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What are the signs and symptoms of Hashish abuse?

Hashish, aka Hash, is a concentrated material which can be either a hard substance or a resinous, waxy sticky substance extracted from the flowers of the female Cannabis Sativa plant. Hash is more potent than marijuana, with a high THC (Delta-9- Tetra-Hydro Cannabinol) content ranging from 40 to 90%, THC vs. 0.5 to 28% THC for marijuana bud.

What is Hashish?

Hashish varies in color from black to olive green, to golden brown depending upon the purity. Black Hash has the highest purity and is considered the highest quality by users. 

How Hashish is used?

Hashish is used in a variety of cannabis foods; brownies, cookies, or Hashish butter used in the preparation of cookies or brownies. There are other options for edibles such as gummy candies. Moroccan Hash balls are balls of ground almonds, dried fruit, spices, and Hashish. Hashish can also be smoked by combining it with cannabis or tobacco, or it is vaporized and inhaled.  

Effects of hashish on the user

The effects of hashish are similar to that of cannabis. This includes:

  • Drowsiness
  • Relaxation
  • Hunger and increased appetite (“the munchies”)
  • Reddening of the eyes due to scleral vasodilation, or engorgement of the blood vessels in the whites of the eyes. 
  • Distorted perception of time
  • Distorted depth perception
  • Over-focus on irrelevancies
  • Fascination by common objects and events 

How long hashish takes to work, and how long it lasts?

The effects of hashish persist for about two hours. 

Short-term and long-term risks of using hashish

Apparently adults cannot overdose on THC from cannabis or hashish. There was a recent case in which a toddler died after consuming the parents Hashish oil. This is believed to be the first documented case of a fatality from THC. The most dangerous component of hashish or cannabis use is the typical method of administration, which is smoking. Inhaling smoke is not a healthy practice, whether the smoke is from tobacco, cannabis, or hashish. THC does produce dependence if used regularly, as indicated by compulsion to re-use, increased tolerance, and withdrawal upon cessation of use. The addictive effects of THC are not as dramatic as alcohol, heroin or cocaine, but there will be an impact for the majority of regular users. Long term use of THC produces lack of motivation, lack of energy, and indifference toward responsibilities. This will have an effect on one’s productivity and ability to maintain a living for themselves and family. It is also not safe to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of cannabis. 

Conclusion:

In the US over the past several years, there has been a wave of decriminalization and legalization of cannabis in many jurisdictions. Cannabis dispensaries have opened, and people can apply for a medical waiver to purchase, possess, and use, or grow cannabis for recognized medical conditions. Granted, THC does not have the addictive potential or potential for harm that other substances, including alcohol have, but this is a trend that many find disturbing, as it promotes drug tolerance in society, may encourage escalated use, increase the incidence of new users, and have detrimental ripple effects on the economy due to lack of productivity. These are theoretical and speculative concerns that have been expressed. As with all substances, those with a history of chemical dependency on one substance should steer clear of other substances, and the risks vs perceived rewards must be weighed.