Why Smoking Resin is Harmful

smoking cannabis resin

There always comes a time in a smokers life where they look into their stash container and realize, “Oh No!, I’m out of herbs!” It has happened many times to many people. So you start looking in your cabinets and other spots to find more but there’s nothing around. You probably Google on what to do or your friend tells you, “Hey, let’s just smoke the resin.” Smoking resin sounds like a good idea at the time, but we assure you, there’s more adverse effects to it than a quick burst of high.

What is Resin?

If you have owned your water pipe for a long time, you will notice black gunk and tar leftover at the bottom of your pipe. This is just build up of leftover oils that are mixed with tars and ash. Resin is the residual byproduct of heating your herbs to a high temperature, like smoking. Vaping dry herbs will have far much less impact on this.

The build up in your smoking pipe happens over time. As you smoke, you will notice little black or dark brown spots appear, depending on how concentrated it is. Some people like to clean their pipe once a week or just do regular maintenance on it. The longer you wait, the more it will stack up. This becomes harder to clean. Eventually, it will clog up your air path.

Resin is usually built up from smoking dry herbs rather than oils or waxes. Wax usually just melts and if any is left around, it will burn up the next time you heat it up to take a dab. Eventually it goes away even though there are little yellow spots around the pipe.

Cannabis Resin

Cannabis resin is the main one most people have to deal with it. What was described above still relates to it for cannabis. In this case, when resin builds up, there will be less smoke going through the chamber and the mouthpiece which means less THC inhaled. Many people use it for those rainy days when there is no weed around. People often refer to resin as “reclaim” because you can reclaim it after you have smoked it.

Is it Safe to Smoke Resin?

Although many people claim to doing it, it’s not the brightest idea to smoke cannabis reclaim. There are a few problems with smoking it, because it’s not just made from burned up cannabis. Cannabis resin is filled with ash and tar that are made from carbon waste which is most likely a built up of the carbon monoxide. Benzene is a dangerous chemical compound that gets created from high temperature when you smoke. Benzene is a chemical that can cause dizziness, rapid heart rate, migraines, alzheimer’s disease and much more if inhaled too often.

Problems from Smoking Resin

If you try to smoke resin you might not feel the adverse effects right away, but you will notice it after a few hits.

Short High

Many people smoke to get high obviously, however you don’t stay high for that long. It doesn’t seem worth it to take that risk to get the adverse effects for a short buzz. Even though the high can be intense, it also wears you out really quick. Some people also say the high feeling is more closely tight to being lightheadedness and asphyxiation which can possibly be true since you’re inhaling carbon monoxide.


The headaches from smoking reclaim do not come right away. You will notice the “high” slowly go away and be accompanied by a headache. It oftentimes happens in the back of your head or in the middle.

Irritated Throat

Since you’re burning more than just ash, you are likely to get a throat ache. The smoke from the resin is much harsher. The color is darker and the texture is thicker.

How to Clean Your Smoking Pipes

Cleaning your water pipe or hand pipe is super important. Cleaning it every now and then only makes it harder to scrub off any leftover resins. Sometimes you won’t even be able to get it off at the first go. It’s also harmful because as you smoke your dry herbs, you’re burning parts of the residue around the bowl.

Cleaning Methods

Cleaning your pipe is very important and can be done in a few ways. The best way to do this is by using specific smoking glass pipe cleaning formulas. You can also do a “do it yourself” at home with the second method

Method #1: Cleaning Formula

The best way to clean your smoking accessories is with a cleaning formula. Make sure to look at the specific formula you buy to make sure which material you use it for. There are formulas made for glass, silicone, metal and acrylic. They are usually all made to work the same, but using the wrong product could discolor your gear, so read the label and instructions first!

Pour your formula in your pipe. Close all the openings like the mouthpiece chamber and the downstem opening. Shake it all up and dump it out in about two minutes. Rinse it out with warm water before you use it again.

Method #2: Salt and Rubbing Alcohol

One of the first ways everyone starts out cleaning their pipes is by pouring salt and isopropyl alcohol, preferably 90%+. Pour it in and shake around. Let it soak in for an hour or two before you pour it out. Make sure to rinse it out with warm water a few times so you don’t taste it when you smoke. This method only works well with glass pipes — do not use alcohol products or abrasive cleaners on plastic gear! The alcohol will discolor the plastic and the abrasives will leave scratch marks!

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    • smarag
    • May 28, 2019

    I’ve smoked resin for years. While it is not first choice, and it can taste nasty, it WILL get you stoned.

      • Cecil
      • June 13, 2019

      I have smoked resin for atleast 2 years now when Im shirt on weed and never have felt harmed from it

      • Kenan
      • October 5, 2019

      I smoke resin frequently (I know it’s bad but I can’t stop) and I’m worried about the part saying its linked with alzheimers. I’m 18 and started smoking resin about 2 years ago. I’ve noticed that my memory has been getting kinda sh*t this past year, stuff like not remembering what I just said or putting something down then 2 mins later I have no idea where it is. I know these things happen to everyone but it just happens so often that I worry. Does anyone know if there has actually been cases directly linked with resin smoking? Is it even possible to develop symptoms of alzheimers this early on?

        • Memory from weed
        • October 19, 2019

        Lol. Sorry I had to get a laugh out. Please understand that your memory issues are 100% from smoking weed in general. Nothing to do with a disease or resin/reclaim. I smoked so much weed as a kid, there was one point where I could not remember 1 childhood memory. My memory from smoking a quarter a day, everyday, was so bad that I would not be able to remember what I had for breakfast come dinner time.

        The only open you have to bring your memory back is abstinence. Weed effects memory cells on some more than others. You are just unlucky and weed is turning you into a dummy.

      1. If you do it everyday. If it’s just here and there like a couple beers then its not likely. But just like drinking everyday will ruin your liver and you won’t live to see 60.

        • Braeden Bowers
        • March 8, 2021

        Shit I’m 16 and I smoke resin dog, you just can’t do it everyday gotta let ur shit heal lil bit, but idk maybe I will know one day if it has any side effects.

      • Extreza
      • May 14, 2020

      You guys are worst than ceack addicts scraping of rocks of the floor.

        • bonglord69
        • October 14, 2020


    • Andros
    • August 4, 2019

    I personally take this method almost every day, ehh.. Might have to stop, Idk, maybe if I notice something off, cause rn it just feels like normal weed. I also wish there were stats of how likely you are to get Alzheimer’s for example

    • Philatio
    • August 6, 2019

    Reclaim is wax. Resin is flower.

    1. Reply

      *Exactly* … I’ve had great great results from methodically collecting my dry herb vape resin and also dab resins … nothing bad about it … just like smoking more wax. Dry herb combustion resin is another story … it’s just hideous though it does do the job. My suggestion? Invest in a quality vaporizer like the Storz & Bickel “Mighty” and not only will your flower supply last 30% longer (once you learn the vaping ropes) … but the resin reclaim is fantastic … no flower material, no tar, spots … just a golden super super sticky resin. It takes practice to develop your dab reclaim method but it’s totally worth it.

    • Kerry
    • August 23, 2019

    I used to do it all the time as a inexperienced teen, after 15 years I got desperate a few days ago and scraped my bowl and smoked the resin. Woke up the next morning with one hell of a sore throat and sinus infection. I know it was the dirty nasty stinky resin that was the culprit. Thanks.

  1. Reply

    Gives me diarrhea and feel like the flu a couple days later. I try to throw it away before I get tempted.

    • HJk
    • January 1, 2020

    Where should you dump the dirty resin after the pipe us clean? Is is safe for sink pipes and septic systems?

      • Anonymous
      • August 17, 2021

      I’d just dump in in the trash.

  2. Reply

    Whoever wrote this is obviously not very bright. Im very Surprised mold isn’t mentioned in the above topic Moral is Dont smoke resin it’s really Not worth it. Easier said than done.

    • Anonymous
    • August 17, 2021

    I know someone who showed resin all the time.
    They say it’s “better” than weed. I don’t see how it could be.
    I never thought it was very good.

    • Mikey
    • December 4, 2022

    My spouse smoked resin regularly for 20 years that we were together be eventually ended up developing COPD. He would hit the glass pipe like it was a crack pipe, heating up the outside of the glass until it smoked. With no knon previous lung issues. I believe smoking resin regularly can lead to COPD and other lung problems.

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