Delta THC | Other Cannabinoids

THCP VS HHC: Which Cannabinoid Is More Potent?

Dr Abraham Benavides

MEDICALLY REVIEWED BY

Dr Abraham Benavides

Medical Doctor

If there was a competition of which cannabinoid is most potent, then the answer is simple….

THCP wins hands down.

It is 33X more potent than your typical Delta 9-THC and has an almost psychedelic effect.

But HHC isn’t a bad choice either, as it rests in potency somewhere between Delta 8-THC and Delta 9-THC. 

If you are ready for an exciting trip, keep reading to learn more about these two cannabinoids! Just be careful with how much you ingest because THCP has a high probability of getting you higher than you could ever imagine.

hhc bud

The THCP Cannabinoid 

THCP is a cannabinoid that was discovered along with CBDP in 2019 by Italian researchers and was presented to the world of science in a study.

Delta 9-THCP stands for Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabiphorol. And the amazing thing about THCP is that it has an estimated potency that is 33X the strength of Delta 9-THC. 

Furthermore, it is noted as being 63X more psychotropic than THCV. 

It is so potent that only 1-2 mg is considered a powerful dose. Think one small puff of a hand-held vaporizer.

Due to its potency, it is gaining traction in the alternative cannabinoid industry with those individuals who have a high tolerance for Delta 9-THC.

Advanced technology such as mass spectrometry has allowed the scientific community to learn about lesser-known cannabinoids that are only created in small concentrations on the hemp plant. And it is due to this method that THCP was discovered.

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The HHC Cannabinoid 

On the other hand, there is HHC which is simply hydrogenated THC. HHC is also known as Hexahydrocannabinol

Hydrogenation is a fairly simple process. As you can probably guess, it has to do with hydrogen. 

It is converted to HHC by adding hydrogen molecules across the double bonds found in THC. The chemical reaction between the THC compound and hydrogen changes both the molecular weight and molecular geometry. 

Not to mention, it also creates different effects from those that THC has on the body. That is why HHC is viewed as a Delta 8-THC alternative, as it has comparative effects. 

In return, the hydrogenated THC becomes the much more stable HHC. This stability leads to a higher resistance to heat and an extended shelf life.

HHC is legal in more places throughout the US, as HHC hasn’t been explicitly banned in as many states as Delta 8-THC has.

 When trying HHC, remember that it is considered slightly more potent than Delta 8-THC and is considerably more stable and less likely to degrade because of the addition of the hydrogen molecules to THC’s double bonds.

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THCP VS HHC

THCP Is A Phytocannabinoid

THCP is one of the 150 cannabinoids found in the Cannabis plant. It is an organic compound created by nature. 

However, natural THCP levels are found to be significantly below 0.1%, which makes it a bit tricky to generate enough product to make a difference. 

It is most often commercially made in a laboratory setting through extraction and isolation from hemp and cannabis using chromatography techniques. 

They typically use CBD as the starting material to make THCP. This means it can be derived from hemp, making it fall under alternative cannabinoids protected under the 2018 Farm Bill.

Hemp-Derived THCP Is Semi-Synthetic 

As it is found in such small amounts in the hemp plant, all THCP must be synthetically created to produce enough of the substance to get a person intoxicated or feel the effects. 

Since there is not enough of the compound in the hemp plant, all THCP products rely on cannabinoid conversion to create enough of this semi-synthetic phytocannabinoid.

THCP VS HHC Effects

According to this study, that revealed the presence of THCP, they found that THCP had higher psychoactive properties than Delta 9-THC. They also noticed that sedative effects increased when they raised the dosage. 

In the tests they performed on mice, they found that 10 mg/kg of THC generally had the same effects as 5 mg/kg. They did observe a lower body temperature at 10mg/kg.

The cannabis science community is now interested in the potential benefits and impacts that THCP may have on the human body. And even though CBDP has also been isolated, they are shoving that onto the backburner for now.

And the researcher was quick to point out that though THCP binds with the CB1 receptors in the central nervous system of mice, it does not necessarily mean that it will do the same in the human body. Therefore, we can’t really say much about the effects THCP has. 

Regarding scientifically proven effects of HHC, one study performed in 2007 by the Hokuriku University’s research team tested two forms of HHC on mice. They found that HHC prolonged sleep, lower body temperature, and could inhibit pain sensations. 

They concluded that HHC had similar effects to Delta 9-THC but was less intense. But keep in mind that the intoxication of animals does not correlate with the effects on humans.

In another 2011 study on two HHC analogs (analogs are compounds that have a molecular structure similar to another), they found that these compounds could possibly inhibit tumor cell growth and the development of new cancer blood vessels, which is essential when it comes to the formation of tumors.

hhc thcp

THC-P Is Stronger Than HHC

The main reason that the scientific community believes that THCP is stronger than HHC is the fact that THCP has a seven-carbon alkyl side chain. 

This is the first natural cannabinoid to be discovered with more than five carbon atoms on its alkyl side chain.

This difference between five and seven carbons may seem insignificant, but this difference in size and shape creates a substantial change in the effects of THC and THCP.

The alkyl side chain length is believed to be crucial for interacting with the human cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. All homologs of Delta 9-THC with less than three-carbon side chains do not bind with the receptors.

Interestingly, cannabinoids with side chains shorter than 3 carbons have more affinity for TRPA1 receptors, which can explain the biological effects of THCV and other -varin cannabinoids even when they don’t significantly act at cannabinoid receptors.

 However, any side chain larger than three carbons begins to have an affinity for these endocannabinoid receptors in our CNS. 

Optimal cannabinoid receptor binding occurs between five and eight carbons. And any more than eight carbons saw a decrease in the binding affinity. 

THCP, with its seven carbon atoms, is right in the money zone. And binds about 33X more often than Delta 9-THC. This leads to it having a much stronger psychoactive effect. 

However, most of the anecdotal reports on the effects of THCP by users of the products on the market claim that THCP has an almost psychedelic effect. They also state that you need a much smaller dose to experience an effect similar to THC. 

When it comes to potency, it means that you will require a dose of THCP that is much smaller than you would take for THC. So tread lightly. The potency of the longer alkyl side chain on THCP seems to create a much stronger effect.

marijuana trichomes

Both THCP and HHC Share Similar Risks

When it comes to the potential health risks when you compare both THCP and HHC, both are being produced by converting one cannabinoid (usually CBD) into another. 

Besides the typical side effects you get with THC:

  • Altered sense of time
  • Mood changes
  • Impaired body movement
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Memory issues
  • Eye irritation
  • Intensified hunger response

Outside of feeling an increase in these side effects, if you take too much THCP or HHC, there is an added potential risk. This risk involves the presence of residual solvents or other compounds present in the THCP or HHC products you are consuming.

This risk is due to the fact that all vendors of THCP and HHC products may not complete the conversion process correctly, leading to the solvents being left behind in the product. 

There is a chance that other compounds or cannabinoids are being made without them knowing about them if they are not double-checked. The short and long-term side effects of THCP or HHC products are still not yet known.

That is why it is so important to do your research before you purchase THCP or HHC products because they are not all equal. 

Many vendors on the market do not complete third-party testing because the testing process for these cannabinoid homologs is too expensive  or is not available locally. The lack of federal regulation and oversight compounds these issues.

All of this results in products with no testing. This means the products have not been tested for residual solvents, heavy metals, pesticides, fungicides, and more. Make sure you check the retailer for Certificates of Analysis (COAs). 

Depending on the company, they may have tested the cannabinoids like CBD derived from the THCP or HHC.

While this is the same for Delta 8-THC products to an extent, it isn’t the same for Delta 9-THC, which is extracted from either hemp or cannabis without conversion.

Hemp-Derived THC Is More Established

When it comes to hemp-derivatives, hemp-derived Delta 9-THC has been more prevalent with each coming year and is well understood compared to THCP and HHC.

So if you are not a risk-taker, stick with hemp-derived Delta 9-THC. We know its various effects on the body, and it will provide you with a lesser high than the almost psychedelic, ultra-powerful THCP.

Yes, hemp-derived Delta 9-THC is now a thing and is getting popular since it is 100% legal under the 2018 Farm Bill and all other hemp-derived alternative cannabinoids. That is, except where Delta 8-THC products are getting banned.

You can even get 25 mg gummies made from live resin, and if you know me at all, live resin is my favorite concentrate. And it is entirely hemp-derived. 

Here’s a link to our take on Hemp Derived Delta 9 Gummies shipping nationwide and doing so legally!

 Wrapping Up: THCP VS HHC

It is a wonderful time to be an alternative cannabinoid consumer. With the wide range of products that are entering the market, we have more choices than ever.

But remember, if you consume products like THCP and HHC, you must do your due diligence to determine if it is legal in your state.

Also, always research and search for COAs on the product’s QR code or website. If they don’t at least have the COA for the cannabinoid that they derived the THCP or HHC products from, then don’t buy it or use it. 

And if you want to play it safe, and are not ready for the 33X potency of THCP, try out hemp-derived Delta 9-THC. It is now available from vendors all over the states and is legal!

As always, use these products safely and keep in mind the potency so you don’t end up with a buzz you can’t handle.