Concentrates are the hottest thing in the cannabis world these days. Cannabis consumers can choose from different concentrates to dab, vape, or even add to a good old-fashioned joint. These concentrates certainly don’t look like the green flowers we are used to, and it’s normal to have a lot of questions about where these come from and whether or not they are safe for consumption.
In this post, we’re going to zoom in on shatter. This is arguably the most popular concentrate in the game right now. But what is it? How is it made? And why are so many cannabis users choosing shatter over other concentrates like budder or distillates?
Let’s find out.
How Concentrates Are Made
The process of making shatter starts out like the process of most other concentrates. Cannabis goes through an extraction process that is like the one used to create essential oils. Manufacturers use solvents to pull THC out of the cannabis plant.
These solvents include butane, CO2, or ISO. Different solvents can affect the consistency and quality of the product, as well as what terpenes remain in the concentrate.
If you have ever heard of butane hash oil, or BHO, this is an extract that is made using butane. Butane also makes shatter – for the first extraction, manufacturers flush liquified butane through a tube that contains marijuana to pull out THC.
You don’t want to ingest butane – but we’ll go into that later. After any concentrate goes through an extraction process, the leftover substance is heated so the butane is heated and removed from the product.
What Makes Shatter Different From Other Concentrates
Once the extract is made, shatter has another extraction to go through before it’s the product we know and love.
This second extraction process is completed to remove fats, waxes, and other unsavoury ingredients from the extract. After this is completed, manufacturers are left with an incredibly potent product. Shatter has THC levels that exceed 80%. That’s a lot of THC in a small bit of shatter.
However, this second extraction process also takes away some of the terpenes that are present in the original extract. Terpenes give certain strains their unique flavour and aromas. Some cannabis users don’t mind a more mild concentrate, but if you prefer something with higher terpene levels, you might want to try a concentrate like live resin.
This second extraction process, as well as the high levels of THC in the product, is what makes shatter a more expensive concentrate. A gram can run for upwards of $30 – but you don’t need a whole lot to get you high.
What Shatter Looks Like
Like most concentrates, shatter got its name from its consistency and texture. Shatter is hard and solid, as opposed to the more liquid or crumbly concentrates that only go through one extraction process.
Usually, it’s a golden or amber colour. It can look a bit like glass – some varieties are transparent and look like they can snap in half. If you’re clumsy, this brittle substance may just shatter before you can put it in your vape pen. (Back in the day, cannabis users were told that the more clear the shatter is, the more THC it has. That’s just a myth.)
How To Consume Shatter
A small amount of shatter can add a high concentration of THC to any of the classic cannabis consumption methods. Pop a little bit in your next joint or bake it in an edible for a high like you’ve never experienced before. You can also dab it or vape it, just like you can with other types of concentrates.
Like flower, you will need to decarb the product in order to ingest it. Simply placing a bit on your tongue is not going to get you high.
Many cannabis consumers experiment with mixing shatter and other concentrates (including wax or BHO,) but we recommend consuming shatter on its own before you start to make concentrate cocktails.
Can You Make Shatter at Home?
Yes, but we don’t exactly recommend it. In order to make a concentrate, you’ll need some machinery and a liquid solvent. This means you’ll need to have some liquid butane just lying around your house.
There’s a big problem with this. Butane is highly flammable. In the past five years, 10 different facilities have caught on fire while making BHO. And this is just the number of professional facilities that have caught on fire. They know what they’re doing. Dozens of homes have also burst into flames due to butane.
Butane is also toxic to consume. It’s a gas that is derived from petroleum and can be found in lighters, vehicles, and heating appliances. You don’t want a whole lot of it lying around for you, or anyone that might be living with you, to inhale. If you don’t make BHO or shatter properly, (does anyone ever do anything right on the first try?) you’ll have a lot of butane left over. That’s dangerous.
Of course, butane is not present in dangerous amounts when you do buy shatter from professional manufacturers. Again, it has to be heated and the butane has to be evaporated before the product is considered “finished.”
Where To Get Shatter
Rather than risk making shatter at home, you can grab a safe, professionally-made product at online dispensaries throughout Canada. If you’re new to shatter, you can just grab an individual gram of your favourite strain, including MK Ultra or Death Bubba.
Ready to experiment with a few different varieties of shatter? Try our Mix and Match options. You can put four seven-gram products in a box. This option gives you the ability to find your new favorite type of shatter, and you have enough product to last for quite a while.
Enjoy experimenting with shatter, and as always, be careful. Dealing with a product that has 80% THC is not like dealing with regular weed. Dab, smoke, bake, or vape small pieces at a time and see how you feel.