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Who’s The “Hemp High Heavyweight?” — HHC vs. Delta-8 THC

When lawmakers signed the 2018 US Farm Bill, they had no idea they’d be inaugurating the “alternative hemp THC market.” Even though legislators said delta-9 THC is federally illegal, they didn’t mention the dozens of other psychoactive compounds in hemp. Even the Ninth District Court had to admit that since the 2018 US Farm Bill didn’t include delta-8, it’s not technically illegal to sell this cannabinoid. 

Today, there are dozens of hemp-derived THC-related cannabinoids that customers can find in various products, including vape carts, gummies, and tinctures. However, since these THC extracts are so new, it can be difficult to tell which one is the “right fit” for first-time customers. 

For example, many people are curious why they’d choose HHC vs. delta-8 THC. Is one of these hemp cannabinoids more intense than the other? Do they provoke different “high” sensations?

Although there’s still a lot we don’t know about HHC vs. delta-8 THC, anecdotal testimonies suggest there are clear distinctions between these cannabinoids. If you’re struggling to distinguish HHC vs. delta-8, then you may want to check the points listed below. 

HHC vs. Delta-8 THC — The Crucial Differences Between These “High” Hemp Cannabinoids

Will HHC Get Users “Higher” Than Delta-8 THC? 

Let’s start with the most common question people have when choosing between HHC vs. delta-8: Which cannabinoid is more potent? 

The short answer is that most people claim HHC is more psychoactive than delta-8 THC. However, this may have to do with how HHC makes people feel rather than its inherent potency. Allow us to explain.

Most people who try delta-8 and HHC claim the former produces a more “stoned” sensation while the latter has more “energizing” properties. In other words, delta-8 THC will probably make you feel a body-heavy indica “high,” while HHC will give you a sativa-like “head buzz” euphoria. 

Conventional cannabis wisdom states that sativas are better suited for more experienced users. Why? Well, the head-rush sensations associated with sativa strains are more likely to provoke paranoia, especially if you have a low tolerance for THC.

This doesn’t mean delta-8 THC can’t trigger adverse side effects like panic attacks. Indeed, if you have a history of anxiety, there’s a chance you could have a negative reaction to delta-8 (especially if you didn’t read our “Delta-8 Dosage Guide!”). 

That being said, it’s less likely you’ll experience uncomfortable “heady” sensations with delta-8 because this cannabinoid has a reputation for getting users relaxed and ready for bed. Again, everyone reacts differently to cannabinoids, so please don’t assume delta-8 will always produce a “safer high.” Please remember that HHC tends to provoke a slightly more intense “head-rush” sensation versus delta-8 THC. 

Ironically, it’s more challenging for most Americans to try delta-8 THC versus HHC. Even though HHC seems to have greater psychoactivity compared with delta-8, there aren’t as many local restrictions on HHC products…at least not yet.

The reason delta-8 faces greater scrutiny has to do with its popularity. Sure, more people are learning about HHC nowadays, but it hasn’t gone as mainstream as delta-8 THC. Plus, HHC doesn’t have “THC” in its name. It’s far simpler for people to confuse delta-8 THC with delta-9 THC. 

Please remember that for most of the 20th century people only referred to “THC” when talking about cannabis. Heck, many Americans still struggle to distinguish between non-psychoactive CBD and psychoactive THC. Therefore, it’s even more challenging to explain the nuances of delta-8 vs. delta-9.

At the federal level, delta-8 and HHC should be legal if they contain ≤ 0.3 percent delta-9 THC. However, it’s common to see US states enact local laws against delta-8 THC products. Please always check the latest hemp regulations in your territory to ensure you can legally use delta-8 or HHC products. 

Is Delta-8 THC More “Natural” Versus HHC? 

To be honest, most of today’s delta-8 and HHC products are synthetic. However, you could argue that delta-8 is the more “natural” choice because it’s present in cannabis strains. On the other hand, HHC was created in laboratories. 

Please remember that HHC is a synthetic cannabinoid that’s made using a process called “hydrogenation.” Chemists must pump delta-8 or CBD with extra hydrogen atoms to create HHC products in a lab setting. The final result is a cannabinoid with an extremely long shelf life and zero double-bonds.

By contrast, delta-8 is a natural hemp cannabinoid (i.e., you could find delta-8 THC in small traces in most hemp strains). However, since delta-8 is so rare in the natural world, manufacturers often tinker with CBD molecules to create this cannabinoid in a lab setting. You could learn more about delta-8 manufacturing in this previous post

There may come a time when scientists could grow hemp cultivars that naturally produce tons of delta-8, but it may take years of in-breeding to make this a reality. By contrast, it’s unlikely there will ever come a time when cultivators figure out how to “grow” HHC-rich hemp. Since HHC requires intensive hydrogenation, it will always be a synthetic cannabinoid. 

How Should Customers Choose Between Delta-8 vs. HHC? 

Picking between delta-8 vs. HHC depends on a few factors, including your THC tolerance and the type of “high” you want to experience. As noted above, HHC tends to provoke a more intense “head-rush” high that may be too intense for total beginners. While delta-8 is nowhere near as tame as CBG or CBD, it seems to be the “safer” choice for new customers. 

Generally, delta-8 THC induces a lethargic “couchlock” high that makes users feel lazy, relaxed, and sleepy. While delta-8 could provoke paranoia — especially in high doses — it’s less likely to produce severe side effects versus HHC. 

People already familiar with THC cannabinoids like delta-8 and delta-10 are better suited to try something like HHC. If you’re looking for a more intense “wake & bake” experience than delta-10 vape carts offer, you may want to consider HHC products

However, people who are new to THC cannabinoids or who want a soothing & relaxing “high” should stick with delta-8 THC products. Please remember to keep your first dose of delta-8 low to avoid the risk of paranoia. 

Does HHC Stay In Your System Longer Than Delta-8? 

We’ve already published a few posts examining how long delta-8 and HHC stay in your body. So, if you’re interested in more scientific details on this topic, we recommend looking through our blog for more specific answers.

However, if you want the TL;DR answer to this question, here goes: HHC and delta-8 THC take a long time to clear your system. 

Some argue that HHC has a longer half-life because it’s a hydrogenated compound. This statement may be true, but we’re still waiting for scientific data to back up these claims. At this point, customers should assume that delta-8 and HHC will stay in their bodies for days, if not weeks, after they use a product.

Cannabinoids are fat-soluble compounds, so they could easily cling to fat cells in your body long after you use a vape pen or chew a gummy. Also, THC breaks down into countless metabolites, each of which could register as “THC” on a standard cannabis drug screening. 

The more often you use HHC or delta-8 products, the longer these cannabinoids will stay in your body. It’s not unheard of for these THC molecules to linger in fat cells for months if people are heavy users.

Please be extra cautious with any THC-containing hemp extract if you know a drug screening is approaching. Honestly, it’s best to avoid delta-8 and HHC for at least one week before your scheduled test, if not longer. Unfortunately, everyone’s metabolism is slightly different, so we can’t guarantee how long HHC or delta-8 will stay in your body. 

Looking For Delta-8 Or HHC? Find Both On Organic CBD Nugs!

Although “CBD” is in our name, Organic CBD Nugs has expanded our hemp offerings in recent years. Currently, you can find many high-quality delta-8 and HHC extracts for sale, including vape carts, hemp flowers, and gummies. Like our celebrated CBD products, we always send our delta-8 and HHC items to third-party labs for thorough analysis before shipping them to your doorstep.

For more details on Organic CBD Nugs’ current delta-8 or HHC offerings, please explore our “Shop” tab in the top left-hand corner of our homepage.