FEB 08, 2023 8:10 AM PST

What Are HHC And HHC-O Cannabinoids?

WRITTEN BY: Helaine Krysik

Since legal cannabis first started to gain momentum within the last several years, the science community has discovered many new cannabinoids. There was a time when the only known cannabinoids were THC and CBD, but now there are over a hundred known to date. Some of the newest ones are HHC and HHC-O.

Like that of THC, HHC does get the user high. However, HHC seldom occurs naturally in the cannabis plant, so it is typically synthesized from hemp-derived CBD, converting the CBD to HHC.

HHC products currently available on the market are typically edibles, tinctures, and vapes, and the high the user feels from ingesting HHC is anecdotally like that of Delta-8 THC, which is milder than traditional Delta-9 THC.

Not much is known yet about the safety of HHC consumption. HHC is derived from hemp, and hemp derived cannabinoids are not subject to the same cannabis rules and regulations in legal usage states. As a result, HHC containing products are not required to go through testing for potency, purity, or overall safety.

Additionally, there is no standard recommended HHC dosage, nor is there much research yet available on the immediate or long-term effects of HHC consumption.

HHC-O is a derivative of HHC, also gaining popularity. HHC-O is made by adding acetic anhydride to HHC. The chemical makes the HHC molecules bind more strongly to our cannabinoid receptors, resulting in a much more powerful high.

In fact, a HHC-O high is reported to range anywhere from 1.5 to three times the high of HHC.

Very little research exists as to the potential toxicity of ingesting HHC or HHC-O. Users should rely on their own research prior to consuming, especially as to any adverse effects from acetic anhydride.

While the cannabis market overall is still so young and lacking in regulation, users need to take it upon themselves to learn as much as they can about what they are potentially ingesting.


Sources: WebMD, Aspet Journals, Phytochemistry, High Times, Osha

About the Author
Bachelor's (BA/BS/Other)
Helaine is a cannabis industry writer and marketing consultant. She has been active in the Illinois cannabis industry since 2020, and writes for a variety of national publications.
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