Hash Abuse, Signs, Symptoms and Addiction Treatment
1-800-315-2391 | March 7th
Hashish (or hash) is a form of marijuana that creates even more intense effects.
Those who abuse it will find that they are likely to experience side effects similar to those associated with marijuana use, including dependence, withdrawal symptoms, and addiction.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "Hashish consists of the THC-rich resinous secretions of" the cannabis plant, also known as marijuana. The secretions are then dried and compressed so that they can be smoked. Hash has a THC concentration of about 5-15% (depending on the specific batch) and marijuana's THC concentration is usually only 1-5%. This means that the psychedelic effects associated with marijuana are often much more intense when one abuses hash.
People who abuse hash sometimes do not realize how intense the effects will be, often because they expect them to be exactly like those of marijuana. And unfortunately, individuals who smoke this drug regularly and for a prolonged period of time are likely to become dependent on it and addicted to it.
Signs and Symptoms of Hash Use
The effects of this drug can vary strongly with the dose, concentration of THC, route of administration, and user experience. But the signs and symptoms of abuse are similar to those caused by marijuana, and according to the Center for Substance Abuse Research, they can include:
- Coordination problems and trouble walking
- Laughing for no reason
- Red, glazed, or bloodshot eyes
- Slowed speech
- Impaired judgment
- Lowered inhibitions
- Inability to concentrate
- Reduced ability to learn and comprehend
- Memory problems (even difficulty remembering things that just happened)
It is usually fairly easy to know if someone is high on hash because the symptoms are so similar to those caused by marijuana abuse. However, it is important to remember that these symptoms are likely to be more intense, especially the psychological effects caused by the drug, when someone smokes hash rather than marijuana.
Risks of Hash Use
Hash use can cause a number of serious side effects. For one, a person can experience damage to their brain's functions, such as memory and ability to problem solve. There is also an increased risk of cancer and lung damage in those who smoke hash regularly, just like in those who smoke marijuana. One also has a higher risk of heart attack, due to the increase in heart rate and blood pressure caused when the individual abuses the drug.
In addition, the high concentrations of THC in the drug can be very problematic, as the use of marijuana can, over time, cause long-term issues with a person's ability to cope with anxiety and depression. The drug may even worsen or help to cause mood disorders in those who abuse it. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, "Researchers do not yet know the full extent of the consequences when the body and brain are exposed to high concentrations of THC."
Hash abuse is not nearly as prevalent as marijuana abuse, but some individuals who become tolerant to the latter may eventually turn to the former in order to experience more intense effects. Most of the time, people abuse hash irregularly as part of a marijuana habit, but if a person is abusing any drug that comes from the cannabis plant over a long period of time, they are likely to become addicted. Hash abuse is also very dangerous because the psychological effects can be much more intense, causing those who use it to act dangerously.
Hash Addiction and Treatment
Marijuana is addictive, and as such, hash can be too. Withdrawal symptoms associated with the drug are not life threatening, but they can be very uncomfortable. Patients often need to be treated with medications during withdrawal, and behavioral therapy can be helpful in minimizing their potential for relapse during and after rehab. It can be very difficult to stop abusing these drugs once one starts, but with time and treatment, recovery is possible.
Smoking hash may be even more dangerous than smoking marijuana, as the former drug has even more intense effects. It is important to ask yourself if your substance abuse may have gotten out of hand and to consider the possibility of treatment for addiction, especially if you have been using for a long time.