CBD concentrates are probably the most enigmatic of all CBD products. Concentrates are usually characterized by their high purity level and equally high levels of CBD. The most popular form of concentrated CBD perhaps isolates, such as powder.
However, as we learn more about different forms of cannabinoids, some entrepreneurial souls in the industry are getting creative with other high-CBD products.
One of these “inventions” is CBD shatter. Touted as one of the purest and most potent sources of cannabidiol, shatter can be dabbed or consumed in a vaporizer to deliver its benefits.
If you’re unfamiliar with dabbing and cannabis concentrates, don’t worry! Our guide to CBD shatter will cover the subject roots to branches.
Let’s start with some basic definitions.
What Are CBD Concentrates (CBD Dabs)?
CBD concentrates are very potent forms of CBD. They’re produced by separating the cannabinoid-rich resin from the hemp flowers to obtain CBD along with other naturally occurring compounds.
This resin is made of trichomes, which are translucent glands that grow on the surface of cannabis flowers. Trichomes are where most of the plant’s cannabinoids and terpenes are secreted.
The higher the number of trichomes on a plant, the more potent the concentrate will be.
CBD concentrates such as shatter, wax, or powder can reach up to 99% of the active compounds.
How Are CBD Concentrates Made?
CBD shatter is only one type of concentrate. Cannabis concentrates are typically broken down into two categories based on the extraction methods employed.
1. Solventless Extractions
Solventless concentrates are believed to produce the purest forms of concentrated cannabis. Solventless extraction is easy and can be safely performed at home. You don’t need to have a degree in chemistry to produce homemade CBD extracts.
The goal of solventless extractions is to isolate pure glandular trichomes by using the laws of physics. The loose resin, also known as kief or dry sift, can be consumed on its own, melted into live resin, or pressed into blocks to make CBD hash.
2. Solvent Extractions
CBD shatter belongs to the category of solvent-based extractions. These concentrates typically have an oily consistency, although they can take many different forms and textures depending on how they are made. For example, shatter has a glass-like consistency — we’ll get down to it later in the article.
Solvent-based concentrates will melt and vaporize into the air once consumed. Inhalation is the most efficient way to use products like CBD shatter because it offers the highest bioavailability of CBD, meaning that you’ll deliver more CBD than you would with other consumption methods.
However, solvent extractions require a big learning curve and are extremely dangerous to perform at home, as they carry a high risk of explosions.
What is CBD Shatter?
Shatter is an exceptionally pure form of concentrated CBD. It looks like an amber glass, and its texture resembles a candy, although the ultimate consistency of shatter depends on its temperature. It looks more like thick honey when heated, but it gets glassy when cooled.
Shatter also offers exceptionally high potency, reaching upwards of 80% CBD. However, the potency comes at the cost of flavor, which turns out bland compared to concentrates like wax or budder.
As mentioned, CBD shatter is made with a solvent — typically butane — to extract CBD with trace cannabinoids and terpenes. This process is known as butane hash oil (BHO) extraction.
Butane is highly flammable, which is why you shouldn’t try to make CBD shatter on your own. Besides, making shatter at home is beyond reach for most amateurs, as it calls for thorough purification from the solvent before use.
Due to its solid state, CBD isn’t the most friendly material to work with. However, once you have melted it in a vaporizer or dab rig, it will deliver high concentrations of CBD to your body within minutes.
What’s the Difference Between CBD Shatter vs. THC Shatter?
CBD shatter only contains cannabidiol. It only has trace amounts of THC (up to 0.3%) because it sourced from hemp plants. Hemp is naturally higher in CBD, unlike marijuana plants. Marijuana contains significant concentrations of THC, so the main difference between these two products is their cannabinoid profile. Both types of shatter boast high levels of their main cannabinoid, but CBD shatter won’t make you feel high.
What Are the Benefits of CBD Shatter?
People use CBD shatter for the same reasons they take CBD oil — to deliver high concentrations of CBD to the endocannabinoid system. However, CBD shatter may have the upper hand in several areas over its less potent forms.
Here’s why you may want to consider adding CBD shatter to your routine.
1. High Bioavailability
Shatter is usually consumed in a vaporizer or dab rig; both methods involve inhalation, which is the most bioavailable form of consumption when it comes to CBD. Bioavailability refers to the amount of CBD that ultimately enters your bloodstream and is expressed in percentages. Vaporization offers the highest bioavailability (up to 56%) — which can significantly boost the effects of your dose.
2. Fast-Acting Effects
Inhaled CBD also demonstrates a speedy onset. When you vape CBD shatter, the active compounds travel to your bloodstream through the lung tissues, avoiding the “first-pass” effect in the liver. From there, it interacts with the endocannabinoid system within a matter of minutes.
3. Easy to Dose
Dosing CBD shatter is pretty straightforward. All you need to do is scoop out the shatter to your vaporizer or dab rig and inhale it. It’s entirely up to you how much shatter you want to consume in one session.
4. Perfect for Daytime Use
People typically use CBD in the morning to promote energy and focus, or in the evening to improve their sleep quality. If you need a positive jolt of energy to stay up and about throughout the day, taking CBD shatter in the morning is an ideal way to reduce stress, anxiety, and help you remain in the zone.
Is CBD Wax the Same as CBD Shatter?
Wax and shatter are similar products. They’re both concentrates, they can be dabbed, and they have the same amber yellow color. It’s easy to confuse these two products due to their striking similarity.
You’ll be able to differentiate shatter from wax by examining its texture and consistency. Shatter is shinier and more transparent; it’s also thick and hard to the touch. Wax, on the other hand, is exactly what it sounds like. It has a waxy consistency and is looser than shatter. When it comes to ease of use, wax wins by a small margin.
Nevertheless, consuming CBD wax is not much different than taking CBD shatter. Both of them can be vaporized or dabbed — but how exactly does vaporization work?
How to Use CBD Shatter
Some people suggest that CBD shatter can be infused into cooking fats to make potent CBD edibles. However, this would require you to melt the shatter down, causing some of the cannabinoids and terpenes to degrade. As a result, your edibles may turn out less potent than expected. If you’re looking to cook with CBD, then it’s best to find quality hemp flowers, crystals, or tinctures.
By far, the best method to use shatter is through dabbing. Dabbing is a way of flash-vaporizing CBD concentrates on a unique device called “dab rig.” A dab rig is a scientific-like water pipe designed exclusively for consuming cannabis extracts. If you want to use your CBD shatter this way, you’ll need to scoop out a small “dab” and drop it onto a red-hot nail. It will vaporize immediately, leaving a cloud of vapor inside the rig for you to inhale.
CBD shatter can also be used in some vaporizers and vape pens. These are portable devices that slowly heat the shatter under lower temperatures to extract more of its active ingredients.
CBD shatter usually comes in small 1g jars. You only need to dab a pint-size amount. At around 90% of CBD, you’re inhaling an extremely potent product!
Is CBD Shatter Legal?
Yes! Like all hemp-derived products, CBD shatter is legal in all 50 states provided that it contains no more than 0.3% THC. The legal status of hemp in the United States was cleared up by the provisions of the 2018 Farm Bill. Hemp was removed from the list of controlled substances and reclassified as an agricultural commodity. It can be legally grown for any use, including paper, clothing, fuel, building materials, food, and health supplements such as CBD extracts.
How Does CBD Shatter Work?
CBD may promote overall wellness by acting on the body’s native major regulatory network — the endocannabinoid system (ECS). In doing so, it helps the body regulate a variety of biological processes, including mood, memory, cognitive function, immune response, stress management, pain transmission, body temperature, appetite, fertility, neuroprotection, and more.
The majority of the studies to date have been conducted on animal models, but as scientists are digging deeper into the effects of CBD, more human trials are being performed, bringing new revelations every few months.
Is CBD Shatter Safe?
CBD shatter is extremely potent, but does it mean it’s dangerous in any way?
The answer is “no.”
According to an extensive report on CBD issued in 2017 by the World Health Organization, CBD is safe to use in humans, non-toxic, and non-intoxicating. The WHO also said that CBD could have some positive influences on the body through its interaction with the endocannabinoid system.
That being said, CBD has a short list of mild side effects. Fortunately, none of them are life-threatening.
Taking too much CBD at a time may result in:
- Dry mouth
- A temporary drop in blood pressure
- Changes in appetite
CBD is also known to interact with Cytochrome p450, a system that metabolizes 70-80% of pharmaceutical medications. If you take any prescription drugs, there’s a chance that CBD will block the above system from effectively metabolizing their active ingredients. This, in turn, may cause a range of second-hand side effects that wouldn’t occur if CBD was taken alone.
What Are the Other Potent forms of CBD?
Shatter is a relatively new product on the CBD market, but we already have a few common forms of concentrated CBD, including:
- CBD oil: CBD oil is extracted from hemp using supercritical CO2. The end product is a cold, viscous liquid that is later suspended in a carrier oil for better absorption. CBD oils are packed into bottles with a dropper to make dosing more precise. They are taken under the tongue and absorbed into the bloodstream through sublingual membranes, offering faster effects than oral formulations. Most CBD oils on the market are full-spectrum, meaning they have been made using the entire plant.
- CBD capsules: CBD capsules are oral supplements that carry a premeasured dose of CBD. They can be as potent as 25 mg per count. CBD capsules are made with a CBD extract and infused into a carrier oil for increased volume and faster absorption. They’re usually covered in a gelatin softgel shell. Capsules need more time to kick in than oil and vapes, but they provide longer-lasting effects.
- CBD isolate: isolate is the purest form of CBD. It contains 99% CBD and is available as solid crystals or white powder. There are approximately 990 milligrams in 1 gram of CBD isolate. Unlike most CBD concentrates, isolates are void of other plant compounds, meaning they don’t produce the entourage effect.
Key Takeaways on CBD Shatter
CBD shatter is an excellent product for seasoned CBD users and vapers looking for something more potent than traditional forms of cannabidiol. As a CBD concentrate, shatter is extremely pure and concentrated, providing users with a strong and fast-acting dose.
On the other hand, shatter can be challenging to break up smoothly, unlike wax or budder, so new consumers may find it less convenient than other forms of CBD. It also requires specialized equipment such as a vaporizer or dab rig, involving extra costs and a higher learning curve.
In general, most CBD users might prefer a more versatile product — perhaps one with a higher spectrum of trace cannabinoids and terpenes. Products like CBD oil are extracted under lower temperatures and thus can preserve more valuable compounds in the end product.
We can’t help but paraphrase a classic quote from Spiderman: with great potency, come fewer beneficial molecules.
With all that said, shatter will make big headlines in the CBD concentrate market.