If you’re more than just a casual smoker, then chances are you’ve heard of shatter. Also assuming the names of wax, budder, sap and other nicknames, this cannabis concentrate has taken the world by storm as one of the most popular cannabis extracts available today.
Unfortunately, quality shatter can be difficult to source and even pricier to purchase. With this guide, we’re going to show you how to make shatter at home in a few easy steps. We’ll begin with a short introduction of what shatter actually is before going over the ingredients needed and the steps you’ll have to take to make your own DIY shatter.
Let’s get started!
What is Shatter?
As a cannabis extract, shatter has gained notoriety throughout cannabis communities for its potency and flavour. Approaching close to 70-80% THC, shatter is definitely not for the faint of heart or novice tokers. For the purposes of this guide, we’ll be focusing on butane hash oil (BHO) which is the most popular extraction method to create shatter.
Taking a hard, glass-like appearance, shatter earned its name for its brittleness and ability to “shatter” when exposed to too much force. However, shatter can also be soft and malleable or even wax-like. However, most consumers will opt for the hard, “snap” style shatters for its flavour and ease of access.
When extracting concentrates, the quality and quantity of your initial flower will greatly influence the yield of your final product. Generally, you can expect a 10-15 % return from an ounce of flower. Capital-intensive cannabis extraction machinery can extract up to 20% from an ounce, but these machines require a large initial investment and aren’t very practical for DIY purposes.
How to make shatter? The first thing you’ll have to keep in mind is producing shatter at home without any professional lab experience and an actual well ventilated, work-safe lab is dangerous. Use extreme caution and follow these following steps thoroughly in order to minimize your exposure to danger.
These are the ingredients you’ll need to make shatter at home. You’ll most likely already have a majority of these ingredients and tools at home
- 1 or 2 ounces of high-quality cannabis. The quality of your initial flower will determine how good your final product is
- An extraction tube: available at most head shops or online.
- 2 butane canisters
- Electric range and a double boiler
- A pyrex dish
- Parchment paper
- Single-edged razor blades
- Vacuum purging kit: available at most head shops or online.
Got all the ingredients? It’s time to double-check that your workspace is clear of clutter and well-ventilated. Set up some fans and open some windows to ensure proper air circulation
How to Make Shatter
Cook and prep time
Properly making shatter at home requires time. You can expect the process to take about 1-2 hours, with additional time to cool your final product – usually overnight in the freezer.
How to store your shatter is just as important as how to make shatter. Your shatter can be stored in a cool and dark place to maximize its shelf life. You can also store shatter in your refrigerator to preserve its glass-like consistency.
However, keep in mind that the longer it’s left unused, the larger the drop in potency. We recommend using your shatter within 6 months.
Step 1) Grind your cannabis
Begin by grinding your cannabis to a fine grind. It doesn’t have to be powder like kief, but the flower should be as small as possible to make the purging process easier. Once it’s ground, let your cannabis sit out for a while to dry it out. Fresh cannabis has considerable amounts of moisture, so it’s best to let it dry to make the purging process more effective.
Step 2) Fill the extraction tube
Next, fill the extraction tube with your dried and ground cannabis. Ensure that the cannabis is tightly packed, but not overly compact. There shouldn’t be any air pockets, but if it’s too tight the butane won’t saturate the flower.
Using 1 ounce of shatter per extraction tube is a good ratio to begin with.
Step 3) Fill the extraction tube with butane
During this step, you’ll need to ensure that you’re in a well-ventilated area with plenty of air circulation. Any spark or intense source of heat could ignite the butane and put you in danger.
A clear field is best, but any open-aired location that’s free of any buildings, lighters and smokers will do just fine.
Use one full canister of butane per vacuum tube and ounce of cannabis. Your extraction tube will have 2 sides – one with a filter and one with a small hole. The end with the small hole is where you’ll inject your butane into.
Place the filtered end over the pyrex dish and begin injecting your butane until the canister is empty or your cannabis is saturated. The butane inside the tube will quickly turn dark green/brown – this is the beginning stages of the extraction process so there’s no need to worry.
Step 4) Evaporate the butane
With all the plant’s beneficial compounds extracted by the butane, it’s time to remove the butane from your shatter. The easiest and safest way to do this is through an electric range. A gas range is possible but far more dangerous than an electric range.
To evaporate the butane, start by filling your double boiler and placing the pyrex container or similarly heat-resistant glassware on top. Slowly stir the mixture until it’s bubbling and steaming.
This step is extremely dangerous because butane is harmful to your lungs. A double boiler, when ran for a long enough duration, will evaporate most of your butane. It is crucial that there are no sources of heat or any flammable objects nearby as any spark could set off the evaporating butane.
Once your hash oil has stopped bubbling appears more viscous, the evaporation process is complete.
Step 5) Vacuum purge
To further remove butane and remove any shadow of doubt regarding your shatter’s safety; follow up with a vacuum purge. It’s recommended to use a store-bought vacuum purge kit.
Depending on the make and model of your vacuum purge kit, the instructions may differ. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and again, do this in a well-ventilated area with plenty of air circulation.
Step 6) Scrape your shatter
With the vacuum purge completed, your shatter is now ready to harvest. Scrape your shatter onto your parchment paper and allow it to cool and voila! You’ll have yourself quality, homemade shatter.
Concluding Thoughts On How to Make Shatter
Shatter is a wonderfully potent and flavorful cannabis extract, but that doesn’t mean you should skirt safety precautions and responsibility when making it!
Concentrates such as shatter make it easy to medicate with high doses of THC without breaking your wallet or smoking a large amount of flower but it can be dangerous to make at home if you don’t have the proper experience.
With any process involving volatile compounds and chemicals, it is imperative that you take the proper steps to ensure your safety. A well-ventilated area, ideally with fans or an open-aired location such as a field work best.
With this knowledge in hand, you’re ready to take the plunge into the wonderful world of DIY cannabis concentrates! We hope we’ve answered your question of how to make shatter!