs of delta 8 and HHC to help you decide which compound might be better suited for your needs. We'll cover everything you need to know to get started.

Why Compare the Two?

You might be wondering why we would compare HHC and Delta 8 in the first place. The truth is that both compounds offer unique experiences that may appeal to different types of consumers.

While Delta 8 is already a well-known cannabinoid with a range of products available, HHC is newer and still gaining popularity. By comparing and contrasting the two, we hope to help you better understand the benefits of each and make informed decisions.

What is HHC?

While you may have heard of various types of THC, you might not be familiar with HHC. This three-letter cannabinoid is one of the newest to hit the cannabis scene.

Also known as hexahydrocannabinol, it's a hemp-derived compound that's gained recognition and popularity for its unique relaxing yet clear-minded effects. Although it recently made headlines and became available on hemp menus, scientists have known about it for decades.

HHC was first discovered in 1944 by an American chemist named Roger Adams. Adams experimented with THC by adding hydrogen molecules to it through hydrogenation, a process commonly used to turn vegetable oil into margarine and other foods. Hydrogenation replaces the double bond in delta 9 THC with two hydrogen atoms, which significantly alters the molecular weight of HHC and makes it more stable.

Today, hemp enthusiasts are interested in HHC as a promising alternative to other THC options.

Learn more: What is HHC?

How is HHC Made?

HHC naturally occurs in the hemp plant, but only in tiny amounts. So, to have enough HHC to produce HHC products, the compound is often created through a conversion process.

While HHC has been around since the 1940s, the process of creating it has evolved. Today, manufacturers typically make HHC using natural CBD, as it's a more legally favorable route. The exact process may vary from brand to brand, but it generally involves extracting CBD from hemp plants and distilling it to create an isolate.

The isolate then undergoes an isomerization process, converting CBD to delta 9 THC. Finally, hydrogenation converts the delta-9 THC into HHC. Keep in mind that HHC is one of the cannabinoids that can be created in a variety of ways, depending on resources and legality.

How Safe is HHC?

Since HHC is a new compound, there's limited research on its long-term effects, which means many people may need to be made aware of its benefits. However, what we know about HHC safety comes from reports from those who use HHC, and they haven't highlighted any potential risks, especially when following the intake guidelines.

While mild and temporary side effects are possible, generally, HHC is well tolerated. No severe side effects have been reported by those who have tried HHC. Anecdotal reports suggest that there are more positive than negative responses.

What is the Legal Status of HHC?

HHC is considered legal at the federal level in the United States since it is derived from hemp, which was legalized under the 2018 Farm Bill.

According to the legislation, all hemp derivatives are legal if they contain less than 0.3% delta-9 THC by dry weight. This means that HHC falls under the legal umbrella of hemp-derived products.

However, it's important to note that individual states may have restrictions and regulations regarding hemp-derived cannabinoids. Therefore, it's advisable to research and familiarize yourself with your state's laws before purchasing or using HHC.

Relatedly, some reports suggest that HHC isn't detectable on a drug test, but there's no objective evidence to verify that. If you're worried about whether HHC could cause you to fail a drug test, you should refrain from using the cannabinoid.

How Do the Effects of HHC Feel Like?

HHC fans describe the compound's effects as similar to delta 9 or delta 8 THC but with added mind clarity. According to consumer reports, it has pleasant, noticeably relaxing effects with little-to-know cerebral fogginess.

Because it relaxes you and keeps your head clear, HHC is a good go-to for sparking creativity, cleaning your home, enjoying takeout with family or friends, or getting lost in a book.

It's critical to note that HHC affects everyone differently, and the best way to tell if it's suitable for you is to try it yourself. While at this, you should know that HHC tends to deliver more potent effects than delta 8, so take it easy at first. Begin with a small serving when starting and build up slowly.

What is Delta 8?

If HHC is the new kid on the block, then delta 8 THC is the OG. You may have heard of it because it's more common than HHC and has been around for a while.

If this is your first time hearing about it, delta 8 is a naturally occurring form of THC in cannabis plants, including hemp. It has a noticeably lower potency than delta 9 but still delivers relaxing, elevating effects.

The effects of delta 8 are often described as calming and relaxing. Some also report mood-enhancing benefits after taking delta 8 products.

Like HHC, delta 8 was also discovered in the 1940s. Although delta 8 occurs naturally in cannabis plants, it's only in small amounts. Companies create delta 8 through a process involving CBD, a solvent, and acid to yield higher amounts of delta 8 THC.

So, if you're looking for a cannabinoid that's been tried and tested, delta 8 might be worth checking out. It's like the wise old grandpa of the cannabis family - still cool, but not trying to be something it's not.

Learn more: What is Delta 8?

How is Delta 8 Made?

Like HHC, delta 8 THC is a naturally occurring hemp cannabinoid. The plant produces it, but only in small amounts. So, Delta 8 is typically created through "isomerization," where CBD is converted into delta 8 THC.

There are a few different ways to do this. The most common method involves exposing CBD to an acid catalyst, which causes it to rearrange its molecular structure into delta-8 THC.

In a second process, CBD is extracted and dissolved into a solvent. The preferred solvent is a non-polar organic solvent like heptane. The mixture is then combined with an acid and neutralizes and purifies to get the desired result.

The final batch of delta-8 THC is tested for purity and safety before being used to make various delta 8 products.

How Safe is Delta 8?

Delta 8 may be less potent than its cousin delta 9, but is delta 8 safe to use?

Delta 8 shares many similarities with conventional THC, including a safety profile. This conclusion is based on consumer reports suggesting delta 8 is well tolerated, as there is insufficient scientific research to back up its long-term effects.

The primary risk with delta 8 THC products is whether they come from a reputable source. The hemp industry needs more regulation, so it's up to you to do your due diligence and find a delta 8 brand that makes high-quality products and rigorously tests them.

While delta 8 THC is generally considered safe, some users have reported mild and temporary side effects such as dry mouth, nausea, and diarrhea.

What is the Legality of Delta 8?

Like HHC, Delta 8 THC is legal under the federal 2018 Farm Bill. It can be legally bought and used as a hemp derivative, provided the product contains no more than 0.3% delta 9-THC by dry weight.

That said, states can restrict or set their regulations on delta 8. Some have decided to do so. Therefore, before purchasing, you should determine its legal status in your local jurisdiction to avoid any run-ins with the law.

It's also worth noting that delta 8 does show up on a drug test. While federally legal, delta 8 appears as conventional THC on most tests. And how long delta 8 stays in your system varies, so you'll want to be mindful if you're tested at your job or by your sports organizational body.

How Do the Effects of Delta 8 Feel Like?

For THC fans that have tried delta 9, taking delta 8 will feel familiar. It has the same elevating properties, just a little less intense.

Delta 8 THC is an excellent option for anyone looking to unwind after a long day or week. Its calming and relaxing effects make it ideal for dealing with stress. In addition, delta 8 can help support better sleep quality, making it a perfect choice for anyone struggling with quieting a busy mind at night.

Unlike delta 9 THC, delta 8 is less potent and less likely to cause paranoia or uneasiness. This makes it a good choice for those sensitive to THC's effects or who have had negative experiences with it in the past.

Delta 8 is an excellent choice for anyone looking to unwind, de-stress, and improve their well-being. In addition, its mild effects make it a great entry-level cannabinoid for new THC users.

HHC Vs. Delta 8: What are the Differences?

When it comes to uplifting cannabinoids, both HHC and delta 8 shares some similarities, but they also have some significant differences. Here's what you need to know to determine which one is the right fit for you:

Chemical Structure

HHC and delta-8 THC have eerily similar chemical structures of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen. But how these components bond together distinguishes the two.

Delta 8 THC has a double bond at the eighth carbon in the core ring structure. HHC, on the other hand, has no double bonds.

This is a slight difference, but it makes all the differences between the effects of delta 8 and HHC. You'll find a similar distinction when comparing HHC vs delta 9.


These variations in chemical structure affect how each cannabinoid interacts with your body and its receptors.

Delta 8 has mild uplifting effects that most consumers describe as subtly body-soothing and calming. As a result, many delta 8 fans prefer it for relaxing on the weekends or after a long day.

HHC's effects are also calming, but without any mind fogginess that you may experience with THCs like delta 8. So if you're looking to tackle a creative project, garden, or meditate, HHC might be your best pick.


When considering elevating cannabinoids, potency is a significant consideration. Some are much stronger than others, so picking one that aligns with your tolerance with enhance your experience with the products.

For most, delta 8 delivers a higher potency than HHC. However, it is less potent than delta 9, although this also depends on how much delta 8 you take. Our post comparing delta 8 vs delta 9 dives into the potency differences of the THCs further.

HHC is the least potent of these cannabinoids, although your experience could vary.

Source and Manufacturing

Delta 8 and HHC come from the hemp plant, although they exist in trace amounts compared to more abundant cannabinoids like CBD.

Because they're minor cannabinoids, they are both regularly created by converting CBD. But they follow different manufacturing processes to attain the final product.

Delta 8 is created from CBD using isomerization, while HHC is made from Delta 8 THC through hydrogenation. Evidently, the compounds have similar origins but follow different production processes.

Products Available

Any avid hemp fan appreciates a decent variety selection to keep their experience fun. However, if you love having multiple products in your lineup, this could be the deal breaker and what helps you between delta 8 and HHC.

Delta 8 THC products

Delta 8 is emerging as one of the fastest-growing compounds, so its range of products is impressive. Some of the available delta 8 products you find online include:

HHC products

HHC is only recently available, so overall, fewer product offerings exist. The two most common HHC products available include:

Regarding product offerings, delta 8 wins in this category. There are far more delta 8 products on the market than HHC products – at least for now.

Delta 8 Vs. HHC: What are the Similarities?

Although both are cannabinoids, delta 8 THC and HHC have carved a niche for themselves. But they do share more similarities than just being a cannabinoid. For instance:


In most cases, the HHC or delta 8 THC product you take will be sourced from hemp plants and likely made from CBD extract. This is critical because it is the only way to ensure the products are legal and maintain the 0.3% delta 9 THC threshold set by the 2018 Farm Bill.

How they work

The workings of all cannabinoids are a wonder that science hasn't fully uncovered. However, like CBD and delta 9 THC, HHC and delta 8 THC are thought to work through the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Experts believe they interact with the CB1 and CB2 receptors and other receptors in the body, like serotonin receptors, to produce their effects.

The intensity and readiness of attaching to the receptors might not be equal in both compounds, and other subtleties differ slightly. Still, the basics are similar for both compounds.

What to Consider Before Buying HHC or Delta 8 Products

You have everything you need to make a sound and informed decision. But, once you decide, you must remember only to buy quality hemp products. It's the only way to get the desired results and save yourself from nasty adverse side effects.

Because the hemp market isn't regulated, you will need to do more than trust a label that says "high-quality hemp products." In most cases, the label might be misleading. However, here are some factors to help you choose quality HHC or delta 8 products.

Source of extract

The source of the extract makes all the difference in the quality of delta 8 and HHC products you buy in terms of quality and legality.

Any HHC or delta 8 THC product you buy should be sourced from hemp, and the plants should be organically grown and non-GMO. The source of the hemp is essential because it will determine the quality of the final product.

Extraction method

Delta 8 THC and HHC begin as CBD. While manufacturers might take time to find the best hemp plants, the extraction processes used to extract the CBD determine the quality of the extract.

Some standard methods to extract CBD from hemp plants include CO2 and solvent extraction. Co2 extraction is considered the best method because it produces purer and more potent CBD extract without any residual solvents that might be toxic and have adverse side effects.

The potency of the product

The potency speaks to the ability of the product to deliver noticeable effects. Although the intake varies depending on experience and your needs, buying a product with low strength means you need to take more to feel any results, and it might still need to be more effective.

If the potency is too high, you might experience some side effects, especially for new hemp fans. However, getting the potency right is part of the puzzle to having a fantastic hemp experience.

Third-party lab testing

We've mentioned several times that the hemp industry isn't regulated. So how do you know if a manufacturer's claims on the label or their website are authentic and legitimate?

Reputable brands use certified independent labs that test their products. These labs test the products for purity, composition, and potency. They provide a report in a certificate of analysis that details their findings. Before purchasing any products, you should check if the brand has the CoAs on its website. If not, that is a red flag.

Besides instilling trust, these certificates also tell you about the ingredients used to make the products, how much delta 8 or HHC is in the product, and if there are any contaminants. It's valuable information to help you decide which brands are worth your money.


Out of finding the best quality HHC or delta 8 THC product, you also need to find the one that works best for you. This is where your experience with cannabinoids, particularly those with uplifting effects, comes in.

You should also consider the effects you want. Again, these differ from person to person, but some general results cut across the board.

If you have prior experience and want something with a truly relaxing punch, delta 8 THC products are the best option. Delta 8 THC is ideal for relaxation and quieting your racing thoughts at the end of the day. You can choose the vape carts because they deliver the most active compounds in the shortest time.

But if you're just getting started or looking to stay mentally sharp and active, HHC might be the better option. It has subtler effects that are smoother. It is the perfect cannabinoid to usher you into the world of uplifting cannabinoids.

Choosing Between the Two

The world of hemp is continuously evolving, and new compounds like delta 8 and HHC are increasingly becoming popular. As with any hemp product, it is essential to research and understand the potential benefits and disadvantages. Ultimately, whether you choose delta 8 or HHC will depend on your preferences, tolerance, and desired experience.

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