Introduction to hash oil
Cannabis products are becoming more popular (and legal!). People are recognizing the various medical benefits, and how these extracts can help calm the mind, relieve pain and anxiety, manage chronic conditions like epilepsy and arthritis, and boost mood and creativity.
However, there’s a lot of confusion especially when it comes to the kinds of cannabis products and how they’re different from one another. For example, many people don’t really know what hash oil is, or how different it is from plain hash, CBD oil, hemp oil, or plain old marijuana leaves. How is hash oil made, what are its specific medical benefits, and how do you use it? Use this guide to “hash” out these confusing details and decide whether it’s for you.
WHAT IS HASH OIL?
Hash oil is extracted from the cannabis plant. It is sometimes called wax, crumble, shatter or honey oil. It is made by grinding marijuana leaves and then pouring a solvent such as carbon dioxide, ethanol or butane. The solution is then heated and then pressurized until the oil is released. The end product can range from being very fluid and golden (like olive oil) or be more sticky (like toothpaste). It depends on the type of marijuana leaves that were used, whether cold or hot pressure was applied, and even the type of extraction machinery that was used. (And kids, don’t try this at home. While hash oil is legal, making it at home is not. Solvents like butane are highly flammable and toxic and can cause lung disease, third-degree burns, and fires. Recently, there was a news report of a house being razed to the ground, injuring several and killing one. The cause? Someone had set up a DIY hash oil lab in his basement.)
Hash, on the other hand, are the trichomes or crystals that are scraped from marijuana leaves and then smoked from a pipe or rolled into cigarettes. This is the “traditional” way of taking in hash, while hash oil is relatively new.
Cannabis oil and hemp oil follow similar extraction methods as hash oil but have different marijuana compounds and concentrations. Hash oil has the highest concentration of THC – as much as 70% — which induces the feeling of being high (heightened sensations, altered consciousness, etc.) You not only get a bigger buzz, but you feel it faster.
Cannabis oil has both THC and other cannabinoids that have been used to treat epilepsy, cancer, and depression. However, it has lower concentrations of THC, and takes longer to take effect. (Note that some methods of taking cannabis oil – such as vaping or tinctures – can work faster than taking it as a tea or supplement.)
Hemp oil is made from hemp seeds and have no THC and is usually added to beauty products or sold as a health supplement.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT METHODS OF USING HASH OIL?
One of the most popular – and unfortunately, more dangerous — ways of using hash oil is “dabbing”. Dabbers get a cheap titanium nail attachment and then heat it with a handheld blowtorch. As you can imagine, a lot of things can go wrong when you mess with flammable gases. It’s much safer to get electronic “nails” that will heat up without having to literally play with fire.
Hash oil can also be made into tinctures. Mix 3 ounces of 80 proof alcohol with 1 gram of hash oil, and then pour into a bottle with a medicine dropper. You can then squirt a few drops under your tongue. While this is convenient, some people feel that the hash oil isn’t fully activated because it’s not exposed to heat. That’s why many prefer vaping hash oil. It’s just as portable, the hash oil acts quickly because it enters your bloodstream through your lungs instead of the slower digestive process, and you can quickly take a puff without people staring at you.
But if you want to get creative, you can also include hash oil into your cooking by making hash butter (mix 1 gram into one-third cup of butter and some water). Others apply it on the skin to relieve pain and heal the skin.
BENEFITS AND RISKS OF TAKING HASH OIL
Like other cannabis products, hash oil can relieve pain, lift the mood, and help relieve inflammation. For years, it has been used by terminal patients to provide comfort and increase appetite. As a pain reliever, it is less addictive than morphine and gives much faster and stronger relief than many prescription medications. In smaller doses, it can also be used to manage the discomfort caused by arthritis or chronic back pain, relieve anxiety and panic attacks, and (in conjunction with therapy and other medication) lift people out of depression.
But since hash oil has one of the highest concentrations of THC, hash oil can be quickly abused as a party drug. No one has ever died of a marijuana overdose, but there are no clinical studies that show that it has no long-term effect on the body. And in heightened states, people can do stupid things. A few puffs at the club can help relax you and get you in the mood – and the music and the lights can feel more exhilaratingly intense. But if you take too much of it, or buy “dirty” oil or poorly processed oil, you can get a bad high that leads to scary hallucinations, extreme nausea or vertigo, or just very poor judgment. So even if hash oil is legal, readily available, and easy to consume, you should still use it responsibly.
THE PRICE OF HASH OIL
Since hash oil is the most concentrated form of cannabis, it understandably is more expensive. Prices range, but it averages at around $50 per gram, or sell wholesale at around $25 per gram. It can be more expensive when sold on the street, and naturally, prices depend on how readily available it is n your city or country. In hash oil and cannabis oil forums, people say that hash oil can be as expensive as $60 to $80 per gram.
The problem with buying hash oil from unknown sources – like someone you met at the club – is that you aren’t sure of the quality and the purity. As with all other cannabis products, you should always get hash oil from a trusted and vetted source. You may actually be better off ordering from a reputable website instead of off the street. Aside from being able to bank on its reputation (no online store will risk its brand just to get a lot of money for bad hash oil) the prices tend to be more stable and reflect the real market value.
CONCLUSION on hash oil
There are many different kinds of cannabis products. Among them, hash oil has the highest concentration of THC, and is more effective at giving the quick pain relief and boosting mood and creativity. However, it is not typically used for the treatment of medical conditions like epilepsy or cancer, since the mind-altering effects can pose a risk to those who are sick. In those conditions, caregivers tend to use other cannabis products or kratom.
But hash oil will still be popular, not only because it does manage pain very well, but because it gives a natural and non-addicting high. With proper precautions and used responsibly, it can be a way of opening your mind, lifting your mood, easing the physical or emotional pain, and well – having a really great party.