The world has come a long way since the traditional joint. Shatter is a potent form of cannabis concentrate produced by extracting CBD and THC from flower. Since gaining popularity in 2010, it continues to be one of the biggest sellers on the market. This translucent concentrate is named after its brittle, glassy, eye-catching texture.
What Makes This Concentrate Different
Shatter is high in potency and produces a powerful effect. Coming in strong at 60 to 80 percent in THC content, its qualities have made it high in demand and a favourite among cannabis users. Other than being more potent, the most significant advantage of shatter is that it is a quick and efficient way for cannabinoids to enter the bloodstream. Also, the extract is easy to transport while being more cosmetically attractive.
When handling shatter, it can have one of two consistencies. Heat, terpene levels, and moisture are all factors that can affect the texture. One form snaps and breaks off easily like glass. The other is gooey and pulls like Laffy-Taffy. Different extracts range in colour from light golden amber to dark warm maple.
How It’s Used
Shatter is unlike traditional consumption methods. It is meant to be vaporized, and consuming it is known as dabbing. Dab rigs or e-vapes are used for cannabis extract. Overall, a dab rig and nail is the most common method for smoking concentrates in the marijuana community.
The process starts by heating the nail with a butane torch and dropping a small amount of shatter into the dab rig. Once applied to a hot surface, the extract instantly vaporizes and is ready to be inhaled. It is recommended to always start small. Going slow is the best way to test what size dab you’re most comfortable with.
If these methods seem intimidating, you can always mix it with flower. This is when you place a shatter over your flower packed in a bowl, joint, or blunt.
Different Methods of Extraction
There are many ways to make shatter including butane, carbon dioxide, and ethanol. Professional equipment is expensive but efficient as it extracts a return of upwards of 20 percent. Industrial extraction machines range anywhere from $10,000 to $500,000.
Using butane is a great option considering the affordability and complexity level. This method is called butane hash oil (BHO) extraction. The job consists of extracting, which is when you run solvent through cannabis buds to withdraw cannabinoids. Then purging, to evaporate all solvent for a clean product.
The total yield depends on the type of bud used and the level of experience with the procedure. Because of the quality, the cost of this product is on the higher end. On average the price for top-shelf shatter ranges from $35 to $50 a gram.
How to Make It
For those of you that consider yourselves cannabis connoisseurs or want to experiment making shatter for yourself, this guide will teach you how. The steps to making shatter are very similar to extracting other concentrates. The most notable difference is in the extraction process itself.
A word of caution, producing cannabis extracts should only be done by professionals in a work-safe lab setting. This process requires the right equipment, exactness, and expertise.
To start, you will need to have the right materials. These can be found at a headshop.
- 1-2 Ounces of Cannabis
- 2 Butane Canisters
- Extraction Tube
- Pyrex Dish
- Double Boiler
- Electric Range
- Vacuum Purging Kit
- Parchment Paper
- Razor Blades
Grind up Your Cannabis
This can be anything from flower, trim, or shake. Keep in mind, the potency of the bud will influence the strength of your yield. Grinding the cannabis and letting it dry a little will make it easier to purge.
Packing the Extraction Tube
Take the ground-up cannabis and fill the extraction tube. Generally, 1 ounce is a good amount per tube.
Do not pack the tube too firmly or loosely. This is important as you want the butane to saturate your product well.
Pouring in the Butane
Whenever using butane, make sure to use a well-ventilated area, as it is a highly dangerous and flammable solution. Use one full canister of butane per extraction tube (1 ounce).
Shoot the butane through the end of the extraction tube that has an opening. Meanwhile, keeping the filtered end of the tube over the Pyrex dish. Do this until the canister is empty.
The marijuana extract will start to trickle down once it is fully soaked. Allow all the liquid to drip down into the dish.
Evaporating the Butane
Fill your double boiler and place it on the electric range. Then, place the Pyrex dish on top. The heat will evaporate the butane from your shatter.
The process is finished when the hash oil has stopped bubbling.
Scraping and Purging
Using a store-bought vacuum purge kit is recommended. It is possible to do a purge with water, but this can ruin your concentrate and is not advised.
Use a razor to scrape the shatter from the dish onto a large piece of parchment paper.
Then, place the paper in your vacuum oven to purge the remaining butane found in the shatter.
Once this is done, allow the final product to cool and fully harden.
That’s It; You’ve Done It
Now that you’ve made DIY shatter, it’s time to give it a sample smoke. Start small; a little dab may be stronger than you think. Also, try not to be discouraged if the extract doesn’t come out perfect your first time. It’s a learning process.
The best way to store your shatter is in a small silicone holder that is heat- and damage-resistant. If this is not an option, wrapping the product in parchment paper and keeping it airtight will suffice.
Always remember to keep all cannabis concentrates in a cool dark place and enjoy.