Cannabis extracts are becoming more and more popular, with terms like dabs, shatter, and wax becoming more and more common among smokers and growers. But what is cannabis extract and how is it made? And what’s the difference between shatter, wax, and oil?
What is cannabis extract?
Cannabis extract is simply the BHO (butane hash oil) that’s created after butane has been
dripped through marijuana. The oil is filtered, the water evaporated out, and the resulting oil will be highly concentrated with THC and CBD. This provides for a high that’s much more potent and intense than simply smoking marijuana because marijuana in its natural state isn’t concentrated. Cannabis extract is inhaled when BHO is dropped or held onto a hot surface, creating smoke that is inhaled through an oil rig, a contraption very similar to a pipe or bong but designed specifically for this purpose. This is known as dabbing, or taking dabs.
The difference between shatter, wax, and sap
Shatter and wax are both forms of BHO and for this reason so they are very similar. However, the two terms should not be used interchangeably, as there are significant differences.
Shatter is the purest form of BHO. It’s amber in appearance, and is translucent. This oil is left to dry and harden into a glass-like sheet, which is then dropped or “shattered” into smaller pieces. The potency of shatter is said to be about 7 times more than marijuana. Temperature and moisture levels can cause great variations in the texture of shatter. This is why some looser shatter that runs more easily is often referred to as sap. If the oil falls between the tell-tale glass-like shatter and the runnier sap, it’s called pull-and-snap.
Marijuana wax, also called budders or crumble, is created when cannabis extract is agitated, causing the oil to crystalize and lose its transparency. This causes the molecules to bond together and form a softer, opaque substance known as marijuana wax. Again, heat and moisture levels will determine the exact consistency of different marijuana wax. Softer waxes are known as budders, while those that are harder and more brittle are often called crumble or honeycomb.
Cannabis extract is becoming more popular every day for good reason. Whether you choose shatter, wax, or anything in between, you’re sure to experience something that’s difficult if not impossible to achieve smoking straight bud.