Hexahydrocannabinol

Hexahydrocannabinol (HHC) is a hydrogenated derivative of tetrahydrocannabinol. It is a naturally occurring phytocannabinoid that has rarely been identified as a trace component in Cannabis sativa, but can also be produced synthetically by hydrogenation of cannabis extracts. HHC was first synthesized in 1947 by Roger Adams using natural THC found in Cannabis sativa. Several research groups have successfully synthesized (+)-HHC and (-)-HHC using citronellal and olivetol, as well as other related compounds. While similar compounds have previously been identified in cannabis, hexahydrocannabinol itself has rarely been isolated from the plant. The de Las Heras group in 2020 took lipid extract from Cannabis sativa seeds and discovered 43 cannabinoids in the crude extract; one of them being hexahydrocannabinol. It has two diastereomers at the methyl (9) position. HHC is typically made from Δ8-THC, or Δ9-THC. There are no double bonds in the cyclohexyl ring like D8/D9 have—they have been removed from the structure and hydrogens have been added to the compound. Similar structural analogs of HHC has been demonstrated to bind to the CB1 receptor and produces cannabinoid effects in animals, with the 9β-HHC enantiomer being much more active than 9α-HHC. While HHC has been shown to bind to the CB1 receptor, it binds with weaker affinity than THC, which has typically been an indication that it is not as intoxicating as typical THC. Since HHC is found naturally in the cannabis plant, humans have likely been unknowingly consuming small amounts of this cannabinoid for centuries.


Hexahydrocannabinol (HHC) is a hydrogenated derivative of tetrahydrocannabinol. It is a naturally occurring phytocannabinoid that has rarely been identified as a trace component in Cannabis sativa, but can also be produced synthetically by hydrogenation of cannabis extracts. HHC was first synthesized in 1947 by Roger Adams using natural THC found in Cannabis sativa. Several research groups have successfully synthesized (+)-HHC and (-)-HHC using citronellal and olivetol, as well as other related compounds. While similar compounds have previously been identified in cannabis, hexahydrocannabinol itself has rarely been isolated from the plant. The de Las Heras group in 2020 took lipid extract from Cannabis sativa seeds and discovered 43 cannabinoids in the crude extract; one of them being hexahydrocannabinol. It has two diastereomers at the methyl (9) position. HHC is typically made from Δ8-THC, or Δ9-THC. There are no double bonds in the cyclohexyl ring like D8/D9 have—they have been removed from the structure and hydrogens have been added to the compound. Similar structural analogs of HHC has been demonstrated to bind to the CB1 receptor and produces cannabinoid effects in animals, with the 9β-HHC enantiomer being much more active than 9α-HHC. While HHC has been shown to bind to the CB1 receptor, it binds with weaker affinity than THC, which has typically been an indication that it is not as intoxicating as typical THC. Since HHC is found naturally in the cannabis plant, humans have likely been unknowingly consuming small amounts of this cannabinoid for centuries.
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