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Botanical name: Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica

Other common or street names: boom, gangster, hash, hemp. Marijuana concentrates are often referred to as 710, wax, ear wax, honey oil, budder, butane hash oil, butane honey oil (BHO), shatter, dabs (dabbing), black glass, and errl. Note: Street names change often and may vary regionally across the US.

What is hashish (hash)?

  • Hashish, often called hash, is a potent form of cannabis (marijuana) produced by collecting and compressing trichomes, the most potent material from cannabis plants. Marijuana is a green, brown or gray mixture of dried, shredded leaves, stems, seeds and flowers of the plant Cannabis sativa.
  • Trichomes are the fine growths on cannabis plants that produce a brown or or orange sticky resin. The resin is high in THC.
  • Hash is often dried and pressed into small blocks or made into an oil. It may also be added to food and eaten.

Hashish contains essentially the same active ingredients found in marijuana, except in a more concentrated THC form. Sinsemilla, hashish and hash oil are stronger forms of marijuana. These products are THC concentrates or extracts. They appear as a dark brown, waxy substance or can be made into an oil.

The active agent in hashish that leads to the "high", like marijuana, is THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol).

As with marijuana, people who use hashish may experience a pleasant to intense euphoria, a sense of relaxation and a heightened sensory perception (such as brighter colors). Elevated mood, altered perception of time, and increased appetite may occur. Effects can also be unpleasant or cause paranoia or panic in novice users not experienced with concentrated levels of THC.

How is hash used?

Hashish or concentrates are usually smoked in a pipe or water pipe (bong) or "dabbed" using a special tool or vaporizer ("vape") pen. It may be rolled into a "blunt" (from an empty cigar) with marijuana or tobacco. It can be added to food or brewed in a tea, also.

Many who use marijuana concentrates prefer the use of a vaporizer because it's smokeless, odor-free and easy to carry and hide. Using a vaporizer to ingest marijuana concentrates is commonly referred to as "dabbing" or "vaping."

Dabbing, or smoking THC-rich products, is becoming more popular. Marijuana extracts, which contain very high amounts of THC include:

  • hash oil
  • wax or budder: a soft solid form
  • shatter: a hard resinous substance

Hash effects on the user depend on the strength or potency of the THC it contains. Hashish contains the same active ingredients as marijuana, like THC and other cannabinoids, but with much higher concentrations. The concentrations can vary depending upon product.

THC extracts are becoming more popular as laws surrounding recreational use of marijuana have relaxed in the US. Marijuana concentrates contain very high levels of THC ranging from 40 to 80%, and may be 4 times stronger in THC content than marijuana, which may measure around 20% THC.

Butane is a commonly used solvent used to produce butane hash oil (BHO), also known as amber, dab, glass, honey, butter, shatter, or wax. Extraction is dangerous because it uses highly flammable butane to extract the THC from the marijuana plant material. Explosions and severe burns have occurred.

For additional information, see Marijuana and Cannabis

What are the health effects of hash use?

The short-term effects of hashish use include problems with memory and learning; distorted perception (sights, sounds, time, touch); difficulty in thinking and problem solving; loss of coordination; and increased heart rate, anxiety, and panic attacks. The effects may be more intense due to the high concentration of THC found in hash and other concentrates.

THC in marijuana is strongly absorbed by fatty tissues in various organs. Generally, traces of THC can be detected by standard urine testing methods several days after a smoking session. In heavy chronic users, traces can sometimes be detected for weeks after they have stopped using marijuana or its concentrates.

THC in hashish is many times more potent that the levels of THC found in standard marijuana. Levels of THC found in marijuana have skyrocketed over the last two decades. According to samples tested by the DEA, percentage of THC in marijuana has gone from roughly 4% in 1998 to over 15.5% in 2018.

The long term effects of hashish or marijuana concentrate use are not yet fully known; but, long-term marijuana plant-use has been studied.

  • Psychological effects can include paranoia, anxiety, panic attacks, and hallucinations.
  • Alterations in heart rate and blood pressure may occur.
  • People who inhale THC products often have the same respiratory problems as cigarette smokers. These individuals may have daily cough and phlegm, symptoms of chronic bronchitis, and more frequent chest colds. They are prone to lung infections like pneumonia. Marijuana smoke may contain some of the same cancer-causing chemicals found in cigarette smoke (toxins and tar).
  • Marijuana and THC affects memory, judgment and perception. Learning and attention skills are impaired among people who use marijuana heavily.

Studies show that marijuana use from a young age can affect brain development and IQ levels.

Hash effects on pregnancy

Any drug of abuse can affect a mother's health during pregnancy.

  • THC crosses the placenta and can enter breast milk, which can put the unborn baby at risk.
  • Some studies have found that babies born to mothers who used marijuana (THC) during pregnancy were smaller than those born to mothers who did not use the drug. In general, smaller babies are more likely to develop health problems.
  • A nursing mother who uses marijuana passes some of the THC to the baby in her breast milk. Research indicates that the use of marijuana by a mother during the first month of breast-feeding can impair the infant's motor development.
  • Due to possible side effects of marijuana on the fetus, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that marijuana should be avoided during pregnancy.

Hash addictive potential

A drug is addicting if it causes compulsive, uncontrollable drug craving, seeking, and use, even in the face of negative health and social consequences.

While not everyone who uses marijuana or hashish(THC) becomes addicted, when a user begins to seek out and take the drug compulsively, that person is said to be dependent or addicted to the drug.

Some frequent, heavy users of marijuana (THC) develop a tolerance for it. Tolerance means that the user needs larger doses of the drug to get the same desired results that they used to get from smaller amounts.

Long-term marijuana users may also experience withdrawal and addiction problems. Mild withdrawal symptoms that have been reported in those trying to quit include:

  • irritability
  • trouble sleeping
  • decreased appetite
  • anxiety
  • cravings

No medicines are available to treat marijuana use disorder, but behavioral support can be effective. Speak with your doctor if you are seeking treatment for marijuana use disorder.

Recreational use of cannabis (marijuana)

The states, territories or districts where recreational use of marijuana (THC) or marijuana products are legal are:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Guam (territory)
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • Oregon
  • South Dakota
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Washington, D.C.

In addition, multiple US states, territories or commonwealths have approved the use of medical marijuana or have decriminalized its use.

Note: some states may have passed laws but still may be in the process of finalizing procedures and rules surrounding distribution or retail sales.

It is important to note that the federal government still considers marijuana a dangerous drug and that the illegal distribution and sale of marijuana (including hashish) is a federal crime.

Under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), marijuana, hash and hash oil are still considered a Schedule 1 drugs. Schedule 1 drugs are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.

Cities, municipalities, employers, landlords, and universities may have special policies about the use of marijuana or marijuana products. Use within any federal land, national park or monument is illegal. Be sure to check all rules before use, especially in areas that may be under federal law.


See also


Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.