Multi-colored shatter, vacuum purge, and BHO extraction!
No, they aren’t spare parts of the DeLorean time machine from Back to the Future trilogy, but some of the fundamentals of the marijuana-extract revolution of 2019. The groundbreaking Canada Cannabis Act of 2018 legalized the possession and consumption of up to 30 grams of dried or concentrated marijuana by Canadians at least 18 years old.
About 15 years ago, potheads gradually started smoking less marijuana to dab more of it. They began heating the cannabis flora’s oily extracts to snort rich concentrations of iconic weed molecules such as tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly known as THC. As stoners gradually discovered, extracts which acquired popular names like dark shatter, wax, batter, honey, errl, live resin, and light golden shatter weren’t just more powerful than their plant-based counterparts but were oh-so-convenient to consume on the go.
Today, Competitions like The Secret Cup and The 710 Cup (2019 edition is scheduled for 8th July) are becoming prominent platforms to celebrate the progress of hash makers to coronate the best extracts. Moreover, to keep pace with the demand, equipment manufacturers and extraction labs have developed progressively advanced apparatuses to generate the concentrates, and secure, elevated-volume production methods.
Now that’s fantastic!
Indeed, it is – except for the fact that the instant fame of cannabis concentrates has created a lot of misleading digital content.
That’s why we at VBUD Canada have taken it upon ourselves to adequately inform all you beautiful cannabis enthusiasts about what’s what while you toke your bong with minimal techno humming in the background.
Let’s start with the basics:
What is Cannabis Concentrate?
A cannabis concentrate is an all-encompassing title for extracts from the marijuana plants. It’s a richly powerful THC concentrated mass (40 – 80% volume) that appears like butter or honey. Its tetrahydrocannabinol level is 4 x times more impactful than a top shelf or high-grade marijuana, which typically ranges in the 15 – 25% spectrum.
Let’s get into one of the hottest debate of the progressive cannabis circles about dark shatter in comparison to the light golden shatter, and vice versa.
What is Shatter?
Shatter is one of a kind extraordinarily powerful marijuana concentrate and is one of many forms of dabbing. It takes its name from the finished article of the extraction process; an opalescent glass-like rock formation that shatters if dropped from some height or when force is applied.
A high-quality shatter comes in a splendidly translucent shape and also features a golden hue. It looks like honey with multiple degrees of transparency as well as color profiles. When the shatter is ultra-warm, it will appear much like thick honey. Alternatively, a cold shatter looks just like a glass.
The weed mavens of 2019 are filling their stash with shatter courtesy of its heavier-hitting high. On the street, consumers are more likely to purchase the product in a thickened taffy-like variant. The concentrate is often packaged in a parchment paper due to its occasional gluey form. Two of the most popular ways to consume this concentrate are:
1. Vaporizer Pen
If you’re a busy resident of the world looking to shatter your cannabis dreams, vaping it off is the way to go. Pressing a mere button will transmute the shatter into a vapor, allowing you to have a smooth inhaling experience.
2. Dab Rig
A device with a similar appearance to the bong that uses metal dabber and a long nail to heat-up the shatter. It looks complicated yet offers the cleanest hits. Specifically, the bowl (made of quartz glass) and the nail are heated to perfection through a butane torch, and a metal dabber is deployed to place the shatter on top of the nail. The moment shatter connects with the steamy nail, it vaporizes in no time, which allows you to inhale the product.
Shatter is known for its precise purity, yet there are variations. Remember, it’s not easy to measure a shatter’s quality by merely glancing at the product. It could be transparent, i.e. light golden shatter and low on THC/CBD volume, or murky like dark shatter but still carrying a rich volume of active substances.
Let’s dissect both these variations of the shatter:
The murky type of shatter is obtained either through heat or chemically extracted hash/marijuana oil that has toughened into a dark, glassy substance. The darker kind can be produced through CO2 or BHO extraction methods. Still, the latter is widely used due to its economical nature.
Nonetheless, the most critical factor in ensuring a high-quality dark shatter is when you vacuum purge your Butane Honey Oil extraction. Also, part of the reason is the plant itself being dark in color. For instance, Indica and some sedative hybrids have darker shades than the Sativa varieties.
What Makes A Shatter Dark?
- Introducing more heat (anything above 130F) during the vacuum purge process which decarbs it.
- The raw materials in use might well be quite old or stored for a little too long.
- The weed trichomes are better developed.
- Allowing a purged extract to dry for an extended period.
- A little too much plant remains.
Remember, it’s pivotal to undertake your BHO extraction at a low temperature – ideally at 40°C – to ensure 99% riddance of chlorophyll. It’s because, if the temperature falls to, say 30°C or 20°C, expect more percentage of chlorophyll in your concentrate.
After that, the most critical as well as the riskiest process of vacuum purging takes place. It’s pertinent to mention that the presence of chlorophyll will develop glucose under photosynthesis, which in turn will become darker when heated. Therefore, if more chlorophyll is left behind in the initial process of BHO extraction, expect a finely dark shatter in the vacuum purge process.
Always ensure that the gas is purged directly into an open area, or next to a window. It’s crucial to know that “B” in the BHO extraction method stands for the chemical compound Butane. Therefore, you ought to be extremely cautious, since a mere spark by any flammable device can cause a catastrophe.
Pros of Dark Shatter
- A dark concentrate offers your body a more grounded high; unlike the haze of the ultra-concentrated THC of the light golden shatter. Therefore, if you’re after a high heavily sprinkled with sedation, calm, and pain relieving, get yourself some dark variety.
- In the galaxy of the cannabis concentrates, dark shatter is the king due to its rich potency. It’s because the extract undergoes an additional filtration process to purge the organically developing waxes and fats. That’s how it packs itself with tons of THC compared to the regular smokable weed which carries about 10 – 25% tetrahydrocannabinol.
- The dark concentrate variety comes with more fatty acids and terpenes – the principal contributing factors of your high. So, if you’re craving for a mind-numbing high, go shatter yourself.
Cons of Dark Shatter
- The dark variety suffers from a “color-bias,” as people are psychologically inclined to pick the lighter color extract, i.e. light golden shatter if the price and THC volume are virtually equal.
- The additional filtration process required by the dark variant also trickles out the dank hydrocarbons identified as terpenes, which create the flavor and aroma of cannabis.
- The dark variant comes with more chlorophyll and tar, which gives consumers a rough taste and a grassy feel. Also, tar is not good for people’s health.
- The dark shatter also endures a “perception-bias,” as rookie buyers often believe in anecdotal-accounts of people sensing a less-than-expected high. However, there is no scientific validity in this mythical claim, since the darker concentrates consistently rank higher in terpenes and cannabinoids than, say, light golden shatter.
- An extremely dark shatter that doesn’t shine through or give a dark amber color when held up against the light is the black variety, which should always be avoided.
Light Golden Shatter
Irrespective of its potency, the light golden shatter reaps a lot of rewards due to its translucent color, as customers at dispensaries are psychologically inclined to prefer lighter shades of extracts. Yet, the underneath myth that the light the color, the higher the quality is, well, just a myth.
The BHO extraction process is typically used to produce light golden shatter. More critically when solvents are removed from the extract, the temperature is ideally at a low reading, which makes it rather challenging to vacuum purge the leftover chemical solvents; thereby leaving behind residual solvents in the extract. That’s not removing the possibility of completely clean extracts, but most of them do contain some percentage of contamination.
Pros of Light Golden Shatter
- The lighter kinds of shatterare much more smooth and pure in taste and shape because they contain less chlorophyll and tar.
- The golden shatters contain more cannabinoids than the darker types.
- The haze and daze of the light golden shatter are energetically cerebral due to its super-concentrated volume of THC.
Know that marijuana is essentially a choice of personal preference, and many weed-connoisseurs prefer the psychotropic effects of more processed or clearer extracts. Still, a translucent color doesn’t always transmute into a high-quality product, especially when purchased from a somewhat shady spot with make-believe laboratory testing.
Cons of Light Golden Shatter
- The Refine Seattle has conducted over 10,000 tests on cannabis concentrates, and have concluded that a transparent variety such as light golden shatter carries more PPM – plant parts-per-million of the remaining solvents. In brief, the translucent shatter possesses more plant remains than the dark variant, and is, therefore, less pure.
- The lighter variant is not easy to smoke courtesy of its high evaporation point. Typically, you’d be using either a nail rig or a butane torch that you can steam up to 600°F before vaping shatter.
- If your light golden extract carries visible shades of green, avoid using or buying it since the presence of green indicates that chlorophyll was mined into the oil.
Still, if you’re purchasing shatter from trustworthy manufacturers, it will most likely contain at least 80% cannabinoids. Therefore VBUD your cannabis extract stash today and thanks us on your timeline later!