- Hashish is known under many names, including hash, hasj, hasheesh, and charas. The name hashish comes from the Arabic noun ashlsh, which translates as grass, hay, or herb, and is often used as a synonym for the name cannabis. In actual fact, it refers to a preparation composed of the compressed flowers and appendages (or 'trichomes') collected from the cannabis plant. The hallucinogenic properties of hashish are attributed primarily to the concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) present in it. This concentration varies from 2 to 8%, with an occasional peak as high as 20%. The term hash oil refers to an organic solvent used to extract THC from hashish or marihuana. The THC concentration in hash oil may range from 15 to 50%, although samples with a concentration as high as 70% have been reported. The term hashish hallucination is used to denote a variety of hallucinatory phenomena that may be elicited by the use of hashish. Like other cannabis products, hashish is usually administered through smoking. It can also be vaporized or eaten, or drunk as a tea. Hash oil is used sparingly, mostly in the form of a few drops applied to a cigarette. One of the earliest studies of hashish hallucinations is by the French psychiatrist Jacques-Joseph Moreau de Tours (1804-1884), who published a book on his own experiments with hashish in 1845. In 1857 the American journalist Fitz Hugh Ludlow (1836-1870), author of The Hashish Eater,pro-posed two 'laws of hasheesh operation' that were based on the visual imagery he himself had experienced while in a state of cannabis intoxication. In Ludlow's own words, "First, after the completion of any one fantasia has arrived, there almost invariably succeeds a shifting of the action to some other stage entirely different in its surroundings... Second, after the full storm of a vision of intense sublimity has blown past the hasheesh eater, his next vision is generally of a quiet, relaxing, and recreating nature." For a further account of the hallucinogenic properties of hashish, see the entry Cannabis-induced hallucination.ReferencesLudlow, F. (1857). The hasheesh eater.New York, NY: Harper Brothers. Moreau, J.-J. (1845). Du hachisch et de l'aliénation mentale. Études psychologiques. Paris: Fortin Masson.Siegel, R.K., Jarvik, M.E. (1975). Drug-induced hallucinations in animals and man.In: Hallucinations. Behavior, experience, and theory. Edited by Siegel, R.K., West, L.J. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.Solowij, N. (1998). Cannabis and cognitive functioning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Dictionary of Hallucinations. J.D. Blom. 2010.
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