By now, you may have heard about HHC. Users are praising it for its buzzy, stimulating high and other benefits. But how does it stack up when compared to more classic cannabinoids, like CBD? Get the full rundown of everything you need to know when it comes to HHC vs CBD.
Cannabinoids and the human body
In order to fully understand the similarities and differences when it comes to HHC vs CBD, we need to start at the beginning. HHC and CBD are both cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are found in cannabis and hemp, but also within our own bodies. Both types of cannabinoids interact with our endocannabinoid system. The ECS is responsible for regulating pain, stress, appetite, energy, metabolism, sleep, and many other vital functions.
Our endocannabinoid system is made up of receptors. The CB1 receptors are primarily located in the central nervous system, but are also present in other parts of the body, including skin. When the CB1 receptors are activated by the cannabinoids found in hemp or cannabis, the user will experience a high. Other effects include pain relief, sedation and motor impairment, cognitive and memory impairment, and appetite stimulation.
Contrarily, when the CB2 receptors are activated by cannabinoids, no high is produced. These receptors can be found on immune cells, the spleen, and certain bone and liver cells. When hemp or cannabis derived cannabinoids interact with the CB2 receptors, the result is an anti-inflammatory effect.
HHC vs CBD effects
Now that we understand how cannabinoids work within our bodies, we can explore HHC vs CBD. HHC binds to both the CB1 and CB2 receptors. Since it binds to the CB1 receptors, it is considered a psychoactive cannabinoid. Users will notice that HHC is less potent than traditional delta 9 THC. This is because HHC does not bind to these receptors as securely as THC does, which makes the high less intense. For users looking for the benefits of THC without the strong high, HHC is an excellent option.
CBD interacts with the ECS in a completely different way than HHC does. CBD does not attach to the CB1 receptors. According to Project CBD, instead, it “influences how the receptor signals without actually causing it to signal”. If you’ve ever heard claims that CBD can reduce the high felt by THC, this is why that happens. Unlike HHC, CBD does not produce a high of its own. It can, however, lessen the psychoactivity of other cannabinoids that are present in the system at the same time. If you have no other cannabinoids in your system, this interaction with the CB1 receptors will go completely unnoticed.
When it comes to the CB2 receptors, CBD triggers that signaling without attaching. Just as CBD will lessen the CB1 activity, it actually increases the CB2 activity, which triggers an anti-inflammatory response. So, if you are looking for relief without any type of high, then CBD is the cannabinoid for you.
Both HHC and CBD are legal on a federal level, provided that they are both derived from hemp. Cannabis-derived cannabinoids are subject to state regulation; by now, you definitely know if you live in a state with legal cannabis or not. Assuming we’re sticking with hemp, CBD is essentially legal in all fifty states (with some restrictions). Though HHC has not received the same level of legal backlash as delta 8, certain states have amended their laws to either ban or regulate the cannabinoid. Check out this guide for an overview of HHC laws by state (current as of August 2023). Always educate yourself on the laws in your state before indulging in either cannabinoid.
Will they show up on a drug test?
CBD itself will not show up on a drug test. However, if the products are contaminated with traceable amounts of delta 9 THC or other cannabinoids, it is possible that users will test positive. HHC may or may not show up on a drug test. Drug tests are generally designed to detect metabolites of THC. Because the chemical structure of HHC is so similar to THC, its metabolites are similar, or identical to those of THC which will cause a positive test result. Definitely stay away from HHC if you have a test coming up, and exercise caution when selecting CBD products.
So, to sum it all up, HHC and CBD are both cannabinoids that can be derived from either hemp or cannabis. Where they come from determines their legal status in every state. Although both CBD and HHC interact with the ECS, HHC is psychoactive while CBD is not. If you have a drug test coming up, stash the HHC until the test is completed (which you can do because HHC has a longer shelf life than THC). You can stick with CBD if you need to pass a test- as long as you’re sure you are consuming CBD and only CBD. In conclusion, HHC is an excellent option for anyone looking for a mild, stimulating, and less anxious high. If you are not looking to get lit, then CBD is definitely the better choice for you.