- Hans Weber
- December 4, 2023
Experts Raise Concerns Over HHC, a Psychoactive Cannabis Extract, and Call for Regulation
Psychotropic substances have become a topic of increasing concern and discussion among experts and medical professionals. Recently, Jiří Stabla, the founder of a network of hemp pharmacies, addressed the risks associated with a psychoactive extract known as HHC, derived from cannabis. This article explores the concerns raised by experts and the need for regulation.
According to Stabla, the proposed regulation categorizes HHC as a psychomodulatory substance, alongside similar extracts like CBD, which lacks intoxicating effects and is used to treat conditions such as multiple sclerosis. The potential risks associated with HHC use remain uncertain and require further investigation.
Stabla emphasized that HHC is readily accessible and, while not lethal, does not benefit children who may accidentally consume it. In contrast to CBD, HHC can induce anxiety and paranoia.
The psychomodulatory substances category could encompass other psychoactive substances, including kratom, known for its concentration-enhancing effects, as well as CBD.
The government has shown agreement with the regulation of kratom and CBD, restricting their use to adults and prohibiting advertising. However, Stabla believes that HHC should not be present in society. If permitted, it should be in controlled amounts with explicit warnings about its impact on mental states. Traditional hemp extracts, like CBD, do not pose harm to individuals.
Dr. Pavel Trančík, a specialist in acute psychiatric care at Bohnice Hospital, has reported an increase in hospitalized adolescents with traces of addictive substances in their bodies, particularly cannabinoids with high levels of THC. Although HHC is relatively new, it has already been associated with intoxication in two cases.
Trančík stressed the need for further study and caution regarding HHC, considering its potential impact on the nervous system and the developing brain, which continues to mature even at age eighteen.
Substances like kratom, HHC, and CBD remain unregulated and are sold as dietary supplements or food products. Proposed legislation, which the government has already approved, aims to change this situation. However, František Švejda, a member of the executive board of the Czech Hemp Cluster, finds the current regulatory proposal too vague.
According to Švejda, new cannabinoids like HHC are entirely unregulated, and their safety remains uncertain. These substances should not be present in food products. While the proposed legislation aims to address these issues, excessive regulation for products containing industrial hemp would be unnecessary. Forcing the sale of non-psychoactive products as psychoactive ones would be misleading.
The current lack of regulation in this area is comparable to removing all restrictions on the sale of alcohol. Švejda concludes that regulatory measures that limit availability, especially to minors, would be more effective. A mere ban does not provide a comprehensive solution. Additionally, many products in the market are synthetic and easily modifiable, allowing them to evade legal restrictions.
Article by Prague Forum