Medically Reviewed by
Jason Crawford

Article Last Updated on December 26, 2022

While medical marijuana patients are looking for the sedative effects of cannabidiol (CBD), recreational marijuana users are more into the psychoactive effects of strains with high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).  

Generally, cannabis concentrates are the ones with higher concentrations of THC, and shatter weed is one of the most popular among them.

If you’re looking for new cannabis products to try, THC shatter may be a great option for you. To help you with your decision about which new product you should try, we’ll go over what shatter is, how you can make dabs from weed, and how you can use them.

The 411 on Dabs and Dabbing?

Dabs are concentrated sticky oils with high levels of cannabinoids. Dabs are made by extracting the cannabinoids from the cannabis flower with either physical separation (rosin and kief) or liquid solvent extraction (solvents like butane).

The THC levels of dabs can be as high as 90%, while standard weed strains have THC levels of about 20-25%. Because of their high cannabinoid structure and superior quality compared to other cannabis products, dabs are often consumed by recreational users.

The method of consuming dabs, referred to as “dabbing”, is becoming a very popular method of weed consumption. To dab cannabis concentrates, you need a small water pipe called a dab rig, a flat bowl, and a nail that’s resistant to high temperatures.

Further Information on Marijuana Concentrates

As we’ve previously mentioned, cannabis concentrates are made from the cannabis plant. They’re products that contain all of the cannabinoids and terpenes that the flower contains, but are more potent than the flower. 

The onset of psychoactive effects from dabs is quite fast, and the high can last anywhere from 1 to 3 hours depending on your tolerance level, how much you’ve consumed, and how fast your body metabolizes weed. You can add your dabs to a dab rig, a vaporizer, or you can top off your blunt or joint for a more intense high.

Liquid Solvent Extraction vs Physical Separation for Getting Cannabis Extracts

To make cannabis extracts, you can either use the mechanical or the chemical extraction method intended to harvest the trichomes and separate them from other plant matters. Trichomes are little crystal-like particles located on the cannabis nugs that contain the highest levels of cannabinoids and terpenes.

The mechanical method of extracting trichomes is done by shaking or pressing the flower to remove the trichomes and get rosin or kief. The chemical, solvent-based method uses solvents to separate the trichomes from the plant matter. This extraction method results in cannabis concentrates like butane hash oil (BHO), Rick Simpson oil (RSO), and others, while the most commonly used solvents are:

  • Butane;
  • Propane;
  • Carbon dioxide;
  • Ethanol. 

What Is THC Shatter?

Shatter is a glass-like cannabis concentrate which is easily breakable, hence the name. This cannabis extract has a translucent appearance and the color ranges from honey-like amber to a darker yellow similar to corn oil.

THC shatter can be made with various solvent extraction methods, although the butane extraction is the most commonly used one and produces butane hash oil (BHO). Each method results in different types of shatter. For example, CO2-extracted shatter has a different texture compared to BHO since this extraction method removes the moisture from the plant matter. Apart from using butane and CO2, cannabis concentrate producers also use liquified petroleum gases (LPG) or ethanol.

The texture of shatter is an indication of its cannabinoid content. Brittle shatter has a lower THC percentage, while shatter with higher THC levels looks taffy and has a gooey texture.

How Is THC Shatter Made?

Even though the procedure of making THC shatter is fairly easy, we don’t recommend doing it at home as it can be very dangerous. The DIY method presented below is purely for informational purposes only.

To make cannabis shatter, you’ll need:

  • Buds rich in trichomes;
  • A honey oil extractor;
  • A butane canister;
  • A filter;
  • A heat source for evaporating the butane;
  • A dish for collecting the shatter;
  • Parchment paper;
  • A razor blade.

Butane Extraction Method for Making THC Shatter

  1. Before you do the extraction process, you need to grind your dry weed.
  2. Fill your honey oil extractor with tightly-packed ground-up weed, and place a dish to collect the shatter at the end.
  3. Spray butane through the top hole of the extractor to start making your cannabis extract, and make sure you do this procedure outdoors and far from all sources of ignition.
  4. Once you start the extraction method, green cannabis oil should start dripping directly into your dish.
  5. After you have your extracted cannabis oil, you need to evaporate the butane on an electric stove (avoid gas stoves since it can cause a fire).
  6. Heat the oil until bubbles start forming.
  7. Next comes the purging of the excess solvent with a vacuum under the right temperature, which will give you your final product.
  8. Scrape the shatter with a razor and place it on a parchment paper until it cools down.
  9. Enjoy your shatter.

Consuming THC Shatter

After you’ve made your final product, it’s time to enjoy it. Below, we’ll give you the most popular cannabis concentrate consumption methods:

  • Edibles (you can increase the potency of your edibles by adding shatter to your weed brownies instead of cannabutter or cannabis oil);
  • Dabbing (vaporizing your THC shatter with a dabber);
  • Vaping (using a vaporizer or a vape pen to consume your shatter);
  • Topping (adding THC shatter on top of your weed or joint to increase its potency);
  • Using a bong or a bowl (adding your shatter to your favorite bong on top of your cannabis flower).

Other Popular Cannabis Concentrates

If shatter is not up your alley, you can visit your local dispensary and look for the following cannabis concentrates, or other cannabis products:

  • Crumble (whipped shatter with a honeycomb consistency);
  • Budder (whipped resin with a butter-like consistency); 
  • Oils (popular cannabis products made by infusing a carrier oil with cannabis);
  • Live resin (cryogenically-frozen freshly-harvested cannabis plants made into a popular cannabis product); 
  • Rosin (potent cannabis concentrate made by pressing and heating dried and cured cannabis flowers). 

Final Words on THC Shatter

Shatter is a cannabis concentrate that preserves the original cannabinoid and terpene content of the cannabis flower in a small amount of honey-like matter. This solvent-based concentrate is the preferred cannabis product among regular cannabis users on account of its potency, higher quality, and versatility. Since THC shatter is so potent, it’s not recommended for first-time and light users with a low tolerance to THC. 

Making your own THC shatter is not that hard, however you need to keep in mind that butane solvent extraction is a highly flammable extraction method, so it’s essential that you take the necessary precautions to prevent a fire. 

If you’re just giving shatter a try and weed is legal where you live, visit your local dispensary and look through the selection of cannabis concentrates they have on hand.

And finally, remember to always be safe when consuming concentrates, never consume more than you can tolerate, and make sure that you’re not driving or operating heavy machinery while the psychoactive effects last.

A passionate advocate for the benefits of cannabis. Fraser Horton, who has a background in botany and a strong love of nature, has spent years researching how cannabis affects the body and mind. He established Leaf Nation in 2020, where he has devoted himself to educating people about the legalisation of marijuana and its safe and responsible use. Fraser is committed to highlighting cannabis’ potential for improving wellness and working to dispel the stigma associated with its use.


The information presented on this page is provided as a public service to aid in education and is derived from sources believed to be reliable. Readers are responsible for making their own assessment of the topics discussed here. In no event shall Leaf Nation be held reliable for any injury, loss or damage that could happen if using or abusing drugs.