Shatter and wax are two common types of marijuana concentrates.

As legal marijuana becomes more available, many are turning to more potent forms of marijuana as a way of getting high.

You may have heard of a type of marijuana called shatter or wax. These products are known as concentrates and are available today in many dispensaries.

But what exactly are marijuana concentrates and what makes them so popular? In this guide, we explore the differences between shatter, wax and other concentrates and how to best consume them.

What are Marijuana Concentrates?

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Concentrates are pure extracts of marijuana that contain high concentrations of THC and other compounds. Because of their strong potency, concentrates are more popular with seasoned marijuana users who tend to consume larger doses of THC at once.

While marijuana flowers usually contain 10-20% THC, marijuana concentrates can contain anywhere from 50-90% THC. Concentrates are also rich in terpenes, which are compounds that give different strains of marijuana their unique aromas.

Concentrates come in many different forms that range in consistency and texture. Different names are given to concentrates based on their appearance. Common names include shatter, wax, honeycomb, errl, nectar, crumble and budder.

Concentrates are available today in many dispensaries and vary in color from light yellow to a deep golden brown.

While marijuana typically sells for $10-20 per gram, high quality concentrates are much pricier and can cost upwards of $70-100 per gram.

What is Marijuana Shatter?

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Shatter is one of the most common concentrates on the market today. Shatter has a clear, translucent appearance that is often compared to glass or honey.

The name “shatter” comes from the fact that these concentrates will shatter like glass if hit or dropped.

Some forms of shatter appear more glass-like and have a texture that is brittle and hard. Other types of shatter are runny and viscous with an appearance that resembles thick honey or sap.

“Pull-and-snap” refers to shatter with a consistency that doesn’t resemble glass or sap, but instead falls somewhere in between.

What is Marijuana Wax?

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Wax is another type of concentrate that is commonly sold in dispensaries. The name “wax” refers to the opaque, wax-like appearance of these products.

Wax has a more complex texture than shatter because of the way that it’s made. The unique texture of wax comes from special THC structures that are formed by physical agitation during the extraction process.

Like shatter, different forms of wax can vary in texture and consistency, ranging from runny and moist to solid and dry. Runny forms of wax are called “budder” and look similar to peanut butter, while “crumble” refers to concentrates that have a dry and crumbly texture.

How To Make Concentrates

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Concentrates are made through an extraction process that uses a gas solvent (usually butane, CO2 or propane) to extract the active compounds in marijuana.

Once the compounds are extracted from the plant, the solvent is evaporated, leaving behind a highly potent substance that is commonly known as a concentrate.

While some people try to make concentrates at home, the process is dangerous and has been known to cause accidental explosions. Most concentrates sold in dispensaries are produced in commercial facilities that use high-grade equipment to ensure quality and safety.

Because concentrates are usually made with butane, concentrates are often called butane hash oil or butane honey oil (BHO). Concentrates are also sometimes referred to as THC oil, CO2 oil or dabs.

How To Use Shatter and Wax

The most popular way to consume concentrates like shatter and wax is a process known as dabbing. Dabbing involves heating and inhaling a small dose or “dab” of concentrate using special equipment known as a dab rig.

A dab rig looks like a regular bong but instead of a bowl it has a nail which must be heated up, either electronically or using a handheld torch. Once the nail is hot enough (550-750°F), a small amount of concentrate is placed on the nail, releasing a vapor that can be inhaled.

Besides dabbing, concentrates can also be consumed using a vaporizer. While older vaporizers were designed to work with dried flowers only, many newer models allow users to vaporize concentrates as well.

Some vaporizers come with different chambers to hold flowers and concentrates, while other vaporizers are designed solely to heat concentrates.