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What is shatter?
A relatively new way to enjoy your cannabis through smoking, shatter came onto the marijuana scene in the early 2010’s and has given consumers a whole new way to appreciate their favourite strains in their purest form.
A form of cannabis extract, shatter is a hard, translucent glass-like concentrate whose purity can reach 90%. This potent product is created by extracting the marijuana plant’s essential oils, which contain the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. The term shatter specifically refers to the texture of this translucent cannabis concentrate that breaks and shatters in a glass-like way.
Shatter is created by passing a solvent, such as butane, hexane, isopropyl, or CO2, through either cured or fresh cannabis material that has been thoroughly ground. This produces a nice thick, usually gold or amber-colored cannabis oil that is chock full of this wonderful plant’s active chemical compounds.
Next, all of the solvent used in the extraction process is purged from the shatter oil using heat and vacuum. The resulting cannabis concentrate is then processed into one of several potential forms, including wax, crumble, honeycomb, sap, budder, live resin, and of course, shatter.
Like other marijuana extracts, shatter is usually vaporized or “dabbed” from a vape pen or specially equipped water pipe called a “dab rig”. With the potency ranging from 50-90 % (usually closer to 90,) marijuana extracts like shatter are a fast, efficient, and most importantly, smoke-free way to consume cannabis.
How do you use Shatter?
Smoking Shatter from a Vape Pen
To use your shatter in a vape pen, you’ll need to make sure that you have one that is specifically designed to be used with certain marijuana extracts like wax or shatter. These vapes have an atomizer, (that’s the vape pens heating element,) that will rapidly heat, bringing your shatter up to a temperature where you are able to vaporize it.
Once you’ve made sure that you have the right equipment to vape shatter, all you have to do is add a small amount of your shatter to your vape pens heating chamber, as you would do with similar marijuana extracts. As the atomizer heats your shatter, you’ll see it will quickly melt and then turn to vapour, which you will then inhale from the mouthpiece of your vape pen.
Dabbing is the more traditional way to use marijuana shatter. When dabbing, pieces of shatter are applied or “dabbed” onto a hot surface like a red hot hot titanium or ceramic nail, or quartz bucket on your dab rig. The shatter will rapidly vaporize upon contact with the hot surface, so you have to act quick! As the shatter turns to vapour, inhale the vapour through the dab rig’s water chamber and into your lungs.
For most practical purposes, the difference between shatter and other forms of marijuana extract are minimal. These extracts are consumed in essentially the same way and largely have similar potency ranges. Most differences between cannabis extract types then are cosmetic, so maybe it’s time to try something new and add some shatter into your marijuana routine!