How to Make Shatter

How to Make Shatter

Did you know that the shatter concentrate has up to 80% THC levels? That is an over 60% increase in THC levels compared to cannabis flower, which has 10-25%. Due to its high potency, many weed smokers prefer concentrates such as shatter because their effects are almost instant and very powerful.

Shatter is one of the cannabis extracts gaining immense popularity since the 2010s when they got people’s attention. The most popular marijuana concentrate is live rosin, but the shatter extract is more accessible and a fan favourite for most weed enthusiasts.

Like other cannabis concentrates, shatter is made by maximizing all the cannabinoids and terpenes in the cannabis flower. This enables you to fully experience the taste, aroma, and effects of a given strain, a feat that you could not achieve by smoking the raw cannabis flower.

Concentrates like wax, live resin, budder, rosin, and shatter provide a unique way of consumption through vaping and dabbing. Dabbing is the best way of smoking shatter, unlike other extracts that you can consume with the help of vape pens, topicals, edibles, and tinctures.

This article will look at what shatter is with a clear focus on its characteristics and how it behaves under different conditions. We are also going to see how it is made using both solvent and solventless methods. These processes can be done at home with basic household items, but you may need to visit your local store to get a few supplies.

What is shatter weed and what does it look like?

Shatter is known for its mesmerizing looks that incorporate a vibrant colour with a glass-like appearance. However, the concentrate is translucent, and its texture is so fragile that it can break if not handled slowly and carefully. Because of its fragile texture, many smokers opt to use wax extracts instead of shatter when dabbing.

The texture is hard too and can be compared to hard candy, which will also shatter (hence its name) if dopped too hard or tapped. Finally, the colour is another striking feature of the shatter. It is bright golden or honey-like yellow when it is completely pure and free of any inclusions. However, impure shatter will have a colour that is similar to brown but darker.

Impure shatter will taste musky, and this is because of the large number of impurities in it. On the other hand, pure shatter will taste more aromatic, cleaner, and full of flavours despite its low terpene count.

Terpenes are cannabis compounds that give the marijuana plant its flavours and can sometimes boost its potential medicinal benefits. Industrial quality shatter undergoes several stages of filtration and purification that eradicate most terpenes making it less aromatic when compared to wax or live resin.

The purification processes reduce not only the terpene count but also other cannabinoids. The result is a concentrate with fewer flavours and low bodily effects. If you want the best cannabis concentrate to give you the fullest flavours and most powerful effects, wax and live resin are your options. However, shatter is still powerful with its 60-80% THC concentration.

Another amazing property of shatter is its long shelf life compared to wax and live resin. Shatter can last for years if stored properly because it is a more stable form of cannabis extract. The best place to store shatter for long shelf life is cool, dry, and dark.

Shatter is sold in grams and will often retail at around $60 in the United States, depending on where you are and its purity. For example, in Canada, one gram of shatter is sold for as low as $45 but can be as expensive as $80. You should also note that shatter prices can drastically go up in the black market where prices are not regulated.

Source: Weedmaps

Precautions and tips to keep in mind

Depending on the method and ingredients you use, the production of shatter can be dangerous. It is a hazardous process that can lead to fires and explosions due to the chemicals being used. This is the case for the hydrocarbon process that entails flammable gases such as butane and propane.

It is advisable to leave the large-scale production to licensed personnel with enough experience and knowledge operating industrial grade extractors. These extraction machines are well designed, sealed, and ventilated to prevent any explosions or small fires. You will need to get one of these extraction machines if you plan to mass-produce the drug legally.

You can legally make shatter at your home so long as you only possess an ounce of weed. Anything more than that is illegal in most states in the United States unless you use weed for medicinal purposes. For example, qualifying patients in Florida are permitted to possess up to four ounces of herbal cannabis if a recommending doctor decides that the benefits of smoking marijuana for medical use outweigh the risks for the qualified patient.

There are few tips you will need to keep in mind to make a pure form of shatter of high quality and won’t harm your body. These tips include using the best quality marijuana flower, using the best practices in the extraction process, and ensuring that post-processing is done thoroughly and carefully.

The various methods of making shatter

Industrial grade shatter is made using expensive and specialized closed-loop systems called extractors or extraction machines. The process is dangerous if you are not well trained and is illegal in various jurisdictions. Therefore, we will focus on the methods you can use to make yourself some shatter at home. First, however, here is a brief step-by-step process in which professionals use extractors to produce shatter:

  1. Choose the best quality and most pure cannabis material.
  2. Proceed to place the marijuana into the extractor where it will be held in place throughout the process.
  3. With your solvent canisters and containers ready, chill them to a suitable temperature before you add them to the process.
  4. Proceed to pour the solvent (butane, propane, or another suitable hydrocarbon solvent) through the marijuana and let it accumulate all the psychoactive compounds from the weed.
  5. After the collection is done, you can go ahead and evaporate the solvent using heat. Finish the process by recycling any solvent vapors for future processes.
  6. What follows is a purging process that helps purify the concentrate by filtering out any impurities.

How to make shatter with household items


This is the simplest and easiest method of making shatter. It may not bring out the same quality as you would expect from a laboratory-made shatter, but with care and precision, you can get it to look and taste like one. The main ingredients are the marijuana buds that are well cured and dried, plus a few items found around the house.

Here is the list of all the supplies:

  • A dried and cured marijuana bud that can give at least 2 grams of weed.
  • An electrical flat iron with a digital temperature indicator.
  • Oven mitts or a towel for insulation against heat.
  • A sharp blade or razor blade.
  • Parchment paper.

Step-by-step procedures:

  1. Neatly trim 2 grams of weed from the high-quality marijuana bud. You may choose to use more grams, but as a beginner, you should stick to small amounts. You can break the weed down to get smaller portions that will make it easier to fit between the parchment paper.
  2. Make sure the iron is heated between 300- and 330-degrees Fahrenheit. This heat is enough to heat most of the weed chemicals to extract the concentrate but not too little to cause no effect.
  3. Take the parchment paper and fold it in half. Place the weed in between the paper and fold its edges to close it in a square-like shape.
  4. Take the hot iron at 300- and 330-degrees Fahrenheit and put the paper in between its blades to start the healing process.
  5. Proceed to press the blades against each other for a few seconds using the oven mitts or towel for insulation.
  6. Stop after a few seconds and open the parchment paper. You will notice a brownish-looking liquid and this is the shatter extract. Heating marijuana facilitates the removal of the cannabinoids in form of a liquid extract.
  7. It will take several tries to perform a complete extraction. Use the parchment paper with weed and the iron till there aren’t any more liquid stains.
  8. Proceed to let the finished product cool off in the parchment paper. When it is completely dry, you can open the paper to carefully remove your shatter. Ensure you handle it with care to avoid breaking it apart.

How to make shatter using kief from your grinder

This process is similar to making shatter with household items, but we will use kief instead of using marijuana buds. And instead of using a flat iron, we will use a regular iron. You may opt for a different heat source like a hair straightener to apply the same operating principles.

Kief is the left-over weed particle that accumulates at the bottom of your high-quality grinder. You will not find budget grinders with a compartment for kief since they are only found in four-piece or three-chamber grinders. As you grind your weed, the small particles accumulate at the bottom and will eventually fill the compartment over time.

Do not waste your time buying a lot of weed to grind, with the hopes of getting kief overnight. Instead, let the kief accumulate over time, and then you can proceed to make shatter with it.

Here is a list of all the needed supplies:

  1. A gram or two of kief.
  2. An iron or any equivalent heating element.
  3. A towel.
  4. Parchment paper.

Step-by-step procedures:

  1. Take the parchment paper and fold it in half. Place the kief in between the paper and fold its edges to close it in a square-like shape.
  2. Take the iron and make sure it has enough heat but not too much to burn the setup. Ensure the steam is turned off.
  3. Use the towel to cover the folded paper by placing it over it. This serves as insulation against direct contact with the iron.
  4. Press the iron with a little pressure on top of the towel for a few seconds. Press it and remove it several times to avoid burning the product. Repeat the process until there are no visible changes on the paper.
  5. Proceed to remove the parchment paper and take a look inside. You can repeat the above process to ensure you get the desired shatter to look.
  6. Let the shatter cool off if it is done before consuming it.

How to make shatter with butane

You may want to avoid this dangerous process since it involves butane that can easily catch fire. In addition, prior experience with laboratory equipment is beneficial since it requires precision and slow handling.

Here are the supplies you will need:

  1. At most 1 ounce of ground and dry marijuana.
  2. 12-ounce butane canisters (two are preferable but one can do the job)
  3. Electric range.
  4. Double boiler.
  5. A tube for extraction.
  6. Coffee filter.
  7. A dish for collection.
  8. A sharp blade or razor blade.
  9. Parchment paper.
  10. Vacuum pump.

Step-by-step procedures:

  1. Place the dry ground weed into the extraction tube and ensure it is tightly packed but with enough space for butane saturation. One end of the tube has a wide opening for adding butane and a narrow opening on the other end to pass the BHO through.
  2. This step should be done outdoors to allow ventilation due to butane’s properties. Proceed with the butane saturation by pouring all of the butane through the wide opening. A thick green-gray-brown oil will pour from the other end. Collect the oil in the collection dish.
  3. Place the collection dish in the boiler and then place the boiler into the electric range. Turn on the power to allow the evaporation of butane. Ensure all butane has evaporated so that you do not end up smoking it.
  4. Carefully purge the remaining butane using a vacuum pump (3 cfm one-stage pump).
  5. Use the sharp blade or razor blade to remove the shatter concentrate from the collection container. Let it cool off on top of parchment paper before consuming it.

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