Shatter, wax, honeycomb, oil, crumble, sap, budder, pull-and-snap…these are some of the nicknames cannabis extracts have earned through their popularity, prevalence, and diversification. If you’ve heard any of those words before, they were likely used to describe BHO (butane hash oil), CO2 oil, or similar hydrocarbon extracts. This list of descriptive subcategories might lead you to believe that there are stark differences between each one, but the division between glass-like shatter and crumbly wax is more superficial than you’d expect.
For those of you who are new to the concentrates game, a cannabis extractis any oil that concentrates the plant’s chemical compounds like THC and CBD. This is achieved through a variety of extraction processes and solvents, the most common being butane.
Shatter, with its flawless amber glass transparency, has a reputation for being the purest and cleanest type of extract. But translucence isn’t necessarily the tell-tale sign of quality – the consistency and texture of oil comes down to different factors entirely.
The reason shatter comes out perfectly clear has to do with the molecules which, if left undisturbed, form a glass-like appearance. Heat, moisture, and high terpene contents can also affect the texture, turning oils into a runnier substance that resembles sap (hence the commonly used nickname “sap”).