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 Different?
Shatter does not differ considerably from other forms of marijuana extracts when it comes to practical use. Everything is consumed with mostly the same potency range and in mainly the same ways. Shatter, however, is quite unique due to its appearance.
Possessing an amber or gold color, it has a certain degree of transparency. Shatter’s semi-clarity has something to do with the molecular arrangement of the extracted cannabis oil. In shatter, the molecules are all stacked in neat, perfect rows, one above the other. 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.
Other than shatter and sap, concentrates are stirred, shaken or whipped around as part of the process, throwing the individual molecules in disarray. Since shatter does not go through this type of processing, it retains a translucent property.
Otherwise, when cannabis oil molecules are disrupted, irregular opaque structures are produced, and light is unable to pass through as freely. This makes shatter a lot more transparent compared to wax. Disruption of the oil creates opaque wax or similar cannabis concentrates different from the crystal concentrates in shatter.
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. 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. 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.
Shatter’s molecular structure also makes it more stable, which means it will take much longer to degrade as opposed to wax and other similar extracts. While it is harder to apportion to single uses due to its tough consistency, practice often makes the task easier.