Shatter is one of the most versatile concentrates out there, but how can it be consumed? Below we’re breaking down how to smoke shatter, as well as a couple of ways you can do it if you don’t feel like investing in a dab rig and all the accessories.
What is shatter?
Shatter is a type of cannabis concentrate known for its glass-like appearance and its tendency to shatter when broken up. It was one of the first concentrates to make an appearance when people were messing with it back in the 90s, before the dab rig and all of the technology we have today. By 2003, it became a staple in dispensaries and after a few magazine articles, people all over the country learned how to make it and enjoy it.
Shatter is made when cannabis flowers or trim are blasted with butane to extract THC from the materials. The final result is an oil that, when laid out to dry and harden, turns into shatter. You know you’re looking at shatter when you find it in a translucent amber to honey colored concentrate stored in a piece of parchment paper, and if it’s brittle when you handle it.
Some shatters may take on a taffy-like texture that snaps when you pull it. However, it’s still considered shatter. Sappy shatter tends to be higher in THC, while brittle shatter is higher in THC-A. Both compounds are equally active when you dab them, so don’t let the texture scare you away from a good thing. On average, shatter checks in between 60-80% THC/THCa.
But with that out of the way, let’s get down to the fun part: how to smoke shatter.
How to Smoke Shatter Using a Dab Rig
Wondering how to use shatter? The best way to smoke shatter is with a dab rig in the process known as “dabbing”. Dabbing involves vaporizing the concentrate on a hot surface until it becomes an inhalable vapor. Here’s a breakdown on that process and a few key components you’ll need to do it right.
You will need:
- A dab rig
- A quartz banger
- A butane torch
- A dab tool
- A carb cap
- Your favorite shatter
- Rubbing alcohol and cotton swabs
- A timer or infrared thermometer (optional)
- Assemble your dab station: Add some water to the chamber in your dab rig and slide your quartz nail into the rig. Have your carb cap, torch, dab tool, concentrates, and timer handy. Use the dab tool to scrape a bit of shatter so it’s ready for your sesh.
- Heat your nail: Using the torch, apply direct heat to your quartz banger for 30-40 seconds. From there, you can allow it to cool for around the same amount of time. It’s important to note that these are guidelines that will need to be adjusted depending on your banger. It helps to have a timer handy to help prevent wasting your dab. However, if you want to get really technical, you can use a digital laser thermometer to get a precise temperature before you hit your dab. You’ll want to be ready to drop the dab in when the banger reaches between 500 and 650°F.
- Apply the shatter to the banger: Using the dab tool, drop your shatter into the warm banger. It will begin vaporizing immediately.
- Cap your banger: Once your shatter is in the banger vaporizing, place a carb cap on top of the banger to prevent the vapor from escaping and improve your hit. The carb cap helps circulate the concentrate so that it vaporizes more effectively, but it also improves the pull of your rig so you get a more concentrated hit.
- Inhale: Once you’re capped, start inhaling your dab! You’ll draw the vapor from the dab rig, allowing it to cool down inside the rig. This improves the flavor and reduces the harshness of your shatter, making for a better tasting vapor. Keep inhaling until you can’t pull any more vapor from your rig.
- Swab your banger clean: To protect your banger and save money, you’ll want to always hit the banger with rubbing alcohol and a cotton swab to clean up any leftover residue from your shatter. Smoking this leftover residue in your next dab tastes bad, but may also cause you to chazz your banger which ruins its durability and ability to retain heat properly.
How to smoke shatter without a rig
There are many different ways to smoke shatter without a rig. Below you’ll find a few ways that will do you right if you’re in a pickle.
1. Hot Knife
The hot knife technique is wasteful but effective. The concept is pretty easy; you just heat up two butter knives on an electric stove by weaving the tips into the coils. Using an oven mit, you’ll grab the hot knife and sandwich a pinch of shatter in between them. From there you just do your best to inhale the dab vapor as it melts. If you want to get real technical, you can cut the bottom out of a plastic cup and use it like a funnel to catch more smoke.
2. Roll it into joints or pack it into a bowl
Smoking shatter in a joint or in a bowl is a simple way to prolong your smoke sesh and boost your potency. Shatter melts pretty well when combusted, so you’ll get a good hit out of it. It usually also gives your bowls or joints a slower burn, so you’ll waste less product and enjoy some extra potency. Shatter can be a little tricky to work with if you’re rolling it into a joint, but if you warm it up gently in your hand it tends to become more malleable. Simple shape it into a tube and roll it in with your flower. If you’re packing a bowl, you just need to drop a few pieces of shatter in. Too much will make it difficult to burn.
3. Load it into a vape pen
To smoke shatter out of a vape pen, you’ll need a vaporizer with a detachable atomizer. You’ll take a small glob of your shatter and load it into the chamber on your vape pen. From there you just slide it in, heat the device up, and inhale like you would from any other vape pen. You can actually vaporize a lot of concentrates with vape pens. Just keep in mind that you won’t be able to take big globs. Overfilling your vape pen can cause it to leak into the coil and damage the vaporizer.
4. Invest in a healthstone
Healthstones are porous glass bowls that are used with ordinary water pipes. You just slide it into the bowl area on the pipe and add your wax. You can use a butane torch to heat it up until the dab melts and inhale gently through the pipe. Voila! A good shatter dab without the rig and all of the regular components of dabbing!
5. Turn them into edibles
Shatter is already concentrated and super easy to add into edibles. Simply find a recipe you like and decarboxylate your shatter by putting it in a vial and adding the vial to a 250-degree slow cooker. As it melts, it will begin to bubble. Allow it to continue melting until it stops bubbling, and then you’re ready to cook it into butter or oil for use in all of your favorite recipes.
There you have it, folks! There are a lot of ways to smoke shatter out there. While dabbing shatter is ideal, you can rely on several other techniques to get that delicious concentrated THC into your system without the rig ensemble. Enjoy!