In recent years, the perception of cannabis and hemp has shifted dramatically. Cannabis is legal recreationally in many states, and hemp-derived cannabinoids are legal on a federal level thanks to the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill. Though drug tests aren’t as common as they used to be, certain professions and situations still require them. Whether cannabis or hemp-derived cannabinoids are legal or not in your state, a fail could have serious consequences. If you’ve been enjoying the benefits of HHC, you may be wondering: does HHC show up on a drug test? Keep reading to find out.
The short answer
I’ll cut to the chase: yes, HHC does show up on a drug test. It seems like a shame as you would think the tests are just looking for THC, but it’s a little more complicated than that. HHC is a hydrogenated form of THC. Drug tests actually don’t look for THC specifically; rather, they identify the presence of metabolites of THC.
When you consume THC, the body eventually converts it to 11-hydroxy-THC. This metabolite lingers in your system well after the high wears off, which is why it’s not enough to abstain from THC on the day of the test in order to pass. HHC, on the other hand, converts to 11-hydroxy-HHC. These two metabolites are extremely similar on a chemical level. Because of this, the test may actually mistake the HHC metabolite for the THC metabolite. Whoever is conducting the test is extremely unlikely to listen to your explanation that you have been consuming HHC and not THC.
Aside from the similar metabolites, there is one other reason that HHC could trigger a positive result. Unlike THC, hemp-derived cannabinoids, like HHC, are legal on a federal level. THC is legal in various states either medicinally or recreationally. In these states, the products are subject to inspection and regulation before they hit the shelves to ensure safety. Unfortunately, with cannabinoids like HHC, no such regulation process exists. (Some states have just begun implementing their own regulations, but it is still possible to buy unregulated products online).
This lack of regulation means that there may be other cannabinoids present in your HHC products. This could include delta 8 THC or delta 9 THC, which both metabolize into 11-hydroxy-THC. As a result, you could unknowingly be consuming these cannabinoids and fail your test. This is why it’s extremely important to shop smart, and buy from companies that share their lab-tested results. Here at DVNT, we have our results available online.
Factors to consider
Like THC, HHC is fat soluble, which means its metabolite will stay in your system for a while. The good news is, you can essentially use the same rules for THC when determining how long before your test you need to abstain. The timing all depends on the type of test that you’ll be subjected to, and how often you consume HHC. One-time users, and even occasional users will clear these metabolites out of their system significantly faster than someone who uses every day.
Type of test
Again, basing this off of the knowledge that we have of THC, we can assume that HHC will be detectable in various tests for the same amount of time. This is because they are essentially metabolized the same way (which, again, is why HHC does show up on a drug test). Someone who uses HHC once can expect that it will be detected on a urine test for up to three days post-use. If you’re someone who smokes a few times a week, that time increases to about a week. Daily HHC users will trigger a positive result for up to fifteen days after they stop. If you’re a multiple times a day smoker, you should knock it off a month before your test. And honestly, I would give yourself even a little extra time in any of these scenarios just to be safe.
For the average HHC user, a blood test will detect use up to twelve hours afterward. For heavy users, it could be detectable via blood test for up to thirty days.
Saliva tests are the most forgiving. For average users, that HHC will linger for up to twenty-four hours. Heavy users need only stress for seventy-two hours.
If you have a hair test coming up, I hope you knew about it well in advance. This is the least forgiving of all the tests. There appears to be no discrimination based on frequency of use. Cannabinoids arrive at the hair follicles through blood vessels after use. These are detectable for up to ninety days.
The bottom line
HHC does show up on a drug test. Currently, there is no specific test to look specifically for HHC. That being said, its metabolite is so chemically similar to that of THC that you can expect it will trigger a positive result. Even aside from that issue, if your products aren’t pure, they may contain delta 8 or delta 9 which will absolutely yield a positive result. Definitely err on the side of caution and give yourself more time than you think you need if you have a test coming up.