Experts define shatter as a kind of cannabis concentrate, produced by drawing out the cannabinoids and other chemical compounds from the cannabis plant. The term was coined in reference to the cannabis concentrate’s translucent texture that causes it to „shatter“ as though glass.
To make cannabis concentrates, a solvent, such as butane or isopropyl, is passed through cannabis material (may be fresh or cured) that has been finely crushed. This result is a thick amber-colored cannabis oil rich in the plant’s active chemical compounds.
What Makes Shatter Unique?
Shatter does not differ considerably from other forms of marijuana extracts when it comes to practical use. They are all consumed using the same methods and with more or less the same potency range. Shatter is rather unique though when it comes to appearance.
Possessing an amber or gold color, it has a certain degree of transparency. Shatter’s semi-clarity has something to do with the molecular arrangement of the extracted cannabis oil. These molecules are all piled up one atop the other in perfect, consistent rows. Because of this, light is able to pass through it, giving it its glass-like properties.
Different factors, such as moisture, heat and high terpene content, can impact shatter’s texture and extraction, which can make extracted oils more fluid, like sap, while keeping its translucence.
Excluding shatter and sap, concentrates are whipped, stirred, or shaken from time to time during the process, which disturbs the individual molecules. Shatter is not agitated and that is why it comes out translucent.
Otherwise, as soon as the molecules in the cannabis oil are disturbed, irregular opaque structures are created and less light can pass through. This makes shatter a lot more transparent compared to wax. Disruption of the oil creates opaque wax or similar cannabis concentrates different from the crystal concentrates in shatter.
Why Shatter Over Other Concentrates?
Dabbing shatter has a huge advantage – cannabinoids end up in the bloodstream incredibly faster, thus causing near-instant effects. Considering shatter’s high potency, users can control their consumption because they know that „less is more“ with this concentrate.
Dabbing shatter eliminates the need to inhale too much burning plant material just to achieve the desired effects. Definitely a good thing! Rather than smoking whole joints and putting their lungs at risk, what with all the hazardous chemicals that smoke contains, users can just dab once or twice to get their cannabinoids, inhaling only vapor, never smoke.
And since shatter is more stable, thanks to its molecular structure, it will last much longer compared to wax and other cannabis extracts. While it is harder to apportion to single uses due to its tough consistency, practice often makes the task easier.