Sheet of shatter concentrate broken up on a black table

What Is Shatter, a Cannabis Concentrate?

When it comes to cannabis concentrates, there aren’t many that can compete with shatter. The glass-like appearance, the golden hue, the potency, and its dabability (that’s our word for it, at least) are all just a few of the reasons people gravitate toward shatter. In this guide, we’re going to talk all about this impressive concentrate and answer the questions:

  • What is Shatter?
  • How Is Shatter Made?
  • How Do You Smoke Shatter?
  • Wax vs Shatter: What’s The Difference?
  • Crumble vs Shatter: What’s The Difference?
  • Diamonds vs Shatter: What’s The Difference?
  • How Do You Store Shatter?
  • FAQs About Shatter

What is Shatter?

Shatter is one of the most recognizable cannabis concentrates on the market today. It’s named after its physical appearance—translucent amber shards that look like broken glass. Most cannabis enthusiasts enjoy shatter by dabbing it, but it can be consumed other ways, including smoking and vaping. Just remember, a little goes a long way. Shatter can have a THC potency of up to 90%, so you should always go slow with a low dose when first learning your tolerance levels for it.

How is Shatter Made?

Shatter is made using a solvent-based extraction technique that creates a butane hash oil or BHO. This is just the name for a product that’s created when the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds are extracted from plant material by forcing pressurized butane through the cannabis flower.

Then, the butane has to be removed from the extract. To do this, the extract is heated, and to make shatter, the remaining liquid is left alone to cool. As it does, it turns into a thin, window-glass pane of amber-colored shatter. The shatter is broken into pieces, packaged, and sent to a dispensary near you for sale.

How Do You Smoke Shatter?

Shatter can be consumed in a variety of ways, including smoking, vaping, dabbing, and more. Most shatter enthusiasts agree that dabbing is a preferred way of smoking shatter. You simply grab your dab rig and heat the nail. Then, scoop a small amount of shatter onto the nail. It will immediately create a smoke or vapor that can then be consumed. You can follow the same process using a portable vaporizer or nectar collector.

If you don’t have a dab rig, or prefer to roll your own cannabis or pack a pipe, you aren’t without options. Shatter can be broken into tiny pieces and added to a marijuana “joint” or the bowl of a pipe. The addition of shatter to your ground flower will add both potency and flavor to your session. 

Want to know more about consuming concentrates? Check out our How to Smoke Concentrates guide.

Wax vs Shatter: What’s the Difference?

Wax and shatter are both potent cannabis concentrates, but they do have two distinct differences—how they’re made and what they look like. Once the solvent-based extraction is complete, the oil can be manipulated in a variety of ways. With THC wax, it’s agitated, eventually creating a wax-like consistency. With shatter, the extract is allowed to cool and create a glass-like surface that, once broken, becomes shatter.

Crumble vs Shatter: What’s the Difference?

The biggest difference between shatter and crumble is the process of making them. While shatter is left to settle and harden, crumble has to be aerated and agitated. It also tends to have more moisture in it and a slightly thicker consistency. Because of this, some cannabis enthusiasts find that crumble is a little bit harder to scoop and load onto a nail but that doesn’t stop most people from enjoying it.

Diamonds vs Shatter: What’s the Difference?

While both diamonds and shatter tend to be firm to the touch, they’re made in significantly different ways. Shatter requires a closed-loop system and patience as the extract is allowed to cool into a pane of cannabis glass. THC diamonds, on the other hand, can be made by slowly removing the solvent in a closed-loop system or using heat and pressure to force the solvent to evaporate. During both processes, the THCA forms into crystals or diamonds.

How to Store Shatter

The great thing about knowing how to store concentrates is that once you know, you can apply your knowledge to any concentrate—shatter included. You will want to keep your shatter in an air-tight container away from light and heat sources. This is because air, light, and heat can all degrade your shatter, creating a less effective product.

If you want to add protection to your shatter, wrap it in parchment paper prior to placing it in the container. This will help to keep it sealed so that it has a slight barrier from even the air in the container.

Answering FAQs About Shatter

When it comes to unique cannabis products, shatter is definitely in the top 5. Still, it can feel a little intimidating to try for newcomers, so we get a lot of questions about it. Some of those that have been asked and answered include: 

Can you eat shatter?
No, you shouldn’t eat shatter. It likely wouldn’t hurt you, but it’s also not going to give you any kind of effect. This is because shatter needs to be decarboxylated in order for you to experience the psychoactive effects of THC. If you eat it, it will not cause intoxication but might cause a stomach ache.

Can I make shatter at home?
No. Absolutely not. To make shatter, professionals use solvents and a closed-loop system that keeps dangerous fumes from escaping and causing a fire or explosion. If that’s not reason enough to keep you from trying, it’s also illegal in many areas to make solvent-based concentrates, so stick to purchasing shatter from a dispensary.

Can you dab shatter?
Yes. In fact, shatter is the preferred concentrate for cannabis enthusiasts who love to dab.

Purchasing Shatter THC

Most cannabis dispensaries carry some form of shatter. Depending on their location in the country and their selection, you may find a variety of shatter strain options, too. If you’re ready to give shatter a try, visit us today, talk to one of our budtenders, and get set up with shatter and a quality dab rig to get you started.

Recreational cannabis is not available in all states. Cannabis is for medical use only and may only be used by certified patients in 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.