HHC: Is it Natural or Synthetic? | Golden Goat

HHC: Is it Natural or Synthetic?

It can be confusing to understand all the many cannabinoids, infusions, products, and effects as more and more products flood the legal hemp and cannabis marketplaces. It can be particularly confusing for those of us who can only buy and use hemp-derived products, especially when they claim to have psychoactive effects.

In today’s blog, we’ll talk about HHC, the difference between natural, synthetic, and naturally derived chemicals, and whether or not HHC is natural or synthetic (which is important, because, as you know, only naturally derived cannabinoids with a THC content of up to 0.3% are legal).

Read Me: Is Delta 8 Legal in Texas?

What is HHC?

HHC, also known as hexahydrocannabinol, is a relatively unknown cannabinoid that has gained popularity recently because it is legal in states where cannabis is not. Both hemp and cannabis plants contain only small amounts of this naturally occurring cannabinoid (not enough for commercial purposes). Because of this companies produce the minor cannabinoid through isomerization, just like they do with Delta-8 THC and THC-O.

HHC’s effects are gentler compared to Delta-8. Picture a relaxing and mellow head high that helps you stay focused and productive all day long – that’s an HHC high.

Natural vs Synthetic vs Naturally Derived

Natural chemicals are created by nature without any human involvement. Synthetic chemicals are by people using different methods from those in nature and these chemical structures may or may not be present in nature. Naturally derived is a term used to describe a synthetic chemical that is created from a natural substance using natural processes.

Depending on the cannabinoid you are dealing with, the method of refining various cannabinoids varies. All cannabinoids are naturally present in various strains of hemp and cannabis plants. If they weren’t, we wouldn’t be able to synthesize them.

Cannabis Leaves held by gloved hand -

Is HHC Natural or Synthetic?

So is HHC a natural chemical?

In short, yes. HHC is found in nature without any human intervention. Even if it’s only found in trace amounts, it doesn’t change the fact that HHC is a natural chemical.

Using a process called hydrogenation, commercial quantities of HHC can be produced. The chemical structure of the CBD that was extracted from hemp and refined down to its pure oil, known as distillate, is changed by this procedure by adding hydrogen atoms. HHC is created when the molecular structure of CBD is modified by the addition of hydrogen atoms.

On the other hand, HHC grows naturally in the environment. It is created using hemp and CBD, both of which are natural chemicals. So HHC is considered a naturally-derived cannabinoid.

Hexahydrocannabinol is a minor cannabinoid that is both naturally occurring and derived from natural sources. Sounds complicated, right? Let’s explain. Natural HHC is found in hemp plants, without human involvement throughout the growing process.

But, the HHC you purchase online isn’t the same natural HHC that comes from hemp plants. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough naturally occurring HHC to make products that can be sold. The only difference between natural and naturally derived HHC is how they are made, the two products are identical structurally and functionally.

Are Synthetic Cannabinoids Legal?

Most synthetic cannabinoids are not legal. Many synthetic cannabinoids have been banned by the federal government. Recent federal and state legislation has also recently started to prohibit not only specific compounds but also broad categories of ingredients, as new synthetic cannabinoids pop up all the time, making them hard to regulate.

Synthetic cannabis manufacturers try to skirt these regulations by developing new products with unique ingredients or simply labeling them unsafe for human consumption. These products can be unsafe, as they are unregulated, and can even include other harmful ingredients. That’s why you should stick to natural hemp-derived cannabinoids that have been lab-verified for safety and purity.

Is HHC Legal?

The legal status of HHC is complicated due to the patchwork of state and federal laws. On a federal level, the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp production and removed hemp from the list of controlled substances. This means that hemp-derived products, including CBD and other cannabinoids, are legal as long as they contain less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC.

HHC is lawful in most US states. Because it isn’t yet well recognized, few legislators have heard of it, nevermind considered making it illegal. But legality may vary by state. The legality of HHC products is often linked to the legality of cannabis in states where it is legalized for medicinal or recreational use. While the legality of HHC products is often unclear in states that have banned cannabis. 

For an in-depth look at HHC legality in your state, read our blog: Is HHC Legal in All 50 States?

Final Thoughts on HHC

HHC has taken root all over the cannabinoid market, with edibles and vapes being among the most popular. Our HHC vapes are available in 8 tantalizing flavors and are made with premium hemp-derived HHC.

Shop our full HHC range here.  


The information in this article, including but not limited to text, images, graphics, and other material contained herein, is for informational and educational purposes only and is solely intended to be used as a self-help tool. The information in this article and website does not substitute for professional medical advice, treatment, or diagnosis. Always seek guidance and advice from a qualified healthcare provider before undertaking a new healthcare regimen.

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