In the growing use of cannabis, it’s essential to distinguish between its various forms and understand their differences. Two similar drugs are marijuana and hashish, often referred to simply as hash. Below, we explore hashish in-depth, contrasting it with marijuana, and examining its effects, both short-term and long-term, along with its potential mental health implications.
What is Hashish?
Hashish, or hash, is a concentrated form of cannabis derived from the resin of marijuana plants. The resin is collected and processed to create a compact, often sticky substance. Typically appearing in colors ranging from light brown to nearly black, hash contains high concentrations of cannabinoids — the active compounds in cannabis — notably THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is responsible for inducing the characteristic psychoactive effects of the substance.
Differences Between Marijuana and Hash
- Composition: Marijuana refers to the dried flowers, leaves, and stems of the Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica plants, while hash is derived from the resin that coats the flowers of these plants.
- Potency: Hash typically has a higher concentration of THC than marijuana. While THC levels in marijuana can range between 5% and 30%, hash often boasts THC content between 20% and 60%, making it significantly more potent.
- Appearance & Consistency: Marijuana resembles dried herbal material, while hash takes on a compacted, often sticky or hard consistency.
- Flavor & Aroma: Given its concentrated nature, hash offers a more intense flavor and aroma than marijuana, providing a distinctive experience for users.
Is Hash Consumed Differently Than Marijuana?
Hash and marijuana can be consumed through various methods, including smoking, vaping, and edibles. However, given their differing consistencies and potencies, the manner and amount consumed may differ.
- Smoking: While marijuana can be smoked on its own, hash often requires a substrate like tobacco or herbal smoking blends due to its dense consistency.
- Vaping: Both hash and marijuana can be vaporized, although hash may require specialized vaporizers capable of handling its consistency and melting point.
- Edibles: Hash can be incorporated into edibles, often in smaller quantities than marijuana due to its potency.
Marijuana Use Statistics
- Prevalence: According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), in 2020, over 48 million Americans (aged 12 or older) reported using marijuana in the past year. This figure represents approximately 18% of the population in this age group.
- Age Groups:
- Young Adults: Marijuana use is especially prevalent among young adults aged 18-25, with around 35% reporting past-year use.
- Adolescents: Approximately 11.6% of adolescents aged 12-17 reported using marijuana in the past year.
Global Marijuana Use:
- According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), around 192 million people worldwide used cannabis in 2018, making it the most commonly used drug globally.
Short Term Effects of Hashish
The short-term effects of hashish are largely attributed to its high THC content. Users may experience:
- Heightened senses
- Altered time perception
- Increased appetite
- Attention problems
- Mood elevation
- Impaired coordination
- Impaired memory
Long-Term Effects of Hashish
Long-term use of hashish, like marijuana, poses potential risks. Chronic consumption can lead to the development of a tolerance, necessitating more substantial amounts to achieve the same effects. Additionally, long-term use can result in the following:
- Respiratory issues
- Impaired cognitive function
- Addiction or dependency in some individuals
- Weakened immune system
Mental Health Effects of Hashish
Research suggests that heavy, long-term use of hashish can impact mental health. Users might experience increased anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders. There is also a demonstrated link between chronic cannabis use and the exacerbation or acceleration of existing mental health conditions, like schizophrenia.
What is Marijuana Use Disorder?
Marijuana Use Disorder, often equated to cannabis addiction or dependency, occurs when individuals cannot stop using the substance despite facing negative consequences in their lives. This disorder is often characterized by a physical dependency where individuals may experience withdrawal symptoms upon cessation of use.
Signs and Symptoms of Marijuana Use Disorder
- Difficulty controlling or cutting down cannabis use
- Development of a tolerance to cannabis
- Forgoing important activities or responsibilities in favor of cannabis use
- Continuous use despite awareness of physical or psychological harm
Getting Treatment for Marijuana Use Disorder
For individuals struggling with Marijuana Use Disorder, various treatment options are available. Behavioral therapies and support groups can be effective in managing the disorder. In some cases, medication may be prescribed to alleviate withdrawal symptoms during the cessation process. At Buckhead Behavioral Health, we offer marijuana addiction treatment in Atlanta for those struggling, including Partial Hospitalization Programming, Intensive Outpatient Programming, and outpatient treatment.
Find Drug Rehab in Atlanta Today!
Understanding the distinctions between marijuana and hashish, along with the potential risks and effects associated with each, is vital for informed consumption. If you or someone you know is struggling with Marijuana Use Disorder, seek professional advice and explore available treatment options immediately. Awareness and education are your strongest allies in navigating the complex world of cannabis responsibly and safely. Buckhead Behavioral Health is an outpatient rehab in Atlanta, Georgia, specializing in dual diagnosis disorders.