Shatter is just one form of the larger category of marijuana products known as “dabs.” It can be used in a wide range of vaporizer devices and oil rigs as it performs essentially the same function as an oil, budder or wax. However, on the whole, shatter is far more potent than other concentrates due to the advanced refinement processes used to create it.
The name shatter suggests these products are hard and subject to fracturing. This is pretty close to the truth. When you see shatter on the shelf, you will notice it has a smooth, glossy finish and appears mostly solid. It can be broken off in tiny bits to feed your vape pen or rig.
Shatter is most renowned for its high THC content. Typically, shatter contains 80 percent THC or greater, while other dabs offer 70 percent or less, depending on their manufacturing and raw materials.
The high THC content of shatter is achieved by refining the concentrate twice, further removing waxes, turpenes, fats and other chemicals. As a result, shatter does lose much of the flavor and scent properties the original bud had to offer. It is the purest form of THC available.
The main difference between shatter and wax is the secondary refinement of the concentrate. Wax products only undergo concentration one time and are typically whipped or cooled in a way that causes them to turn opaque.
Opacity indicates that the cell structure of the final product will never harden into the characteristic solidity of shatter, but rather will stay in more of a waxy, peanut butter state. The less-refined wax also retains more turpenes than shatter and will have a stronger flavor and scent at the expense of potency.
Cannabis shatter requires special care to produce reliably. As a result, it is not always available. Even a single unexpected disruption to the manufacturing process could cause the shatter to turn to wax instead. For users who are new to using dabs, it is recommended that you begin with oils and work your way up to the higher-potency shatter products over time.