Shatter is a cannabis concentrate that is produced when cannabinoids, terpenes and other chemical compounds are removed from the cannabis plant. The term particularly refers to a certain translucent texture of cannabis concentrate that “shatters” like 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 yields a thick golden cannabis oil abundant in all the active chemical compounds found the plant.
Why Is Shatter Unique?
Practically speaking, there is a small difference between shatter and other marijuana extracts. Everything is consumed with mostly the same potency range and in mainly the same ways. Shatter, however, is quite unique due to its appearance.
Possessing an amber or gold color, it has a certain degree of transparency. Shatter concentrate’s semi-clarity is produced by the extracted cannabis oil’s molecular structure. These molecules are all piled up one atop the other in perfect, consistent rows. This allows to pass through it and lends it its glass-like attributes.
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.
Except for shatter and sap, all the whipping, shaking or stirring done to concentrates during processing agitate the molecules. Since shatter does not go through this type of processing, it retains a translucent property.
Otherwise, when cannabis oil molecules are disrupted, irregular opaque structures are produced, and light is unable to pass through as freely. This makes shatter a lot more transparent compared to wax. Disturbing the oil results in the formation of opaque wax or similar cannabis concentrates which are different from shatter’s clear concentrates.
Why Shatter Over Other Concentrates?
A major benefit of dabbing shatter is that it provides a much quicker method of pushing cannabinoids into the bloodstream, thereby creating almost instantaneous effects. And because shatter is so potent, “less is more” so users can go easy on their cannabis.
Dabbing shatter means there is no need to inhale huge amounts of burning plant material to get the desired results. Certainly a plus! Instead of smoking entire joints and exposing their lungs to toxic chemicals found in the smoke, users can simply dab once or twice for their cannabinoid fix, breathing in just vapor but not smoke.
And with its molecular structure, shatter is more stable and lasts longer than any other cannabis extracts, including wax. It’s probably more difficult to separate into individual portions due to its tough consistency, but this minor issue can be easily addressed with practice.