Cannabis is quickly becoming legalized in many areas of the United States, and many newly introduced people are curious about the preparations of this psychoactive plant.
Cannabis resin, or reclaim, is a byproduct of smoked cannabis. It’s commonly found on the inside of smoking tools.
Although seasoned users may be familiar with reclaimed cannabis resin, many are still unaware of the potentially harmful effects of using this cannabis byproduct.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the different forms of cannabis resin, what reclaimed cannabis resin is, and what you need to know about smoking reclaimed cannabis resin.
What is cannabis resin?
Cannabis resin is a substance that’s naturally produced in the trichomes of the cannabis plant.
This natural substance contains many of the active compounds that cannabis is known for, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive component of the cannabis plant.
What are trichomes?
Trichomes are exterior growths on plants that protect them from dangers, such as fungus, pests, and ultraviolet rays.
The resin found in cannabis plants appears as either a sticky secretion or a powdery substance and can present in a variety of colors.
Cannabis resin can be extracted directly from the plant or from the tools used to smoke the cannabis plant. This resin has different names depending on how it’s extracted.
Some of the most common cannabis resin preparations include:
- Hashish. Also called hash, this is cannabis resin that’s extracted from the plant and dried into a pressed powder.
- Rosin. This is cannabis resin that’s extracted from the plant using heat and pressure.
- Resin or reclaim. Also called weed tar, this is cannabis resin extracted from tools, like a pipe or dab rig, after smoking.
Types of cannabis resin
When discussing cannabis resin, it helps to understand the distinction between the various types of resin, what they’re called, and how they’re used.
Hash and rosin
Hash and rosin aren’t usually called “resin” because they’re extracted directly from the plant.
Preparations like these are a popular choice for people who are looking to smoke or vape something more concentrated than dried cannabis leaves.
Hash and rosin are often stronger and have a longer-lasting high than traditional preparations.
Leftover resin or reclaim
Leftover resin, or reclaim, is often simply called “resin.” People usually only smoke it to avoid wasting any cannabis that may be left over in the pipe.
In fact, most people dispose of the reclaimed resin when cleaning out their tools rather than smoke it.
What Is Cannabis Resin?
Cannabis resin is a light to dark brown, sticky substance found on the trichomes of a cannabis plant. Trichomes appear on flowers and sugar leaves of mature female plants. These trichomes produce all of the medical efficacy and psychoactive effects of marijuana. Resin is considered the most valuable part of the plant and delivers the majority of the psychoactive compound THC. Products containing resin are called concentrates.
How Is Resin Made?
How resin is made varies depending on the type of resin. Techniques range from simple application of pressure and heat to complex processes requiring expensive lab equipment and trained technicians. Live resin is made by flash-freezing the cannabis plant immediately after harvest, ensuring that all of the compounds don’t have any chance to deteriorate. The extraction process is meant to remove as many of the impurities, namely fats and lipids, as possible from the product.
Different Types Of Cannabis Resins
The first major distinction to be made when it comes to different types of resin is whether it’s purely just resin or if it’s live resin. Typical resin is the substance left behind after using a pipe or bong a few times without cleaning your tools. It has very little THC and cannabinoids, and is generally only smoked out of pure desperation. Live resin is a concentrate which is high in terpenes and other cannabis material. Terpenes are what give cannabis its full-bodied aroma. Cannabis users who enjoy strong aroma and the medical efficacy of terpenes tend to prefer live resin. Other types include:
- Hash: a euphoria-inducing concentrate that has been used for decades. Made by separating trichome crystals before rolling it into a ball or pressing it into a brick.
- Butane Hash Oil (BHO): one of the most popular forms of cannabis concentrate, though very expensive and dangerous to manufacture. Highly potent with a fast onset, most often used in dabs. Made by removing fatty trichome resin glands from the cannabis plants using butane.
- Rosin: concentrate in which the dried and cured flowers of the plant are pressed under a combination of heat and pressure to release THC-rich resin. Some dispensaries even offer rosin presses to press your own after purchasing, or you can even use a hair straightener at home.
- CO2 Oil: concentrate derived from resin that’s been extracted from a plant by using a solvent. Incredibly expensive and dangerous process.
These types also come in different forms. These forms are: saps, shatters, crumbles, butters, distillates, kief, ice water extract, and dry sift. Consistency, viscosity, and clarity are all different based on how they were extracted.
Different Types Smoke Differently
Smoking simple resin, those leftovers from a dirty bong or pipe, will be a much harsher, less palatable smoke than live resin or resin produced by any other means. The quality of the plant that the resin is extracted from will determine the quality of the resulting resin and the smoke. The best way to be sure that you get the best smoke is to invest in high-quality cannabis plants to extract from, or to purchase high-quality cannabis resin concentrate.
Resin from the plant
You’ve probably noticed the tiny hairs that cover the cannabis plant, creating a crystal-like sheen and sticky feel. These glandular hairs are called trichomes. These trichomes are held together with resin, which contains the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds for which the cannabis plant is known. You can think of weed resin as the stuff that holds all the trichome-produced compounds together on the trichome head.
The cannabis plant produces resin primarily to deter pests. Weed resin is bitter and contains specific terpenes that repel certain pests. Linalool, for example, is a common terpene in cannabis that has several health benefits for humans and is also used as an ingredient in insecticides due to its pest-killing properties. Resin also protects the plant from overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays and helps it maintain optimal surface-level humidity so the plant doesn’t dry out.
Resin from a pipe
Resin is also the term used for the tar-like residue that smoked cannabis leaves behind in pipes. Cannabis combustion creates byproducts — mostly ash, tar, and carbon — that build up in smoking implements like pipes and bowls.