Shatter is a translucent, hard cannabis extract and is one of the most popular marijuana products these days. Shatter became a popular cannabis product after 2010. Although it is a relatively new legal weed, its demand has soared over the years like none other. Known by other names like shatter wax, shatter crystals resemble glass and have a very solid hit. In this article, we shall tell you how to smoke shatter in a vape pen.
Vape pens are modern, handheld smoking devices that run on battery power. The battery circuit is connected to a cartridge or a chamber where shatter is loaded. The electric charge from the battery heats the extract, which produces flavored vapors instead of smoke. We shall discuss its mechanism of action later.
How To Smoke Shatter In A Vape Pen
Vaping is a relatively new concept. Not just for shatter, but even for other forms like wax, crumble, etc., consumers are still very confused about the use of vape pens. People are unable to figure out how to smoke shatter using wax pens or dab pens. However, it is a very convenient method of smoking shatter, and can be learned easily. Therefore, let’s take a look at the steps involved in vaping shatter:
1. Choose The Extract And Atomizer
The best part about using a vape pen is its versatility. A single vape pen can be used to smoke oils, waxes, budders, etc. besides shatter. Therefore, if you purchase a single vape pen, it can be used for several other extracts as well. It also means that the first step in learning how to smoke shatter in a vape pen is to decide your concentration. You should only add the shatter concentrate to the chamber and remove any other extract that might be present in the vape pen.
2. Filling The Chamber
Once you have chosen your shatter extract and the best atomizer for it, you need to load the chamber. First, you need to put the shatter extract on the dabber of the vape pen. For this, you shall require a special dabbing tool. Moreover, once all the extract is loaded on the dabber, simply scrape off the entire shatter content and use it to load the chamber.
The use of a dabbing tool is mandatory for this step. It is because on touching the shatter crystals, you might end up damaging the innate structure of cannabis. Also, do not touch the inner heating element of the vape pen with bare hands. The reason is that firstly, it might be too hot, and secondly, it is very delicate and gets damaged easily.
3. Saturating The Shatter Concentrate
Once you load the shatter on the chamber, you can simply close the vape pen and start smoking. However, some people prefer saturating the extract with flavored liquids before smoking. This process is called priming the wick. The purpose behind doing it is that the increased moisture prevents the extract from burning quickly when the vape heats up.
At this stage, the shatter melts and accumulates around the heating element of the vape pen. For the first inhalation, simply press the button. Pressing the button heats the coil to produce the vapors.
4. Pull The Vapors Through The Mouthpiece
You just need to suck the vapors smoothly from the mouthpiece. Continue doing so till the extract is exhausted. You can also change the heat settings as per your convenience. Generally, maintaining the heating coil at lower temperatures helps in smooth inhalation and gives a better taste as well. However, if you set it at a higher temperature, you will have to suck it with more effort and the extract will last longer.
Different types of shatter extracts behave differently with changing temperatures. Some even taste better at higher temperatures. Selecting the temperature is completely based on your liking.
5. Reloading The Vape Pen
It becomes quite evident when the concentration of shatter in the vape pen is low. When the concentration starts declining, you shall notice a decrease of flavor in the vapors. The duration after which you need to refill the chamber depends on the initial load. If the concentration was high to start with, you get to vape for a longer time.
The size of the chamber is crucial in deciding the frequency of reloading. Look for vape pens with larger chambers if you do not want to get into the hassles of frequent refilling.
6. Cleaning The Vape Pen
Cleaning the vape pen is an important task. As stated before, you can use vape pens to smoke different types of weed extracts. If the cleaning is not thorough, mixing of contents takes place which is never a good practice.
Although vape pens should not be shared, if you have shared it with someone, cleaning it becomes even more important.
Dismantle The Unit
The first step in cleaning the vape pen is disassembling the unit. It simply means dismantling the battery, chamber, mouthpiece, etc. Simply wipe the mouthpiece with a clean cloth.
Cautious Use Of A Dip
To clean the chamber, you will need a q-dip. Dip it in an alcohol solution, and use it to clean the inside of the chamber, removing all dark residues carefully. Do not apply excess pressure as the chamber gets damaged easily and it usually cannot be repaired.
Comparison Between Wax And Shatter
Shatter is often compared with traditional cannabis wax. The reason why many prefer shatter over wax is that it lasts longer when heated. Thus, they can enjoy it for a longer time while wax tends to degrade early. However, measuring the shatter dosage is quite complicated. Wax can be manipulated easily and hence, one can restrict or increase the concentration with ease.
Both forms have their benefits and disadvantages. Some like wax while others prefer smoking shatter only. Shatter can sometimes be more appealing due to the post-processing that is usually done in the production phase. Wax can have as high as 90% THC content. So, it depends on what the consumer is looking for.
How Is Shatter Produced?
As stated before, shatter is a cannabis extract. Moreover, the essential oils that are taken out from cannabis are subjected to modifications and chemical reactions to obtain shatter crystals.
1. Role Of A Hydrocarbon Solvent
The extraction process requires the presence of a hydrocarbon solvent. The most popularly used solvents include- butane, propane, etc. Sometimes, even carbon dioxide is also used as a solvent. However, it might have certain negative impacts on the final composition and thus, it is not the preferred solvent for this process.
After treatment with the hydrocarbon solvent, a raw oily substance is obtained. Thorough cleansing of the oil is done, followed by stirring and whipping of the sludge on top.
Once the above process is over, the whole mixture is placed in large vacuum containers and subjected to high temperatures. The heat helps in sucking out the harmful hydrocarbons in the oil and disposes of them so that a completely clean mixture is obtained.
Once all toxic substances are removed, it is now time to winterize the basic mixture. Winterization is the term used for the process of adding alcohol to a mixture and then subjecting it to filtration. For winterization, pure ethanol in commercial forms like Everclear is used. After directly adding ethanol to the mixture, it is immediately stored in freezers. The cold atmosphere helps in the coagulation of essential lipids and hydrocarbons that were instilled into the compound during the initial treatment process.
Once a solid mass is obtained after freezing, it is passed through filters. Any crude, undesirable, and lumpy mass that might be present in the mixture can be removed at this stage using appropriate filters. This process of winterization is repeated three to five times to ensure that any lumpy plant material is not present in the final mixture.
5. Heating And Termination
After winterization is complete, the mixture is heated for long hours at low intensity, so that ethanol evaporates gradually. It helps in reducing the alcohol content in the compound, while still getting its desirable fragrance and flavor in the mix.
The chemical treatment process is terminated when a translucent glass-like compound is obtained at lower temperatures. This compound can break into shards, just like a piece of glass. Thus, it is called shatter.
Cost Of Shatter
For those people who regularly consume marijuana or cannabis extracts, shatter does not have anything special to offer. The potency is almost the same as that of other extracts. However, the main difference lies in the cost per gram and the ease of consumption. In general, the cost per gram for shatter is lesser than that of isolates and sauces.
Besides, it is still very expensive compared to budder wax or other basic extracts. The reason for those extracts being so cheap is that the steps involved in their production are fewer and simpler.
The price of each gram of shatter heavily depends on the quality of cannabis buds that are used to prepare the mixture. There are two variants, the nug run shatter, and the trim run shatter. While you can expect to get a gram of trim run shatter at around $35-$40, nug run shatter is more expensive, priced at $50 per gram.
The kind of chemicals used in the preparation phase also plays a role in determining the cost of shatter. If carbon dioxide is used instead of butane or propane, the cost of the final mix is generally less.
Potency Of Shatter
The potency of cannabis extracts depends on the amount of plant material that is present in the final mixture. If the plant extracts are high in number, the raw oil extracted through the treatment process is more viscous. Thus, a viscous essential oil obtained from cannabis will have a higher amount of cannabinoids, terpenes, etc., and consequently, be more potent.
The other end of this spectrum of potency is occupied by Isolates. Isolates are the extracts that exclusively contain a single Cannabis component. Thorough chemical processing is needed to produce isolates. Moreover, isolates do not contain plant materials in an appreciable amount. Hence, they are less potent too.
Shatter is present between the two types of extracts. It has an intermediate potency. Generally, shatters contain high amounts of THC. However, other cannabinoids like CBG and CBD are usually present in trace quantities only. Terpenes are purposefully removed during winterization. Modifications to the production process deal with increasing the terpene retention or CBD amount in the final mixture.
Other Methods Of Smoking Shatter
Shatter can be consumed in the following ways:
Dabbing is the traditional and most cost-effective method of consuming shatter. In general, dabbing means to inhale small quantities of vapors of a concentrated amount of any drug.
If you perform dabbing correctly, it will help in delivering the entire drug through the vapors to your lungs. Moreover, the high that you get after consuming shatter through dabbing is tremendous. Therefore, if you need a vehement experience of shatter consumption, you should try dabbing.
Traditionally shatter was consumed by dabbing only. For this reason, during winterization, the entire lipid content of the mixture is removed that otherwise gets degraded at higher temperatures. Dabbing should always be done at lower temperatures where the chunk of residues left behind is lower than usual.
2. Joint Smoking
If you are into smoking cigarettes, there are high chances that you will not enjoy the experience of dabbing or using vape pens. The good-old puffs, from a joint in the hand, is the technique that you will be most comfortable with. Although, smoking like this is very uncommon.
It ultimately depends on how you like it and what gives you the best high. The shatter crystals are rolled in a small strip of putty, and the process is called twaxing. Shatter is not smoked very often because the smoke is extremely hot and produces intense coughing in most people.
3. Edible Shatter Consumption
Edible forms of shatter are also gaining popularity these days. For the preparation, some shatter crystals are added to edible oils and the oil can then be mixed with infused dishes. Some people heat raw buds or crystals with butter and consume it directly. The only problem with this method of consumption is that it is difficult to estimate the number of cannabinoids in the final mixture. Moreover, the addition of the weed directly to edible oils and then consuming it is strongly opposed by health experts.
Problems In Vaping Shatter
1. Loose Connections
A lot of people report that the connections between the tank and the battery are very loose at times. Moreover, as dirt accumulates around these terminals, they break away readily and it causes the vape pen to malfunction.
2. Weak Atomizers
The atomizer that comes with the unit is very fragile. A small knock or dropping of the vape pen can cause damage to the atomizer. Repairing it is often impossible. On most occasions, it is difficult to find the right atomizer for the vape pen too.
Issues with the pin, heating coil, tank, etc. are also reported very commonly.
3. Addiction Problem
Vape pens are just as addictive as any other method of consumption. Thus, moderation is
extremely important when you use vape pens to smoke shatter.
4. Difficult To Moderate
The versatility of vape pens has been discussed earlier. The use of vape pens for the consumption of a large variety of drugs like CBD, THC, etc. makes the regulation more difficult.
Always Be Careful
Just like any other cannabis extract, shatter is significantly potent. It means that you should limit its consumption, and consume it mindfully. If you use the dab method to smoke shatter, ensure that there is a gap between subsequent dabs. Similarly, very frequent puffing from a joint or the vape pen is also not recommended. If you are new to shatter, go slow, and test its potency for your body.
As stated before, it is best to consume shatter at lower temperatures. Due to this, the shatter fumes do not harm the lungs intensely. If the plant material is effectively reduced, the chances of the lungs getting damaged decreases further. Even the chemicals like butane, propane, etc., that are used to prepare shatter crystals are vaporized completely, making it safer for consumption.
So, in this article, we taught you how to smoke shatter in a vape pen. Shatter is only one among the wide variety of cannabis concentrates that can be consumed using a vape pen. With a THC concentrate of 70-80%, shatter is capable of producing a pleasurable high in a short span.
In all, shatter is a safe concentrate and the overdose effects are not very severe. However, you should always consume it judiciously, with due moderation. Experts suggest that vaping is currently the best method for shatter smoking. It is a safer alternative to dabbing, and convenient as well. Therefore, choose a good vape pen with a suitable chamber volume, and enjoy your shatter smoking experience.