Hash vs Weed: What’s the Difference?
If you’re new to the world of cannabis, it can be difficult to understand the jargon used by people who have been on the scene for longer. Even seemingly-simple concepts like the difference between weed and hash or concentrates, or how to establish the quality of your hash, can be baffling to the uninitiated.
At its simplest, weed is the dried, unprocessed flowers of the female cannabis plant, while hash (or hashish) is the resin of the female cannabis plant that’s been separated from the plant itself via mechanical or chemical means.
Does hash give you a different high? Is it stronger than weed?
Smoking hash vs. weed can have different effects. Well-made hashish generally has a stronger effect than the plant it came from. This does not apply to all hashish though, as some lower-quality forms may contain copious amounts of ‘filler’ material which can include sand, henna, plastic, oil, or even animal hair or dung.
But as a general rule, hashish is a more concentrated form of the plant it comes from. In fact, it became the primary means of utilizing cannabis in many countries because local outdoor cannabis was relatively low in cannabinoid concentration. That means a significant amount has to be used in order to achieve a noticeable effect.
The high of both hash and weed is influenced by the strain of cannabis that was used. Just like weed, the psychoactive elements of hashish should mirror that of the parent plant, though there does appear to be some degree of subjective difference in the nature of the effect compared to weed. For example, many people consider hashish to have a clearer, more cerebral effect, even if the plant itself induces a more relaxed, soporific effect in the user.
The taste may differ as well. Many people consider the taste of hashish to be earthier and less floral than the parent plant, although this can depend greatly on the extraction method and how much plant material remains in the hashish.
How is hash made?
Traditionally, mechanical separation has been the primary means of extracting the resin from the flowers. It’s either dried or sieved (dry-sifted) before being shaped and pressed into blocks, or by using the hands to rub the fresh plant so that the resin adheres to the skin and must be scraped off.
Dry-sift hashish is by far the more common in global terms. Several large producer countries including Morocco and Lebanon produce only dry-sift hashish. Even in Afghanistan (along with Morocco, the world’s largest hashish producer), the bulk of hashish destined for export is dry-sift. However, Afghanistan is part of the geographical region that is traditionally known for producing hand-rubbed hashish; it still produces significant quantities of hand-rubbed hashish, along with India, Pakistan, and several other South Asian countries.
Modern extraction techniques
In the last few decades, new techniques have been developed for extracting resin from the plant while minimizing the extent of leaf material that remains. Many of these techniques can be termed chemical separation, such as use of butane gas to “blast” the resin from the flowers. Such extracts are often of unparalleled potency, with reports of up to 90% of THC. In comparison, traditional hash-making methods typically yield finished products that contain 15-40% THC.
Another form of extraction that is difficult to classify as chemical or mechanical is ice-water extraction. Technically, this process (whereby cannabis is steeped in ice water to freeze the resinous trichomes and agitated to snap them off the plant) is primarily mechanical. But the water has a greater role to play beyond just freezing the trichomes. Ice-water extraction can be performed in various ways. Sometimes this requires fairly expensive equipment, but it can also be done in a bucket with a hand-mixer.
Weed is the dried flower, hash is resin. Both come from the female cannabis plant and each slightly differ in effect. But there's so much more to know!
The Difference Between Hash and Weed?
Thursday 1 March
The Boerejongens Basics
Since you are familiar with the Boerejongens coffeeshop concept, you have shown that you know where to get quality cannabis. So what did you get last time you were feasting your eyes on our exquisite menu? Was it a baggy of top class weed, freshly picked and full of flavour? Or did you go for one of our superb and world-famous (Block)hash variants?
Maybe you got some of both, but whatever your choice was, do you know the main differences between the brown and the green? Maybe you’re not a smoker and are you willing to get well-informed by the cannabis connoisseurs of Amsterdam? Let’s go over the basics together, so you’ll have a bit more information next time you give our mouth-watering menu display a go!
What’s The Difference?
So what are the main differences between hash and weed? Let’s start out with the most obvious thing they have in common: they both come from the same cannabis plants. As you probably know, weed is the flower bud of the female cannabis plant. Hash is made of these same flower buds, but it is processed in a different way. After a cannabis plant is in full bloom, the flower buds are harvested, and from that point on, a farmer can go one of two ways. In the case of weed, the flowers are hung up to dry. Once they have dried out completely, any seeds, stems, and excess leaves are removed, The resulting product is the weed that we all know so well: nice green bundles of organic joy, preferable glistening with sweet THC crystals.
Hash is Produced in a Different Way
The basic material used to produce hash is the resin contained in the tiny glistening glands found on the flower buds. After the cannabis flowers have been harvested and dried, the little glistening crystals, which are actually called trichomes, are separated from the rest of the plant. The sticky powder collected is known under various names throughout the world, but the usual name is ‘pollen’. This is done differently in different parts of the world. Some cultures rub the raw flowers carefully by hand (Indian), which results in a sticky dark brown goo sticking to the fingers of whoever did the rubbing.
Rolling raw marijuana between the fingers is another ancient technique, sometimes with a bit of water, which results in super sticky, dark hash balls.
Other cultures, like the Moroccan Hash we sell, use sieves to sift the trichomes out from the dried plant material. This can be done in repeated steps using ever more pressure. These pressings can be repeated using ever finer sieves, resulting in the highest quality hash (Block Hash). Today, new and modern approaches are used in addition to traditional ones. These include separating the trichomes using ice water, electrolysis, or even acoustic sifting. The result, however, is roughly the same regardless of the technique involved: a solid substance, ranging in colour from yellow through brown to almost pitch black. This is known as hashish, or hash.
A Matter Of taste?
One of the most striking differences you’ll notice between smoking hash or weed is the difference in taste between the two. Of course, there are so many different kinds of both weed and hash that flavours will be different every time you smoke, but once you’ve tasted hash as well as weed, you will know the difference whenever you smell a whiff of either.
Hash Is Less Common
Apart from their taste, however, hash differs from weed in a number of other ways, too. For one, hash is less common than weed in most countries. Many smokers are pretty familiar with their green herb of choice, while they have never actually smoked hash in their lives. Generally speaking, their effects on the mind are different, too. Do keep in mind that there are huge differences between the effects of specific weed variants as such, and such differences exist between hash variants as well.
Roughly speaking, however, traditional hash will bring a more subtle high than weed does, this is due to the CBD level. The heavy stoner buzz that is usually associated with weed is usually absent when smoking hash. The latter will likely give you a milder high, with less of a body buzz to go along with it. This causes some people to prefer hash over weed; especially when they need to get things done rather than just vegging out on the couch. Hash also contains greater concentrations of THC per unit of weight, again, generally speaking. This is due to the production process, in which parts of the plant that are low in THC content are removed from the trichomes. Again, though, do keep in mind that the quality of your weed or hash will probably make a greater difference than your choice of hash or weed as such.
Hash and weed, both made from the cannabis plant. But what is exaclty the difference between the two? Is it really that different in use and effect?