Generally speaking, when people talk about the differences between hash and weed, they claim that hash makes them feel drowsy while weed tend to give them a more active high. But is it really that simple, and what exactly is the difference between weed and hash? This blog explains.
What Is Weed?
Let’s start at the beginning: what exactly are weed and hash? In most parts of the world, weed, also known as cannabis or marijuana, represents the flower buds of female cannabis plants. These flower buds are also known as colas.
How Is Weed Made?
As cannabis plants progress through their natural life cycle, their buds grow larger and more potent as female specimens do whatever they can to be pollinated by males. Anyone growing weed will try to prevent such pollination from happening, though, as this will cause females to produce seeds rather than more active cannabis compounds to boost their effects. Ultimately, flower buds contain THC, CBD, various other cannabinoids, and terpenes that combine to produce a stoned or high effect. These effects vary between strains, and recreational or medicinal applications of a high (against pain, sleeplessness, depression, or nausea, for instance) is why so many people decide to grow their own weed -it’s actually pretty easy if you know what you’re doing.
Female flower buds reach their full potential after flowering for about eight to twelve weeks. As you can see from their glistening trichomes, the buds are now ready to harvest. After that, the colas have to dry for about two weeks and then continue to harden in glass jars. This procedure is called curing: an important way to make sure weed is fully matured. The terpenes that produce a strain’s aroma reach peak potential, and the effects of the weed grow stronger, too. In the end, this makes for firm, dried, fragrant green buds ready for consumption: this is weed as we’ve known it for years.
Great Weed From The Best Cannabis Seeds
There is a huge number of cannabis strains out there. Dutch coffeeshops and the dispensaries of other countries sell cannabis of varying quality, yet ever more people decide to grow their own weed instead. Dried buds are either smoked, vaporised, or processed in edibles or oils, for instance. Weed can be divided into indica or sativa strains, or into haze or kush variants. Some kinds of weed causes a body buzz, whereas other kinds tend to focus more on head buzz mental effects. Ultimately though, it all depends on genetics: the very best weed (and hash!) is grown from the finest cannabis seeds in the world.
What Is Hash?
Hash, sometimes known as ‘hashish’ or ‘hasheesh’, is a refined form of the trichomes found on the flower buds we call weed. The word stems from Arabic, where ‘hashish’ (حشيش) means powdered hemp. The method of production is one of the main differences between weed and hash. Hash is produced by separating the resin from other plant material present in cannabis buds. This can be achieved by various methods. Some of the most famous hash-making traditions originate from India, Morocco, and Afghanistan.
How Is Hash Made?
In Afghanistan and Morocco, hash is produced by pounding and sifting dried cannabis flower into garda or kief. Kief is a fine powder that is very rich in trichomes. As mentioned above, these trichomes contain the cannabinoids that cause the (psychoactive and other) effects. Kief is then heated to create the characteristic greenish-yellow to dark brown sticky substance. Indian hash is made differently. Here, trichomes are separated from the fresh buds by rolling them between then palms of the hands. Eventually, only the sticky brown resin remain on the skin of the hands, which is then rolled into balls. In the Moroccan tradition, by contrast, hash is cold-pressed until the kief solidifies into a sticky compressed product. This will eventually become the block of hash as we know it in Europe.
As you can see, making hash is time-consuming business. In fact, it is a traditional craft and an art form that has been perfected over the centuries. These complex procedures make for a product that tastes altogether different, and is often more concentrated, than the dried buds used to produce it. This explains why hash is usually more expensive than weed: it simply takes more time and resources to make!
For modern growers, hash can be a real gourmet treat or simply an exclusive final harvest product. Making your own hash can be done in various ways, but that is a topic for another blog.
Consumption Of Weed And Hash
Weed can be smoked by grinding the dried buds into tiny bits, after which it can be smoked either pure or combined with tobacco.
Hash must be crumbled into smaller pieces, or rolled into a thin bar if it is soft enough. It can then be rolled into a joint together with tobacco. In contrast to weed, hash cannot be smoked without tobacco or similar products in a joint.
Connoisseurs can also opt to get creative and consume weed or hash by using edibles, a bong, or a Weezy, for instance. These are in fact more pure ways to consume weed and hash since they don’t require adding tobacco.
Difference In Effects Between Weed And Hash
After reading the above, you may start to wonder about the old assumption that hash tends to produce ‘stoned’ effects whereas weed tends to make people ‘high’. Well, guess what: you’re right to do so!
Feeling stoned usually refers to a body buzz, accompanied by relaxed, mellow feelings in body and mind. Being high tends to involve more activating sensations, sparking creativity and more ‘trippy’ experiences often interpreted as a head buzz instead.
As you may have guessed, hash and weed can be made from the exact same strains. The relative cannabinoid levels remain the same for both products, although their concentrations will differ. Hash tends to be more concentrated and therefore more potent. The main differences between weed and hash is the latter’s higher concentration, which makes flavour and effects even more distinct.
The notion that hash and weed produce different effects by definition turns out to be a bit of an urban myth, then. Still, it’s not hard to see where it came from, because traditional hash (strains) tend to contain high CBD levels. This indicates that the assumed differences between weed and classic hash are determined more by CBD:THC ratios than by THC percentages alone. CBD is the cannabinoid that can subdue the effects of THC to some extent. In a sense, CBD tends to soothe the mind while THC triggers it instead.
Hash Or Weed: A Matter Of Taste?
Back in the day, people were lucky if they could choose between weed and hash at all, rather than choosing from the amazing range of cannabis strains available today. Back then, hash was usually imported and made of traditional strains, so connoisseurs could anticipate the calm stoned effects these would usually entail. These days, consumers instead tend to get lost in all the strains and options the market provides. That is why it’s usually best to focus on THC and CBD values of available strains to make an informed choice. High THC strains generally start at around 15% THC. However, if such strains also contain 2% CBD, the THC effects tend to be weaker as a result.
In addition, sativa-dominant weed and hash strains tend to produce more activating highs than indica-dominant types. Then there is a whole range of less prominent cannabinoids and terpenes that add their own twist to the effects through the entourage effect. That’s why Amsterdam Genetics strains always state their CBD and THC percentages along with other components in their cannabis seeds catalogue entries. Asking for these percentages is perfectly acceptable in dispensaries, too: any good budtender will be able to tell you more about them.
Of course, dosage is also a decisive factor in the effect of any kind of weed or hash. Furthermore, potency varies between harvests and individual plants, so even dedicated growers cannot predict the exact outcome in advance. In the end, both weed and the hash produced from it remain natural products; but that’s part of the charm. Fortunately, there’s plenty of great genetics to choose from, no matter whether the final verdict is in favour of hash or weed.