Shatter is known by several different names including shatter wax, cannabis shatter, and shatter weed. Shatter is amber in color, semitransparent, and has a brittle, glass-like texture.
The name shatter comes from the extract’s glassy appearance. When shatter is made, the resinous extract forms sheets that can be broken apart or “shattered” into smaller pieces like glass.
Cannabis extracts like hashish have been used for centuries. However, shatter began to gain popularity in the early 2010s along with other concentrated cannabis extracts known as dabs.
Some critics are wary of shatter and similar cannabis extracts due to their high potency. While cannabis flower is often between 10-25% THC, shatter can contain up to 80% THC.
But some cannabis users, both medicinal and recreational, prefer the high potency of shatter because the effects come on much more rapidly and powerfully. This is an especially desirable feature for people seeking relief from chronic pain and other ailments.
When smoked or heated, shatter is often stronger but releases a weaker aroma than wax, even though wax offers the same medicinal benefits. The soft state also makes wax less stable than shatter, so it breaks down more quickly and must be used sooner, but it can be used in different ways more easily.