We’re all familiar enough with THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana. But what is HHC? Where did all of these other letters and cannabinoids come from? There are hundreds of marijuana compounds. All these compounds have their unique chemical compound structure.
HHC is different from THC because it is derived from CBD and it includes hydrogen, but when it comes to HHC vs. HHC-O vs. HHC-P, the differences are a little more particular. Let’s get into what sets these compounds apart.
HHC, HHC-O, HHC-P Overview
As mentioned, HHC is a marijuana compound that includes a hydrogen molecule. This still provides psychoactive effects, but they are less potent than the traditional Delta-9 THC. Some say HHC is even a little less potent than Delta-8 THC.
Now we have some extra letters to address.
When HHC has an “O” tacked on to the name, it has added acetate. The effects of HHC-O are similar to that of Delta-9 THC.
If you find any HHC with an added P, it has carbon in its chemical makeup. The carbon makes HHC-P bond to our cannabinoid receptors more strongly than others in the HHC family; more on that later.
HHC vs HHC-O vs HHC-P: The Key Differences
While HHC, HHC-O, and HHC-P are all cut from the same cloth, some important factors set each cannabinoid apart from the others.
Chemical Compound Structure
The compound structure of HHC is similar to that of THC in many ways, but significant differences set them apart. Most importantly, HHC does not have a double bond in the cyclohexane ring, while THC does. This lack of double bond results from adding hydrogen, another thing THC does not have.
In HHC-O, the oxygen molecule has acetate (a salt that results from the merging of acetic acid with a base) attached to it.
HHC-P is somewhat similar to Delta-9 THC-P. The essential characteristic that sets HHC-P apart from other HHCs and brings it closer to Delta-9 THC-P is the addition of carbon in a tail-like form. HHC-P and Delta-9 THC-P alike have a tail of seven carbon molecules.
The Endocannabinoid System
The Endocannabinoid system, also known as ECS, is the system in our bodies that receives cannabinoids. Interestingly, our bodies produce cannabinoids naturally. This is how we are equipped with the receptors necessary to grab and process the extra cannabinoids we get from marijuana.
Since HHC is a cannabinoid, any form of it will bind to our natural endocannabinoid receptors, but some variations will bind a little bit differently.
The acetate in HHC-O enables our bodies to metabolize the HHC more quickly and easily, though the acetate itself is not an active compound. This puts the acetate of HHC-O into the “prodrug” category as something that is not a drug but metabolizes as one.
With the extra carbon tail, HHC-P can bind to our cannabinoid receptors more strongly than regular HHC and most other cannabinoids, for that matter.
The Cannabinoids Effects
HHC is believed to be less potent than Delta-9 THC because it is derived from CBD rather than the psychoactive THC. However, HHC is similar to Delta-9 in the nature of its effects. Users have reported reduced anxiety and physical pain, with increased feelings of wellness, euphoria, and relaxation.
HHC-O has effects that are slightly enhanced from regular HHC because the added acetate aids in our metabolization of the compound. While the effects will be similar between HHC and HHC-O, you will feel them more quickly and intensely.
With the carbon tail making HHC-P bind to our cannabinoid receptors more powerfully, we feel the effects noticeably more intensely than those of plain HHC. You can expect to experience heightened feelings of happiness and relaxation, along with everything else you love about Delta-9 THC.
Thanks to the United States Farm Bill of 2018, any marijuana compound that does not include more than 0.3% Delta-9 THC is legal at the federal level. This has resulted in the development of many other psychoactive compounds of marijuana, including Delta-8 THC and Delta-10 THC, along with all of the HHC compounds.
However, many states have noted this influx of new cannabis products and moved to put their laws into place banning them. At this time, no states have directly addressed HHC, and, considering it is derived from CBD, it seems likely (but not certain) to be legal in most states.
As we’ve seen in the case of THC, just because it is legal does not mean drug testing will end. Although HHC comes from CBD, it’s speculated that HHC can evade drug testing. So if you have a drug test, it is better to be safe and stop all cannabinoid consumption.
Currently, there are no laws setting HHC, HHC-O, and HHC-P apart. However, the legal status of cannabis products is ever-changing, so it is best to always research the laws in your state before purchasing and consuming anything of that sort.
Shopping for HHC, HHC-O, HHC-P
When shopping for cannabis products, you should do so with caution. Only buy from reputable retailers with transparent lab testing.