Have you ever felt butterflies in your stomach? That’s what anxiety is. We all feel nervous or anxious in certain situations, like going for an interview or taking an exam. But when day-to-day social activities and interaction causes significant anxiety, it is called social anxiety disorder or social phobia.
Experts have noticed that people with social anxiety disorder often recourse to different dietary supplements. Surveys highlight that many people with social phobia have used various cannabis products to help cope with the disorder.
Recently, HHC products like gummies, HHC vape pen, oil, etc. have also entered the list of substances people prefer to consume to combat social anxiety. This article will explore what HHC is and the impact of HHC consumption on people with social phobia.
What Exactly is HHC?
HHC, or hexahydrocannabinol, is a semi-synthetic psychoactive cannabis-derivative that has been recently introduced in the cannabis market. Though it is a relatively new name in the market, HHC was formulated almost 80 years ago by an American chemist called Roger Adams.
Roger Adams hydrogenated THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) molecules in the presence of a catalyst to obtain HHC, a more stable form of cannabinoid. The chemical reaction broke down the double carbon bond of THC and released the HHC molecule.
Hexahydrocannabinol has two additional hydrogen atoms than THC, which adds more time to its shelf life. Evidence indicates that HHC has multiple beneficial properties. It helps alleviate chronic pain, reduces stress, and even helps improve appetite. In addition, experts suggest that HHC might also help reduce social anxiety.
What Do We Mean By Social Phobia?
Social Phobia, also known as Social Anxiety, is a psychological disorder that causes anxiety or nervousness during social interactions. People with social anxiety disorder often have trouble meeting new people, acclimating themselves to social gatherings, or even talking to others. Before we look into the effects of HHC in relieving social phobia, let’s learn what social phobia is.
Scientists have not understood the exact cause of social phobia. They believe that it can result due to a combination of various environmental and genetic factors. Social phobia might also stem from sexual and emotional abuse, family conflict, and bullying. Even serotonin imbalance may also contribute to social anxiety.
When subjected to an uncomfortable social situation, people having social phobia might have symptoms such as:
- Excessive sweating
- Trembling or shaking
- Trouble in speaking
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Rapid heart rate
Social Phobia and Cannabinoid Use:
Several studies conducted over the years have discovered that people with social phobia are more vulnerable to cannabinoid use. According to data collected from the National Comorbidity Study, individuals with Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) were 7 times more prone to marijuana dependence.
Often medical marijuana is also prescribed to people with SAD to help cope with the issue. A combination of CBD and low amounts of THC has demonstrated positive effects in relieving anxiety and panic associated with SAD. However, the use of cannabinoids to treat social phobia symptoms remains a controversial topic. Experts often fail to weigh the positive effects against the negative impact of cannabis use among individuals afflicted with SAD.
How Does HHC Help Cope With Social Phobia?
A 2009 review indicated that cannabis use might have therapeutic effects on social anxiety disorders. Another 2015 study supported the short-term use of CBD for treating the symptoms of social phobia. With the introduction of HHC in the market, many people have opted for HHC products to relieve social phobia symptoms. But, how does HHC help in coping with social phobia? Let’s take a look.
HHC is a potent anxiolytic substance that helps relieve anxiety and stress by influencing the nervous system. Studies suggested that the HHC molecules bind with the endocannabinoid receptors in our central and peripheral nervous systems.
HHC acts in two ways. It increases the synthesis of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. These hormones help induce a feeling of relaxation and calmness and thus, help cope with anxiety in social situations. It might also reduce cortisol and norepinephrine, the neurotransmitters that trigger panic while it’s time to interact with people.
Also, research suggests that consuming HHC increases blood flow in the cingulate cortex in the brain. Consequently, it helps you comprehend others’ reactions and enables you to react appropriately. In addition, HHC might also help reduce aversion to stressful social situations.
Individuals with Social anxiety disorder often feel nauseous when subjected to a stressful situation. The heart rate and blood pressure might also increase. HHC helps relieve nausea and helps down-regulate the spike in heart rate and blood pressure.
However, some evidence suggests that long-term use of cannabinoids like HHC might also increase the risk of developing anxiety disorders like SAD. More scientific research on HHC is needed to come to a definite conclusion.
What is the Right Dose For HHC?
According to HHC users, the psychotropic effects produced by this cannabinoid come somewhere in the middle of Delta-9 and Delta-8 THC. The “high” delivered by HHC is comparatively milder than Delta-9 but more intense than Delta-8 THC.
Experts state that the risk of experiencing side effects of HHC might increase with an increased amount of consumption. Thus, it is recommended to consume HHC in controlled doses.
- For Beginners (low tolerance): 5mg-12mg per use
- Intermediate (medium tolerance): 12mg-30mg per use
- Advanced HHC dosing, for experienced users (high tolerance): 30mg-60mg per use
Is There Any Risk in Consuming HHC?
Though the popularity of HHC continues to rise, we should also be concerned about its side effects. As of now, research on the adverse effects of HHC is limited. Researchers believe that as HHC has a similar chemical configuration to THC, they might have similar side effects too, such as:
- Fast heart rate
- Feeling of anxiousness
- Changes in appetite
- Dry mouth
- Red eyes
To Sum Things Up:
Though a new name in the cannabis market, it has proved very beneficial. Some people believe that it might help cope with social phobia. Research has found that HHC helps relieve panic and anxiety and enables individuals to interpret social interactions better and react accordingly. HHC might also help you face uncomfortable situations in a relaxed way.
In addition, Evidence indicates that HHC supplements can also help pets cope with social phobia. However, at least one study has demonstrated an adverse relation to HHC use and the development of social anxiety disorder.