July 27, 2022 4 min read

HHC, or hexahydrocannabinol, has recently graced the hemp market with intoxicating effects that fall somewhere between the mild-mannered Delta-8 and full-fledge Delta-9.

Word on the street, though, is that HHC is not a THC product and may be even more legal and accessible in most areas. But does HHC contain THC? And if so, does it impact its effects or legality?

HHC and THC are totally separate, but they sometimes come in the same bottle. Here’s what you need to know about the THC content of your new HHC products:

Table of Contents
What is HHC?
Is There THC in HHC?
Does THC in HHC Matter?
Will HHC Without THC Cause a Failed Drug Test?
Buy Legal, Hemp-Derived THC Online

Key Takeaways

  • HHC is not a THC molecule, but the two compounds are very closely related.
  • Many HHC products naturally contain THC, but it is possible to find pure HHC.
  • Some products intentionally have THC added to alter the effects or benefits of the unique formula.
  • Check the third-party test results to verify whether or not your HHC products contain THC. 

What is HHC?

Before we start, let’s discuss the difference in HHC and THC:

HHC is a hydrogenated THC analog that takes a form similar to THC. It’s a natural cannabinoid found in cannabis in trace amounts, but it’s generally synthesized from hemp compounds in a way that makes it more accessible. This process, a unique manufacturing technique called “hydrogenation,” sets it apart from the isomerization techniques used to make Delta-8, Delta-10, and other hemp-derived THC products.

A model of the HHC molecule, which is similar in nature to THC molecules.

Because it is hydrogenated, however, it's not classified as a THC. It interacts with the Endocannabinoid System in a similar manner, though, and provides effects that are incredibly similar to THC’s.

Still, the two are inherently different and exist in totally different legal atmospheres, so it’s important to understand where your products overlap. Some people also believe that due to minute differences in the way that HHC is metabolized, it may not register the same way as THC on a standard drug test.

Is There THC in HHC?

We mentioned that THC and HHC are two totally separate molecules, but do they ever overlap? The answer is yes–more often than not, although it isn’t always intentional.

Hemp-derived THC products, like Delta-8, are naturally derived from the process used to make HHC products. That means that small amounts of THC may end up in the final HHC formula, although they are sometimes removed to create a product that is more pure.

In some cases, the opposite may be true. Manufacturers may combine different cannabinoid products to create unique formulations. For instance, Delta-8 and THC-O are often paired to create a formula with balanced psychoactive effects that mimic traditional Delta-9-THC products. Many HHC products may intentionally have THC added, in one from or another, to create a unique therapeutic or recreational effect.

The best way to know what is in your HHC products is to check the test results and look for any forms of THC that may be present.

Check the Third-Party Lab Test Results for THC

When buying HHC or any other hemp-derived product, its essential to check for third-party lab test reports. The hemp industry is still widely unregulated, and these tests help hold manufacturers accountable for the quality of their products. In addition to being able to determine whether a product may contain THC, you can also check the test results for any potential contaminants, like pesticides, mold, leftover solvents, and more.

Whether you are THC-restricted or just want to verify that the HHC products you choose are high-quality, safe formulas, the third-party lab test results are the most reliable way to confirm the information given on a product label.

Does THC in HHC Matter?

For those who are THC restricted, there is an obvious reason to avoid THC in your HHC formulas (although the jury is still out on whether pure HHC will cause you to fail a drug test for THC metabolites). However, there may be other reasons to avoid HHC that has certain THC compounds in it.

For instance, HHC containing significant amounts of Delta-9-THC is classified as a controlled substance. You will only find legal versions of these products in state-licensed dispensaries.

HHC products that contain hemp-derived THC, like THC-O or Delta-8, may have very different effects than HHC alone. Keep in mind that THC-O is incredibly potent, while Delta-8-THC offers a milder experience than traditional THC products. HHC products mixed with other THC’s, terpenes, or other additives may take on the characteristics of the added ingredients.

Raw cannabis material and a standard drug screen panel that doesn't test for HHC directly.

Will HHC Without THC Cause a Failed Drug Test?

So, if you can find HHC that is free of all THC, will it pass a drug screen? The answer is–we aren’t quite sure. Standard drug screens look for THC metabolites, not THC, and more research is needed to understand whether HHC breaks down into one of these metabolites after ingestion. To learn more, read “Will HHC Make You Fail a Drug Test?

Buy Legal, Hemp-Derived THC Online

Looking for legal, hemp-derived THC products and more? Check out our Elev8 Collection. We offer a selection of different hemp-derived THC products in a range of potencies and formulas to help you reach your perfect lift level, whether you’re new to THC or an experienced connoisseur.


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