Both of these are different parts of the cannabis plant. Since they come from different origins it is safe to say there are quite a few key differences. However, especially for those who aren’t super well versed in weed generally. I mean, even people who are super into cannabis and have been for a long time might struggle to actually tell you the difference other than appearance. Both types have a number of merits to them and definitely have their individual uses. Can we say whether one is better than the other? Generally no because it’s entirely up to personal taste and preference. Anyway, without further waffling, let’s have a look at the key differences between hash and weed as well as what they are best used for.
This cannabis concentrate has been around since the 12th century. It started not too long after recorded cannabis use did and was primarily popular in Central Asia and Persia. It is thought that initially it was used more as incense but that just sounds like a bit of a cover-up to me. The way that hash is created is by compressing resin into thick slabs like the ones seen in the image in this article. Hash has a pretty cool history so I’ll try and keep things relatively brief. I can’t promise I won’t get carried away since there are legends of assassins and similar awesome things involved.
Consumption primarily started in Persia when hash was being sent up and down the silk road along with cannabis. I’m going to be a bit naughty and tell you a little about the Order of Assassins also known as the Hashishin Assassins because I can’t not. This religious sect is said to have formed in the 11th century and the legend says that the leader of the order would consume hash and distribute it to his followers. I’ll be honest most scholars think this is nonsense and that the order was incorrectly referred to through history but wouldn’t it be cool if it was true? However, there is plenty of evidence that links hash to Persia in the 13th century. Anyway, then a bunch of nonsense went on with Gengis Khan which moved hash from primarily popular in Persia to Russia and Central Asia as well.
Hash spread across the world and when tobacco came into the picture people went from eating it to smoking it. The main reason that many cultures have preferred hash to cannabis is because of its extremely high levels of THC. It is also often easier to roll with and to smoke. Less of it is needed to get properly high and often it can be quite a bit cheaper.
The use of cannabis was first documented in 2800 BC. Back then it was used medicinally in China and was reported as being used for inflammation, asthma, loss of appetite, depression, arthritis, and amenorrhea. Cannabis was used for similar purposes all over the world throughout the following hundreds of years. Especially in parts of India where it was also used for a number of important religious rituals. As we travel through the rest of time until the present day we see how important cannabis has been in a number of different cultures.
After living in India the famous Irish physician William Brooke O’Shaughnessy adopted cannabis for its therapeutic uses and took it over to the western world. This saw one of the first cases of cannabis stopping convulsions in a child. Treating epilepsy in children is an extremely important use of medicinal cannabis today. In the 1800s CBN was isolated for the first time massively increasing potential therapeutic use.
Then we get to the fun bit, where white America decided to demonise cannabis so that they could arrest people of colour in Northern America. Instead of being an incredible medicine and religious right cannabis became a dangerous drug that caused rape, assault, general violence, and ruined young god-fearing minds. Through the 30s and 40s, the American government essentially taxed cannabis use out of existence while the war on drugs raged on. As cannabis was no longer seen as a positive drug the research being done on its medicinal properties ground to a halt. This was until Roger Adams and Alexander Todd independently discovered the most important aspect of medicinal cannabis use, CBD.
It stayed illegal even for therapeutic use for decades until some scientists were able to start researching the therapeutic possibilities and found that it could also treat issues like schizophrenia which had no effective treatment.
Anyway, the primary use for weed throughout history has been medicinal, which is much harder to do with hash. Because hash is a lot stronger and it is harder to provide exact amounts. Plus it’s just not realistic to create CBD-heavy hash.
Another reason that many people prefer cannabis in its plant is because it tends to maintain quality and be more predictable than hash.
So this may have turned into a bit more of a history lesson than anything else but the main thing is that I had fun. Really thought hash and weed are both great ways to consume cannabis but it totally depends on what you are after. If you want something less expensive but stronger and aren’t too fussed about consistent quality then hash is almost definitely the best option for you. It’s simple and plentiful, if you are a grower you can also make it yourself from your plant resin. Weed has been around a good while longer and has definitely been focused on more scientifically and medically. If you want consistency, a medicinal strain or something that isn’t quite so powerful then weed might be your drug of choice. Also, I will say personally I much prefer the smell of plants and I honestly enjoy the whole setup of building a joint with grass. I also am a bit of a baby when it comes to potency so personally, I’m definitely a weed gal.
Written by Tasha Porritt
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