Shatter is the name of a super concentrated marijuana extract that is becoming increasingly popular, especially in states where marijuana use is legal and people can own it without fear of legal repercussions. There is some controversy about shatter, just like there would be with any other marijuana extract – especially one as potent as this. So here are the ten key facts you need to know about shatter the next time you see a headline about it or your uncle brings it up at the family reunion in the context of the demise of American civilization.
- Shatter is made from Butane Hash Oil (BHO). BHO is an extract made from the marijuana plant. Butane is the solvent used to get the active compounds from the cannabis plant. In the process of making BHO, the plant is soaked in butane, crushed, strained, and then the solvent is evaporated out. What is left is a waxy, gooey resin that is known as BHO or cannabis oil. This oil is then further refined in different ways that remove more liquid from the mixture and make it more concentrated.
- Shatter is just one of many cannabis concentrates made from BHO. Other methods of refining BHO result in concentrates that have textures that are crumbly (called, appropriately, “crumble”) or waxy (called “wax.” You can probably see the pattern here). The differences between these concentrates are almost completely cosmetic. Shatter is called “shatter” because it has a glass-like consistency and when you drop it, it shatters.
- Shatter is very concentrated. Shatter can have THC levels up to 70% or 80%. This makes it one of the most concentrated cannabis extracts on the market. In addition, the purification process which makes it super concentrated also removes the terpenes that give marijuana its characteristic taste and smell. If you don’t really like the taste of cannabis, or if you don’t want the lingering smell of smoking it, shatter can be a really good option for you.
- Shatter is safe to use. Unlike other drugs, including alcohol, cannabis does not have a lethal dosage. You cannot die from overdosing on THC. Now, you could die from driving while you’re high, but driving while impaired is illegal anyway. As long as you are in a safe place and you’re not going to do anything that requires fast reflexes, using shatter poses no danger to your well being.
- You should still proceed with caution. Just because an overdose won’t kill you, that doesn’t mean you should just light up a whole ounce of the stuff. Shatter is really concentrated, and if you’re not used to using it, it can knock you on your butt – and not in a fun way. There is no lethal overdose level of cannabis, but you can still take enough to make yourself feel really terrible. Shatter users recommend that newbies start with tiny, tiny amounts until they are used to the effects it has and have figured out dosage is right for them.
- Shatter can be dangerous to make. Butane is highly flammable. BHO and shatter should only be made in a professional, lab environment where all the appropriate safety precautions are taken. In fact, in Colorado, where recreational cannabis use is legal, home BHO and shatter production is a major case of home fires and explosions. You can safely use shatter at home, but do not make it at home! If you want to make your own cannabis extracts, there are safer ways to do so which do not involve explosive chemicals. You can make extracts using alcohol, which is flammable but not explosive. You can even make extracts using distilled water. Just have common sense and don’t use dangerous chemicals which produce explosive gases. Cannabis isn’t the danger here; butane is the danger.
- Shatter is usually vaped, not eaten or smoked. Shatter is one of the types of cannabis extracts that you can put in a vape pen or vape mod. This makes it really portable and easy to use. You’re not lighting up a pipe or joint; you’re just pressing a button and taking a puff. Because shatter is so refined, it melts and vaporizes instantly. Good quality shatter leaves little to no residue in your vaporizer. Shatter can also be used in a contraption called a “rig,” which is like a bong but with a nail where you would usully find a bowl. You heat the nail up with a mini butane torch, use a metal dabber to apply a tiny ball of shatter to the nail, and inhale. The high temperature instantly vaporizes the shatter, giving you a high that can knock your socks off.
- Shatter is becoming super popular on the black market. Predictably, because shatter is so concentrated, it is becoming really popular in states where cannabis use is illegal. Obviously, we do not advocate for anyone to break their local laws, so if you live in an area where recreational cannabis use is illegal we recommend that you look for options that are legal. The fact is, though, that shatter is highly portable because it takes so little of it to have an effect, which means that it is a popular black market alternative to dried herb, which requires a far greater volume to have the same effect.
- Shatter is really expensive. Because of its potency, shatter is sold by the gram, not by the ounce. In states where recreational cannabis is legal, shatter retails for up to $60 per gram. On the black market, it probably costs a lot more. (Again, the safest course is to abide by local laws. Don’t break the law, people; change it instead.) The high price tag of shatter might make you think twice about using it. But actually it turns out to be just about as price effective as other kinds of cannabis extract, when you consider how little of it you need to use to get the effect you want.
- Shatter really is driving law enforcement crazy.
10 Facts You Need to Know About ShatterIn states where cannabis is illegal, shatter is causing all sorts of headaches for law enforcement. Because it’s so concentrated and people use it in such small quantities, it is incredibly easy to hide a quantity of shatter that would bring thousands of dollars. Since it doesn’t have the characteristic odor of marijuana, it can be hard to detect. This is what is giving rise to reactionary headlines such as “Shatter, a super-high potency marijuana, is appearing on the east coast”, as if shatter were some spectre of despair making its way across the country. Those who have a vested interest in demonizing marijuana see shatter as a dangerous threat. But in fact, it’s no more dangerous than any other form of cannabis. It’s just stronger.
Mr. BC Seeds
Mr. BC Seeds is an over educated old school hippy who has been involved in the cannabis industry since the 1970's. He is one of the most experienced marijuana breeders in Canada if not the entire world. He was the first to use the most advanced breeding techniques in 2008 to create 42 of the world's strongest cannabis strains. He has been writing in-depth articles about cannabis in Canada for decades and looks forward to continue bringing you cutting edge cannabis strains for the decades to come. Mr. BC Seeds uses a "pen name" because he still travels the world collecting cannabis strains and continues researching cannabis in laboratories of non-legalized countries.