With many drug trends, we often see an evolution in each mind-altering substance. New ways of manufacturing and synthesizing create new forms of drugs that either make it cheaper, harder to detect, or more potent in its effects. We see this evolution in various forms, such as new derivatives of ecstasy known as Molly that have more potent and dangerous effects, or cheaper forms of heroin such as krocodile that achieve the same high at a fraction of the cost. For marijuana specifically, there is another way to process it that is becoming more prominent in the United States, a particular form of Marijuana known as Hashish.
What Exactly is Hashish?
Hashish, commonly referred to as Hash, is what you would refer to as close relative of marijuana, as they both are derived from parts of the cannabis plant. However, there are differences in the synthesizing process that makes hashish far more potent. Marijuana is derived from using the leaves and the flower portions of the cannabis plant that contain the mind-altering chemical THC. But hashish uses a specific part of the plant that possesses the highest concentration of THC; the trichrome of the female cannabis flower-tops. As a result, hashish possesses a concentration of THC that is often two to three times higher than conventional marijuana. In addition, hashish is able to be administered in numerous ways, similar to marijuana; it can be smoked through vapor or cigarette form, or ingested in combination with various foods (there are even various recipes that are centered around hashish and marijuana being integrated with meals).
The Prominence of Hashish.
While hashish itself was not as widely used in the United States as in other countries, new reports seem to indicate that this drug variant may be more popular with the American population than we first thought. According to recent statistics from the New York University’s Center for Drug Use and HIV Research, it shows that approximately ten percent of adolescents have used hashish in their relatively short lifetime. In addition, an estimated twenty-five percent of marijuana users have also administered hashish.
Researcher Joseph Palamar reports that, “Nearly one out of 10 teens reported ever using hashish and it was used by a quarter of lifetime marijuana users.”
With statistics like these, it is apparent that the situation regarding hashish has escalated over time.
How Does This Affect Everyone? Will We Need Increased Interventions?
With other parameters at play regarding hashish use, we can only see this drug trend increasing within the United States. Given that many adolescents are at an increased risk of using mind-altering substances given the social targeting and peer influence, hashish may act as the next level above using conventional tobacco cigarettes, or even regular marijuana. Given that cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana are already classified as gateway substances that often act as stepping stones to more serious drugs, populations that already use marijuana or other gateway substance are at an increased risk of using hashish. With rising levels of hashish, interventions will most likely be an increasingly vital tool in counteracting hashish use before its side-effects seriously damage our nation’s youth.
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