A New Legal High – HHC Gummies, Risks, Benefits & More
In this piece, we would dissect the ins and outs of HHC gummies including their absorption process, the metabolism end product, and the overall effect on a consumer. The quest for newer means of harnessing cannabis and its associated compounds becomes more aggressive by the day. Companies spring up on the daily, claiming to have the solution to the ultimate high in newly discovered products.
Among the newer, less common cannabinoids in the HHC, a minor form of the compound is unique for its energy boost and controlled high. Additionally, it is one of the few federally legal forms of cannabinoids, garnering widespread attention.
What Is HHC?
Hydroxy-hexahydrocannabinol, otherwise called HHC, is a minor cannabinoid occurring naturally in cannabis. It falls under the THC family but is relatively uncommon compared to the other THC products like the delta 8-THC, and delta 9-THC.
Like its predecessors, HHC is commercially produced from hemp-derived CBD through a chemical process involving the hydrogenation of THC. This process takes place in a monitored laboratory and yields a product somewhere between the delta 8 and delta 10 spectrum.
Aside from its legality, HHC has some advantages over other forms of cannabinoids. Perhaps the most valuable of these is its long shelf life. Additionally, HHC has more stability due to its hydrogenation process, and hence, is less likely to be maimed by light, heat, and other storage-unfriendly factors.
What Are HHC Gummies?
HHC gummies are edible candies infused with concentrations of the HHC compound, just enough to feel the effect. It is a great option for those who desire to experience the maximum benefits of HHC without having to smoke it.
It comes in various fruit flavors and becomes effective once consumed in the right quantity. The manufacturing process involves infusing liquid HHC extract into conventional fruit-flavored gummies for easier absorption.
HHC Gummies Absorption: The Metabolism Process
Like CBD and THC, HHC works by interacting with the endocannabinoid system in the body following a process called metabolism. First, we need to understand that the absorption of any substance ingested by the body goes through the metabolism process, and HHC gummies are no exception.
Cleveland Clinic defines metabolism as the chemical (metabolic) processes occurring within the body as it converts foods and drinks ingested into energy. The energy, which is the metabolism end product, in turn, fuels body functions like breathing, digestion, hormonal regulation, homeostasis, and blood circulation.
To do this, the body needs to attain a certain energy level called basal metabolic rate (BMR), which varies between persons. Having understood the importance of metabolism to the body’s system, it can then be applied for a better understanding of how the body works to facilitate HHC gummies absorption.
Notably, HHC ingested must be broken down by the liver and expelled from the body via the kidneys. Hence, the efficiency of the liver and kidneys determines the metabolism rate of an individual. In the liver, this depends on a specific enzyme called CYP3A4, responsible for processing THC-like molecules.
The concentration of these enzymes varies between persons. Hence, those with higher concentrations of CYP3A4 metabolize HHC faster and more efficiently than those with lower concentrations.
In humans, HHC is metabolized into hydroxylated derivatives like 11-hydroxy-hexahydrocannabinol (11-hydroxy-HHC). Earlier studies also list 8 alpha-hydroxy-HHC and 8 beta-hydroxy-HHC as metabolic byproducts of HHC.
HHC Gummies: How Do They Work?
The endocannabinoid system, which is the major HHC inhibition point, contains two types of receptors; the cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) and type 2 (CB2).
Being a newly introduced substance into the market, specific details about the HHC mode of action is scarce. Hence, the activity of HHC on the CB2 receptors is yet to be discovered.
However, available scientific studies shows the CB1 receptors, located majorly in the central nervous system, create the psychoactive effect.
Cannabinoids bind with this receptor, acting as a CBI agonist. In the case of HHC, this inhibitory effect is mild, which accounts for its lesser psychoactive effect compared to more potent forms like THC and CBD.
Unlike CB1, CB2 receptors interact with the peripheral nervous system. It also affects the body’s immune response and gastrointestinal tract.
What Are The Effects Of HHC Gummies On Humans?
While studies pertaining to this compound are few and inconclusive, the effect of HHC, either consumed as gummies or in other forms, can be deduced from speculations and user reviews. These reviews promote the numerous benefits of HHC products. However, some disadvantages have also been reported from the absorption of various forms of HHC, from gummies to vapes.
For easier comprehension, let us group the effects of HHC into benefits and side effects.
Benefits Of HHC Consumption
Possible Side Effects Of HHC Consumption
Most of these side effects are more likely to come to play when one consumes high levels of HHC-infused substances.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to the most asked questions about HHC.
Does HHC Get You High?
Being a psychoactive substance, HHC gummies and other HHC products can cause a high effect. However, it is less potent than THC, making it a great choice for those seeking a euphoric effect not as overwhelming as delta 9.
Users report that HHC products yield an effect somewhere between delta 8 and delta 9. Furthermore, it can remain active in the system for prolonged periods. The effects of HHC vs delta 8 are still being studied.
While the exact figures remain vague due to the lack of sufficient research on the compound, its predecessors have widely been used as a baseline.
Hence, HHC substances and their end products would likely remain in the human body between 2 to 30 days, depending on a variety of factors. They include:
Frequency of usage
Interference of other medications
Do HHC Gummies Show On A Drug Test?
Studying the process of HHC gummies absorption and how the body’s metabolism works make it clear that the metabolite produced from the process is the compound 11-hydroxy-hexahydrocannabinol.
Notably, this compound 11-hydroxy-HHC as well as other metabolites like 8-alpha-hydroxy-HHc and 8-beta-hydroxy-HHC are very similar to THC-COOH, the metabolite detected in most blood, saliva or urine tests.
Hence, a drug test is likely to come out positive once HHC is present in the system. This is contrary to the widely-held belief that the compound can somehow go undetected.
Hence, before a drug test, one should discontinue the use of HHC gummies for at least two weeks, especially after prolonged usage. That way, traces of the compound would have been erased via various metabolic processes that would otherwise have interfered with the drug testing.
HHC gummies work by interacting with the endocannabinoid system in the body based on a process called metabolism. In the newer, less common cannabinoids there is the HHC, a minor form of the compound that has a controlled high.