In our last article, we went into great detail about whether or not HHC would cause you to fail a drug test. The answer depends on which type of test is administered, how often you consume HHC, and how HHC is processed by your body’s natural ECS (endocannabinoid system). Today’s article will tackle a similarly related question: how long does HHC stay in your system, even after the high wears off? If you have an upcoming drug test or are simply curious to see how long HHC remains in your system since your last usage, this article can help shed some light based on what we currently know about this fascinating cannabinoid. Let’s start off with a quick overview of what HHC is and use that to better understand its effects.
What Is HHC?
Despite its surge in popularity in recent months, HHC (short for hexahydrocannabinol) has been around since the 1940s. It came into existence when Roger Adams, an American chemist, used hydrogenation to convert THC into HHC. HHC exists naturally in the seeds and pollen of the plant, but requires hydrogenation to make the extremely small quantities viable for use. This allows HHC to be classified as non-synthetic. The total THC content of HHC products is less than 0.3% THC, making it federally legal under the 2018 Farm Bill. Some states have their own laws regarding the legality of use within said state, so be sure to check your local laws before attempting to purchase or consume any HHC products.
How Does HHC Work?
HHC was introduced into the market as a legal alternative to marijuna, as it bonds to your body’s natural CB-1 receptors similarly as Delta-9 THC. The effects are compared to the indica strains of marijuana, offering deep relaxation and warm euphoria in the ensuing high. There is some speculation that the body’s processing of HHC does not break down in the same way as it does Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC would, which may be why some HHC users claim to successfully pass a drug test. However, more research is needed to fully support this theory. You can read more about “Can HHC Cause Me To Fail A Drug Test?” in our previous article, but this article will be devoted solely to how long HHC stays in your system, both during and after the high.
HHC Product Types and Effects
HHC is available in many familiar forms, including gummies, tinctures, and vapes. The onset of the effects and the duration of the high depends on which of these products you consume, your body’s tolerance of the cannabinoid, and how strong of a dose is consumed in a single session. Let’s take a look at each of these product types and see how long the high from each product typically lasts. Keep in mind that even after the high has finished, the cannabinoid is still being processed by your body via metabolization (more on that shortly).
Inhalables are classified as any product that is inhaled. Vape cartridges (disposable or screw-on carts), pre-rolls, flower, and dabs are all produce smoke/vapor that is directly absorbed into the bloodstream via the lungs. This allows the cannabinoid to bypass the digestion system and deliver a fast-acting high. The effects of an HHC can begin in as little as five minutes and generally last about 1-3 hours. If you’re impatient or short on time, inhalables are an excellent option to jump-start your high. Inhalables are considered a more advanced user item, as you will need some knowledge of smoking or vaping to use them properly. Inhalables may require external equipment to use properly, such as rolling papers, a rechargeable vape pen (sometimes called a battery), an herbalizer, grinder, lighter, and so forth. Inhalables are also difficult to dose since the amount of vapor inhaled depends on how deep of a hit you take and how many hits are taken. The standard dose is about 1-3 puffs, but you can always tailor the amount to what you feel comfortable. You may also experience fits of coughing due to the acrid smoke, so be sure to keep a glass of water handy!
Edibles are any form of HHC that must be consumed and digested before the effects can begin. Gummies, capsules, candies, and beverage enhancers all fall in this category. Edibles are the easiest products to consume but tend to take longer for the effects to begin. It’s recommended to consume a meal with your edibles to ensure a smoother and gradual high than a sudden (and often uncomfortable) onset of effects. The high from edibles can take anywhere from 45-90 minutes to kick in and can last for as long as eight hours. HHC edibles will traditionally contain 20-30mg of HHC in a single serving, but you can adjust the dose by eating half or double of the recommended serving size, depending on your tolerance.
Tinctures fall into a category all on their own, almost like a middle ground between inhalables and edibles. Tinctures must be released underneath your tongue to be absorbed sublingually into the bloodstream. The recommended dosage is usually 1mL/a full dropper that should be held under the tongue for a few seconds before being swallowed. Tinctures can be naturally or artificially flavored to mask the hemp taste. The effects of tinctures takes about an hour to kick in and the hich can last anywhere from 4-6 hours. Tinctures are one of the easiest ways to precisely calculate a dosage and are also great for microdosing.
When Does HHC Finally Leave Your System?
Now that you have a better understanding of how long the effects of HHC last, you’re probably wondering how long the actual cannabinoid remains in your system. Knowing this can help you microdose more effectively, prepare for an upcoming drug test, know how long to go between doses for a stronger high, and much more. Just because the high is over doesn’t mean the drug has fully left your system. This is because as your body breaks down the HHC, THC metabolites form to fully purge your body of the cannabinoid. In fact, trace amounts of HHC can stay in your system for 2-23 days after just one use. If you consistently use HHC products, the remnants of the cannabinoid can last for as long as 90 days! Let’s go over the scientific explanation as to why.
When you initially consume HHC, 50% of the initial dose is metabolized with the first half an hour. This is why you start feeling a slight something before the high truly kicks in. After another half an hour as passed (a full 60 minutes), another 25% of the HHC has been metabolized. Using simple math, that means that 75% of the HHC has been fully metabolized. Where does the other 25% go? That final amount of HHC is what takes the longest to metabolize and is what remains in your system for several weeks.
What Causes the Last Remnants of HHC To Linger?
Just as there are many factors that affect the onset and full effects of HHC, there are several reasons why HHC may remain in your system long after your initial does. While we don’t know exactly how HHC is metabolized by the body, there are some things we do know and can control.
How Often HHC Products Are Consumed
If you consume HHC fairly frequently, such as every day or every other, HHC will build up in your system. Your body may build up a tolerance to HHC which will require you to consume larger doses to feel the same effects. More HHC in your system means it will take longer for your body to fully metabolize it.
Obviously, the chances of HHC showing up on a drug test are higher if you recently consumed it. If you’re an occasional user, HHC can show up in a urine test about 1-5 days after the initial dose was consumed. For more consistent users (i.e., once or twice a week), HHC may still show up on a urine test for 1-3 weeks after your last dosage. But if you’re a heavy user (i.e., every day or multiple times a day), the HHC can show up in a urine-based drug test for as long as 4-6 weeks after you last consumed it.
Type & Strength of HHC Product Consumed
We went over the three most common forms of HHC products: inhalables, edibles, and sublinguals. Inhalables have the fastest reaction time, which means these product types will be metabolized the fastest. Edibles, on the other hand, must be digested in order to be metabolized, which can greatly prolong their presence within your system. All of these types of products have different strengths. Since products with a higher strength will take longer to process, it will take your body longer to fully metabolize them.
Your Body’s Metabolism
The body’s metabolism is unfortunately one factor we cannot control. You may be blessed with a naturally fast metabolism, but for most of us, it takes a great deal of work to maintain a healthy metabolism. Some helpful tips for regulating your metabolism include drinking lots of water, going to the gym/exercising, following a healthy eating diet/schedule, and so forth. This should not be viewed as a reason to go on a water binge, sweat profusely in extended gym sessions, or go on ridiculous fad diets to purge yourself of the cannabinoid. Be proactive in your health and the results will follow naturally.
Potency & Purity of HHC Product Consumed
It’s crucial to consume HHC products that come from verified and trusted brands and manufacturers. Since HHC products are not yet regulated by the FDA, it’s impossible to know what the contents of certain products are without the results of independent third-party lab tests (often called CoA’s). If you suspect you’re consuming less HHC than what is listed on the product, checking the lab results can help you verify the contents and ultimately your consumption levels. Here at Erth Hemp, we have tested our HHC disposable vapes and gummies for purity and can provide the CoA’s upon request!
There is still so much to learn about HHC and how it reacts to the individual users. Much of what we know are from first-hand accounts, comparisons to Delta-9 THC, and personal experience. This is why many of the timeframes listed in this article are estimates rather than concrete numbers. If you’re looking to prepare for an upcoming drug test, curious about how long HHC stays in your body, and how much time is needed to fully purge your body of the cannabinoid, the information in this article can help give you a better understanding but should not be viewed as hard facts.
As more scientific research is conducted and published, we will eagerly update the information in this article to reflect that. Until then, we welcome any questions or concerns you may have and encourage you to reach out to us for answers. If you’re curious to try some of the finest HHC products in the market, check out our fantastic HHC gummies and disposable vapes for a smooth and exhilarating high you’re sure to love!