Can I Use HHC On THC Tolerance Break?

In our latest question and answer, our pharmacist discusses if HHC can be used while on a THC tolerance break.
Can I Use HHC On THC Tolerance Break?

Bushaz Asked

Can I use HHC on a THC tolerance break?


The point of a THC tolerance break is to allow your brain and body to re-adapt to the absence of the drug.
HHC activates the same receptor in the brain that THC does, so it would defeat the purpose of a tolerance break.


What Is HHC?

HHC stands for hexahydrocannabinol and is a cannabinoid that is structurally similar to THC. Remember, THC is the cannabinoid responsible for cannabis's euphoric and sensory-enhancing effects. HHC’s effects are slightly different than THC due to a different affinity at the CB1 receptor.  However, much more research is needed on HHC before anything can be said with one hundred percent certainty about this compound because it is relatively new.

What is a THC Tolerance Break?

Tolerance is defined as a diminished response to a drug that occurs when the drug is used repeatedly and is a result of the body (and brain) adapting to the continuous presence of the drug. Tolerance is a result of our body’s natural tendency to maintain homeostasis. 

A THC tolerance break is a period of abstinence from THC consumption, the objective being to allow the brain and body enough time to reset its tolerance to the drug. A tolerance break allows the body to eliminate THC from the system, and then readjust to the drug being gone. This will eventually enhance the effectiveness of THC when it's reintroduced. 

How Does Tolerance to THC Work?

Tolerance to cannabis and THC occurs via a downregulation of cannabinoid type 1 receptors (CB1) in the brain. This happens because the brain is not used to the constant presence of THC, so over time it adapts by reducing the amount of cannabinoid (type 1) receptors available for the drug to bind to. It’s important to note that this is not beneficial long-term because once THC is no longer present, there are fewer receptors for the body’s natural endocannabinoids to bind to and the function of the endocannabinoid system is reduced.

Using HHC During a THC Tolerance Break

HHC activates CB1 receptors, so using HHC on a tolerance break wouldn't make any sense because it would defeat its own purpose  (allowing CB1 receptors in the brain to return to normal). 

In Conclusion

HHC is a new cannabinoid that's similar to THC in some ways and different in others. Even though HHC is different than THC, it still activates the same receptor in the brain (CB1). Since tolerance to THC is determined by the level of CB1 expression, using HHC on a tolerance break would be counterproductive. 

I hope this helps answer your question!


  1. Hexahydrocannabinol on the Light Cannabis Market: The Latest "New" Entry (PubMed).
  2. Feasibility and utility of a structured guide for cannabis tolerance breaks in young adults (PubMed).

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