Cannabis consumers looking for a more intense and powerful experience are turning to shatter in droves. But what exactly is shatter, and how does it differ from traditional dried marijuana flower and other cannabis concentrates? 

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the world of shatter, discussing how it’s made, what it offers marijuana enthusiasts, and why it has got people talking. 

An introduction to shatter

Also known as shatter weed, shatter is a form of cannabis concentrate, which is becoming increasingly popular. A relative newcomer on the scene, shatter is turning heads and making waves, but why is it such a subject of intrigue and interest? 

Shatter is so-called because of the concentrate’s texture and consistency. Shatter tends to be breakable and brittle like glass. The color, lucidity and density of the product distinguish it from other types of compounds and concentrates. 

Another major talking point is the potency of shatter. Cannabis concentrates are much harder-hitting than the flower, and shatter contains THC levels up to 90%. 

Production of shatter can be traced back to the early 1990s, when more rustic hashish production methods gave way to sophisticated concentrate refinement. A Canadian business was the first to market its shatter products, selling this newfangled concentrate to cannabis dispensaries to offer a new experience to consumers. 

News of shatter production was shared with the world in 2005 in the Cannabis Culture magazine. Just five years later, shatter had become a staple for cannabis aficionados. 

One of the main differences between shatter and other cannabis products is the use of dab rigs and water bongs, rather than traditional smoking equipment. This paraphernalia became part of the furniture in marijuana hubs to enable visitors to enjoy the process of dabbing

Shatter has become popular as a result of its strength, but also its purity and the ease of consumption. Dabbing is an attractive alternative to smoking for some and many enjoy the more potent experience it provides. 

In some states, shatter weed production remains illegal, and there is a debate over the potential advantages and disadvantages of shatter, especially when discussing medicinal benefits. In this guide, we’ll examine shatter in detail to gain a better understanding of what it is, how it affects the body and why it’s popular. 

What exactly is shatter?

Before we go delving into the realms of shatter production and consumption, it’s crucial to understand exactly what shatter is. Shatter is a name given to a type of cannabis concentrate, which is produced when cannabis is passed through processes to extract concentrates. 

Shatter is famed for its golden, honeycomb-like color and its brittle texture. Extracting concentrates leaves you with cannabinoids, examples of which include THC, terpenes and CBD.

Shatter is known for its THC content. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is essentially what produces the ‘high’ when you smoke, consume edibles or dab. The higher the concentration of THC within shatter, the more powerful the substance. 

A higher THC concentration will have a more profound impact than a high THAC (tetrahydrocannabinol acid) level. The THC and THAC content affects the texture and density of the product. High THAC content produces a more delicate concentrate. 

Shatter is in demand, and it is one of the most aesthetically-pleasing marijuana derivatives on the market. Often, shatter is pictured in striking golden shards or deeper amber nuggets, depending on the composition and environmental factors that influence the extraction process. 

Shatter is also known as shatter weed or ‘pull and snap.’

Understanding cannabis concentrates

Shatter is a type of cannabis concentrate. Cannabis concentrates are produced when the flower buds pass through processes to extract potent compounds. During a process called solvent extraction, chemicals and trichomes are removed, leaving super-strength cannabinoids. Examples of cannabinoids include:

  • CBD
  • THC
  • CBN
  • Terpenes
  • Flavonoids

Solvent extraction leaves behind a powerful, pure mixture of psychoactive chemicals, which produce very different effects to consuming products made from the traditional cannabis flower. The concentration of THC found in concentrates is the main contributing factor. 

As you can see from the table below, THC content is significantly higher in a shatter dab than a joint or a bowl of flower:

Form Description THC potency
fresh or dried herbal material Flowers and leaves from the cannabis plant up to 30%
cannabis oil Cannabis extract dissolved in oil. Can be used to make other forms (for example, edibles). up to 3%
chemically concentrated extracts (for example, hash oil/shatter/budder/wax) Highly concentrated cannabis extract dissolved in petroleum-based solvent (for example, butane). Shatter, budder and wax most highly concentrated. up to 90%
physically concentrated extracts (for example, hash/kief) Loose trichomes or pressed resin from the cannabis plant. up to 60%
edibles Foods and drinks containing extracts of cannabis Depends on the amount of extract added
tinctures/sprays Cannabis extract dissolved in a solvent, often alcohol. Can be used to make other products (for example, edibles). varies
creams/salves/liniments Cannabis extract preparation prepared with alcohol, oil or wax and applied to the skin. varies

Cannabis concentrates have a diverse range of properties, and there is a vast amount of discussion about their benefits. 

Headlines and news features talk of medicinal and wellbeing effects, but there are additional perks worth discussing, including the aromatherapy benefits of terpenes and the role of monoterpenes like myrcene, which is believed to have calming effects. Myrcene can also improve the efficacy of other drugs by facilitating the transportation of THC through the blood-brain barrier.

The strength of shatter

One of the reasons people are so keen to talk about and try shatter is its strength. Purity levels can reach up to 90% and the THC content is considerably higher than medical-grade marijuana, at around 80% compared to 30%. 

The potency of shatter, which can be up to five times greater than flowers and edibles, means that shatter is not for everyone. Some people who are searching for a more intense experience may enjoy dabbing, but for those looking for a more sedate experience, it’s best to consider alternatives. 

It is worth noting that you can buy CBD shatter, a type of weed that contains only cannabidiol, not THC. As THC is the trigger for the euphoric high achieved when dabbing, eating or smoking marijuana, CBD shatter provides medicinal benefits without the intense high. 

For those who are focused on the health and wellbeing effects of consuming cannabis, this is likely to be a more appealing option than potent shatter weed, which contains up to 80-90% THC. 

Cannabis extracts

Cannabis extracts are produced when you expose the cannabis flower to solvents, such as butane, hexane, carbon dioxide and isopropyl. Once this stage is complete, you’ll end up with a rich, honey-colored substance. 

The solvent that remains then passes through the next stage, known as purging. This creates by-products, known as budder, wax, crumble, sap, honeycomb, live resin and shatter. All the products created during this entire process are usable. 

Shatter is essentially very similar to wax, budder and crumble in terms of its effects and potency. The real difference lies in the aesthetics. While shatter, as you can probably guess from the name, is brittle and breakable like glass, budder and crumble are designed to be softer and more malleable. 

Buying and consuming shatter in Canada

Shatter is available to buy legally in Canada due to relatively recent changes in legislation. In 2018, the Canadian Government confirmed the passing of the Cannabis Act, which allowed people to consume cannabis products legally in Canada. 

The regulations were not introduced instantly, and there was a staged implementation, with recreational cannabis the first to be approved. Other products, including edibles, concentrates and shatter pens were made legal in 2019. 

Since the new laws were introduced, the Canadian cannabis industry has boomed, and Canada is renowned for producing high-strength, pure shatter. Under strict regulations, consumers are protected, and they have access to shatter stores that sell products that satisfy quality assurance standards. 

Shatter Regulation in Canada

Under Canadian regulations, manufacturers must provide details of potential side-effects and consumption guidelines. Under the UN Drug Control Conventions Act, cannabis extracts are defined as controlled substances, and as such, there are stringent restrictions and requirements in place. 

In Canada, cannabis products were governed under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act before the government passed the Cannabis Act in 2018. 

In Canada, there are rules and legislative measures in place to control and monitor every phase of cannabis production, distribution and sale. The Cannabis Act covers all forms of cannabis, including shatter. 

If you wish to consume, produce, sell or possess shatter, or any other type of cannabis product, you must adhere to the regulations set out in this act. Health Canada is also responsible for ensuring that cannabis products are manufactured, distributed and sold according to the laws set out by the government. 

For growers in Canada, there are stipulations and limitations, which apply to different states and provinces. There may be slight variations between different parts of the country, and it’s essential that growers have the relevant licence, and that they are aware of their legal obligations and requirements. 

The owners of a cannabis store should also ensure that they are aware of the restrictions that apply to their business. Individual regions and provinces have the power to implement additional measures, for example, raising the age limit for consumption. 

As a consumer, it’s always beneficial to familiarize yourself with the current regulations that apply in your home town. 

Is selling shatter online legal in Canada?

It is legal to buy and sell shatter online in Canada under the Cannabis Act, but you cannot sell shatter without a licence. Anyone who intends to sell shatter on the Internet must adhere to strict guidelines and they must also be aware of the regulations that are in place in their territory or province. You can only sell shatter online if you are a licensed weed store. 

In addition to national guidelines set out by the government and Health Canada, there are additional stipulations in some parts of the country. In some areas, for example, sellers are required to purchase products they intend to offer consumers from named providers. 

Before buying shatter in Canada, you should always ensure that the online store is licensed and approved. The regulations are in place to protect individuals and ensure that consumers have access to high-quality products that meet the required standards. 

What is dabbing?

For people who aren’t familiar with cannabis or, more specifically, shatter, a global dance trend may spring to mind when the word ‘dabbing’ pops up in conversation. The type of dabbing we’re talking about in this guide is not a popular dance move, but rather a means of consuming shatter. Dabbing is the most effective and enjoyable way to experience the effects of shatter, so it’s critical to explore what it is.

Dabbing is a very straightforward process, which involves using heat to make the shatter release smoke, which you then inhale through a dab rig. Dabbing is different from smoking, as it requires you to inhale the vapor released by the shatter. 

Also, dabbing is a little more complex than conventional smoking, and as such, it can take some getting used to. Many people enjoy inhaling pure shatter, but for those who are looking to switch things up or try a new experience, it is possible to add flavors or to use shatter with terpenes. 

Instant shatter vaporization triggers a rapid response, and if you’re dabbing THC-rich shatter, you’ll experience a high very quickly. The instant, punchy reaction is what makes dabbing so popular. 

Smoking shatter: a step-by-step guide

There are two main options when it comes to smoking shatter: smoking with a rig and smoking without a rig. Here are some tips to show you how to smoke shatter:

1Using a rig

  • Using a rig is the best way to smoke shatter.
  • To get started, you’ll need to buy a rig, a piece of equipment that is specifically designed for dabbing. This form of bong comprises a dome and a nail, rather than the conventional bowls. The nail is made from titanium, and this is where you put the shatter. 
  • As well as the rig, you’ll also need a dabber. You use the dabber to place the shatter on the titanium nail. The next investment is a torch, which is used to generate heat to create vapor. 

When you’re ready to start dabbing, follow these steps:

  • Divide your shatter up into small pieces. The fragments should be small enough to fit comfortably on the nail.
  • Use your dabber to pick up the tiny pieces of shatter and start heating the nail using your torch. Once the nail is hot, remove the torch and place the dome over the nail.
  • Transfer your shatter to the nail and start inhaling the vapor.

It’s worth noting that it can take some time to find the optimum dosage for you. Initially, you might find that you inhale too much or not enough vapor. Trial and error will help you identify the perfect time-frame and strength.

2Smoking when you don’t have a rig

Some people may be keen to try shatter without investing in any equipment. If this is the case, it is possible to enjoy smoking shatter without a rig. Instead of using a rig, you can employ a regular bong.

If you use a regular bong, you can mix shatter with other marijuana extracts, but it’s important to remember that the shatter will no longer be pure, and the effects might be different. If you are using a regular bong, break off smaller pieces of shatter, combine them with flower and then light the bong. Inhale the smoke. 

You may find that after trying shatter without a rig, you decide that you want to invest in a rig. Once you’ve made your purchase, you can follow the steps outlined in the first part. 

What are the effects of shatter?

Shatter is becoming increasingly popular. When you consume any form of cannabis compound, extract or concentrate, it’s vital to understand the effects it may have on your body. Cannabis affects the body because it interacts with the endocannabinoid system. This system contains a series of cannabinoid receptors, which trigger responses when you consume cannabis.

The endocannabinoid system is linked to an array of different functions within the body, and this is why consuming cannabis has a diverse range of effects. Most commonly, this system is associated with:

  • Memory
  • Inflammatory levels
  • Appetite
  • Mood
  • Pain management and tolerance

When you consume shatter, you may find that you notice several different effects, some of which are positive and others negative. Everyone is different, and people have different reasons for consuming shatter and they experience varied responses. In some cases, individuals might choose to dab because they want to enjoy specific benefits, for example, increased appetite or less anxiety, while others consume shatter for recreational purposes.

Examples of reasons people may benefit from consuming shatter include:

  • Shatter helps to boost their appetite: if you have lost your appetite, shatter can help to increase appetite to improve nutrition and help you enjoy the experience of eating food.
  • Fighting off inflammation: inflammation is a sign that the body is responding to illness, infection or injury. 
  • Boosting their mood: shatter is known to help people feel happier and more uplifted, and it can reduce anxiety.
  • Helping to overcome the effects of chemotherapy: chemotherapy, a common treatment for cancer, often causes unpleasant side-effects, such as vomiting and nausea. Shatter can help to reduce the severity of these effects. 

In addition to stimulating cannabinoid receptors, shatter can also affect non-cannabinoid receptors, including the receptor responsible for serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical found in the brain, which has a crucial role to play in lowering the risk of stress, depression and anxiety.

Does shatter offer medical benefits?

One of the most interesting aspects of the debate surrounding the consumption of cannabis products is the potential positive effects on the body and mind

Many people choose to consume shatter for recreational purposes, but for some, the medicinal benefits are the main selling point. There is a great deal of discussion about the benefits of consuming cannabis. 

Here are some of the most common reasons people choose to use cannabis for medical purposes:


Epilepsy is a condition, which causes seizures. In some cases, these seizures can be severe and even life-threatening. Epilepsy is often more prevalent in children. In recent years, cannabis derivatives have emerged as an effective solution for treating patients with epilepsy as a means of decreasing the frequency and intensity of epileptic seizures

As with all treatment methods, it’s essential to seek advice from trained, registered medical professionals before trying shatter if you have epilepsy. 


Anxiety is becoming increasingly common. Although anxiety is a natural human emotion, many people experience prolonged periods of intense anxiety without an obvious cause. If you feel anxious most of the time, you have trouble switching off, or you constantly feel on-edge, shatter could help to relieve anxiety and alleviate stress

When talking about anxiety relief linked to cannabis, it’s important to seek advice and to consider the THC content carefully. People react to different types of cannabis products in different ways, and altering the THC level may impact responses. 

Reducing inflammation

Inflammation is a sign that the body is trying to fight some kind of intruder or threat. If you have an infection, or you’re recovering from an injury, your immune system reacts, increasing inflammatory levels. 

Cannabis can help to reduce inflammation by interacting with receptors that control and regulate the immune response.

Improving acne symptoms

Acne is a common skin condition, which causes painful spots to appear on the skin surface. For many people, acne can be hugely restrictive because it affects your looks and your confidence. 

Acne is often caused by increased sebum production, which can be triggered by inflammation. Sebum is secreted by the sebaceous glands.

Pain relief and management

Pain relief is one of the most common reasons people use medical marijuana. There are several underlying health conditions, which can contribute to chronic pain, including arthritis, cancer and psoriasis. 

Shatter can provide pain relief benefits for those who experience prolonged periods of pain, improving quality of life and helping to reduce the risk of complications, such as depression and insomnia. 

Reducing the severity of chemotherapy side-effects

Chemotherapy can be an incredibly effective treatment for patients who have cancer, but it can also cause devastating side-effects, including hair loss, nausea, changes in appetite, disturbed sleep and vomiting. 

Using shatter can help to provide relief from chemotherapy side-effects, such as loss of appetite, nausea and sickness. If you are able to eat more, enjoy better sleep quality and eliminate nausea, this should help you to feel healthier and stronger, which could have a positive impact on your quality of life, as well as your prognosis.

Does shatter cause side-effects?

We have discussed the potential benefits of consuming shatter, but it is also essential to point out that some people may experience side-effects. Although shatter weed is renowned for its purity, it’s also famed for its potency. 

If you’re eager to consume cannabis concentrates to enjoy health benefits, it’s critical to be aware of the potential side-effects and to seek medical advice before trying new products. The high concentration of THC may provoke intense reactions, and some people, especially those who are interested in the health benefits, rather than the high, may be encouraged to opt for CBD shatter or other cannabis compounds. 

Examples of shatter side-effects include:

  • Bloodshot eyes: it’s possible that your eyes might look red and bloodshot after consuming shatter, as a result of swift absorption into the bloodstream.
  • A sore throat: the heat of the shatter vapor can contribute to a sore throat. 
  • Increased heart rate: you may find that your heart rate increases when you inhale shatter as a result of the concentrate infiltrating the bloodstream. In some cases, high blood pressure may also result from consuming shatter. A rapid heart rate and high blood pressure can both be harmful, so it’s essential to get the dosage right. 
  • Respiratory illnesses: the hot vapor can elevate the risk of respiratory illnesses, including bronchitis and asthma. If you’re at risk of respiratory infections, or you already suffer from asthma, it’s wise to limit consumption. 
  • Changes in mood and energy levels: some people go through a euphoric experience, while others experience sleepiness. You can’t always predict how your body will react to shatter, especially if you haven’t tried it before, so it’s best to start with a low dosage and to try shatter in the comfort of your own home. 

It’s important to understand that shatter affects people in different ways. While some people may not have any side-effects at all, there are risks, and you should be aware of the potential effects before you try shatter. 

Are there risks associated with dabbing shatter?

Dabbing is widely regarded as the best way to enjoy shatter, but it should be noted that there are risks involved. Dabbing involves inhaling hot vapor, which can irritate the throat and increase the risk of respiratory infections and illnesses and make individuals more prone to a sore throat.

As there are risks associated with dabbing, it’s a good idea to avoid dabbing on a regular basis and to ensure that you take precautions to protect your health. Consult a doctor for advice before you start dabbing, and make sure you understand how dosages work using a shatter dosage chart

It’s particularly important to seek expert advice if you have underlying health conditions or you’re already taking medication. The recommended shatter dosage will depend on your body weight and the reason you’re taking shatter. 

How do you make shatter?

Before you set about trying to make shatter at home, it’s essential to understand that this is a complex procedure, which can be very dangerous. Many guides will invite you to use ethanol or butane, both of which are highly flammable and explosive. 

If you are keen to try and make shatter yourself, there are some slightly less risky processes you can employ. Most people who are reading this guide and thinking that they want to give making shatter a go will already have access to an arsenal of gadgets and equipment, which will help them to complete the phases safely. 

There are various options, including making shatter from Kief using a weed grinder. To do this, you’ll need:

  • ¼ teaspoon of Kief
  • Paper
  • Hair straighteners
  • Gloves

The shatter making process involves the following steps:

  • Take your Kief and separate out enough to fill one parchment piece.
  • Transfer the Kief to the paper and arrange into a square shape.
  • Fold the paper in squares, taking care to ensure tight folds.
  • Wrap another piece of paper around your folded piece.
  • Turn your hair straighteners on to a low setting and then place the paper inside the plates for up to 2 minutes. 
  • Press down on the straighteners onto a hard, flat surface. Wear gloves to prevent burning yourself. Apply pressure in 10-second intervals.
  • After 1-2 minutes has elapsed, take the paper out of the plates and unwrap it. You should see a honey-like substance. 
  • Let the shatter cool before dabbing.

Other cannabis concentrates

Shatter is not the only cannabis concentrate you can use, and you might find that you want to try others. Concentrates like weed wax and powder can provide a slightly different experience, and you may find that you prefer one concentrate to another. This is often a matter of personal preference. 

Buying shatter online in Canada

It is legal to buy shatter online in Canada, and this makes purchasing online very simple and quick. Many online weed stores stock shatter and they provide options in terms of ordering online to collect or delivering to your home. 

If you are looking to buy shatter online, make sure you choose a reputable dispensary and ensure you understand the rules and regulations. For more information, visit Just Cannabis


Shatter is an increasingly popular cannabis product. A concentrate, which is known for its purity and potency, most people who try shatter are keen to experience an intense high. 

The most effective way to consume shatter is dabbing. Dabbing involves inhaling hot vapor and it provides a rapid reaction. 

While there are multiple health benefits associated with consuming cannabis, it is important to note that there are side-effects and risks linked to shatter weed. 

The THC levels in shatter are much higher than cannabis flower, and this can be both beneficial and problematic. Some people long for a hard-hitting high, while others are more focused on the medicinal benefits. 

Whatever your motive for trying shatter, it’s wise to experiment with dosages to find the optimum level for you. Start slowly and adjust the dosage in line with your requirements and preferences. You might find that it takes a while to get the dosage just right, but it should be worth your while.