If you’re like any modern-day cannabis consumer, shatter has ended up on your plate once or twice. Also known as wax, budder, sap and other nicknames, the potent extract has been a revolution in marijuana use. The days of having to smoke mass amounts of dried flowers to get medical relief are long gone. The cost has kept people away from consuming shatter – so why not learn how to make shatter at home?
To cut costs, we’re going to show you how to make shatter at home. This easy recipe will cover all the ins and outs. Soon you’re going to be a master chef in the world of concentrates.
To get started, we’re going to give a brief explanation of shatter and guide you through some tips that will help the process. Then, we’ll go over all the steps of the recipe thoroughly.
All it takes is a bit of ongoing practice and patience, both of which we have the utmost faith that you can achieve.
A Quick Introduction to Shatter
The extract shatter has gained popularity in recent years. It’s a potent cannabis concentrate that is upwards of 70-80 percent THC. We will be focusing on BHO, a butane hash oil process, but this isn’t the only method for extraction.
Others include water extractions, supercritical Co2 extractions, and ethanol extraction. Each has its benefits, but as mentioned, we will be sticking with BHO.
Shatter is usually a hard, glass-like substance, but that’s not always the case. Shatter can be soft and gooey or resemble a wax-like substance. Most people like to go for the hard, “snap” style shatters for its look and ease of use.
The amount of shatter extracted will significantly depend on the type of flower and your expertise in the process. A general yield is 10-15 percent return from an ounce of flower. It will also depend on the THC content of the flower. Using bottom bag and trim will yield less, while top-shelf flowers the most.
Professional cannabis extraction machinery can extract up to 20 percent. But these machines cost a fortune and aren’t practical for an in-home operation.
Ethanol extraction machines are the cheapest, but still, cost in the $5000 to $10,000 range. If you want to take it up a notch, an industrial supercritical Co2 extractor costs anywhere from $200,000 to $500,000!
Unless you’re rolling in the dough, you won’t need this machinery at the moment.
Before we get into the meat and potatoes of this operation, a word of caution on how to make shatter.
Producing shatter at home without any professional experience and a work-safe lab has its dangers! Use extreme caution and follow the steps thoroughly to avoid injury. People from all walks of life have hurt themselves attempting to make shatter.
To get started, we need to gather the materials. About half of the items you’ll already have at home, but the rest is cheap at a headshop or hardware shop.
- 1 or 2 ounces of cannabis: the potency of the cannabis will influence the yield. A good idea is to experiment with a lower grade or a smaller batch for the first time.
- An extraction tube: these are 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: also available for sale at head shops or online.
Got all the ingredients? Good! It’s time to learn how to make shatter.
How to Make Shatter
Cook and prep time
The entire process to make shatter takes about 1-2 hours, but you’ll want to let it cool after. Leave it overnight or in the freezer for a couple more hours.
You can store your shatter in a cool, dark place to keep its potency. If you like, save your shatter in the freezer to preserve its glass-like consistency. Shatter doesn’t have an exact expiration date.
Like any other cannabis product, the longer it’s left unused, the potency will decrease. Keeping it in a closet or drawer for longer than a year might also lead to moulding.
We advise storing the shatter in silicone containers. Silicone became a popular storage container for its low price. But, the silicone breaks down the chemical make-up of extracts and ruins the flavour and potency.
There’s no point in using all your valuable time to make a product and then throwing it in a lousy container!
Step 1) Grind your cannabis
You want to grind the cannabis to make it easier to purge. It doesn’t need to be like a powder but broken up into smaller chunks. You can skip the grinder all together and use scissors.
Let the ground cannabis sit and dry out a bit. If it’s too fresh, the butane won’t purge it properly.
Step 2) Fill the extraction tube
Fill the extraction tube with cannabis. You want to make sure that it’s tight, but not squished. There shouldn’t be any air pockets, but if it’s too tight, the butane may not saturate all the flowers.
One ounce of shatter per extraction tube is a good ratio. You’ll get the hang of it soon enough.
Step 3) Fill the extraction tube with butane
For this step, you want to do it outside in a well-ventilated area. Any little spark could set the butane to ignite. By doing this step outside, you dramatically decrease the chance of any accidents. A clear field is your best bet, but any location will do so long as it’s far away from buildings, lighters, smokers or anything that may ignite the butane.
You’ll be using one full canister of butane per vacuum tube and ounce of cannabis. There are 2 sides to the extraction tube. One has a filter, while the other has a little hole. The end with the opening is the one that the butane injects through.
Place the filtered end over the pyrex dish and begin to unload the canister. Keep going until the canister is empty.
A greenish or brown liquid oil will start to cover the pyrex; this is the beginning remnants of shatter. Go carefully, use safety gloves and do this step outside. You’ll be fine if done so.
Step 4) Evaporate the butane
Evaporating the butane also comes with its risks. If you do not have an electric range, then find a location that does. Using a gas stove is dangerous. An electric range still comes with its risks but is relatively safe.
Fill your double boiler and place the pyrex container on top. This process will begin to evaporate the butane from your shatter.
Butane is dangerous to inhale, and using a double boiler will evaporate most of the butane. Not only is it dangerous to inhale, but it might also ignite when smoking.
Once the hash oil has stopped bubbling, the process is complete.
Step 5) Vacuum purge
To get the purest shatter possible, use a vacuum purge. This is also best done in a ventilated area. We recommend a store-bought vacuum purge kit.
A DIY water purge is possible but can ruin your product if not done correctly. A professional vacuum purge will yield the best outcome.
The instructions for each specific machine will be available in the box and on the companies website.
Now that you’ve purged the shatter, we’re at the home stretch.
Step 6) Scrape your shatter
After the final vacuum purge is complete, your shatter is ready to cool. Scrape the BHO onto the parchment paper and let it cool. If you’re feeling impatient, place it in the freezer, but leaving at room temperature is fine.
Congratulations, you’ve officially learned how to make shatter!
Welcome to the World of DIY Concentrates
With great power, comes great responsibility. Extracts make it easy to medicate in high doses without breaking the bank and smoking an enormous amount of flower.
Learning how to make shatter is an excellent skill to have and will pay dividends in the short and long term.
As concentrates are potent, start slow and find your perfect dose. When it comes to cannabis, less is more. You may find that just a tiny little dab will be more than enough.
Now that you’ve gotten the skills and a fresh batch of shatter, it’s time to give the finished product a test.
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