The Secret Ingredient in Madrid Hashish Isn’t Good

If you’re reading this while enjoying a beverage or perhaps some food, I’m about to do you a big favor and suggest you hold off partaking of those pleasures while you read this. Trust me.

Many Americans will be traveling to Europe this summer, and some of them will be enjoying cannabis while they’re over there. Although Amsterdam is still the number-one stoner destination in Europe, Spain is a strong contender for second place.

But before you try and score some of Spain’s well-known hash, consider the following as a cautionary tale. A really, really disgusting cautionary tale.

Complutense University in Madrid just released the results of a first-of-its-kind study on 90 samples of hash that were obtained from street dealers in Madrid.

That study, “Cannabis resin in the region of Madrid: Adulteration and contamination” can be read on ScienceDirect, and High Times did a great breakdown of the study, which—and I can’t be anymore adamant when I restate this—had truly disgusting results, and is certainly not a good look for the Madrid Hash Dealers Union 101.

Researchers tested all 90 samples of hash, and found that 88.3 percent of them were not fit for human consumption, due a variety of contaminants, including mold and human feces. Right.

So, yeah, that’s—that’s not good. And that feces thing wasn’t just some microscopic amounts that, while unsettling, posed no threat to the smoker.

Per High Times:

“Each gram of cannabis resin contained roughly 500 times the maximum amount of E. coli allowed by US marijuana regulations. (Yes, there is a threshold for ‘acceptable’ amounts of microbial contamination in regulated cannabis products.)”

“500 times the maximum amount” is a great deal of anything, but in fecal matter, it just seems like… more. Much more. So, so much more.

How did the hash get so contaminated? As you have probably valiantly tried to avoid picturing yet have sadly failed, the hash is smuggled in by people who wrap the hash in plastic (from the sounds of it, not that well) into two fun shapes—the smaller “acorns” and the larger and conceivably more difficult-to-pass “ingots.”

Once the smugglers pass customs, they use laxatives to expel their bounty, which is then unwrapped and presumably cleaned—although obviously this needs work, guys—before being sold to tourists in Tevas and Phish T-shirts. It brings new meaning to the phrase, “This is the good shit, brah.”

If you’re unlucky enough to purchase some of this sadly mistreated hashish that was originally put on this earth just to get people high but no, not like this, at least try to buy the ingot size.

Researchers found, “Comparing the two… 93 percent of the ‘acorns’ tested positive for E. coli bacteria. But just 29.4 percent of the ingots sampled contained E. coli.” A less than 30 percent chance of inhaling human fecal matter with your hash? Yes, please!!

It’s not just fecal matter, but the mold aspergillus was also found in 10 percent of the samples, which can cause serious infections. If a user has a compromised immune system, that could pose a dire life threatening risk.

As High Times points out, the high number of users who mix hash with their tobacco into spliffs without solid filters, they “not only… suck the smoke, you also suck (fecal) particles.”

I’m going to go brush my teeth for an hour now.

Josh Taylor is a well-known and successful entrepreneur in the legal cannabis space, producing B2B and B2C cannabis events, "Backstage Budtending" and upscale concierge services through his companies and His weekly syndicated newspaper column and features about cannabis ran for five years until March 2020.

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