What is HHC?

Among the trend of hemp-derived cannabinoids taking the country by storm—delta 8 THC, delta-O THC, and even the new delta-10 THC among the popular compounds—few have evaded public comprehension more than the brand new. Searching for the compound reveals a plethora of conflicting data: the legality, the effects on the body, and whether it occurs organically within mature or immature cannabis plants.

Understanding HHC is perplexed in part due to its age in the market and only a few cannabis retailers are selling the compound, primarily in the form of vaporizer carts. The cannabinoid HHC provides a litany of potentials. Despite this, don’t be shocked if you start hearing more about HHC fairly soon. 

As state and federal departments continue to outlaw delta-8 THC, the most trendy hemp-derived compound, HHC provides a bit more legitimate promise—and interest—since it’s not a psychoactive compound like THC at all. It may also avoid drug tests, despite the evidence that is merely anecdotal at this moment.

‘HHC is one of our fastest-growing commodities,’ Liam Burns, originator, and President of Bearly Legal Hemp, one of the preeminent cannabis retailers of the cannabinoid, told a popular cannabis outlet. ‘That’s thanks to regulations that have outlawed Delta-8, but citizens are buying it in states where they can purchase Delta-8 as well.’

HHC was first synthesized in 1944 by chemist Roger Adams when he combined hydrogen molecules with the psychoactive cannabinoid Delta-9 THC. This method, known as hydrogenation, transforms THC into tetrahydrocannabinol (HHC).

Hydrogenation isn’t restricted to cannabinoid composition. Alternatively, a comparable process is utilized to transform vegetable oil into margarine.

Adams created HHC from traditional cannabis-derived THC, and the compound is typically derived through a process that started with hemp. This low-THC cannabis flower was produced federally legal by U.S. Congress in the 2018 hemp bill. 

It’s a multi-faceted process; Initially, CBD is derived from raw hemp, concentrated, and separated in a powder profile. From there, the process gets a little more complex.

A popular cannabis outlet chatted with Kyle Ray, chief operating officer of Colorado Chromatography, regarding the process his business uses. In extension to HHC, Colorado Chromatography also provides CBG, CBN, and other unique cannabis compounds in its facility outside of Colorado. It is also worth pointing out that Bearly Legal is one of Ray’s clients.

Ray illustrated HHC production as a restrictive process that takes place inside a reactor. Envision the reactor as a large black box; Ray told a popular cannabis outlet. ‘In goes CBG/CBN/compound, the result is HHC.

Ray explains the HHC as a ‘gold, deep oil that we cultivate from that stage’ before extracting it.

Richard Sams, a research leader at KCA Laboratories operating in Nicholasville, Kentucky, has examined HHC products in the last few months. He told a popular cannabis outlet that HHC can be made safely in a properly-equipped research facility. However, if you scale up manufacturing, he stated, the risks increases. ‘The potential problem here is with chemical explosions,’ he stated. 

Kyle Ray, of Colorado Chromatography, stated the company only produces its HHC in an “explosion-proof” area. ‘Everything in the process is grounded, he generalized. ‘There’s no range for static demobilization.’

There is a loss of agreement around HHC’s strength. The problem occurs, in part, from the fact that when the compound is produced, the yield is a blend of two different types of HHC particles:  9R HHC actively connects to the body’s organic endocannabinoid nodes, while 9S HHC, due to its somewhat different molecular makeup, doesn’t do so nearly as great as the former.

Expect the cannabis compound HHC to continue to make headlines in the cannabis space well into the new year.

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