HHC History

HEXAHYDROCANNABINOL HISTORY

The History of HHC

Legalization of medicinal and recreational cannabis use in various states of the USA and other countries has opened doors to new dimensions. Not long ago, people were familiar with only tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). However, the tremendous popularity of these two products among consumers led to the discovery of other cannabinoids. 

To date, over 100 cannabinoids have been recognized. Most of them are minor, meaning that they are naturally present only in scarce amounts. Some cannabinoids, other than THC and HHC, have recently been discovered. 

One of these newly discovered cannabinoids is hexahydrocannabinol, or HHC. It took consumers by storm soon after its introduction to the market. People begin to ask questions about hexahydrocannabinol. However, there is not much scientific information about HHC due to its recentness. Today, we will discuss the history of HHC: how and when it was discovered. 

Roger Adams the founder of HHC

He was the man behind the discovery of cannabidiol and the identification of tetrahydrocannabinol. He was an organic chemist and department head of chemistry at the University of Illinois. Our comprehensive knowledge about cannabis and most cannabinoids owes to this man. Roger Adams is also credited with the discovery of hexahydrocannabinol, or HHC. Adams’ contributions to the cannabis industry are matchless. He worked on marijuana and related compounds when there was strong opposition to its possession and consumption. Today as we explore hexahydrocannabinol for its potential health benefits and psychoactive potency, we are indebted to Adams.

How was HHC discovered?

The primary chemical process behind the discovery of HHC was hydrogenation. It is the process by which a hydrogen atom is added to any molecule. Hydrogenation has long been used for synthesizing various compounds like margarine, alcohol, and pharmaceuticals.
Roger Adams was the first person to use hydrogenation for the preparation of a cannabinoid. He used high pressure and some metal catalysts, such as palladium or nickel, to thoroughly saturate the carbon atoms in tetrahydrocannabinol. The resulting compound proved to be more stable than the original delta-9 THC. This increased stability was due to an alteration in the structure of delta-9 after the addition of two hydrogen atoms. The prefix “tetra” in tetrahydrocannabinol appertains to four hydrogen atoms. However, when you add two more THC converts into hexahydrocannabinol with six hydrogen atoms. Researchers say that this slight change makes HHC more resistant to UV light and high temperatures.
Although Roger Adams used delta-9 THC for the synthesis of HHC, nowadays, manufacturers prefer hemp-derived CBD for this purpose. The reason behind this transition is the complexity of the law. Hemp-derived CBD has less than 0.3% THC, as permitted by the law. However, the pathway followed is similar, which is hydrogenation. Naturally, hexahydrocannabinol is found in a sparse amount which is not adequate. Moreover, no scientific evidence exists to prove whether HHC occurs in nature. Some experts believe that the idea that HHC exists in nature is anecdotal.
To date, two well-known derivatives of HHC have been prepared synthetically. These are HHC-O and HHC-P; both are synthetic and do not occur naturally.
HHC-O is produced when you add acetate to HHC. HHC-O is considered two times as potent as HHC. It is said that the preparation of HHC-O from HHC follows the same pattern as that of THC-O from THC. HHC-P is thought to be one of the newest cannabinoids. Like HHC-O, it is also a derivative of HHC. Hexahydrocannabiphorol, otherwise known as phytocannabinoid HHC, is produced by adding two additional carbon to HHC totaling the number of carbon atoms up to seven. According to anecdotal evidence, HHC-P is even more potent than HHC-O.

When was HHC discovered?

In 1937, congress banned marijuana, criminalizing it. After two years of ban, Roger Adams started investigating cannabis after getting a Treasury Department license for his work on marijuana. After attaining the license, Adams went on to make breakthrough discoveries about cannabis. Although he had to face strong criticism and resistance due to his controversial studies, he did not stop. The same determination led to the discovery of a lesser-known cannabinoid, which was later named hexahydrocannabinol, in 1944.

HHC Industry history

Mark Andrew Scialdone's patent in 2015 laid the foundation for the hexahydrocannabinol industry. Since then, it is possible to produce HHC from CBD on an industrial scale. Research Grow Labs holds the patent which is expected to expire in 2036. However, the company licenses other companies, such as Coloradochromatography, to produce hexahydrocannabinol. Originally, HHC would only be produced in America. Meanwhile there is also a production in Germany. Besides the producers, many retailers have included HHC products in their assortment. By now there are hundreds of stores selling HHC concentrates, gummies or edibles, HHC infused CBD buds or hash.

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