What is Shatter?

Concentrates have become a big presence in the cannabis world as of the last few years. It really is no wonder why, given their characteristics. For those cannabis users who want to enjoy a better and higher high, turning to shatter can be the answer.

What is shatter, exactly? How can it be used, and what are its benefits? Aside from that, how is it different from other hashes, oils, and waxes? Is it really some form of special weed?

Shatter is, in the most basic of terms, a marijuana concentrate that is produced by the extraction of cannabinoids, such as CBD and THC. It is pretty new to the legal scene, but it hits great, and many people are turning to it for regular use.

You can buy shatter at most mail order marijuana retailers.

What Is Shatter?

Shatter is a concentrate that is caramel or brown in color and resembles glass. It is known for being one of the highest concentrates of THC that you can find. It has levels that reach a purity of nearly 90%. It is categorized as an extract because it is made from the extracted essential oils of cannabis.

That high level of purity doesn’t come without a cost, however. Shatter is a lot less flavored than some other concentrate options that are available. This basically means that with shatter, you get a content of terpene that is much lower.

Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that shatter gives you no flavor at all. The methodology used, as well as the technology, can have a big effect on flavor. For example, making use of bud strains that have a higher level of terpene during the extraction process can have a big effect on the result.

For the purposes of taking a good look at shatter here, we are going to assume that propane and butane are used in making the shatter. This is the most common method used. So, exactly how is shatter made?

How Is Shatter Made?

Now that you know what is shatter, are you curious to find out how it is made? Shatter is derived from butane hash oil or BHO for short. Naturally, this means that shatter is made through butane, which is a solvent that comes from petroleum.

With that said, propane can also be used as a good substitute. In most instances, propane is mixed with the butane during extraction.

Step 1: Since butane is so crucial to the extraction process, we should highlight exactly how it is used. It essentially extracts the terpenoid and cannabinoid molecules from the dry flowers. What is extracted comes out in the form of bud crystals and resin.

Step 2: Once the resin and crystals are completely extracted, and the butane chemicals have all been filtered, what remains is a substance that is gooey and looks a lot like caramel.

Step 3: This substance is then cooled all the way down. Once cooled down, it looks like glass in both shape and consistency. This is where shatter weed gets its name. You could shatter it if you hit it hard.

The function by which marijuana shatter is created does differ by the manufacturer, but there are some things that remain the same. The biggest of these is that hash oil concentrates made using butane should only ever be made using a closed-loop system. In addition, only the best equipment should be used.

Creating weed shatter is not for the amateur. Butane can be dangerous since it basically has no color and no odor. It is also highly flammable and can be dispersed in the air quite easily. Only trained professionals should ever work with it.

How to Consume Shatter

Shatter marijuana can be consumed in a variety of ways. Some are the traditional methods for consuming marijuana, while others are far more unique. Also read our article about how to smoke shatter.

Using Bongs

Bongs are pretty self-explanatory, and you can find them just about anywhere, so we won’t spend too much time going over them here. In the most general of terms, a bong is just used to smoke a variety of substances but is most commonly used to smoke marijuana.

A bong is filled with water, which cools the smoke as it passes through. It was originally created to smoke tobacco but has become one of the most popular methods used to smoke marijuana. You can find bongs made of nearly any material. The only requirements are that it be impermeable to both water and air.

Both glass and plastic are popular materials used in making bongs. Glass is usually considered the better choice because it is so durable and also quite easy to clean. Glass is also watertight and airtight. Plastic is an option for those bongs that aren’t expected to last quite as long.

You can also find bongs made from wood, metal, and ceramic. They can get quite sophisticated, with things such as bonus chambers, which cools the smoke more, several bowls, or even more than one mouthpiece. The design options are nearly endless.

Using Vape Pens

If you aren’t too familiar with e-cigarettes or vape pens, they are battery-operated and have chambers that vaporize so that you can use them with dry cannabis. You can also use them with any concentrate you have. This means that you can use them with shatter if you want.

Most of the vape pens available today let you lower your shatter right onto the ceramic or coiled heating element. In essence, vape pens are portable minimalist dab rings without water filtration.

Vape pens are a great option if you are looking to take one on the go or if you want to maintain a high level of discreetness. They are very portable, and you can take a hit without really being noticed. If you want to ease some anxiety while out and about, a vape pen is a great option.


Rigs are similar to bongs with one primary difference; they use a titanium nail to function as the weed bowl. That titanium nail mandates the use of a blow torch to become really hot.

With that heat, the concentrate you use, including shatter, will vaporize right away. Once that’s done, that smoke is ready and set for inhaling.


If you don’t want to dab or you just would rather smoke your shatter, you can do that as well. This isn’t really the most popular way to consume shatter, but it works just the same.

The most common way to smoke shatter is to roll a small amount into a strip. This is known as “twaxing.” You can use that strip in a variety of different ways, some simple and some fancier.

That strip can be put on top of your buds in a spliff, blunt, or, joint which is a simple way to consume it. You can also just place some on top of a bowl. If you want to get fancy with it, you can wrap the strip around the exterior of the blunt. Then, you’ll see it as you smoke your blunt.

You do want to keep in mind that if you plan on smoking shatter, the smoke gets incredibly hot. It is not the kind of hot you’ve experienced before, so keep that under consideration. One way to mitigate this is to keep a glass of water close by. This can help if you suddenly have a coughing fit you weren’t expecting.


You can enjoy shatter in edible form, as well. This is one of the more unique ways to consume the concentrate. In fact, shatter is actually great for use with edibles.

It is fitting for use with edibles primarily because it has a pretty consistent potency. This makes it much easier to know how much THC is being put in your food. This isn’t always the case with other extraction methods used for edibles.

With some others, including heating butter using raw buds, it can be really difficult to measure out the doses of THC. So, you don’t know how much is going into your food. There is no easy way to measure. That isn’t the case with shatter.

To use shatter in edibles or cooking, just put some of it in your cooking fat or oil so that it dissolves. Then, you can just simply mix it right into your favorite edible recipe.

The Costs of Smoking Shatter

Smoking shatter is a bit more involved than traditional weed smoking. It can be a bit more expensive, as well. That is because you’ll want to use one of those rigs we’ve just highlighted, at least if you are serious about smoking shatter.

That rig can be a bit pricier, but you’ll want to have one if you plan on smoking shatter on any kind of a regular basis. With them, you get that near-instant vaporization, and you can get a really incredible, sometimes overwhelming, high when you use one.

Benefits of Smoking Shatter

People choose to use shatter for a variety of reasons. Some of those reasons are for recreation and pleasure, while others serve a medicinal purpose.

In terms of recreation, concentrates, including shatter, can give users a simple pleasure or enjoyment. They are safer to use than alcohol, and they don’t cause any danger to the user. They can also be used to help users become more comfortable in situations that would otherwise be anxiety-provoking.

In terms of medicinal benefits, many users use shatter to help with anxiety, chronic or periodic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, and sleep disorders, including insomnia.

These are potential benefits to using shatter and have proven helpful for many users. However, that does not mean that shatter will work in the same way for each user. Everyone’s biology is different and, as such, shatter will have a different effect on symptoms depending on the user.

How Is Shatter Different?

So, if you are a regular weed smoker, you likely want to know what makes shatter so special. How exactly is it different from other oils, waxes, and hashes? In general, if you are the average toker, you aren’t going to get anything super special from shatter. It has just about the same potency level as a number of other concentrates and extracts, ranging from 70% to 90% THC.

Where it has the biggest differences are in its cost and its ease of dabbing. You can think of extracts sitting on a spectrum that has, on one end, the most plant components and, on the other end, the least plant components.

At one end, you will find raw cannabis oil. This includes the black, thick syrup saturated with sativa known as Rick Simpson oil, FECO, or Phoenix Tears. This is a plant that contains the most of every substance, including terpenes and cannabinoids. Then, on the other end, you would find isolates. These are pure CBD powders and crystals and pure THC. These products do not have any terpenoids or any other plant parts.

You will find shatter right in the middle of the two ends of those spectrums. It has a lot of THC in it, with some shatter products having as much as 90% THC. However, shatter also tends to lack in the inclusion of other cannabinoids, like CBG or CBD. You can find CBD shatters with a couple of companies, however.


Here, we’ve highlighted just about everything you need to know about shatter, including its appearance, how it’s made, and how you can safely and enjoyably consume it. If you are on the lookout for high-quality shatter, keep your eyes open for the purest form you can find. The shatter you want is the shatter that is glass-like.

In general, shatter tends to be cheaper than some other extracts that are more advanced, such as isolates and sauces. They are usually higher in cost than budder waxes. This is largely due to the fact that shatter requires more steps to be taken during manufacturing.

Nonetheless, if you are experienced with concentrates, shatter is a great product to give you some really high results. If you are new to concentrates, there is no reason you can’t get started with shatter. Follow our guide here and enjoy shatter.

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