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Thursday, September 21, 2023

All About Shatter: A Close Look at the Glass-Like Concentrate

The legalization of cannabis has revolutionized its use and understanding in recent years. While cannabis consumption used to be limited to smoking joints, bowls, and bongs, there are now various methods of enjoying cannabis, such as cannabis concentrates.

Traditional herbal cannabis typically contains an average THC level of 14 to 24%. In contrast, cannabis concentrates have a much higher THC content, averaging between 50-70%, with some varieties reaching THC levels in the 90th percentile. These concentrates can be used in a wide range of products, including edibles, beverages, topicals, and even inhalers, pain patches, and capsules.

When it comes to consuming cannabis concentrates, inhalation is the most popular method. Concentrates are vaporized using electronic vaping devices, dab rigs, and nectar collectors, allowing users to experience potent effects with only a small amount of product. In this article, we will explore one particular type of cannabis concentrate: shatter.

What is Shatter?

Shatter is a type of cannabis concentrate known for its hard, glass-like appearance and texture. Compared to other cannabis extractions, such as crumble, budder, or badder, shatter has a significantly higher THC content. It often has a Swiss cheese-like appearance, although some shatter varieties have a slight elasticity known as “snap and pull” that allows them to be twisted around joints or blunts, a technique known as twaxing.

How Popular is Shatter?

Shatter has been a staple in the world of cannabis concentrates for quite some time. Many people may have fond memories of using a hot butter knife to get their “dab” on, a technique called hot knifing. While shatter is still popular, its popularity has declined in recent years due to the emergence of a wide variety of other cannabis concentrates.

Although shatter offers high THC levels, it is often criticized for its lack of flavor due to the loss of terpenes during the extraction process. For those seeking a more flavorful cannabis concentrate, there are now better options available. However, many still enjoy shatter for its potency and effectiveness in alleviating symptoms of stress, depression, anxiety, chronic pain, and more. The high THC content of shatter makes it a fast-acting and efficient choice for many users.

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How Much Does Shatter Cost?

The price of shatter varies depending on several factors. It can range from as low as $5 per gram to upwards of $60 or more per gram. The cost of shatter is influenced by the quality of the product, the materials used to make it, and the location of purchase. Shatter can be made from various starting materials, including trim and top-shelf buds. On average, a gram of good quality shatter typically costs around $20 to $40.

Why Making Shatter at Home is Not Recommended

It is important to leave the production of shatter to professionals. Many individuals may be tempted to make shatter at home using a process called blasting. However, this process is highly dangerous and can lead to serious injuries or accidents. There have been numerous incidents reported in the media of houses exploding due to improper homemade cannabis extractions.

The process of making cannabis extractions involves the release of volatile fumes, which can cause explosions and health issues if not handled correctly. Homemade shatter production also carries the risk of leaving behind harmful residues that can lead to health problems such as headaches, breathing issues, and long-term lung damage. To ensure safety and quality, shatter, like other cannabis extractions, should be made in a controlled environment with the necessary equipment and expertise.

How is Shatter Made?

There are various methods for producing shatter. In the most basic terms, the extraction process involves taking plant material, such as trim or buds, and using a solvent like butane or propane to extract the cannabinoids. Another method involves using CO2, resulting in a solventless shatter.

Once the cannabinoids are extracted from the cannabis material, the liquid is cooked off, leaving behind a sticky residue that will eventually solidify into shatter. However, before it can be considered shatter, it must undergo a purging process inside a temperature-controlled vacuum chamber. This process removes any potentially harmful residues, resulting in a safe and high-quality product.

Are There Different Types of Shatter?

The flavor profile of shatter can vary depending on the starting material used. Shatter made from top-shelf buds, referred to as “nug run shatter,” tends to have the best flavor. The color of the concentrates used to be an indicator of their quality, but with the advent of new techniques and technologies, it is no longer the sole determining factor.

Extraction techniques and methodologies continue to evolve in the cannabis industry. Hydrocarbon extraction is one method that results in flavorful shatter by reintroducing cannabis terpenes at the right stage of the process. Another recent technique is color remediation clarification (CRC), which aims to remove impurities, resulting in clean and beautifully colored concentrates. However, it is important to note that lower-quality shatter can be masked with these techniques, so the price and reputation of the product should also be considered. For those interested in trying shatter, THC diamonds are worth exploring as well.

Ashley Priest is an entrepreneur, activist, patient, and mother who is dedicated to ending cannabis prohibition worldwide for a better future. Ashley is passionate about sharing educational information about cannabis, believing that a single seed has the power to create change. Through education, she aims to eliminate the stigma surrounding cannabis and allow it to reach its full potential globally.


What is the THC content of shatter?

The average THC level of shatter is between 50-70%, with some varieties reaching THC levels in the 90th percentile.

How is shatter consumed?

Shatter is typically consumed by inhaling it using electronic vaping devices, dab rigs, or nectar collectors.

Why has the popularity of shatter declined?

While shatter is still popular, its popularity has declined due to the emergence of other cannabis concentrates that offer better flavors.

Is it safe to make shatter at home?

No, making shatter at home is not recommended due to the dangerous nature of the extraction process, which can lead to accidents and health issues.

How much does shatter cost?

The price of shatter can range from $5 to $60 or more per gram, depending on factors such as quality and location of purchase.

Are there different types of shatter?

Yes, the flavor profile of shatter can vary depending on the starting material used, such as trim or top-shelf buds.

Dr. Jen Chalmers
Dr. Jen Chalmers
Dr. Jen Chalmers is an accomplished writer and cannabis enthusiast. With a Ph.D. in Botany and years of experience as a researcher, she brings a scientific perspective to her captivating articles on cannabis news, recipes, and the fascinating world of psychedelics.

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