Adding Hydrogen to Cannabis: HHCO vs HHC

Jul, 2022
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In the world of weed, there’s always room to grow and discover new cannabis variations. Recently, these discoveries have gained popularity with compounds like THCP, THCV, and delta-8. But there are fresh cannabinoids trailblazing their way into canna-consumers’ collections.

Now, chemists have started adding hydrogen molecules to cannabinoids through a process called hydrogenation. This creates semi-synthetic compounds like HHC and HHCO – another alternative to THC variants.

So what is HHCO? What’s the difference between HHCO vs HHC? Is HHC stronger than delta-8?

Elevate Holistics is here to dive into what these cannabinoids are, the risks of adding chemicals to cannabis, and how to stay safe when trying these products. Let’s strap on our safety goggles and explore these concoctions.

Hhco Vs Hhc

What is HHC?

HHC, or hexahydrocannabinol, is a naturally and synthetically derived compound made from the hemp plant. HHC naturally occurs in tiny concentrations in hemp but must be synthesized for commercial use – making it both natural and synthetic.

American chemist Roger Adams first created HHC in 1944 upon adding hydrogen molecules to delta-9 THC. This process, hydrogenation, is also used to turn vegetable oil into margarine.

Manufacturers still use hydrogenation to create HHC, but nowadays hemp-derived CBD is used rather than THC.

What is the potency of HHC? Is HHC stronger than delta-8 THC? More on that below. 

Made from the hemp plant, HHC is not a THC compound. Since Congress made hemp legal under the 2018 US Farm Bill, most researchers describe HHC as legal. 

But until the state regulates compounds like HHC and delta-8, their legality remains a bit unclear. Although HHC leans toward federally legal, we advise you to possess HHC at your own discretion

Does HHC Show Up on a Drug Test? 

Will HHC fail a drug test? Does HHC contain THC? There is no solid proof that HHC will make you fail a drug test, though it seems quite plausible. 

For one, there is evidence that HHC does not show up on a drug test since HHC doesn’t metabolize into 11-hydroxy-THC, which can trigger a positive drug test result.

However, other evidence shows that HHC is chemically similar to THC and will metabolize into compounds like THC-COOH, which will fail a drug test. 

HHC does not contain THC, but we suggest steering clear of any psychoactive cannabinoids if you have an important drug test coming up. 

Is HHC Safe?

HHC manufacturers are not required to third-party test their products, so the safety of HHC depends on the manufacturer and the specific product.

Do your own research and check for credible brands that boast third-party testing and positive reviews. 

If you want to ensure that you’re buying only the safest, purest products, there are a few steps you can take. First, there are only a handful of labs (Gobi Analytical, KCA Laboratories, ACS Laboratory) that actually have the equipment to test for HHC.

Thus, if you look at your COA and it doesn’t come from an accredited lab, you know you cannot trust them. 

On that note, some brands will try to fake their COAs to make it look like they come from those brands, when they really don’t. Make sure the COA has a scannable QR code on it that brings you to identical test results.

If they don’t have this, it’s time to move on.

For more information on staying safe with HHC products, click here

Keep in mind that you can find HHC carts and other HHC products like gummies and prerolls online and in certain stores.

Is HHC Stronger Than Delta-8? 

So, is HHC stronger than delta-8 THC? 

It’s pretty common for HHC to be compared to a delta-8 THC high, with many consumers saying the effects are similar. But, some consumers say that the psychoactive effects of HHC are milder and that more HHC is required to reach the heights of delta-8.

What is HHCO?

Now that we know what HHC is, what is HHCO? (We know, it’s a lot of acronyms.) 

Also known as HHC acetate, HHCO chemists combine acetic anhydride with HHC molecules to create HHCO. (Manufacturers create THCO using the same process.) HHCO effectively binds with receptors in the endocannabinoid system, producing a more potent effect than HHC. 

Hhco Vs Hhc

Basically, HHC acetate is stronger HHC and is for consumers seeking a higher high. Manufacturers typically turn HHCO into HHCO carts, edibles like gummies, or even HHCO-infused hemp flower.

Now, let’s dive into HHC vs HHCO. 


So what’s the difference between HHC vs HHCO? What are the effects of consuming these compounds? What is the high like?

HHC isn’t very potent compared to delta-9 THC or other THC variants like THCO on the market. Some of the molecules in HHC actively bind with the body’s endocannabinoid system, while other HHC molecules miss the mark. This means it might take more hits of HHC carts to produce a high similar to THC. 

But that doesn’t mean the effects of HHC aren’t pleasant. HHC consumers report a mild high, relaxation, a clear mind, pain relief, and a lack of paranoia or anxiety. 

On the other hand, HHCO – or HHC acetate – is more potent than HHC. Some say that HHCO could be three times as potent as HHC. Taking puffs of HHCO carts should be done with greater caution than HHC carts, as it can be compared more closely to delta-9 THC (traditional THC) than HHC.

Many people believe that HHC is stronger than both delta-8 and delta-10 THC.

Although research is limited, the therapeutic benefits of HHC and HHCO could be very similar to those of other cannabinoids. Alleviating physical discomfort and inflammation, nausea, and mental ailments could all be effects of HHC and HHCO. 

The Risks of Adding Chemicals to Cannabis

So when it comes to HHC vs HHCO, what are the risks? Is it safe to add chemicals like hydrogen or acetic anhydride (used to create HHC acetate) to cannabis compounds? 

With limited research regarding the long-term effects of consuming HHC or HHCO, it’s hard to say. 

Hhco Vs. Hhc

So far, there is no indication that HHC or HHCO are dangerous. Hydrogen is non-toxic, and acetic anhydride is in plastics, explosives, and wine grapes. Acetic anhydride seems to balance out with the other compounds in HHCO, making it non-toxic. But, with a lack of research, we cannot say whether these compounds are safe or not safe.

How to Stay Safe Consuming HHCO vs HHC

With HHC carts and HHCO carts becoming more common, how should you stay safe if you decide to try them? 

First, be cautious when deciding where to purchase your HHC or HHCO products. Only purchase HHC or HHCO from trusted retailers and avoid buying it from shops like convenience stores.

Again, always check for the legitimacy of the COAs and remember that very few labs these days have the ability to test for these cannabinoids. 

Upon consuming, start low and go slow. Always consume a small amount of a new product and wait for results before consuming more. 

It might be a good idea to test out HHC (the milder compound) before delving into HHCO.

What is HHCO? Now that we’ve learned the difference between HHCO vs HHC and explored their complexities, are you interested in trying these compounds? Would you try out HHCO carts?

If you want to stick to all-natural, good ol’ cannabis, it’s definitely time to get your medical marijuana card. With a medical marijuana card, you have a lot more choices. 

You decide what form of cannabis you consume (flower, vape, edible, drinkable), the potency of your product, and what effects you want to feel. Also, you know the products are safe and legal. It doesn’t get better than that.

And with Elevate Holistics, it’s never been easier to get your medical marijuana card. Through our quick and secure process, we will connect you with a certified MMJ doctor via video chat for med card approval. Need extra help? Our team is here to answer any questions you may have. 

Book an appointment with Elevate Holistics to get your medical marijuana card.

Hhco. Hhc

Wait! Before you go…

Do you know someone who could benefit from medical cannabis? Here at Elevate, we make the MMJ card process effortless. Simply send them our way and we'll help them get a medical card at an affordable price — right from home.

Do you live somewhere where recreational cannabis is legal? Believe it or not, you could probably benefit from a medical card more than you think. MMJ cards help you save serious money, you get priority at your local shops, and you likely can buy (and maybe even grow) more weed than before. Click here to read about the benefits of getting an MMJ card; or, click here to book an appointment today.