One of the main reasons people consume cannabis is to get high. With recent legislation allowing recreational marijuana, more people are starting to experience cannabis than ever before.
However, while most people know that Delta-9 THC, commonly known as just THC, is the primary ingredient that creates a euphoric feeling, it’s not the only component with that effect. As more research is conducted into the plant, other elements like Delta-8 THC and HHC have emerged.
Since there are multiple psychoactive compounds in cannabis, it’s worth looking at each and how they can affect your body. So here’s everything you need to know about HHC vs. Delta-8 vs. Delta-9 THC.
What is HHC?
HHC stands for hexahydrocannabinol, which was discovered in 1947, so we’ve known about it for a while. HHC doesn’t occur in high concentrations in the cannabis plant naturally. Usually, a plant will only have 0.1 percent HHC. However, it’s relatively easy to synthesize via hydrogenation. Because making HHC is pretty easy, this compound is cheaper than regular delta-9 THC and has a long shelf life.
In fact, when compared to other forms of THC, HHC stays shelf-stable for up to five years, while regular delta-9 may break down in a matter of months. Because HHC is hydrogenated THC, it still delivers that “high” feeling, albeit not as intensely. Typically, HHC will be about 70 to 80 percent as potent as delta-9 THC.
What is Delta-8 THC?
Tetrahydrocannabinol can exist in two forms, depending on where the double bond sits on the carbon chain. For delta-8, the bond is on the eighth chain, while for delta-9, it’s on the ninth.
Typically, delta-8 THC is about half as potent as delta-9 versions, so you’ll still get high, but not as quickly. Many consumers prefer delta-8 because it’s milder and easier to tolerate than regular THC.
Like HHC, this compound doesn’t exist in high concentrations in the cannabis plant. However, growers and manufacturers can increase the amount of delta-8 by “aging” the plant. This works because delta-9 breaks down into delta-8 over time, so concentrations are higher after aging.
That said, most manufacturers synthesize delta-8 through a chemical conversion process. This process is more consistent and makes it easier to get higher concentrations of delta-8 THC.
What is Delta-9 THC?
If you’re smoking cannabis to get high, delta-9 THC is what creates a euphoric effect. This compound is highly concentrated in cannabis strains, sometimes up to 40 percent.
One issue with delta-9 THC is that it’s naturally unstable and starts to break down immediately, especially when exposed to oxygen. So, it’s harder for growers and manufacturers to ensure consistency between crops. Overall, delta-8 and HHC are much easier and more reliable to produce.
Comparing the Three Options
Because each of these compounds is a derivative of THC, there is some substantial overlap in how they work. However, let’s break down the differences and similarities so you can better understand how they all work.
Will It Get Me High?
The short answer is yes; all of these compounds will get you high. Delta-8 and HHC are milder forms of delta-9, but you can still feel noticeable effects. HHC is more potent than delta-8 but less than delta-9.
Can I Buy It Legally?
If you live in a state where recreational marijuana is legal, you can buy all three legally. However, HHC and delta-8 THC are not subject to the same restrictions as delta-9 THC. So, it’s much easier to purchase these products legally, even in places where delta-9 is illegal. For example, you can buy delta-8 gummies on Amazon if you know where to look.
How Much is It?
Synthesized HHC and delta-8 THC are easier to make, so they cost less than delta-9. However, in areas where weed is legal, prices have come down because of increased competition. So, in some places, the cost of all three may be comparable.
How Much Do I Need to Take?
The dosage depends on the potency. For example, you can take as little as five milligrams of delta-9 THC and feel its effects. However, for delta-8, you’ll may need to take as much as 40 milligrams to get high. For HHC, the typical dosage is between 10 to 30 mg.
The Bottom Line
If you’re looking to get high, HHC and delta-8 THC are widely available and not as strictly regulated. While that may change as governments and law enforcement understand the differences, the law is a bit murky at the moment. However, now that you know the difference between each option, you can make an informed decision.