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Drugs, Inc. Facts: Hash

What You Should Know About Hashish

Photo: A spliff, or joint being smoked

Photo: A spliff, or joint being smoked (View larger version)

Photo by: NGC / Steve Lidgerwood

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  • The most commonly abused and trafficked illicit drugs in the world are derived from the Cannabis sativa plant.

  • Hashish, also called hash, is made from resin heads of glandular trichomes that cover the surface of the buds of the cannabis plant. The trichomes are collected, pressed together, and shaped. The more resin on the cannabis bud, the stronger the hash.

  • 35.4 kilograms of raw cannabis are needed to make 1 kilogram of hashish.

  • Almost 10,000 mega-tons of hashish were produced in 2008.

  • Herbal cannabis is produced widely around the world, but resin is produced mostly in a handful of countries, including Morocco, Pakistan, Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Nepal.

  • Moroccan hashish is mainly trafficked into Spain, and distributed from there to be sold on the European market.

  • The main area of Hash production in Morocco is the central Rif, where it has been present since the 15th century.

  • Despite Morocco’s dominance of the hash market for many years, in 2010 Afghanistan unexpectedly took the crown as the number one hash-producing country.

  • Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the main psychoactive chemical in the cannabis plant, although marijuana also contains some 400 other chemicals.

  • Smoking hash gives users a quicker, shorter high than they get from eating it. The effects of smoking hash are felt within minutes, generally peaking in 10-30 minutes, and wearing off in two to three hours. Eating hash generally takes 30-60 minutes before the effects to kick in, but the high can last up to six hours.

  • In the last 20 years, the average potency of hash has increased substantially, although it can vary significantly depending on where it comes from.

  • The usual sensations that hash users are after include euphoria, relaxation, and changes in perception. Hash is known to cause a mild enhancement of the senses, talkativeness, giggling, an increased appreciation of music, and an increased appetite. Negative effects might include nervousness, paranoia, respiratory issues, and dry mouth.

  • Approximately 42 percent of teenagers will have tried marijuana by their high school graduation.

  • Hash has many street names, including shish, kif, charas, and nup. Names like Moroccan, Lebanese, and black Afghani refer to the hash’s color or country of origin.

  • Both Cannabis and THC are Schedule I drugs in the United States, meaning that according to the Controlled Substances Act, it is federally illegal to cultivate, buy, possess, or distribute them in any form, including hash.

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