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.
Making cannabis concentrates involves passing a solvent (for example, butane, CO2, etc.) through thoroughly ground cannabis material, which may be cured or fresh. This yields a thick golden cannabis oil abundant in all the active chemical compounds found the plant.
Why Is Shatter Unique?
For most practical purposes, shatter is only slightly different from other kinds of marijuana extracts. They are all consumed using the same methods and with more or less the same potency range. Of course, shatter is quite unique because of how it looks.
It has an amber or gold color and has some 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 alignment enables light to pass through it and is responsible for its glass-like properties.
Heat, moisture and terpene content all have a hand in shatter’s final texture and extraction, all of which can give it a more fluid consistency like sap while maintaining its translucence.
Except for shatter and sap, all the whipping, shaking or stirring done to concentrates during processing agitate the molecules. Because shatter does not “experience” this type of processing, it retains a translucent nature.
Otherwise, as soon as the molecules in the cannabis oil are disturbed, irregular opaque structures are created and less light can pass through. This is the reason shatter and wax are so different in terms of transparency. 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 key benefit of shatter is that dabbing it, cannabinoids enter the bloodstream incredibly faster, hence producing almost 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.