HHC Vs. Delta-9 and Delta-8 THC: What Are the Differences?

HHC Vs. Delta-9 and Delta-8 THC: What Are the Differences?

The cannabinoid market can be quite confusing for beginners. There are numerous cannabinoids out there, as well as multiple types of THC. How are you ever going to learn all of them? People consume cannabinoids for various reasons. Some do it because they are trying to experience a psychoactive effect or a “high.” Others do it for the leisure feeling brought by these substances. However, each cannabinoid has its properties. So, if you’re trying to choose between HHC, Delta-8 THC, and Delta-9 THC, you need to know what each compound does for you. So, what is the difference between HHC, Delta-8, and Delta-9 THC? This article will look into it and help you make a choice.

What’s the Difference Between HHC, Delta-8 THC, and Delta-9 THC?

HHC, Delta-8 THC, and Delta-9 THC have one main thing in common – they all come from cannabis. They can be extracted from all cannabis types, including hemp. Hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon are the same elements in every cannabinoid. Compounds assemble them differently, so the differences become apparent when they are assembled differently. Delta-8 THC has a double bond at the eighth carbon in its central ring structure. Meanwhile, Delta-9 THC has a double bond at the ninth carbon. But when it comes to HHC, it does not have any double bonds.

Aside from the double bond aspect, the three cannabinoids are the same in terms of chemical structure. Let’s take a look at the cannabinoids separately to understand them better:

Delta-8 THC

Cannabis naturally contains Delta-8 THC, which is a cannabinoid. It’s a Delta-9 isomer, but its atom count is arranged differently. While Delta-8 can occur naturally in the hemp plant, it’s not as abundant as Delta-9. The Delta-8 quantity is very small, which is why, in some cases, it has to be made synthetically using CBD. Manufacturers use a process known as “isomerization” to turn CBD into Delta-8 THC.

Delta-9 THC

Cannabis is primarily psychoactive due to Delta-9 THC. It is the one that causes the famous “high” and also one that is very abundant in all cannabis plants. Hemp plants only contain small amounts of Delta-9 THC, though. Delta-9 shares some similarities with Delta-8, except that the double carbon bond is placed differently. Anyone who wants to enjoy the effects of this cannabinoid should consider buying it from a Delta 9 wholesale.


HHC, or hexahydrocannabinol is a THC-hydrogenated form. It is a psychoactive cannabinoid, just like tetrahydrocannabinol. The difference is that it has some extra hydrogen molecules that other THC forms do not contain. Cannabis contains very small amounts of HHC, just like Delta-8. Therefore, manufacturers need help extracting it in large quantities. This forces them to perform hydrogenation of Delta-9 or Delta-8 to create a synthesized version of hexahydrocannabinol. The best place to buy HHC products is from an HHC wholesale.

Potency Comparison

The potency of HHC, Delta-9, and Delta-8 likely differs most significantly among them. To begin your journey with these cannabinoids, you should know what you’re getting into. The amount of THC in HHC is slightly less than in Delta-9 THC, but it is more potent than Delta-8 THC. Delta-8 THC has about half the potency of Delta-9 THC. The younger brother of Delta-9 THC is considered a “nicer” one. That being said, Delta-8 can be a good alternative for individuals who do not want to go through the intoxicating effects that Delta-9 may bring. It’s a friendlier THC type, and you can still enjoy the benefits of the cannabinoid without worrying about the same psychoactive side effects. And if you’d like something stronger than Delta-8 but not as powerful as Delta-9, then HHC is more suitable.

Legal Status Comparison

Before you choose the best HHC cannabinoid product or your preferred Delta-8 or Delta-9 item, you must be aware of their legal status. The 2018 Farm Bill clarified some things regarding hemp production and the sale of hemp-derived products, but each state is free to choose what to do regarding the laws surrounding these compounds.

The three cannabinoids do not have the same legal status in all states, as some have chosen to ban one or all of these compounds. Where they’re legal, they must always come from hemp and not contain over 0.3% THC per dry weight. HHC is currently legal in 38 states; the same is true about Delta-8 THC. However, it is essential to point out that there are no specific HHC laws in the U.S. This can confuse things if you want to get started with this cannabinoid. This is why most individuals think HHC has the same restrictions as Delta-8. So, you can assume that the laws that apply to Delta 8 THC also apply to HHC.

As for Delta-9 THC, it is only legal in 16 states. The laws keep changing, and while HHC, Delta-8, and Delta-9 are legal in some states, we cannot predict the future. The legal status of a cannabinoid can change at any time. So, you should frequently check the laws to ensure you respect them.

How Easy Is It to Find HHC or THC?

You can see THC products in online shops and on the shelves of hemp-based shops. Still, HHC is not widely available. It’s much harder to find HHC in the cannabinoid market. It’s less popular, and the demand may not be as high as it is for other cannabinoids. It often has to be produced synthetically since it’s found in low amounts in the cannabis plant. The stores that sell HHC products do so at high prices because of the low supply. And although it’s legal in more states than Delta-9, it’s still harder to find. Now, when it comes to Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC, things are different. Delta-9 is more difficult to find because it is not legal everywhere. As for Delta-8, it’s easier to find nowadays, especially when compared to both Delta-9 and HHC.

If you want easy access to your cannabinoid of choice, Delta-8 would be the best option, as it’s widely available. You have better chances of finding it in your favorite shops, while it’s less likely for Delta-9 or HHC products to be in stock.

Which Forms of THC Are Naturally Occurring?

HHC, Delta-8, and Delta-9 are all naturally occurring compounds in cannabis. However, the difference remains in the amounts found naturally in the plant. Delta-9 is found in the highest concentration in the plant, making it easier to extract it in its natural form and add it to various products. Delta-8 and HHC do not have the same “fate.” For instance, Delta-8 only occurs in cannabis at trace concentrations. As there are less significant amounts, brands usually make more concentrated quantities of Delta-8 THC using CBD from hemp. Manufacturers now create Delta-8 through a conversion process.

First, the CBD is dissolved in a solvent, like a heptane. Next, the solvent is mixed with acid and maintained at 100 degrees Celsius. This temperature is maintained while stirring continuously for about 18 hours. Different solvent and acid combinations can turn CBD into Delta-8.

When the Delta-8 is ready, the manufacturers must wash and neutralize it. The best way to do so is using an aqueous 5% NaHCO3. Lastly, the resulting product is tested in a laboratory. HHC is also found in cannabis in trace amounts. Similar to Delta-8, it has to be made in a lab to obtain higher amounts. This is why it is considered a natural and semi-synthetic compound simultaneously. The first person to discover HHC was Roger Adams, who stumbled upon it in the 1940s when he added hydrogen to the THC molecule. Its physical properties were changed through the hydrogenation effect, resulting in HHC. HHC producers use hydrogen atoms to saturate THC chemically. Then, they expose the THC to a nickel or zinc catalyst. This is how HHC is created. 

Cannabis also contains other naturally occurring cannabinoids besides these three. Other cannabinoid forms have been discovered, such as THCC, THCM, THCB, and THCP.

What Is the Most Expensive Type of THC?

A cannabinoid’s price should be considered before purchasing it. Some compounds are more affordable, and others are less affordable. Usually, price is influenced by demand and supply, but regulatory fees also have a role to play in the final price.

Out of HHC, Delta-8, and Delta-9, Delta-8 is the cheapest. The main reason is that it’s relatively easy to obtain. While it does not occur naturally in high amounts, it can be easily made in a lab. This way, it generated large quantities to meet the consumers’ demand. Besides, it’s legal in many states, bringing the costs down even more. Next, we have HHC. This cannabinoid is not easily found naturally in cannabis. Therefore, it must also be produced in a lab. Due to its easy and cheap production, production costs are not high. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of supply for it yet because it’s newer on the market. This makes it more expensive than Delta-8.

Lastly, there is Delta-9 THC. When it comes to this THC type, things are a bit easier because the cannabis plant produces this compound in high amounts. The downside is that Delta-9 is not legal everywhere. Most states have banned it, so it’s harder to get your hands on it. As such, non-legal states have a low supply of Delta-9 and high regulatory costs. These factors all contributed to an explosion in the price of Delta-9 THC. Due to this, it is the most expensive option.

Chemical Structures of THC & HHC Compared

Each cannabinoid has unique effects determined by its chemical structure. But what exactly makes HHC, Delta-8, and Delta-9 so different? When you look at Delta-8 and Delta-9, you can see that they are extremely similar in terms of chemical structure. So, why is one more potent than the other, and why are the effects so different with each cannabinoid? Sure, both Delta-8 and Delta-9 have the same number of hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen atoms, but that doesn’t mean everything is positioned the same way for each. The molecular structure gives Delta-8 and Delta-9 their “character.”

Delta-8 has its carbon double bond on the eighth carbon in its chain. Delta-9, on the other hand, has its double bond on the ninth carbon instead. It can be surprising that such a small distinction can make such a big difference, but it’s true. The distinct positioning is what gives Delta-8 and Delta-9 their unique properties. Looking at HHC, you will notice that it is different from THC. Unlike them, it has two additional hydrogen atoms. These fill the carbon ring of the molecule. As a result, the compound has more stability than any of the THC forms.

Will HHC or THC Affect Drug Testing?

Before taking a drug test, you must know how your HHC, Delta-8, or Delta-9 consumption can affect the results. Some people think that HHC or Delta-8 might not be detectable because they are less potent than Delta-9. Still, you should not rely on their decreased strength to make your use go undetected. If you use any of the three cannabinoids a few days before taking a drug test, they can all be detected. At the same time, several things affect your test results. These factors include your metabolism, the dose you take, how you take the cannabinoids, and so on.

HHC and Delta-8 may be less potent than Delta-9, but they can still be detected by a test, especially if you take higher amounts. Some people increase their dosage in an attempt to experience effects similar to those of Delta-9, which makes the cannabinoids detectable in their system for much longer. So, when you know you have drug tests coming up, the wise thing to do would be to steer clear of any HHC or THC use.

Do You Need a Prescription to Take HHC, Delta-8, or Delta-9?

Delta-8 and HHC do not require a prescription in general. As long as they are legal in your state and you can find them in your local hemp store or online, you can safely purchase and use them without worrying about prescriptions.

Still, that does not mean you should treat yourself with any of these cannabinoids as you wish. Before using HHC or Delta-8, you should check your area’s laws to ensure you are not engaging in something illegal. You can only purchase Delta-8 products from licensed dispensaries in some states, so you must limit yourself to those only. Other states also let you buy Delta-8 from online shops. Moreover, it would still be best to consult your healthcare provider before attempting to treat yourself for any condition using either cannabinoid. The compounds may not be suitable, or they could interfere with the medication you are already taking. This is not something you should play around with.

With Delta-9, the situation is a little trickier. The cannabinoid can be bought without a prescription, but only as long as you live in a state where it has legal status. Remember, Delta-9 comes with more restrictions as compared to HHC or Delta-8. So, you’ll be out of luck if you intend to use this cannabinoid in an illegal state. In some cases, though, Delta-9 may be prescribed by a healthcare professional when medical cannabis treatment is considered appropriate. However, you will only be allowed to use certain types of products. So, you won’t have the same freedom of choice as Delta-8.

A Few Things to Keep in Mind Before Purchasing HHC, Delta-8, or Delta-9 Products

Always stay safe, whether looking for HHC, Delta-8, or Delta-9 THC products. It can be pretty challenging to do so when you are just getting started with cannabinoids. It’s still a learning process to discover what they do and how they work. So, here are some aspects you should take into account before buying any of these items:


First, you should pay attention to the source of the extract if you want your products to be legal and safe. The extract should come from hemp and not from marijuana, and it should also be sourced from farms that are organic and non-GMO. The place where the hemp comes from will influence the quality of the final product. Remembering this at all times is, therefore, vital.


Each HHC, Delta-8, and Delta-9 product will have its potency. We already know that HHC is the least potent of the three, but you still want to use decent amounts to take in its effects. Different products can contain varying dosages. Some people are fine with something stronger, whether HHC or a type of THC. But if you’re a beginner with these cannabinoids, getting something less potent is the best option. You can then gradually increase the dosage according to your needs to avoid unwanted side effects.

Extraction Method

You should also be careful about the extraction method used for your cannabinoids. This will tell you whether the final product is safe or contains toxins. It doesn’t matter if your product contains natural HHC or THC or was synthesized from CBD; you still need to check out the details about its extraction. The safest extraction method is CO2, which results in purer products. It also makes the compounds more potent.

Third-Party Lab Testing

Any product, whether HHC, Delta-9, or Delta-8, must have a third-party lab testing result showing its safety. These tests prove that the company sent its products to an outside laboratory to get them tested. This ensures that the standards of the firm are met. Also, they confirm that what you see on the product’s label is what you’ll get.


HHC and THC products might not be in everyone’s budget. Still, there are also some affordable options. For example, you can find cheaper products by sticking with Delta-8. Typically, Delta-8 is less expensive due to the high demand and supply and its legal status. Delta-9 and HHC are pricier, and costs might increase in the long run. So, if you want to enjoy a cannabinoid without breaking the bank, Delta-8 is your best alternative.

What’s the difference between HHC and THC?

HHC and THC are different. Experienced users have chosen HHC, Delta-8, and Delta-9, as the three bring different effects. They also have different prices and varying legal statuses. You must consider your needs, budget, and residence to decide on the right compound. Overall, iDelta8 would say that Delta-8 is more suitable for use in the afternoon or evening, while HHC is also great during the day. However, you must also consider that Delta-8 and HHC are available in more states thanks to their legal status. On the other hand, Delta-9 can only be used legally in 16 states. So, this will significantly influence your decision.

The Bottom Line

Whether you want to settle for HHC, Delta-8, or Delta-9 is up to you. Each cannabinoid has its chemical structure, effects, price, and strength. Before choosing any of these compounds, compare them and see which suits you the most. But most importantly, check to see if they are legal in your state, and remember to talk to your doctor before taking such products.