Hashish Facts and Treatment

With the proliferation of marijuana dispensaries we are seeing more and more men and women becoming dependent on marijuana and marijuana products like hash. Here is some information on hash.

What is Hashish?

Hashish is a cannabis product derived from the marijuana plant; specifically the resin glands known as “trichomes”, which contain the psychoactive ingredients that cause intoxication.

Hashish is often thought of as a completely different drug than marijuana, but it is basically the substance, and produces the same effects, just in a different, more condensed form. Instead of a green, leafy plant like marijuana, hashish is a solid or tar like mass that resembles clay more than a plant.

It can range in color from, black to light gray or dark green to a light brown. Hashish often will have the same distinct odor that marijuana has.

What are the street names for Hashish?

Hashish gets its name from the Arabic, where “hashish” translates to “grass”. In America Hashish is referred to simply as “Hash” in general, but can sometimes be referred to by it’s country of origin, example, “Lebanese”, “Leb” or “Afghani (or Afgani)” or it’s color “Brown” or “Blond”, or a combination of the two: “Moroccan Blond”.  Sometimes the shape of the hashish is used in the name as well, like “Finger”, “Pattie” or “Brick”.

Other street names include, “Gangster”,  “Keef (or Kief),”  or “Shish”.

Via text messages or the Internet, often a “#” symbol is used to denote it.

How is it made?

Hashish can be made through several different methods, but they all have the same common goal of stripping the sticky trichomes from the stems and leaves of the marijuana plant and then compressing them in a solid concentrated mass.

The most simplistic and oldest form of hash creation is the method known as “finger-rolling”. Simply put, the harvester would roll the marijuana plants between their fingers, releasing the sticky glands, and then they would scrape the residue off of their fingers, and compress it into a ball.

The next method uses fine mesh screens, either rubbed by hand or mechanically tumbled, that allow the fine particles to drop through, where they are collected and then formed into a solid mass.

The third and most controversial/dangerous method is to use chemicals as a means of separation. In this method, the marijuana is soaked in a chemical agent, such as ethanol or butane, which draws out the psychoactive chemicals. Then the plants are removed and the chemical is left to dry. The left over material is collected and formed into hashish or if still in a more liquid form, “hash oil.” The danger lies in the use of flammable chemicals during processing and the chance that some harmful residue may remain in the finished product.

The most modern and prolific method in America has become the use of ice water in separation. In this method, the plants are placed in a series of filter bags and ice water and are jostled about, causing the resin to freeze, become brittle and break off from the plant matter. It then filters through the bags and gets trapped where it can be dried and formed into hash.

How common is Hash?

With the increasingly large numbers of domestically grown marijuana in America, hashish has also seen an increase in availability and use. The main reason for this increase is that most marijuana growers trim their plants and sell the most desirable parts as whole marijuana. This leaves them with large amounts of leftover, lower quality marijuana leaves and stems that they would have difficulty selling. However, with the increasingly sophisticated ability to use ice water separation techniques, many growers have discovered they can turn their “leftovers” into highly profitable hashish with little effort.

How is it used?

Hashish is normally smoked, either in hookahs, pipes, water bongs, or vaporizers. It can also be ingested orally.

What are its effects?

The effects of hashish are identical to that of marijuana: euphoria, confusion, slowed thinking and reaction time, impaired balance and coordination.

Some users believe that hashish has different effects than marijuana, but this is probably due to the fact that hashish may come from a different location, and therefore a different strain of marijuana, with slightly different psychoactive chemicals than they are used to. Or it could be the higher concentration found in the hashish that causes the different effects.

What are its dangers?

The short-term effects of hashish use include problems with perception, difficulty in thinking and problem solving, lowered inhibitions, memory and learning difficulties, a lack of motivation, and a loss of coordination. Many people also experience and increased heart rate, anxiety, and panic attacks.

The long-term effects may include damage to the respiratory system and possible cannabis addiction. Although cannabis hasn’t been proven to be physically addictive, it can be mentally addicting and abused like any other drug. Not every person will become addicted, but some will show signs of mental addiction, including a continued use of hashish even though it is having a negative affect on their lives and the lives of the people around them.

Treatment for Hashish and Marijuana Addiction

Our treatment centers have many years experience treating hashish and marijuana addiction. Abuse of these substances often lead to abusing harder drugs like ecstasy or OxyContin.

Recovering from substance use disorders is a challenging journey that feels more doable in an environment that tends to each individual’s complex needs and strengths. Our goal is to foster a treatment experience that is built on compassion, hope, and caring, and fueled by excellence in the provision of evidence-based and trauma-informed care.

– - Anonymous