Finland and Sweden are two of the Scandinavian countries that are adopting laws to prohibit the sale of hexahydrocannabinol (HHC). The availability of HHC products on the European market has given rise to concerns. It pushed several governments to act, such as Sweden and Finland. We have heard that France is planning to outlaw HHC as well.
Why are Finland and Sweden afraid of HHC?
HHC is a shortcut for hexahydrocannabinol. It is an old substance available openly in some European countries, including Finland and Sweden. It shows on the market mainly through the CBD stores.
HHC first synthesis dates back to 1940. Hexahydrocannabinol is a naturally occurring phytocannabinoid. Both HHC and THC compounds have virtually the same molecular structure, with some slight differences that can affect how they work in the body.
HHC is a minor compound because it is barely present in inflorescences. This means long-term and costly acquisition in a natural way, which is why companies are unwilling to do so. It can, however, be produced synthetically. But while executing a synthesis, the final product’s purity is never completely assured. HHC has a far greater impact than cannabidiol.
Scandinavia’s ban on HHC
Finland has classified HHC as a banned psychoactive substance, and Sweden is planning to follow suit with its own ban. In Sweden, vaping has been recognized as a typical method of taking HHC.
The increase of HHC products and the unknown effects of vaporised “new” substances alarm the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) and member state agencies.
Finland has already made changes. The government of Finland mentioned the risks of burning or vaporising HHC as well as the lack of knowledge regarding its physiological results. Finland is leading the way in resolving the problem. It emphasises the necessity of national HHC bans or alternative regulatory strategies in each country.
HHC gained popularity in the United States after the legalisation of industrial hemp containing up to 0.3 percent THC in 2018, as the law failed to specifically address hemp-derived psychoactive cannabinoids like delta-8 or HHC.
Because substances like HHC are easily accessible as “legal” substitutes for THC, the EMCDDA has focused on them. These products, which include edibles, vapes, hemp sprayed or mixed with HHC, are marketed as “legal highs” and directly contrast the effects of THC and cannabis.