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Hexahydrocannabinol is a synthetic drug with psychoactive effects similar to cannabis.

It is found in sweets, herbal teas, and other products sold in CBD shops: it is composed of three letters, too, but has much more powerful effects, it is HHC. As Liberation reminds us, it is close to cannabis in terms of effects, but is not natural, it is a synthetic drug. Explanations.

Where does HHC come from?

HHC has been known since 1940, it was synthesized from cannabidiol by an American chemist, underlines 20 Minutes. When cannabidiol is heated, or if hydrogen is added to it, the chemical operation gives rise to a powder (HHC) which can be added to oil or liquid. Nicolas Authier, psychiatrist at Clermont University Hospital and specialist in the medical use of the plant, explains to Liberation that when the synthesis is carried out, we cannot guarantee that the product is 100% pure.

What are the effects and risks of HHC?

In terms of effects, HHC has nothing to do with CBD, it can even be, like its cousins ​​Boudha Blue or Spice, stronger than THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol, the active substance in cannabis). In fact, it causes neuropsychic effects, explains an addictologist psychiatrist to BFMTV: feeling of hovering, loss of control, reflexes, disinhibition,… but also anxiety attacks (stronger than with THC) and a cardiovascular impact, notes Dan Véléa. The cardiovascular risk would increase when the substance goes into combustion, adding a risk of cancer, explains this same addictologist.

According to Nicolas Authier, interviewed by Liberation: “Between HHC and THC, the effects are almost similar and both substances act on the same receptors. HHC is much more psychoactive than CBD which is not classified as psychotropic, like THC”. Each consumer can have variable side effects depending on their sensitivity, but just like Dan Véléa, he notes digestive consequences.

To this, Professor Karila, an addictologist psychiatrist at the Paul-Brousse hospital interviewed by 20 Minutes adds a decrease in immediate memory, headaches, loss of concentration, drowsiness … And of course a addictive potential. He also specifies that for the time being, we lack perspective on the side effects of HHC.

Why is it on sale?

In other words, HHC is a drug, on which the drug agency should issue an opinion. It is not legal, like CBD is, but has not yet been classified as illegal. Liberation explains that it currently benefits froma “legal vagueness” which explains its free salewhereas in general this type of product is “automatically classified” even before it is released on the market.

On April 25, LR deputy Victor Habert-Dassault asked a written question in the Official Journal about the future of this molecule in France, already banned in other European countries, such as Switzerland or Austria.

Sources: Liberation, BFMTV, 20 Minutes

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