If you are looking to smoke or vape with something (way) stronger than the average strain, look no further than the infamous Shatter. This is pure, concentrated THC formed into a solid, breakable sheet with a distinct color and an even more distinct high.
You could make a quick dispensary run to get that good stuff, but you can make it at home with just a very short recipe and a minimal amount of active ‘cooking’ time.
How does Shatter work?
Just like any other dab wax and just as, if not, more potent. Shatter makes it easy to dab, vape, or just break apart and smoke with your flower. But because it is so much more potent with loads more THC than any strain on the market, it is something that is not recommended for newcomers to cannabis.
Concentrated THC allows for a stronger high with stronger psychoactive effects over an extended period of time, longer than you would experience after smoking a joint. So as you may guess, making shatter will involve extracting all the THC from your strain, containing it with oil and cooling it so that it can be broken apart and used in your favorite devices.
What you Need
Not much, surprisingly. An ounce of flower can go a long way.
Especially when you have a double boiler, or can make one, high-proof alcohol, some coffee filters and a flat dish or work surface to break up the shatter. No fancy appliances or rare ingredients are necessary.
How to Make Shatter
To make shatter at home, all you really need to do is prep your ounce of weed, let it sit in the alcohol and boil off just enough to give it the desired consistency. Obviously, it will not come out as ‘shatter’ directly off the stove, but what you will get is an amazing, at-home concentrate that is more than 90% on the way to becoming the perfect shatter.
What makes this even better is your kitchen’s heat and double boiler will do most of the cooking for you, while most of your job is just waiting, lightly stirring and of course, shattering at the end. It is not a labor-intensive process at all and the end product will get you higher than your most potent strain: What’s not to love?
Step 1: Saturate the flower
The best thing you can do to start your shatter journey is to prep your flower. You do this by breaking up your buds, if they are bigger pieces, then placing them in a low heat oven (200° F is perfect) for about 20 minutes, so that the flower’s THC gets released and can finally be extracted.
You should not need a whole bar cart full of alcohol, just enough to saturate your ounce of flower in about one inch of liquid.
Step 2: Add heat, Evaporate
Time to get scientific. After you have strained, rinsed and repeated the submersion step (letting the mixture sit and then straining the oil with a coffee filter), bring it over to the double boiler and cook your pre-shatter on a hot, electric stovetop.
An electric burner is strongly recommended as you drastically reduce the risk of a kitchen fire.
The cooking time might vary slightly if you have a cheaper electric stove that you plug in, but all you are looking for is bubbles (no, not for bubble hash). You will know the cooking process is picking up when the oil starts to bubble up and when the last bubble is gone, your pre-shatter is done: We love easy metrics.
Step 3: Cooling The Oil
From this point on, freezing is permissible for the most part. You can freeze your new shatter so that it solidifies quicker, only do so when the mixture is completely cooled. If you try to freeze the concentrate from anything hotter than room temperature, you risk compromising the mixture, spoiling your frozen foods or damaging your container and freezer.
This is of course optional as shatter will solidify without a freezer, it just speeds up the process if you do it right. Otherwise, it will cool down at room temperature and eventually the fridge.
One last little chore before we get to the fun part: Vacuum purging will get rid of all of the last traces of butane that are harmful, leaving you nothing but the shatter itself, clear of any unwanted chemicals. Talk to one of the pros at your dispensary if you are unsure about any of this, but you basically take a one-stage vac pump to suck out all the air and lingering butane.
Step 4: Shatter It
The final product may be thin, it might be a little thick: it might have a ton of ‘holes,’ it might have next to none. Worry not if your homemade shatter does not look like how it does in pictures, all that matters is the shatter (bars). All it needs is to do is break apart like the real thing and get you really, really high. So, no pressure. Except what you apply to break the shatter.
No matter how it looks, this last step is the most satisfying and necessary step of this whole process. Not sure if there is a subreddit for ‘breaking shatter,’ but this is what would be at the top of the thread. That satisfying sound and feel to it when you finally get to break your new shatter is enough to make any mistake you may have along the way seem worth the effort.
How long will homemade shatter last?
The shatter, like all other forms of cannabis, needs to be stored properly to ensure that it will not spoil. To do this, simply keep it out of direct sunlight (the heat would make it lose potency over time), in a preferably dark place where it would not gather condensation or other moisture, which would eventually delude the shatter.
Do this, and your homemade concentrates will last for about 6 months in storage. To clarify, freezing straight cannabis is generally a no-no, but a mixture such as this can be vacuum-sealed to keep out moisture and last for several months longer in the freezer (so long as these steps are taken).
Loss of potency, odd smell and discoloration all indicate that your shatter is no longer good, but if you remember how to store it, you can keep it fresh well beyond your next re-up.