Among the various types of cannabis extracts available these days is shatter, a highly potent form of butane hash oil (BHO). Shatter is typically caramel-colored and semi-translucent, resembling glass.
Shatter is not too different from other cannabis extracts. Its name comes from its appearance as it is highly breakable and subject to shattering if dropped or hit against a surface.
Despite its fragility, shatter does have its upsides over concentrates. It’s easy to work with and is not super messy. Shatter is commonly used for dabbing, with concentrations ranging from 75-90% THC.
The extract is solvent-based, in this case typically relying on butane to sift trichomes off of the buds and concentrate the plant’s cannabinoids.
How do You Make Shatter?
First, it’s important to note that you should not be making shatter at home. Even if you’ve read like, five articles about it, you risk severely hurting yourself or even dying.
As cryptic as that may sound for a cannabis concentrate, it’s crucial to know. Unless you’re prepared to face a home explosion, leave producing shatter to the experts.
Now that we’ve cleared that up, we can go into it further. The first step to making shatter is to harvest the plant’s trichomes which hold most of the cannabinoids and terpenes. This is done with a solvent, most commonly butane.
Once extracted, the butane needs to be purged from the mixture. Everything is gathered and heated up to clear the butane from the substance. Expelling butane from the mixture is a crucial step and if done improperly can lead to trouble.
If there is residual butane still in the mixture, users will be inhaling it when using shatter. The toxicity of butane is low, but repeatedly using shatter or other substances that haven’t been cleared of butane may cause health issues over time.
The mixture is then stirred until it reaches a smooth or creamy texture and is left to solidify into its final form.
How Shatter is Used
The most common way to use shatter is to take dabs with it. It’s very similar to other concentrates used for dabbing, has a high THC concentration, and is rather cost-effective.
Some people add shatter to their joints, spliffs, or other rolled materials. Just sprinkle some on top of your mixture before rolling up, or sprinkle it on top of a loaded bowl. If you decide to use it this way, just be sure to sprinkle a small amount on top of what you’ve already laid out. Shatter is much stronger than flower so you won’t need to add much to boost your session.
Some vape pens allow for adding shatter and other concentrates as well. Be sure you know exactly what your vape pen is capable of before loading it with anything.
Why Use Shatter?
There are plenty of reasons people use shatter. One of the most compelling reasons is because of its high THC content. You make a small amount of shatter last a long time because only small amounts need to be used to achieve the same effects as smoking flower.
It may be more spendy to choose shatter over flower, but shatter will end up saving you money in the long run because it will last longer.
Users who rely on THC to provide relief for various conditions may find that dabbing shatter is an effective way to get medicated. It takes just a small amount to deliver a potent dose of THC.
Others who just like to get really high will also benefit from using shatter. The less substance needed to get achieve the desired effects, the better.
What are the Risks of Using Shatter?
The biggest concern with shatter is its production. It must be again noted that enthusiastic shatter fans should not attempt to make it at home. There are countless stories of people injuring themselves in order to make shatter.
Shatter is a form of BHO, which is a cannabis concentrate made with butane. Butane is flammable and explosive.
It should not be done at home. Websites instructing people on how to make shatter advise against doing so indoors, but it should be emphasized that this shouldn’t be attempted by non-experts at all.
BHO explosions are not all that uncommon. When making shatter, you have to spray butane all over your cannabis. But spraying butane around is extremely dangerous because of its flammability. You’re literally playing with fire if you think you can do this at home. You may find your home has more sources of ignition than originally thought when spraying the butane. Of course, you’ll only learn this when an explosion occurs.
Another risk that comes from DIY’ing it is improper flushing. If you don’t know exactly what you’re doing, you may fail to flush all of the residual butane out, which is not ideal for inhalation.
When it comes to using shatter that was properly produced and sold in a dispensary, the risks are no different than other concentrates. It’s important to start slow if you’re not accustomed to such high levels of potency.
Final Thoughts on Shatter
Shatter is a popular cannabis concentrate that delivers highly potent doses of THC to the user. It’s produced with a solvent, most typically butane, to separate and concentrate trichomes from the cannabis plant.
Popular for both medical and recreational uses, shatter can deliver high doses of THC with small amounts. Its name comes from its breakability and similarity to glass.
The production of shatter should be left to the experts. If you’re looking to try shatter, visit a dispensary to maximize safety.