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 is taken from the translucent texture of this cannabis concentrate that makes it “shatter” like 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. Everything is consumed with mostly the same potency range and in mainly the same ways. Shatter is rather unique though when it comes to appearance.
It is, to some degree, transparent and has an amber or golden color. This semi-clarity possessed by shatter is attributed to the structure of the molecules in the extracted cannabis oil. 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.
Excluding shatter and sap, concentrates are whipped, stirred, or shaken from time to time during the process, which disturbs the individual 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. Agitation of the oil leads to the production of opaque wax or similar cannabis concentrates other than the clear concentrates that you will find in shatter.
Advantages of Shatter
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 since shatter is highly potent, “less is more,” allowing users to moderate their cannabis consumption.
By dabbing shatter, there is no need to inhale large amounts of a burning plant in order to be satisfied. Which is a good thing, without a doubt. 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 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.