Hashish is a sticky, thick, dark-colored resin (like sap) 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. The cannabinoids include 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), CBD, which gives the user a feeling of relaxation or sedation, and CBG which is responsible for giving the user red/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, Canada, and many other countries. It is controversial, since some people think it should be legal, some think it should be legal only for medical purposes, 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 compress 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 resulting mixture is then evaporated off the alcohol 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 lighting it with a flame, inhaling 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 varies by country. In the USA, there are conflicting state and federal laws concerning the use of the drug. Some states allow medicinal use but these state laws are superseded US federal law which prohibits all use of hash and marijuana.
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 has 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 some countries, such as Canada and 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 form 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). Hashish is a much stronger drug than marijuana.
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 marijuana or hashish, and also depends on the amount of the drug taken.
Since hashish is much stronger than marijuana, people who take a very large amount of hashish may also see imaginary (not really there) colors or patterns, or see strange visions or thoughts which are not actually there (these visions are called 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 addictive like heroin, cocaine and cigarettes. Most people are able to use hashish as a recreational (for fun) drug, and stop taking it when they want to. However, some people who use hashish over several months or several years may develop a psychological addiction.
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.
Other pages[change | change source]
References[change | change source]
- "hashish from Academic Press Dictionary of Science and Technology". credoreference.com. 2011 [last update]. http://www.credoreference.com/entry/apdst/hashish. Retrieved 15 May 2011.
- "Marijuana". American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/Treatment/TreatmentsandSideEffects/ComplementaryandAlternativeMedicine/HerbsVitaminsandMinerals/marijuana. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
- "Drug Use from Encyclopedia of Medical Anthropology: Health and Illness in the World's Cultures". credoreference.com. 2011 [last update]. http://www.credoreference.com/entry/sprmedanth/drug_use. Retrieved 15 May 2011. "."