As the use of concentrates continues to grow around the globe, those that live in an area where the availability of concentrates may not be customary are ever curious about the somewhat new-fangled extracted plant essence known as shatter.
What is shatter?
The two types of solvents used in the extraction process for making shatter are butane or CO2. One of the most common disapprovals in respect to the production of concentrates is that it’s improbable that all the solvents are entirely removed from the end product. This is the main reason that the CO2 extraction process has grown to be more popular than the use of butane.
If manufactured correctly, shatter can be one of the cleanest forms of concentrates and possess the strongest potency due to the fact that the professional manufacturing process involves running it through a second extraction progression which eliminates any fats, residual waxes and lipids.
Executing the second extraction process merely makes shatter a polished adaptation of butane honey oil (BHO), which usually involves several steps to remove all the plant matter and toxic solvents that remain in most BHOs that haven’t been extorted further. These extra steps entail the use of a pressure vacuum which helps pull the residual nastiness from the soon-to-be shatter.
When produced properly, shatter should be semi-transparent, more often than not with the color ranging anywhere from a light yellow to a dark amber. The finished product will normally come in the form of a thin slab, which will typically shatter when a piece has been broken off (depending on climate conditions), thus the concentrate’s given name.
Depending on the plant material that’s used to produce it, shatter can be one of the most intoxicating concentrates available, with some final products testing at upwards of 90 percent THC content.
The most common way to consume shatter is by taking dabs via an oil rig or a vape pen designed for concentrates. Cannabinoids vaporize at 356º F (180º C), so shatter and other concentrates are best consumed by heating rather than by direct flame (combustion), as controlled heating will result in a more pleasant inhalation experience. This is why electronic nails (e-nails) are one of the most popular ways to consume concentrates due to the fact that the temperature can be dialed in exactly to the users preference.
Hashes, waxes, budders, oils and shatters offer the advantage of a higher concentration of cannabinoids with less to no residual plant material left behind, resulting in a cleaner and healthier smoke.