Is Shatter The Same As Wax?

Cannabinoid products come in a variety of forms. These include flowers, oils, tinctures, edibles, topicals, capsules, and many others. Amongst them, the most popular cannabinoid product is hemp flowers.

However, another cannabinoid product that has gained rising popularity is concentrates. Concentrates come in a variety of versions, such as shatter and wax. 

What are concentrates? What are shatter and wax? What are their differences? This article answers all such questions.

The Making Of Concentrates

Extraction of cannabinoids from raw hemp plants makes concentrates. The extraction process increases the potency of THC above 80%. This makes concentrates pack a powerful kick as compared to cannabinoid flowers.

You don’t need to smoke a whole joint of concentrate for achieving its psychoactive effects. One dab is enough to achieve the concentrate’s effects. This way of consuming cannabinoid concentrates is called dabbing.

Concentrates can be manufactured in many ways but the most preferred one is Butane Hash Oil Extraction. In this process, butane and heat are used for obtaining the flavonoids, terpenes, and cannabinoids present in the raw hemp plant. 

The mixture of compounds obtained after the process is called Butane Hash Oil (BHO). Butane is removed from this mixture so that the product is safe for consumption. 

All concentrates including wax and shatter formed through Butane Hash Oil Extraction are called Butane Hash Oils.

How Wax Is Prepared

One of the products obtained through butane hash oil extraction is wax. A hemp plant is blasted with butane, making an amber liquid. This liquid is heated at high temperatures and then allowed to cool gradually. The concentrated liquid then becomes an opaque substance.

Molecules within the concentrated liquid form loose bonds due to slow cooling. This gives the opaque product a consistency similar to that of coconut oil or peanut butter. The concentrate has a sticky and waxy feel.

How To Identify A Good Quality Wax

Is Shatter The Same As Wax

A high-quality wax will have amber or gold color. If you spot any green or dark tints, this may mean that the wax consists of plant matter. This reduces the potency of the cannabinoid product. A properly extracted wax will neither have chlorophyll nor any plant matter in it.

How Shatter Is Prepared

Shatter is another concentrate that is prepared through butane hash oil extraction. The BHO has an almost transparent or translucent look and is of amber color. 

Similar to wax concentrate, an amber liquid is obtained after butane hash oil extraction. This liquid is heated at high temperatures and then allowed to cool. The concentrated liquid solidifies into a glass-like crystal that has a peanut butter-like texture. 

The concentrate has a glassy look as it was subjected to high heat during the extraction process. As the concentrated liquid began to cool down, the molecules in it realigned in such a manner that allowed more light to pass through.

The concentrate is known as shatter because it can be broken into many pieces with some force. However, unlike glass, it’s slightly soft but not as soft as wax.

How To Identify A Good Quality Shatter

The clearer the concentrate looks, the better the product’s quality. High-quality shatter will have a nearly transparent look and not be dark in color. 

If you aren’t able to smell a strong aroma from the shatter, that may mean the product is of poor quality. A good quality shatter will have a fragrance similar to that of a hemp plant. 

Shatter And Wax: What’s The Difference?

Both concentrates have a similar consistency and are prepared through the same process, i.e,  butane hash oil extraction. They are consumed through dabbing and can induce an intense high for a longer duration. Nevertheless, there are some characteristics that help distinguish shatter from wax.

Shatter Wax
Brittle and translucent in nature Opaque and pliable
Manufacturing process is difficult Manufacturing process is easy
Doesn’t degrade easily due to its chemical structure. Degrades quickly and loses potency
Harder to handle and measure Easier to measure and handle


How To Consume Shatter And Wax?

One way of consuming both wax and shatter is by using a dab rig. A dabbing rig is a modified bong with a dab nail. The dab nail can vaporize shatter, wax, and other concentrates.

How to use the dab rig? Place a few pieces of shatter or a small scoop of wax onto the dab nail. Then ignite it with a torch or a lighter. As the concentrate vaporizes, inhale as much smoke as you can. 

You must keep caution while smoking concentrates as these bring stronger psychoactive effects as compared to a normal joint. This is because these concentrates contain little to no plant matter, giving them greater THC potencies.

By smoking wax or shatter, you are consuming a greater dose of cannabinoids, flavonoids, terpenes, and trichomes. A good piece of advice is to start with little amounts of shatter and wax, as these are enough to induce a powerful high. 

If you don’t like to try dabbing, there are other ways of smoking both. 

For shatter, these include:

  • Vape pen
  • Water pipe
  • Sprinkling on the top of a flower in a join

For wax, these include:

  • Vaping
  • Sprinkling on top of a flower in a joint

5 Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is dabbing?

Dabbing involves inhaling vapors of a hemp extract through the burning of a butane hash oil in a dab rig. By heating dabs of a concentrate such as wax or shatter in a rig, a consumer can achieve a high. 

  • How much more potent is shatter than traditional hemp?

Shatter concentrate is more potent than conventional hemp. The product contains more than 60% of Delta 9 as compared to conventional hemp, which contains only 20% of Delta 9. Shatter users can get a quicker, stronger high that can last longer as compared to hemp users.

  • Can you put wax in a joint?

Yes, it’s possible. To put wax in a joint, roll out a small piece of wax into a long thin line. Place the rolled wax on top of the hemp that is in your joint and then roll the rolling paper.  You can also wind the wax around the outside of the joint.

  • How much does 1 gram of shatter cost?

The cost of a shatter depends on its purity and potency. A good quality shatter can cost between $50-$150, whereas a poor quality shatter’s cost ranges between $30-$90.

  • How many cartridges does 1 gram of wax make?

One gram of concentrate is equivalent to nearly 3.5 ml of liquid. This is sufficient for making around seven 0.5 ml cartridges.

Takeaway – Difference Between Shatter And Wax

Shatter and wax are concentrates obtained through Butane Hash Oil Extraction. Both induce strong psychoactive effects that kick in quicker and last longer if smoked via dabbing. Although they provide similar effects, they have different chemical structures. This gives them their contrasting properties. 

Shatter is a concentrate that is translucent, brittle, and lasts longer, whereas wax is a concentrate that is opaque, pliant, and degrades quicker.