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Hash Withdrawal

ball of hash
Hash or hashish is a psychoactive drug that contains delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or simply THC, a chemical that affects the central nervous system. 1

Marijuana is often referred to as hash. But marijuana is composed of a mixture of flowers, seeds, stems, and leaves from the cannabis sativa plant. 2 Hashish is a resin made from the trichomes of the plant, which are tiny, clear hairs that stick out of the flowers and leaves of the plant. Hash contains more THC, making it more potent than marijuana or “weed.”2

Hashish is common in Asian countries, where it is prepared and smoked in a pipe, hot knife, vaporizer, hookah, or a bubbler. Like marijuana, it can be combined with tobacco and smoked in blunts. Hash can also be mixed in food or a beverage. Hash oil is made by extracting the cannabinoid chemicals from the plant with a solvent. Its color and odor can vary depending on the solvent used.3

Abrupt discontinuation of the drug after long-term use can lead to hash withdrawal effects, including restlessness, irritability, sleep problems, and decreased appetite. 3 The effects are not medically dangerous, but seeking treatment can help prevent relapse and address addiction.

Withdrawing From Hash: Treatment Methods and Options for Help

Long-term users of hash typically experience hash withdrawal symptoms, including insomnia, anxiety, irritability, depressed mood, and loss of appetite. 4 Symptoms can be felt within 24-72 hours of quitting. They tend to become more intense over the course of the first week and begin to fade after about 2 weeks.4

Symptoms tend to become more intense over the course of the first week and begin to fade after about 2 weeks.

Behavioral therapies and medications may help to relieve symptoms and improve the likelihood of recovery. 4

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT has shown efficacy in marijuana dependence. A therapist teaches a recovering user how to become more aware and in control of behaviors that can lead to drug use. 5
  • Contingency management has also been used to promote marijuana and hash abstinence. In this treatment approach, the hash or marijuana user receives vouchers for services and goods as incentives for remaining drug-free. The vouchers are given, for example, after the person passes a urine test and is found to be drug-free. 5
  • No medications are used exclusively for hash withdrawal treatment.5 But medical professionals may prescribe medications to manage symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia, headaches, and depression.

Since hash withdrawal is not usually fatal or associated with medical complications, users may be able to detox at home or in an outpatient detox program. Outpatient programs allow users to live at home and attend treatment a few days a week for a few hours at a time.

Those who are considering outpatient or home detox should be aware, however, that spending time in the same environments where hash use took place increases the risk of relapse. For those at high risk of relapse, who abuse other drugs, and who have mental health disorders, inpatient may be a better choice.

Hash Effects

Hash has the same effects and health risks as marijuana. Use of these drugs can cause euphoria, enhanced sensory perception, time distortion, loss of coordination, relaxation, increased appetite, anxiety, dizziness, increased heart rate, lung irritation, and bronchitis. Long-term use can result in respiratory diseases, mental problems, and addiction. 3

Detoxing, Addiction Treatment, Rehab, and Recovery

Detoxification involves letting the body to process any remaining substances and is the first stage of drug addiction treatment. It allows users to begin their recovery with a clear state of mind and a healthy body.

After detox, drug rehabilitation is recommended for people who have had trouble quitting hash and marijuana and have preexisting physical and mental conditions. Rehabilitation is also recommended for drug users who are having a difficult time withdrawing from the drug and are experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms.

person in detox program in individual therapyThe person can choose to enroll in an outpatient or inpatient rehab facility. Many of these programs include detox as part of a larger program that includes individual, group, and family therapy, as well as medical care, recreation, nutrition, and medication.

Rehab programs can help the user learn strategies to prevent relapse, which is common in those trying to quit cannabis. Relapse rates for marijuana are comparable to those of other abused drugs, and many relapse during the withdrawal stage. 4,6

After completing the rehabilitation process, the rehabilitated hash user can join a local support group such as Narcotics Anonymous to help maintain his or her sobriety outside of the rehab facility. These programs also allow someone formerly dependent on hash to build a network of people that can help him or her through the recovery process, and also to assist other drug users to recover from their addiction.

Hash Information at a Glance
Medication Name, Costs Class of Medicine
  • Generic Name: hash/hashish/hash oil
  • Cost/Price: Varies depending on the state and quality of the drug. In California, for example, cannabis sold for $204 per ounce for medium quality and $248 for high quality. 2
  • Function or Use at Low Dose: recreational use
  • Chemical Makeup: delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
  • Duration of Effects: 2-4 hours 1
Form, Intake, and Dose   
  • Drug Forms: THC-rich resinous material made into cakes, balls, or cookie-like sheets 1
  • Administration Routes: smoked, oral 1
Effects and Adverse Reactions Substance Abuse
  • Possible Effects: euphoria, disorientation, increase in appetite, relaxed inhibitions 1
  • Effects of Overdose: paranoia, fatigue, possible psychosis 1
  • Risk of Substance Abuse: Hashish has a higher concentration of THC than marijuana, and users can become addicted. 3,5
  • Signs of Abuse: using hash in increasingly larger amounts, spending a lot of time getting/using hash or recovering from its effects, persistent desire to cut down or control hash use, experiencing withdrawal symptoms 4
Physiological Problem Signs and Symptoms Dependence and Addiction Issues
  • Withdrawal Syndrome Onset: begins within 24-72 hours after last use, peaks in about a week, and declines over 1-2 weeks 4
  • Withdrawal Symptoms: irritability, nervousness, anxiety, worry, depressed mood, restlessness, decreased appetite, trouble sleeping, physical symptoms and discomfort (sweatiness, fever, chills, stomach pain, headache, shakiness) 5,6
  • Withdrawal Treatment Medication: Oral THC 6
  • Dependence: Yes 4
  • Psychological Dependence: Yes 1
  • Tolerance: Yes 1
Legal Schedules and Ratings
  • Controlled Substances Act Rating: Schedule I 1

Questions and Answers

How Long Does Hash Withdrawal Last?

The duration of hash withdrawal varies from person to person. But the usual length is around 1-2 weeks. 4 The withdrawal timeline can last longer, however, depending on how much and how long the person used, as well as their age, physical health, and use of other drugs.

Do You Have a List of Popular Slang or Street Names for Hash?

Aunt Mary, chronic, dope, weed, pot, reefer, herb, Mary Jane, sinsemilla, skunk

What Are Common Misspellings?

Hassh withdrawl, haseh withdrawls, hashh withdrawel, hsah withdrawels

Are There Any Home Remedies for Getting Clean Safely?

doctor talking to patient in rehab facilityUnfortunately, there isn’t a home remedy to provide relief while getting clean. Some people report success with relaxation exercises to help to ease the anxiety during withdrawal. Turning to other medications or drugs to relieve the insomnia, anxiety, and depression experienced while detoxing can be dangerous because a new dependency can be formed.

The natural and safest alternative to getting clean at home is seeking help at a treatment center. There, doctors and professionals will be available to help anyone wanting to get clean do so safely.

How Long Does It Take to Detox From Hash?

The length of time to detox will usually be between 1-2 weeks. 4 Casual users may be able to detox in a few days. People who have used the drug for an extended period of time will usually take longer.

Relapse is a big concern because some people have become emotionally dependent on hash to relax, and the anxiety can be difficult to deal with during withdrawal. If this is the case for you or a loved one, know you have options. There are programs available to help people going through hash detox quit for good and take back control of their lives.

Sources

[1]. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2017). How does marijuana produce its effects?

[2]. Government of Canada. (2017). About cannabis.

[3]. Drug Enforcement Administration. (2015). Drugs of Abuse.

[4]. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-5. Washington, D.C: American Psychiatric Association.

[5]. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2017). Available Treatments for Marijuana Use Disorders.

[6]. Elkashef, A. et al. (2008). Marijuana Neurobiology and Treatment. Substance Abuse 29(3):17-29.

Hash Information at a Glance Sources

  1. U.S. Department of Justice. (2005). Drugs of Abuse.
  2. Price of Weed. (n.d.). Global Index of Marijuana.
  3. Department of the Navy. (2015). OCHR FactSheet: Marijuana.
  4. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.). Washington, D.C.
  5. National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens. (2015). Marijuana Withdrawal is Real.
  6. Hesse, M., & Thylstrup, B. (2013). Time-course of the DSM-5 cannabis withdrawal symptoms in poly-substance abusers. BMC psychiatry, 13(1), 258.

 

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