Two trimmed cannabis plants next to a container of marijuana trim

What is Marijuana Shake and Where Does it Come From?

If you’ve had any experience with marijuana flower, you may have heard the term “shake,” “marijuana shake,” or “shake flower.” In this guide, we’ll explain:

  • What is Marijuana Shake?
  • Which Part of the Marijuana Plant Does Shake Come From?
  • Why is it Called Shake?
  • How Do You Use Shake?
  • Shake vs Popcorn: How Are They Different?
  • Shake vs Trim: How Are They Different? 
  • Pros of Purchasing and Smoking Shake
  • Cons of Purchasing and Smoking Shake
  • Marijuana Shake FAQs

What Is Shake?

Shake, quite simply, consists of small pieces of the cannabis flower that have broken off the full flower bud. Shake can be found at the bottom of cannabis dispensary jars filled with flower buds or the bag that holds your purchased bud. Shake is a completely normal by-product of handling and moving marijuana flower, so it’s often used in pre-rolls or sold separately.

It’s important to note, some cannabis consumers look down on shake as being lesser quality. This can be an error in judgment. While shake cannot be compared to a full, top-tier marijuana flower bud, shake can have a decent cannabinoid profile, especially if you purchase your cannabis flower from a high-quality dispensary.

Interested in using your shake for pre-rolls? Check out our guide to rolling paper.  

Which Part of the Marijuana Plant Does Shake Come From?

When you walk into a dispensary, many have jars filled with big marijuana buds you can purchase depending on the experience you’re looking for. Those buds are where cannabis shake comes from. Shake is created by the handling of bags or jars of flower. When the buds are jostled, pieces fall off. Those pieces are shake. 

Why is it Called Shake? 

Shake got its name because it’s the result of a bag or jar of flower bud being moved, bumped, or shaken. When this happens, pieces of the bud break off and those pieces are what make up “shake.”

Learn how to store your shake with our cannabis flower storage guide.  

How Do You Use Shake?

One of the many reasons cannabis enthusiasts enjoy shake is its versatility. It can be used in a variety of cannabis products, including:

Pre-rolls: Most manufacturers aren’t going to waste their premium flower in pre-rolls or “joints,” as they’re sometimes called. Instead, they can use shake from a single strain or multiple strains to create a unique product that cannabis enthusiasts enjoy.

Pipes: Whether you’re learning how to pack a pipe or you’re looking for a budget-friendly alternative to top-shelf bud, shake is a great option. Plus, depending on the shake, it’s possible you won’t even need to grind it.

Edibles: For cannabis enthusiasts that don’t want to use their premium flower for edibles, shake is a great alternative. Whether it’s shake of a particular strain or a variety of strains, it can be collected, decarbed, turned into cannabutter or cannaoil, and baked into a variety of different recipes.

Shake vs Popcorn: How Are They Different?

Shake and popcorn are two unique cannabis products with one distinct difference—shake is the byproduct of broken flower, and popcorn is the little flower buds that grow lower on the cannabis plant. 

Learn more about popcorn cannabis in our guide. 

Shake vs Trim: How Are They Different?

While shake is made up of pieces of broken flower, trim consists of the leaves and stems that are cut away from the plant when the flower is cultivated. Shake has psychoactive effects, and trim is unlikely to cause any kind of intoxicating effect.

Learn more about marijuana trim in our guide. 

Pros of Purchasing and Smoking Shake

While the benefits of shake vary between cannabis consumers, there are a few that most can agree on:

  • Shake is Versatile: While shake is perfect for rolling, it can also be used for making your own edibles. Use shake in making your own cannabutter--just be sure to strain it before using.
  • Shake Can Be Milder: Since shake isn’t typically from one single strain and is likely stored a bit longer than premium flower, it can have lower levels of THC. This leads some cannabis consumers to prefer shake for a less psychoactive experience.
  • Shake is Budget-Friendly: Because you’re not buying those big, show-stopping flower buds, you aren’t paying a premium price. This makes shake flower more accessible for any cannabis consumer.

Cons of Purchasing and Smoking Shake

Shake can sometimes get a bad rap within the cannabis community. But as with any cannabis product, where there are benefits, there are also downsides of purchasing and smoking shake. These include:

  • Shake Can Vary by Strain: Because shake is gathered from a large selection of full-sized cannabis, most dispensaries will package different types of shake together. This means that if you’re a cannabis purist, shake may not be right for you.

  • Some Shake May Contain Leaves and Stems: Stems and leaves are a part of harvesting and smoking flower. Like shake itself, seeds and stems can fall to the bottom of a jar or bag too, so it’s not uncommon to have some of these things mixed in.

  • Shake Can Dry Out Quickly: The nature of shake means it’s small and this means it can dry out faster than larger buds. If you purchase shake, ensure you seal it to keep it from drying out before you can enjoy it.

Answering FAQs About Marijuana Shake

We know you’ve got questions about shake. Don’t worry, we’ve got answers: 

Can you buy marijuana shake? 
Yes, you can purchase marijuana shake at just about any dispensary that sells flower.

Is shake similar to kief?
No. Shake is the pieces of flower that fall off larger buds. Kief is the dried trichomes from the cannabis plant.

Is cannabis shake cheaper than flower?
Typically, yes. Because shake is just pieces of broken flower, it is less expensive than a big, premium flower bud you might purchase.

Purchasing Marijuana Shake

If your local dispensary sells flower, chances are good that they also sell shake, and typically, they keep both options near one another. Head over to the flower section and start perusing their selection or, if you’re not sure where to start, ask one of our expert budtenders. They can help you find the right product, be it shake for your own pipe or edibles or pre-rolls filled with shake.

Recreational cannabis is not available in all states. Cannabis is for medical use only and may only be used by certified patients in Ohio and Pennsylvania. State laws impact what dispensaries can and can’t sell to recreational customers and certified patients. Not every type of product, consumption method, dosage form, or potency mentioned on this blog will be permitted in all locations.