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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 is taken from the translucent texture of this cannabis concentrate that makes it “shatter” like glass.
Cannabis concentrates are made by treating thoroughly crushed cannabis material with a solvent like hexane or CO2. This result is a thick amber-colored cannabis oil rich in the plant’s active chemical compounds.
Why Is Shatter Different?
For most practical purposes, shatter is only slightly different from other kinds of marijuana extracts. Both consumption and potency range are largely the same for each one. Of course, shatter is quite unique because of how it looks.
It is, to some degree, transparent and has an amber or golden color. Shatter concentrate’s semi-clarity is produced by the extracted cannabis oil’s molecular structure. The molecules in shatter are set up uniformly in rows one on top of 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.
Except for shatter and sap, all the whipping, shaking or stirring done to concentrates during processing agitate the molecules. Because shatter does not “experience” this type of processing, it retains a translucent nature.
Otherwise, when cannabis oil molecules are disrupted, irregular opaque structures are produced, and light is unable to pass through as freely. This is the reason shatter and wax are so different in terms of transparency. Disturbing the oil results in the formation of opaque wax or similar cannabis concentrates which are different from shatter’s clear concentrates.
Advantages of Shatter
Dabbing shatter has a huge advantage – cannabinoids end up in the bloodstream incredibly faster, thus causing near-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. Certainly a plus! Instead of inhaling smoke, which comes with tons of toxic substances, users can just dab once or twice to get their cannabinoids, taking in strictly vapor.
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. It’s probably more difficult to separate into individual portions due to its tough consistency, but this minor issue can be easily addressed with practice.