How to Make Shatter Out of Your Trim
10 Sep 2019
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Growing your own cannabis plants provides you with plenty of opportunities to use every bit of the harvested material. Yep, it’s true, buds are not the only part of cannabis that can be turned into weed-infused products. In fact, you may use different parts of the marijuana plant to produce a wide range of such products as oils, salve, or even concentrates. Check out our mail order marijuana in Canada service to find all of these products.
If you want to turn the cultivation of cannabis into profit, you may consider utilizing trim. And in this article, I’m going to answer one question: how to make shatter out of your trim?
But before we get to it, let’s see what trim actually is and how to make those weed remnants useful.
What is Trim?
Simply put, trim is what’s left after you’re through with curing your cannabis plants. This plant matter includes stems, uncut pieces of bud, and desirable crystals. The whole idea behind trimming is to maximize the THC-rich parts of the plant and reduce the leaf or stem production.
Most marijuana varieties are trimmed to some extent. Some strains are more compact by nature. But others tend to extend their branches, and therefore, need to be trimmed well in order to control their healthy growth.
However, not all varieties of cannabis are trimmed in the same way. The way you trim your plants largely depends on their structure. Some cannabis strains are leafy, but the larger leaves are heavily covered in valuable crystals. With that said, if you grow cannabis for medical reasons, you will need to adapt your trimming in order to keep those larger leaves, but get rid of the smaller ones.
Why is Trimming so Important?
To begin with, trimming is an integral part of the drying process. When you harvest your plants and set them to dry, all remaining leaves will wrap around the nugs; you need to cut them away with a pair of scissors. It’s not that hard a task to do. And when you see a beautifully flowering top that is packed with buds and trichomes, you will be more than happy to welcome your incoming harvest.
Furthermore, the trimming process determines the quality of your weed. If you trim cannabis haphazardly, chances are you will shave valuable trichomes off the buds while leaving the undesired particles in the final product. Given this, if you’re not sure you’ve done the trimming job correctly, just pick up a nug and rotate it to spot any flaws.
Finally, trimming allows you to separate the wheat from the chaff. In other words, a properly-harvested and trimmed plant should leave you with plenty of trimmings. These are the sugar leaves, unformed nugs, water leaves, and stems with stocks. It’s important that you sort the trimmings once again in order to get rid of the stems and stalks.
If you plan on using water leaves (those without crystals) for making shatter, too, I can already tell you that’s a good idea. Although you can’t extract THC from them, the leaves are full of terpenes and other nutrients that are responsible for the extract’s flavor. Keep in mind that the trim should be thoroughly dried before it’s ready to blow through an extractor.
How to Make Shatter Out of Your Trim
Source: Weed’s Home
WARNING: DO NOT ATTEMPT / AT YOUR OWN RISK.
Now that you know what trim is, it’s high time you learned how to make shatter out of it.
Shatter, also known as wax, honeycomb, or honey oil, is officially referred to as BHO (butane hash oil). It’s the least consistent concentrate that gets drier and harder to deal with over time. And more importantly, making a homemade shatter is somewhat of an art.
Fear not, as with the proper knowledge, you can achieve the top-quality shatter out of your trim without spending a fortune on equipment.
What You’ll Need to Make Shatter Out of Your Trim
As it is with any type of cannabis concentrates, making shatter involves a decent starting kit. To make shatter out of your trim, you will need:
- 1 oz. dried cannabis trim
- Butane canisters
- Extraction tube
- A stove or a double broiler
- A dish for collecting the concentrate
- A concentrate container or silicone parchment paper
When it comes to butane canisters, one piece should be sufficient to extract a full tube of your trimmings.
I would gladly take you right away to the preparation process, but first, let me make something clear:
DO ALL YOUR EXTRACTIONS OUTDOORS ONLY
Keep in mind that butane is highly flammable, and doing your extractions indoor is extremely dangerous. If you let the gas accumulate in low areas – which will happen because butane is heavier than air – it can even cause an explosion. Plus, making solvent-based cannabis concentrates indoors is illegal, so for the sake of your own good, keep the whole process outside.
6 Steps How to Make Shatter
When everything is ready for the extraction, you may wrap up your sleeves and get to work. This 6-step guide will help you make about 4 grams of decent quality shatter. How is shatter made? Follow these steps.
1. Bring Your Trimmings to the Table
Grab an ounce of your cannabis dried trim. It doesn’t have to be finely ground, because you will only need to pack the tube to the very bottom. We’ll get to it in the next step, but just for your information: 12 ounces of butane and a double wash should provide you with 3-4 grams of shatter.
2. Load the Extraction Tube
When you have your weed trim at hand, it’s time to stuff it in an extraction tube that is made of glass. Also, make sure that the tube is relatively clean; this is particularly important for your final product, as any excess residue in the object can degrade the quality of our shatter. Last but not least, remember to gently pack your trim until the tube is firmly loaded with the material. This will prevent air pockets from forming inside the container.
3. Drip Butane Into the Tube
The extraction tube has two ends, one of which serves for packing your weed, and the latter is for dripping your butane through the tube. Start with baby steps, as you should begin dripping the butane in a steady yet controlled manner. Cover the opposite end with coffee filters so that they’re tightly sealed around the tube. This way, the liquid will have to pass it in order for the final product to fall onto a collection dish. Once again, this process should be done outside, and if you can keep a fire extinguisher close and avoid open fire – all the better!
4. Drain the Extraction Dish
Once your butane can is empty, and you feel that your trim is soaked in the solvent, remove the can from the tube and let the excess butane drip through the filter and into your collecting dish.
5. Evaporate the Liquids
The evaporation part of the process is our final step for making shatter out of your cannabis trim. Your collecting dish should be filled with a golden brown liquid, something slightly darker than honey. Place the dish in a larger frying pan filled with hot water and wait for the mixture to start bubbling. If the water cools too fast, change it – but don’t expose the mixture to hot water for too long. Otherwise, your final product will become dark and lose its quality.
6. Collect Your Shatter
Once the evaporation is done, gather your concentrate and place it on a non-stick silicone parchment paper so it gets dried before use.
Shatter is known to be one of the most demanding concentrates to make; it gets drier and harder to deal with over time, not to mention that it takes a lot of practice to achieve the top-quality BHO.
In a perfect world, the concentrate should resemble a light honey-like amber. Such a hue is an indicator of maximum flavor and effect, as such shatter contains usually around 60 to 70 percent THC/CBD. On top of that, decent-quality shatter retains the consistency of play-dough throughout its lasting period, which makes it easy to dab or vape.
What’s the Difference Between a Nug run and a Shake Run?
The main difference between a nug run and a shake run is as it states; nug runs use fresh full buds for extraction, whereas shake runs use weed trimmings left over from preparing fresh buds. It is of popular opinion that nug run shatter contains more terpenes, which lends to a more pronounced flavour. According to chemistry, regardless of shake or full buds, the solvent (butane, CO2, etc.) will become saturated with the same amount of active ingredients (THC & terpenes) before evaporation. You could argue that terpene excretion exists more within full buds, which will leave more flavour in the final product.
What are Your Thoughts on Making Shatter?
Do you make your own shatter at home or looking for ways on how to smoke shatter? What’s your experience with homemade concentrates and what advice would you give to people who want to start their adventure with cannabis extracts?
SEE ALSO: What Is Shatter? – Shatter vs Weed