Marijuana smokers who are looking for a heaver-hitting high are turning to “shatter weed,” a concentrate that contains up to 90% cannabinoid content, and in some cases even reaching a whopping 99%. These days, cannabis is reaching unprecedented levels of potency, with concentrations of THC regularly exceeding 20%. But, for weed enthusiasts and experienced smokers who want to be adventurous, this simply won’t do the trick.
This is where concentrates such as bubble melt hash, budder, and honey oil come into play, but there are few concentrates stronger than shatter.
Essentially, shatter is just one form of dabs, the term coined for cannabis concentrates produced by extracting cannabinoids like CBD and THC. Shatter, wax, honey, taffy, budder, sap, and oil are all types of extracts. The idea behind these extracts is pretty simple – the cannabis plant is processed through a solvent, in many cases, butane and sometimes CO2. Basically, in the case of when butane is utilized, the raw plant material is blasted or soaked in butane and heated at a later stage to get rid of the solvent. The resulting product is butane hash oil (BHO).
Shatter is a phrase used to describe an incredibly potent type of butane hash oil. BHO uses butane to separate the cannabinoids from trichomes in marijuana plant matter, which concentrates the cannabinoids. Trichomes are tiny glass-like crystals on the cannabis plant that contain the highest THC, terpene, and other cannabinoid concentrations. Almost all concentrates are created by harvesting and concentrating trichomes.
The process of making these extracts all follow the same principle. It’s how the process is being performed that indicates whether it’s wax, budder, or shatter. When it comes to the extract-making process, the solvent essentially pulls terpenoids, flavonoids, cannabinoids, and other active cannabis compounds from the raw plant material, before being evaporated from the end product (you do not want solvent residues in your hash oil).
When it comes to the “how” of the process, waxes and other similar concentrates are usually whipped, stirred, or even shaken during several stages of the production process. This irritates the individual molecules within the extract, resulting in a final product that is more creamy or cloudy in appearance and texture. Shatter, on the other hand, is not irritated during the process- this results in a more translucent appearance.
Shatter gets its name from what would happen if you were to drop it. Unlike budder which is waxy or hash oil which is sticky, shatter is hard and brittle, just like a piece of hard candy from your childhood. And yes, it would shatter into hundreds of little pieces if you were to drop it or tap it too hard with your dabber.
What Are Concentrates?
Let’s take a quick look at what concentrates are, just in case you aren’t familiar with this term. Basically, concentrates are super potent versions of marijuana flower buds. The trichomes and chemicals that make up the medicinal and psychoactive components of marijuana are stripped from plant matter through a process known as solvent extraction. When the stripping process is complete, all that’s left are the cannabinoids (such as THC, CBD, CBN, etc), flavonoids, and terpenes. This is the concentrate that makes dabbing so great.
What Is Dabbing?
So by now, you might be wondering what dabbing is. This is the process of heating butane hash oil (BHO) or CO2 oil using a special rig, and then inhaling the resultant vapor. While many people think that dabbing is similar to smoking, they’re not really the same thing.
Dabbing is a flash-vaporization method for enjoying pot. During the process, most people add some concentrate to a heated water pipe attachment, then inhale as much vapor as they can handle. This gives you an intensely powerful high. The attachment (nail) is usually metal or glass and is heated up by a butane torch most of the time. People who enjoy dabbing enjoy the clean flavors, properly-refined extracts, and the fact that its vapor and not smoke (which many say is healthier for your lungs). Of all the concentrates, some people say that shatter is the most potent.
Additional filtration is used to get rid of other naturally occurring waxes and fats, and this is how it manages to contain crazy high amounts of its active ingredients. Shatter is one of the purest forms of marijuana extract and has an amber, glass-like transparency, along with some of the highest terpene contents of all concentrated extractions. It produces an intense and lasting high. It’s a lot more potent than marijuana in its traditional form, and it gets users higher faster and has a much more intoxicating and intense effect.
By now the question on your mind is probably, how do you use shatter? There are almost as many methods for consuming cannabis extracts as there are different types available. Vaping, wax, shatter, dabbing, rigs, oil – it may be overwhelming for someone who just wants to try shatter for the first time. Moreover, there is often $100-plus equipment that’s required.
The easiest way for new users to consume shatter is by crumbling it up on top of a bowl of a pipe or even into a joint. While there are several different ways to consume shatter, you will need to keep your wits about you since not every method will be suitable for beginners. We will be going into more detail about smoking shatter a little later in this article.
You might also be wondering, is there a difference between shatter and wax? While the potency of wax and shatter is similar, there are some important physical differences. Here are a few to remember:
- Wax is less stable but easier to handle
- Shatter tends to last longer
- Wax has more surface area which means it degrades faster
- Shatter is more stable but harder to handle
- Difference between wax and shatter is mainly in the temperature and finishing process
Shatter is not agitated or mixed to create a new consistency. It’s a translucent sheet that dries to a toffee-like hardness when the butane evaporates. Wax is opaque and semi-solid, resembling cream or hair wax and is formed when the evaporating mix is agitated. There are several variables that can be manipulated to affect the texture of hash oil. Temperature changes, moisture, and physical agitation can all cause translucent oil to be changed into an opaque wax. This agitation causes the THCA (which is solid) to precipitate from the rest of the oil and turn into crystals.
The History of Shatter Weed
During the mid-2000s, there seemed to be a big shift in the cannabis market. Weed smokers were smoking less and dabbing more. However, it’s thought that cannabis extracts, in some form or another, have been around since as early as the 1940s. It’s the adaptation and revival of the solvent-based extraction practices that we know of today that is somewhat new.
Extracts were thought to be stronger, more convenient, and easier to use discreetly. While shatter is a relatively recent development when it comes to cannabis consumption, its roots can be traced back to the old practice of hashish production. In the late 1990s, the modern cannabis concentrate production was refined, and what is now known as shatter was first produced.
In 1989, an author by the name of D. Gold published the second edition of “Cannabis Alchemy: The Art of Modern Hashmaking,” which gave a full explanation on how to make hash. By the late 1990s, a Canadian marijuana manufacturer called BudderKing first marketed shatter and budder. Their products hit the shelves of dispensaries in 2003 and by 2005, Cannabis Culture magazine had published the techniques for using these products. Then, in the 2010s, shatter emerged as a popular choice in weed consumption with dab rigs set alongside water bongs in many smoke stores.
The term “shatter” derives from the fact that the temperature of the leftover resin is often cooled down into a glass sheet, which is similar to how boiled caramel becomes hard like candy.
It’s also good to note that cannabis concentrates are proving that aromatherapy can be a great therapeutic tool. For example, one of the well-known terpenes called myrcene increases the amounts of THC that can cross the blood-brain barrier. This means that myrcene could also improve the efficacy of other drugs.
Although shatter weed production is still mostly illegal, even in states where medical cannabis has been legalized, the community still seems to be split on whether shatter is good or bad for the medical world and patients in general. Some believe that shatter is superior to marijuana in its ability to reduce pain and help treat other medical conditions, but others think that the impurities leftover from production, along with the bad name that BHO is getting because of its careless at home production efforts (which are leading to fires and explosions), negate any of the positive benefits associated with concentrated doses of THC.
What Does CBD Shatter Do to You?
CBD shatter is a certain type of shatter weed that only contains cannabidiol. It doesn’t contain any THC and thus won’t get you high. It’s used by people who want to incorporate the known medical benefits of CBD, such as neurodegenerative healing, pain relief, and inflammation reduction, but without the effects of the high that is typically associated with marijuana. The reason people love this type of shatter drug is that it offers them a way to chill out and relax and get a little relief from their anxiety, without getting high.
If you choose the right CBD shatter, it should contain 0% THC.
Another great thing about this product is that you can blend it with your favorite herbs and essential oils to enhance the flavor. Below are some of the benefits of using CBD shatter:
- Delivers fast relief: Research has suggested that for certain medical conditions, CBD may be more effective than THC. Inhaling weed products through something like a vaporizer or an oil rig gives the fastest form of relief.
- Great for daytime use: When you need relief but don’t want to feel sedated, CBD shatter may provide an upbeat experience, perfect for the workday. It encourages a sense of focus which may be helpful for working through tasks, chores, and other stressful situations.
- You get the perfect dose every time: You simply add a scoop of the shatter to an oil rig, joint or a vape pen. How much you want to use is entirely up to you.
Research shows that CBD is a potent antidepressant and anxiolytic. Inhaling these products through things like a vaporizer or an oil rig gives the fastest form of relief. When the cannabinoids are inhaled, they are absorbed through the lungs and taken into the bloodstream. They then have quick access to the brain. Thus, the anti-stress and calming properties of CBD can be delivered, many times within a matter of minutes. That’s what makes this innovative new wax so incredible.
CBD shatter contains 97% pure hemp extract, which makes it one of the cleanest and purest forms of cannabis. Of all the shatter dabs, including waxes and oil, CBD shatter is thought to be the most effective for its calming and relaxing effects.
Where to Buy Shatter Weed in the USA?
In states like Colorado and Washington where marijuana is legal, you won’t have any problems getting your hands on shatter. However, it’s not so easy to obtain shatter in all states, since many law enforcement officials are still unsure of the drug. They are conflicted as to whether they should be concerned about its ultra-high potency level or just shrug it off as another pot product.
Generally speaking, purchasing shatter in the USA is the same as buying any other cannabis product – unless you live in one of the ten states (plus Washington D.C.) that have legalized the use of weed for recreational purposes, you will need a medical marijuana license to treat your medical condition.
The good news is that these days, getting your hands on marijuana is as easy as ordering online and having it delivered to your front door. Several dispensaries, like Medithrive in San Francisco, and The Green Cross offer online ordering. Just keep in mind that laws on deliveries will vary from state to state.
Alternatively, you could purchase shatter from a weed shop near you. Keep in mind that shatter prices may vary, though, depending on where you are buying from. Deals change frequently, and dispensary coupons are often applied which means that you could pick quality shatter up at a discounted price. A dispensary in Denver recently had a good deal, offering some quality concentrates at $120 for an 8-gram slab of shatter.
There are several different types of concentrates, and this means the pricing may vary significantly. The quality of extraction is one of the main factors that influence pricing. Also, remember that prices will vary according to the region. On average, the price of shatter in the US ranges between $50 and $70 for a gram.
Wondering How to Smoke Shatter Weed?
One of the easiest ways for newbies to smoke shatter is by means of a joint. Simply crumble the shatter on top of your weed and roll it with a joint. This is known as the “baby steps towards shatter” because it allows you to gauge little by little how you might react to the spiked THC potency. The one major drawback with smoking shatter in a joint is that you won’t be able to fully indulge yourself in the extract because much of it will be wasted during the smoking process.
However, if you’re short on equipment to vaporize your shatter and new to the product, then this way will suffice. One of the most popular ways of consuming shatter is by using an oil rig. There are a few ways to burn shatter, but this method is the most popular. Essentially, an oil rig is a glass pipe that looks similar to a bong. It contains a vertical chamber and a mouthpiece with a hole which is used to insert a small nail made of metal or glass.
When the nail turns red, you use a metal dabber (usually made of titanium or quartz), scoop up a small piece of shatter and then dab it onto the nail. This causes the oil to vaporize immediately and produces a thick cloud which you can inhale through the rig. The perfect temperature of the surface should be between 550 and 750 degrees Fahrenheit. As you can imagine, this is extremely hot, which is why you need the dabber.
Moreover, there will often be extra oil on the nail after you dab the shatter. To smoke without wasting a single bit, you can either blast the nail again or just wait until the clog begins to form. If this happens, immerse the rig in alcohol and bring the substance to a boil. Once all the alcohol has evaporated, scoop up the remaining shatter and repeat the dabbing process. Using an oil rig is not a cheap method, but it is one of the most effective.
However, you don’t need to have a dab rig for shatter. Technically speaking, a dab is just a small dose of extract. This means that no matter where you heat it up, you’re dabbing. So no oil rig, no problem. Simply fill up your bowl with ground up weed, then add a few drops of dab onto the flower. Continue filling the pipe with the remaining weed, and spark up when you’re done. This prevents an open flame from coming into contact with the shatter and also keeps the THC from being charred before it enters your lungs.
Lastly, you may or may not have heard of the term “shatter vape.” Yes, you can inhale shatter by vaping it.
There are two main types of vaporizers; desktop and portable. The desktop vaporizers, although impressive in size, don’t work well with shatter. Instead, they have been replaced with more compact models known as “vape pens” or in this case, a shatter vape pen.
So you’re probably wondering, what is a shatter pen? This is a portable vaporizer and can cost anywhere between $30 to $200, depending on the quality of the material and the features of the unit. Shatter pens are designed for use with oil or wax concentrates, and the greatest advantage of a vape pen is that it lets you experience the full flavor of the extract with absolutely no combustion of the material. This is also the best way to inhale shatter in terms of health.
So now, the question remains of how to smoke shatter in a vape pen. This process is the same for any wax or oil concentrates. First, prepare the shatter for loading by dabbing a small amount onto the end of the dab tool. Then, gently apply the shatter onto the coil with the same tool. Next, you should “prime the wick” before you start vaping. This melts the wax down onto and around the coil, helping the pen to produce better vapor and more consistent hits from the get-go. Finally, vape it up and inhale all that your lungs can handle.
Now that we know how to use the vape pen, let’s take a look at the best vape pen for shatter. According to The Vape Guide, one of the best dab pens of 2018 is the KandyPens Prism. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced vaper, this vape pen will work for you. It’s compatible with any type of concentrate, THC wax, shatter, or dab. There are of course other options out there, but this is thought to be one of the best for shatter.
So now that we’ve covered a few different ways that you can smoke shatter, it’s important to keep in mind that this is the most potent cannabis concentrate of all. When you first take a dab, don’t enter a rampage; you’ll want to wait up to 10 or 15 minutes before you take a second hit. When in doubt, keep your wits about you and take it slowly.
How to Make Shatter Weed
As we have already discussed, cannabis concentrates such as shatter are extracted from the marijuana plant itself and are the strongest edible and smokable forms of administration. Shatter is the purest of all smokable forms, with some of the highest terpene content of all concentrated extractions.
When it comes to producing shatter through butane extraction (BHO or butane hash oil), you will require the following:
- Plenty of high trichome buds
- Several cans of butane
- Glass holding dish for your resinous oil
- Coffee filters and clamps to hold them to your tubes
- Large hollow glass tubes to pack the herbs in
- Heating oven at just the correct temperature
- Vacuum pump to purge the butane away from the extract (once it has been pulled off from the plant itself)
A tube of high-end pot will take a few cans of butane. Simply insert the butane can and allow this to filter off the product into a measuring cup. Next is the evaporation method, which is the purging of the solvents from the butane hash oil so that it dries into a candied amber resin.Professional growers state that they purge the butane at 91 degrees for 16 to 30 hours by using a vacuum pump.
The oil sits in a glass dish with a lid on top and a line going in, which pulls the air and butane out through the pumps. A pressure gauge must be used to tell you how hot the glass dish is that the oil sits on. This ensures that you don’t burn the product. The aim is to remove the solvents from the product and ensure that the purity stays within the plant. One top secret in the process of making your shatter as strong as possible, is obtaining high levels of trichomes from the plant. You should use root strengthener from the beginning of the grow to achieve this.
Making shatter or any other BHO for that matter is not a simple task. By all accounts, you should be a qualified chemist to safely make these products, for making BHO concentrates specifically can be extremely dangerous if done by an amateur. If you are not a professional, you are probably better off just buying some.
The most dangerous thing when it comes to shatter is how much is being purged. If the supplier did a bad job at purging the solvents, you will essentially be inhaling chemical residues, which is not good and could be detrimental to your health.
This is why it’s best to rely on a professional who knows what they’re doing.
Final thoughts on Shatter Weed
Smoking shatter is a fairly involved and expensive process but is worthwhile for pot smokers who are looking for a heavier-hitting high. The high experienced from using shatter can be like getting high for the first time, even for the most experienced of smokers. If you are a first-timer, you should start slow and explore the way you feel.
While some people may want to scare you about the amount of THC present in shatter weed, don’t let them deter you from the potential therapeutic effects or the overall experience. Just take smaller doses, start off lightly, and find out what the right amount is for you. If you are looking for a potent and effective form of cannabis, then shatter is your go-to product.