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Smoking Marijuana Resin | Health Effects & Risks

Published on April 22, 2021
Smoking Marijuana Resin | Health Effects & Risks

Marijuana, which comes from the cannabis plant, is the most popular illicit drug in the United States. It’s usually smoked. 

While most people smoke marijuana plant material, others smoke marijuana resin. Smoking resin poses a variety of unique health risks. 

What Is Marijuana Resin?

Marijuana resin, or cannabis resin, is a sticky or powdery substance produced by trichomes. Trichomes are tiny compounds that cover the cannabis flower. 

Like marijuana plant material, marijuana resin contains cannabinoids (cannabis compounds). The most well-known cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). 

THC is the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. It makes you feel euphoric or “high,” while CBD makes you feel relaxed. 

Marijuana resin also contains other natural compounds, including terpenes (which influence marijuana’s flavor and smell) and flavonoids (which influence marijuana’s color). 

Types Of Marijuana Resin

There are two types of marijuana resin: resin extracted from plants, and resin extracted from smoking devices.

Resin Extracted From Plants

Some people extract resin directly from cannabis plants. Also called cannabis concentrate, this kind of resin tends to have high levels of THC.

People use different extraction methods to produce different types of plant-extracted resin. The two main types are rosin and hashish (also called hash).

Rosin is a solid substance extracted via heat and pressure.

Hashish is a dried, pressed powder. It’s often pressed into hash oil to further concentrate the THC. When making hash oil, some people use butane as a solvent to create butane hash oil, or BHO. One popular type of BHO, live resin, is known for its strong flavor.

Most people smoke plant-extracted resin through a process called “dabbing.” They place the resin into a device called a dab rig, heat the resin, and inhale the resulting vapors through a mouthpiece. 

Other people “vape” plant-extracted resin by inhaling the vapors from a type of vaporizer called a dab pen.

Resin Extracted From Smoking Devices

After someone smokes marijuana plant material, they’ll usually find resin in their glass pipe, water pipe (also called a bong), or other smoking device. 

Also known as “weed resin” or “reclaim,” this type of resin is simply a byproduct of smoked marijuana. Unlike plant-extracted resin, it contains very low amounts of THC. That means it won’t produce a strong high, which is why most people don’t smoke it.

Risks Of Smoking Marijuana Resin 

People who smoke resin face physical and mental health risks, no matter which type they smoke.

Risks Of Smoking Resin Extracted From Plants

Anyone who smokes marijuana may experience side effects. However, due to its high THC content, plant-extracted resin poses an even higher risk of side effects. Dabbing further increases this risk, as it delivers THC to your brain very rapidly.

The side effects may include:

The high amounts of THC also increase your risk of physical dependence. If you’re physically dependent on marijuana and you stop using it, you may experience withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, depression, and stomach pain. 

Physical dependence is often a sign of marijuana addiction. This disease makes you feel unable to control your marijuana use. Many people require professional treatment to recover.  

Risks Of Smoking Resin Extracted From Smoking Devices

While this type of resin contains little THC, it features tar, ash, carbon, and other harmful byproducts. These substances can irritate your throat and lungs when smoked, making it difficult to breathe. They can also cause headache and sore throat. 

If you or someone you love struggles with marijuana abuse or addiction, please contact an Ark Behavioral Health specialist to learn about our comprehensive treatment options.

Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
This page does not provide medical advice.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Health Effects | Marijuana | CDC
Harvard Health Publishing - Marijuana linked to high blood pressure risk
National Institute on Drug Abuse - Marijuana Concentrates DrugFacts
National Institute on Drug Abuse - Marijuana DrugFacts

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