A complete and best guide to everything you need to know about marijuana shatter.
In this guide, we will look at the category these products all belong to — cannabis concentrates — and focus on one in particular: shatter.
What Are Cannabis Concentrates?
Cannabis concentrates are extracts that contain extremely high levels of trichomes.
Trichomes are the tiny crystals you might notice covering your bud; they contain cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes, which give your favorite strains their potency and distinctive flavors.
This potency, of course, is why cannabis concentrates have grown so popular: because they contain such high levels of trichomes, they are much more potent than dried bud, and their flavors and aromas are much more complex and varied.
Types of cannabis concentrate
- Distillate: An incredibly potent, concentrated oil. Distillate requires a complex distillation process that can render one of the most potent cannabis products available.
- Budder: This concentrate gets its name from its creamy butter-like texture.
- Crumble: Crumble is popular for its easy-to-work-with texture. It’s also known as honeycomb wax.
- Live Resin: Live resin is made from flowers that have been frozen directly after harvest. This process retains a much stronger flavor and aroma than others.
- Hash: Hash is one of the oldest forms of cannabis concentrates and is, quite simply, collected trichomes pressed into small bricks.
- Kief: Kief is made of trichrome crystals that have been physically removed from the bud. You can sometimes find grinders with a compartment that automatically collects kief; it is a very easy type of concentrate to work with and can be added to dry herb very easily.
- Rosin: Rosin is made using a solventless process that makes it a favorite of health-conscious cannabis consumers.
Cannabis concentrates vary according to extraction and production methods, and each has benefits and drawbacks according to the outcome.
As the name suggests, shatter is a thin, brittle substance that is usually amber in color and translucent. It resembles amber glass or even hard candy.
The texture can range from very fragile and brittle to more taffy-like. Sometimes the latter type is known as “snap-and-pull” for the dual textural qualities it produces.
What Is CBD Shatter?
Instead, CBD shatter contains a powerful dose of CBD (cannabidiol) that can have strong pain-relieving and medicinal effects. Fans of CBD shatter praise it for its extreme potency as well.
Like most concentrates, marijuana shatter is made using a solvent, most often butane, which results in butane hash oil (BHO).
- In the first step, the solvent is used to strip trichomes from the raw plant matter. First, the raw plant material is placed into a closed-loop system that holds the buds in place.
- As the solvent is washed through the buds in the system, it removes the trichomes and, along with them, the cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes responsible for potency, aroma, and flavor.
- In the next step, the solvent is removed. This removal is done with special equipment like a vacuum oven that evaporates the solvent and oils, leaving behind the thin sheet we recognize as shatter.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Shatter?
It’s also a preferred form of marijuana concentrate for its ease of portability. Many other concentrates have a sticky texture, which makes them a better choice for home use, but shatter is relatively easy to transport in comparison. Similarly, some people also prefer shatter because it can be handled more easily than some other concentrates. Shatter can be smoked in a joint and has a long shelf life.
One downside to the shatter drug is that the evaporation process that removes leftover solvent also tends to destroy some of the terpenes, resulting in a less flavorful product.
Just like when you’re buying cannabis buds, you’ll want to pay attention to the strain or strains you’re choosing. The highly concentrated nature of shatter means that the effect will be very strong, so be sure that you are a fan of what you’ll be getting. This will also determine whether the final product will be indica, sativa, or hybrid.
Shatter can have potency levels of up to 90%, so it’s essential to have a firm grasp on both the THC and CBD content. If you want a stronger intoxicating effect, look for higher levels of THC; if you want a milder experience, look for lower levels of THC and higher levels of CBD.
While the evaporation process used to make shatter does destroy some of the terpenes responsible for flavour, the concentrated nature of the product still delivers more flavour than smoking buds will.
You can look for shatter with a similar flavour profile to a favourite strain or try something new.
You should feel confident about where you get your shatter from. Since making shatter involves the use of solvents, it’s vital to know that it has a safe and thorough manufacturing process.
Is Color Important?
Contrary to popular belief, color is not a particularly important quality indicator for shatter. Many people believe that a lighter color always indicates better quality in shatter, but this is not true. Color might tell you something about the product, but it’s not a deciding factor in quality.
Mixed With Flowers or Bud
The most intuitive way to smoke shatter is to sprinkle it on or mix it with dried cannabis. Whether you roll it into a joint or smoke it in a bowl, this is the most straightforward way to consume shatter.
One of the newer methods of consuming shatter is to use a tabletop vaporizer or vape pen. These vaporizers are similar to those used for dry herb, but it is important to ensure you’ve got the right tool for the job as each product requires a different temperature setting. Make sure you’ve got one made for concentrates, or look for a hybrid version with a separate chamber for dried flowers and concentrates.
Dab rigs are purpose-built tools for smoking concentrates or “dabbing.” A dab rig looks a lot like a bong. It also has a vertical chamber and a bowl; however, the bowl of a dab rig contains a metal or glass nail. To use the rig, you heat the nail with a torch lighter and then use a tool to dab or place a bit of the concentrate onto the nail. The concentrate should vaporize instantly. As it does, it creates a cloud of smoke in the rig that you then inhale.
What Effect Does Shatter Have?
Since smoking is not necessary to consume shatter, some people also believe it gives a ‘cleaner’ high.
Many people prefer to use silicone containers that are made for storing concentrates.
Another popular option is to store the shatter in a folded piece of parchment paper. When not in use, keep the paper inside a sealed glass jar. You should use a jar that is as small as possible to seal out excess air.
Shatter can lose its brittle consistency over time and start to resemble one of the softer concentrates like budder or crumble. This doesn’t mean that it has gone bad, but sealing out moisture can prolong the onset of this effect.
Shatter is made by using a solvent to strip trichomes from the dried herb and then evaporating the solvent in a vacuum oven. This process gives shatter its characteristic glass-like appearance and hard texture.
Since shatter has such a high THC content, it’s only recommended for experienced cannabis users. Even then, it’s advised to start slow and only build up the amount you’re consuming if you wish for a higher dose.
When shopping for shatter, make sure you know the potency of your product and spend some time learning about the strain or strains used to make the concentrate since this will have an impact on its effect.
There are a few ways to consume shatter, including smoking it in a joint or bowl, vaping with a vaporizer meant for concent