The popularity of hemp-derived cannabinoids is undeniable, largely due to their federal legality from the 2018 Farm Bill. At Melee Dose, we work with every new and rare cannabinoid you can imagine, including HHC and Delta-8 THC. For those on the hunt for federally legal pathways to potentially getting a nice toasty high or a way to take the edge off, either of these cannabinoids might become your new favorite. If you’ve been experimenting with different legal vapes and gummies you find online or at the smoke shop, you may be wondering what the difference is between Delta-8 THC and HHC.
If you’re trying to hone in on the main difference between Delta-8 and HHC it would be that HHC is a natural phytocannabinoid while Delta-8 is an analog of THC. You are able to find trace amounts of HHC in the cannabis plant while Delta-8 is made almost entirely synthetically. Both of these compounds bind to the CB1 receptor in our brains, which controls the intake of psychoactive cannabinoids, but HHC might do so with a much higher affinity.
The building blocks that cannabinoids are made up on exactly the same: carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. It’s the way these compounds join together that creates their distinction. The distinction they all share is a double bond in their chemical structure. Delta-8 and Delta-9 both contain double bonds at either the 8th or 9th carbon in the central ring structure, whereas HHC contains no second bond at either location.
When you look more closely at both HHC and Delta-8 THC you’ll see that they are virtually identical. And despite their chemical distinctions being slight, they seemingly have very different influences on how they make you feel and the high they might give.
We’re going to dive further into both HHC and Delta-8 THC to give you the facts you need. Melee Dose prioritizes consumer education at the same level as the care we put into producing any of the premium products available in our online store.
What Is Delta-8 THC?
Delta-8 THC or Delta-8 Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a psychoactive compound that is derived from the hemp plant that is federally legal in the United States. You often find Delta-8 THC oil put into vape cartridges, gummies, or tinctures. This compound does not come from cannabis, but hemp instead. Through the slightly different chemical structure that it has than Delta-9 THC, many have found that it might be less intense of an experience. Many reach for Delta-8 because normal cannabis is too potent for them, or they live in a state where medical marijuana is still illegal.
What Is HHC?
HHC, or Hexhydrocannabinol, is a naturally occurring phytocannabinoid derived from hemp that might give you a light THC-like experience. If you’ve heard of Delta-8 THC, Delta-10 THC, and Delta-O THC, HHC is your next logical step. Originally synthesized by Roger Adams in 1944, HHC has a similar structure to THC within the hemp plant, but with the addition of only two extra hydrogen molecules. The only issue with HHC is that it is often synthesized as it occurs naturally in very minuscule amounts in the hemp plant. Many turn to HHC because it might get you higher than Delta-8, but still not so high that you can’t function.
Is HHC Stronger Than Delta-8 THC?
Chemically speaking, HHC is a stronger analog of THC than Delta-8. Since HHC is a natural phytocannabinoid, it might bind more prominently to your CB1 receptor, thus causing stronger psychoactive effects. The side effect of this strength is that HHC might be more likely to cause anxiety than Delta-8 if you consume too much of it. Some people even say that HHC is not only potentially stronger, but you also build up a tolerance for it much slower. That means you could potentially get higher off of HHC for a longer span of time before noticing a shift in your tolerance levels.
Are Delta-8 THC And HHC Both Legal?
The short answer is yes. Delta-8 is typically synthesized from CBD and HHC contains no elements of Delta-9 THC. And both of these substances come from hemp derivatives. That means that neither of them, when put into products, contains more than 0.3% Delta-9 THC. Since the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, any hemp-derived substance that contains less than 0.3% THC is federally legal.
It’s only once you hit the state-to-state level that you still see both getting banned. HHC is currently legal in over 30+ states in the U.S. and is federally legal to ship anywhere in the fifty states. The legality of both of these substances is subject to change over time so it’s important to keep a watchful eye on any updates in legislation.
Do Delta-8 And HHC Both Show Up On A Drug Test?
Although Delta-8 and HHC share a wealth of similarities, save their potential difference in strengths, Delta-8 might be much more likely to show up on any standard drug test. Anecdotal evidence suggests that HHC may not read the same, thus resulting in a negative test. The current theory is that since Delta-8 is still a type of THC, it might have a stronger chance of showing up positively in a urine test. Whether or not this is true, the safest route to take is always abstinence from any substances until you’re free and in the clear. It’s not worth losing your job over a few puffs of a strain-specific Delta-8 pen.
Are There Different Types Of HHC, Like Indica Or Sativa?
HHC typically comes in one form that may produce a pleasant body high and blissful uplifting mental euphoria. It’s only with the addition of strain-specific terpene oils from cannabis plants or other botanically-derived terpenes that you may notice a more unique experience with HHC or Delta-8. Both of these are merely cannabinoids, the same as Delta-9 THC. It’s the terpenes aka the flavors and aromas, that tend to create what we commonly refer to as an “indica” or “sativa” experience. For example, Melee Dose’s HHC Disposable Vapes contain real live resin cannabis terpenes, which might give the user a similar experience to smoking on the real cannabis strain the terps came from.
What Are The Risks & Benefits Of Delta-8 THC Vs. HHC?
The risks surrounding the use of Delta-8 THC and HHC are no different than what you’d expect to hear for cannabis. Excessive use might result in anxiety, stress, trouble sleeping, paranoia, or an upset stomach. Beyond these typical warnings, we brought up the quick rate at which your tolerance for Delta-8 THC may build. HHC may be beneficial in that it might bind to your CB1 receptor more prominently as a phytocannabinoid, thus giving you a stronger, better, and lasting high. This translates to consuming less to get the same desired effect as what may take a lot more Delta-8 THC products to achieve for you.
Consuming either of these cannabinoids might be beneficial to those under extreme stress or experiencing chronic pain, anxiety, paranoia, and depression. On top of being federally legal under the 2018 Farm Bill, HHC and Delta-8 THC are allegedly less potent than traditional THC. Those who have always felt overpowered by cannabis might find more manageable highs through HHC or Delta-8 THC.
HHC has been all the rage lately because it might do the trick a little bit better than Delta-8 THC. Melee Dose likes to give you options, so we have products with both cannabinoids available in our online store. Since both of these rare and exotic hemp-derived cannabinoids involve a bit of science to create, it’s always important to look for the products online or at your local smoke shop that have lab results. Cleanliness and purity of product is currently an issue within this sector of manufacturing since there are little to no regulations.
Melee Dose prides itself on using the cleanest HHC and Delta-8 oils we can find, making sure to send everything to the lab for testing before it hits our shelves. Visit our site to learn more about everything you’ve been wondering about exotic and rare cannabinoids and easily access the best products available online.