Is HHC Safe? thumbnail image
  • Alternative Cannabinoids

May 3, 2023

Estimated Read Time: 15 min

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By Valerie Orta on May 3, 2023

HHC is growing in popularity because of its unique relaxing, clear-minded benefits. But is HHC safe to use? Here's what to know about the safety of HHC, plus tips on ensuring you use it safely.

Are you a fan of the wide variety of cannabinoids on the market? With so many options available, it's easy to customize your experience to your liking. If you enjoy cannabinoids with uplifting effects, you may want to try HHC.

This exciting new cannabinoid offers a unique combination of delta 8 and delta 9 effects, allowing you to choose how potent you want your experience to be. However, as with any new cannabinoid, you may have concerns about its safety and benefits.

Key takeaways:

  • There is little peer-reviewed research investigating the safety of HHC.
  • From anecdotal evidence, HHC appears to have a similar safety profile as widely used THC.
  • The biggest risk is using low-quality, untested HHC products, which could contain toxins and unreliable HHC levels.
  • Start with a small HHC serving and monitor how you feel so you set yourself up for a good experience.
  • It's always best to talk with your doctor before starting any new cannabinoid routine.

HHC hasn't received the same attention as more well-known cannabinoids like THC and CBD, making it difficult to know what to expect. This guide will address some common questions and concerns consumers have about HHC's safety.

Is HHC Safe?

You're wondering about the safety of HHC, a relatively new cannabinoid on the market. Here's what we know:

  • Anecdotal reports suggest that most people tolerate HHC well with no side effects.
  • There haven't been any reported severe or catastrophic side effects of HHC.
  • Most reports about HHC are positive, so it continues to increase in popularity.

In 2022, scientists using an in vitro study concluded that HHC is a safe cannabinoid for potential human consumption. However, with this said, HHC needs more studies or research to back up its safety profile.

What is HHC?

If you're interested in HHC, you likely know about CBD and THC. HHC, or hexahydrannabinol, is another cannabinoid naturally found in the hemp plant.

However, HHC only occurs in minuscule amounts, making it difficult to extract and use in products. Therefore, not enough of it can be extracted and used in products. As a result, hemp brands create HHC through a conversion process that starts with hemp-derived CBD, a much more abundant cannabinoid.

HHC is closely related to HHC and THC. They are cousins, and the effects of HHC are often described as "THC-like." It's known to deliver pleasant, mildly relaxing sensations without cerebral fogginess.

Scientists still have a lot to learn about HHC. While it's only recently become a mainstream cannabinoid, it has existed since the plant. Now that people have tried HHC, we're learning more about how they feel after taking it and its potential benefits.

Learn more: What is HHC?

What Are the Effects of HHC?

If you're curious about how HHC might make you feel, here's what HHC fans report:

Most HHC fans say its effects are similar to THC, and they can involve both the mind and body. However, the specific results vary from person to person.

Consumers describe HHC effects on the body as a relaxing physical experience that may help deliver natural relief and body-soothing effects. Others report noticeably uplifting effects after taking HHC. It can have calming and relaxing benefits and might help quiet a racing mind.

The time it takes HHC effects to kick in varies depending on various factors:

  • Do you take HHC gummies or use an HHC disposable vape? Whether you take HHC orally or inhale, it will influence the onset of effects.
  • Your tolerance for HHC and other elevating cannabinoids like THC.
  • Personal factors like body makeup and whether you've eaten recently could also influence how quickly effects kick in.

How is HHC Made?

HHC was first discovered in 1944. Since then, the production of HHC has evolved significantly. Today, most high-quality HHC vendors prefer to recreate naturally occurring HHC since it's only in small amounts.

Creating HHC is a complex process that requires both natural and scientific resources. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • The process of creating HHC starts with high-quality hemp plants that are used to extract CBD.
  • The CBD is then distilled and processed into pure HHC, which requires specialized equipment like supercritical extractors and distillation equipment.
  • When created under strict laboratory conditions by skilled professionals, creating HHC can be highly safe.
  • However, in the wrong environment, creating HHC can be hazardous. That's why it's essential to only purchase HHC from reputable brands that follow strict safety protocols.

While the process of creating HHC can be complex, it can also be done safely by skilled professionals who use the proper equipment and follow strict safety protocols.

Is HHC Legal?

If you're wondering about the legality of HHC, you're not alone. HHC is federally legal in the United States. In 2018, the Farm Bill was enacted, which specified that hemp and its derivatives containing less than 0.3% THC by dry weight were legal.

Even when HHC is converted from CBD, CBD is harvested from hemp plants. Therefore, the HHC is hemp-derived, and according to the 2018 Farm Bill, it is legal.

However, the legality of HHC is only established at the national level. States can implement their laws regulating HHC, and some have decided to do so. In most states, however, HHC is legal. You should check if your state has any restrictions on HHC or THC analogs.

The legal ground beneath HHC is still shifting. Therefore, you should remain engaged and updated on new legislation before purchasing HHC.

How to Consume HHC Products Safely

The success and popularity of HHC mean there's no shortage of HHC products to choose from. Common HHC products include edibles and vapes.

For the best experience among new HHC fans, we recommend consuming HHC orally or vaping.

HHC gummies are often the most enjoyable way to experience HHC because of their wide range of sweet flavors. With this method, the body gradually absorbs the active compounds as they go through your digestive system.

HHC vape carts and other HHC vape products are ideal for more experienced consumers. This is because they deliver more HHC into the bloodstream in a shorter time.

Here are a few tips that can help you consume HHC products safely:

  • When starting on HHC, you should start with a small serving and wait at least 60 minutes to gauge your reaction before taking more. This approach also allows your body enough time to build tolerance and adapt to the new compound. You can increase your intake slowly until you hit your sweet spot.
  • HHC has uplifting properties and calming effects that might interfere with your effectiveness when operating heavy machinery or driving. Therefore, we recommend not using any machines after taking HHC.
  • Most people have no problems when they start taking HHC. However, you should be cautious when taking HHC with other substances. For example, no studies determine how HHC reacts when taken with medications, but you should be mindful of potential interactions. Ensure you speak to your doctor before adding HHC to your regimen, especially if you're on medication.
  • Mixing HHC with alcohol could increase the chances of having a negative experience.
  • HHC is fat-soluble. It is absorbed faster into the body if you take it with a fatty meal if you take it orally. You should discontinue HHC products if you experience any severe adverse reactions.
  • Only choose quality HHC products from reputable and trustworthy brands.

Does HHC Have any Side Effects?

Clinical studies on the background and possible side effects of HHC are scarce. So, what we know about side effects comes from consumer experiences. They seem similar to those of THC (including delta 8 and delta 9) and appear mild and temporary. They include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dry eyes
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea and upset stomach
  • Lethargy
  • Diarrhea

These side effects are usually associated with either taking low-quality HHC products or too much HHC before giving your body enough time to adjust.

It's critical to note that HHC affects people differently. To avoid unpleasant experiences, start with a low serving and build your way up. Chances of bad experiences are low when you stay within your serving range and use a high-quality product.

Potential Benefits of HHC

While there hasn't been enough research to offer definitive conclusions about HHC's benefits, there are anecdotal reports that give us some insight into its potential effects. Keep in mind that everyone's experience with HHC may differ, but here are some of the most commonly reported benefits:

Calming and relaxation effects

In a fast-moving world, calming down and relaxing is become more challenging. One of the unique effects of HHC is its unwinding, stress-relieving benefits. HHC has relaxing properties yet keeps your mind clear so you can focus on art projects, power through household chores, or similar.

This benefit makes HHC ideal for individuals struggling with quieting a busy mind, among other challenges.

Sleep support

Many cannabinoids are hailed for their sleep-support properties. By nourishing the body's endocannabinoid system, a regulatory network responsible for balancing sleep and a wide range of functions, HHC and other cannabinoids can promote healthier sleep habits.

Plus, HHC's relaxing and body-soothing benefits may help address issues that keep you up at night and create the ideal environment to fall and stay asleep.

Natural relief support

HHC is thought to be good for soothing body tension. Cannabinoids may have long-lasting effects that might help your body cope with physical distress, and research supports this. So using HHC can help you feel better overall.

These benefits are primarily drawn from anecdotal reports. They still need to be established through clinical research. Also, HHC interacts differently with every consumer. Therefore, your experience after taking HHC might vary.

How Does HHC Work in the Body?

With so many potential benefits, the question of how HHC works in the body often arises. Like other cannabinoids, it exerts its effects by binding to receptors throughout the central never system.

It works through the larger Endocannabinoid system, which has two types of receptors. First, HHC binds to the CB1 receptors. This triggers a flow of downstream activities that impact the central nervous system and other organs in the body. The ECS is a modulating system that is present in all mammals. It helps to regulate functions like sleep, the immune system, hunger, mood, stress response, and memory, among others.

When you vape or ingest HHC, it enters the bloodstream and binds with the CB1 receptors, influencing the specific neurons to fire. This reaction alters things like perception, mood, and appetite. Collectively, they are also called the uplifting effects.

Studies have shown that cannabinoids can also influence the functioning of other receptors in the body, like serotonin and GABA receptors. It's unproven that HHC does the same, but it is most likely the case.

HHC Vs. Delta 9

HHC is often compared to delta 9, or conventional THC – the most popular of all cannabinoids. That's because the two share more than just a classification as a hemp-derived cannabinoid.

Both cannabinoids produce very similar effects. However, HHC effects tend to be less potent than delta 9. That means consumers need to take more HHC to feel the same effects as when they take delta 9, although this can vary by person.

Despite the striking resemblance in chemical structure and effects, when you compare HHC vs Delta 9 you’ll see they also have distinct differences.


HHC is a form of THC, but the most stable. It is more heat resistant and resistant to UV radiation. But delta 9 is a more naturally abundant form of THC in the cannabis plant.


HHC and delta 9 are naturally occurring, which means the plant produces them. However, they can also be created using other, more abundant natural cannabinoids.

For example, the two can start as CBD and go through a series of processes that convert the CBD into HHC or delta 9.


Fans often say delta 9 is more potent than HHC. HHC is ideal for people with little to no experience with uplifting cannabinoids and who want something subtle that eases them into the new experience and prepares them for what to expect when they go higher up the chain.

HHC Vs. Delta 8

When it comes to cannabinoids, it's essential to understand the differences between them to choose the right product for your needs. So, you should also investigate the differences between delta 8 and HHC. HHC is most closely associated with delta 8 than delta 9 in terms of potency, but there are a few differences between the two to keep in mind.


HHC products are more potent than Delta 8, making it an excellent middle ground if you want to upgrade from Delta 8 but need more time to prepare for Delta 9.

When looking into HHC, you should know the manufacturing process of HHC can yield two different forms of the molecule: 9R HHC and 9S HHC. The 9R HHC binds to cannabinoid receptors in the ECS, while the 9S molecule doesn't show a noticeable affinity to the ECS receptors.

However, separating the two forms of molecules after manufacturing is challenging, which means you get a mix of active and inactive compounds with your HHC products. This might require you to take more products to experience the uplifting effects. It's also the reason why HHC is thought to be less potent than Delta 9.

Is HHC Safe For Drug Tests?

One of the reasons HHC has become extremely popular is that people believe it could serve as an alternative to THC for avoiding failing drug tests. But that's not necessarily the case.

While the jury is still out on whether HHC shows up on a drug test, there is a risk that you should be aware of.

HHC and THC have similar molecular composition to the point where they produce the same experience and even break down into the same metabolites.

THC breaks down into THC-COOH, while HHC breaks down into HHC-COOH. Because drug tests are not calibrated down to a specific metabolite, these compounds can be confused because they are nearly identical.

Some people may have luck passing their drug test even after taking HHC, but the test may produce a false positive in others. The only sure way to pass your drug test is to avoid all cannabinoids for at least four weeks or more, depending on your frequency of use or the amount of HHC or other THC analogs you take.

What To Look For in HHC Products

The secret to having a positive and safe experience with HHC products is finding quality HHC products. Unfortunately, because the HHC and the cannabinoid market need more regulations, finding the best products is not straightforward.

Here are a few considerations to help you choose the best HHC products and the most reputable brands.

Brand reputation

When shopping for HHC products, brand reputation and trustworthiness is everything. You should only buy HHC products from brands with a solid online presence, loyal consumers, and verified reviews. Also, check if the brand has any industry certifications. It might take time to find reputable brands, but once you do, you're assured of getting a steady supply of quality HHC products that deliver incredible benefits.

Customer reviews

Customer reviews are a vital resource when buying HHC products. They highlight what previous customers think about the same product and its benefits. It's the perfect gauge for the quality and effectiveness of the product. You can find customer reviews on the brand's website or third-party review websites. The latter is more reliable and accurate.

Hemp source

All HHC products start as hemp plants. Therefore, the quality of the final product heavily relies on its source. Not all hemp plants are equal. Some are grown in better soils and conditions, which enhance the cannabinoid profile of the extract. Most importantly, ensure you only buy HHC products made from organic hemp to reduce exposure to heavy metals, herbicides, and pesticides.

Third-party lab testing

Because the HHC industry isn't regulated, reputable brands rely on third-party testing to ensure their products' quality, purity, and composition. HHC brands work with ISO-certified independent labs that randomly test their products. The labs disclose their findings in a certificate of analysis that the brand posts on its website. You can peruse the CoAs before purchasing the product.

Besides the assurance of quality, the CoA also contains valuable information, including the concentration of HHC in the product and the concentration of delta 9 THC.


The packaging says a lot about the brand and provides you with loads of information. Reputable brands invest in quality packaging to safeguard the integrity of the product and offer you valuable serving-size information.

If a brand has low-quality packaging with spelling errors on the ingredient list, there is a good chance the contents inside the packaging are not any better.

Ingredients list

Finally, you should study the ingredients list of your selected HHC products. The best quality HHC products only have ingredients with familiar names. If you encounter any unfamiliar ingredients, research what they are and what they are for. Shady brands add additives, fillers, and cutting agents to their HHC products which can be harmful with nasty side effects.

When it comes to ingredients in HHC products, less is always more. The fewer the ingredients, the purer the product is and the better.


While HHC is a relatively new cannabinoid, it has already significantly impacted those who turn to hemp to feel and function better. In addition, anecdotal evidence suggests that it is generally well-tolerated and legal at the federal level, making it an attractive option.

As with any new wellness solution, you must begin your HHC routine responsibly, research to find quality products and talk to your healthcare provider before trying it out.

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