In the cannabis industry, you may run across different names to describe different forms of cannabis, formulation processes, and the identity of many plants and products. Sometimes a name stands out that begs to be explained more closely to offer more insight and knowledge to the cannabis-curious and to patients who rely on medicinal cannabis as part of their treatment for various medical conditions, and wish to know more about the products they’re taking.
Something that’s trending in the cannabis industry as of late are “Concentrates”, which is a general term describing the extracts that are produced by the cannabis plant.
The extracts from the cannabis plant condense the cannabinoid compounds of THC and CBD, which can in turn produce a content of THC (which is the more potent compound of cannabis that provides the psychoactive high) of over 80%.
Because the concentrates from cannabis plants have become such a strong draw with a high demand and desire for them, they can be quite expensive, with prices for a gram ranging from $25 to $100 with respect to the potency, consistency, caliber, and where they are available.
The concentrates that come from the cannabis plant are in an array of forms and consistencies that vary from each other, plus they have slang terms that uniquely identify them, which can be tied to their appearance after extraction processes and solvent treatments have taken place.
Maybe you’ve heard of some of the many names the concentrates go by. There’s “wax”, “errl”, “dabs”, “budder”, and more. These are just a sampling of nicknames that have emerged based on the diversity, trendiness, and pervasiveness of cannabis extracts. The concentrate nickname we’ll focus on today is “Shatter”.
Processing shatter and its high potency
Shatter refers to the type of cannabis concentrate that resembles honey when it’s processed from the cannabis plant. This is accomplished by first taking the buds from the plant and then feeding a solvent of CO2, propane or butane through the buds to withdraw all of the essential chemicals. Next is the evaporation process that removes the solvent from the mixture, which leaves behind the resins of the plant. These are the psychoactive chemicals found in marijuana.
There’s also a reason why shatter is so clear and flawless looking. If the molecules in the substance aren’t disturbed by movement or similar interruptions, they will create the glassy, pure look.
When shatter is warm, it can look very much like a pool of thick, golden honey. But as it cools and hardens, its consistency takes on more glass-like features. If it’s dropped or even tapped it looks like shattered glass, hence the nickname “shatter”.
The look of shatter is like flawless amber glass. As such, it has been known and recognized as being an extract of the purest and cleanest quality.
Since shatter has some of the highest amounts of terpenes found in any of the extracted concentrates, it produces a high that’s not only powerful, but also long-lasting. Its potency is figured out to contain up to 80% cannabinoid content.
Shatter and ways to smoke it
How do you smoke a concentrated form of cannabis like shatter? Well, there are a couple of ways that are known. You can use an oil rig for one (no, not that kind!). Using an oil rig to smoke shatter is the more desired method.
Oil rigs are glass pipes that have a look that’s almost identical to a bong, with a vertical chamber with a mouthpiece and hole. A small nail (an attachment used to convert the the concentrate into an optimal form for smoking) is inserted that’s made of glass or metal.
When the nail turns red from the heat, a metal dabber is used to spoon up some of the shatter which is then re-dabbed onto the nail. This action causes the oil to spark and send a up a thick smoke plume which can be inhaled through the oil rig.
Another way is to take ground cannabis and fill up your bowl. Add some additional dab drops to the pot and fill up the remaining portion of the pipe with cannabis. Spark up after filling the pipe to release the smoke of the shatter. The important thing to remember is to not let the flame come into contact with the shatter!
A delicate and artful concentrate
On dispensary shelves, shatter is without a doubt the most sought after and popular of concentrates. This is due in part to is looks, which with its clear amber warmth and transparent beauty, even attracts people to art shows where it’s been used to create impressive shatter sculptures!
Overall, concentrates have gained significant popularity for at least four outstanding reasons:
- They’re more potent than the normal cannabis flower, which helps make them more economical to consume from a quantity standpoint than traditional forms of cannabis.
- With their higher potency, patients who rely on medicinal cannabis can achieve better and longer lasting relief than with the flower variety of cannabis edibles.
- More efficient in delivering approved doses of the drug, patients with medical ailments and needs for fast relief can rely more confidently on the effects of cannabis concentrates that have a greater dose of cannabinoids to treat their afflictions and symptoms.
Smoking shatter is nothing to feel apprehensive about. With easy administering methods available to you to learn the best that works for you and your medical cannabis needs, all you need to start out your experience is some cannabis, wax, rolling papers, and a pipe!