Just because you are familiar with cannabis, that does not necessarily mean that you have a clear understanding of everything related to it, including resin. If you smoke cannabis or are considering trying it, you will likely hear the term “resin” thrown around. Discover what resin is, how to use it, and what cautions to take when smoking it.
What Weed Resin Is
To start, you need to understand what weed resin is. This is the term for the extra material that builds up in a bong or pipe when you use it to smoke weed over a period of time. The terms “resin,” “weed resin,” and “pipe resin” are all interchangeable.
Resin can be a bit gross at first, and it is sticky. It is mostly made up of tar but also contains carbon and ash.
Natural Resin Vs. Pipe Resin
Weed resin contains terpenes and cannabinoids. The resin evolved to act as a defense mechanism for cannabis, protecting it from pests and predators in its growth cycle. This adaptation comes from the terpenes that make the cannabis taste bad to pests and its bitter flavor.
On fresh cannabis plants, the resin holds the trichomes – crystal-like, sticky hairs with terpenes – together. In terms of smoking cannabis, it mostly gets in the way.
If you are talking about resin on the cannabis plant, this is the resin you will be talking about. However, most people who use the term “weed resin,” “pipe resin,” or just “resin” will be referring to the buildup on the pipe.
Resin Has Some THC
Resin contains small amounts of THC. The fact that some THC is present in resin makes it appealing to people who want to get every last bit of THC from their cannabis.
Think of the THC in the resin as the little bit of THC that gets leftover and trapped as you smoke your marijuana.
Smoking Resin Gets You High
One of the most commonly asked questions regarding resin is whether you will get high from smoking it. Because resin contains THC, it should be obvious that the answer is yes. You can get high from smoking resin.
But Low Potency
While resin can get you high, it is not likely to be your preferred method of achieving the psychoactive effects that you want from marijuana. Remember that it only contains small quantities of THC. As such, your highs will not be as potent. In other words, you would need a lot of resin to get the high you could get from much less weed.
But Unpleasant Flavor
If you choose to use resin to get high, you will also have to deal with the unpleasant flavor of the substance.
How Do You Scrape Resin?
Whether or not you want to smoke your resin, it is not a bad idea to scrape it out of your pipe or bong occasionally as a way to keep all of your smoking-related gear clean. The best way to get the resin off is via scraping, but there is not a single method that works best. The tool that will make it easiest for you to scrape the resin depends on the shape of your pipe and your preferences. All of the following tools will let you scrape larger chunks of resin out, which should be of a reasonable size for smoking.
Bobby Pins or Paperclips
You can take a bobby pin or a paperclip and bend it gently into the ideal shape for your pipe. Both tools are flexible and affordable, making them a convenient choice.
You can also grab some parchment paper to gather resin. This works well because it is a non-stick surface that is disposable and relatively flexible. If you do not have parchment paper on hand, try wax paper.
Another option is to grab a multi-tool designed for smokers. While any of the tools on this list will do the job, a multi-tool is convenient to have on hand for other reasons, as well, and you may find yourself using it more often than you realized.
You can also use a lighter to get some of the resin off. This method involves dry hitting the pipe or other device. This will soften the resin, so it becomes easier for you to extract. Just keep in mind that if you heat up the resin, it will get drippy, sticky, and stinky, so be prepared for a mess. You will also want to make sure it stays away from clothing and the carpet, as it will be hard to get off. After you remove the heated resin, give it time to dry.
Do Not Scrape and Smoke From Plastic Pipes
If your goal when scraping resin is to smoke it, then do not scrape it off of a plastic pipe. That is because you will likely end up scraping some of the plastic, as well, which you do not want to smoke. Only scrape resin for smoking off of hard metal pipes or glass pipes.
How to Remove Resin You Do Not Want to Smoke
If you plan on smoking the resin after you remove it from your pipe or bong, then you want to use one of the above methods to scrape it or dry smoke it. Even if you do not want to smoke the resin, it is wise to occasionally remove it from your pipe to keep your gear clean.
In this case, try putting the entire bowl or pipe into a plastic bag with a seal. Fill it with enough rubbing alcohol to fully submerge the piece. Add a teaspoon of either Epsom salt or table salt. This will serve as a sponge or scrubber. Let the entire pipe or bowl soak for 12 hours as this is about how long the alcohol will need to dissolve all of the resin.
Rubbing alcohol can also be useful if you get resin on your hands. Alternatively, you could try using olive oil or vegetable oil, either of which should be gentler on your skin.
Why Should You Remove Resin From Your Pipe?
For those who plan on smoking it, the reason to remove resin from a pipe is obvious – you cannot smoke it if it is stuck in the pipe (unless you dry smoke it).
But if you do not want smoke resin, then do you still need to clean it off your pipe?
You should clean it off because the resin accumulation can block the flow of smoke through your pipe’s chamber and mouthpiece. This results in inhaling less THC. In other words, taking the time to occasionally clean the resin off your pipe will improve your next smoking experience.
Smoking Resin Is Harmful to Your Health
Anyone who is thinking about smoking resin should take the time to think about this decision before doing so. That is because smoking resin is not good for your health.
Smoking anything is always a health risk as it can be irritating to your lungs and cause other issues. However, resin is associated with a higher risk of health problems compared to smoking marijuana. As such, you may not want to go this route.
To understand why smoking resin is even more potentially harmful to your health than smoking other substances, you only need to think about what it is. Remember that resin is tar with some ash and carbon. This combination of substances is certainly more harmful to your health than smoking cannabis would be.
It Is Your Choice
Of course, as an adult, you can make your own decision. If you are aware of the risks of smoking resin and want to do so anyway for the THC, go ahead.
Leave It to Occasional Use
Because of the higher health risks associated with smoking resin, you should make it a point not to do it too often. Instead of making smoking resin part of your normal routine, save it for occasional use. This way, you can balance your health with your enjoyment of the THC and the knowledge that you used all the THC that your cannabis had to offer.
Potential Problems When Smoking Resin
When you do smoke resin, you may notice that your highs are shorter, and some people even connect the high to being lightheaded. You are also more likely to get a headache after the high and an irritated throat.
How to Smoke Resin
You decided that you want to smoke your resin to enjoy the THC content, but how do you do so?
Instead of smoking resin, you could turn it into an edible. Some people choose to make resin tea by heating their resin-covered pipe in hot water then drinking it. While this will give you some of the THC left in the resin, the taste is likely to be highly unpleasant.
In a Joint
You could put the resin into a joint and smoke it just like you would cannabis buds. Just keep in mind that resin burns more slowly than fresh buds. Additionally, it is more compact, which can hurt the airflow in the joints. Even so, you will get an okay amount of smoke.
In a Pipe
If you want to smoke resin, the best method of doing so would be in a pipe, especially if you have a bubbler, bong, or another water filter. The water filter can help reduce the harshness associated with the resin’s smoke.
In a Pipe – Dry Heating
As mentioned before, you could also dry heat your pipe and enjoy the resin that way. This method involves just heating up your pipe and smoking the resin that is caked onto it without any need to scrape it off. If you go with this method, just keep in mind that the pipe will get very warm, as well.
With a Vaporizer
If you have a sturdy vaporizer or vape pen that you do not mind potentially ruining, you could try to smoke resin in it. However, this is ill-advised as it is likely going to ruin the vaporizer. Anytime you use the vaporizer in the future, you will notice the resinous smell or flavor in the pipe, and it can be very hard to get rid of. Even if you are willing to ruin your vaporizer, you will also need to keep in mind that vaping resin will require extra heat compared to cannabis and THC.
Plant Resin – How to Use It
Most of the above information is specific to the resin that sticks to your pipe when you smoke cannabis. Remember that resin is also the term for the part of the cannabis plant that holds the trichomes together. You can also collect this resin from the plant and turn it into a usable form of cannabis.
Hash or hashish is a cannabis concentrate that is made from the trichome glands of resin. This process is thousands of years old. To make hash, you sift cannabis plants to get the resin glands before compressing them while exposed to mild heat.
There is also a type of hash called charas, which you make by hand-rubbing cannabis plants and rolling the resin you collect into a bunch of small balls.
Resin is also used to make kief or dry sift. This is when you sift resin with a sieve to separate it from the cannabis plant. You can heat and apply pressure to this kief to turn it into hash.
Comparing Plant and Pipe Resin
This type of plant resin is much safer than the pipe resin discussed in this article. Unlike pipe resin, this one does not mostly contain tar.
As you look at resin items and talk about resin, remember that the term resin can apply to either. Any resin product that you buy is likely to be a plant-resin product, like hash or kief. If you are talking about leftover resin or something similar, then assume it is the tar-filled resin left in your pipe or bong.