Charged With Hashish Drug Crime? Let Our New Jersey Defense Lawyers Help You
Illegal Drugs: Information About Hashish
Street names: Hash, Hash Oil, Concentrates
Drug Classification: Hashish is a Schedule I substance in the US under the controlled substances act. It is illegal to produce, possess, or distribute. However, Federal law regarding marijuana conflicts with many states laws on the drug, and medical use of cannabis is permitted in 16 states – Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, as well as Washington D.C.
While around 5-10% of people that try cannabis in some form become daily users, the vast majority of users quit before reaching the age of thirty, and few remain after the age of 40.
Hashish is the concentrated and resinous forms of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, and contains the same active ingredients as cannabis (marijuana, or “pot”) only in higher quantities. THC typically exists on flowers and leaves of the cannabis plant in trichomes, or very small appendages of the plant. These can be physically or chemically separated from the plant to create a more pure, concentrated THC substances with an appearance ranging from putty to paste to sticky oil, depending on the method of extracting the trichomes and of purifying the product of chemicals used for separation of the trichomes. The goal is to produce a product with as little plant matter and as much THC as possible.
When smoked, the effects will mirror those of cannabis, but with a more rapid and powerful onset of effects and greater intensity overall.
Physically separated hashish is most commonly called “hash” and comes compressed into balls, bars, bricks, or sheets. Historically, rubbing cannabis and collecting the resin left on the fingers and hands was the method of producing hashish. Today this resin is extracted with more efficient methods, using sifts and screens, sometimes in conjunctions with water or ice. THC is not water soluble, so water containing plant matter is poured through bag screens with smaller and smaller sized holes (the smaller the screen size, the less plant matter and more THC). Hash is typically smoked but can be melted into vegetable oil and eaten. Small chunks are generally broken off and smoked out of a pipe, mixed in with tobacco or other cannabis, or smoked alone using hot knives. The smoke from hash is sometimes particularly harsh on the lungs and throat.
Chemically separated hashish is most commonly called “hash oil” and comes in a variety of forms ranging from dark, sticky goo to light, soft, cakey-putty. Hash oil extraction uses a solvent such as butane or alcohol to separate the trichomes from the plant matter, then evaporates the solvent off of the product, leaving an amber colored “honey oil.” Containers are filled with cannabis, and the solvent is run through the cannabis from one end of the container and out the other end. Extracted product can be whipped into a more waxy substance, or into a stable “budder” form that is not sticky and retains its own shape. Hash oil can be smoked or eaten, and generally has the highest concentration of THC of any substance. Users should be very cautious when using hash oil, as even a small amount may produce too intense of effects too quickly. Because it involves potentially dangerous and flammable solvents, the production of butane-hash oil and other chemically separated hashes can result in accidents and serious, potentially fatal, injury. Production of butane-hash oil is heavily regulated for this reason.
The effects of hash are the same as for “pot” and include mood lift, euphoria, creativity, pain relief, increased giggling and laughing (even when completing boring tasks), sensory enhancement, changes in the mind/body feel and connection, and increased appreciation for music. Users may also have increased appetite (the “munchies”), slowness in actions or lethargy, and fatigue.
Clear physical signs of cannabis use include bloodshot eyes, dry mouth, and often coughing or respiratory irritation. Some users report side effects of fatigue, anxiety, panic, confusion, dizziness, light-headedness, clumsiness, racing thoughts, poor concentration, headache, and nausea (though for many users cannabis is a treatment for nausea). Side effects tend to increase linearly with dosage. These side effects are sometimes reported as continuing on into a hangover stage of the drug and include fatigue, difficulty with memory and recall, joint stiffness, dry mouth, and tired or itchy eyes. At high doses, reports of the visual effects of cannabis are more common, as are time dilation or compression, though nobody has ever overdosed on cannabis or died from cannabis use alone.
The effects of cannabis vary greatly from user to user – some find it helps them sleep and calms their worries while others are unable to sleep after smoking and experience racing thoughts and paranoia. The effects are highly variable and dependent on the strain, setting, and individual.
Hashish Addiction and Withdrawal Symptoms
Hashish is not physically addictive, but is can be psychologically habit forming and difficult to quit. People that use cannabis in any form on a daily basis report over time a decrease in euphoria and other positive aspects of use with increased feelings of anxiety and discomfort. In daily or chronic users, mild-withdrawal symptoms have been observed such as insomnia, anxiety, decreased appetite, and irritability lasting from a single week to six weeks. It also may hurt social functioning in terms of family life, academic success, and employment.
Dangers and Health Risks
Because cannabis increases heart rate and affects activity in the hippocampus, there are prospects that heavy use may cause heart problems or brain damage. But the only confirmed long-term health risks of chronic cannabis use relate to inhaling smoke on a frequent basis and holding it in the lungs for lengthy periods of time.
Those under the influence of cannabis should not drive, especially if they have also ingested alcohol, as the combination may cause motor impairment that is far worse than what would occur if only a single substance had been consumed.
If you have been charged with possession, distribution or trafficking of hash you are facing serious drug charges. Our New Jersey criminal defense lawyers will work hard to reduce the charges against you, or, if you are innocent, to have the charges dismissed.
For a free initial consultation contact an experienced drug crimes defense attorney today.