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.