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    Fact or Fiction: Can You Get Addicted to HHC?

    Hexahydrocannabinol (HHC) is a pretty new compound on them market, with lots of promise regarding its similarities to delta-9 THC, both when it comes to its psychoactive and non-psychoactive effects.  As its popularity grows, more people have worked HHC into their daily routines, and have found that it enhances their sense of inner bliss and ease as they go about their day.

    But, there is one question that we get asked from time to time that’s worth exploring deeper, which’s whether or not you can get addicted to hexahydrocannabinol.  Keeping in mind that there are two types of addictions, we’re gonna share what we do know so far about HHC and whether or not it puts a person at any risk of dependency, or withdrawal symptoms caused by cessation.

    What We’re Still Learning About HHC

    Hexahydrocannabinol is a fairly new discovery, but it’s a naturally occurring cannabinoid in cannabis that has always been there – we just never had the ability to isolate it due to lackluster technology up until recently.  HHC exists in the seeds and pollen of the hemp plant, and acts as a hydrogenated analog of delta-9 THC – in other words, the cannabinoids structurally mirror one another, only HHC contains a hydrogen atom.  It has also been able to be sold on in this marketplace as a result of hemp’s federal legalization in 2018

    Still, because hexahydrocannabinol is such a new cannabinoid discovery, there’s no real research or data on its effects on the human body.  We are aware that it behaves quite similar to delta-9, and that as a cannabinoid, the human body tolerates it very well, even in pretty high doses.  But, there have been no studies on the potential that HHC has for causing any kind of dependency issues, since no long-term data on its usage exists for the time-being.

    Can You Get Addicted to HHC?

    Here’s the thing – we don’t have an answer based on data that can answer your question for you.  What we can say is that the answer really depends.  You see, there are two types of addictions – physical and mental. 

    • Physical addictions mean that the body depends on a substance in order to function, and some physically addictive substances can be dangerous to withdraw from, such as alcohol and benzodiazepine drugs (Xanax, Valium, etc.)
    • Mental addiction is different, and a person can develop a mental addiction to anything. It means that the person’s emotional state relies on taking the substance, because it provides them with psychological relief. 

    Now, whether a person becomes mentally dependent on a substance depends on the individual.  Let’s elaborate.

    Reason #1: Everyone’s Brain is Different

    It’s important to keep in mind that everyone’s brain chemistry is unique, and that determines a lot when it comes to how likely a person is to develop a mental dependency on a specific substance.  We are learning a lot about addiction right now, and it’s becoming evident that some people are genetically prone to developing mental addictions to substances than others, mainly based on how the “reward center” of their brain responds to consuming intoxicants.  It’s worth pointing out that those prone to addictions aren’t only susceptible to getting addicted to intoxicants – other examples include gambling, shopping and sex.

    HHC can have valuable effects on things like mood and even sleep.  Those who are prone to mental dependencies may feel that they need to take HHC in order to feel relaxed, happy or capable of sleeping each night.  This reinforces the belief that without HHC, they won’t be able to regulate their emotions or sleep cycle.  So, they may keep taking HHC because they’ve taught their nervous system that they can’t function without it, even though ultimately, their bodies can regulate these processes themselves. 

    What this also does is train the brain to get used to the effects of HHC in the system.  So, when the person stops taking HHC, they inevitably go through an adjustment period of having to relearn how to balance these processes without relying on the cannabinoid’s effects to do so.  This is where mental addiction can lead to dependency and withdrawal, and some people are more prone to it than others.  For example, plenty of people can take HHC regularly without getting dependent on it in any way.

    Reason #2: Your HHC Routine Matters

    Another thing to consider is that you may be more likely to become dependent on HHC if you’re using it very frequently.  For instance, a person who just consumes the cannabinoid occasionally – once a week at most – is far less likely to depend on its effects than someone who establishes a routine of taking it multiple times a day.  That’s because being constantly high on HHC teaches the brain that having no HHC in the system is unusual.

    Can You Get Withdrawal Symptoms by Stopping HHC?

    Fortunately, no evidence exists that stopping hexahydrocannabinol leads to concerning physical withdrawal symptoms.  For instance, a daily heavy drinker who suddenly stops consuming alcohol is at risk of potentially fatal withdrawal symptoms – none of these symptoms have been recorded by cannabis users.

    What may happen if you have developed a mental dependency on HHC, however, is that you require a short period of adjustment since your brain needs to get used to not having it in the system anymore.  This means that for a couple of weeks at most, give or take, you may experience some level of irritability, heightened stress response and/or sleep disturbances as your brain chemistry rebalances itself now that the cannabinoid is absent.

    Bottom Line: Jury is Still Out on HHC’s Effects in This Regard

    Overall, HHC has not been shown to cause any concerning physical dependency which could lead to dangerous withdrawal symptoms.  But, it’s always important to keep in mind that a person can become mentally/emotionally dependent on anything that they take regularly that offers them relief.  Luckily, there doesn’t seem to be any serious risk of withdrawal from HHC that could put your health on the line.

     

    Please Note: Before taking HHC, speak with your doctor first.  Your physician has access to your medical records and can therefore, make a proper determination if HHC is right for you.