Hash Vs Skunk: Is there a difference and does it matter?

Hash Vs Skunk

You might as well compare biscuits to chocolate and argue that only one will make you fat.

It is first of all a ridiculous comparison. The main reason the Hash vs Skunk debate exists is the complete lack of understanding of the terms hash and skunk and the related absolute misuse of each.

As mentioned in https://swanseacannabisclub.co.uk/2015/02/19/skunk-like-cannabis-causes-24-of-new-psychosis-cases-or-so-mainstream-media-will-have-you-believe/:

"Skunk is the name of a hybrid strain created from several different sets of landrace cannabis genetics bred together. These genetics have made their way into some but not all of the popular strains now available today. Skunk as a term used by politicians and the media refers to any high potency (in terms of THC) herbal cannabis.  There are no qualifying characteristics beyond that. Whereas we would characterise types of alcohol by a particular strength of volume, ingredients and methods of production, if a teenager or young person is in danger of smoking cannabis and it is at least quite strong (a subjective description) it must be skunk, otherwise it is nice safe hash and definitely not something dirty like soap bar. Such brilliant logic has made it harder and harder to talk about cannabis due to the false distinctions around it."

Skunk (the strain) in reality is just a particular hybrid strain. It is not the strongest in THC potency on the market and it doesn't have any kind of virulent characteristic that makes it dominate the other genetics in a plant. The name has been taken so as to refer to any and all high THC herbal cannabis. It does not have any effects on a user that are not in absolute line with similar strains or out of the ordinary for cannabis.

Hash however:

Hash is made up of pressed trichromes from the cannabis plant and the occasional bit of plant matter. Depending on the quality of the hash there may be other bits of garbage in there also, this is why plastic and rubber loaded soap bar used to be everywhere as it was cheap adulterated hash. Good hash should contain little else besides resin from the cannabis flower.

As it is possible to make hash from any cannabis plant you can have hash with wildly varying characteristics. It is obviously therefore quite possible to make hash from one or more skunk plants.

Can you imagine what the media would make of "Skunk Hash"?

You can have strong hash, you can have mild hash, you can have good quality hash and you can have bad quality hash. It is ultimately still the cannabis plant, just processed into a different form.

Charas and soap bar are both hash. Pretending that there is something magical about the hash form is either naivety or ignorance. It is perfectly possible to have high THC hash that is completely out of balance with the CBD in it. It is again completely possible to have hash with a more balanced ratio of THC:CBD. Traditionally, a lot of the strains used to make good quality hash in the past were imported into the UK from areas where there was a greater balance between THC and CBD in the landrace strains present. This is perhaps where come of the confusion stems from.

Mainstream media definition skunk:
Overpoweringly strong herbal cannabis, specifically bred to induce psychosis with no pleasurable effects. Sold to unwitting young people exclusively.

Mainstream media definition hash:

Safe and mild cannabis from the sixties. Morally more acceptable to Channel 4 viewers.

Real definition skunk:
A popular hybrid strain often cross bred with others to form new hybrid strains. By no means present within the ancestry of all cultivated cannabis strains.

Real definition hash:

Pressed resinous gland secretions of the cannabis plant. Can be created in numerous different ways including dry sift, hand rubbing and ice extraction.

So does it matter?
Yes. Without understanding terms of reference, you cannot comment accurately on something. If you attempt to use these inaccurate definitions you will influence others to make poor decisions as both users and policy makers.

If all hash was legalised tomorrow and all "skunk" was somehow even further prohibited, it would not actually change the THC available on the market.

It is true that there is some very strong cannabis available, and it is true that there is some very mild cannabis available, this is not actually a bad thing. It is also true that it is more complicated than just strong and mild, some people will want a THC:CBD balanced strain, others will want a THC heavy laden strain, others a CBD potent strain while others will have different requirements. Sometimes a very strong, THC potent strain will be required by a user, sometimes the same user will want something milder, this choice and preference will be very much dependent on the individual and their circumstances and needs.

It is also the case that this THC:CBD comparison is not the end of the story, increasingly, more and more reference is being made to terpenes as a way of understanding and measuring cannabis. Never mind that THC and CBD are but two of dozens of compounds within the cannabis plant. As a culture, we are still uncovering lots and lots of information as how to label and distinguish between different strains and forms of cannabis beyond user description of strong and mild or sativa and indica.

If the government or the media wants to differentiate between different types of potency and composition they need to make that clear and actually come to understand what they are talking about. Until then it is actually impossible for government advice to be used by current or prospective users and it rules the media out entirely from providing accurate information or commentary on cannabis related issues.

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