Hash or Hashish is the concentration of stalked resin glands of the cannabis (marijuana) plant called trichomes. The trichomes (capitate-stalk) used to make hash are developed during flowering and appears as a sticky resin with a higher concentration of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the active ingredient in cannabis. This resin is more prevalent on the female than male flower bracts; a leaf-like formation within the plant. The compression of this highly concentrated resin makes hash a more potent drug than the buds and leaves that are typically rolled and smoked.
There may be slight variations in the appearance of hash. Variation are primarily caused or determined by temperature exposure and how it is prepared. Compressed hash may be solid with varying levels of pliability. Water purified hash can be gummy or pasty. In color, Hash oil may appear black, light to dark brown, as variable shades of green or as a deep golden color. Hash is also consumed in numerous ways such as with a heated pipe, with a hookah (an instrument used for vaporizing and smoking), bong, and bubbler or with two hot knives. Some users combine hash with marijuana joints or use it when making cookies or other sweets.
In the United States the Food and Drug Administration has categorized cannabis as a Schedule I of the controlled substance act. This places the drug in the most dangerous and severely restricted classification for chemical substances. Based on the Controlled Substance Act, Schedule I drugs are highly addictive and has no accepted medical use in the United States. Requests for reclassification has been repeated appealed by strong advocates for the medical proficiency of the drug and the petition consistently denied. However, although cannabis remains as a Schedule I controlled substance, there has been two subsequent rescheduling of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) which is the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis in the form of a prescription pill medication. The first reclassification occurred in 1985 as a schedule II drug and again in 1999 as a Schedule III controlled substance. As such, cannabis has concurrent classifications as a schedule I and Schedule III drug based on how it is processed and used. Under the Schedule I classification, hash is subject to stiff penalties for possession, distribution and use.
History of Hash
Historical records show that northern India has been active producers of hashish (hash) for centuries. Cannabis grows in abundance and in various strains making the product available for use in the Indian sub-continent. The drug has also been used to produce Ganga and the various other formulations in which it is currently used. In northern India, the plant resin used to make hash is known as “Charas” which was originally used in ceremonial rituals. However, hashish production in countries like Egypt, Turkey and Arabia has been documented by Jan Huyghen van Linschoten, a Dutch explorer. Based on his data, hashish, which is Arabic for “grass” was made from the powder of the Hemp leaves into a paste or dough and eaten. Hash is a popular way this drug is ingested in this area and many other areas of the world.
Throughout its long history, preparatory methods of making Hash has evolved. Today there are various mechanical methods of separating the potent trichomes from the plant such as through sieve screens or with motorized tumblers. Ice water separation is another common mechanical method of producing Hash.
Effects of Hash
Use of Hash can be habit forming and can produce various short and long term effects. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), no matter which way it is ingested, cannabis has the potential to be addictive. Research studies suggest that approximately nine percent of users become addicted to marijuana. Data also show that THC impacts specific molecular targets found on brain cells known as cannabinoid receptors because these are chemically similar to naturally occurring THC in the body.
This drug can affect users for up to three hours following ingestion. The most common reactions after consumption includes relaxation, elevation in moods, reduced stress, and enhanced sensory perception.
Common short-term side effects may include:
- Increased heart rate by 20-100 percent immediately after smoking. Some Studies show a 4.8 fold risk of a heart attack within the first hour after smoking.
- Temporary psychotic reactions such as hallucinations and paranoia
- Temporary impairment to short term memory
- Euphoria or exaggerated feelings of well-being
- Distorted perception of time and spatial boundaries
- Mood elevations that lead to laughter and feelings of excitement
- Feeling hungry and having a bigger appetite for food
- Paranoia and/or panic attacks
- Speech and thought impairment
- Exaggerated coughing, dry mouth and throat
Possible long term effects such as:
- Dependence and/or addiction
- Lack of drive or motivation
- Respiratory damage
- Weakened immune system
- Delayed emotional growth
- Risk of cancer
Long-term marijuana consumption can produce withdrawal symptoms when users try to stop or minimize use. Symptoms reported include irritability, insomnia, decreased appetite, anxiety, and excessive drug craving, all of which can lead to a relapse.
Treatment for Hash Addiction
Abstinence in a controlled environment help patients to withdraw safely from habitual use of Hash and other forms of cannabis addictions. Cognitive Behavioral therapy and other rehabilitation interventions such as biofeedback and motivational incentives have also been very effecting in assisting patients to recover. At our rehab treatment centers, we evaluate every patient to determine if there are any comorbid conditions. A careful physical and psychological assessment will facilitate an accurate diagnosis and highlight any dual diagnosis that may require simultaneous treatment. Relapse prevention training and education is also an integral component of our evidence-based treatment modalities that enable addicts to maintain long term sobriety.
If you or a loved one has developed a chronic need for hash or other forms of cannabis product help is available. Call our Drug Rehab Treatment Centers today at 877-855-3470. Our understanding and highly qualified counselors are available 24/7 to take your call, answer questions regarding this and other drugs. They can also help you to identify the treatment program that is right for you.