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What is Marijuana Shatter and Wax?
(Photo: symic/Flickr)

Shatter and wax are different types of marijuana concentrates.

As legal marijuana becomes more available, many people are starting to experiment with new ways of getting high.

You may have heard of a type of marijuana called shatter or wax. These products are known as concentrates and are sold today in many dispensaries.

But what exactly are marijuana concentrates and what makes them so popular? In this guide, we explore the differences between shatter, wax and other concentrates and how to best consume them.

What are Marijuana Concentrates?

What are Marijuana Concentrates?
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Concentrates are extracts of marijuana that contain high concentrations of THC and other compounds. Because of their strong potency, concentrates are a popular choice for those seeking a more intense high.

While marijuana flowers usually have 10-20% THC, marijuana concentrates can contain anywhere from 50-90% THC. Concentrates are also rich in terpenes, which are compounds that give different strains of marijuana their unique aromas.

Concentrates come in many different forms that range in consistency, color and texture. Different names are given to them based on appearance and how they are made. These include butane hash oil (BHO), shatter, wax, honeycomb, errl, nectar, crumble, budder, and many more.

Concentrates are available today in many dispensaries and vary in color from light yellow to a deep golden brown.

While marijuana typically sells for $10-20 per gram, high quality concentrates are much pricier and can cost upwards of $70-100 per gram.

What is Marijuana Shatter?

What is Marijuana Shatter?
(Photo: mongohands/Reddit)

Shatter is one of the most popular marijuana concentrates, and also the most potent. The strongest forms of shatter can contain up to 90% THC. It has a clear, translucent appearance that is often compared to glass or honey.

The name “shatter” comes from the fact that these concentrates will shatter like glass if hit or dropped.

Some forms of shatter appear glass-like and have a texture that is brittle and hard, while other types are more runny with an appearance that resembles thick honey or sap.

“Pull-and-snap” refers to shatter with a consistency that doesn’t resemble glass or sap, but instead falls somewhere in the middle.

What is Marijuana Wax?

What is Marijuana Wax?
(Photo: mongohands/Reddit)

Wax is another type of concentrate that you might find at your local dispensary. Compared to shatter, wax products are less potent and usually test around 70% THC. The name “wax” refers to the opaque, wax-like appearance of these products.

Wax has a more complex texture than shatter because of the way that it’s made. The unique texture of wax comes from special chemical structures that are formed by physical agitation during the extraction process.

Like shatter, different forms of wax can vary in texture and consistency, ranging from sticky and moist to more solid and dry.

Sticky forms of wax are called “budder” and look similar to peanut butter. On the other hand, products that have a dry, crumbly texture are known as “crumble.”

How Concentrates Are Made

How Concentrates Are Made
(Photo: Mr Extractor)

Concentrates are made through an extraction process that uses a gas solvent (usually butane, CO2 or propane) to extract the active compounds in marijuana.

Once the compounds are extracted from the plant, the solvent is evaporated, leaving behind a highly potent substance that is known as a concentrate.

Differences in temperature and moisture levels during extraction are responsible for the different textures and consistencies seen in various concentrates.

While some people try to make concentrates at home, the process is dangerous and has been known to cause accidental explosions. Most concentrates sold in dispensaries are produced in commercial facilities that use high-grade equipment to ensure quality and safety.

Because concentrates are usually made with butane, concentrates are often called butane hash oil or butane honey oil (BHO). Concentrates are also sometimes referred to as THC oil, hash oil, CO2 oil or dabs.

How To Consume Shatter and Wax

The most popular way to consume concentrates like shatter and wax is known as dabbing. Dabbing involves smoking a small dose or “dab” of concentrate using special equipment known as a dab rig.

A dab rig looks like a regular bong but instead of a bowl it has a nail which must be heated up, either electronically or using a handheld torch. Once the nail is hot enough (550-750°F), a small amount of concentrate is placed on the nail, releasing a vapor that can be inhaled.

Besides dabbing, concentrates can also be consumed using a vaporizer. While older vaporizers are designed to work with dried flowers only, many newer models allow users to vaporize concentrates as well.

Some vaporizers come with different chambers to hold flowers and concentrates, while other vaporizers are designed just for concentrates.