Difference between pot and hash

Originally Published: January 9, 1996 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: February 17, 2012
Share this

Alice,

What is the difference between American style marijuana and European style hashish?

—Bowler

Dear Bowler,

The difference between marijuana and hashish goes far beyond country of origin. Marijuana is the most common and least powerful form of cannabis. It is made from dried plant leaves and flowers. Most of American cannabis is strictly the flower or bud of the plant and does not contain whole plants. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the main active ingredient in marijuana that acts upon the nervous system. Marijuana usually contains a maximum of 25% to 30% THC.

Hashish, also known as hash, is made by eliminating plant material and collecting the trichomes from the flower tops of female cannabis plants. These flowers, or ‘heads’, are the most potent parts of the plant. As a result, the THC content of hashish typically varies from 20% to 60%. There are two common methods for producing hash:

  • In Morocco and Lebanon, hashish is made by sifting the mature cannabis tops through a series of fine sieves until a resinous powder remains. This powder is compressed and heated to allow the resins to melt, binding the remaining vegetable matter. The resin is compressed into blocks sealed with cellophane or cloth.
  • In the Indian sub-continent, hashish is made by rubbing the resinous tops of the plant with the hands or a leather apron. This allows the resins to stick together. These are then scraped off the skin or leather and rolled into lumps of various sizes, and later compressed into blocks.

It’s always important to be informed! Check out the related Go Ask Alice! Q&As below for more information. Short-term problems that have been associated with the use of marijuana and hashish include: paranoia, anxiety, and panic attacks. These symptoms can occur after users smoke or eat too much pot or hashish or use the drug without ensuring their surroundings are safe and trusted friends are nearby. Whether choosing to use pot or hashish in New York (where, by the way, neither substance is legal) or in Amsterdam, it's important to know that what you're ingesting comes from a reliable, trusted source, and to partake slowly and moderately to avoid unpleasant side-effects.

Alice