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Will HHC Show Up on a Drug Test?

Jeff Yauck | July 1, 2024
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The answer to the question, ‘Will HHC show up on a drug test,’ is probably. To our knowledge, there is no such thing (as of yet) as an HHC drug test. However, due to the compound’s similar structure to THC, HHC will likely show up on a cannabis drug screening – particularly if a urine test is used.

Why Does HHC Show Up on a Drug Test?

It’s not a 100% guarantee that HHC will show up on a drug test, but there’s a good chance it will. This is because the HHC compound is very similar in chemical structure to THC – the compound that most cannabis drug tests look for.

In fact, the only difference between HHC and THC is the presence of two hydrogen atoms in the HHC compound. These two hydrogens change the way HHC interacts within the body (it typically has milder effects than THC), but it doesn’t change the way the body metabolizes, or breaks down, the compound.

In other words, the body breaks down both THC and HHC in pretty much the same way. This means that if you use HHC products, your body will produce the same metabolites that THC drug tests look for.

Again, it’s not 100% certain that you will fail a drug test if you use HHC, but there’s a good chance it will produce a positive test result.

Additional Information on Drug Testing and HHC

As we said earlier, there are no tests as of yet that specifically look for HHC in the body. When you consume HHC, the body instantly begins to metabolize and break down the compound.

When this happens, the HHC compound is broken down into smaller ‘parts.’ These smaller parts are called metabolites, and they’re identical to the metabolites produced when the body breaks down THC.

This is the reason why HHC is likely to show up on a drug test.

Different Types of Drug Tests for HHC and THC

The above information mostly concerns urine tests, but the same general information applies to any type of screening regarding whether or not HHC will show up on a drug test.

Hair samples, blood tests, and oral mouth swabs all look for the same metabolites that are tested for in urine samples. As such, HHC is just as likely to show up on these other types of screenings as a urine test.

That being said, drug tests differ in terms of how long they can detect THC and HHC metabolites in the body. A hair follicle sample, for example, will be able to detect traces of HHC (and THC) for a longer period of time than a urine sample.

How HHC Drug Tests Work

The elimination of HHC from the body begins first in the liver, where the HHC compound is broken down into smaller parts (metabolites). These metabolites are then sent to the kidneys before being expelled from the body as waste via urine.

Drug tests contain specific chemical compounds that react with any metabolites that may be present in the urine. If HHC metabolites are present, the reaction produces a color change on the urine sample test trip, thereby indicating a positive result.

Oral mouth swab (saliva) tests work in much the same way, except the swab collects samples from your tongue or the inside of your cheek to test for HHC and its metabolites.

Generally, both urine and mouth swab tests can produce results within minutes.

Be Wary of False Positives (Or False Negatives)

Generally speaking, professional drug tests that you take in a clinic or for a pre-employment screening are accurate and rarely produce false positives. In most instances, a positive test result occurs when THC or HHC metabolites are present in the system at a concentration of 50 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) or more.

In the event of a positive test result, most professional testing services even use more detailed confirmation tests to provide a definitive conclusion about whether or not there are HHC metabolites in the system.

Confirmation tests are carried out to ensure the positive result was not caused by the presence of other medications.

However, at-home or over-the-counter drug tests are not quite as accurate. They routinely produce false negatives and false positives.

If you’re using an at-home cannabis drug test to test for the presence of HHC, we highly recommend using at least two tests to provide an accurate measure of whether or not there are metabolites in your system.

How Far Back Do HHC Drug Tests Go?

It’s also important to consider your frequency of HHC use. If you use HHC once, for example, and take a hair follicle sample the following day, you are unlikely to fail the test.

However, if you used HHC once and took a urine sample the following day, the chances are high that it would show up on the test.

If you use HHC frequently, a hair follicle test would likely be able to detect metabolites of the compound for a month (or even more) after you stop using it.

Summary of HHC and Drug Testing

To summarize, HHC will most likely show up on any drug test that scans for marijuana. This is due to HHC’s nearly identical chemical structure compared to THC.

When you consume HHC, the body will break the compound down the same way it breaks down THC. The metabolites produced when HHC is broken down and digested are the same as the metabolites produced when THC is broken down.

Thus, even though HHC and THC are different compounds that produce different effects on the body and mind, they both are likely to show up on a drug test.

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