As cannabis laws relax across the nation, a dizzying array of new hemp-derived cannabinoids beyond CBD are hitting the market. Two psychoactive newbies growing in popularity are HHC and delta 9 THC. But what’s the difference between these two trippy compounds?
Pull up a chair as we dive into this cannabinoid showdown like referees in a boxing ring, ready to ding the bell and see who comes out swinging! Here is a no-holds-barred comparison of HHC versus delta 9 THC so you can determine which is best for your needs.
Table of Contents
Origins and Legality
HHC – Short for hexahydrocannabinol, HHC is derived from CBD through chemical processes altering its structure to make it psychoactive. Its semi-synthetic origin allows HHC production from hemp CBD.
Delta 9 THC – The infamous THC of marijuana fame exists abundantly in the cannabis plant itself. While delta 9 THC from marijuana remains federally illegal, the 2018 Farm Bill authorized hemp-derived THC containing no more than 0.3% on a dry weight basis.
Verdict: HHC has more open legality by circumventing bans on hemp-derived delta 9 THC over 0.3%. But regulations are evolving, so check your state laws!
HHC – User reports indicate HHC brings on a noticeable euphoric high similar to THC but around half to 3/4 the intensity. The psychedelic effect builds quickly but diminishes faster than THC.
Delta 9 THC – As the quintessential cannabis component producing intoxication, delta 9 packs a powerful psychoactive punch. The cerebral high can be intense and long-lasting depending on dose and individual reaction.
Verdict: Delta 9 THC wins by knockout for sheer mind-altering potency due to its direct and complete interaction with endocannabinoid receptors compared to the modified HHC.
HHC – Early research suggests HHC mirrors THC’s ability to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, ease insomnia, stimulate appetite, and alleviate anxiety. HHC’s rapid metabolism may enable shorter therapeutic action.
Delta 9 THC – In addition to the traditional marijuana high, proven medicinal effects of delta 9 THC include easing chronic pain, nausea, poor appetite, inflammation, anxiety, PTSD, neurological issues, and insomnia.
Verdict: While HHC shows promise, tried-and-true delta 9 boasts volumes more evidence for treating medical conditions. However, fast-acting HHC could complement delta 9’s longer duration.
Risk of Side Effects
HHC – Users anecdotally report fewer negative effects like anxiety, dry mouth, and paranoia compared to delta 9 THC. Yet research on HHC’s safety profile remains extremely limited.
Delta 9 THC – Well-known side effects of delta 9 THC range from dry mouth and red eyes to paranoia, anxiety, sedation and impaired motor function or cognition if overconsumed. Effects are dose-dependent.
Verdict: HHC comes out ahead on this round with seemingly less intense adverse reactions reported – but more human studies are desperately needed to corroborate its safety.
Onset and Duration
HHC – Experiences point to HHC delivering its peak high within 30-60 minutes after dosing. Total effects generally last 2 to 4 hours.
Delta 9 THC – Smoking or vaping delta 9 THC induces effects within minutes, while edibles take 30 to 60 minutes. But the total duration lasts 4 to 8 hours or more.
Verdict: Delta 9 THC goes the distance with longer-lasting effects, but HHC appeals when wanting a short yet powerful psychedelic experience. Combining the two allows customization of the timeline.
And the winner is…both have merits depending on individual needs and preferences! While delta 9 THC remains the undisputed cannabis champ, novel HHC can still find a place in users’ wellness regimens through its faster action and allegedly gentler side effects. Keep in mind more research into HHC’s properties and safety is urgently required.
For now, approach this newcomer with informed caution, start low and slow with dosing, and avoid unsafe mixing with other substances. Finally, double-check your local laws, as county and state HHC restrictions continue evolving during this regulatory gray area.
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