Hash vs Weed: What’s the Difference?
If you’re new to the world of cannabis, it can be difficult to understand the jargon used by people who have been on the scene for longer. Even seemingly-simple concepts like the difference between weed and hash or concentrates, or how to establish the quality of your hash, can be baffling to the uninitiated.
At its simplest, weed is the dried, unprocessed flowers of the female cannabis plant, while hash (or hashish) is the resin of the female cannabis plant that’s been separated from the plant itself via mechanical or chemical means.
Does hash give you a different high? Is it stronger than weed?
Smoking hash vs. weed can have different effects. Well-made hashish generally has a stronger effect than the plant it came from. This does not apply to all hashish though, as some lower-quality forms may contain copious amounts of ‘filler’ material which can include sand, henna, plastic, oil, or even animal hair or dung.
But as a general rule, hashish is a more concentrated form of the plant it comes from. In fact, it became the primary means of utilizing cannabis in many countries because local outdoor cannabis was relatively low in cannabinoid concentration. That means a significant amount has to be used in order to achieve a noticeable effect.
The high of both hash and weed is influenced by the strain of cannabis that was used. Just like weed, the psychoactive elements of hashish should mirror that of the parent plant, though there does appear to be some degree of subjective difference in the nature of the effect compared to weed. For example, many people consider hashish to have a clearer, more cerebral effect, even if the plant itself induces a more relaxed, soporific effect in the user.
The taste may differ as well. Many people consider the taste of hashish to be earthier and less floral than the parent plant, although this can depend greatly on the extraction method and how much plant material remains in the hashish.
How is hash made?
Traditionally, mechanical separation has been the primary means of extracting the resin from the flowers. It’s either dried or sieved (dry-sifted) before being shaped and pressed into blocks, or by using the hands to rub the fresh plant so that the resin adheres to the skin and must be scraped off.
Dry-sift hashish is by far the more common in global terms. Several large producer countries including Morocco and Lebanon produce only dry-sift hashish. Even in Afghanistan (along with Morocco, the world’s largest hashish producer), the bulk of hashish destined for export is dry-sift. However, Afghanistan is part of the geographical region that is traditionally known for producing hand-rubbed hashish; it still produces significant quantities of hand-rubbed hashish, along with India, Pakistan, and several other South Asian countries.
Modern extraction techniques
In the last few decades, new techniques have been developed for extracting resin from the plant while minimizing the extent of leaf material that remains. Many of these techniques can be termed chemical separation, such as the use of butane gas to “blast” the resin from the flowers. Such extracts are often of unparalleled potency, with reports of up to 90% of THC. In comparison, traditional hash-making methods typically yield finished products that contain 15-40% THC.
Another form of extraction that is difficult to classify as chemical or mechanical is ice-water extraction. Technically, this process (whereby cannabis is steeped in ice water to freeze the resinous trichomes and agitated to snap them off the plant) is primarily mechanical. But the water has a greater role to play beyond just freezing the trichomes. Ice-water extraction can be performed in various ways. Sometimes this requires fairly expensive equipment, but it can also be done in a bucket with a hand-mixer.
If following this technique, it’s easy to see how water helps to separate the trichomes and the rest of the plant matter—the trichomes are much heavier and sink to the bottom while the plant matter floats to the surface.
How to check if your hash is good
There are various ways to assess the quality of hashish. Firstly, the appearance can provide several important clues.
Good-quality dry-sift hash should range in appearance from light yellowish or reddish brown. If it’s lightly pressed, it should be fairly consistent in color, while heavily-pressed will be generally darker on the outside and lighter on the inside of the block.
Hand-rubbed hashish should be dark brownish-black and should not appear too green in colour as this indicates that a large quantity of plant material remains inside.
In terms of consistency, dry-sift hashish should not be too dry. Overly dry hashish may be old, a sign it has been poorly stored or may have significant quantities of filler.
The desired consistency for a lightly-pressed dry-sift hash is soft, crumbly and slightly oily or sticky to the touch. A heavily-pressed dry-sift hash may be stickier and oilier, and may be extremely hard, but will soften up enough to be used if gentle warmth is applied.
Hand-rubbed hashish can vary considerably in consistency. Typically, it should be dense and uniform in consistency, and not be too sticky, as this can indicate the presence of added oils.
However, some very clean hand-rubbed hashish can be very sticky and can turn almost to liquid when warmed; in these cases, flavour and aroma should indicate if the hash is truly clean or if contaminants are present. Hand-rubbed hashish should always be checked inside for the presence of mold, as moisture from the fresh plant can often become trapped inside if not properly processed.
The taste of hashish can also vary widely between types. Dry-sift hashish tends to be earthier than hand-rubbed, which is generally spicier and more floral in flavour. However, this is an oversimplification, as it greatly depends on the parent plant and is less dependent on the technique used to make it. Generally, as long as no acrid, plasticky or chemical flavour is detected, it is safe to assume that the hash is clean.
4. Testing your hash with the bubble test
Lastly, the bubble test is a good way to determine the quality of the hash. Take a small piece of the hash and apply a clean flame (i.e. from a butane lighter or hemp wick rather than a match). If the hash is good-quality, it should bubble noticeably under the flame and give off a pure white smoke. If black, sooty residue remains on the hash once the flame is removed, or if the smoke given off is black, this indicates the presence of contaminants.
What do you prefer: Hash or weed? And why? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!
Disclaimer:Laws and regulations regarding cannabis use differ from country to country. Sensi Seeds therefore strongly advises you to check your local laws and regulations. Do not act in conflict with the law.
What is Hash Brown comes from trichomes, the ripe, resinous gland heads that line the surface of cannabis plants. Processes to achieve resin separation have to practice this for centuries.
What Is The Difference Between Marijuana and Hashish?
In general, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) warns that hash is the most potent and intensive forms of cannabis. Hash contains very high levels of THC, usually much higher than marijuana, although THC levels have been climbing in marijuana in recent years.
Since marijuana contains plant material, it is typically less potent than the pull out resin of hashish that eliminates all of the “extras.” Though THC levels vary, marijuana may generally have a potency of 10-20 percent THC while THC levels in hashish can range from 20 percent to 60 percent.
This means that it will take much less hashish than marijuana to achieve psychoactive effects. One hit of hash can go a long way. For someone accustoming for a lower level of THC like that found in marijuana, it can be dangerous to assume the results will be the same.
Higher potency may lead to high negative consequences of use and raise the risk for an adverse reaction to the drug. NIDA warns that higher levels of THC can raise the odds for addiction. Higher potency can also mean a greater risk for a possible psychotic reaction as heavy use may produce hallucinations, paranoia, and schizophrenia-like symptoms.
The Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) reports that in 2011, nearly a half-million Americans comes in as emergency medical treatment in an emergency department (ED) for a negative reaction to the abuse of a cannabinoid drug. Hashish may also commonly be mixing with adulterants as it is develops, which can make it even more potentially dangerous as the individual using the drug may not be sure what other substances or toxins the product may contain.
What is Marijuana?
Marijuana is the plant material that grows from the cannabis plant while hashish comes from compressing resin (commonly incorrectly thought to be have manufactured from the pollen) of the flowers of the cannabis plant. Both marijuana and hashish can vary in type, potency, and quality.
How Did Marijuana Originate?
Marijuana comes from the drying of leaves, flowers, seeds, and stems of the cannabis plant. Commonly familiar as pot, weed, Mary Jane, reefer, grass, bud, ganja, and skunk, marijuana is usually greenish or slightly gray in color. The plant material is regularly smoked in joints, blunts, or through a water pipe (bong), or it infuses into food or drinks label as edibles. In 2014, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) reports that over 22 million Americans (aging 12 and older) were put together as currently abusing marijuana.
There are over 500 chemicals in marijuana and more than 100 cannabinoids (chemicals similar to THC), NIDAreports. Connoisseurs and cultivators of marijuana are breeding plants to come up with new strains of the drug that have reported to have variable effects and tastes along with ranges of potency and levels of THC. Other drugs may also add to marijuana plant material (cocaine and heroin can be laced into marijuana joints, for example), increasing the possible side effects and risk factors.
What is Hashish and How Is It Made?
Hashish, hash for short, is derived from the “kief,” or the dried resin, of the flowering tops of mature and unpollinating female cannabis plants. The resin glands are called trichomes or crystals. Hash is reap by collecting the powdery resin either by hand, by mechanical beating of the plants, or by submersing cannabis plants in icy water and then using small sieves to remove the trichomes, which are then dried (this type of hashish is label as “bubble hash”). The remaining kief typically presses into “cakes,” or blocks, smoking in pipes, vaporizing and inhaling, or combines with marijuana in joints.
Hash can be soft and pliable or stiff and brittle. It may be red, black, brown, green, yellow, or blonde in color. Hash may also be used in cooking, as it is soluble in things like oils, butter, or cream and can therefore be made into foods like brownies. Hashish may also be further develop, and the resin pulls out and develops into hash oil, a gooey substance that individuals are “dabbing” and smoking with e-cigarettes.
Marijuana and Hashish Side Effects
Marijuana and hashish abuse are typically close together by national surveys on use and abuse. The 2015 NSDUH, as reveal by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), indicates that nearly 45 percent of Americans aged 12 and older admits to using either marijuana or hashish at some point in their lifetime. It can be difficult to know how many people use hashish or marijuana specifically, although marijuana use is likely more common in the United States while hashish may be a more typical form of the drug in the Middle East where it have often smuggle from.
Marijuana is commonly misuse by young adults and teenagers. In 2013, as many as one out of every seven adolescents confess to using marijuana in the month leading up to the national survey, NIDA for Teens publishes.
Federally, marijuana and hashish are label illegal within the United States, as the DEAclassifies cannabis as a Schedule uncontrollable substance with no trust medicinal uses. On a local level, however, most states are working to legalize marijuana for its possible medicinal properties or even for recreational use if they haven’t already done so. Marijuana may be an effective pain and anxiety reliever, and also an appetite enhancer and anti-emetic, although research is ongoing to substantiate these claims.
Effects of Marijuana and Hashish on the Brain and Body
Marijuana and hashish have similar effects on the brain and body as they both contain THC. Cannabis produces a mellowing “high,” causing relaxation, euphoria, a lack of motivation, impairing motor control, high level appetite, memory lapses, and distorted sensory and time perceptions. Lung and breathing issues, irregular heart rate, cognitive decline, and disruption of brain development in younger people disclose to marijuana or hashish are possible long-term effects of cannabis use.
Over time, and with regular use, dependence on marijuana or hashish may occur. Withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, depression, irritability, sleep difficulties, restlessness, cravings, low appetite, cognitive impairment, and mood disturbances can set in when the drug processes out of the body. It can also be addictive, as NIDA warns that as many as one-third of those regularly using marijuana may battle addiction to it.
Treatment for Hashish and Marijuana Abuse
They are similar and will often include:
- Professional detox.
- Group and individual therapy sessions.
- Support groups and/or 12-Step programs.
- Educational programs.
- Holistic and complementary methods.
- Simultaneous treatment for any co-occurring mental health or medical disorders.
- Relapse prevention and aftercare or alumni services.
Treatment for cannabis use or addiction can be available on both an outpatient and inpatient basis, depending on what is best for the individual. Care is a tailor to each person and will not be the same from person to person. Treatment plans are develop with the input of families and loved ones, and as recovery progresses, the level of care can change. A comprehensive assessment is done by highly focus professionals prior to admission to a treatment program, and reassessments are done periodically to ensure the optimal fit.
Visit our treatment overview to see how Sunrise House can help support you or your loved one for recovery from Marijuana and/or Hashish abuse.