Smoking cannabis has been around for a long time. This age-old, tried-and-tested method is one of the main means of marijuana consumption since the very beginning. Recently, however, we are seeing a new method of consumption gaining in popularity: dabbing. Dabbing is the process of heating butane hash oil or BHO using a special oil and then inhaling the resultant vapor. BHO is a cannabis concentrate that exhibits an average potency much higher than the weed you smoke. Read on as we learn more about two of the most common concentrates today: shatter and wax.
Differentiating Shatter and Wax
What is Shatter?
Shatter is a translucent or transparent concentrate that looks like rock candy. Just like other concentrates, it is produced using butane by forcing the chemical through marijuana material to produce an amber-like liquid. Left to cool, this liquid will solidify into shatter and will have a consistency similar to thin peanut brittle. The transparent quality of shatter is brought about by the temperatures used during the extraction and finishing process, along with other variables.
To put in simpler terms, think of the molecules in the BHO as Lego blocks. In shatter, they are all stacked nice and neat, one on top of the other, like when you are building a wall. Such manner of molecular alignment allows light to pass through it, giving it its brittle format.
What is Wax?
Just like shatter, wax is a BHO concentrate with the consistency of coconut oil and the looks of ear wax. Also, like shatter, it starts off as the amber liquid that results from butane extraction. Whether by design or by accident, the extracted oil is heated or agitated to produce an opaque material with a consistency that ranges from peanut butter to ear wax to honeycomb.
While the Lego blocks in shatter are neatly stacked in rows, the ones in wax are a jumble mess like when they are dumped in a pile. Because the Lego blocks have no semblance of organization, wax is opaque with a coconut oil consistency. This description might be over-simplified, but it should help you visualize what is going on at a molecular level.
Shatter is More Expensive than Wax
Technically, there is no difference between shatter and wax since they are both BHO concentrates with roughly the same THC potency. They are both used in dabbing and offer a powerful, long-lasting high. The only real difference between them is their appearance, which is merely a product of how they were produced. It is in here where their prices are differentiated.
Shatter is more difficult to produce, since the process requires the producer to be very finicky, unlike wax production. Also, the former is more stable so it can last longer than the latter. These two things make shatter more expensive than wax in retail. Shatter is harder to handle, use and measure because of its brittle nature, while wax is the complete opposite because of its coconut oil consistency.
Which Concentrate Should You Pick?
If you are a beginner to concentrates, the best way to answer this question is to try them both for yourself. After all, both of them are still marijuana, so you should have idea of how they will make you feel. It can be a science experiment of sorts for you, as you figure out the kind of concentrate that will give you the effects that you are looking for. Whether you buy or produce it for yourself, concentrates like shatter and wax can be a great addition to your cannabis arsenal. Just make sure that you get your stash from a reputable marijuana dispensary.