It’s a pretty straightforward question. Can you smoke resin?
Of course you can. You can smoke the leaves that fall from trees or a chopped-up rubber tire, too. What you really want to know is the answer to a slightly different question:
Should you smoke resin?
The answer to that one is easy: only if you’re really, really desperate. Here’s why.
What Is Weed Resin?
Since we’re playing Q&A here, you almost definitely know the simple answer to this one, too. Resin is that gross black gunk that accumulates in your bowl after you’ve smoked.
The more complete answer, though, is that it’s a combination of ash, tar, carbon and leftover oils from the flower. That pretty much explains why it’s gunk, why it’s black – and why it’s gross.
Resin is left behind on all of the surfaces that the burning pot or the smoke touched, so there’s almost always some resin in the stem and even the mouthpiece. But most of it builds up on the bottom and sides of the bowl. Also known as “reclaim,” resin is often seen as the “weed of last resort” when money is tight or bud is in short supply. After all, it’s already there, so it’s free – and there must be some THC in there, right?
Yes, there is. But you should know more about it before trying to smoke it, though.
The Cons of Resin
There’s no need to discuss the pros and cons of resin in this section, since we’ve already mentioned the only pro: you already have it. Sadly, there are several important cons.
- Only a small amount of THC is left behind in resin; most of it (along with the other cannabinoids) was consumed when the bud was originally smoked, leaving only a little still trapped in the reclaim. That means it takes a lot more resin than flower to get high.
- That also means that the high you get from resin is a short one. Additionally, the smoke is thick and harsh so it can quickly irritate your throat and lungs, and since it takes more heat to smoke resin you can end up burning your hand as well as your mouth and throat.
- Smoking resin is bad for your long-term health. A major component of resin is tar – the same stuff that makes cigarettes so bad for you. Now add in the carbon dioxide and benzene that you inhale when you smoke anything at the extremely high temperatures that are required to burn resin, and it’s not a pretty picture. A few hits won’t kill you, of course, but it’s nothing you want to do regularly. It can give you a bad headache, too.
- Resin smoke smells and tastes nasty. ‘Nuff said about that.
So it’s not a great high, it’s not very pleasant, and it’s not good for you. But what if you’re broke and have no other choice?
How to Smoke Resin
Some people have tried smoking resin in joints or blunts, but reclaim is so dense that you can’t get much smoke out of it that way. Others have tried to vape it, but they end up with a bad taste in their vaporizer that they can never get rid of. Those who’ve tried to make tea or edibles from it say the taste is almost unbearable. You can simply smoke the resin as it sits in your bowl, but you have to get the bowl so hot that you’ll almost definitely end up with a burnt hand.
The best approach is to heat the bowl just enough to make the resin pliable, scrape it out (as long as the pipe isn’t plastic, which will shred), and roll it into a ball that can be smoked in a pipe or bong. The bong is a better choice because it will make the smoke less harsh.
You can scrape the resin out of your bowl with something as simple as a bent paper clip, or as “fancy” as one of those multi-pronged pipe tools they sell in smoke shops; just have something that’s “non-stick” (many stoners use parchment paper) underneath the pipe, so the gooey resin doesn’t destroy your table or floor.
Smoking resin is a great motivator. After you do it once, you’ll be incredibly motivated to get a job (or a better-paying one) so you can afford bud – and never have to smoke the resin again.