Available over the counter in France, HHC is a synthetic cannabinoid made from CBD and consumed for its relaxing psychoactive effects. Beware of its potential dangers.
The HHC (for HexaHydroCannabinol) East a cannabinoid of synthesis appeared in the United States in 2021 and identified in Europe Since May 2022. It can be found in free sale in France in e-shops that sell CBD in the form of HHC flowers, HHC oil, candy or even resin. But what is it really? What are its effects ? Can it be dangerous? In the European Union, only Austria and Finland have banned the sale of HHC.
HHC (for Hexahydrocannabinol) is a synthetic cannabinoid chemically produced from a CBD molecule (in France)itself a low-THC cannabis extract (hemp). It is available in CBD shops or specialized e-shops, in the form flower, resin, oil to put under the tongue, candy, scented liquid to put in your electronic cigarette…
There is a legal vagueness around the HHC. In France, the law does not authorize but does not prohibit the commercialization of HHC. It is not not classified in the list of narcotics in France (it takes time: each new product must be checked before being considered narcotic). However, the HHC has effects similar to THC (psychotropic effects, risk of “bad trip” and addiction, etc.). Its consequences on health are rather vague as well as its true origin. In December 2022, a first meeting organized by the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction enabled experts to discuss the potential health risks of HHC and to coordinate efforts to monitor and control its distribution and sale in Europe. Discussions should continue in 2023 to determine whether this product should continue to be legal or not.
In France, HHC would be made from a CBD molecule. But its effects are actually closer to those of THC: an euphoric narcotic effect that could lead to addiction. HHC would be consumed recreationally in a festive environment (like THC) while CBD would be favored for its anxiolytic, painkiller, anti-stress effects… Namely that the sale of CBD is authorized if the products contain less than 0.3% THC and whether they are manufactured within the European Union.
THE HHC causes psychotropic effects similar to cannabis and THC products:
To date, no study has analyzed the specific health risks of HHC. However, synthetic cannabinoids, of which HHC is a part, have well-known risks. THE Guide to New Synthesis Products published by the Interministerial Mission for the Fight against Drugs and Addictive Behavior reports a severe clinical picture : tachycardia, arterial hypertension, chest pain, electrocardiographic changes, dyspnea, agitation, dizziness, seizures… which can lead to death due to cardio-respiratory arrest. Ultimately, the consumption of chronic synthetic cannabinoids can lead to complications:
According to the Guide to New Synthetic Products, synthetic cannabinoids are linked to a risk of addiction. There would also be a real feeling of lack in case of withdrawal.
The price (for 1 gram) depends on the amount of HHC present in the product:
– Hexahydrocannabinol (HHC) and related substances, EMCDDA, 2023
– National Institutes of Health (.gov)
– National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
– Interministerial mission to combat drugs and addictive behavior (MILDECA): Guide to New Synthesis Products Edition 2022
– European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA)
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