How to Smoke Shatter

What Exactly is Shatter?

Shatter is an extract of cannabis concentrate, generally produced through using a combination of solvents, and weed plant materials. Shatter weed typically appears translucent, with a coloration ranging from bright amber to a dark (olive oil-like) yellow shade. Each variation of Shatter appears to have a similar consistency, with differences in physical textures ranging from relatively brittle, to a snap-and-pull quality resembling taffy. These distinctions provide insight into each product’s cannabinoid profile.

How to Smoke Shatter

There are many ways to smoke shatter, and all have their advantages. The most common way is to smoke shatter out of a dab rig. This is a process using a bong or water pipe and a hot element to heat the shatter. You can also roll shatter in a joint, vape it with a shatter vape pen, or try more traditional ways of smoking like hot-knifing.

Below are the most common forms of smoking shatter:

How to Use a Rig to Smoke Shatter:

Dabbing typically requiring a heating element such as a torch, in addition to a smoking device, dabbing includes the practice of heating the surface of a something similar to a nail on a dab rig. The heat vaporizes the marijuana concentrate, for effective inhalation.

Dabbing Shatter

Basic dab rigs contain a type of banger, a base with a chamber, in addition to a removable stem. The banger, typically a nail, is heated with a butane torch until it reaches temperature to vaporize dabs on contact. When it’s reached the appropriate temp, small bits of shatter can be broken and placed onto the heating surface, and then inhaled through a mouthpiece. Other types of dab rigs combine electronic heating elements in order to make them as simple to use as possible – just the press of a button after loading. Dabbing, regardless of the style of rig, generally produces a single hit at a time, requiring additional heating with each use.

Dabbing Requires

  1. Cannabis Extract. Available in a variety of forms, extracts commonly  used for dabbing include CO2, BHO, and rosin (solventless extracts). Please note, it is considered unwise to dab with alchohol-based extracts, especially if you have doubts about a particular oil’s safety – always ask your budtender in moments of uncertainty.
  2. Bong/Water Pipe. Glass bowl pieces can easily be removed and replaced with dabbing attachments, in order to turn pipes into dab rigs.
  3. Nail. Ensure that your ceramic, quartz or titanium nail fits your specific water pipe’s gauge. Titanium is the most popular type of material used in nails.
  4. Dome. The glass hood place around the nail, although “dome-less” nails exist. Standard nails require domes in order to trap the vapor before inhalation.
  5. Torch. Although individuals may choose to upgrade to propane-fueled torches in order to heat nails quickly, mini torches do the job, especially those used for crème brulee . Flameless dabbing methods are becoming more easily available, although most people prefer to stick with the torch method due to the lower investment fees.
  6. Dabber. The tool used to apply a dab, dabbers are usually made of glass, metal, or even ceramic.

After your rig is properly set up, with your dab prepared on the dabber, you’re ready to begin. Due to the intensity of the rush provided by THC, we strongly advise that you sit while taking a dab.

Amounts to Dab

It is important to know how potent your oil is, before dabbing – every extract contains varying levels of THC concentrate. It is recommended to begin with a small dose, to increase once you feel comfortable. Small doses are no bigger than a crumb! While this may not look like a whole lot, it instantly provides a lot of THC straight to the dome. Just consider how, in comparison to those accustomed to flower, dabbing can feel more intense until your tolerance adjusts.

  1. Aim the flame of your torch directly at the nail, after turning it on. While most users heat the nail until it appears red-hot, you should refer to the section below if you’re utilizing an electronic nail.
  2. Turn your torch off, once the nail is hot, covering the nail with your glass dome. In order to ensure the surface temperature isn’t too hot, plan to allow titanium nails about 10 seconds to cool, and 45 seconds for quartz nails.
  3. Take hold of your dabber, apply the dab to the nail and slowly inhale. Rotate the dabber tip on top of the nail in order to prevent waste of any excess oil stuck on the dabber.
  4. Slowly exhale, and enjoy the ride!

Please note: glass domes and nails alike both become extremely hot throughout the dabbing process. Always wait for pieces to cool down before touching them, and take extreme caution when handling anything.

materials for dabbing

How to Smoke Shatter without a Rig:

Smoking Shatter in Joints

A type of cannabis roll, joints contain a variety of elements, such as tobacco, marijuana and different concentrates.

How to Roll a Joint with Shatter

While there are a wide variety of unique ways to utilize marijuana concentrates in joints for smoking, two methods are most commonly used.

Inside the Joint

Shatter can be used inside of a joint by simply breaking the product apart into crumb sized pieces. The shattered bits can be sprinkled on top of dry herb, inside rolling paper. Cover the crumbs in layers of dry cannabis, in order to keep the concentrate in the middle, to improve the burning of the concentrate. Alternatively, if you don’t wish to break the shatter apart, you can simply take however much you’d like, warm it with your fingers, and roll it into a long roll. This will easily line a joint, with very little effort.

Outside the Joint

Because the natural consistency of shatter resembles hard candy, it requires heating before application to outer joint paper. Once it cools, the sticky concentrate will adhere itself wherever it’s been applied. Simply roll it out into a long roll, double the length of a joint. Begin at the bottom of the joint, where a filter is located, pressing one end of the paper against the tube until it holds. Spin the end of the joint, running the shatter tube in swirls along the outside.


On a positive note, this method is relatively easy when you only have joint papers on hand – it’s really all you’d need to do. You can apply it according to your preferences, whether you like it on the inside, or to hold the paper together externally.

On the other hand, like using a glass bowl, rolling concentrates isn’t the most effective way to smoke shatter. You tend to lose quality smoke into the atmosphere, while still getting stoney. Concentrates also tend to get drippy, which isn’t much of a problem when applied inside. Your joint/blunt may also burn a bit weird, as the concentrates create runs, etc.

heating up dab rig

How to Smoke Shatter in a Weed Pipe

Pipes are available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, typically made from wood, metal or glass. The structure of a pipe includes a bowl to hold cannabis, a chamber for smoke to travel, as well as a mouthpiece. While some designs utilize a carb, it isn’t necessary to the construction in order to be considered a weed pipe.

Using Shatter in a Pipe
Because marijuana concentrate turns into a liquid, leading to clogs throughout the smaller chambers and airways, it’s not typically recommended to smoke shatter in a pipe. Although, when there are no other options, or you just want to experience this method of smoking, simply place a few small bits on top of densely packed dry herb. This allows the concentrate to fuse to something once it heats, a prevents it from running into the device’s stem.


This is a easy and hassle-free method of smoking shatter. However, some cons would be how wasteful it tends to be. This method doesn’t extinguish itself, once it begins smoking, so it requires the user to keep hitting in order to prevent losing smoke to the atmosphere. You also need to have herb on hand in order for this to work, as you can’t smoke wax straight out of a glass bowl. Additionally, this doesn’t provide the taste of the wax, as some people enjoy, you only get the taste of herb out of your concentrate.


Remember, if your concentrate becomes unstable through melting (or it becomes sticky), simply place it in the freezer for 10 minutes. This allows it to harden enough to be placed into your bowl.

Ideally, when you first begin hitting the bowl, go slowly and prevent the lighter from getting too close. Keep in mind the goal is to melt the concentrate into the dry herb, otherwise you lose more wax if it lights up on fire.

person smoking shatter

How to Smoke Shatter with a Vaporizer

Vaporizers are considered more of a standard option, simply because of the way they function. They come in a variety of designs, separated into two model groups: compact, and tabletop. Regardless of the model, vaporizes are loaded with marijuana concentrates, applying the ideal amount of heat in order to convert the cannabinoids and terpenes into vapor.

How to Vape Shatter
Rather than combusting concentrates into smoke, vaping offers a healthier, easier alternative  in regard to ingestion. Regardless of the type of vaporizer you prefer to use, the coils do all the work for you. Simply fill the chamber with a few small dabs of shatter, and use the vape as suggested.


On the bright side, vaporizers are more affordable compared to a rig. They are smaller, rather inconspicuous and easily fit into your pocket. They are also rather efficient, working to conserve concentrates and create less waste.

Alternatively, vaporizers aren’t something you’d typically have lying around the house, in comparison to other methods. You also are less likely to get a huge rip, as with a dab rig. Some individuals also find the taste from a vape pen off putting, while others enjoy the difference.

While there are many different opinions on how to smoke shatter, concentrates should feel smooth and should not hurt the lungs when done right. If it feels like your lungs and chest are ‘on fire’ after dabbing, then your bowl might be too hot. You may need to decrease the temperature by torching for less time or allowing the banger to cool off before dabbing. It also helps to clean out the residue left behind after each use and you can do this with a Q-tip. A clean rig insures a clean toke.

gram of shatter

Shatter is used among those who wish to smoke concentrates for a stronger ‘high’ as the processed crystals become very potent and contain up to 80-90% THC.  

When we think of juice from concentrate, we know that it contains much more sugar than fresh juice, making it sweeter and more potent. Shatter is just that, a concentrated product with a pure profile.

Compared to other cannabis concentrates, shatter has a transparent finish to it and can be malleable like toffee or, when cooled down, can ‘shatter’ like glass lending it the name ‘shatter’. A common misconception regarding its quality is that the more see-through the shatter, the higher the grade.

This is not always the case as there can be shatter made with a superior strain of cannabis that has a muddier appearance. Likewise, lower grade cannabis can be used and processed in the same way and can result in a clear-like finish.   

Due to the potency of shatter, it is growing in popularity among those with chronic illnesses. This is because the effects of smoking shatter are longer lasting than that of smoking a joint and it offers a higher dosage per single use to those suffering from pain and illness.   

Shatter is one of the many different concentrate products that can be made from the buds of a cannabis plant. There is also hash, budder, wax and live resin which all have different attributes depending on what they are used for.

Can you eat shatter?  

While this article primarily focuses on how to smoke shatter, there are some methods to create an edible substance out of shatter as long as it is ‘decarbed’ for safe consumption. 

Ingesting straight shatter is not recommended because it has been processed with a chemical gas called butane. Although much of the butane is removed after the cannabis crystals are extracted, there could be some residue left over and that is why it is advised not to make your own edible shatter products at home.  

Smoking shatter has become an easy task with the plethora of gadgets on the market today. Below, we speak about using vape pens as an alternative to dab rigs. 

smoking shatter with a vape pen

Users like to play around with the temperature of the pen and report that a lower temperature enables a smoother toke, whereas a higher temperature creates a stronger hit for a more heightened experience.

Vaping can be a nice alternative to using the stationary dab rig and can fit in your purse or bag no problem. Portable and discreet in stature and highly effective to get you the experience you’re looking for.

Is shatter better than wax? 

The simple answer is yes, shatter is superior to wax. To understand why that is, let’s compare the two. One of the main differences is that shatter is processed at a higher temperature and carefully filtered to create its classic translucent appearance and flexible texture.

shatter vs wax

On a molecular level, shatter is a purer product than wax. Wax, on the other hand, is processed at a lower temperature and is churned to create a wax or buttery-like consistency.  

Out of these two concentrates, wax is the easier product to make. Both products have longer lasting effects to that of smoking a joint and they both contain terpenes, cannabinoids and flavonoids which all contribute to their medicinal properties. 

Due to its lower processing temperature, wax is considered to be more flavourful and its malleability makes it easier to dab. Shatter has a longer shelf life than that of wax but is considered to have less flavour and aroma when smoking it.

Conclusively, your decision is based on preference but the general consensus advises beginner ‘dabbers’ to start with wax before dabbing with shatter.  

If you’re curious about trying concentrates, a little research goes a long way but experimenting is the only way to know for sure. Happy dabbing!