HHC vs. THC: What’s the Difference?

With the recent influx of newly harnessed cannabinoids hitting the market, it’s become a lot harder to keep track of what’s in the world of cannabis and hemp products. Confusing things even further is the fact that some of the names of these cannabinoids are also remarkably similar, at least in abbreviated form. 

But while you may feel as though learning to differentiate between all of these compounds is an exercise in futility, it’s not that tricky once you’ve learned a few valuable details about each. 

Taking your time to get to know each cannabinoid will not only help you see where they fit into the bigger picture, but it can also help you make sound decisions when it comes to using them safely and effectively.

To help you start, we’ve created this HHC vs. THC guide. It will help you get acquainted with these chemical compounds’ benefits, effects, and other qualities while also helping you distinguish the difference between THC and HHC. 

What Is THC?

THC is short for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. It’s a chemical compound known as a cannabinoid, which can be found abundantly in the cannabis plant and small amounts in the hemp plant. THC is perhaps the most well-known cannabinoid, thanks to its psychoactive properties. This compound is essentially the reason that cannabis gets you high.

There’s more to THC than just the psychoactive properties it offers, though. It’s believed that the cannabinoid is also responsible for or contributes to many of the various therapeutic effects cannabis has to offer. 

Variations of THC

Things start to get confusing with THC when you learn that there are several variations of the chemical compound, each with its own properties and unique characteristics. For instance, Delta-8 THC is quickly becoming one of the most popular cannabinoids around, and others like Delta-10 THC, THC-O, and THCa are also growing in popularity.

In this guide, while we won’t delve deep into comparisons like THC 0 vs. HHC or Delta-8 vs. HHC, it’s essential to shed light on these intriguing compounds.

You should know that these other compounds are versions of THC with slight variations in their chemical makeup. Most offer similar effects and benefits to THC, only with some subtle differences and, generally, with more widespread legality.  

When referencing THC in this guide, we are referring to Delta-9 THC, which will generally be the case whenever anyone references THC. 

Delta-9 is unofficially considered synonymous with THC because, for a very long time, the average person was unaware of the variations currently available today and certainly didn’t have access to products containing them. However, Delta-9 has been a known cannabinoid for many, many years.

What Is HHC?

HHC is short for hexahydrocannabinol. It’s a cannabinoid typically synthesized through the hydrogenation process but is argued by some to occur naturally in the cannabis and hemp plants. HHC is reported to offer many of the same psychoactive and therapeutic effects as THC, only without quite as much potency. 

Although it has only recently become widely known by the hemp and cannabis-loving public, HHC has been known in the scientific community for nearly 80 years. It was first synthesized by organic chemist Dr. Roger Adams in 1947. 

Adams applied the hydrogenation process to natural THC molecules derived from the cannabis plant, creating this fascinating compound. 

Is HHC Naturally Occurring?

There is an interesting debate about whether HHC occurs naturally in the hemp and cannabis plants or not. While any HHC product you purchase will be made with HHC synthesized using Delta-8 THC, some believe the cannabinoid does occur naturally, albeit in very small amounts.

This information is relevant when determining whether HHC products are legal. While any product derived from hemp containing less than 0.3% THC is considered legal on the federal level, fully synthetic cannabinoids are not. Because of this, HHC’s legality resides in a gray area.

The Difference Between THC and HHC?

Now that you’ve got a better idea of what these two fascinating cannabinoids are, it’s time to look at how they compare. What is the difference between THC and HHC? Is HHC better than THC? What does each offer that the other does not? Are there any legal differences between the two? All these answers and more can be found in this HHC THC guide. 

HHC vs. THC: Effects

HHC vs. THC effects are not remarkably different from one another. In fact, they’re nearly identical, considering that the two compounds are slight variations of one another. But is HHC stronger than THC? 

The most significant distinction between the two is that HHC is considered to be about 50-80% as strong as THC. While you will enjoy many similar effects from both cannabinoids, you’re likely to find each experience slightly milder if you choose an HHC product over a THC one.


One of the most desirable effects of these cannabinoids is the rush of euphoric feelings they often provide. While this effect can be considered strictly recreational, it can also be quite therapeutic for anyone looking to improve their mood.


Another fan-favorite effect of both THC and HHC is the relaxed state they can provide. Many people use these cannabinoids to wind down after a long, stressful day. Both of them can be highly effective at relaxing not only the mind but the body, too.

Heightened Senses and Altered Perception

THC and HHC can heighten your senses and alter your perception, making for an exciting and enlightening experience. 

Of course, for those who are new to these cannabinoids, there’s also a chance that you might experience some anxiety from the altered perception. That’s why it’s essential to be careful about how much you take and the setting in which you use the cannabinoids. 

Heightened Creativity

There has long been a connection between creative people and THC, and that’s likely because the cannabinoid is reported to inspire creative thinking. Between the euphoric feelings, the relaxed mental state, and the altered perception, you may gain a new perspective that can inspire some innovation in your creative endeavors.

HHC vs. THC: Benefits

The recreational effects of HHC and THC are only one of the reasons why you might consider trying either cannabinoid out. They also offer a range of potential therapeutic advantages that may benefit your mental and physical health and provide you with a better overall quality of life. 

Below are some of the most common therapeutic benefits the cannabinoids may potentially offer.

Discomfort Relief

If you live a life full of aches, tightness, soreness, and general discomfort, odds are you’re not living the life you’d like to. These issues begin as physical ones, but they can ultimately develop into mental ones and make your everyday life difficult to face.

If you’d like to reduce your reliance on or avoid using dangerous and addictive prescription medications to treat these issues, you may want to consider HHC or THC. A patient self-report published in 2017 found that 97% of respondents stated that cannabinoids have allowed them to reduce their reliance on addictive opiates. 

Stress Relief

Few things, if any, are more deadly than chronic stress. This issue has been associated with a vast number of health conditions, including sleep issues, gastrointestinal problems, migraines and tension headaches, depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and much more.

There are various approaches to reducing stress and avoiding these health conditions, but few are as simple and enjoyable as using cannabinoids as alternative medicine. 

A 2017 study found that cannabinoids have the potential to help you relax and take some of the physical and emotional pressure off of your body. However, taking too much of those same cannabinoids can have the opposite effect, so be mindful. 

Help with Sleep Issues

Much like chronic stress, lack of sleep can lead to a dizzying array of mental and physical health issues. And what’s most concerning is that a staggering number of Americans currently do not get the rest they need regularly. 

Instead of opting for habit-forming prescription medications that come with a laundry list of potential side effects, you can potentially use HHC or THC to get the rest you need. 

A review published in 2022 found that nearly 40% of patients with sleep issues were able to drop their prescription meds in favor of cannabinoids, and more than 70% noted an improvement in their sleep. 

Appetite Stimulation

While many people are actively seeking ways to reduce their appetites and manage their eating, others struggle with a lack of appetite and suffer the effects of malnutrition or unhealthy weight loss. If you fall into the latter category, cannabinoids like HHC and THC have the potential to help. 

Both THC and HHC can potentially ease any stomach issues that may keep you from eating while also stimulating the parts of the brain responsible for appetite and enjoyment of food. The result is what has been referred to as “the munchies” for many years. 

While much of the average person’s knowledge about this phenomenon is anecdotal, there is, in fact, scientific research that appears to back it.

HHC vs. THC: Legality

Now that you know how similar these cannabinoids are regarding their recreational effects and therapeutic benefits, it’s time to look at perhaps the most significant difference between them — their legality. So, what is HHC vs. THC in terms of legal status? 

In recent years, the legal status of THC has been ever-shifting, at least on the state level. Many states have slowly begun decriminalizing and even legalizing recreational cannabis, while others have been far slower to adopt changes to their laws. Meanwhile, there has been no change to federal prohibition of THC products. 

HHC is a different story entirely. This cannabinoid has only recently burst onto the scene thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill’s legalization of hemp cultivation in the United States. This new piece of legislation has allowed the cultivation of hemp and the creation of hemp products in the U.S. and new cannabinoids like HHC to be legally harnessed.

While some state laws have specifically outlawed products containing any compound related to THC, their numbers are fewer than those that outlaw THC itself. And because HHC is derived from hemp containing less than 0.3% THC, it is considered federally legal. 

In other words, HHC, compared to THC, is far more widely legal, making it a fantastic option for anyone looking to enjoy cannabinoids in a place where legal cannabis still seems like a pipe dream. 

HHC vs. THC: Which is Right for You?

With all of the information you’ve just gained by reading this HHC vs. THC guide, you should now be able to make a more informed decision regarding which cannabinoid is right for you. If you’re still on the fence, consider the following:

Both Offer Similar Effects

While THC and HHC originate from the same family of cannabinoids, their effects on the human body are strikingly similar. Users often report that the sensations, benefits, and overall experiences derived from both compounds are almost indistinguishable. This makes it easier for individuals to transition from one to the other based on preference or necessity.

THC is Stronger

THC is the go-to choice for those specifically seeking a more intense and powerful effect. Being one of the most well-known cannabinoids, THC has earned its reputation for delivering a potent experience. If intensity is your primary criterion, then THC undoubtedly stands out as the more formidable contender.

HHC is More Widely Legal

Navigating the complex legal landscape of cannabis products can be challenging. HHC offers a solution for those living in regions where recreational cannabis remains prohibited. Due to its derivation from hemp and its more favorable legal status in many areas, opting for HHC allows individuals to experience the benefits of cannabinoids with a greater sense of legal security and peace of mind.

Explore the Benefits of THC and HHC With Hemp XR

If you’re curious about the effects and benefits of THC and HHC, the best way to understand them might be to experience them firsthand. Hemp XR offers a diverse range of THC and HHC products to cater to different preferences. Whether you want to buy edibles for a controlled dosage, enjoy the traditional feel of flower, experience the convenience of vapes, or prefer the potency of tinctures, Hemp XR has something for everyone. Explore their collection today and discover the world of THC and HHC.