HHC vs. HHC-O vs. HHC-P

HHC vs. HHC-O vs. HHC-P

The hemp plant is a rich source of several potent chemical compounds such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), delta 9-THC, THC-H, etc. Almost all of the compounds derived from cannabis provide pain relief and feelings of euphoria.

Delta 9-THC is one of the most potent compounds of cannabis. A similar compound that is gaining popularity in the cannabis world is HHC.

Hexahydrocannabinol or HHC is a psychoactive compound (cannabinoid) present in small quantities in the hemp plant. HHC is semi-synthetic, and we can find variations of the compound in the market, i.e., HHC-O and HHC-P.

The various members of the HHC family have their distinct properties. We shall be putting different HHC variants together and comparing them. In a nutshell, it is an HHC vs. HHC-O vs. HHC-P battle!

Key Takeaways

  • HHC is a cannabinoid that was developed in the mid-1900s.
  • HHC is similar in action to THC and has two other derivatives, i.e., HHC-O and HHC-P.
  • HHC-O and HHC-P are produced by the reaction between HHC and acetic anhydride.
  • HHC-O is more potent than HHC in terms of pain relief, euphoria, and anti-anxiety effects.
  • HHC-P is a relatively unknown form of HHC and has the most potent effects.
  • All three compounds are legal to use in the USA under federal law.
  • They are available for use in various ways, including but not limited to vapes, tinctures, edibles, flowers, and capsules.

What Is HHC?

Hexahydrocannibinol (HHC) was developed in 1944 by an American chemist who hydrogenated two carbons to a THC molecule, creating a new structure. Cannabinoids impart their effects by activating the cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2 receptors) in the body.

Research shows that HHC is a potent (CB1) receptor agonist. The duration of action of HHC and potency were found to be high. One-pot synthesis approaches are now being employed in the manufacturing of HHC.

HHC can be explained as a cannabinoid imparting effects similar to delta-9 THC. However, the effects are milder as compared to delta 9-THC.

What Is HHC-O?

Adding an acetate group to the HHC compound can increase its potency. The resultant compound, i.e., HHC-O-Acetate, can have a superior psychoactive nature (closer to delta 9-THC).

HHC-O is believed to be more intoxicating than HHC. When comparing HHC vs. HHC-O, the latter is around 1.5 times more intoxicating. Therefore, it is sometimes referred to as “super HHC.” Due to this reason, users report greater satisfaction with HHC-O use.

The synthetic cannabinoid was created to attain a greater cannabis effect. Users report sedation of the body accompanied by an opening of the mind and senses towards new ideas. Therefore, HHC-O users can attain greater focus with relative ease.

Low doses of HHC-O can effectively aid in reducing anxiety and stress. Cannabinoid receptor (CB1, CB2) agonists like HHC and HHC-O are potent in controlling symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and pain in cancer patients.

What Is HHC-P?

The lesser-known sibling of the HHC, HHC-P, is another derivative of HHC. Hexahydrocannabiphorol (HHC-P) is an extremely powerful psychoactive compound, which, according to some experts, can have effects even stronger than delta 9-THC.

There is not sufficient evidence to be conclusive about the role of HHC-P. However, it is estimated that HHC-P is stronger than the mighty delta 9-THC.

The similarity between delta 9-THC and HHC-P can be attributed to the similarities in the chemical structures of both compounds. Both cannabinoids have a seven-carbon tail, leading to similar effects on the mind and body.

HHC-P derivatives are generally lesser known. Despite being produced from hemp-derived CBD, the compound does not have tetrahydrocannabinol. Like other members, the most common effects seen with HHC-9 include mood uplift and euphoria.

HHC vs. HHC-O vs. HHC-P: Key Differences

Before discussing the key differences, we shall look into the therapeutic benefits of cannabinoids such as HHC, HHC-O, and HHC-P. Users across the globe use HHC compounds and derivatives to enhance brain function. 

A meta-analysis indicates there is mild evidence for the benefit of cannabis use in psychiatric disorders. CB1 receptor agonists may also play a role in alleviating symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Chemical Structure

The chemical structure is the major difference in effects and potency among the three candidates (HHC vs. HHC-O vs. HHC-P).

HHC is identical to THC (which is commonly used for different medical purposes). The only difference is that HHC lacks a double bond in the cyclohexane ring. The extra hydrogen in the structure of HHC makes it different from THC.

HHC-O has an acetate group attached to the oxygen molecule. HHC-O is created by reacting HHC with acetic anhydride.

HHC-P has similarities with delta 9-THC-P. HHC-P differs in structure due to the addition of carbon. The tail structure of HHC-P and delta 9-THC-P (containing carbon molecules) is similar.


The effects of cannabinoids rely on the presence of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) present in our body. The cannabinoids bind to receptors and bring about changes.

HHC is a true cannabinoid; thus, it has a greater affinity for the receptors. Any form or quantity of HHC will bind to CB receptors and have effects.

On the other hand, the acetate group in HHC-O acetate enhances the effects and metabolism of HHC. The drug becomes active inside the body, i.e., after metabolization. Thus, it is considered a “prodrug.”

HHC-P strongly binds to the cannabinoid receptors, thanks to the extra carbon tail. 

When we compare HHC vs. HHC-O vs. HHC-P in the context of potency levels, the effects seen with HHC-P are stronger than with the others.

Potency Comparison

HHC, as the primary derivative, is generally compared with delta 9-THC. HHC has a lesser potency as compared to delta 9-THC. Users find HHC to have the same effects as delta 9-THC, but the results are milder.

HHC-O takes the game a step above HHC. Users are ecstatic over the slightly enhanced response achieved with HHC-O compared with HHC. Thanks to the acetate group, the metabolization of HHC is significantly enhanced, and so is the potency.

But if you want to get knocked off your feet, you can take the most potent of all, i.e., HHC-P. Hexahydrocannbiphorol binds most powerfully with the cannabinoid receptors.

It wins the potency round in the HHC vs. HHC-O vs. HHC-P battle. All effects, whether euphoria or pain relief, are superior and enhanced with HHC-P.


Cannabinoid drugs have appreciable health benefits too. HHC users consume HHC products to relax their minds and calm their nerves.

The reduction in anxiety with HHC use is similar to THC. The phytocannabinoid can help in the management of mental illnesses and cancer treatment.

Research suggests that novel analogs of HHC have anti-cancer properties as they have been shown to inhibit tumor growth and proliferation. As per studies, the administration of HHC not only suppresses tumor growth but also reduces cancer-associated pain.

Users also enjoy the feelings of euphoria and generalized wellness with HHC. HHC-O has the advantage of a stronger and more potent response with the same benefits.

Heightened feelings of peace, relaxation, and happiness are experienced with HHC-P. Chronic pain sufferers can feel solid pain relief with HHC-P.

Extraction Methods

HHC is obtained from THC using the isomerization process. It involves extracting CBD from the raw hemp plant by applying solvent to it.

CBD turns into HHC by adding acid to the solvent, which changes its molecular configuration. In the final step, THC finally converts into HHC by adding hydrogen using a catalyst such as palladium.

Combining HHC with a substance called acetic anhydride transforms HHC into HHC-O or HHC-P, creating a compound that provides a more intense high, like delta-9.

Legal Status Comparison

Most cannabis products have become legal in the US after the United States Farm Bill of 2018. Any compound derived from marijuana that contains less than 0.3% of delta 9-THC is legal for sale, purchase, and use in the United States of America.

No direct legislation regarding HHC exists. However, as the compound derives from CBD, it is legal in most states.

Similarly, no specific laws regarding the use of HHC-O and HHC-P exist, but there are no restrictions on these products.

Common Ways To Consume HHC, HHC-O, and HHC-P

You can consume HHC, HHC-O, and HHC-P in the form of different products, depending upon your consumption preferences. You can get HHC and HHC-O flowers from raw hemp flower buds.

Tinctures are prepared by diluting them in carrier oil. These come in different strength options. HHC and HHC-O gummies are edible forms of cannabinoids. Various ingredients are mixed with pure extracts to produce these delicious treats.

Vape or vape cartridges are also common and the preferred way to take HHC-P. These cartridges are usually combined with terpene extracts.

HHC and derivatives can be filled in a gel capsule to form HHC/HHC-O capsules.

Concentrated forms of HHC and HHC-O are also available in the market. HHC-O concentrates, and HHC-O dabs happen when applying a solvent to the material.

HHC and HHC-O product packagings provide information about the ingredients, directions for use, and serving sizes (mostly in milligrams).


The following are frequently asked questions relating To HHC, HHC-O, and HHC-P.

Will HHC and HHC-O show up in a drug test?

There are no confirmed studies to conclude whether HHC and HHC-O show up in a drug test. Most drug tests look for drug metabolites in the body fluids (blood, urine, and saliva). 

As HHC-O can break down into THC-acetate (which is known to fail drug tests), the use of the drug can show up and fail a drug test.

How long do HHC vs. HHC-O vs. HHC-P stay in your system?

HHC can stay in your system between six weeks and three months (90 months). In occasional users, the drug may stay for up to 5 days.

HHC-O acetate will likely remain in the system for a month or so. The compound might stay in the system for around 2 to 23 days.  

There is no data regarding HHC-P’s duration in the body. However, it is estimated to stay in your system for three months due to its high potency.


You now understand the difference between HHC, HHC-O, and HHC-P and the best ways to enjoy them. Make sure that you’re staying safe while consuming any products that contain these chemical compounds.


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Martin Evans
I'm Martin Evans, a passionate writer and vaping advocate at OzVapour. Vaping changed my life after years of smoking, and now I'm on a mission to help others make the switch too. As part of the OzVapour team, I provide honest information and insights about vaping technology. Let's explore the wonders of vaping together and embrace a healthier lifestyle.