With the rise of alternative cannabinoids, more and more people are turning to Delta 8, Delta 10 and HHC as an alternative to THC. But for many, this brings about drug testing worries. We’ve already explored Delta 8 and drug tests, but what about HHC? Whether it’s for a health appointment or employment purposes, drug testing is a common occurrence. Before you start remixing your resume, we’re going to answer this fairly common question: does HHC show up on drug tests? Keep reading to find out. We'll explore the science behind HHC and drug testing to help you make informed decisions.
1 - What is HHC?
So does HHC show up on drug tests? First let’s explore what HHC is. HHC, or hexahydrocannabinol, is a psychoactive compound. It's a hydrogenated form of THC. HHC is found naturally in hemp, however in quantities too small to extract. Due to this, it is typically made through a process called hydrogenation. In this process, hydrogen atoms are added to THC. Hydrogenation modifies the structure of Delta 9 THC by replacing a double bond with two hydrogen atoms, which changes its molecular weight and also makes it more stable. HHC is the most stable form of THC, incredibly resistant to UV light and heat, and has a longer shelf life than THC. It's typically available in products like HHC carts, edibles, as well as disposable vapes. Consumers find its effects to be both therapeutic and stimulating.
2 - Is HHC Legal?
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp and hemp-derived products so long as they contain less than 0.3% THC by dried weight. While this appears to make all cannabinoids federally legal so long as they’re derived from hemp, individual states can still impose restrictions on them, including HHC. States have different laws when it comes to HHC and other alternative cannabinoids, so you should always check your local laws before using or purchasing any product containing any amount of THC. If it’s legal in your state, you can now use this store locator to find HHC products like HHC carts, disposable vapes, edibles and more in a local shop near you.
3 - How Do Drug Tests Work?
From urinalysis, otherwise known as a urine test, to blood, hair, and saliva tests, there are many options for testing for cannabis usage. Urinalysis is the only method approved by the federal government for mandatory testing, and it screens for marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines and methamphetamines, PCP, and opiates. While there may be many ways to detect cannabis use, urinalysis remains the most popular procedure.
Contrary to what some people may think, standard urine tests don’t screen for the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) in cannabis, but rather, they detect the metabolites created by the human body when we are exposed to THC. Metabolites are the breakdown products of substances that remain in the body after the effects have worn off.
Related Article: "Smoking vs Edibles: Which High Is Right For You?"
4 - Does HHC Show Up On Drug Tests?
There have been many claims circulating online that HHC is somehow immune to failing a drug test. However, there are no studies that support this belief. Whether you're an avid HHC consumer, or you're just curious about the effects of HHC, it's important to understand how it can affect drug testing.
When you take a drug test, the test is designed to analyze blood, urine, or saliva for THC metabolites. Most will be analyzing specimens for the THC metabolites, the main one being THC-COOH. According to the minimal existing research in animal models, HHC metabolizes into similar compounds, but the HHC versions of them: 8alpha-hydroxy-HHC and 8beta-hydroxy-HHC. Now, the question is could HHC metabolites cause a “false positive” on standard drug tests for THC metabolites. Due to the similarities in both chemical structure and metabolites, as stated in this study, HHC is very likely to lead to drug test failure. Therefore, if you are facing a drug test for any reason, it would be best to avoid HHC products.
5 - How Long Will HHC Stay In Your System?
Does HHC show up on drug tests? It is very likely that it does. Your next question might be how long will it stay in your system? The truth is, with limited studies done on HHC, it’s hard to say definitively. Everyone reacts to HHC differently. Much like other cannabinoids, the length of time depends on several of the following factors including:
- Amount of HHC consumed
- Frequency of use
- Type of HHC consumed
- Personal sensitivity to the substance
- Type of test used to detect it
We can assume that like other cannabinoids, HHC accumulates in the body’s cells, so make sure you stop using it for up to 3 weeks (and more, if possible) before taking a drug test.
With the widespread belief that HHC doesn't flag drug tests, it's important to conduct research to make informed decisions about your HHC use. Long time or even occasional HHC use can result in failing a drug test, which is a risk we don't recommend taking.
What was your experience with HHC and drug testing? Let us know in the comments.
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