Shatter is a relatively recent creation in weed consumption. They are a type of cannabis concentrate that’s produced using solvents. Shatter’s appearance is typically translucent, though there colouring can range from a bright amber colour to a darker yellow shade similar to olive oil. Shatters may appear to have the same consistency, but the physical texture of each product can vary from extremely brittle to a snap-and-pull quality. This variation inconsistency gives some insight into an individual product’s cannabinoid profile.
The History of Shatters
Cannabis concentrates have been around for about as long as humans have been enjoying the benefits of marijuana. However, the way cannabis concentrates are made and consumed has evolved dramatically in just the past few years. If there’s a single style of concentrate that epitomizes this huge shift in cannabis technology and culture, it’s definitely shatters. In the early 90s, the process of modern cannabis concentrate production was being refined, and what we’d now consider shatters was first produced.
How To Store Shatters
When stored improperly, shatter can begin to break down and lose its initial consistency, flavour or potency, leading to a very unsatisfactory high. To prevent this degradation, shatter should always be stored in an airtight and light-proof container and ideally stored in a cool room to ensure Shatter stays consistent for as long as possible. Shatter should not be stored anywhere heat will be a factor, for example, a cupboard by a heating event in direct sunlight. The heat causes the cannabinoids and terpenes to activate which should ideally happen only upon consumption, not while it’s resting in a container.
How Shatters Are Made
Despite the range of textures and colours, all shatter follows a similar production process. If solutions are mishandled at any point of production, or if the shatter isn’t stored correctly, as mentioned previously it may ultimately yield a disappointing product.
Shatter can be made from a variety of materials. When making shatter, the Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is separated from the raw flower through an extraction process that uses heat and compression. Next, any unwanted cannabinoids are removed with a solvent-induced vacuum purge.
Shatter can be made with many kinds of solvents, but the most common chemicals during the extraction process are liquefied petroleum gas or ethanol. Solvent extraction uses chemistry to strip away the desirable cannabinoids and terpenes, resulting in a volatile mixture. Then, depending on how you extract the THC, you can end up with wax, shatter or another type of hash oil.
Next comes a purifying step called degasification. The crude marijuana extract is poured onto trays and load them into a vacuum oven, which sucks out residual hydrocarbons which then boil off. It is a difficult process as the terpenes, the fragrant organic molecules behind the marijuana and various aromatic properties, are highly volatile, and many have boiling points close to the solvents. The end result is crystal-clear sheets of glittering golden glass. Nothing else looks quite like a slab of superb shatter.
How Should Shatters Be Consumed?
Shatter must be heated and then smoked. Perhaps the best way to use shatter is with a pipe or bong used for consuming concentrates, extracts and oils. They heat up to temperatures as high as 400 degrees celsius. This process, however, can be a little tricky, so if it’s your first time, ask someone who has done it before.
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