Shatter is a cannabis concentrate that has a unique clear brittle appearance. While it has a similar THC and CBD content as other concentrates due to similar extraction processes, its production process involves a different mix of heating and cooling.
Smoking shatter is similar to smoking wax or other extracts, but there are certain methods that work better and prevent wasting of the product. The most common include:
- Dab rigs (recommended)
- In or on joints, blunts, or cigarettes
Keep reading as we explain different ways to smoke shatter and how to discern its quality. It’s good to know different methods so you can work with what you have, as well as the pros and cons of each one.
How to Smoke Shatter with a Vape
If you’re smoking shatter with a vape, you want a dedicated dap pen or vape pen. You need something that can heat up high enough to properly vaporize shatter, otherwise you’re wasting product and likely wasting your investment.
You need to use a temperature higher than what you would use for dry herbs, so make sure you verify this in the device specifications. Once you find an adequate device you can take advantage of its portability and flexibility.
To use the vape to smoke shatter, open the chamber and add a small piece of shatter to the coil. Keep the chamber open and press the button until the shatter melts a bit, but not so long that it burns.
Close the chamber, put the lid back on, then use the vape as normal. You will likely need to adjust the settings a few times to meet your preferences, but smoking with a vape can almost emulate using a dedicated dab rig.
How to Smoke Shatter with a Dab Rig
Smoking shatter with a dab rig is arguably the best way to smoke it. They’re slightly more complex than bongs, and they include special parts to ensure you get the most out of your concentrate.
- A dab nail: aka a banger, where you put your shatter
- A dome: goes over your dab nail to prevent vapor waste after you heat it
- A percolator: not necessary, but beneficially for flavor; adds onto cleaning
On top of these parts, you may also want a carb cap to seal in shatter flavor or a dab mat to keep your area clean and safe.
A dabber (dab tool) helps you deal with the concentrate effectively. They come in different materials (metal, glass, ceramic) and shapes (spatulas, scoops, blades, shovels, paddles, picks) to reach into jars and let you section off your dose easily. Once you understand the unique parts and tools to use, you need to put them to use.
- Like a bong, you need to add water to the chamber and make sure there isn’t so much it splashes up into your mouth.
- Heat the bottom of your dab nail using a blowtorch until it turns red. The ideal surface temperature of the nail is between 550° and 750°F, so using a dabber is pretty much non-negotiable.
- Once the nail is hot enough, use the dabber to section off a tiny piece of shatter and set it on the nail. Immediately cover the nail with the dome to protect the vapor from escaping.
- Inhale long and slow from the mouthpiece while keeping the shatter covered. Exhale slowly, evaluate how you feel, and take care not to overindulge.
- When you’re done there may be a small amount of oil left on the nail. You can clean this using alcohol, or you can burn the nail until it vaporizes. You want to keep it clean so you don’t chip the glass in the future.
You may want to invest in an electric dab rig for the future. They’re often easier to use and utilize internal components rather than a torch to heat the nail. This offers greater control and can unlock different experiences. Electric rigs are also much better for consistency, reducing the effects of human error.
How to Smoke Shatter: Joints, Blunts, and Cigarettes
Smoking shatter in or on joints, blunts, and cigarettes are not recommended, but it will do in a pinch. You won’t be able to take full advantage of the concentrate, but it may be the only option you have.
To do this you need to break the shatter into pieces or melt it down then add it to your joint as you roll it. This is easier with crumble, but you can wax a joint using a dabber or hot knife on the inside of your rolling paper.
For pre-rolled joints, open them up and add shatter crumble on top. Re-roll it, and then smoke it as normal.
Add shatter to the outside or end of a cigarette. Glassy shatter can go on the end of the ember, or you can melt it down and add it to the outside to burn as you smoke.
Keep in mind that these methods are more dangerous than other smoking methods. Shatter burns very hot, and adding it in this way increases your chances of ending up with hot wax on your fingers.
How to Smoke Shatter with a Pipe
You need to pack your bowl with other herbs if you intend to smoke shatter with a pipe.
Fill it about halfway with weed or flower, then sprinkle your shatter. Add more herb to the top, then hit the pipe as you normally would.
Getting the right ratio of weed to shatter can be difficult, as well as learning how full you need to pack it first. Focus on ensuring your flame doesn’t touch the shatter, as this can lead to foul tastes and inconsistencies.
How to Smoke Shatter with a Bong
Smoking shatter with a bong is similar to smoking with a dab rig, but you lack the parts dedicated to making the most out of concentrates.
Don’t use one any larger than 15 inches, as this will weaken your hits by the time they reach your mouth. You should also invest in a male-jointed or universal dab nail to use in the bong to accommodate the high-temperature needs.
If you’re using the original bowl, pack it like you would when smoking shatter in a pipe, then use the bong as normal. Proper packing, as well as rotating the bowl, will cultivate a cleaner burn.
Determining Shatter Quality
Regardless of how you decide to smoke shatter, you want to start with a quality product.
A common misconception is that shatter is automatically higher quality than wax or other concentrates. In reality, shatter simply has a different appearance that reflects the way molecules were undisturbed during production.
To determine the quality of shatter, you want to evaluate:
Some details are easy to discern before making your selection, while others will simply help you decide whether you trust your source again.
Good quality shatter will have a translucent amber color, and it may look like a sheet of sugar or toffee. It should also have a consistent color with no discrepancies in shade; irregular colors or different colors may indicate a rushed or improper process, leading to a lower-quality product.
Understand that the transparency of the product does not relate to its potency. Clearer shatter doesn’t necessarily have a higher THC content, and you should refer to lab results for this information.
Reputable dispensaries will carry shatter with consistent color and lab results available for your evaluation.
Shatter should have a hard, glass-like texture, but you may find it in soft crumbles. You can change the texture later using a good dabber, but you want your original product to be solid.
Cracking does little to indicate quality, as this is a normal characteristic of shatter. A sleek texture is more indicative of quality processing.
The aroma that you get from shatter (or any other dab) should not be the same as you experience from weed smoke. Shatter produces vapors, and the odor should not be harsh on your throat.
That said, the natural scent of shatter is earthy and resonates as an herb. It may be similar to weed because of the original terpenes, and quality plays a part in the lingering aroma.
The better the shatter is, the more pungent the smell (when comparing similar qualities). Weak shatter won’t smell as strong.
Gauging potency is difficult to do without lab results because different people have different tolerance levels and consume at different rates. This is why you should choose a reputable dispensary that distributes tested products.
If you’re testing shatter for the first time, you may want to choose a verified low or no THC dose dab. You can build up to higher potencies with practice, but you don’t want to take on too much at once.
It’s easier to pick up on low-quality shatter if you have experience with it. The effects will not be as pronounced.
Keep in mind that certain methods are not recommended because they decrease the potency of shatter, and even high-quality products will suffer for it.
Flavor may differ depending on what you use to smoke shatter, but starting with a high-quality product gives you a better taste and experience.
Appearance may not indicate a preferred flavor. Shatter can look perfect and leave a bad taste in your mouth. Your best bet for avoiding this is to buy from a reputable brand and licensed manufacturer.
Purity testing from a third-party lab is a key indicator of how shatter will taste without going as far as inhaling it.
The good news is you can smoke shatter using pretty much anything in your smoking arsenal. Some methods, such as dab rigs and specialized dab pens and vapes, are better for preserving the original quality of the product, but anything will work.
Regardless of the method you choose, indulge responsibly and keep your tools clean.Start small if trying out a new method, and be mindful of the high temperatures.
Let us know which method you prefer for smoking shatter, or drop any questions you have in the comments.