Its origins are lost in the mists of time, but it has always appeared among the certainly most appreciated and used derivatives of cannabis: we are talking about Hashish, a substance with proclaimed psychotropic effects, obtained from the female inflorescences of hemp sativa, precisely from trichomes, through specific manual or alternatively mechanical and chemical processes aimed at extracting its characteristic resin.
Generally referred to as “Hash,” hashish, unlike the herb that usually takes the form of a dried bud, can take on different aspects depending on the extraction process: in fact, it can be characterized by a semi-solid or more or less pasty consistency, and by colorations ranging from yellow, brown to black or reddish as well as in different hardnesses.
What distinguishes hashish, however, remains the considerable concentration of THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, the same that defines the substance’s characteristic psychoactive effects, capable of imparting a pleasant feeling of euphoria and excitement, more or less pronounced depending on how it is taken.
Unlike marijuana, hashish is nothing more than resin in its pure state, plant matter that can contain very high percentages of cannabinoids, which are generally around 20 to 60 percent as opposed to the 15 to 21 percent commonly found in Cannabis .
It goes without saying that although the action given by the substance will be more intense and pronounced, it can also lead to unpleasant side effects, especially if the intake is occasional or sporadic.
In this guide we will cover all the peculiarities of hashish, explaining its history, how it can be consumed, the beneficial action that smoking can bring as well as any side effects to the body.
What is Hashish
Hashish is a psychotropic narcotic substance derived from the female inflorescences of cannabis, specifically the trichomes from which this resinous plant matter is extracted. Known for its characteristic psychotropic effects given by the considerable concentration of THC or tetracannabidiol, hashish assumes that nomenclature from the Arabic term ﺣﺸﻴﺶ (ḥašīš), “herb “in Italian, boasting a millennial tradition that is still rather nebulous today, this since little evidence has been gathered about its earliest history: however, historians agree on what was presumably its first historical appearance in Arabia from the 10th century onward.
Indeed, the earliest historical records date back to the 11th century, a period when hashish was widely debated by Muslim lawmakers themselves about its relative use in their culture.
From that time on, hashish would spread like wildfire throughout the Arab territories and the Middle East, complicit in its characteristic euphemizing properties and ability to induce sleep and rest more easily.
Even today, however, the debate about the creation of hashish is still open: there is no certainty that it originated in Arabia or rather was introduced from other cultures, but in fact there is documentation that still testifies how the Sufi leader, Sheikh Haidar, habitually consumed hashish, appreciating its psychotropic effects, promoting its use among his followers who in turn introduced the substance to neighboring countries such as Egypt and Iraq.
Hashish thus experienced a drastic surge throughout the Middle East beginning in the 13th century, which was followed by its widespread dissemination on a global scale: in fact, it was the Mongol tribes led by Genghis Khan
who enabled its circulation, aided by the numerous territorial conquests that saw hashish push as far as Russia and Central Asia. To the same period dates the writing of the first monograph devoted to the substance, entitled “Zahr al-‘arish fi tahrim al-hashish” a document that, although lost, described the rapid spread of hashish during the 13th century.
It was only with the opening of major international trade routes that “hashish” quickly infiltrated Europe as well, generating the most mixed opinions. In the following centuries, European colonialism as well as the Asian hashish-related trade became intertwined, giving rise to a true world market, but it was in fact the Industrial Revolution in Europe that brought about the advent of refined trichome sieving techniques, the same techniques that allowed for easier harvesting of the resin and a consequent increase in hashish production and related worldwide distribution.
At the beginning of the 19th century, the use of hashish continued to expand in European territory, especially in France and surrounding countries where this substance was particularly appreciated by the leading cultural and artistic figures of the period.
Thus was born in Paris the “Club des Hachichins” in 1843, where hashish although used mainly for recreational purposes, aroused the interest of physicians and researchers who recognized through multiple studies, its medicinal, curative and therapeutic properties, the same ones that are today widely corroborated by modern medicine.
However, when examining the modern history of hashish CBD, one cannot refer to the current market without mentioning Morocco: there this substance arrived around the 14th-15th centuries, traditionally adopted by the inhabitants of the Rif region, where cannabis for generations has been the main crop, widely taken through the use of pipes and frequently employed in traditional religious rituals. The Moroccan government itself authorized such cultivation until the mid-1960s, when the peak of relative prevalence occurred.
During the same period, “alternative Westerners” from Europe and North America began to visit Morocco as a coveted tourist destination, taking hashish where available.This led to an increase in cannabis cultivation and subsequent hashish production, at which point the Moroccan government itself undertook to curb this business by curbing local growers and making production illegal.
This measure turned out to be rather relative as Morocco dominated the production as well as the export of hashish from the 1980s until 2010, when it was supplanted by Afghanistan.
Although over the centuries the production methods related to hashish CBD have radically changed, this substance boasts an ancient tradition made up of struggles and prohibitions but also of scientific and non-scientific research aimed at attesting to its many benefits and providing a product of remarkable quality and with effects that are increasingly pronounced and particularly appreciated by the connoisseurs who consider this resin, a precious and indispensable nectar, to be taken in the preferred ways: by means of joints, vaporizers, bongs and pipes indifferently.
How to consume Hashish
Today we can buy Legal Hashish CBD in specialized Cannabis shops, depending on the legislation of the country where you decide to buy Hash
There are many ways in which hashish CBD can be taken, each of which allows the benefits of the substance to be enjoyed, enhancing the properties and typical action of cannabinoids.
The most common is characterized by the joint where the plant matter is combined with tobacco and then smoked exactly as if it were a cigarette. More modern and cutting-edge is the use of the vaporizer, a special electronic device capable of heating the resin while maintaining its properties and enhancing its characteristic aroma.
Traditionally, hashish can also be smoked by means of cilums, bongs and water pipes capable of quickly maximizing the potential, accelerating the effects: these are methodologies with ancient origins that often see the use of tobacco to be mixed with the “Hash,” thus making the flavor particularly pronounced, aided by the combustion process and the subsequent inhalation of the fumes produced.
Last but not least, the intake by means of Edibles, particularly baked and leavened preparations such as cakes, muffins and cookies, to name but a few examples, which allow the substance to be taken by ingestion. However, it should be remembered that ingestion slows down the manifestation of the effects given by hashish, which in this case appear from at least 30 minutes after the intake itself.
Characteristics, effects and side effects of hashish THC
Hashish appears among the most potent derivatives of cannabis, produced through the processing of trichomes, small outgrowths located on the female inflorescences of hemp, from which the resin is extracted, subsequently compressed by manual, chemical or mechanical methods.
The characteristic euphoric and psychoactive action, is given by the considerable concentration of THC or tetra cannabidiol, in percentages usually considerably higher than in classic dried marijuana: this therefore determines more powerful and marked effects, as well as more prolonged over time.
Hashish therefore presents a number of immediate and short-term manifestations characteristic of cannabinoids such as a pleasant feeling of relaxation, well-being and happiness accompanied by an altered perception of time and space. To this go added a real enhancement of emotional experiences as well as increased sociability given by a reduction of fear and the release of all kinds of inhibitory and behavioral brakes. However, taking hashish can present potential side effects such as nausea, vomiting and stomach cramps, a significant loss of motor coordination, increased pulse rate and blood pressure, increased frequency of breathing, drowsiness and still poor decision making, depression, anxiety, panic attacks and a substantial loss of control and the ability to make decisions lucidly.
Although these manifestations tend to disappear quickly once the effect of the substance is over, hashish can potentially lead to multiple problems, including long-term ones, given by constant, systematic and immoderate intake that also tends to lead to addiction.
Excessive use in predisposed individuals can therefore lead to reduced resistance to the most common diseases such as colds, flu and bronchitis, determine problems related to growth and development in adolescent subjects, reduce the production of testosterone characterizing obvious problems of a sexual nature, constitute respiratory, emotional and psychological problems that include apathy, lack of motivation and depression with an increased risk of developing true psychosis or obsessive compulsive disorders, as well as accentuate any changes related to mood and difficulties in managing emotions and anger.
Can hashish therefore be harmful? Accredited organizations such as the American Psychiatric Association, include hashish as well as marijuana among the main culprits that can promote the development of a condition known as “cannabis use disorder” or C.U.D. : in fact therefore, although it is often believed that both substances are almost harmless, there are testimonies and scientific theses ready to confirm the contrary.
Hashish itself in particular can carry multiple risks associated with chronic use.
Research conducted by the association has shown how adolescents who habitually use cannabis products and derivatives inevitably suffer brain damage that can also negatively affect learning and memory. Similarly, chronic cannabis as well as hashish users tend to develop a correlated addiction to alcohol abuse more than 50 percent more frequently than nonusers.
Hashish CBD users often present the same respiratory problems associated with tobacco smoking, although it has not yet been confirmed, however, that this plant matter may promote the risk of developing lung cancer. Similarly, should pregnant women take cannabis and its derivatives, there is a considerable likelihood that there may be issues related to the development of the fetus and infant prior to delivery.
Long-term use of cannabis products has also been associated with a number of psychological issues, such as the development of psychosis, especially in adolescents. Also according to the American Psychiatric Association, 1 in 3 adolescents who are cannabis users typically present with issues related to anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder, while 60 percent are more likely to develop attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and conduct disorders.
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Differences between hashish and marijuana
The substantial differences between hashish and marijuana are mainly related to the morphology of the plant material as well as the effects involved in different THC concentrations. Marijuana is the plant material given by the dried inflorescences of the cannabis plant, while hashish is derived from “kief,” which is the resin produced from the trichomes on the fully matured female flowering tops.
It is harvested by sifting the inflorescences, repeatedly beating them on a clean surface or alternatively soaking them in ice water and then extracting the resin through special sieves, which is later compacted into pellets.
Hashish contains particularly high levels of THC compared to marijuana, this by virtue of the concentration of active ingredients naturally occurring right in the trichomes, which are “pure,” without compromise of any kind. Although THC concentrations can vary, marijuana generally holds a tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of around 10 to 20 percent, levels that in hashish can be 20 to 50 percent. This implies that significantly less hashish is needed to achieve particularly pronounced psychoactive effects than the manifestations given by marijuana alone. Better, therefore, to take hashish in moderate amounts precisely to avoid side effects, potentially of considerable magnitude.
How to tell if the hash is good
Recognizing a good quality hashish can often not be immediate: however, there are some small tricks that can be useful to understand even just visually the type of cannabis derivative one is about to consume.
Hashish generally tends to melt at a temperature of about 20°C, thus changing from a solid to a semi-solid state: to check the quality of the product, one must simply hold the piece of Hash in one’s hands.
The higher the concentration of resin, the less time it will take to soften.
Color is also a fair indicator in terms of quality: if held in the hands for a few minutes, good quality hash should normally only darken slightly.
Another useful technique then involves lighting a small piece of hash, which, if it is of good quality, should show small bubbles but not catch fire: otherwise you may be in the presence of a second- or third-round product and therefore of poor quality.
It is then important to pay attention to the speed with which hashish burns during intake: it actually depends on the density i.e. the ratio of resin to plant matter. Pure hashish burns slowly and does not leave any kind of residue.
Checking the color of the ash, however, can be another indicator related to quality: the whiter it appears, the less likely it is that the smoke has been cut.
However, to determine whether the hash is of quality or not, the experience of the user counts: this is easily guessed from the flavor, which should never present unpleasant or smoky aftertaste but only enhance the intense and herbaceous flavor typical of the resin.
If the smoke turns out to be intense, full-bodied and pleasant, there is no more effective evidence attesting to the high quality standards borne by the product.