Hexahydrocannabinol (HHC) is a naturally occurring phytocannabinoid found in the cannabis plant and is considered a minor cannabinoid. HHC is a hydrogenated derivative of both delta-8 and delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Although it is naturally found in Cannabis sativa in small amounts, it can be produced synthetically by hydrogenation (the addition of molecular hydrogen to a double bond) of cannabis extracts. HHC can also be made from cannabidiol (CBD).
Although there is not a lot of research or data on HHC, people have reported that it has euphoric effects similar to THC, making it a psychoactive cannabinoid. Due to its similarity to THC, HHC may have anti-inflammatory, anti-emetic (anti-nausea and vomiting), and appetite-stimulating properties, making it potentially very useful for managing chronic pain, insomnia, and the side effects of chemotherapy.
HHC is a cannabinoid in cannabis that, like cannabinol (CBN), is a degradation byproduct of THC. HHC can also be produced by hydrogenation of cannabis extracts, meaning that two hydrogen atoms (H2) are added to THC. The molecular formula for HHC is C21H32O2, whereas THC’s molecular formula is C21H30O2. Unlike delta-8 and delta-9 THC, HHC has no double bonds in the cyclohexyl ring. HHC is also structurally similar to the novel cannabis constituent cannabiripsol.
Hexahydrocannabinol should not be confused with the related compounds 9-Nor-9β-hydroxy-hexahydro cannabinol (9-Nor-9Beta-HHC), 9-Hydroxyhexahydrocannabinol (9-OH-HHC), or 11-Hydroxyhexahydrocannabinol (11-OH-HHC and 7-OH-HHC).
HHC binds to cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) but with weaker affinity than THC and produces intoxicating and psychoactive effects but much less than THC.
Two enantiomers (pairs of compounds with precisely the same connectivity but opposite three-dimensional shapes) of HHC: 9α-HHC and 9β-HHC. The 9β-HHC enantiomer is much more active and could bind to CB1 receptors more readily than 9α-HHC.
Another related cannabinoid, HHC acetate (HHC-O), is up to 1.5 times more potent than HHC.
As HHC is structurally similar to THC, it could have anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, and anti-emetic effects. This means that HHC could be helpful for managing:
Chronic pain, including neuropathic pain
Nausea and vomiting
Spasms associated with conditions like multiple sclerosis (MS)
Cancer and the side effects of chemotherapy