Delta THC | Other Cannabinoids

HHC VS Delta 8 THC: What’s The Difference?

Since the 2018 Farm Bill legalized many hemp-derived products that used to be prohibited, the cannabis market has been rapidly growing. 

In such a fast-changing, ever-evolving industry, it can be hard to keep up with so many new product options constantly showing up. Seriously, sometimes it seems like we come across a new option week. 

Long gone are the days when CBD was the most sought-after cannabinoid by users across the country. Today, compounds such as HHC and Delta 8 are some of the hottest cannabinoids in the industry, widely marketed as a legal way to get high.

In this article, we will discuss the differences and similarities of  HHC vs Delta 8, two of the most popular cannabinoids around.

HHC D8 illustrated

Key Takeaways: HHC VS Delta 8

  • Both HHC and Delta 8 THC are legal to produce and consume as long as products contain less than 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis. 
  • The effects of Delta 8 and HHC are similar, but HHC typically produces noticeably stronger effects. 
  • Both Delta 8 and HHC are typically produced synthetically through the conversion of CBD, with Delta 8 created in a process known as isomerization and HHC converted using a hydrogenation process. 
  • HHC products are usually more expensive than Delta 8 products.

HHC Compared To Delta 8 THC

HHC and Delta 8 THC share many characteristics, but some key differences in their molecular structures cause different effects on the user. Let’s see how these two compounds compare in the most important aspects.


HHC is quite a bit more powerful than Delta 8, although it does not reach Delta 9’s level. This makes it an interesting new option for users who want something more than Delta 8 can offer, without the overwhelming effects that the Delta 9 may generate.

However, less potency is not necessarily a bad thing. Many users prefer Delta 8 precisely because it’s milder than its other cannabinoid cousins, allowing for a high that can be more manageable than some of the stronger cannabinoids. 


The rise in popularity of Delta 8 and HHC products began with the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized the cultivation and production of hemp. And under the Farm Bill, hemp derived products containing less than 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis are considered legal. 

Delta 8 THC is found in both hemp and marijuana, but it’s only legal if it’s derived from hemp. That said, it’s only produced in very small amounts in both marijuana and hemp varieties of cannabis. Because of this manufacturers figured out a way to convert it from CBD. Basically, Delta 8 is legally hemp and chemically THC.

The legality of HHC is a bit more complicated, but most agree that because it’s derived from hemp it’s legal under the Farm Bill. That said, HHC is widely considered to fall in a legal gray area. In some states it’s legal, in some states it’s not. 

HHC is considered illegal* in the following states: 

  • New York
  • Nevada
  • Mississippi
  • Iowa
  • Illinois
  • Idaho
  • Washington
  • Utah
  • North Dakota
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas

Delta 8 is illegal* in the following states: 

  • New York 
  • Nevada 
  • Montana
  • Minnesota 
  • Iowa
  • Idaho
  • Vermont 
  • Utah 
  • South Carolina 
  • Oregon 
  • Rhode Island 
  • North Dakota 
  • Delaware 
  • Colorado 
  • Alaska

*At time of writing [Feb 2023]


When it comes to cost, Delta 8 is less expensive than HHC. 

This isn’t because its production process is cheaper—it’s not. 

HHC is a relatively recent compound, and the supply hasn’t yet met the demand. Delta 8, on the other hand, is much more popular. It’s become an option that’s widely available online and in most dispensaries. 

HHC, however, is more rare than Delta 8. Which has made HHC products more expensive than Delta 8 products. 

Delta 8 is much more trendy, becoming an option in almost every dispensary.

Cannabinoid Conversion

Both Delta 8 and HHC are synthetically converted from other cannabinoids. 

Delta 8 is most often produced by converting THC or CBD in a process known as isomerization. Because levels of Delta 8 in hemp are so low, all Delta 8 THC products are made with some type of chemical cannabinoid conversion. Most D8 is converted from CBD. 

HHC is what’s considered a semi-synthetic cannabinoid compound. It was actually discovered in the 1940s when two hydrogen atoms were added to Delta 9 THC molecules. 

HHC is made by converting other cannabinoids (typically CBD, Delta 8 or Delta 9) in a hydrogenation process, which involves using hydrogen and a metal catalyst. This process modifies the chemical structure, replacing all the double bonds with hydrogen particles.

While some claim HHC is naturally occuring, the HHC products available on the market are derived by the conversion of other cannabinoids.

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Wrapping Up: D8 VS HHC

Delta 8 and HHC are compounds with many similarities and even similar origins. 

Both contain psychoactive effects similar to Delta 9 THC, although neither are quite as potent as D9 THC. 

Delta 8 is widely considered a much milder version of Delta 9 THC, with most people reporting effects that are about half as strong. 

HHC, on the other hand, is stronger than D8 THC. But it’s not as strong as traditional Delta 9 THC. 

Both are created synthetically by converting hemp derived cannabinoids through different conversion processes. Delta 8 is made with a process known as isomerization, while HHC is created using a hydrogenation process. 

Delta 8 products are more common than HHC products, which has made HHC more expensive than Delta 8. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Is HHC Stronger Than Delta 8? 

Yes, HHC is stronger than Delta 8. 

Delta 8 is about half as potent as Delta 9, while HHC provides about 70%–80% of the THC potency. 

This makes HHC approximately 30–40% more potent than Delta 8.

Is HHC Better Than Delta 8? 

Neither of these two cannabinoids is inherently better than the other one, as it all comes down to personal preference. 

HHC is stronger, but in the end, it depends on the effects you are looking for.