Published: December 9th, 2016
Categories: Cannabis Info
Information on cannabis can be overwhelming, and sometimes it’s good to get back to the basics. There have been a number of times when I was asked if I preferred weed or hash. If you are ever in this position, it would be a good idea to understand the differences between the two.
The cannabis plant is either male, female or a hermaphrodite. Female plants produce the flower, or bud, we smoke. Growers make sure males do not get introduced in the growing cycle because the females will produce seeds, which is not what any of us want in our flower.
The basic make up of the cannabis plant is similar to most other plants. They have a stem and the ever-identifiable fan leaves. On top of the marijuana plant is the main cola where you find the largest collection of flower. The calyx is the bud itself and contains high concentrations of trichomes, which secrete THC and other cannabinoids.
From the calyx, tiny hairs grow, pistils. Pistils begin white, and as they mature darken in color. When studying your flower before purchase, many note the trichomes of the bud. This is the crystal resin (also called kief) that is secreted on various parts of the plant like leaves, stem and calyx. They produce terpenes and cannabinoids like THC and CBD.
When cannabis plants enter the flower stage, they focus on making the buds that will be harvested and cured. This stage usually takes around 2-3 months depending on the grower and the strain.The flower is then dried and sold as weed to be put in your pipe or joint to be smoked. The intensity of the weed when smoked depends on the characteristics of the upper part of the plant, especially the cola.
Though weed is the mature flower harvested from the plant, hash comes from the trichomes that are located on the flower. It is the resin that is secreted and separated from the bud either by hand or mechanical/chemical means.
While the classic weed flower looks like plant matter, hash has a different appearance. There are different kinds of hashes due to how they are extracted, but usually hash is a semi-solid, paste-like mass, with varying hardness and varying colors: yellow, brown, black and red.
New production methods in the marijuana industry make hash oils much more common. These are extremely potent and consumed by dabbing or vaping. Usually, oils are tested for purity to not only measure potency, but to make sure the extraction process was done correctly.
Because hash comes from the secreted resin, where a majority of the cannabinoids are created, hash has a higher concentration of THC than the flower. Smokers also note that there is a different effect when smoking hash. People often describe a clearer head high, and tastes more earthy and less floral.
When smoking marijuana flower, it usually contains about 15-25% THC, while hash typically varies from 20-60%, but can go up to 99% with certain extraction methods. Smoking bud only gets you so high because there is only so much THC in the flower that was picked, but because hash is concentrated trichomes extracted from the flower, it produces a stronger concentration of THC.