1. A sticky insoluble organic compound secreted by plants. In cannabis plants, the resin contains the cannabinoids and terpenes. During the growth cycle, cannabis resin serves as a defense mechanism for the plant, developed to protect it from predators and pests.
  2. The tar-like weed residue found in bongs, pipes, and other glass pieces after prolonged use without cleaning.

I need to clean the resin out of my pipe before I use it again.

 All the good stuff in weed is made by the plant's resin glands.

resin concentrates Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

Resin from the plant

You've probably noticed the tiny hairs that cover the cannabis plant, creating  a crystal-like sheen and sticky feel. These glandular hairs are called trichomes. These trichomes are held together with resin, which contains the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds for which the cannabis plant is known. You can think of weed resin as the stuff that holds all the trichome-produced compounds together on the trichome head. 

The cannabis plant produces resin primarily to deter pests. Weed resin is bitter and contains specific terpenes that repel certain pests. Linalool, for example, is a common terpene in cannabis that has several health benefits for humans and is also used as an ingredient in insecticides due to its pest-killing properties. Resin also protects the plant from overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays and helps it maintain optimal surface-level humidity so the plant doesn't dry out. 

Resin from a pipe

Resin is also the term used for the tar-like residue that smoked cannabis leaves behind in pipes. Cannabis combustion creates byproducts — mostly ash, tar, and carbon — that build up in smoking implements like pipes and bowls. 

resin bowl Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

How is resin collected from the plant?


Hashish, or simply hash, is a solvent-free cannabis concentrate comprised of weed resin or trichome glands. Hash-making is an ancient art dating back thousands of years. It involves sifting a cannabis plant to harvest the resin glands, then compressing those glands under mild heat. 


Charas is a type of hash made by hand-rubbing the cannabis plant and rolling the collected resin into small balls. 

Dry sift

Dry sift, also known as kief, is resin sifted from cannabis through a sieve. Dry sift can be pressed and heated to create hash. 

Pros of collecting resin

There are a number of weed resin uses, some more effective than others. When you separate resin from the cannabis plant, you're essentially gathering all of the plant's desirable compounds. Collecting resin from a cannabis plant is like customizing a feed to only show you things you want to see. . You're separating the active compounds from the raw plant material, distilling the plant's potency and effects. Concentrates made from resin glands are inherently more potent than flower, accounting for the meteoric rise of concentrates within the cannabis market.  

With proper protection from outside elements — heat, humidity, light, and air — weed resin can have a long shelf life. Resin also naturally protects its own cannabinoids from oxygen, especially when pressed into hash,which causes the resin to darken. This dark brown color and opaqueness protect active compounds from ultraviolet (UV) light,  extending the product's shelf life.

Does smoking resin get you high?

In general, the THC content of resin that's built up in a bong or pipe is quite low. And while there may be some residual THC in resin, it will taste harsh and contain more tar than useful compounds. . In short, smoking resin found in a bong is something people do, but the risks outweigh the benefits. 

Regardless of whether it is derived from cannabis or another source, smoking tar is harmful. You may not have experienced any dangerous side effects if you've taken resin hits from your pipe or bowl once or twice in a pinch. But it's probably worth waiting until you get some more flower or concentrates, rather than smoking something with minimal THC content that's also worse for your lungs. 

Frequently asked questions

What's the best way to remove resin from your pipe and hands?

Place your pipe or bowl in a sealable plastic bag and fill it with rubbing alcohol until the entire piece is submerged. Add a teaspoon of table salt (sodium chloride) or Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate), either of which will act as a scrubber or sponge for the resin. Leave the pipe or bowl to soak in the bag for about 12 hours, giving the alcohol enough time to dissolve the resin. 

Rubbing alcohol is also a fast and effective method for removing weed resin or leftover resin from your hands. Rubbing your fingers with vegetable or olive oil may also safely remove resin and be more gentle on your skin. 

How much THC is in resin?

It is hard to quantify exactly how much THC is present in leftover resin. But regardless of the specific amount, leftover resin does not contain very much THC. Instead, the sticky resin that builds up in your pipes, bowls, vaporizers, and bongs is mostly comprised of tar, ash, and carbon—all products of the combustion process. Ultimately, leftover resin does contain some THC, and you might even feel a little bit high after smoking resin, but compared to flower and concentrates, leftover resin is very low in THC.

Can you smoke the sticky resin from your pipe?

While there may be some residual THC left in your pipe resin and you may feel a high from smoking resin, it's likely to have much more tar, which is significantly more harmful to your lungs than any of the desirable compounds.

Can you use a vaporizer to smoke resin?

Yes, it's possible to consume resin using a vaporizer. However, similar to smoking resin, you're unlikely to get a sufficient amount of cannabinoids and terpenes. Putting resin in your vaporizer may also gunk it up and negatively impact the smell and taste of your vape hits. 

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The information contained in this site is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical or legal advice. This page was last updated on July 13, 2021.