What’s Up With Hash? 

by Shanti
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Hash or hashish is a psychoactive product from the marijuana plant. It’s made from resin and resin glands found in female cannabis plants. Hash is desirable for its psychoactive potency. 

There are three main psychoactive products made from the cannabis plant. Hash is one of these psychoactive cannabis products. The other two psychoactive products made from cannabis are marijuana buds (flowers) and hash oil (on rare occasions). So, what is the difference between hash and weed? The term “weed” usually applies to dried flower buds of the plant, while hash is made from the resin of the plant. 

There are different types of hash oil. Hash oil from resin is by far the most potent of all the products with THC levels reaching as high as 85%.  Marijuana buds have the least potency. The potency of hash products falls somewhere between.

What is hash?

Like marijuana, hash goes by several names.  But, unlike pot, the names for hash are similar. Hash also goes by the names: hashish, hasheesh, and haschish.  Language accounts for the differences. 

Hash comes from the Arabic word for dry fodder or herbage.  In Arabic, the word hash applied to any cannabis production. The production of cannabis products involved drying and powdering the flower and the plant.  The word hash fit well and it became the name.

Today, workers separate the parts of the cannabis plant before processing. Workers isolate resin glands and resin. Only then is the hash made.

Hash Resin and Resin Glands

The resin glands of the cannabis plant produce cannabinoids and terpenes. Cannabinoids are responsible for the psychoactive and non-psychoactive effects of cannabis. They bind to receptors in the human body causing the feeling desired. 

The most abundant cannabinoid in resin is THC. CBD, also a cannabinoid, but non-psychotropic, causes a milder feeling of relaxation. THC is the cannabinoid from marijuana that causes the “high”.  The resin glands produce both THC and CBD among other cannabinoids and terpenes.  (Terpenes give cannabis its scent and flavour.)

The resin produced contains high concentrations of the cannabinoids.  It coats the leaves, buds, and branches of the cannabis plant.  Resin on the plant as well as the resin found in the glands comprise hash.  

Easiest way to make the Hash

Resin is the building material for hash. There are two techniques used to collect hash. 

1) Rubbing and 2) Sieving.

Natives often told a story of gathering resin naked.  When asked how they got the resin off, they smiled. Some believe the story is a fact while others swear it is fiction.

Rubbing

The rubbing method collects resin from the plant by hand using a leather apron, or cloth.  The cloth rubs against the lining of the cannabis plant.  The resin sticks to the cloth or skin. Then removed by vigorously rubbing hands together or with a blunt blade. After  removal and collection, the resin is shaped into cubes, disks, or whatever form is desired.  Then the resin dries by exposing the formed shape to the air.

Sieving

The second method for producing hash is sieving. There are few steps:

  1. Get resin from harvested and dried plants.
  2. Separate plant from powder resin using Sieves.  
  3. Squeeze then heat (gentle)- makes resin pliable. 
  4. Press elastic resin into blocks
  5. Seal blocks with cellophane or cloth.

Sieving vs. Rubbing

Sieving is less labour intensive and more efficient.  Sieving produces up to one kilogram of resin in two hours.  Resin gets lost during the rubbing process. 

In addition, quality and purity is easier to control in the sieving.  Hash from sieving lasts up to 3 years if stored right.  Think low temp. air-tight, and dark.  

Rubbing gets hash a shelf life of a few months. 

Effects of Hash

So finally, what’s all this rubbing and sieving about? For one, hash is way more potent than marijuana.  As Martin Booth, writer and expert put it, “the effects of marijuana depend on the individual user’s body chemistry, mood, expectations, situation and personality: some do not enjoy it whilst others remain unaffected by it.  Hashish on the other hand, being much stronger, invariably exerts an influence.  Dosage is crucial although with no standard quality control existing.  The ideal dose can rarely be determined by the user.

The French pharmacologist, Pascal Brotteaux, once wrote about the 4 stages of hashish intoxication.

  1. Nervous excitement
  2. Hallucination and loss of mental stability
  3. Ecstasy
  4. Profound tranquility

I admit, stage three and stage four sound exquisite. 

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