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If you're interested in cannabis and its various forms, you may have heard of THC-O and HHC. These two compounds are relatively new to the cannabis world and have recently gained popularity. But what are THC-O and HHC, and are they the same thing? Despite their similar names, THC-O and HHC are not the same things.
In this article, we'll look at these compounds and explore their differences and effects. So, whether you're a seasoned cannabis user or just curious about the latest trends in the cannabis industry, read on to learn more about THC-O and HHC.
You'll find many differences when you compare THC-O and HHC’s chemical makeup. Instead of comparing these molecules against each other, it’s easier to spot differences when compared to Delta 9 - THC (the prominent psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis).
THC-O is named the ester version of Delta 9 - THC because it has an acetate group attached to its chemical structure. This is highlighted with the “O’’ letter in its name. On the other hand, HHC is called the hydrogenated form of Delta 9 - THC. It consists of an extra pair of hydrogen molecules that replace the double bond in Delta 9.
Cannabis does produce HHC naturally, but it doesn’t have THC-O, making this chemical compound a synthetic analog of Delta 9 - THC. To obtain THC-O, hemp engineers extract sufficient quantities of CBD from cannabis, rearrange its molecular structure to Delta 8 - THC, and add acetic anhydride (a highly flammable and volatile chemical) that converts it into THC-O.
What about HHC? It is a minor cannabinoid, meaning HHC occurs in tiny concentrations, making it an effective process to extract this chemical compound directly from hemp. Instead, hemp industrialists use hemp-derived CBD and convert it into large amounts of HHC.
How do scientists find out whether a cannabinoid is more potent than another? By checking how well these compounds bind with the cannabinoid receptors of the endocannabinoid system.
THC-O binds with the cannabinoid receptors of the endocannabinoid system around three times more effectively than Delta 9 - THC, making it stronger than regular weed. On the contrary, HHC has greater binding power than Delta 8 and Delta 10, but its intoxicating effects are slightly weaker than those of Delta 9 - THC.
You can expect a Delta-9-like high when using HHC based on the potency. It may boost your energy, induce relaxation, and improve your mood. On the other hand, THC-O gives an intense psychoactive buzz that may feel similar to a psychedelic trip. This cannabinoid might prove helpful for making deep spiritual reflections as it provides powerful calming effects to the body.
THC-O is typically available in different forms, including distillates, tinctures, and cartridges for vaping. It is still relatively expensive compared to other cannabinoids, with prices ranging from around $40.00 to $100.00, depending on the source and the form in which it is sold.
HHC, on the other hand, is often marketed as a legal alternative to THC and is available in a range of products, including flowers, edibles, and vape cartridges. Prices for HHC products are generally lower than those of THC-O, with some products costing as little as $40.00 to $70.00.
In the US, federal and state regulations determine the legality of cannabinoids. At the federal level, the 2018 Farm Bill legalized cannabinoid products derived from hemp that contain less than 0.3% Delta 9-THC. However, synthetic cannabinoids like THC-O are strictly regulated by federal authorities and are classified as controlled substances by the DEA. HHC, on the other hand, is legal under the 2018 Farm Bill as it is derived from hemp.
The regulations on THC-O and HHC also vary at the state level. Currently, 12 states have banned the use of THC-O products, while 11 states have banned HHC. It's important to note that these regulations are subject to change and can vary from state to state. Therefore, it's crucial to check the local laws and regulations in your area before using either of these cannabinoids.
When buying high-quality HHC and THC-O products, it's essential to research and purchase from a reputable and trustworthy source. Here are some tips to help you find high-quality products:
Reputable manufacturers will have their products tested by independent labs and make those test results available to customers.
Look for reviews from other customers to get an idea of the quality and effectiveness of the product.
Look for information about the manufacturing process, the source of the cannabinoids, and any other relevant details.
A pack of HHC pre-rolls costs around $40.00.
Manufacturers add terpenes, aromatic compounds in cannabis, to enhance the aroma and flavor of the vape juice inside vape carts. Because of these terpenes, the vape carts may have a herby aroma, making the THC-O product smell like weed.
The effects of HHC gummies can last anywhere from 4-8 hours, although the duration may vary depending on factors such as dosage and individual tolerance.
THC-O may make you fail a drug test because it can form THC metabolites in your body. If you have a drug test scheduled in the coming weeks, avoid consuming THC-O.
Depending on the quality and storage conditions of the product, HHC tinctures may take 2 years to expire.
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THC-O and HHC are different, even though their names sound similar. THC-O is a synthetic analog of Delta 9-THC, while HHC is a minor cannabinoid that occurs naturally in hemp. THCO is more potent and gives an intense psychoactive buzz, while HHC is nearly as potent as Delta 9 - THC. Whether you’re trying HHC or THCO, start with a low dose and gradually increase it until you get the desired effects.