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What Is Shatter Weed? [How to Use it & Side Effects]

Updated: Sep 18, 2023

what is shatter

Cannabis concentrates aren't new concepts in the cannabis community. Ever since their introduction to the market, these substances have ushered in a new and unique way of consuming weed. And today, one of the most popular concentrates in the market today is shatter weed. Shatter weed has risen in popularity amongst other concentrates and is probably the most in-demand cannabis extract out there.

So what is shatter anyway? It is a cannabis extract. And one thing about marijuana extracts is that they are always hard to tell apart. This is why shatter is often mistaken for wax, crumble, and PHO.

This Guide will discuss the distinctive features of Shatter, detail its side effects as well, and show you where to get the best high-quality Shatter in Washington DC.

What is shatter weed?

Shatter weed is a highly potent cannabis extract that is produced through a process of extraction using hydrocarbons like hexane, isopropyl, propane, and butane. The resulting product is a translucent substance that looks like glass and has an extremely high concentration of THC.

It is also known as Butane Hash Oil or BHO, which refers to the process of using liquid gas called butane to extract terpenes and cannabinoids from marijuana plant matter. Butane hash oil or BHO is made using a solvent-based extraction technique that involves forcing pressurized butane through the cannabis flower to obtain its desired compounds like THC and CBD.

Shatter weed looks like amber-colored glass. This concentrate is brittle and can be broken down into smaller pieces, hence its name. It closely resembles a slab of toffee, honey, or maple syrup.

The History Behind Weed Shatter

Here is one remarkable fact; shatter weed and hash have been used for centuries. Its origin can be traced to a traditional practice of hashish production. Its historical use and production process have also been recognized by several authors. In the late 80s, popular author D. Gold published the second edition of his book, titled Cannabis Alchemy: The Art of Modern Hash Making. His book entails full explanations on how to make hash.

Just a year later, Michael Starks, a medical technologist, published a book named Marijuana Chemistry: Genetics Processing and Potency, which included full details of the hash manufacturing process. Both these books discuss the hash-making process and how it has evolved over the years.

Is shatter stronger than hash?

Shatter is generally considered stronger than traditional hashish. Shatter contains higher concentrations of THC, often exceeding 80-90%, while hash typically has THC levels ranging from 20-60%. This higher THC content results in a more potent psychoactive experience when consumed.

what does shatter cannabis look like

How Cannabis Shatter is Made

Shatter THC comes from a rigorous but beautiful process known as extraction. This usually involves a five-step process.

  1. First, an extractor is filled with ground marijuana- these extractors can be found at head shops in DC - however, you can create one yourself, but it is not advisable. The extractors are filled tightly with weed to prevent any air pockets.

  2. The next step involves immersing the marijuana in butane. This is done by spraying butane through the top hole of the extractor until a thick gray or brown oil trickles out. This oil is then collected in a bowl or container.

  3. The 3rd step involves evaporating or distilling the butane. It is a risky process and requires a specialist. The butane cannabis mix is put in a dual boiler and placed over an electric stove. This gradually eliminates the butane and leaves you with marijuana shatter.

  4. After this, it is purified using a pressurized vacuum pump to remove any lingering trace of butane. The last step is to collect your cannabis shatter from its container and store it in a cool and dry place.

Difference Between Shatter THC and Wax

The basic difference between Shatter and Wax is found in its texture. Wax is more malleable and softer than Shatter. Asides from this, both these two have visible differences. THC Shatter maintains a glass-like appearance and can break easily, hence the name shatter. In comparison, the texture of wax is often gooey or creamy.

One thing to note is that the high potency, aroma, and flavor profile of shatter can be identical to wax or oil.

Here are the main differences broken down:

Shatter THC:

  • Appearance: Transparent and glass-like when solid.

  • Consistency: Hard and brittle at room temperature.

  • Texture: Breaks into sharp, glassy pieces when handled.

  • Potency: Typically has high THC content, often above 80%.

  • Extraction Process: Made using butane or CO2 extraction methods.

  • Method of Consumption: Primarily used for dabbing.


  • Appearance: Opaque and has a waxy, butter-like texture.

  • Consistency: Soft and pliable at room temperature.

  • Texture: Easily molds and can be shaped with minimal effort.

  • Potency: Can have varying THC content, usually between 60-80%.

  • Extraction Process: Produced through various methods, including butane, CO2, or solventless techniques.

  • Method of Consumption: Also used for dabbing but can be used in vaporizers or added to joints.

Is shatter the same as dabs?

Shatter and dabs are related but not the same. It is a specific form of cannabis concentrate known for its glass-like texture, while "dabs" is a broader term referring to the act of consuming concentrates by vaporizing or smoking them. Dabs can include different concentrate forms, including shatter.

Dabbing involves heating a small amount of the concentrate on a hot surface, typically a nail or banger, and inhaling the vapor produced. It's known for its potency and rapid onset of effects.

differences between shatter and wax

Common Ways to Use Shatter Weed

One of the reasons why THC shatter has become so popular among cannabis users is its versatility - you can combine it with flower, smoke it with a hash pipe, a vape pen, or even a dab rig. The possibilities are endless.. However, it's important to note that the extraction process can be dangerous if not carried out in a controlled environment, and therefore should only be done by experienced professionals with proper equipment.

If you want to combine weed shatter with cannabis flower, all you need to do is add small pieces of Shatter to a container, then mix it with your joint. This simple method is often used when you don't have any specialized gear. But it does have one downside, the extract's taste might be ruined during the process of mixing.

Using a hash pipe is the traditional way to go. It doesn't need any unique processes or rigs, as the hash pipe is made explicitly for this. Vaping is often regarded as one of the best ways to smoke your hash because the pure flavor of the concentrates is extracted to the fullest. You can also use a dab rig to smoke your shatter. This involves vaporizing it on hot surfacing and inhaling its vapor through a dab rig.

Side Effects of Shatter

Shatter weed is a cannabis concentrate - which means it has very high levels of THC, and like any other cannabis product, it has adverse effects when over-consumed. Some of these side effects include anxiety, paranoia, trouble concentrating, loss of memory, and a lack of coordination. So it is recommended that you take minimum doses each session to avoid all of these nasty side effects.

Precautions on Shatter Weed Addiction & Dependency

  • Moderation: Use in moderation to reduce the risk of dependency.

  • Set Limits: Establish personal usage limits and stick to them.

  • Seek Professional Help: If you suspect a problem, seek help from a healthcare provider or addiction counselor.

  • Avoid Mixing Substances: Do not mix shatter with other substances like alcohol or opioids.

  • Build a Support System: Surround yourself with friends and family who can help you stay accountable.

Try Using CBD Shatter Instead

If you're worried about the side effects and dependency of shatter marijuana, try CBD shatter instead. CBD is a non-intoxicating compound found in cannabis that offers therapeutic benefits without the high. CBD shatter provides a similar experience to traditional shatter but with reduced psychoactive effects.

CBD shatter is growing in popularity for its therapeutic benefits without unwanted side effects. It offers the benefits of cannabis without anxiety, paranoia, or other adverse reactions.

side effects of shatter

Conclusion on THC Shatter

In conclusion, shatter weed is a highly potent cannabis concentrate that offers a rapid onset of effects. Its versatility allows it to be used in various ways, making it a popular choice among cannabis enthusiasts.

If you're looking to get some high quality shatter, the best and most reliable place is Top Level DC. At Top Level, marijuana flower and concentrates are gifted responsibly to individuals 21 years and above, as required by the Initiative 71 laws. We offer only the best cannabis products in the market, have a 4.9-star rating on Google Reviews, and rank as the highest-rated head shop in Washington DC.

Shop online or call us today at (202) 740-6670 to place your order. Check out the Top Level online menu here. Enjoy in-store shopping! For Top Level DC hours, please check our website. Also, follow us on Instagram to learn more about buying art prints for free weed gifts in Washington DC with our 420-friendly and Initiative 71-compliant gifts.

get free shatter gifts in DC

Other Types of Marijuana Concentrates

Interested in learning more about a type of cannabis concentrate? Check out some below:

Live Resin

Live resin is made from fresh, flash-frozen cannabis plants, preserving the plant's terpenes and flavors. It's known for its strong aroma and flavor profile, making it a popular choice for those seeking a full-spectrum experience.


Rosin is a solventless concentrate made by applying heat and pressure to cannabis flower or hash. It's favored for its purity and simplicity of production. Rosin is often used for dabbing or adding to joints.


Budder is a creamy and smooth concentrate with a texture similar to whipped butter. It's made through a specific extraction process and is favored for its ease of use and consistency.


Wax is a sticky and highly concentrated cannabis extract. It's named for its waxy texture and can have THC levels exceeding 90%. It's commonly used for dabbing, where it's vaporized and inhaled.

Hashish (Hash)

Hash oil is made from compressed resin glands (trichomes) from the cannabis plant. It's typically consumed by smoking or vaporizing. Hash comes in various forms, including solid bricks or softer, pliable textures.

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