Shatter is a cannabis concentrate that is produced when cannabinoids, terpenes and other chemical compounds are removed from the cannabis plant. The term was coined in reference to the cannabis concentrate’s translucent texture that causes it to “shatter” as though glass.
To make cannabis concentrates, a solvent, such as butane or isopropyl, is passed through cannabis material (may be fresh or cured) that has been finely crushed. This yields a thick golden cannabis oil abundant in all the active chemical compounds found the plant.
Why Is Shatter Different?
Practically speaking, there is a small difference between shatter and other marijuana extracts. They are all consumed using the same methods and with more or less the same potency range. Shatter is rather unique though when it comes to appearance.
It has an amber or gold color and has some degree of transparency. Shatter’s semi-clarity has something to do with the molecular arrangement of the extracted cannabis oil. These molecules are all piled up one atop the other in perfect, consistent rows. This alignment enables light to pass through it and is responsible for its glass-like properties.
Heat, moisture and terpene content all have a hand in shatter’s final texture and extraction, all of which can give it a more fluid consistency like sap while maintaining its translucence.
Other than shatter and sap, concentrates are stirred, shaken or whipped around as part of the process, throwing the individual molecules in disarray. Because shatter does not “experience” this type of processing, it retains a translucent nature.
Otherwise, when cannabis oil molecules are disrupted, irregular opaque structures are produced, and light is unable to pass through as freely. Hence shatter is far more transparent than wax. Disruption of the oil creates opaque wax or similar cannabis concentrates different from the crystal concentrates in shatter.
Advantages of Shatter
Dabbing shatter has a huge advantage – cannabinoids end up in the bloodstream incredibly faster, thus causing near-instant effects. And since shatter is highly potent, “less is more,” allowing users to moderate their cannabis consumption.
Dabbing shatter eliminates the need to inhale too much burning plant material just to achieve the desired effects. Which is a good thing, without a doubt. Rather than smoking whole joints and putting their lungs at risk, what with all the hazardous chemicals that smoke contains, users can just dab once or twice to get their cannabinoids, inhaling only vapor, never smoke.
Shatter’s molecular structure also makes it more stable, which means it will take much longer to degrade as opposed to wax and other similar extracts. It may be harder to break up into individual portions because of its hard consistency, but users will eventually find a way around it with practice.