February 15, 2019
What is shatter?
The first time you see someone pull out a torch, a metal piece and a glassy substance you may be alarmed. Fear not, it’s just shatter. What is shatter? Shatter is a cannabis concentrate or extract.
What exactly are cannabis extracts and concentrates?
Cannabis extracts are refined cannabis products that contain a higher concentration of cannabinoids.
Cannabis concentrates come in a variety of textures and viscosities based on the process used for extraction. Consistency is determined by the amount of moisture in the end product. Another factor is molecular disruption. In other words, if the concentrate is agitated during the extraction process, it may lose its transparency and become a softer, waxier texture. Changes in temperature, humidity, and oxygen exposure may also affect the texture.
Why use cannabis concentrates?
Concentrate’s potency allows consumers to use less material for the same effects. Cannabis concentrates are also cleaner than smoking flowers. As all the fat and waxes have been removed. Concentrates also only produce a light vapor, that doesn’t hang in the air or stick to clothes the way smoke does.
Types of Cannabis Concentrates
Kief is the simplest of concentrates. Commonly referred to as dry sift or pollen. Kief is the resin glands found on the trichomes of cannabis flowers. If you use a grinder with a screen on it chances are you’ve already encountered kief. Kief often contains fibrous material and chlorophyll from the cannabis plant.
Hash, also known as hashish, is the waxy substance formed when the cannabis trichomes are pressed into a solid block. Usually made by agitating the cannabis plant material over screens. Or washing the plant material in an ice water mixture then filtering through screens. 1 and 2-star hash is generally considered to be “food grade” and isn’t smoked or dabbed. 3 and 4-star hash, sometimes called half melt, is the most popular grade. 3 and 4-star hash can be added to joints or bowls. Full-melt is considered 5 and 6-star hash. This product can be dabbed leaving only a small amount of plant residue.
Butane Hash Oil (BHO)
BHO refers generally to extracts made by exposing cannabis plant material to Butane. This method of extraction presents some dangers as butane can cause chemical burns to bare skin in addition to being extremely flammable. Modern Butane extraction systems operate using a closed loop system that uses a pump. Butane extractions can take on a variety of forms, including oil, shatter, sugar wax and more complex extractions.
Shatter is probably the most common type of concentrate. Consumers know it for its brittle, glass-like texture. It can also have a snap-and-pull consistency.
Experts make budder by pouring cannabis extract into a glass vessel. Then whipping it while applying heat. Often budder will have bubbles throughout resulting in an appearance similar to a honeycomb.
HTFSE, HCFSE, FSE
HTFSE, HCFSE, FSE all refer to extractions made with special attention to retaining as much of the original plant profile as possible. HT refers to high terpene. The aromatic compounds that affect flavor. HC refers to high cannabinoid, high presence of THC or CBD. FSE refers to Full Spectrum Extract. An accurate representation of the flower used for the extract. This type of concentrate is still fairly new to the market and producers are keeping their methods secret.
Distillate is a pure form of cannabis oil which is nearly 100% THC. Distillate is a beautiful golden, translucent, oil. Raw distillate looks a lot like honey but is flavorless.
How do I use concentrates or extracts?
One of the most discreet and popular ways is vape pens. Which contains cannabis oil extracts or allows the user to insert their own concentrate like shatter. Traditional concentrate setups include a water pipe, a nail, a dome, and a torch. A nail refers to the metal, glass, or ceramic spike attached to a water pipe. Once you heat the nail, either by a torch or electronically, apply the concentrates to the nail.
If you want to avoid using a torch to heat up the nail, explore an electric nail. It’s an electronic system that heats your nail. Allowing you to smoke without using an open flame.
Cannabis concentrates are not for beginners and should be used responsibly and safely. They are a great option for people looking for increased flavor and potency. Concentrates have become increasingly popular! They are sure to increase in variety and accessibility.