What Is Shatter And How Do You Use It?

by Brad P
Emjay Shatter. Photo by Cambridge Jenkins IV on Unsplash

Shatter, badder, dabs, wax, oil, crumble, hash, honeycomb, budder, flower… if your head’s spinning, don’t worry it’s not the bud. As cannabis cultivation and production have advanced over the years, weed geniuses have been consistently developing new ways to get high. We’re totally here for it.

It can also be pretty overwhelming to navigate, especially for new or more traditional cannabis users. This is exactly why we’re here to break down everything you need to know about cannabis concentrates like shatter. What is it, how do you smoke it, and what should you expect when you finally get your hands on some? 

You’ve got questions, and we’ve got answers. Just sit back, relax and spark a blunt while we spill the tea on shatter, and how you can get some delivered to your door today. 

What is shatter?

A translucent or transparent concentrate that looks suspiciously like a flat, amber-colored Jolly Rancher, shatter is one of the purest and most potent forms of cannabis. It’s made by extracting the pure THC and cannabinoids from cannabis by soaking it in various solvents such as Butane, CO2, isopropyl alcohol, or ice water. This extraction process results in an amber liquid that hardens as it sets.

While it might sound simple, the process of creating concentrates is actually incredibly scientific and complex. If you imagine the molecules in concentrates as building blocks, then shatter is created by stacking the blocks neatly and tightly on top of each other, like building a wall. This molecular arrangement is what turns cannabis into shatter and creates the thin, translucent final product.

We know making shatter sounds simple which means you may be tempted to give it a shot yourself. We definitely do not recommend DIY when it comes to concentrates. Remember, the process involves chemical solutions and a product that will eventually be inhaled. For safety, we suggest only purchasing concentrates from a reputable, professional source.

How do I smoke shatter?

Just like flower, everyone has their own preference when it comes to how to smoke shatter. While you can smoke shatter using most traditional methods, many cannabis users who smoke shatter frequently recommend using a “dab rig”. 

What’s a dab rig? 

A dab rig is a specially designed bong that is specifically used to vaporize concentrates like shatter. While a dab rig is similar to a traditional bong, there are some important modifications that make it better for smoking concentrates. Specifically, a dab rig has two important pieces that are essential for smoking shatter: a quartz banger (or sometimes referred to as a nail) and a dome.

Like a bong, a dab rig has a vertical chamber, a mouthpiece, and a hole. Instead of inserting a bowl in the hole, that’s where the quartz banger goes. First, you heat the banger (typically with a blowtorch), then place the shatter on the hot nail and cover it with the dome (a spherical glass piece that fits over the banger). The hot nail vaporizes the shatter while the dome keeps all that good stuff locked in for you to inhale through the mouth of the dab rig. This will draw the vapor through the water chamber and into your lungs.

When you use a dab rig, you are inhaling the highly-concentrated form of cannabis directly. As opposed to combining the shatter with flower, as in the other methods. Start with small measured tokes until you have a better idea of how you’ll react to a potent THC concentrate like shatter.

Can I smoke shatter in a joint, blunt, etc?

Fortunately, there’s more than one way to enjoy shatter, so you’ve got options if you’re not in the market to purchase a rig dedicated to concentrates just yet. To add shatter to your hand or pre-rolled joint or blunt, simply break up your shatter into small pieces and sprinkle it evenly on top of your joint or blunt before closing it up. Break up a very small amount, less than .1 of a gram. If you’ve purchased a pre-roll and want to add shatter, you’ll have to deconstruct the cone or joint, mix in your shatter, and then re-roll it. You could also carefully melt the shatter and roll it around the sides of the preroll, a sticky yet effective option.

Concentrate-infused prerolls are gaining in popularity in legal markets, so you can also purchase a preroll with shatter already infused in it. One cool option is Lola Lola’s infused prerolls.

Can I smoke shatter in a bowl or bong?

Cannabisseurs are an innovative bunch. Leave us in an empty room with an apple, a lighter, and an eighth we’ll be high in 10 minutes. So, obviously, we’ve come up with ways to smoke pretty much any cannabis product from a traditional bong or bowl. 

First, fill your bowl about halfway with cut or ground flower, then drop in a couple pieces of broken-up shatter on top, and fill the rest of the way with more flower. While it may not be the most efficient way to enjoy a top-shelf product like shatter, it definitely gets the job done. In fact, we would recommend this or the joint/blunt method for more casual smokers or those looking to dip their toes in the water before committing to purchasing a dedicated rig.

What should I expect when I smoke shatter?

Shatter typically runs in the 70& to 80%+ THC range, which is 2-3 times as strong as a really strong flower, so you can definitely expect to feel its effects. Long-time shatter users report an almost instantaneous high with enhanced visual and physical effects. 

How high you get using shatter depends on the strain of cannabis used to create the shatter, and your smoke method. If you smoke it mixed with flower, your reaction can vary based on the strains of both the shatter and the flower. Generally speaking, if you’re mixing shatter with flower in a bowl or joint, an experienced cannabis user would feel an enhanced buzz that shouldn’t be overwhelming or surprising. If you are new to smoking or a casual cannabis user that wants to try shatter, this method would allow you to test out a stronger dose and gauge your reaction.

Can I get shatter delivered?

Feeling confident that you’re ready to get shattered? We’ve got you covered with same-day delivery! If you’re trying shatter for the first time, we suggest checking out this Gelato shatter from King’s Garden. It’s a well-balanced hybrid shatter that will give you a strong body high worth writing home about.

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