The European Union Drugs Strategy 2021-2025 following the EU Drugs Policy considers that “Drugs are a complex social and health phenomenon that affects millions of people in the EU. Illicit drugs can have tremendous negative consequences, not only for the people who use the drugs but also for their families and communities.”
The THC (TetraHydroCannabinol), is the well known and broadly most used psychoactive substance of the plant cannabis ; the CBD (Cannabidiol) is the highly promoted molecule of wellness and had be shown to transform in THC under the heat as when using the vaping ( Czegeny et al. 2021) ; the HHC (HexaHydroCannabinol) is the new substance always issued from the cannabis, that is currently taking over the European market of psychoactive substances since 2022, according to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). HHC is now found in some 20 European countries.
The HHC seizures realized are mainly coming from the United States, the Netherlands and Spain, countries known to be strongholds of clandestine laboratories for the production of new synthetic drugs, but also to a lesser extent from Austria, Germany, Italy, Poland and Switzerland.
The HHC (C21 H32 O2) is a semi-synthetic tricyclic terpenoid cannabinoid, a hydrogenated derivative of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC: C21 H30 O2 ). It is a naturally occurring phytocannabinoid. It had been also synthesised from the CBD. Like THC the HHC binds to the CB1 receptor, but with a lower affinity which generally indicates that it is not as psychoactive as THC. The pharmaceutical studies are still ongoing but the observed behavioral human effects already indicate that HHC has similar THC euphoric narcotic effects that could lead to addiction.
Despite the HHC molecule has been known to scientists since 1940, it was not part of any control and was not scheduled in the International Drug Control Conventions of 1961 and 1971. So, not being illegal, the HHC products were not prohibited for sale or consumption and are the most often sold in CBD shops, on the Net, in vending machines of vaping products, as sweets/gummies, and are increasily used as THC replacement including by the youth, a favourite target. But already in some European countries as Austria, Finland, Poland and Switzerland, HHC is considered as an illicit psychotropic substances. Other countries such as France will follow soon.
The HHC is currently a serious concern for EMCDDA setting up preparadness to respond to the public health and the social risks developing from this new market, as well as for the other semi-synthetic derivative cannabinoids: HHC-acetate and Hexahydrocannabiphorol, two new psychoactive substances recently identified on the European drug market.
To remedy and protect the youth and the public from this modern scourge of drugs, it is urgent to develop in the first place a serious educational policy of drug prevention to raise the awareness on the drugs harm and on the bad unexpected consequences.
The EU Drugs Policy reminds that: “The use of drugs generates enormous costs for and harm to public health and safety, the environment and labour productivity. It also poses security threats linked to violence, crime and corruption”
In other words: “The drug scene is planet wide and swimming in blood and human misery. Research demonstrate that the single most destructive element present in our current culture is drugs” wrote Ron Hubbard in Our Biochemical Society
So be judicious and stay safe away from drugs!
-More on HHC: emcdda.europa.eu/news/2023/new-cannabinoid-hhc-spotlight-market-evolves_en -More data on drugs in The Truth About Drugs booklets, and in: -freedommag.org/magazine/201809-almost-heaven/our-biochemical-society.html
Thank you for your interest