In recent months, you have surely heard of a new, until recently unknown, cannabinoid, HHC or hexahydrocannabinol. Indeed, it is one of the more than 100 components of the cannabis plant, such as CBD, THC or CBG, but it is found in minimal quantities. In fact, the current way of producing it involves its synthesis in the laboratory, discovered in 1940 by the American chemist Roger Adams, the same one who isolated CBD 80 years ago and a great student of cannabis plants.
According to a report by the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction , large-scale HHC is manufactured from low-THC hemp CBD extract, which is first transformed into a mixture of Delta 8-THC and Delta 9-THC to , then, through a hydrogenation process (addition of hydrogen molecules), resulting in HHC. It is therefore classified as a semi-synthetic cannabinoid: manufactured from natural precursors.
The interesting thing about this substance for its users is that it causes an effect very similar to that of THC, with psychoactive effects, without being legally considered a drug. That is why it is known as “legal marijuana.” In the aforementioned report they assure that the effects of HHC are only slightly lower than those of THC, and somewhat less sustained over time (some studies place it at 70% of its potency). And he continues: “The human pharmacology of HHC has not been studied and analytical (immunological) methods for the rapid and unequivocal detection of HHC or its metabolites in urine are lacking. “Additional research would be needed to explore the full spectrum of biological activity of this cannabinoid.”
Why HHC is killing it
As mentioned, regular HHC buyers look for effects similar to those of THC in this substance, without having to resort to prohibited substances. Its benefits or side effects are unknown, given that there are no scientific studies on the matter, but if we take into account that its chemical structure is very similar to that of THC, it is expected that the effects will also be similar. The benefits that HHC regulars highlight are related to the recreational aspect that is also attributed to THC: disinhibition, joy, relaxation...
In addition, the same adverse effects must be considered, which include feelings of fatigue, dizziness or drowsiness, according to the Canna Foundation.
In what formats is HHC sold?
Currently, you will not find HHC-derived products at ProfessorCBD, but other cannabis stores offer a wide range: in flower format (CBD flowers infused in HHC distillates with various percentages of potency), oils, edibles (only where regulated the direct ingestion of cannabinoids) or, most especially, pods or electronic cigarettes, which allow discreet use of the substance.
Manufacturers of high-quality HHC products highlight the stability of the cannabinoid, which withstands high temperatures and resists the passage of time very well. HHC does not have its own odor.
But is HHC a legal product in Spain?
The truth is that there is very little legislation on HHC, as it is a very recently proliferated substance (the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction detected its presence for the first time in May 2022 in Denmark). Some countries in the European Union have banned it or announced that they will do so soon, but this is not the case of Spain. In our country, therefore, HHC products are completely legal and are governed by the regulation of other non-controlled cannabinoids, such as CBD. Namely: its sale and purchase are allowed, but restrictions arise regarding its presentation and route of administration. All HHC products must be classified as products for external use and not for internal consumption.
Without a doubt, a complete twist in the exciting world of the cannabis industry, and further proof that there are many surprises that still await us with the mysterious hemp plants, whose admirers are not willing to stop innovating.