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Key Takeaways: 

  • HHC and Delta 8 THC are cannabinoids derived from hemp, with legal status varying by location.
  • Both substances are noted for their milder psychoactive effects compared to Delta 9 THC and have potential benefits, including pain relief and anxiety reduction.
  • Risks and side effects such as legal ambiguity, product variability, and potential adverse reactions must be considered when using HHC or Delta 8.


Humans have an innate curiosity when it comes to exploring different aspects of their well-being, and the use of hemp-derived products is one territory that's been garnering significant attention. HHC (Hexahydrocannabinol) and Delta 8 THC are two compounds that have entered the spotlight due to their unique effects and legal positions. With the hemp landscape continually evolving, understanding these compounds has never been more critical. It's not just about choosing a product; it's about making informed decisions based on individual needs and the current legal statutes that guide the use of these substances. In this comprehensive review, we're breaking down the essentials you need to know about HHC and Delta 8: from their chemical structures and potential benefits to their known risks and legal considerations. Whether you're new to the scene or looking to deepen your knowledge, this article will provide the clarity you need to navigate the choices before you.

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What Are HHC and Delta 8?

Understanding HHC: History and Effects

Hexahydrocannabinol, or HHC, is a hydrogenated derivative of THC, the primary psychoactive compound found in cannabis. Found in trace amounts in the hemp plant, scientists first synthesized HHC in the 1940s. This minor cannabinoid has gained popularity because it's thought to provide effects similar to THC but with a twist. These may include a feeling of euphoria, relaxation, and altered perception. However, HHC stands out because users report it can result in a less intense experience than other forms of THC, potentially making it a middle ground for those seeking balance.


Understanding Delta 8: History and Effects

Delta 8 THC is another cannabinoid like HHC found in hemp, often in very small amounts. Delta 8's story is similar to HHC in that it's been around for some time, but it's recently become more prominent thanks to advancements in extraction and concentration techniques. Delta 8 is chemically different from Delta 9 THC - the most well-known form of THC - by only a few atomic bonds, but these small changes make a considerable difference in how it interacts with the body. Delta 8 is recognized for its less potent psychoactive effects, which some users prefer for its anxiety-reducing and pain-relieving properties, without a strong high.


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Legal Aspect of HHC and Delta 8

Legality of HHC

When it comes to HHC, the legal terrain can be a bit murky. The question of legality often lies in how HHC is sourced or synthesized. This cannabinoid, when derived from the hemp plant containing less than 0.3% Delta 9 THC on a dry weight basis, falls within the federal legal guidelines established by the 2018 Farm Bill. However, not all states align with federal provisions, and some have specific regulations regarding cannabinoids like HHC. It's of utmost importance for consumers to check their local laws to understand the status of HHC in their region, ensuring they stay compliant with state regulations.


Legality of Delta 8

Delta 8 THC exists in a similar legal gray area as HHC. Federally, it is technically legal if it's derived from hemp that adheres to the aforementioned 0.3% Delta 9 THC limitation. Nonetheless, because Delta 8 can induce psychoactive effects, many states have decided to treat it similarly to Delta 9 THC and have enacted bans or restrictions. As such, the legal standing of Delta 8 is a patchwork of state-specific laws that require vigilance and continual updating from consumers. Before considering Delta 8 products, ensure you're well-acquainted with the specific legal landscape of your locality.


Legality of Delta 8


Chemical Structure and Properties

The Science Behind HHC

HHC's unique feature is its hydrogenated structure—it's THC with added hydrogen molecules. This change bolsters its stability against heat and light, potentially prolonging shelf life. These molecular adjustments impact the potency and how it interacts with our endocannabinoid system, possibly causing milder effects compared to traditional THC.


The Science Behind Delta 8

Delta 8 THC differs from Delta 9 THC by a slight shift in its molecular structure—a double bond's placement. This variance influences how it binds to the body's CB1 receptors, contributing to its reputation for producing subtler psychoactive results—making it a suitable option for individuals who find other forms of THC too intense.


Potential Benefits of HHC

Mild Psychoactive Effects

One of the primary potential benefits of HHC is its generally milder psychoactive effects compared to more potent cannabinoids. This can suit individuals seeking relaxation without overwhelming sensations.1


Increased Stability

Thanks to its hydrogenated structure, HHC may boast increased stability, leading to a longer shelf life for products containing this cannabinoid, which can be a significant advantage for both retailers and consumers.2


Pain Management

Some users report HHC’s effectiveness in managing pain, aligning with many cannabinoids' reputed analgesic properties. This could position HHC as an option for those looking to alleviate discomfort in a potentially less intense manner.3


Anxiety Relief

Anecdotal evidence suggests that HHC may offer anxiety relief without substantial psychoactive effects, providing a calmness that many users appreciate without strong sedation or impairment.4


Appetite Stimulation

Like other cannabinoids, HHC is being explored for its potential to stimulate appetite, which could be beneficial for individuals dealing with appetite loss due to various health conditions.5


Potential Benefits of Delta 8

Manageable Euphoria

Delta 8 is renowned for producing a manageable level of euphoria. Users often describe the experience as pleasurable without the intensity that sometimes accompanies Delta 9 THC, which is ideal for those who want a lighter touch.6


Nausea Control

Clinical studies and user reports alike have pointed to Delta 8's potential in controlling nausea. This has made it a consideration for those undergoing treatments such as chemotherapy that can induce nausea.7


Neuroprotective Properties

Research suggests Delta 8 might have neuroprotective properties, possibly supporting brain health. These properties are being studied for their capacity to perhaps aid in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders.8


Anxiety Relief

Similar to HHC, Delta 8 THC may offer relief from anxiety, with many users reporting a sense of calm and focus without significant psychoactive effects that could exacerbate anxiety.9


Pain Relief

Delta 8 has also been observed to have analgesic properties, with potential applications in pain management. Users often seek out this cannabinoid as an alternative to conventional pain relief methods which may have undesirable side effects.10


Potential Benefits of Delta 8



The Known Risks and Side Effects of HHC

Legal Uncertainty

While not a direct health risk, one of the primary concerns with HHC is the ambiguity in its legal status. This could lead to potential legal consequences or difficulty accessing products due to varying state laws.


Limited Research

The research on HHC is limited and ongoing. Consequently, the full spectrum of its long-term effects is not yet fully understood, posing a risk for uninformed or long-term use.


Product Variability

Since HHC is less common, there's a chance of inconsistency in product quality and potency in the market. This could lead to unpredictability in effects and potential safety concerns.


The Known Risks and Side Effects of Delta 8

Psychoactive Response

Although Delta 8 is typically less potent, it still possesses psychoactive properties that can lead to cognitive impairment, such as impaired motor skills or altered judgment, especially when taken in higher doses.


Regulatory Fluctuations

Delta 8's legal status is in flux, which can affect availability and lead to a lack of regulation in some markets, potentially resulting in products that are not lab-tested or accurately labeled.


Adverse Reactions

As with many cannabinoids, Delta 8 can cause adverse reactions in some individuals, including dry mouth, red eyes, rapid heart rate, and dizziness. These responses can vary significantly from person to person.


How to Decide Which Is Right for You

Analyzing Personal Intentions and Experiences

Consider your objectives with using cannabinoids—relaxation, pain relief, or other effects. Reflect on any previous experiences to inform your choice.


Taking the First Steps Safely

Start with small amounts to gauge your response. Seek advice from a healthcare provider if needed, and choose products from trustworthy, tested sources.


Final Thoughts 

The spectrum of potential benefits ranging from pain relief to anxiety reduction, alongside the risks such as legal uncertainties and limited research, underscores the importance of a cautious and informed approach. While the allure of alternative cannabinoids grows, the final decision rests with the individual—balancing personal wellness objectives against a backdrop of evolving scientific understanding. Our aim at GetSoul is not only to inform but also to serve as a beacon, guiding users through a space rife with possibilities as they find the cannabinoid path that aligns with their unique journey toward well-being.

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Frequently Asked Questions 

What is the main difference between HHC and Delta 8? 

HHC is hydrogenated and typically milder than Delta 9 THC, while Delta 8 has a slight chemical difference that results in subtler effects compared to Delta 9 THC.


Are HHC and Delta 8 legal?

Both cannabinoids are in a gray legal area; they are federally legal if derived from hemp but can face state-level restrictions. Always check local laws.


Do HHC and Delta 8 have similar effects?

Yes, they both have psychoactive effects, though generally milder than Delta 9 THC. They are reported to help with relaxation, anxiety, and pain relief.


Can HHC and Delta 8 help with pain?

Both cannabinoids have been anecdotally reported to help with pain management, though scientific research is ongoing.


Are there risks associated with HHC and Delta 8? 

Yes, potential risks include legal uncertainties, limited research, product variability, and potential adverse reactions like dry mouth or dizziness.


How should a beginner approach using HHC or Delta 8?

Start with low doses to assess how your body reacts and consult a healthcare provider if using for medicinal purposes. Ensure products are from reputable sources.


Can HHC and Delta 8 cause anxiety or paranoia? 

While both are considered to have milder effects than Delta 9 THC, high dosages or individual sensitivity could potentially lead to anxiety or paranoia.


Will using HHC or Delta 8 result in a failed drug test? 

Despite their differences, both can metabolize in ways that might trigger a positive result on a drug test. Caution is advised.


How long do the effects of HHC and Delta 8 last? 

Duration of effects varies depending on dosage and individual metabolism but typically ranges from a few hours to longer periods.


Are HHC and Delta 8 products tested for safety?

Reputable brands will provide third-party lab testing results for safety and potency. It's crucial to verify these when purchasing products.



  1. https://www.facebook.com/WebMD. (n.d.). What Is HHC? WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/what-is-hhc 
  2. Julia, N. (2022, December 1). THCO vs. HHC: What’s the Difference? CFAH. https://cfah.org/thco-vs-hhc/
  3. Mack, A., & Joy, J. (2011). MARIJUANA AND PAIN. Nih.gov; National Academies Press (US). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK224384/
  4. Shannon, S. (2019). Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. The Permanente Journal, 23(1). https://doi.org/10.7812/tpp/18-041
  5. Medicine (US), I. of, Joy, J. E., Stanley J. Watson, J., & John A. Benson, J. (1999). The Medical Value of Marijuana and Related Substances. In www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. National Academies Press (US). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK230711/
  6. Kruger, J. S., & Kruger, D. J. (2022). Delta-8-THC: Delta-9-THC’s nicer younger sibling? Journal of Cannabis Research, 4(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s42238-021-00115-8
  7. Tramer, M. R. (2001). Cannabinoids for control of chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting: quantitative systematic. BMJ, 323(7303), 16–16. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.323.7303.16
  8. Fernández-Ruiz, J., Sagredo, O., Pazos, M. R., García, C., Pertwee, R., Mechoulam, R., & Martínez-Orgado, J. (2013). Cannabidiol for neurodegenerative disorders: important new clinical applications for this phytocannabinoid? British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 75(2), 323–333. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2125.2012.04341.x
  9. Sreenivas, S. (n.d.). What Is Delta 8? WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/what-is-delta-8
  10. Elikkottil, J., Gupta, P., & Gupta, K. (2009). The analgesic potential of cannabinoids. Journal of Opioid Management, 5(6), 341–357. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3728280/