Distillate Vs Shatter

Distillate Vs Shatter

Nowadays, you can find many different cannabis extracts on the market, but the newest hit is THC distillate which is totally different from BHO (shatter) and other extracts.

When it comes to vape cannabis concentrates, most people end up with one of the different types of extracts:

Each of these popular cannabis concentrates has something special to offer, so it can be hard for people to decide between them.

THC Distillate Vs BHO (Shatter)?

You’ve surely heard of distillation before—distilled water is a good example we can use.

Distilled water is water that gets evaporated and then rapidly cooled to go back into liquid form. This way, the water gets purified.

Now let’s discuss the definition of the THC distillate.

It is a cannabis extract made through short path distillation of cannabis oil, and distillate can make it from any cannabis oil (CO2, BHO, ethanol extract).

It is safe to say that THC distillate is the clearest and most potent cannabis concentrate you can buy on the market today.

So, what’s the difference between THC distillate and BHO?

THC distillate is more potent and pure than BHO. Another major difference is in how they are made.

BHO is made by extracting THC from cannabis using butane, and the end product can come out in various forms and consistencies.

The purest form of BHO is called shatter, and it is almost always packed in a piece of baking paper. The name comes from its resemblance to glass and how it breaks up.

According to several sources, BHO can reach up to 70% THC; after winterization, they get an even more pure product at around 80% THC.

However, the purification process can be taken another step further, which is distilling the winterized BHO.

Basically, you can make THC distillate from BHO, but you can’t make BHO from THC distillate.

What is THC distillate?

raw distillate in a jar
Source: Weedmaps

Before dwelling on THC distillate, let’s first discuss the definition of distillates in general.

Oxford Dictionaries describes the distillation process as “the action of purifying a liquid by heating and cooling process,” and distillates are the result of this procedure in liquid form.

High-grade THC distillate is made in laboratories and takes an actual chemist to make it safely.

During the process, all impurities and unwanted parts of the cannabis plant are removed.

THC distillate is so pure that it doesn’t even contain chlorophyll, and it can reach up to 99% cannabinoid content. Impurities such as pesticides and fungi residuals, plant fats, and waxes are all removed in the procedure.

The cannabis distillation procedure involves heating up and cooling explosive liquids, turning CO2 into a supercritical fluid, and several more steps. So it’s safe to say that the procedure is much more complicated than BHO extraction.

All the labs that make THC distillates from scratch have fully automated systems, including decarboxylation, winterization, fractionation, and short path distillation one after another.

What is shatter?

nuken shatter - weedmaps
Source: Weedmaps

Liquid shatter is another potent form of extract from marijuana. It contains about 80% of potency. Concerning appearance, it looks like honey with mild variations in transparency and colours.

It looks like thick honey when the extract is warm, and the texture changes to glass when it gets cold. Also, the cold, glass-like extract gets shattered when dropped. So that’s why it got the name “shatter.”

This technique of extraction involves the use of solvents. The commonly used solvents in liquid shatter extraction of cannabis plants are butane, carbon-di-oxide, or propane.

The solvents are used during the extraction process, and then they will be evaporated from the extract. As a result, you get the extract without solvents; this technique extracts the chemicals from cannabis buds without destroying the terpenes.

Since the terpenes are not affected by liquid shatter extraction, you can differentiate the extract from Sativa or Indica.

Liquid shatter is the second most extracted form of cannabis buds. You can get 80% high potent extracts, but don’t forget to dilute them before vaping.

Sometimes dilution can reduce its potency to a little extent. For example, dilution may reduce about 30% of the potency.

The advantage of liquid shatter is its variety. There is a great selection of grape, ice, strawberry, banana, pineapple, or just plain flavours. As this method preserves terpenes, you can also choose between hybrids, Indica, or Sativa based on your needs.

This makes the liquid shatter as a recommended one for both medical and casual users.

If you’ve been following the cannabis industry, there’s a good chance you’ve heard plenty about live resin in the last year or so. It’s becoming trendy because it offers THC levels comparable to wax and shatters, but the flavour and scent of the original flower are much better preserved. To make live resin, the fresh flower is flash-frozen to protect the terpenes.

The whole extraction process takes place at subcritical temperatures, which prevents the terpenes from burning off. For this reason, people who appreciate cannabis plants and flavours have said that the essence of live resin is most like what you get from the flower. Higher levels of terpenes mean more taste and aroma. Live resin is also a great choice for people interested in the entourage effect of different strains.

How is THC distillate different from BHO (Shatter)?

First, let’s dwell on the terpenes. They are the essential oils present in cannabis flowers. They give aroma and flavours to the cannabis strains. Cannabis plants are classified based on their THC content and also on terpenes.

Each terpene has its own flavour and aroma. Terpenes also have medicinal properties. They help with many health conditions like anxiety, depression, insomnia, chronic stress, pain, etc.

The common terpenes are listed below.

  • Limonene
  • Borneol
  • Alpha Bisabolol
  • Alpha-Pinene
  • Caryophyllene
  • Linalool
  • Eucalyptol
  • Delta 3 Carene
  • Cineole
  • Beta-Pinene
  • Terpineol
  • Myrcene
forbidden fruit shatter - leafly
Source: Leafly

Did you know that distillates don’t have terpenes? So you know the reason why shatter vs distillate is a common question among cannabis users.

The difference between other types is that distillate contains pure THC and has high potency. It contains 95% potency, and it’s not recommended for new cannabis users, as the pure form of THC might have severe effects on inexperienced persons.

Another cannabis extraction method is short path distillation that uses heat to separate contaminants and produce concentrates. The end product is a clear concentrate that is free from contaminants.

During this extraction process, the cannabis molecules are separated and refined. Other extraction methods do not make such pure concentrates; that is why it is considered top-quality concentrate.

Though this method produces pure and high concentration, it also has a disadvantage. This method destroys terpenes. Cannabis buds are known for their terpenes – the natural compounds that give the aroma and flavours.

The short path distillation method’s end-product does not have terpenes. Many users are against this as the natural content gets lost. In addition, the heat used to create the concentrate during the extraction process affects terpenes.

As a result of the heat and short path cannabis distillation, it becomes difficult to determine Indica or Sativa. If you want to improve the aroma and flavour of the extract, you can easily add artificial flavours. This makes it more like Sativa or Sativa dominant ones.

Distillates are available as e-juice and Fog Pods forms. Many users like distillate for its high potency, though it loses its natural form.

Live resin, liquid shatter, budder and distillates are considered a better way to consume cannabis, as they retain the effects of terpenes.

There is quite a difference between one type of extract from the other, if you take shatter vs distillate, the potency of distillate is high, and it is ready for consumption without dilution.

How to use THC distillate or shatter?

THC distillate is usually packed in small syringes, as it is the easiest tool to transport and manipulate the extract.

There are different ways of THC distillate usage; however, the most common is still dabbing.

For instance, THC distillate can be used as a sublingual drop. It is much stronger ingested this way.

Over seven of 10 people asked how to smoke shatter will probably say “dab rig.”

Dabbing with a dab rig is considered the most common way to consume cannabis concentrates.

Luckily, the dab rig isn’t the only way to have fun with cannabis concentrates. There are many different ways to smoke shatter without a dab rig.

One of the easiest and most accessible methods is to include a bit of shatter in your joint, blunt, or spliff.

And another simple method for learning how to smoke shatter — without an expensive dab rig is everyone’s favourite bong or wax vape pen for shatter.

Are THC distillate and shatter already decarboxylated?

For sure cannabis plant is decarboxylated before the extraction process even starts, which means that by the time you get the distillate, it’s already been decarbed, winterized, extracted, fractionated, and distilled.

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