Cannabinoids News

Talking About HHC with Vince Sanders of CBD American Shaman

Written by Sabina Pulone

CBD American Shaman was founded by Vince Sanders in 2015 in Kansas City (Missouri) with the purpose of providing natural and alternative high quality cannabis-derived products to support cancer patients. The company grew with the support of a specialized team composed of chemists, doctors, and lawyers, and it is now one of the largest American cannabidiol (CBD) retailers and producers. The company received certifications by the US Hemp Authority for its excellent manufacturing and quality standards, and it is committed to helping low-income customers and veterans via its Compassionate Care program.

CBD American Shaman’s assortment of products includes high terpene content CBD oil derived from high quality industrial hemp, as well as CBD gummies, pills, flowers, edibles, and hemp-derived skin-care products. Through their proprietary nanotechnology, they increased the bioavailability of their CBD oil, making it water-soluble and maintaining the full-spectrum characteristics and benefits.

CBD American Shaman recently launched a new water-soluble blend including the acidic cannabinoids cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) and cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) together with the decarboxylated counterparts CBD and cannabigerol (CBG), flavonoids, terpenes, and the addition of vitamin D3, vitamin C, and zinc to sustain and boost the immune system.

Always prone to find solutions to improve customers’ lives, CBD American Shaman expanded their product range to new kinds of cannabinoids such as hexahydrocannabinol (HHC). We interviewed Vince to know more about the production of this unusual cannabis derivative and to reveal insights related to various aspects of the retail of these new semi-synthetic cannabinoids on the market.

What is HHC and which are its common effects?

This naturally occurring cannabinoid can be found in trace amounts in cannabis inflorescences but it can also be obtained in laboratories through hydrogenation of delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). HHC is to THC what margarine is to butter. The effects of HHC are similar to THC, but it doesn’t induce paranoia, as sometimes THC and its isomers do. This hydrogenated derivative of THC has a prolonged shelf-life in comparison to its precursors and, therefore, can be stored for a long period of time without structure and effects alterations.

How is HHC made? Can you describe the process?

To produce HHC in the lab, first we convert CBD into delta-8-THC, generally through the use of strong acids and the application of heat. Once delta-8-THC is obtained, we proceed with the hydrogenation reaction applying hydrogen gas in the presence of a platinum catalyst. During the process, the double bond of delta-8-THC present between the carbon atoms labelled 8 and 9 in the cyclohexene ring is reduced, and the resultant molecule is HHC.

Delta-8-THC is generally used for its sedative effects, so we decided to make a compliant molecule of this cannabinoid making HHC through hydrogenation. HHC is capable of giving an up-lifting experience and even if the “high sensation” of a THC derivative is present, you can still be functional. In comparison to delta-9-THC, there is no risk of experiencing paranoia sensations.

Is HHC safe? How can you assess safety of new products?

All our products are subjected to in-house testing to assess the absence of pesticides, heavy metals, insecticides, solvent residues, etc. We often compare our results to analyses performed by third party laboratories to be sure about our products and to ensure that everything is compliant with the law and safe for our customers. In particular, our HHC products have been also biologically tested on rodents to evaluate the effects and safety. We also conducted a pilot study with 100 people to assess the general sensations about this product and to evaluate the positive effects on behavior and general well-being.

Is HHC legal? Do you think it will stay so?

At this time, there aren’t complaints, problems, or statements regarding HHC at a federal level. Even if this molecule is safe and there aren’t many side effects associated with it, because HHC is a psychotropic and potentially intoxicating cannabinoid, it is still seen as harmful by some political parties. Nevertheless, there are scientific proofs about the positive effects of HHC and its analogs in general, and in some cases, specific medical properties. [1,2] Additionally and unfortunately, some cannabis businesses are against HHC because they see it as competitive.

I can’t imagine HHC not being legal for at least the next two years. Perhaps next year, HHC will attract more attention to itself and at that point some problems could occur, but I have high hopes.

What do you think about the future of cannabinoids?

I think the future is bright for cannabis and cannabinoids for a couple of reasons. We just started to study the molecules coming from this plant that couldn’t have been previously studied. There is more to know and discover in addition to the cannabinoids such as all the various molecular combinations including other cannabis constituents such as flavonoids and terpenes.

Moreover, chemical derivatization is permitting the production of unique cannabinoids from existing ones. Breeders are producing cannabis cultivars specifically bred to enhance the content of tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), cannabidivarin (CBDV), CBG, or other cannabinoids. In a few years, there will be the possibility to produce these plants at very high individual cannabinoid concentrations. I can’t imagine the cannabis industry not being perpetually evolved for the next several decades.

Are you planning to continue producing new cannabinoids and experimenting?

Yes, absolutely. We will continue doing experiments, developing unique extraction methods, and maximizing the extraction and isolation of particular flavonoids, terpenes, and cannabinoids. Once isolated, these compounds can be mixed in customized blends that can be beneficial for a particular illness or group of illnesses. Or even better, with the continuous improvement of genetic testing, it will be possible to test the individual and highlight the problems in your particular endocannabinoid system, such that you can obtain the best formulation specifically made for your needs. That’s the future!


[1] Bloom AS, Dewey WL, Harris LS, Brosius KK. 9-nor-9beta-hydroxyhexahydrocannabinol, a cannabinoid with potent antinociceptive activity: comparisons with morphine. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1977;200(2):263-270. [journal impact factor = 3.561; times cited = 60] [2] Thapa D, Lee JS, Heo SW, et al. Novel hexahydrocannabinol analogs as potential anti-cancer agents inhibit cell proliferation and tumor angiogenesis. Eur J Pharmacol. 2011;650(1):64-71. [journal impact factor = 4.432; times cited = 26]

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Sabina Pulone

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