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.
More About Resin
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.
How is Resin Collected from the Plant?
Hashish, or simply hash, is a solvent-free cannabis concentrate comprised of weed resin or trichome glands. Hash-making is an ancient art dating back thousands of years. It involves sifting a cannabis plant to harvest the resin glands, then compressing those glands under mild heat.
Charas is a type of hash made by hand-rubbing the cannabis plant and rolling the collected resin into small balls.
Dry sift, also known as kief, is resin sifted from cannabis through a sieve. Dry sift can be pressed and heated to create hash.
Pros of Collecting Resin
There are a number of weed resin uses, some more effective than others. When you separate resin from the cannabis plant, you’re essentially gathering all of the plant’s desirable compounds. Collecting resin from a cannabis plant is like customizing a feed to only show you things you want to see. . You’re separating the active compounds from the raw plant material, distilling the plant’s potency and effects. Concentrates made from resin glands are inherently more potent than flower, accounting for the meteoric rise of concentrates within the cannabis market.
With proper protection from outside elements — heat, humidity, light, and air — weed resin can have a long shelf life. Resin also naturally protects its own cannabinoids from oxygen, especially when pressed into hash,which causes the resin to darken. This dark brown color and opaqueness protect active compounds from ultraviolet (UV) light, extending the product’s shelf life.
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.
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.
Can you get high from cannabis resin?
Your experience will depend on the type of cannabis resin.
Hash and rosin highs
Hash and rosin are concentrated forms of the resin naturally found in the cannabis flower.
When they’re extracted and processed into their respective products, they contain higher amounts of THC than standard cannabis preparations.
Smoking or vaping resin in these forms will undoubtedly result in a much stronger high.
Reclaimed resin highs
Reclaimed cannabis resin is the leftover resin from smoking cannabis. It doesn’t contain nearly as much THC as hash or rosin.
It’s also not as pure as these concentrated products because it contains other harmful smoking byproducts.
While you may still get high from smoking cannabis reclaim, it’ll probably be weaker than the high from pure cannabis or concentrated products like hash or rosin.
What are the risks or dangers of smoking cannabis resin?
Cannabis resin that’s been reclaimed is more than just pure resin. It also contains the harmful carbon byproducts of smoking, such as ash and tar.
When cannabis reclaim is smoked, it can have potentially harmful side effects.
Some of the side effects of smoking reclaimed cannabis resin may include:
- sore throat
- difficulty breathing
These side effects are primarily due to the fact that reclaimed cannabis resin is a much harsher product than pure cannabis preparations.
It requires a higher heat to burn, so it can irritate the lungs and throat upon exposure.
It also contains byproducts that aren’t found in traditional cannabis preparations, which can irritate the lining of the throat and lungs.
Most cannabis professionals don’t recommend smoking reclaimed cannabis resin, as the risks and dangers outweigh the benefits of the high.