We’ve seen an explosion of different cannabinoids on the market in recent years.  Delta 8, HHC, THCA, CBD, CBG, THCP… it’s a lot of info to keep track of.  How do these cannabinoids stack up against one another?  Where do they stand in terms of effects and potency?  Here, I’m going to explore two of my favorite cannabinoids and how they compare to one another.  Keep reading to learn the essentials on THCA vs HHC.  

In the meantime, you can shop both cannabinoids in our online store!  Choose from blunts and prerolls, available in either THCA or HHC.  You can even try some HHC gummies to spice things up a little.  All of our products are lab tested so you can rest assured you’re shopping smart in your quest to stay lit.  Compare the effects of both cannabinoids and have your own THCA vs HHC showdown right in your living room.

THCA vs HHC: Origins

THCA is a naturally occurring cannabinoid found in hemp and cannabis.  It’s actually the acidic form of THC.  HHC is a hydrogenated form of THC, initially synthesized by American chemist Roger Adams in the 1940s.  This process of hydrogenation is similar to the way margarine is made.


In its original form, THCA is not psychoactive.  This is due to an additional carboxyl ring in its molecular structure that prevents it from attaching to our CB1 receptors.  Since it isn’t able to attach to these receptors, we do not feel a high.  To learn more about the CB1 receptors, check this out.

So if THCA isn’t psychoactive, why do we sell it on our site?  I did mention that it’s not psychoactive in its raw, original form.  This changes completely when you add heat.  By adding heat from a vape, a lighter, or the oven when you decarb your flower before making edibles, THCA actually converts into the famously psychoactive THC.  Yes, you read that right.  The heat removes the carboxyl ring in THCA, which makes it no longer THCA, but THC, and the perfect shape to attach to our CB1 receptors.

HHC, on the other hand, is a little less potent than THC.  When the hydrogen is added to THC to make HHC, its ability to bind to the CB1 receptors decreases.  HHC is still able to bind to these receptors, so we still experience a high, but it binds with less affinity than THC, which is why it’s less potent.  


The additional hydrogen also makes HHC more shelf stable than THCA and other cannabinoids.  It’s less prone to degradation from things like oxygen, heat, and light.  So, if you’re a very occasional smoker, someone with a low tolerance, or even just someone who likes to be prepared, this is the cannabinoid for you!  You can stock up without the concern of your supply going stale before you get a chance to enjoy it.


Both THCA and HHC are legal on a federal level, provided they are derived from hemp.  This is thanks to the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill.  This bill legalized hemp federally.  Hemp is legally defined as cannabis containing .3% or less delta 9 THC.  Since the passing of this bill, however, individual states have taken matters into their own hands.  Some seek to impose regulations on hemp-derived cannabinoids, while others are out to ban them altogether.  Check this out for a general overview of HHC laws by state (current as of August 2023).

Certain states use something called “total THC” in order to determine what’s considered hemp, and what’s considered cannabis.  Calculating total THC takes THCA content into account to determine THC levels.  This does make some degree of sense, but makes things pretty complicated legally.  State laws governing hemp-derived cannabinoids are changing constantly, so be sure to do your own research and stay up to date with what’s going on in your area.

The bottom line

THCA and HHC are cannabinoids that you can enjoy from our online store.  Provided you add heat to the THCA and don’t just gut the blunt and eat it (seriously, why would you do that?), you will experience a high when the THCA converts to THC.  HHC will also get you high, although it is less potent than THC.  HHC has a longer shelf life than THCA, so if you’re looking to be prepared for the future, then HHC is the cannabinoid for you.  If you’d rather stick to the familiar THC high that you know and love, look no further than THCA.  You can play chemist right in the comfort of your own home by simply smoking one of our THCA blunts or prerolls and converting the THCA to THC.  Stock up on both cannabinoids and explore the similarities and differences of THCA vs HHC for yourself.