The Difference Between THCO and HHC

One of the more common questions we're asked is what is the difference between THCO and HHC? So in this article, we plan on covering all there is to know about what makes these two compounds unique. 

THCO and HHC are both cannabinoids, but THCO is the more potent of the two. As a general consensus, THCO is about three times as powerful as THC. Since HHC has the same potency as THC, it's safe to say that THCO is three times stronger than HHC.  

What Is HHC?

Hexahydrocannabinol, or HHC, is the hydrogenated form of THC. The hydrogenation process happens when oils are hydrogenated. The same process transforms vegetable oil into margarine and creates longer shelf life. (Hydrogenating a chemical structure to make it more stable is known as adding hydrogen atoms to the chemical structure.)

A complex procedure is used to saturate THC with hydrogen atoms under high pressure and a catalyst like nickel or palladium, resulting in the formation of HHC. The hydrogenation process transforms THC's double bond chemical structure, breaking it down and replacing it with hydrogen. The effects and strength of the cannabinoid, on the other hand, are essentially unchanged. There are at least ten known isomers of this hydrogenated THC form.

Additionally, because THC is highly vulnerable to oxidation and deterioration, this process adds an additional benefit. Since the chemical structure has changed, HHC is more stable than THC in its natural form. 

When THC oxidizes, it loses hydrogen atoms and creates two new double bonds instead. CBN (cannabinol), the result of this transformation, has only about 10% of the psychoactive potency of THC. When exposed to air, HHC has a longer shelf life than THC. Compared with THC, HHC loses less potency when exposed to air and is considerably more heat-resistant and UV-light resistant.

While there isn't much research on HHC yet, most users report similar effects to THC. Anecdotally, users report benefits such as pain relief and relaxation. Compared to THC, it's considered about the same potency. Similarly to THC, if consumed in large amounts, users report anxiety, paranoia, dizziness, and rapid heart rate.

What Is THCO?

On the other hand, THC-O-acetate is the process of acetylation of THC. It is a synthetic cannabinoid, so it can't be extracted from the cannabis plant and produced in highly pure delta 8 or delta 9 concentrations. THC-O, as you might have guessed, is psychoactive. However, like all THC compounds, except for Delta 9 and Delta 10, THC-O is very potent. This chemical has about three times the potency of Delta 9, making it quite psychoactive.

THC-O is a chemical produced from tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), the precursor to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), before it's decarboxylated. THC-O is a synthetic cannabinoid because chemists can create it by combining THCA with sulfuric acid and acetic anhydride. A chemical reaction happens when heat is applied to this mix of chemicals, transforming THCA into a highly active form.

Despite its potency, THC-O produces different effects than other THC compounds. The high from this cannabinoid is more introspective and spiritual than the typical high characterized by giggling, drowsiness, and hunger. Some users have even reported having religious experiences while under the influence of THC-O. So, if you're looking for a genuinely unique cannabis experience, THC-O-acetate is definitely worth trying. Just be sure to start with a low dose, as this chemical can be very potent.

Users report this cannabinoid is best enjoyed orally. The effects of vaping or inhalation are significant, but the more profound effects reported have come from those who consume it orally. Something to be aware of is that THCO tends to take longer to kick in. Because of how its metabolized, your body takes longer to convert it. Meaning you should take it slow with THCO at first, especially if you plan on consuming it orally. Wait up to two hours before redosing if consuming it orally. If using it in a vape pen or tank, only take one or two puffs and wait 30 minutes before taking more. Give yourself time to feel the effects. 

The Takeaway? 

So which is better? That depends on your preferences for the most part. Each has its benefits and risks. As we mentioned above, THCO is more psychedelic than most cannabinoids, so keep that in mind when considering your desired effects. Most users report that THCO is best enjoyed orally, whereas HHC can be enjoyed in the same fashion as THC. 

One thing to note is we have noticed high reports of users over-consuming THCO an accident. Since it takes a little longer to kick in than THC, users often consume more than necessary when getting started. With HHC, you can expect the same results as THC; however, it should last longer in storage and not break down as quickly.

Our suggestion is to try both. We're all unique, and everyone reacts to things differently, so the best way to experience these compounds is to try them yourself and see what works for you. Make sure to take things slowly at first. Remember, you can always consume more.

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