Hashish Consumption Has to End: The Thoughts of a Teen Boy Who Hates It

By: Ali Sakr

For a moment, it’s perfect. Your head is heavy, eyes wide open, absorbing each color you look at with ten times more vibrance. You can barely feel your fingertips – your muscles are so relaxed you can’t help but try to wonder how they ever feel different. But you can’t. You can’t wonder or think. For a moment, all life’s worries are lifted from your shoulders, and you feel as though your brain is empty. You’re completely passive, only taking information in. You find music in the tapping of your own foot as you laugh your face off, amused by the very idea that you’re tapping your foot. For a moment, for one God damn moment, it’s okay. It’s finally okay. The thing is, though, moments end.

***

Hashish is a form of marijuana produced using an extract of cannabis plants. It’s a recreational drug usually smoked as a cigarette, and has many side effects – some worse than others. While your stereotypical depiction of what it feels like being high on marijuana might go somewhere along the lines of the first paragraph, it’s not always so positive to say the least. Short term side effects include memory problems, difficulty in thinking and distorted perception. The main issue here is that this sensory perception you end up with – it’s completely based on your mood. If you’re feeling down, the whole world would be unlivable, and you can only imagine the results of that. Anxiety and panic attacks are just two among many. Not to mention the combination of an increased heart rate and decreased blood pressure, which up your risk of heart attacks by up to four times.

So in the short term, you end up feeling something anywhere on a scale of “life is beautiful!” to a panic attack. If that’s not too specific for you, the long term effects are a bit more set in stone. For starters, smoking hashish, like smoking practically anything really, isn’t too good for your lungs. You probably know the general gist of things: coughing, airway inflammation and increased risk of respiratory infections. If you’re still a fellow adolescent/teen, hashish leads to decreased neurocognitive performance and brain development, which do come in quite useful sometimes. As for couples who want to conceive, smoking any form of marijuana, including hashish, once or more a week can cause sperm count to go down by a third.

By now, there’s a very very slight possibility you might think I’m biased – that I’m writing this article out of pure spite, and that I only wanted to rant about the negative effects of hashish. If so, then you’re partially right. I am biased, not because I’m dead against recreational drugs for no reason, but because I’ve formed this opinion using the facts. Yes, not all claims are proven. For example, there’s been no solid evidence that smoking hashish increases risk of lung cancer, despite producing four times as much tar as cigarettes, and 50% more carcinogens. Some research has even found correlation between smoking marijuana and increased libido, but correlation is not causation. Besides, something about this is just screaming Placebo.

Long story short, yes I’m against hashish, and almost all recreational drugs for that matter (caffeine is the exception). I’ve never tried any (again except caffeine), and I don’t plan to. The concept of willingly being in a state where you’re not yourself has just never appealed to me – and that’s not to mention the effects hashish has on your health. I don’t know if I’m different for having never even had the urge to try it out, or if this is normal and I’m just overthinking things. What I do know, though, is that for a moment, I will be completely aware of my surroundings. At least, as aware as I naturally would be. Now that moment – that’s a moment that won’t end.

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