Thinking of Trying an HHC Vape But Find Yourself Wondering What Exactly is HHC?


What is a THC analog?

When it comes to cannabis, an analog is a compound with a structure similar to that of compound it’s said to be analogous to, but despite their structural similarities, the various THC analogs legally sold in the United States are dissimilar in their physiological effects.  Delta-8 for example may be structurally similar to Delta-9 THC (that part of cannabis that normally yields a high) but as users will tell you, the effects are not the same.

As you can see with Delta-8 THC & Delta-9 THC the compounds appear to be structurally similar.

Analogs are not the same as synthetics.

Words like analog and synthetic can trigger some folks to think of the duster “weed” Spice that was being sold across the United States in the early 2000’s.  One thing we want to be clear on right away, analogs like Delta-8, Delta-10, THC-O, et al are *not* Spice.  Spice or similar synthetic cannabinoids were made by taking nearly random herbs that slightly mimicked the appearance of cannabis and spraying them with psychoactive chemicals that are completely unrelated to hemp or medicinal cannabis.  

The vast majority of these synthetic cannabinoids are manufactured in Asia without manufacturing requirements or quality control standards. The bulk products are smuggled into the United States typically as incense and have no legitimate medical or industrial use. 

An analog such as delta-8 thc for example can be legally sold in the United States.  Delta-8 is considered federally legal because of the 2018 Farm Bill but it is illegal in certain states that have either expressly banned it or all THC analogs entirely.  Although the boom of THC adjacent products may not have been the intention behind the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, the federal government has so far taken the – let the states decide approach.  The most important factor in the legality of cannabinoids is the method of extraction or synthesis.  If your CBD is extracted from a medical marijuana plant then it’s not actually considered federally legal and is most likely subject to the rules that govern medical marijuana.  If your CBD is extracted from legally grown hemp then it is considered federally legal as long as the THC content is below .3%.  The same goes for delta-8, delta-10, thc-o and HHC.  

The legal grey area with HHC brings its legal status closer to that of CBD because HHC is actually *not* a THC analog.  So while a sweeping legislation that bans all THC analogs would make delta-8 or thc-o illegal, HHC is its own thing altogether.

Are THC analogs safe for consumption?

Saying that something is safe is a slippery slope for any product brand so we’re going to focus on the things we can control.  

What would make a product unsafe?  

As we covered above the sketchy products from the early aughts like Spice were unsafe because they weren’t actually related to cannabis at all and consuming those under the guise of them being cannabis lead to people being sickened and even hospitalized.  When it comes to actual cannabidnoids produced by real American companies the risks aren’t as extreme. Here are some pitfalls to be aware of:

  1. Vape cartridges – vape consumers are becoming more savvy when it comes to buying safe cartridges but it’s important to buy cartridges either directly from a reputable manufacturer or a retail location that sells authentic products.  Most of the harm from vaping delta-8 and other analogs would not come from the cannabinoid itself but from cheap knock-off carts made with filler chemicals, improperly filled cartridges or just unsafe manufacturing practices.  
    1. CCELL technology is the industry standard heating element for THC carts. Ceramic coating over a resistance wire creates an ideal solution for vaporizing thick THC oils. All of our vape carts are made with authentic CCELL hardware.
    2. Any reputable manufacturer or online retailer should be able to provide labs or COAs for their carts showing that they’ve been tested for not only potency but also contaminants and molds.
  2. Poorly measured dosing – the reason we love a good softgel is because softgels offer precise measurement of ingredients.  A 25mg softgel contains 25mgs.  Products such as delta-8 flower or gummies don’t always offer such precise dosing so the effect (ie: OMFG I’m way too high) can sometimes be inconsistent.
  3. Old or improperly stored products – this one can apply to pretty much any product on the market but until you’ve accidentally tried a rancid CBD oil it may be a little hard to appreciate.  Ordering products from reputable brands is important because hemp products are agricultural products that are also perishable.  Quality, proper handling, storage and labeling are important.  

What exactly is HHC and does it get you high?

Right, let’s get to the point. Yes, HHC will get you altered.  

Hexahydrocannabinol (HHC) is a derivative of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It is a naturally occurring phytocannabinoid that has rarely been identified as a trace component in cannabis.  Extraction of HHC directly from cannabis sativa is rare.  The majority (pretty much all of them) of HHC products are extracted from federally legal hemp plants.  Yes, hemp is cannabis but the hemp plants legally grown in the United States contain less than 1% THC unlike cannabis grown for medical marijuana consumption.  

In terms of chemical structure, HHC is the closest of the THC analog cannabinoids to Delta-9 THC (the one most commonly known for getting folks high).  HHC is also similar to Delta-9 THC in terms of therapeutic effects according to user reports.  While HHC is considered to be slightly less potent than THC some users report that HHC feels a little more potent than THC. As with all things the best advice is to start small and work your way up until you know how HHC affects you personally.  Many have reported effects such as pain relief, anxiety relief, cerebral and body, relaxation, and happiness after consuming HHC.

How do you take HHC?

Our HHC is Better product line comes in three easy to consume methods that are pretty foolproof. Since HHC doesn’t naturally occur in the cannabis plant it’s not as simple as rolling a joint and smoking it. Any “HHC flower” would be hemp flower enhanced with an HHC isolate spray. We offer HHC in our dabbable softgel, HHC vapes and our vegan HHC softgels. Or try all of our specialty softgels in one sample pack and choose your favorite.


Robert Johnson

Robert Johnson

Robert Johnson is the CEO of Custom Capsule Consultants, a leading California supplement manufacturer that offers full production services, end-to-end product development, custom formulations, white-label and private-label products. He is the creator of the CBD is Better line of vegan softgels, and was Co-Founder of TetraLabs, where he helped launch the first-ever CBD softgel supplement. He has worked as a consultant, product developer, and consumer trend expert in the supplement space since 2008.

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