Types of Cannabis

Updated: Apr 21



Cannabis is the most widely used illegal drug in the world, and it comes in a few different forms. Each form can vary in strength and appearance. We have put this blog post together to help you understand a bit more about them.


Herbal Cannabis

Herbal cannabis is the flowering buds of the female plant Cannabis Sativa. These buds are trimmed off the plant and dried for use. Herbal cannabis is the most common form found in Lanarkshire and is often smoked in a joint with tobacco. This is the most harmful way to use cannabis, as you are at risk of developing the diseases, illnesses and cancers that smoking tobacco causes. To learn more about this, read our other cannabis blog post, 'Is there a safe way to use cannabis?'.


What does it look like?

As you can see in the picture above, herbal cannabis has many different shades of green in it. It often also has orange/ brown hairs (pistils) weaved throughout and coated in white sugar-like crystals (trichomes). To learn more about the anatomy of the cannabis plant and what all these different terms mean, check out this blog post by Leafly.

Herbal cannabis has a distinctive smell which is made up of over 100 different terpenes. Terpenes are the aromatic compounds that are naturally created by plants giving them their scent.


Strength

Like any other drug, the strength can vary from one cannabis plant to the next. It's hard to put an exact measurement on the average strength of herbal cannabis, as there has been no recent, regulated testing done in the UK. But generally, cannabis bud can range from 5% to 20%+ THC.


Cannabis Resin

AKA - Hash & Solid


Cannabis resin, known in Lanarkshire as hash or pollen, is a type of cannabis extract. There are a few different ways to make it. One of these ways involves the white sugar-like crystals (trichomes) that coat the cannabis bud. These are extracted then pressed together to form blocks. This is the most basic way to make hash, and there are now other, more sophisticated methods using dry ice and special bags.


What does it look like?

Hash comes in a few different textures, colours and consistencies, usually depending on how it has been made.

Hash can be a hard, waxy, soft, sticky, crumbly, brownish or even black coloured block. Hash has a different smell to herbal cannabis, which is usually not as pungent.


Strength

Like herbal cannabis, the strength can vary depending on the type of that the hash has been made from. Resin is much weaker than herbal cannabis and far weaker than cannabis extracts. A 2008 cannabis potency study conducted by The UK Home Office found that resin contained more CBD and less THC than herbal cannabis. This means that the high felt from resin is less likely to cause negative psychoactive side effects such as paranoia and anxiety.

Cannabis Concentrates


Cannabis concentrates are, as the name suggests, a concentrated form of cannabis. It is more commonly known as dabs, shatter, wax, diamonds and isolate, to name a few. Each of these concentrates is manufactured using different methods, and the end product often looks nothing like the green cannabis bud from where it originated. It's easy to get lost in the world of cannabis concentrates so, to keep it simple, we are lumping all of these types of extracts together and talking about them as a group.


Cannabis concentrates are made by extracting cannabinoids (THC, CBD etc.) from the cannabis plant. This can be done in a few different ways: using a solvent such as butane or alcohol, CO2 extraction or solventless methods such as dry ice or dry sifting.

Dabbing is the most common way to consume cannabis concentrates. Dabbing is when you heat a concentrate to the point it vaporizes, and you can inhale. A 'dab rig' and a torch is needed to use cannabis edibles. To learn more about dabbing and dab rigs, click here.


What does it look like?


Strength

Cannabis concentrates are the strongest form of cannabis available, and they are very high in THC content. If you are a novice or first-time cannabis user, using concentrates may be overwhelming and result in a whitey if you do not dose it correctly. Also, because of the high THC and low CBD content, you are more at risk of negative psychoactive effects such as paranoia and anxiety. If you are an experienced cannabis user with a high tolerance to THC, dabbing cannabis extracts is much healthier for your body to consume when you compare it to the danger of smoking herbal cannabis with tobacco.

Useful Links & Further Reading

Cannabis | Weed | Effects of Cannabis | FRANK (talktofrank.com)

Cannabis - Know the Score

CREW.scot Cannabis Booklet

Cannabis (crew.scot)

What are cannabis concentrates and how do you consume them? | Weedmaps




Photo credits:

Blog header: landed.info

Herbal, extracts edibles: unsplash.com

Hash: flickr.com

Concentrates image: Reddit /r/coolguides



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