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What Is H4CBD?

Posted 2 months ago by GVB Biopharma
author
Scientifically Reviewed By
Alissa Daschbach
MA, BS, and MH Medical Anthropology and Chemistry
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Updated on November 17, 2022
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With some sources boasting that it is 100 times more effective than CBD, it’s no wonder that the hydrogenated cannabinoid H4CBD has been getting a lot of attention recently. In this guide, we’ll examine H4CBD from every angle and explain how to find the best H4CBD products available on the market. Dive into our in-depth guide to H4CBD: What It is, what it does, and how it compares to CBD.

What is the cannabinoid H4CBD?

Hexahydrocannabidiol, or H4CBD, is a synthesized cannabinoid created by adding four hydrogen atoms to the CBD molecule. The process used to make H4CBD is very similar to making margarine from vegetable oil. 

What does H4CBD do?

The exact properties of H4CBD remain unknown, but the limited information available on this cannabinoid indicates that it has considerably higher affinity for your brain’s CB1 neuroreceptors than conventional CBD. Since CBD normally does not typically have any affinity for CB1 receptors, it is unclear what to make of this data. Nonetheless, people who use H4CBD generally report that it feels like CBD but with considerably higher psychoactivity.

Is H4CBD the same thing as CBD?

No. H4CBD and conventional CBD share many similarities, but they are not the same molecule. Just to start, these two cannabinoids offer completely different experienced effects, and from its chemical structure down to its method of procurement, CBD is fundamentally different from H4CBD.

H4CBD vs. CBD

How exactly do CBD and H4CBD compare when examined side-by-side? Discover the differences and similarities between these cannabinoids across the seven categories below:

Source

Both CBD and H4CBD come from hemp. While CBD is a direct hemp derivative, however, H4CBD undergoes a process of transformation, including hydrogenation, to reach its final form.

As a result, H4CBD must technically be considered a synthetic cannabinoid even if it is only as synthetic as margarine. It’s technically possible to synthesize CBD as well, but with this cannabinoid so abundant in hemp, there is no incentive to do so.

Structure

H4CBD has been structurally altered to take on a different form from CBD. Four additional hydrogen atoms have been added to the “head” of the molecule, changing its inherent properties.

Effects

Due to the results of a single study from 2006, there’s widespread speculation that H4CBD may be as much as 100 times more potent than CBD — at least in certain ways. The study in question found that hydrogenated forms of CBD showed surprisingly high affinity for the brain’s CB1 neuroreceptors.¹

The level of affinity was nowhere near as high as is observed in the case of THC, but it was nonetheless notable. A 2017 research review echoed this opinion, but no new studies into the bioactive properties of H4CBD had been conducted.²

Anecdotally, H4CBD users have noted that using this cannabinoid feels something like taking a 2:1 CBD:THC product. The familiar, non-intoxicating effects of CBD are still dominant, but there’s also a slight sense of intoxication that might help take the edge off or make the effects of CBD more enjoyable.

Potency

Overall, it would be safe to say that H4CBD might offer something in the range of three times the potency of CBD. It’s often claimed that H4CBD offers 100 times the potency of normal CBD, but even if that’s the case, it’s only true for CBD’s potency at your CB1 receptors, which was negligible to begin with.

In mathematical terms, if you take a tiny sum and multiply it by a hundred, you’re still left with a tiny sum. The potential increased activity of H4CBD at your CB1 receptors certainly appears worth investigating further, but it would still be a stretch to say that H4CBD is “100 times more effective” than CBD straight across the board.

Legality

The legality of cannabinoids — both synthesized and natural — is currently a matter of considerable dispute. Overall, cannabinoids that are not delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol are considered industrial hemp under the 2018 Farm Bill, but the FDA has yet to produce meaningful regulations to help guide the rapidly growing online cannabinoid industry. Continue checking this space for updates as they emerge.

Safety

Synthesized cannabinoids can be made using a variety of different methods, but hydrogenation is among the best-known and most-established forms of synthesis in general. The safety of food products and the safety of nutraceuticals are two different arenas entirely, but it’s unlikely that the safety differences between CBD and H4CBD are considerably different than the safety differences between vegetable oil and margarine.

Availability

Between the two, CBD is currently by far the more widely available cannabinoid. Demand for H4CBD is rapidly growing, however, which will naturally lead to the development of a wider array of products. Already, high-quality H4CBD distillates, isolates, and finished products are starting to appear online, heralding the beginning of a brand-new hemp renaissance.

How to choose the best H4CBD source

With H4CBD being such a new cannabinoid, it’s essential that you choose a source of H4CBD products that has been around for a while. The right H4CBD manufacturer will be well-established and have an excellent reputation.

Their facilities will be certified and fully compliant, and you should be offered a choice between preformulated and custom-formulated products. The best H4CBD company for your needs will assign a customer support specialist to guide you through the entire process and ensure your satisfaction once your new products arrive.

The bottom line: Is H4CBD better than CBD?

Scientists have known about H4CBD since the 1940s, but it’s only recently that this hydrogenated form of CBD entered the spotlight.³ As CBD has reached heights of popularity no one previously thought possible, demand for alternatives that might offer even-better benefits has arisen along with it.³

Is H4CBD truly the dark horse that will supplant CBD as the dominant option on the market? Since CBD is so beloved and abundant, it’s unlikely. If it’s true that H4CBD is more potent than conventional CBD in certain ways, however, it will certainly carve out a niche that will need to be filled with products.

Instead of conceiving of H4CBD and CBD as enemies, consider their collective benefits: CBD could be there as the lower-strength, all-natural option while H4CBD would serve as the slightly-tweaked, higher-potency alternative. As the modern cannabinoid pharmacopeia continues to evolve, both CBD and H4CBD will certainly play pivotal roles.

H4CBD FAQ

Want to expand your knowledge regarding H4CBD? Check the FAQ section below for more details:

1. What are hydrogenated cannabinoids?

A hydrogenated cannabinoid is a cannabinoid that has been subjected to hydrogenation, a process that adds hydrogen atoms to molecules. Many cannabinoids can be hydrogenated, and in most cases, it’s possible to hydrogenate each cannabinoid with multiple different quantities of hydrogen atoms. Every hydrogenated cannabinoid has unique properties, but in most cases, the chemical hydrogenation of a cannabinoid typically increases their potency.

2. Is H4CBD synthetic?

Yes, H4CBD is technically synthetic. Keep in mind that this hydrogenated cannabinoid has not been artificially constructed from scratch or combined with any complicated substances. Nonetheless, any alteration in a natural compound is considered a synthetic form of the original. Also, synthesized versions of substances almost always have new and unique properties.

3. Is H4CBD 100 times stronger than CBD?

The claim that H4CBD is 100 times stronger than conventional CBD is more hype than it is fact. Based on a single unreproduced study from more than 15 years ago, scientists now speculate that H4CBD may demonstrate remarkably increased affinity compared to CBD — but at the nervous system’s CB1 receptors, not the main targets of conventional CBD.

Normally, CBD has very little affinity for CB1 and may even reduce its activity. When combined with four hydrogen atoms, however, CBD’s affinity for CB1 apparently increases considerably, making the new cannabinoid (H4CBD) more psychoactive.

4. Does H4CBD get you high?

It wouldn’t be quite accurate to say that H4CBD gets you high, but this cannabinoid certainly doesn’t provide the effects you usually associate with CBD, either. Based on limited preliminary research and anecdotal testimony, it appears that taking H4CBD feels like taking a big dose of CBD alongside a small dose of THC. As anyone who has ever combined the two cannabinoids knows, CBD has a tendency to drown out THC without completely eliminating its effects.

5. Is H4CBD the same thing as HHC?

No, H4CBD and HHC are different, but based on their origins, it’s natural to get the two cannabinoids confused. Just as H4CBD is a hydrogenated form of CBD, HHC is a hydrogenated form of THC. While H4CBD is believed to show greater activity at the CB1 receptors than CBD, though, HHC is generally believed to actually be somewhat weaker than conventional THC.

6. Are there strains with H4CBD?

No, there are no strains of cannabis or hemp containing H4CBD since this cannabinoid is not naturally occurring. Since it is not possible to extract natural H4CBD, this cannabinoid can only be made by hydrogenation.

7. What is the best type of H4CBD product?

So far, users generally seem to prefer H4CBD vapes and gummies. Over time, though, expect H4CBD capsules, tablets, and even topicals to also come into high demand. Whichever type of product it may be, H4CBD products should contain simple ingredients and be accompanied by thorough lab reports.

References

  1. 1. Ben-Shabat, S., Hanuš, L. O., Katzavian, G., & Gallily, R. (2006, January 6). New Cannabidiol Derivatives: Synthesis, Binding to Cannabinoid Receptor, and Evaluation of Their Antiinflammatory Activity. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 49(3), 1113–1117. Retrieved from https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/jm050709m
  2. 2. Morales, P., Reggio, P. H., & Jagerovic, N. (2017, June 28). An Overview on Medicinal Chemistry of Synthetic and Natural Derivatives of Cannabidiol. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 8. Retrieved from https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2017.00422/full
  3. 3. Jacob, A., & Todd, A. R. (1940). 119. Cannabis indica. Part II. Isolation of cannabidiol from Egyptian hashish. Observations on the structure of cannabinol. Journal of the Chemical Society (Resumed), 649. Retrieved from https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/1940/JR/jr9400000649
  4. 4. Laprairie, R. B., Bagher, A. M., Kelly, M. E. M., & Denovan-Wright, E. M. (2015, October). Cannabidiol is a negative allosteric modulator of the cannabinoid CB1 receptor. British Journal of Pharmacology, 172(20), 4790–4805. Retrieved from https://bpspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bph.13250
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