Cannabis VS Hash
4 min

The Difference Between Cannabis And Hash

4 min

What's the difference between cannabis and hash we hear you ask? Every region has it's unique slang names and jargon when it comes to Marijuana. We separate the weed from the chaff for you. Let's talk about cannabis buds & hashish.

Jargon belongs in a stuffy boardroom. It’s boring and confusing at the same time. We save the waffles for munchies and offer you dear reader this indispensable guide to getting your smoke on.

Getting stoned need not be complicated, and we wouldn’t want any novices getting lost in the haze, so here is our detailed analysis of the difference between Cannabis and Hash. Jam-packed with empirical evidence and definitely written under the influence.


Looks: Green Vs Brown

OK, right off the bat one thing is immediately noticeably different when it comes to the appearance of marijuana as opposed to hashish. Your typical high-grade bud these days is "Sinsemilla" or seedless pure green flower or perhaps purple if you’re lucky, while hashish will usually be a compact block or ball of sticky clay-like material, ranging in colour from blonde to black.

Hash is compressed resin either hand rubbed directly from the flowers and scraped into a ball i.e. Nepalese temple balls or sieved from the buds and leaves using screens or water or even solvents.

Essentially there are a whole lot of ways to make lots of different types of hash.

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Fine frosty cannabis bud is of course more aesthetically appealing than the average block of hash. But don’t be discouraged and remember “never judge a book by its cover”.

The pleasures of hash smoking are not to be missed. However the second obvious advantage buds have over hash is you can usually readily identify most contaminants with a careful eye.

This is not so easy when it comes to hash; it’s advisable to burn it first to see if it bubbles and produces a milky white smoke. This tells you if it’s clean dope or not, dirty black smoke is a red flag for the presence of adulterants.


Smell Rich Mush VS Fruity Flowers

Generally the average sack of Chronic will have a more intense floral aroma than hash. However the devil is in the detail. As mentioned above you can really tell a great deal more about hash when you burn it. This will also unlock the aroma of the hashish and allow for a more informed evaluation of the quality. Hash typically has a fuller more earthy and spicy musk when burned than the complex floral perfumes associated with marijuana buds.


Touch: Sticky Icky

At this point you are aware that top-shelf buds are well manicured, smell pungent and covered in frosty resin trichomes. Stickiness is important when it comes to both buds and hash, but even more when it comes to hash, because hash can very compressed, depending on how it was produced, so it always helps to manipulate some in your fingers when evaluating. Applying some body heat will be sufficient to squish or crumble some hash to get a feel for its consistency. In contrast it’s best to handle bud at a minimum as that frosty coating is the resin you want to be smoking. A light squeeze will tell you if the bud is dried right, so dry that it crunches is too dry, bendy twigs means it needs more time, just a little firmness and super sticky tight bud is just perfect.


Taste And Tobacco Culture

In North America, marijuana has always been the preferred smoke. However, across the rest of the globe, especially in Europe, the Middle East and parts of Asia the cannabis of choice is often hashish, which is always smoked in blended joints of tobacco and hash.

Buds and hash of the same strain will often taste different. These differences can be subtle or significant. Amongst the entire variables one thing is certain hash has a strong distinct earthy taste. Hash doesn’t contain the plant material, just the resin.

Sure, both hashish and marijuana can easily be smoked in bongs or pipes or even better vaped. However, we Europeans have a spliff culture and love to roll them, regardless of what cannabis we get our hands on.

Unlike buds, lumps of hash simply will not burn in a spliff alone; adding tobacco to keep spliff burning smoothly was at one time the only option.

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These days plenty of tobacco substitutes are available, so most of us have no excuse, but old habits, even if unhealthy, die hard and the blending with tobacco, whether to stretch a stash or for flavour, is still hugely popular.

The spread in the availability of marijuana mostly due to widespread indoor cultivation is making smoking pure flowers a viable option. European weekend warriors are known to enjoy massive blunts packed with grinded nuggs surrounding a hash core.


Potency: Hash Vs Weed Which Is The Strongest?

All hash or any extract starts out as cannabis buds and leaves so it should be no surprise that hashish is more potent than the original material. Hash is the original concentrate. Unfortunately in the real world this is not always the case.

Low quality street hash such as “Soap Bar” as stoners from the UK and Ireland have experienced, is not what hashish is supposed to be like.

Fortunately the underground cultivation revolution has put an end to such shoddy merchandise. Domestically produced European marijuana and hash is probably the best cannabis in the world.

Traditional hashish from Afghanistan aka Squidgy Black is beautiful soft malleable black hash with a really rich flavour and it's the perfect nighttime smoke with a creeping heavy Indica buzz but not terribly overpowering.

Old school hashish and most hash from outside Europe and North America contains a great deal of CBD, as it’s mostly produced from outdoor Indica crops. THC levels of approx 10% are typical for heirloom hash.

In Europe and North America we grow the fire! Strains that will max out with THC levels of 30% in the buds. Make no mistake, that is some seriously potent marijuana.

Then we go a step further and use this plant material to extract concentrates. The dabbing phenomenon is spreading from North America to Europe and ever more potent oils, waxes and shatter are being derived.

Not so long ago a blast of some ice hash with a 50% THC level from a vaporiser was considered the absolute pinnacle of the one hit cerebral high. Earlier this year dabbing got dialled up to 11. THC-A isolated in crystalline form was released in the US by the ganjapreneurs of Oregrown.

This 99% THC-A is inactive THC, that when heated to 158°C unleashes the mother of all dabs into the daring smoker’s lungs. Definitely not to be attempted unless one possess Willie Nelson-like cannabis tolerance.

These days it’s probably advisable for the uninitiated to stick with cannabis buds or old school hash varieties before dabbling with the modern ultra potent hash concentrates.

Adam Parsons
Adam Parsons
Professional cannabis journalist, copywriter, and author Adam Parsons is a long-time staff member of Zamnesia. Tasked with covering a wide range of topics from CBD to psychedelics and everything in between, Adam creates blog posts, guides, and explores an ever-growing range of products.
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