Hashish is a sticky, thick, dark-colored resin (plant juice) which is made from the flower of the female cannabis plant, Cannabis sativa. The cannabis plant's leaves and flowers contain chemicals known as cannabinoids. One cannabinoid is THC, which gives a person who smokes or eats parts of the cannabis plant a feeling of euphoria (makes the user feel good or happy). Another cannabinoid is CBD, which gives the user a relaxing feeling, and another is CBG which gives the user red or droopy eyes. The name hashish comes from an Arabic word meaning dry weed.
The two main drugs made from the cannabis plant are marijuana and hashish. Hashish has much more of the chemical THC (which makes users feel good or happy) than marijuana. Hashish is an illegal drug in the United States, UK and many other countries. Some people think it should be legal, some think it should be legal only for medical reasons, and some think it should not be legal at all.
Production and use[change | change source]
To make hashish, workers rub cannabis blossoms with their hands to get the resin to stick to their hands, and then the resin is collected. Another way to make hashish is to sift the ground-up, dried leaves through a screen and press the powder resin to make a "brick".
A more modern method of producing hashish is through alcohol extraction. In this method cannabis plants are ground up and covered in isopropyl alcohol or butane and left to sit. The mixture is then dried until the alcohol is gone, leaving the active terpenoid and terpene compounds which can be used immediately or cooked into bricks.
When a person wants to use hashish, they usually smoke it by putting a small piece of hashish in a joint with tobacco or marijuana. Then the person lights the paper roll with a flame and inhales the smoke that comes out, exhaling 1-3 seconds after holding in the smoke.
Another way that people use hashish is by putting a small piece of hashish in a pipe or bong (water pipe) then putting it on fire, and breathing the smoke. Some people also eat hashish, usually by mixing it into food or baked goods.
Legality[change | change source]
The legality of hashish use is different in different countries. In the US, there are state and federal laws that do not agree if cannabis is legal or not. Some states allow cannabis to be used as medicine, but the laws of the country say that all hashish and marijuana are illegal.
Hashish is not legal in the Netherlands, but there are no criminal laws against having a small amount of cannabis (marijuana or hashish). This is because the Netherlands decided that having cannabis should not be a crime. Some other countries are starting to "decriminalize" marijuana as well (make using it or having it no longer be a crime).
In the United States, sick people with serious diseases can legally use marijuana if they have a prescription from a medical doctor. When people with serious medical conditions such as AIDS or multiple sclerosis smoke marijuana, it helps to improve their mood and increase their appetite.
Effects[change | change source]
Hashish has much more of the chemical THC (which is a short word for "delta-9-tetra-hydro-cannabinol") than marijuana. THC is the chemical (or drug) which causes people who take hashish or marijuana to feel euphoria (happy).
When people smoke hashish (in a cigarette, a tin or glass pipe, or other forms of smoking apparatus like a bong) or eat hashish, certain sensations come about. One can start feeling any of the following depending on the strain or origin: happy, relaxed, feeling silly, cloudy (not able to think clearly) which can be descriptive of the type of high experienced. The term of "getting high" could mean that the effects are a more mental stimulation while other types that are for "getting stoned" tend to render the user in a relaxed and observational state. The two types of this "High", are called 1.) a heady high or 2.) couchlock. A heady high does exactly what it sounds like by creating mental stimulation that sometimes leads to exaggerated imagination and potential over analysis on simple subjects. When one "over does it", the stimulation can lead to various degrees of dizziness, euphoria and a sensation of feeling uncoordinated. In a "couchlock" state, one becomes extremely focused on a singular action or topic, sometimes leading to an unproductive state. The latter is achieved depending on the strain of hashish or marijuana, and also depends on the amount of the drug taken.
Since hashish is much stronger than marijuana, users may get strange visions or thoughts (hallucinations). Some people who take a large amount of hashish may start feeling scared, strange, or paranoid (worried that something bad is going to happen).
Dangers of using hashish[change | change source]
Hurting the lungs and throat[change | change source]
Smoking any drugs such as marijuana, hashish, or tobacco is bad for the lungs. Smoke hurts the lungs and the throat because the smoke has tar in it and contains chemicals that can cause cancer in the lungs or mouth if the person smokes over a long time period. A person who only eats hashish will not hurt their lungs or throat. A relatively newer process of inhalation which is much safer than smoking is vaporizing the hashish. This method is based on increasing the temperature of the hashish to about 190-195 degrees Celsius which is about the temperature THC vaporizes at but is far below the point when "carbons" begin being burned. The end result is the THC compound being breathed in combined with air rather than the THC compound being breathed in with smoke.
Addiction[change | change source]
Most other illegal drugs, such as heroin, crack, and cocaine are very addictive. This means that if a person starts taking heroin, meth, or cocaine, the person will want to keep taking more of the drug, even if it is making them sick (ill). Legal drugs such as tobacco and alcohol are also found to be addictive. Tobacco has additives that make it more harmful than cannabis and hash.
Hashish and marijuana are not physically addictive like heroin, cocaine and cigarettes; however, users may develop a psychological addiction.
Long-term impacts of use can also include:
- Reduced hormones levels
- Temporary loss of fertility
- Loss of motivation
- Lung damage
- Weakened immune system
- Delayed emotional growth
- Risk of cancer
Slang terms[change | change source]
Hashish is often just called "hash". Slang terms vary from one country to country. A pipe used for smoking hashish is often called a "pipe". A water pipe for smoking hashish is called a "bong". There are also many slang terms for hashish smoking, such as "getting faded", "blown" or "blazing". Many slang terms for cannabis intoxication, such as "getting high", "getting stoned", "getting ripped", "toking bowls" and "spliffing" are shared for hashish as the effects of cannabis / marijuana and hashish are the same.
Related pages[change | change source]
References[change | change source]
- "Hash Abuse and Side Effects".
- "Marijuana". American Cancer Society. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
- "Drug Use from Encyclopedia of Medical Anthropology: Health and Illness in the World's Cultures". credoreference.com. 2011. Retrieved 15 May 2011.
- "Psychology Today".