what is HHC, HHC-O, and HXC

What is HHC?

“HHC” is classified as an “alternative cannabinoid.” HHC is a short form abbreviation for Hexahydrocannabinol. HHC is a hydrogenated derivative of CBD oil. In short, HHC is created by first converting CBD oil and its limited tetrahydrocannabinol (or “THC”) properties into Δ9-THC or Δ8-THC intermediates and then into its final hydrogenated version of the oil (HHC).

Key takeaways

  • HHC is a hydrogenated derivative of CBD oil. HHC is created by first converting CBD oil and its limited tetrahydrocannabinol (or “THC”) properties into Δ9-THC or Δ8-THC intermediates and then into its final hydrogenated version of the oil (HHC).
  • HHC (Hexahydrocannabinol) is legal in most states due its derivative being from CBD oil and containing less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (or “THC”). This passes the 2018 Farm Bill regulation which makes it legal to be sold by states that allow it.

What is HHC?

“HHC” is an abbreviation that stands for Hexahydrocannabinol. Hexahydrocannbinol (HHC) is a hydrogenated derivative of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It’s a naturally occurring phytocannabinoid that’s identified as a trace component inside of a Cannabis sativa plant.

Roger Adams was the first to discover HHC in 1940. The psychoactive substance has very similar effects to that of THC. “HHC” has gained in popularity starting around 2020 thanks to its ability to produce very similar effects as that of THC and being derived from hemp (or CBD oil), which makes it legal in most states (using the 2018 Farm Bill as its legal “loophole”).


How HHC is made

The current method of mass production for HHC (or hexahydrocannabinol) relies on hemp-derived CBD extract. Initially, this extract undergoes cyclization to form a mixture of Δ8 /Δ9 -THC. Subsequently, the catalytic hydrogenation gets used to yield a blend of (9R)-HHC and (9S)-HHC epimers.

The entire process is done to create an end product which is a hydrogenated derivative of tetrahydrocannabinol (or “THC”). Which is known as (9R)-HHC. The product is then used to apply onto or into products for consumption (this could include hemp “flower” where the oil is applied or directly into consumable products).

A chemistry “Schlenk” line is created using nitrogen, palladium, and hydrogen to create a conversion of the CBD extract from Δ8-THC or Δ9 -THC and then creating a hydrogenated derivative of the Δ8-THC or Δ9 -THC.

Δ8-THC and Δ9 -THC is where the CBD oil is used to create a double bond on their specific chain of carbon atoms (with Δ8-THC its on the 8th chain and Δ9 -THC its on the 9th chain). The final process to turn this converted extract into HHC is when a hydrogen molecule is added to it, creating a fully hydrogenated derivative that’s then used for consumption.

For more information on how HHC is made, visit our guide right here.

Common HHC products

There are a number of HHC products on the market. From tinctures to vaporizer pens. And even “flower” or cannabis buds that are made from hemp flower (with an application of the HHC oil either directly applied or “sprayed” onto the flower to create an alternative cannabinoid product).

Different methods of consuming HHC affect how much of it your body can actually use, which is called bioavailability. Think of bioavailability as the amount of a substance your body can "grab onto" and put to use. Higher bioavailability means you get more effects from the same amount. 

When you inhale HHC through vaping or dabbing, your body can use about 30-40% of it. With oils or tinctures, it's around 20-30%, and with edibles, it's about 10-20%. We usually don't consider bioavailability when making our products because the differences are usually small.

Products include:

  • Tinctures
  • Oils
  • Vaporizer pens
  • Flower bud
  • Dabs
  • Distillates
  • Edibles (or consumables)

Where is HHC legal?

Laws around HHC (or Hexahydrocannabinol) are changing very quickly. For instance, some states are beginning to put age restrictions in place (anywhere from ages 18 to 21). While others are simply putting bans in place and calling HHC either a Schedule I or Schedule III controlled substance.

As of February 2024, here is where HHC is legal

States where HHC is legal:

  • Alabama
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Indiana
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Nebraska
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia

States where HHC is most likely legal (though not explicitly stated):

  • Kansas
  • Missouri
  • New Hampshire
  • Texas
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

States where HHC is illegal:

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Mississippi
  • Nevada
  • New York
  • Utah
  • Washington

States where HHC is most likely illegal (though not explicitly stated):

  • Alaska
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Kentucky
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont

For more information on where HHC is legal, visit our guide right here.

Understanding HHC and HXC

HHC and HXC are the same things. Because the abbreviation “HHC” is a short form version of the word “Hexahydrocannabinol” the “X” in the HXC abbreviation accounts for the “Hexa” portion of the word.

Understanding HHC and HHCP

HHCp is still considered Hexahydrocannabinol. HHCp is a derivative that comes from THCp rather than Δ8-THC or Δ9 -THC (sometimes referred to as Delta-8 and Delta-9). THCP is Tetrahydrocannabiphorol. Which would then get used to hydrengate the extract into its HHC counterpart (or HHCp).

In short, both are the same product. They are both HHC (Hexahydrocannabinol). Except the key difference is in the originating oil and what its derived from. The same thing would go for “live resin” HHC, where freshly harvested plants are used to create the CBD oil rather than dried or frozen plants. 

HHC dosage information

HHC “dosage” information can be classified into either milligrams based on body weight or usage based on how much HHC you’re comfortable with (if you’re a frequent user of the substance).

Dosage based on body weight:

  • Low-Strength Dosage: Multiply your body weight in pounds by 0.05 to find your dosage in milligrams.
  • Medium-Strength Dosage: Multiply your body weight in pounds by 0.1 to find your dosage in milligrams.
  • High-Strength Dosage: Multiply your body weight in pounds by 0.2 to find your dosage in milligrams.

It’s important to consider your body weight when consuming HHC. To calculate your body weight and milligram of consumption, refer to this chart below:

Body Weight

Low Strength

Medium Strength

Strong Strength

































Dosage based on consumption habits

Based on your consumption habits (how frequent you may consume HHC), the following milligram recommends would apply:

  • Beginner Users: dose is 5 to 12mg.
  • Intermediate Users: dose is 12 to 30mg.
  • Experienced Users: 30 to 60mg+.

To learn more about the potency of HHC, visit our guide right here. For information on the length of time HHC effects can be felt, visit our guide right here.

Negative side effects of HHC

There is no “lethal dose” of HHC. Although, someone who maybe consumed too much HHC for their body weight might start to feel the negative side effects more. 

That would include:

  • Anxiety
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Paranoia
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Red eyes

Risks associated with HHC

While there is very little research on the risks associated with HHC, there has been research to suggest that an abundant of CBD-use could cause some of the following:

  • Using cannabis during pregnancy can make your baby weigh less at birth.
  • Due to impairment, it could increase the chance of getting into a car accident.
  • It can be tough to quit if you use it often, especially for teenagers.
  • Cannabis can harm relationships and make it harder to do well at home, work, or school.
  • Older adults have a greater chance of injury from impairment.
  • Feeling dizzy from using it might cause you to fall or faint.
  • Some people are more likely to develop mental health issues during cannabis use.

These are all very “low” risk factors when you consider other controlled substances and their risks. Making it a relatively safe product for consumption.

Comparing HHC effects to THC effects

When comparing THC to HHC, it’s important to consider how these two substances have some similarities but not identical outcomes. For instance, if you’re a recreational cannabis user and you’re comparing the effects of THC to HHC, you’re most likely not going to experience the same effects.

In short, HHC or HXC does not have as strong of psychoactive altering effects on the body. Hexahydrocannabinol affects the cannabinoid receptors in our brain (CB1/CB2). Primarily, attaching to our endocannabinoid system in the brain. The result is usually a relaxed and “mellow” feeling from those who consume it.

THC to HHC effects chart

Here is a simple way to understand the differences between HHC and traditional THC products:










Altered perception






Common questions

Questions about HHC (or Hexahydrocannabinol):

Is “HHC” considered to be a “GMO?”

“HHC” is not considered to be a GMO (genetically modified organism) because it is simply a converted extract of CBD oil or TCHP oil. It is not grown differently than other hemp plants nor sourced differently (like via a genetically modified seed).

Is it possible to take “too much” HHC?

There is no “overdose” or lethal amount of Hexahydrocannabinol (or HHC) that can be taken. Rather, a user that’s consumed too much might start to feel the side effects more strongly. This could include vomiting, dizziness, increased heart rate, and general discomfort.

If you’re someone who has been experiencing the side effects, it’s important to stop any further consumption of HHC products, lay down, and drink plenty of water to ensure that you’re well hydrated and your heart rate begins to slow down.

What is “HHC-O?”

THC-O-acetate, also known as THC acetate ester, O-acetyl-THC, THC-O, or AcO-THC, refers to the acetate ester derivative of THC. The terminology THC-O-acetate and its various forms are frequently employed to describe two distinct variations of this compound, depending on the cannabinoid from which it is synthesized. The disparity between Δ8-THC and Δ9-THC lies in the positioning of bonds on the cyclohexene ring.


Fact checked for accuracy

Information on this article was fact checked as of February 2024. Please note: While HHC or “Hexahydrocannabinol” was first discovered in 1940, research of the substance is still relatively light. Information may change quickly as new laws, usage, and research is put into place.

Related HHC resources:


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