HHC-B, or hexahydrocannabutol, is the latest cannabinoid to grace the hemp market, with promises of an intensely potent high combined with plenty of other potential benefits. And, while we know that there are a lot of people out there who want to enjoy these new legal, psychoactive compounds, but have to be particularly careful because they do get drug-tested, especially for work.
Let us tell you what we know about HHC-B and its impact on drug-testing, so that you’ll be able to make the best decision for you.
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Will Taking HHC-B Cause a Failed Drug Test?
First things first – HHC-B will very likely cause a person to fail their drug test. To understand why, we need to discuss how cannabinoids are processed by the body, and what drug tests are actually looking for.
HHC-B is extremely similar, chemically speaking, to delta 9 THC. All THC compounds are metabolized in the body by an enzyme called, “THC-COOH”, and that very likely applies to HHC compounds as well. About a half hour after we consume a THC cannabinoid, 50% of it has already been metabolized. Another 30 minutes later, 25% more is metabolized. From there, the remaining 25% is metabolized by this enzyme, and this process can take days to weeks depending on the amount of the cannabinoid that’s in the body.
The thing is that drug tests aren’t looking for traces of marijuana in a person’s body. They’re looking for THC-COOH, which is why consuming any THC compound will trigger a positive result.
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Drug Tests That May Pick Up HHC-B Usage
There are some different kinds of drug test methods that are used in the US, with urine tests being by far the most popular – in fact, accounting for 90% of all drug tests administered in the United States. Let’s go over each type of drug test and see how its results can be affected by consuming HHC-B.
- Urine Tests: Urine tests are the most common tests used for employment and probation, and the most common type of at-home drug test as well. They’re very reliable in terms of results, offer a fast turnaround time and are affordable, not to mention minimally invasive. A urine test looks for THC-COOH in a person’s urine, and so, can show results from 2 to about 60 days after the last time it was taken, based on the concentration that was in the person’s body at the time the test was taken.
- Saliva Tests: Saliva tests are most commonly used by law enforcement, such as at traffic stops, to see if a person is driving while under the influence of an intoxicating substance. This type of drug test will show whether or not a person has used an intoxicating substance within the last 10 hours, since after about 10 hours, the substance is no longer detectable in the saliva.
- Hair Tests: Hair strand tests can show whether or not a person has consumed certain substances, like THC, within the last 90 days. These tests are extremely expensive and have a long turnaround time, which is why they’re not the most popular choice for employers, and so, are usually used under special circumstances. In fact, they’re more commonly used for autopsy purposes, to determine whether or not a person had certain substances in their system at the time of their death.
- Blood Tests: Blood tests can only show whether or not a person is presently intoxicated, and these tests do not actually look for THC-COOH, but the compounds themselves. Blood tests therefore may or may not pick up HHC-B – that’s just something that we don’t know yet, as we aren’t sure if HHC-B and delta 9 THC are similar enough to one another to register as the same compound according to a blood test. Blood tests are most commonly used in hospital settings.
- Perspiration Tests: Perspiration tests are mostly used for clinical trials. They are not used by employers. This type of test involves attaching a patch to a person’s skin, where it remains for 2 weeks, picking up their sweat over the period of time. THC-COOH can leave the body through sweat.
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What Makes Someone More Likely to End Up Failing a Drug Test?
Question, what if you’ve already tried HHC-B, and you just found out that you have a drug test coming up? Luckily, there is a chance that you’re going to pass, even if you’ve consumed the cannabinoid recently. As you’re about to see, there are a few factors that influence what the outcome of the test will be.
#1: Your Prior HHC-B Usage
Most of your risk of failing comes down to how you were taking HHC-B. The more HHC-B is in your system, the longer THC-COOH will still be in your body, in levels detectable enough to trigger a positive result. And, how much HHC-B is in your system depends on a couple of things. One is the amount you were consuming. Basically, being a once-a-week HHC-B user is different from taking lots of it each day. Another thing is how much you were taking – say one puff of a HHC-B vape per day compared to several vaping sessions consisting of many of puffs at a time.
This matters because ultimately, THC-COOH metabolizes HHC-B at the same rate no matter how much is in the body. So, if you have a backup of the cannabinoid in the system, you’ll test positive for longer, because THC-COOH is still working on breaking down the amount that’s accumulated in your system. This is why you can test positive anywhere from a couple days to over a month after your last dosage, depending on how much was in your body.
#2: How Your Body Metabolizes Cannabinoids
We all metabolize cannabinoids at a unique rate. One thing we know of is a link between the immune system and the rate at which the metabolism breaks down certain compounds. This is why when a person is sick, they may test positive for THC-COOH longer than when they’re not ill. Other factors include diet, exercise, hydration levels, and good old genetics.
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#3: The Strength of the HHC-B Product
Some HHC-B products come in specific milligram strengths – take gummies, for instance. Let’s say you have a once-a-day regimen with HHC-B gummies. Eating a 5mg gummy on a daily basis is different from eating a gummy with 60mg in it daily – of course, the stronger the milligram strength of the product, the more HHC-B will accumulate in the body, increasing the window during which you can end up testing positive.
#4: When You Last Took HHC-B
Urine tests can determine if you’ve taken HHC-B at some time in the last 2-60 days. If it’s been a number of weeks since the last time you had HHC-B, you’re far less likely to test positive. If it’s been only a couple of days since you last took THCM, you’re more likely to fail. For reasons we’ll get into in the next section, if you’ve only taken HHC-B, say, one or two times, you could very well pass after about 2 weeks or so.
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#5: Any Medications You’re On
It needs to be pointed out that certain very common medications can decrease the speed at which you metabolize cannabinoids. It seems that all cannabinoids bind up CYP3A4, an enzyme that breaks down both cannabinoids and many popular medications, including steroid medications, opioids, antidepressants, and blood pressure medications. Basically, if you’re on one of these medications, there’s a good chance that you’ll metabolize cannabinoids like HHC-B compound more slowly, meaning a longer window during which you may test positive.
Can Anything Help Me Clear THC-COOH More Quickly?
We’re often asked if there’s something that can help THC-COOH leave the body more quickly. You’ve probably come across a number of “tips”, like drinking extra water, taking detox products, taking zinc, and drinking cranberry juice. But, none of these methods have been proven to be effective. That’s why we can’t recommend relying on these methods if you have a test coming up.
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What to Know About HHC-B Before Testing
If you want to take your chances and use HHC-B products despite knowing that you may be drug-tested in the relatively near future, there are some things to keep in mind first. One is that in the event that HHC-B does, in fact, trigger a positive result, your usage can make a difference.
Comparing it to THC, we see that those who only use marijuana once in a while can require 5 or so days before they test “clean”, while heavy users may need somewhere around a month of abstinence before THC-COOH is no longer detectable in their urine.
In other words, if you are worried that using HHC-B can cause a positive result, you might want to apply this information to your HHC-B usage. In other words, consider when it’s time to take a break from using HHC-B so that the potential levels of THC-COOH would no longer be traceable by the date of your test.
Also, there are cannabinoids that do likely trigger THC-COOH, and those are delta 8 THC, delta 10 THC, THC-O, and THC-P. Some hemp companies make products that combine THCM with at least one of these cannabinoids, so taking them could cause you to fail a drug test, not because of the HHC-B itself.
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When it Comes to Drug-Testing, Better to Be Safe Than Sorry
Essentially, HHC-B, just like any intoxicating cannabinoid so far, can mean failing your drug test. If you’re someone who has a drug test coming up soon, you will probably want to hold off on trying HHC-B for that reason.
If you have taken HHC-B recently only to find out that you have an upcoming test, the good news is that you still have a chance of passing as we discussed above. But, at the end of the day, you should avoid all of these cannabinoids until after your test, to be safe.
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