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Is HHC Legal? What is HHC

Is HHC Legal? What is HHC

What is HHC hexahydrocannabinol

Another day, another THC analog cannabinoid product!

Every few months there seems to be a new THC analog product that gains popularity. It started with Delta 8 and Delta 10. Then we saw THC-O and THCV.

The latest analog to hit the market is HHC. Also known as Hexahydrocannabinol, HHC is a hydrogenated form of THC.

What is HHC?

Like other THC analog products like Delta 8, HHC does not occur naturally in concentrations large enough to be consumed directly. Instead it is made through an extraction process similar to how a margarine manufacturer hardens vegetable oils.

Through hydrogenation, hydrogen atoms are added to the chemical structure of THC using some type of catalyst like nickel or palladium. With the addition of high pressure, the double bond chemical structure of THC breaks down, replacing one half with hydrogen. This preserves the cannabinoid’s potency and effects.

In other words, HHC is made through a chemical process that converts THC, which is also how Delta 8 and other cannabinoids are made.

HHC vs THC

Like Delta 8 and THC-O, HHC is very comparable, though slightly less potent. However users report the same effects as when consuming THC, like euphoria, increased appetite and increased heart rate.

Some HHC users place HHC somewhere in the middle of Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC, claiming HHC is more relaxing than stimulating. Due to its molecular structure, HHC also still holds many of the beneficial aspects of the cannabinoid.

However because HHC is not regulated, there are no reliable studies to confirm any of the effects or potential health benefits.

Is HHC Legal?

Just like other THC analogs like Delta 8 and THC-O, HHC is technically legal due to a loophole in the 2018 Farm Bill which legalized hemp on the federal level. Under federal law, as long as a cannabis plant has a THC content of .3% or less it is considered hemp.

However through extraction and chemical processes like those mentioned above, THC analogs are created from federally legal hemp. And because they aren’t technically Delta 9 THC, they aren’t regulated under the Farm Bill.

So while HHC is legal to buy and consume, it is completely unregulated. With products such as this, it is not uncommon for bad actors to get into the market to make a quick buck without taking into the account the safety of their products and consumers.

Where to find HHC

Because HHC is not a licensed THC product, you won’t see it a legal medical or recreational cannabis dispensary. You are most likely to find HHC products at gas stations and smoke shops where you see Delta 8 and other analog products.

When shopping for HHC or any other analog THC product, do a little research on the product before purchase. Confirm that the brand actually has a website. See if they offer lab test analyses of their products which can confirm the potency that they claim.

If you see any product that is branded as a name-brand knockoff like Skittles, Sour Patch Kids, Oreos, Chips Ahoy, etc., avoid it. Aside from the obvious legal implications of stealing a company’s trademark, these products are in most cases not legitimate. They count on consumers seeing a brand they recognize and thinking it looks cool to sell plain gummies with nothing in them, or vastly misrepresented potencies.

Next time you hear someone asking “what is HHC?”, now you’ll have the answer! Always be careful when buying any sort of “cannabis products” from a non-licensed retailer.

In several state where cannabis is already legal medically, recreationally or both, THC analogs like Delta 8 THC have already been banned. Other states have chose to regulate them like Delta 9 THC and make them available only through licensed retailers.

NFL to help fund research into cannabis treatment for concussions

NFL to help fund research into cannabis treatment for concussions

cannabis treatment for concussions in the NFL

Researchers from the University of Regina are getting more than $500,000 US from the National Football League to study the potential of using cannabinoids for the prevention and treatment of concussions.

Cannabinoids are the naturally occurring compounds found in the cannabis plant.

The NFL-NFLPA Joint Pain Management Committee, which said it wants to better understand and improve potential alternative pain management treatments for NFL players, put out a request for research proposals in June 2021.

The NFL said the U of R study is one of two to be awarded funding out of 106 submissions from top clinicians and researchers from around the world.

A study at the University of California San Diego that will be evaluating the effects of cannabinoids on pain and recovery from sports-related injuries in elite athletes is also receiving funding.

“We are grateful that we have the opportunity to fund these scientifically-sound studies on the use of cannabinoids that may lead to the discovery of data-based evidence that could impact the pain management of our players,” NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills said in a release.

The U of R study will be led by Patrick Neary, an exercise physiologist and professor in the faculty of kinesiology and health studies, who has been working in the area of concussion prevention and treatment for more than 15 years.

Neary said his team’s selection by the NFL was “extraordinary, overwhelming news” and “a very, very humbling experience.”

Looking for optimal CBD/THC formulation

His team will try to optimize the formulation of cannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) for pain management in those suffering from post-concussion syndrome and chronic pain, and for a neuroprotective treatment for concussions.

Cannabis Study Shows Occasional Use Does Not Cause Lung Damage

Cannabis Study Shows Occasional Use Does Not Cause Lung Damage

cannabis study shows cannabis use does not decrease lung function

A study, carried out by the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA), examined both the short- and long-term effects of cannabis on lung function.

The relationship between cannabis and lung function has been a subject of heated debate for decades. Many are aware of the harm that smoking tobacco causes to the lungs. If anything, the image of what the lungs of a smoker look like is etched in the minds of many. When it comes to smoking cannabis, obvious deductions are often made. Is there any science to back this?

Tobacco smoking has been linked to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). [1] It is also the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. [2,3] While cannabis smoke contains similar combustion products, it is unclear whether cannabis causes an equivalent level of destruction to the lungs.

Some studies have shown that cannabis smoke causes inflammation of the airway mucosa and triggers pulmonary symptoms such as coughing, increased phlegm production, and wheezing. [4-6] However, there are no studies that have demonstrated a decline in pulmonary function. [7]

As the legalization wave continues to sweep through the U.S, increasingly more people are smoking cannabis. Any adverse long-term effects of cannabis on the lungs is a public health issue that requires immediate attention.

A study, carried out by the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA), sought to understand both the short- and long-term effects of cannabis on lung function. [8] This was compared to data collected from tobacco smokers.

Cannabis Fear Mongering is Alive and Well

Cannabis Fear Mongering is Alive and Well

The days of reefer madness and the devil’s lettuce are behind us…or are they?

If you don’t follow the politics and history of cannabis prohibition, I don’t blame you. Cannabis is legal in over a dozen states for recreational use, with only four states keeping cannabis and hemp (including CBD) completely illegal.

In other words, the majority of the United States has either legalized or decriminalized cannabis. One would think the industry is on the up and up, and the days of cannabis fear mongering were behind us.

But in a media landscape where fear is the best seller, our trusted news sources just can’t resist pushing a new form of reefer madness for the modern generation.

The Devil’s Lettuce Trope Returns

We are all adults here, and we can admit that burning and inhaling any sort of plant matter isn’t ideal for your lungs. But if the media spoke about the strength of alcohol today compared to the 1920s like they do with cannabis, many people would be scratching their heads wondering why the media is so focused on something people already know.

Yet with cannabis, it would seem the media is very concerned for all of our safety. But for some reason, I find that pretty hard to believe. See the aforementioned example, plus the lack of coverage on the nation’s crippling opioid epidemic.

That should be enough to prove that the media is blatantly cherry picking cannabis. But what are they saying?

Lucky for us, the idea of “Reefer Madness” and cannabis driving you insane after smoking it has been disproven enough times. But that isn’t stopping mainstream media outlets like CNN from trying to find the next best scare.

In the last two weeks, CNN has published two separate articles, alleging that young adult cannabis consumers are twice as likely to suffer a heart attack compared to non-consumers, and that uncontrollable vomiting from cannabis use is on the rise.

WOW! That’s some bad news for us cannabis lovers, we all better quit.

Except of course that it’s not as simple as the headlines love to make it out to be.

Cannabis Fear Clickbait

Let’s start with the first headline: “Young adult cannabis consumers nearly twice as likely to suffer from a heart attack, research shows”.

If you just read that headline you might think, “Wow, I feel like heart attacks are pretty common. If cannabis use doubles the risk, that must mean that it’s pretty dangerous!” Don’t worry, that’s exactly what the article wants you to think.

Now here’s the actual study: Researchers analyzed health data from over 33,000 adults ages 18 to 44 included in US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surveys in 2017 and 2018. Of the 17% of adults who reported using cannabis within the previous month, 1.3% later had a heart attack while only 0.8% of non-cannabis users reported the same.

Let’s just break down those numbers. 33,000 people. Only 17% use cannabis. That is 5,610 people. Of those 5,610, 1.3% — yes, 1.3% — had a heart attack. That’s 73 people if you round up. And we will just glance over the small detail that there is zero reference to any sort of preexisting conditions or co-morbidities that could have also played a role in those heart attacks.

It might be starting to sound like cannabis might not really do that much to increase heart attack risk, considering it’s only half a percent more than non-consumers (if you can trust the data). But that’s not even the best part.

Halfway through the fear mongering there’s this juicy snippet; “The study did not research how cannabis affects heart health.”

In other words, the study somehow concluded that cannabis increases your chance of heart attack, without doing any research into how cannabis actually affects heart health. That makes sense, right? Toward the end of this cannabis hit piece we get to the real old-timer fear mongering; “the cannabis of today is more potent than what your dad was smoking”.

Remember when alcohol content in beer rose from 3% in an old school ale to 8% in a modern IPA and the media lost it? Yeah, me neither.

If it’s starting to look like CNN might just be cherrypicking, you’re on the right track.

But Wait! There’s More!

Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome, The OG “Cannabis Illness”

I remember when I was a freshman in college. It was 2013, and I was just starting to dive into the culture and community of cannabis myself. My parents weren’t pro-weed by any means, and I had my fair share of talking to’s before I went to college.

But I always had a hunch that some of the cannabis fears pushed at the time might have been overblown, and I wanted to prove it to my parents. After all, if they had no issue with me drinking in college, they shouldn’t have an issue with cannabis either.

When I started looking for articles about the science and safety behind cannabis that I could send them — which was hard enough to find in 2013 as is — Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS) was the first thing I stumbled upon. Uncontrollable vomiting, nausea, dizziness? NO THANKS!

But hold on a second…where’s all the research? Where’s the data? All I could find was a study from 2004 of 19 — yes, 19 — people who came into the ER with the issue.

Want to hear something funny? That’s the same study that CNN decided to cite when talking about the rising occurrences of CHS, in this article, in 2021.

Even better, halfway through the article after you read all the scary stuff, is an actual subheading that says “Research is Spotty“.

No I’m not joking. But for the sake of rubbing it in a little more, let’s dive into this article’s “research”.

From the article: “To do research, scientists looked at medical records for reported cases of repetitive vomiting and compare those to marijuana usage in an area. Wang’s analysis… found over 800,000 cases of reported vomiting in Colorado between 2013 and 2018. That was an approximate 29% increase since marijuana was legalized in the state.”

Wow. That sure is a lot of vomiting! You would think that with so many hundreds of thousands of Coloradans flooding emergency rooms with all their vomiting, doctors would start asking about their cannabis use. Not in this study!

While they mention a single anecdote of one doctor asking about cannabis use when a kid came in vomiting, that’s just what it is; an anecdote.

And that’s it. No more science, no more research. No numbers telling you what percentage of that 800,000 used cannabis, how many had actual uncontrollable vomiting or just normal vomiting and nausea. Oh, and of course we can’t forget that they just had to throw in the, “not your father’s weed” for good measure!

So….Why?

If things are starting to click in your head by now, you’re probably wondering, “Why the hell is a massive, mainstream media outlet like CNN pushing such bullshit stories?” Welcome to the club! We meet once a week.

But in all seriousness, cannabis fear mongering by the media is nothing new (see; the last 80 odd years of cannabis prohibition), and it likely won’t be going away any time soon.

Is there a chance that if we dug into the ad dollars received by CNN, a portion would be coming from pharmaceutical or alcohol companies? Probably. But does that mean that those ad dollars influence what CNN covers on their platform?

YES.

To ignore the fact that there are two massive corporate interests (Big Pharma and Alcohol) currently losing millions of dollars to medical and recreational cannabis (cannabis has nearly passed alcohol in tax revenue already) would be ignorant. We all know what’s going on there.

The reality is that these interests have very deep pockets, and outlets like CNN are always looking to have theirs filled. As long as cannabis remains federally illegal and listed as a Schedule 1 substance with no accepted medical use (Because what even is medical marijuana, right?), we can expect to see these stories continue.

What we can do as a community is combat misinformation from these outlets. Share these stories and blast them. Point out how blatantly wrong, or ignorant, or lazy they are with their research and studies.

This is just one example of the “most trusted name in news” pushing blatant anti-cannabis propaganda. So the real question is, who else is doing it?

What is Delta 10 THC? Delta 10 Gummies and Delta 10 Cartridges explained

What is Delta 10 THC? Delta 10 Gummies and Delta 10 Cartridges explained

What is Delta 10 THC?
When the federal government legalized industrial hemp in 2018, it changed a lot of things. It also opened up plenty of loopholes.

After the explosion of CBD and just about every hemp producer trying to sell their CBD products, the market became extremely saturated. While the market for CBD products is still huge (and growing), there are other cannabinoids that have been discovered in hemp that provide different effects.

You may have heard of CBG and CBN, two cannabinoids similar to CBD that have been shown to have therapeutic effects without producing a psychoactive high. However, there have been new, synthetically produced cannabinoids that actually do provide psychoactive effects while staying in a grey area of legality due to being derived from legal hemp.

The latest in this evolution of grey market cannabinoid products is Delta 10 THC.

Delta 8 THC and THC O Acetate

Delta 8 THC was the first synthetic cannabinoid to blow up in popularity, with advertisements of a legal high nearly identical to traditional Delta 9 THC. For some, being synthetically manufactured can be a major turn off, bringing back memories of K2 or Spice — entirely synthetic “cannabinoids” created from scratch and sprayed on various herbs — which resulted in numerous injuries and deaths.

However Delta 8 is made a little differently. Instead of making it entirely from scratch, Delta 8 THC is most commonly made from CBD. Through an isomerization process, CBD can be converted in Delta 8 THC. There are lab tested Delta 8 products that are reliable, and just as many that are not, so buyer beware.

But what happens when you take Delta 8 — which is made through chemical processes — and add more chemical processes? You get THC O Acetate.

While Delta 8 THC occurs in low concentrations in cannabis that must be extracted and isolated, THC-O Acetate — commonly called ATHC or THC-O — is not naturally occurring in the cannabis plant and can only be made synthetically.

THC-O is a man-made cannabinoid produced by using specific chemicals to acetylate THC. Acting as a metabolic prodrug for THC itself, THC-O works in the same manner as heroin does as a metabolic prodrug for morphine. That alone is enough to rub many cannabis users the wrong way, especially whole plant advocates.

However the high that THC O Acetate can produce is enough for many to overlook how it is made. According to anecdotal experiences form users, THC O Acetate has been shown to be nearly 3x more potent than Delta 9 THC, and has been described as psychedelic, producing visual hallucinations.

However there are currently very few reliable THC O Acetate manufacturers, with only one claiming to have a pure, clean process for making it. With over a dozen states banning Delta 8 THC, and not enough reliable producers or consumer information on THC O Acetate, consumers and producers are looking for yet another replacement.

They may have found it with Delta 10 THC.

What is Delta 10 THC?

The good news about Delta 10 THC, is that it’s made in a near identical way to Delta 8 THC. It appears in similar trace amounts to the point where it’s not worth the time or money to try and extract it purely from a hemp plant. This means it has to be created from something like hemp-derived CBD through a chemical process.

So in the case of how to consume Delta 10 THC, it will almost always be found in the form of Delta 10 THC gummies or other edibles and Delta 10 THC vape cartridges made from distillate. This is because there is no hemp flower that produces enough Delta 10 THC that could actually be felt through normal flower consumption.

User reports of Delta 8 THC claim that it provides a more relaxing and appetite stimulating effect, similar to what most would call an “indica”. Delta 10 THC users on the other hand report it to feel more like a “sativa”; uplifting, energetic, etc..

Neither Delta 8 or Delta 10 THC provide the same intense high that Delta 9 THC can. But according to David Reckles from Private Label Hemp Lab, Delta 10 could potentially surpass Delta 8 in popularity as it provides an uplifting high that isn’t overwhelming or accompanied by paranoia and anxiety that some feel from Delta 9 THC.

Is Delta 10 THC Legal?

Just like Delta 8 THC and THC O Acetate, Delta 10 THC exists in a legal grey area. Because it is technically derived from federally legal hemp which has a Delta 9 THC concentration below .3%, and the Farm Bill specifically mentions only Delta 9 THC concentrations, Delta 10 and other cannabinoids are technically legal.

However, in a ruling on CBD and other cannabinoids legalized by the Farm Bill, the DEA says, “For synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinols, the concentration of D9 -THC is not a determining factor in whether the material is a controlled substance. All synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinols remain schedule I controlled substances.“

Unfortunately as government is wont to do, the DEA failed to clarify what constitutes a “synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinol”, leaving it up for interpretation. To Delta 10 THC producers, the fact that nobody is getting busted is enough to continue making it, whether it turns out to be illegal or not.

In the same vein, the caution is on the consumer when purchasing Delta 10 THC gummies or Delta 10 THC cartridges. Not just because of the lack regulation on producers which results in shady products that could potentially be dangerous, but also because it is still THC. In other words, it’s possible for someone who gets drug tested for THC to test positive, despite only using Delta 10.

While Delta 10 THC, Delta 8 THC and THC O Acetate may be “legal” alternatives to Delta 9 THC in states where cannabis is still prohibited, it could change at any moment. Whether that means you should stock up on all the Delta 10 and Delta 8 you can get your hands on or just wait for legalization to come your state is up to you.

THC-O Acetate: Will it replace Delta 8 THC?

THC-O Acetate: Will it replace Delta 8 THC?

What is THC-O Acetate and is it like Delta 8 THC?

As more states begin banning and regulating Delta 8 THC, manufacturers are looking for alternatives to skirt the rules. Bring in THC-O Acetate.

Before we dive into the latest designer cannabinoid that aims to replace Delta 8 THC as it becomes banned in several states and regulated in some others, let’s briefly run through what Delta 8 THC is itself.

All cannabinoids, from CBD to THC and beyond begin as CBGA. Because of the shared molecular structure of cannabinoids, manipulating them is simpler than it may seem. While Delta-8 is relatively new, producers have been using these methods to manipulate cannabinoids for a long time to find exotic new cannabinoids.

While Delta-8 THC exists in a wide range of cannabis strains, it is in minuscule, trace amounts. To extract and purify Delta-8 from raw plant material with less than one percent of the targeted cannabinoid is unprofitable. This is why producers have begun converting other, more prevalent cannabinoids like CBD and Delta-9 THC into Delta-8.

Through a synthetic isomerization process, CBD is combined with a solvent to create Delta-8 THC. This is why the most popular products are vape cartridges and gummies. Cannabis cannot produce enough Delta-8 on its own.

Why Delta 8 THC is being banned

If you read the above section and started thinking, “That sounds pretty similar to those designer cannabinoids like spice that hurt a lot of people”, you would be on the right track. That is why over a dozen states have already banned Delta 8 THC.

Due to grey areas in the 2018 Farm Bill which legalized hemp and all of its derivatives (besides Delta 9 THC), producers of Delta 8 believe they technically aren’t breaking any laws. However unlike CBD which was immediately popular and thus regulated by the FDA for safety, Delta 8 has had no such treatment.

In 2020, the DEA released a set of rules for hemp production in the country. This ruling states that any naturally occurring tetrahydrocannabinols in the hemp plant that has a Delta 9 THC percentage below .3% is not a controlled substance under the Controlled Substance Act. In other words, it would seem like Delta 8 in the clear.

However the DEA also includes that for synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinols (like Delta 8 which is created synthetically), the concentration of D9 -THC is not a determining factor in whether the material is a controlled substance. All synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinols remain schedule I controlled substances. In other words, maybe Delta 8 is not so in the clear.

For the states that have already banned Delta 8 THC, it seems the easiest solution to a product that the FDA and DEA have made no mention of regulating. For producers however, THC-O Acetate is the solution.

What is THC-O Acetate?

While Delta 8 THC occurs in low concentrations in cannabis that must be extracted and isolated, THC-O Acetate — commonly called ATHC or THC-O — is not naturally occurring in the cannabis plant and can only be made synthetically.

THC-O is a man-made cannabinoid produced by using specific chemicals to acetylate THC. Acting as a metabolic prodrug for THC itself, THC-O works in the same manner as heroin does as a metabolic prodrug for morphine. That alone is enough to rub many cannabis users the wrong way, especially whole plant advocates.

THC-O Acetate can also be made from Delta 8 THC, so in states where it has been banned and producers may have a bulk supply of Delta 8, it can be converted relatively easily. And what truly makes THC-O so popular is the effects users feel.

Traditional THC Molecule:

Delta 9 THC vs THC-O AcetateTHC-O Acetate Molecule:

What is THC-O Acetate and is it safe?

A better high than Delta 9?

According to user reports and the little science behind it, THC-O Acetate has been shown to be two to three times stronger than Delta 9 THC. You read that right. THC-O can be 300% more potent than traditional Delta 9 THC.

Users have claimed that THC-O Acetate is a much more introspective and psychedelic experience compared to Delta 9 or Delta 8 THC, which is likely due to the extreme potency. Similarly to Delta 8 THC, THC-O can only be made through isolation, which means most products will be either a vape cartridge or edibles.

While for most, normal Delta 8 or Delta 9 THC does the trick just fine and taking such a concentrated product would be excessive, there is a real appeal for medical applications of THC-O Acetate. For some, traditional Delta 9 doesn’t provide enough relief from pain, anxiety or other issues.

Due to its potency, many believe that THC-O could be a great beneficial medicine for those who want to use cannabis but need a more concentrated dose that isn’t easily attainable through traditional consumption. With that said, THC-O Acetate is treated similarly to Delta 8 currently.

That means in states where Delta 8 has already been banned, you may be unable to have THC-O products delivered, or find them at smoke shops. However since there is so little information on THC-O, few states actually know about it, which means distributors may be able to get away with it for a while.

Is THC-O Acetate the new designer drug?

Of course for now it is too soon to say if THC-O is likely to end up in a similar grave to Spice or K2. These were synthetically created cannabinoid products that ended up hurting a lot of people, leading them to be banned across the country. However the way these products skirted the law was by minutely adjusting their chemical makeups every time one was banned.

Because the government would ban specific makeups of these products, small adjustments made them different products technically. It is always possible, being a fully synthetic creation, that THC-O befalls a similar fate. In grey markets, profits typically rise above safety. As competition grows, just like Delta 8 became more widespread, the same will likely happen to THC-O Acetate.

Producers will try to create stronger and cheaper versions of the drug, the latter effort being that which leads to danger. We all saw what happened when illicit market vape cartridge producers tried to cut costs by including Propylene Glycol and Vitamin E Acetate in their products. This resulted in hundreds of hospitalizations and even deaths.

With any grey or black market cannabis products, it is always on the user to ensure they are getting a safe and reliable product. If demand for THC-O Acetate grows enough, you can bet there will be a market for it.

However as a non-natural cannabinoid, THC-O isn’t measured with most testing methods used for cannabis currently. While some have claimed to created a reliable process for measuring THC-O, nothing has become the standard. Due to this it might be a while before there are truly reliable providers of THC-O products, but that hasn’t stopped consumers before, and likely won’t this time around either.