As cannabis becomes more and more accepted, researchers have increasingly uncovered unique and exciting parts of the plants that could change the game. THC-H is one such cannabinoid making people excited because it’s reportedly 25 times more potent than traditional delta-9 THC. But what exactly is THC-H, what makes it so strong, and why should beginners be careful when experimenting with new cannabinoids?
Read on to learn everything we know so far about THC-H, its potential benefits and risks, and what to consider before trying it for the first time.
- THC-H is a minor cannabinoid reportedly 25 times stronger than regular THC.
- THC-H occurs at very low levels in cannabis, so most manufacturers have to artificially create it instead of extracting it.
- Very little research exists on THC-H’s benefits and risks, so those seeking to use it should proceed cautiously.
What is THC-H?
Everyone knows delta-9 THC, which is the most abundant cannabinoid in cannabis that’s responsible for producing weed’s psychoactive intoxication. Tetrahydrocannabihexol, or THC-H, is a hexyl homolog of regular THC, which means it has the same chemical makeup, but the molecules are arranged in a unique, distinctive order. The arrangement gives THC-H the unique property of having a much stronger affinity for the body’s endocannabinoid system. This means that THC can get you high, but THC-H can get you much higher, which is a considerable part of its appeal.
THC-H was discovered only recently in 2020 by a team of Italian cannabis researchers who discovered another exciting, high-potency cannabinoid, THC-P, thought to be the most intoxicating version of THC in the cannabis plant. While THC-H has been isolated and analyzed to a certain extent, there are relatively zero studies examining how it affects humans and its potential therapeutic uses.
As a minor cannabinoid, THC-H occurs in only tiny, trace amounts in cannabis plants. Because extracting it from plants would be cost-prohibitive, manufacturers are currently creating THC-H artificially by manipulating THC and other cannabinoids in hemp.
How It Works
While we still seriously lack the research required for full understanding, scientists presume that THC-H works similarly to THC in the body by operating on the endocannabinoid system. THC-H reportedly binds to cannabinoid receptors in the brain and body but seems to have a 25 times stronger ability to bind to these receptors than regular delta-9 THC.
Per the team that discovered it, THC-H is considered the second-most psychoactive cannabinoid in marijuana, behind THC-P. Many consumers anecdotally report that the highs of THC-H and THC-P feel similar in intensity and quality, producing a deep euphoria and heavy relaxation of both body and mind.
Consumers also claim that THC-H produces a much longer-lasting high - almost twice as long as traditional THC. This is likely because lower potency THC-H can just as effectively work on our bodies as higher potencies of THC.
Since THC-H is still so new, no clinical studies or research show any evidence of its potential therapeutic utility. Despite this, we have plenty of studies covering traditional THC’s capacity to address migraines, inflammation, sleep, pain, stress, appetite, and other medical concerns.
Because they operate similarly on the body’s cannabinoid receptors, future research will likely examine THC-H’s ability to address health concerns as THC and explore similarities and differences between the two cannabinoids. While studies on THC-H will take time, we can reasonably expect that the THC homolog will work similarly to THC to potentially address some of the same medical issues.
What understanding we currently have of THC-H outside of its original discovery lies solely in the anecdotal effects reported by people who have tried it. National manufacturers have produced a handful of THC-H products to help consumers explore the compound as a potential treatment for pain, insomnia, and anxiety, among other health concerns. Users report that the high is profoundly stronger than traditional THC products, meaning that THC-H has the potential to better help those whose health conditions require higher potency levels.
According to user reviews, THC-H reportedly produces feelings of:
- Relief from pain and tension
We know just as little about the risks of THC-H as we do its benefits, but the primary source of concern lies in its potency. The researchers who discovered THC-H claim it to be 25 times more intoxicating than regular THC, which means that the side effects of too much THC could occur much more often when taking too much THC-H.
Typical side effects of consuming regular THC include anxiety, increased appetite, paranoia, increased heart rate, and dehydration symptoms such as red eyes and dry mouth. Dizziness, panic attacks, and cold sweats can also occur if one takes too much THC, though no one has ever overdosed on the cannabinoid.
Consumers are often recommended to start with very small doses of THC and gradually increase the amounts as they become more comfortable with how cannabis affects their systems. As such, beginning cannabis consumers may want to avoid THC-H altogether until they build up stronger tolerance.
Additionally, because production is so cost-prohibitive, consumers should conduct proper due diligence when buying THC-H products. Some manufacturers may cut corners or add fillers to their THC-H products, so buying from trustworthy, lab-tested producers that comply with state and federal regulations is important.
The Bottom Line
THC-H is only just growing in popularity, and manufacturers are currently facing challenges when creating products with high levels of pure THC-H. While quality standards and regulations make it challenging to find effective, safe products, THC-H is absolutely worth exploring if you’re seeking a higher potency option than traditional THC. Do your research and purchase from reputable sources, and ensure you can handle THC-H’s potency before trying.