The leaves and stems of both male and female cannabis plants are covered in a coating of fine hairs. In bright sunlight, as the plant approaches maturity, each hair begins to exude a sticky resinous sap. This exudate is collected and then dried and compressed to produce the finest forms of cannabis resin. As with the herbal variety, modern producers are intent upon producing the drug in large quantities without being concerned about quality; therefore, rather than wait for the plant to exude its own resin, producers often crush the sap from the whole plant in commercial-size crushing machines.
Cannabis resin now accounts for approximately 55 per cent of the UK market. No cannabis resin is produced in the UK; all of the resin thatwe see is imported from countries with generally warmer climates than our own. Morocco, Lebanon, Pakistan, Turkey, India, Nepal and Afghanistan are major producers of the cannabis resin that reaches the UK.
Cannabis resin is seen in a wide variety of colours, consistencies and forms. The variations in colour and consistency are mostly a result of differences in climate and production methods. The colour can vary from the deepest black, through slate grey and every imaginable shade of brown, to pale honey. Some black forms are hard, shiny and brittle and can be snapped like old-fashioned liquorice. Dark-brown resins tend to be hard and dense and very difficult to break up. The user normally has to heat the block with a flame before being able to crumble it.
This process of heating is called ‘roasting’ or ‘toasting’. Many of the paler resins are soft and dry and crumble easily in the fingers.
Cannabis oil is produced by dissolving the flowering parts of the cannabis plant or its resin in a powerful commercial solvent, filtering out the fibre content and then evaporating off the solvent to leave behind a viscous heavy oil that contains a very high level of THC. The oil varies in colour from dark green or dark brown to black.
It has a very powerful smell similar to that of a rotting cabbage or bag of Brussels sprouts. This oil is either dribbled onto hand-rolling cigarette tobacco or smeared with a matchstick onto the sides of commercially made cigarettes.
Despite the differences between the various forms of cannabis, in essence they are all simply THC.Whatever it is called and whatever it looks like, it is all the same. Many users claim that they use only one sort or another and never touch the other forms. This is nonsense: whatever form they use, it is THC that they are putting into their bodies.