HHC vs. THC: What’s the Difference?



Hexahydrocannabinol (HHC) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are both cannabinoids found within cannabis products. HHC is one of the newer cannabinoids on the market, and further research into the compound is needed to determine the legitimacy of its benefits.

However, some anecdotal evidence suggests that the main difference between HHC and THC is HHC’s overall stability. In other words, it has a longer shelf life than THC.

What Is HHC?

HHC occurs naturally in small quantities in the cannabis plant, but there’s not enough of it to make much of an impact, so we have to convert THC to HHC using a process called hydrogenation.

The hydrogenation process was first used to convert THC to HHC Vape when a chemist named Roger Adams added hydrogen atoms to the compound delta-9 THC.

These days, most commercial forms of HHC are derived from the hemp plant, joining other popular hemp-derived cannabinoids like some forms of CBD and delta-8 THC. Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, this creates a loophole at the federal level for various hemp products, like HHC gummies, HHC vape carts, and more.

How It Works

Adding hydrogen molecules to delta-9 THC decreases the ability of HHC to bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors within the body’s endocannabinoid system, as well as certain pain receptors in the body.

This hydrogenated form also increases the stability of the compound, which means its shelf life is increased, and potency will remain the same for a longer period. HHC is also more resistant than other cannabinoids to being stored improperly or exposed to UV light or heat.


HHC is said to cause a “high” similar to that caused by delta-9 THC; however, it is also said to have the sedating and relaxing properties of other compounds, such as delta-8 THC (which is nearly identical to delta-9).

HHC produces euphoric feelings and an alteration in visual and auditory perception, and it can also cause a change in cognition, heart rate, and body temperature. With that said, it is new to the market, so not many studies have examined HHC’s effects and its potential for therapeutic use.

Potential Benefits

The main benefit of HHC lies in its stability as a compound due to its increased shelf life and stable potency. It is also thought to provide similar benefits to THC, including:

  • Pain management or relief
  • Decreasing symptoms of anxiety and depression
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Increasing sleep quality
  • Decreasing vomiting or feelings of nausea

What Is THC?

THC, or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is a cannabinoid molecule in cannabis. It is cannabis’s main psychoactive compound and causes the “high” that people experience when smoking marijuana. As delta-9 THC is from the plant, it is often called a “phytocannabinoid.”


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