Among all forms of cannabis, extracts are probably the most in-demand cannabis forms these days. They are one of the many marijuana products processed through separating the active and potent essences from the plant material. And as opposed to the traditional marijuana smoke, it offers a one-of-a-kind and a lot better experience.
While all extracts show high potency, an extract called “shatter” is known to have higher cannabinoid content compared to other types. In fact, it contains 80 to 90 percent of THC, high enough to produce extreme psychotic episodes. And surprisingly, there is more to it than that.
What Is A Shatter?
Shatter is an extract categorized under cannabis extract. It is also known as Butane Hash Oil or BHO. And as what its name suggests, the term was derived from how the product looks like after it is made. Its form and its consistency look like brittle, broken pieces of candy. Moreover, it is recognized as one of the most potent forms of concentrate and in general as well.
A Brief History
Although some enthusiasts believed that extracts have been of used since the early 1940s, it was only in the mid-2000s when it became popular. Its popularization had started when people slowly moved from smoking to dabbing, which seemed to be a significant shift in the cannabis market during that time.
On the one hand, shatter is believed to have started way back when the production of hashish began. But it was only in the year 1990 when essences, including it, was refined into new and modernized concentrates. It was also around the year 1990 when it was first sold to the public. And the first producer of extracts was the Canadian manufacturer named BudderKing.
Furthermore, BudderKing’s cannabis products had also got the chance to reach different dispensaries worldwide around the year 2003. By 2005, the magazine Cannabis Culture had published an article about the pharmacology and different techniques on how to utilize marijuana extracts. And finally, it became the most popular among consumers by the end of 2010.
The Extraction Process
Just like some of the concentrates, it is processed through infusing a heated solvent to remove and separate the active compounds from the plant. And typically, dab-makers use butane to do the extraction.
According to enthusiasts, butane is an excellent chemical to use in removing essential compounds like CBD, THC, THCA, and Terpenes from the plant. It is also a great solution to separate cannabinoids from the Trichomes found in the leaves, which in turn helps in condensing the cannabinoids; making it hard and brittle in consistency. Furthermore, it is a non-polar solution which evaporates easily even at room temperature. Hence, it makes it a great chemical to use in the extraction process.
On the other hand, butane is known as a flammable solvent. Because of it, it needs to be handled by people who have vast knowledge about butane as well as the procedure. It should also be made inside a fully-equipped laboratory with specialized equipment and safety gear to maintain the safety of people involved. Thus, performing it at home is not advisable, especially to amateur users.
How Does It Differ From Other Extracts?
What separates it from the others, aside from its strong and intense psychotic effects, is that it contains a low amount of “terpenes.” Terpenes are among the many essential elements in marijuana. It is responsible for giving each end product a distinct and unique taste as well as scent.
On the one hand, shatter does not need terpenes. In fact, having low to zero amount of these elements is what makes the form and consistency of it different from the others. For an essence like butane hash oil or budder to look soggy, it needs to have a high concentration of terpenes. And since its consistency is hard and brittle, terpenes are not required.
Curing And Heating
Some consumers prefer it to have a small number of terpenes. However, some want it pure. Fortunately, the process of getting rid of terpenes entirely is plain and simple: add more heat to the material.
To do it, separate the essence from the plant using butane first. Once the solution has volatilized, slightly increase the heat for about 98 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, to ensure that it will result in a pure strain, some use a vacuum. Then that’s it. It will yield a stable and well-concentrated extract.
Is It Safe To Use?
Until now, debates, whether they are dangerous or not for the consumer, are still ongoing. Some people even question and scrutinized their capabilities and safety. It is true especially for those who are new and looking for accurate information about the pros and cons of using them.
On a brighter note, consuming concentrates is proven safe for adult users. In fact, its three main components (cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids) were tested to have no harmful effects to the lungs as well to the brain. And according to studies made by different states like Oregon, Colorado, and Washington, they also contain a very low concentration of remaining hydrocarbon after the extraction. However, it depends on what method used.
It Goes Through A Series Of Lab Tests
Another reason why they are safe to use is that all states where cannabis is allowed require all manufacturers to have lab analyses on all its recreational products. And if the product is found to have foreign and harmful contaminants, it will be rejected. Thus, as long as the seller has a permit and shows evidence that the products undergone lab tests, then the extracts are safe.
What Are Cannabidiol Shatters?
Aside from the famous strain which contains high level of THC, pure CBD strain also exists. While some enthusiasts like the temporary light-headed and euphoric feeling, others prefer to take advantage of the healing properties of CBD. Instead of mind-altering effects, they are after its health benefits. Among its therapeutic advantages are pain relief, anti-inflammatory, and neurodegenerative healing.
Another reason to love it is that it is an excellent antidepressant. And through dabbing or directly inhaling the vapor from the burning material, its cannabinoids can quickly travel from the lungs through the bloodstream and into the brain. Hence, its calming effects can usually be felt right after the material is inhaled.
It is also an excellent everyday treat. Since it does not make a person feel high, it is okay to use at any time of the day. In fact, it can help the mind to stay sharp and focus, which is perfect for people who have everyday work and errands. And apart from that, it is recommended for those who want quick relief from stress and anxiety but does not want to feel euphoria.
How To Use Marijuana Extracts
Using extracts is as simple as smoking a blunt or a joint. In fact, there are several options to choose from. It can be consumed through smoking it directly, using an oil or dab rig, or using a vaporizer. But whether it is through a vaporizer or an oil rig, its effects is still true to its promises. Here’s why:
The most convenient way to smoke it is through joints. It is recommended especially for those who are new to using concentrates and would like to explore its effects. It will also help the user to gauge how much dosage his body can take after several tries.
Smoking it using rolling papers has a slight disadvantage. In fact, it can be a little bit tricky because most of the concentrate could possibly go to waste. Hence, the consumer won’t be able to indulge himself while smoking it completely.
The oil rig is one of the most popular methods among the three. Apart from it is mainly built for concentrates, the way it burns helps the material to easily release its active compounds. Unlike smoking through a joint which often ruins the quality of the material while being burned.
The appearance, as well as the procedure for using an oil rig, is quite similar to a glass bong. It is a glass pipe connected to a chamber and a mouthpiece. To use it, the user should heat the nail attached near the mouthpiece first. Once the pin turns red, scoop up a small amount of dab and place it on the nail. The heat of the nail will then burn the extract, causing it to evaporate into clouds of thick smoke. And once the rig is full of smoke, then it is ready to be consumed.
The perfect heat for the nail is between 550 and 750 degrees Fahrenheit. It is extremely hot, so always remember to wear proper kind of gloves to avoid unwanted burns.
Vaping it might not be as popular or convenient like smoking using a joint or an oil rig. Still, there are enthusiasts who prefer vaporizers.
There are two kinds of the vaping tool: the portable and the desktop vaporizer. The desktop vaporizer, although enormous, is not as light as the portable one. And even though both can burn the essence evenly, most consumers prefer the portable one. As a result, desktop vaporizers were replaced by what they call now “shatter vape pens.”
Vape pens are explicitly designed to use on extracts such as wax and oil. One of the reasons why it is an excellent substitute for oil rig and rolling paper is that it can provide an untainted and pure flavor of the material. That way, it lets users to experience the utmost quality of cannabis extracts ultimately. Aside from it, vape pens allow the user to inhale the smoke without the burning. Perfect for those who like smoking but do not want to endanger their health.
Shatter and Its Enticing Potency
The shatter extract is indeed popular among cannabis users. There is no doubt that many enthusiasts— especially the younger and dauntless generation— want to try marijuana concentrates. It is true especially for those whose preferences cannot be satisfied by the highs cannabis buds alone can give. With its enticing promise of high THC levels and strong psychedelic effects, who do not want to indulge in a higher euphoric state of mind?