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HHC and Drug Tests: Everything You Need to Know

Everything You Need to Know about HHC & Drug Tests

In this bold new age of alternative cannabinoids, it’s getting trickier and trickier to stay on top of each psychoactive substance’s where, what, why, and how.

Deep-diving into things like Delta 8, Delta 10, THCP, and HHC can make you feel like you’re attempting to earn a graduate degree in organic chemistry, and if you’re not the scientifically inclined type, it can leave your head spinning.

When you’re trying to parse the details of a certain cannabinoid — say, HHC — and you have the pressure of an upcoming drug test looming over you, that can take all of the fun out of your hemp-derived endeavors.

If that’s the kind of situation you’re currently in, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve compiled all of the info you need to know about HHC and drug tests right here, and we’ve attempted to keep it as simple and easy to understand as possible.

Make sure to read it all and consider all of the information carefully before making any decisions that may threaten your job, or worse, your freedom. 

What Is HHC?

HHC cannabinoid compound structure

HHC, or hydroxy-hexahydro cannabinol, is a hydrogenated form of THC, which essentially means THC with extra hydrogen molecules. Like Delta 8 and Delta 10 THC, HHC can be extracted from the hemp plant, which, thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, is now legal to cultivate in America. 

Because of this newfound legality, alternative cannabinoids have been cropping all over the place, and public interest in them has been steadily growing.

Two things make HHC stand out from other cannabinoids. One is that it is highly stable and can presumably last for many years without deteriorating, and the other is that some have suggested that it cannot be detected on a drug test. But is that true? Let’s find out.

Is HHC Legal?

The legality of HHC is another murky aspect of the cannabinoid world. Like Delta 8 THC, it is derived from the hemp plant, which is legal to produce in America, leading many to argue that HHC is also permitted.

However, creating HHC involves hydrogenating Delta 9 THC, which may classify it as a synthetic compound rather than a natural one. If it were to be determined a synthetic compound, hemp-derived HHC would be illegal. If it was determined to be a natural compound, it would be legal.

As an analog of THC, HHC is illegal in some states where all THC analogs are prohibited. Make sure to check the legislation in your home state or when traveling if you have HHC in your possession.

Does HHC Show Up on a Drug Test — Why or Why Not?

Now that you’re aware of exactly what HHC is, you’re probably wondering about the answer to the question that brought you here in the first place: will it show up on a drug test?

Well, again, the answer here is not as clear as you may hope it to be, but there is some interesting information regarding the cannabinoid and drug tests that you’ll still want to know.

There’s a fair amount of anecdotal evidence out there to suggest that HHC will not show up on your standard 12-panel drug test. However, anecdotal evidence is never something you should go by when it comes to something as serious as a drug test.

Resting your future on someone’s good word with little to no research to back it up is never a good plan. That’s why it’s important to learn as much as you can about HHC and how drug tests work before making the potentially catastrophic decision to consume the cannabinoid.

What Does a Drug Test Actually Test?

There’s a common misconception that drug tests are designed to detect THC itself in the body. That’s not really the case. A drug test is designed to detect the metabolites that the body creates when exposed to THC.

THC-COOH is the class of metabolites that sticks around longest in the body as they are stored in fat cells. This compound is the metabolite detected in a standard drug test.

The question then becomes, will a drug test detect the presence of the metabolites created in the body after ingesting HHC? Those metabolites are similar to those produced by the body when exposed to THC, but it is still not clear whether they’re close enough to register a positive on a drug test.

This ambiguity makes the answer to whether HHC will appear on a drug test an inconclusive one.

How Is HHC Different from Forms of THC like Delta 8, Delta 9, or Delta 10?

HHC has quite a bit in common with the different delta THCs, as they’re essentially various forms of the same chemical compound. However, the small details that separate these cannabinoids from one another make quite a big difference.


In terms of structure, the big difference between HHC and the delta THCs is that HHC does not have the double bond found in the structure of THC. Where you find double bonds in the THC, you’ll find hydrogen atoms in HHC, which is why it is considered hydrogenated.


The slightly different structure in HHC makes a considerable difference in the stability of the molecule. THC will remain effective for about one or two years if stored in a cool, dark place. That’s a pretty long shelf life unless you compare it to HHC’s.

The hydrogenated version of THC will last for many, many years and is much more capable of withstanding heat and UV exposure than THC, making it the far better cannabinoid to stow away for emergency use.


Although there are no hard numbers to prove it, it is believed that THC is the more potent psychoactive substance. This disparity is thought to be because the structure of the HHC molecule reduces its ability to be coupled with certain receptors in your body.


While the legality of HHC is rather uncertain, the legality of the Delta THCs is a lot more clear and easily understood, particularly with Delta 9 THC. We know exactly where one can legally purchase and possess products containing Delta 9 THC, but we have no real idea whether HHC is or is not against the law. 

Does HHC Produce the Same Metabolites as Forms of THC?

You may have heard that you can pass a drug test with HHC in your system and that the reason for that is because your body doesn’t produce the same metabolites with HHC as it does with THC.

The metabolite most commonly tested for is 11-hydroxy-THC, and it is true that if HHC didn’t convert into this metabolite in the human body, it probably wouldn’t show up on a drug test, but there is no hard research to prove that theory. Therefore, going in for a drug test with HHC in your system is no more certain than a roll of the dice. 

In other words, you’re probably better off not using HHC products if you are expecting to be drug tested until there is detailed research that shows undeniable proof that HHC does not produce the same metabolites as THC. It’s not worth the risk.

How Does HHC Make You Feel “High”?

HHC is psychoactive, meaning it will get you high, similar to how Delta 9 THC will get you high. Effects include increased relaxation, euphoria, stimulation, altered perception, and altered cognition.

HHC also offers the potential medicinal properties of some of the other cannabinoids, such as pain and anxiety relief, stress relief, and inflammation reduction.

In terms of its psychoactive properties, HHC is considered slightly less potent than THC.

However, the details of just how much less potent are murky, with some estimates stating that HHC is about 80% as strong as THC. There is not much consensus on this, though, and scientists must conduct further research to determine conclusive answers.

If I’m Going to Fail My Drug Test, What Are My Options to Pass?

So you recently ingested some HHC and then shortly after that found out you’re going to be drug tested for whatever reason, and now you’re desperately looking for a way to pass said drug test?

Well, it would be easy to turn this section into a lecture about responsible decision-making, but that’s not going to help the situation you’re currently in, so instead, let’s look at your options.

Natural Cleanse

You can allow the metabolites to leave your body in about 1 to 5 days for one-time or light users and a month or two for heavy users.

Home Remedies

There’s plenty of folk knowledge about how you can pass a drug test for weed. Many of which include home remedies designed to cleanse the system. They range from mildly helpful to bogus. Ignore them.

Detox Kits

Some products are specially designed to clear your system of THC metabolites in about 5 to 10 days. These products might be your best option, just make sure you invest in a high-quality kit, or it may not work as you expect it to.  For information on hemp related products contact The Hemp Haus or go to

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