Cannabis Concentrates: Wax, Shatter, and Oils

Cannabis concentrates are a growing segment of the legal cannabis market, bringing high-potency THC products to stoners everywhere.

So, if Strawberry Lemonade is no longer enough to get you going, perhaps it’s time to consider concentrates instead. This guide will introduce you to the best type of concentrate to dab and define the various options available for weed delivery.

What are Cannabis Concentrates?

Over time, innovations have enabled us to harvest and use the cannabis plant in various ways. It’s why the global cannabis extract market was valued at $3.5 billion in 2022.

But what is the definition of a cannabis concentrate?

Cannabis concentrates include various products made by extracting parts of the cannabis plant. Each extract has been distilled into its purest form, hence why they’re the highest-potency THC products available.

Typically, hemp extract will create non-psychoactive CBD products, whereas marijuana extracts will prioritize higher levels of THC. Each extract can be created using solvents, like butane and hexane, or without solvents.

It’s a complex process, so don’t worry about understanding how a plant can be turned into your favorite weed strain and concentrates.

Is Cannabis Extract the Same as Concentrate?

Most people use the terms “extract” and “concentrate” to mean the same thing. But are cannabis extracts vs. concentrates genuinely the same?

No, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, some define extracts as products created with solvents, whereas concentrates are those products that don’t use solvents.

Are Cannabis Concentrates Legal?

Questions like, “Is hash oil legal?” come up repeatedly online. As with other products that became permitted to get high on following marijuana legalization, the same applies to concentrates.

Whether you want to take some cannabis oil or roll a blunt, nothing is stopping you. Even Vermont and Connecticut, the only two states with THC caps, concentrates at 60% THC or under are legal to sell, covering practically all commercially available concentrates.

Marijuana Concentrates: What are the Different Types of Cannabis Concentrates?

Wondering, “What is the best form of cannabis concentrate?” for you?

With so many weed concentrates available, it can be tricky to know where to start. Generally, there are three major types of concentrate: wax, shatter, and cannabis oil.

Let’s discuss what each one is and the pros and cons of each.

What is Cannabis Shatter?

Marijuana shatter is easily the most popular concentrate around. It attracts people with its amber sheen and pure flavor. But why is it so distinctive?

It all starts with how it’s made. In this case, the oil is shaken and stirred (sorry, Mr. Bond) before it cools. This gives it a glass-like, translucent appearance that’s all too familiar to veteran stoners.

Despite this, it’ll still get you as high as other concentrates like wax because they’re derived from the same thing. However, it’s not the 60-70% THC that makes shatter attractive. Cannabis connoisseurs prize this form of Butane Hash Oil (BHO) because it’s the purest of all concentrates.

Why is it called “shatter”?

Shatter holds its form, but give it a forceful tap, and it’ll shatter like a glass window.

Pros of Cannabis Shatter

·                No dab rig is required to smoke.

·                It can be easily handled with your hands.

·                It tends to have a longer lifespan due to its immense purity.

·                It will get you as high as other high-potency substances, including psychedelic mushrooms.

Cons of Cannabis Shatter

·                Fewer cannabis terpenes.

·                It can be challenging to create consistency in your shatter.

What is Cannabis Wax?

The next step on the weed scale is cannabis wax. Through getting the right temperature, pressure, and amount of handling, cannabis wax remains malleable because it isn’t allowed to solidify completely.

Whether you get wax largely depends on the oil you use. For example, high-moisture oils usually produce gooey waxes called “budder.” Oils that lack moisture will result in a crumbly product known as crumble (creative!).

Since temperatures are lower than in shatter manufacturing, the wax tends to be more flavorful and aromatic.

Pros of Cannabis Wax

·                Better flavor.

·                Better smell.

·                More terpenes.

Cons of Cannabis Wax

·                It cannot be smoked in a joint.

·                Harder to handle.

·                Faster degradation.

What is Cannabis Oil?

Wax and shatter offer similar experiences because they’re derived from butane extraction. On the other hand, cannabis oil is usually created via CO2 extraction, meaning the psychoactive compounds within are protected. This is why cannabis oil has far higher levels of cannabinoids and terpenes.

Unlike wax and shatter, cannabis oil must be kept within specific conditions to prevent it from drying out and solidifying during manufacturing.

You may encounter dedicated cartridges filled with weed oil, or you may need to grab your dab pen and do it yourself.

Note that cannabis oil can pertain to non-psychoactive CBD or THC oil, depending on which cannabis brands you’re dealing with. You want the latter for the complete experience.

Pros of Cannabis Oil

·                Pre-filled cartridges make consumption easy.

·                Gain all the benefits of cannabinoids and terpenes.

·                Perfect for vaping.

Cons of Cannabis Oil

·                It may not have the same potency as wax and shatter.

·                It cannot be smoked in a joint.

·                Potential unwanted additives.

Other Types of Cannabis Concentrates

Anyone who’s ever embarked upon a cannabis tourism trip has probably encountered twists on the cannabis concentrates they know and love.

Some other options not mentioned above that you can cram into your wax pen include:

·                Crumble – The wax left behind becomes soft and brittle during the extraction process. Crumble is as potent as shatter and can be dabbed with when collected.

·                Water Hash – Bubble hash, ice wax, and solventless wax are classified as water hash products. To make water hash, the weed must be dry or frozen. It’s then mixed with cold water or ice to break off the brittle trichomes.

·                Rosin – Live rosin is the trendiest concentrate around. Made from trim, kief, water hash, or marijuana buds, rosin can be made with paper, a hair straightener, and your hands. Since it uses no solvents, this is where more conscious stoners have headed.


Are you looking to discover a new flavor and add a new dimension to your smoke sessions?

Then Flavor Fix has your back. With our array of guides to the latest marijuana strains and insights into marijuana concentrates and how they work, you’ve got everything you need for an epic evening.

Check out our other guides at Flavor Fix to learn more about the marvelous world of cannabis.

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JJ Smoak

Brooklyn native, accent-having, travel lover, wordsmith and bud enthusiast. Versed from the streets of NYC, mixed with some world influence, writer/editor and medical user extraordinaire, JJ is here to tell you like it is and guide you to the finest. Brooklyn's favorite feminine stoner, your neighborhood contributor, wrapping leaves like a bandage and bringing you along for the ride.

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