What is shatter?
Shatter is a highly potent cannabis concentrate that looks like very thick honey. The most recognizable feature of this extract is its breakable nature: if you drop it, it would shatter into the smallest pieces.
Appearance. Shatter is bright, translucent and honey-like substance that can vary in coloring. It is interesting that users mostly prefer light amber shatter to its darker versions because it is believed to be purer. However, that is just a myth. Dark shatter supposes using a bit higher temperatures, so there are more chances it is truly solvent-free. Moreover, dark color of this concentrate may be explained by using a darker marijuana plant, which is more sedative in nature. Here is why dark shatter is recommended if you expect calming or pain-relieving effect.
Texture. Unlike other solvent-based concentrates that are mostly sticky and oily, a cooled shatter is as hard as a candy. The consistency of shatter may vary depending on THC level: the higher it is, the less brittle the concentrate will be. This difference is easily tracked if the concentrate is left at the room temperature for some time: high THC shatter tends to have oily condition instead of staying solid.
Potency. Shatter is one of the most potent marijuana strains. The concentrate is produced by extracting active cannabinoids (such as THC or CBD) from the cannabis plant. The more THC the final product has, the more psychoactive it is. The level of THC in shatter may reach up to 90%, though every sample is different from another.
How to consume shatter?
Shatter can be consumed in many different ways, the most popular of which is using a dab rig, also known as a dab bong or an oil rig. This device is similar but smaller than a common bong, and it is used to inhale the vapors of concentrates. When a shatter gets placed on the heated nail`s surface, it produces a vapor that gets inhaled by the consumer. This process is sometimes referred as «dabbing» because one dabs a piece of concentrate to put it onto the rig.
Most nails get heated by torch, though there are electric-based versions, the e-nails, which use electricity to heat the concentrate. These ones are usually preferred by users for a chance to make a perfect dab easily.
If you have the gas-powered torch, heat the nail to the needed temperature, take a piece of shatter with your dabber and drop it on the nail. Cover nail with the cap not to let the vapor go, and inhale the concentrate through the opposite end of the dab rig.
Select the temperature for your dabbing considering the desirable effect of the concentrate. Low temperatures will make shatter milder, more flavored and long-lasted. High temperatures will provide thick vapor and intense dabbing effects, leaving no shatter wasted.
How to store shatter?
Storing shatter in proper conditions is important because in the other way it may change into the other cannabis kinds or simply get out of order. So what are the necessary conditions for storing shatter:
Coolness. Heat or even the room temperature change the texture of this concentrate because it activates the cannabinoids when it is not needed. It would be best if you only heat shatter directly in the process of consuming.
Dryness. High moisture destroys the «shattering» nature of the concentrate.
Air-tightness. Shatter has to be protected from oxygen so it is recommended to store it in special airtight containers that can be bought in dispensaries.
History of shatter
Though marijuana consumption is the age-old practice, shatter is a relatively new society invention. The primary form of cannabis was hashish that had been consumed for many centuries. However, the products meant for vaporizing first appeared no earlier than 1940s during the World War II, when highly potent cannabis forms were used in prison interrogations. Shatter was first in the market in 1990s, and it quickly got the incredible popularity due to its high potency. Dispensaries were loaded with shatter and budder, and after the dab rings appeared in the market, shatter has taken a solid place in the modern market of cannabis concentrates.
How is shatter made?
Shatter belongs to the category of solvent-based concentrates, which means that special chemical liquids are used to make the extraction of psychoactive THC from the marijuana flower.
Shatter`s production is based on the following stages:
Gathering cannabis flowers. The type of chosen marijuana flower partly determines the characteristics of the final product: intensity, taste, flavor and sedative effect.
Getting a cannabis plant blasted in a close-loop extraction system and wrapped in the paper to make the shape.
Chilling the chosen solvent. To produce shatter, different solvents might be used, but the most popular ones are ethanol and LPG (liquefied petroleum gases).
Applying solvent to the prepared plant material to separate active cannabinoids from the raw flower.
Heating the product in the vacuum oven to purge it from solvent. It is believed that using the correct temperatures, it is possible to make a final shatter 100% solvent-free. On this stage, the concentrate substance spreads over the paper and obtains its final shape.
Chilling the shatter. It must be noted that unlike other concentrates, shatter does not have to be agitated in the production process; following this rule together with using low temperature and pressure helps to make shatter look crystal-like.
The production of shatter, as well as the other solvent-based cannabis concentrates must be performed exclusively by professionals. Government reports many cases where THC extraction labs were organized by amateurs and the processes often resulted in violent explosions. It is necessary to consider that heating gas is a dangerous process that requires a professional approach and laboratory conditions.
Why does shatter change its texture?
Having stored a shatter for a while, you might possibly notice that it has changed its texture or consistency. This means something went wrong with it either on the production stage or in the process of storing. These changes usually owe to one of the following factors:
improper storing (presence of heat, oxygen, moisture or sunlight);
production mistakes (using material that is not dry enough, wrong temperatures, agitation in process, presence of residual solvents in the concentrate).
The changed texture of shatter does not always mean that the concentrate got ruined and cannot be consumed. Due to the existing similarity in the production of different marijuana extracts, shatter might turn into budder or crumble and inherit the common features and appearance of this product.
What`s the difference between shatter and wax?
Difference between shatter and wax is a popular question because these concentrates are the most potent ones in the market. Selecting the best one for your needs, consider that except the general appearance, there are differences in effects:
shatter lasts longer than wax;
shatter is more stable than wax;
shatter has a longer storage life;
wax is easier to handle.
Shatter objectively has more advantages in consuming but product selection must be made considering the tastes and demands of the consumer.
CBD shatter: what is it?
Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, is one of the active components in cannabis flower. It is much milder, less psychoactive and intoxicating than THC. Moreover, products based on CBD are even used as a recreative treatment after THC overdosage.
CBD shatter is simply shatter that contains only cannabidiol and no THC. It does not get a consumer high, but is chosen by people who look for a relief from anxiety and a way to relax.
The major differences of CBD shatter from the common, THC-containing one, are the following:
Calming and pain-reducing effect.
CBD shatter is not psychoactive and it is often used for medical reasons as a sedative and pain-relieving treatment. Some countries, which have not legalized marijuana yet, set their sights on CBD concentrates and permit their using for medical purposes.
In comparison with a typical concentrate, CBD shatter provides faster relief and can be used in situations of immediate demand, such as unbearable pain, for example.
Possibility to use it on daytime and before work.
CBD shatter might be helpful to get through stressful work tasks feeling well-balanced and self-controlled.
Is dabbing shatter dangerous?
Having become fashionable, dabbing has attracted the attention of scientists and physicians. Experiments were held to prove the opinion that consuming shatter or other potent concentrate is dangerous to health because of its high THC level.
The recent research by Stogner and Miller illustrates a strong negative attitude to dabbing shatter and other potent cannabis extracts. At the same time, the research does not have any solid confirming basis, which would prove the negative effects of shatter consuming.
Another experiment held by Loflin and Earleywine proved that participants who were using dabs experienced no more problems or negative effects than the flower cannabis smokers. However, it must be noted, that the research is somewhat limited due to its short-term perspective.