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What is Shatter?

Shatter is a type of cannabis extract produced using cannabis plant material and solvents. The appearance of shatter cannabis is typically translucent, but its color ranges from yellowish amber to a darker yellow like corn oil.

Marijuana shatter may appear to be visually identical, but the physical texture of individual marijuana shatter products can range from extremely brittle to a taffy-like snap-and-pull texture, leading some to categorize the latter as pull ‘n’ snap. This inconsistency gives some insight into the concentration of cannabinoids in an individual product.

When it comes to THC shatter, a higher tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) level will result in a more viscous oil with a higher concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), whereas a higher tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) level will result in a shatter that is more brittle and glass-like. At room temperature, THC concentrate is a sappy oil, whereas at room temperature, tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) is solid and more brittle, making it easier to break apart.

All shatter can be dabbed, and can be used in a dab pen. A dab rig, a small water pipe used to consume cannabis concentrates, is used to dab. A dab rig includes a flat bowl and a ‘nail’ that handles excessive heat to turn the concentrate into a vapor. Besides shatter, there are other forms of cannabis concentrates that can be dabbed such as a solventless extract.

Since dabbing concentrated marijuana products such as shatter offers stronger highs and terpene-rich flavors and aromas than smoking marijuana, dabbing marijuana shatter requires certain amounts of expertise and the right tools, which may make first-timers nervous. However, unlike smoking flower, the temperature of the nail at the moment of consumption will impact flavor, and thus any potentially beneficial consequences.

The manufacture of this concentrate is identical to other cannabis extracts. The post-processing phase is the only significant difference. Shatter is typically created by forcing a pressurized solvent through a chamber filled with plant material. The solvent separates the desirable cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant matter before purging before it is removed. Shatter can be created from anything from cannabis flower buds to cannabis plant scraps such as trim or shake.

Many solvents can be used to create shatter, but the most common is butane (butane hash oil or BHO). Other cannabis concentrates, such as carbon dioxide, liquefied petroleum gases (LPG), and ethanol, may also be used. Because CO2 extraction removes moisture from plant matter, CO2-extracted shatter would lack its typical texture.

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