“If it Doesn’t Shatter, it Doesn’t Matter”: A Guide to Shatter Concentrates

What is shatter? Shatter is a type of cannabis concentrate that can be made from either butane or CO2 extraction. It has a higher THC content than wax and often comes in different colors, such as amber, dark amber, honeycomb, light green, and clear. This blog post will tell you everything you need to know about what it is and how to get your hands on some!

pretty picture of shatter concentrate

What is Shatter?

Shatter is a cannabis extract that is known for its impressive aesthetics. This photogenic concentrate is reminiscent of stained glass; not quite opaque, not quite transparent. It has a brittle quality and can shatter like glass, hence the name. It varies in shade from dark amber to the light yellow of vegetable oil. Shatter, also called shatter wax, is made from an extract of the cannabis plant’s essential oil, which includes cannabinoids, terpenes, and other chemical components.

What are Cannabis Concentrates?

Shatter and other concentrates are manufactured using a process that mixes cannabis plant matter and solvents. Concentrates are extracted from cannabis by passing the solvent, such as butane, hexane, isopropyl, or CO2, through finely ground cannabis material. The oils that are extracted contain terpenes (the chemicals which give the flowers of cannabis their unique aroma) as well as cannabinoids (THC and CBD). The technique results in a thick, usually golden or amber-colored cannabis oil packed with the active chemical components of the plant.

cannabis shatter in a dab rig being vaporized

The most frequent solvent utilized to make concentrates is butane (which yields butane hash oil or BHO), although solvents such as liquefied petroleum gases (LPG) or ethanol can also be used. CO2 extraction is used for other cannabis concentrates, such as wax and honey oil, but CO2-extracted shatter would be missing its unique texture because it removes the wetness from the plant material.

The solvent is then purged from the oil using heat and vacuum, after which the oil is cooled. The end result of this operation is a cannabis concentrate that can be processed into one of several different forms, including wax, crumble, honeycomb, sap, budder, live resin, and of course shatter.

Cannabis extracts contain an extreme degree of potency and may contain a cannabinoid content of over 90%.

What Makes Shatter Different?

Shatter is the only type of concentrate that comes in a solid form, but beyond that, there is little practical difference between shatter and other concentrates. From a recreational standpoint, they all get the job done.

The reason marijuana shatter concentrate is semi-transparent has to do with the cannabis oil’s molecules. Shatter comes from an extract that has molecules stacked neatly in straight lines one on top of the other. Light passes through this molecular structure and refracts, giving shatter a glass-like appearance.

It is worth noting that the extract used to create shatter can be altered by heat, moisture, and high terpene content, causing the concentrate to become runnier and appear like sap but retain its translucent quality.

The process used to create other types of concentrates, such as wax, involves mixing, whipping, or other agitation. Doing this also agitates the molecules within the concentrate, which is what leads to a cloudy or opaque appearance.

Cannabinoids and Terpenes

The undisturbed nature of shatter makes it one of the best marijuana concentrates for preserving the cannabinoids and terpenes of the original plant material. For this reason, shatter is known to have very high potency, even compared to other concentrates.

For this reason, shatter is a popular choice among those who like to take a less-is-more approach to getting high.

a piece of shatter being placed in a dab rig

How do You use Shatter?

Cannabis concentrates offer a fast, effective, and totally smoke-free method of consumption. Like other cannabis concentrates, cannabis shatter is often vaporized or ‘dabbed’ by consumers in a pipe, vaporizer, or other devices.

To use shatter in a vape pen, you’ll need a device that’s been designed to work with marijuana extracts like wax or shatter. These vapes utilize an atomizer (heating element) that quickly heats up, vaporizing your shatter. To use shatter, add it to the chamber of your vape in the same way you would with other marijuana concentrates. As the atomizer heats up your shatter, it will melt rapidly and turn to vapor, which you will then breathe from the vape’s mouthpiece.

Dabbing is the most common way to use marijuana shatter. Pieces of shatter are applied or “dabbed” on a hot surface, such as a hot titanium or ceramic nail or quartz bucket, when dabbing. When the hot surface comes into contact with the cannabis shatter, the shatter will rapidly vaporize. When you apply your shatter to a hot surface, you breathe the vapor through the dab rig’s water chamber and into your lungs.

The Advantages of Shatter

shatter concentrate at Frost Denver Dispensary

A key advantage of shatter is that is a stable cannabis extract that can be stored in the freezer almost indefinitely and remain good for vaping or dabbing when taken out of storage, but it should still be used within two years after thawing.

This is different from other concentrates, which must be refrigerated and consumed relatively quickly, as they deteriorate when exposed to high temperatures for extended periods of time.

The lack of water in shatter cannabis concentrate also makes it less likely to oxidize, which means the active ingredients won’t degrade as fast and can keep potency longer than other types of marijuana concentrates. Shatter is considered a stable cannabis extract because its consistency remains uniform throughout the cannabis concentrate’s entire life cycle.

The History of Weed Shatter

The origins of shatter may be traced back to the age-old procedure of hashish production. It was Canadian cannabis company BudderKing first marketed shatter concentrate in the late 1990s, but it wasn’t until around 2003 that it began to regularly appear on dispensary shelves.

By the 2010’s, the product had become a concentrate staple. At one point, it was regarded as a status symbol by dabbers and concentrate users, with many stating, “If it doesn’t shatter, it doesn’t matter.”

shatter concentrate with a glass dab rig

The Final Toke

If you’re looking for the perfect cannabis concentrate to satisfy your high-THC needs, shatter cannabis is an excellent choice. This potent cannabis extract can be stored in the freezer almost indefinitely and remain good for vaping or dabbing when taken out of storage. With less water content than other concentrates, it’s also less likely to oxidize which means that its active ingredients won’t degrade as fast–making it more sustainable over time compared with other types of marijuana concentrates.

Shatter cannabis has been on dispensary shelves since 2003 but became a staple product around 2010 due to its popularity among consumers who prefer taking their time getting higher with lower doses.

Are you looking for cannabis concentrates that are potent, stable, and easy to use? Look no further! Shatter is all of those things. Find it at Frost Denver Dispensary.

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