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.
To make cannabis concentrates, a solvent, such as butane or isopropyl, is passed through cannabis material (may be fresh or cured) that has been finely crushed. 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. Both consumption and potency range are largely the same for each one. Shatter is rather unique though when it comes to appearance.
It has an amber or gold color and has some degree of transparency. This semi-clarity possessed by shatter is attributed to the structure of the molecules in the extracted cannabis oil. The molecules in shatter are set up uniformly in rows one on top of the other. This alignment enables light to pass through it and is responsible for its glass-like properties.
The texture and extraction of shatter can be affected by such factors as heat, moisture, and terpene amount, which can make the concentrate as runny as sap but still translucent.
Excluding shatter and sap, concentrates are whipped, stirred, or shaken from time to time during the process, which disturbs the individual molecules. Shatter is not agitated and that is why it comes out translucent.
Otherwise, when cannabis oil molecules are disrupted, irregular opaque structures are produced, and light is unable to pass through as freely. Hence shatter is far more transparent than wax. Disruption of the oil creates opaque wax or similar cannabis concentrates different from the crystal concentrates in shatter.
Advantages of Shatter
A key benefit of shatter is that dabbing it, cannabinoids enter the bloodstream incredibly faster, hence producing almost instant effects. And since shatter is highly potent, “less is more,” allowing users to moderate their cannabis consumption.
Dabbing shatter means there is no need to inhale huge amounts of burning plant material to get the desired results. Certainly a plus! Instead of smoking entire joints and exposing their lungs to toxic chemicals found in the smoke, users can simply dab once or twice for their cannabinoid fix, breathing in just vapor but not 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.