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.
Shatter is an efficient method of storing concentrated cannabinoids. It is made by dissolving marijuana into a solvent, such as butane. This makes a more potent concentrate than hashish or buds. The resulting yellow substance is called honey oil.
How to Make Shatter Out of Your Trim
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.
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
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.
Method 1: Stovetop, decarb shatter in pan
Get a medium-sized saucepan or other cooking pot and out it on the stove. Add some cooking poil to about a half inch of depth. Heat it to 250° F. Place the vial of shatter in the pot. The shatter will melt and bubble. Wait for the bubbles to stop forming. Heat the hotplate to 250° F. Place the vial of shatter on the hotplate directly. Place a larger beaker over the vial. The shatter will begin to melt and bubble. Stop the process momentarily and scrape the inside of the vial, making sure to push all solid matter together down into the bottom section of the vial. Restart the process and wait for bubbles to stop forming. Continue heating until pure liquid.
Method 2: Using your toaster oven to decarb
Place your shatter container in the toaster oven on a stable surface. Set the oven to bake at 250° F. It will melt and begin to make fizzy bubbles. Wait for the bubbles to stop forming. This means it’s done. This method takes about 50 minutes. However, don’t fret over our exact times, as yours may vary.
Method 3: Crock Pot, slow cooker shatter decarb
Take a counter-top crock pot and add cooking oil to it, to about a half-inch depth. Heat the crockpot to 250° F. Place the shatter vial in the middle of the pot and wait. The shatter will melt and bubble. Once again, we wait for the bubbling to stop to know the shatter’s done. This method takes 80 minutes by our estimate.
Method 4: Hot Plate, simple but most don’t have these at home
Heat the hotplate to 250° F. Place the vial of shatter on the hotplate directly. Place a larger beaker over the vial. The shatter will begin to melt and bubble. Stop the process momentarily and scrape the inside of the vial, making sure to push all solid matter together down into the bottom section of the vial. Restart the process and wait for bubbles to stop forming. Continue heating until pure liquid.
What does decarb mean?
Great question! To decarb, or decarboxylate is process of removing a “carboxyl group” from a chemical chain. How this relates to you is the cannabis you buy online or grow yourself is hopefully packed full of trichomes containing THCA. Decarbing it ‘activates’ the THCA and turns it into THC which allows it to be processed by your body for the intended euphoric effects.
This process occurs naturally when you spark up a big fat cone, but unfortunately much of the THC is overheated and destroyed during combustion. Vaporizers are just above decarb temperatures, but below combustion temperatures so you can extract much more of the THC from your flowers or concentrates.
WHY would I want to decarboxylate if it happens normally?
The most common reason is to make edibles, however a common trend is for people to make their own eJuice out of some nice concentrates.
When you just eat RAW uncooked (non-decarbed) weed – basically nothing happens as far as a high goes. A mild effect might be observed from the naturally occurring decarbing of cannabis over time, but nothing like what it could be.
Similarly – Non-decarbed concentrates will be mostly wasted potential if you were to make edibles or ejuice without properly decarbing it first. It likely won’t reach the required temperature for long enough during baking or if you were to run it through an eCig.
For concentrates like shatter and live resin it’s super simple. Just put it in a heat safe container and warm your concentrate in the oven at 220 degrees fahrenheit. Stay nearby and keep an eye on it – it’ll bubble as the THCA is converted to THC. The bubbles will slow – then eventually stop – signalling that your concentrate is ready to be further processed into delicious eJuices and incredible edibles. Silicone jars should be safe as they don’t start to degrade until they hit a much higher temperature. If you have some THC distillate (our Golden Goo) it’s already been on the heat long enough so it should be fully decarbed.
For flower it’s a bit more involved – you’ll need to bust up your flowers fairly consistently and spread it on a thin layer in a pan. To fully decarb it will likely take about 30-45 minutes at 220. Some people like going at a lower temperature for a longer time to preserve the terpenes a bit better but everyone will play with the “speeds n’ feeds” of it all to get their favorite effects. The longer and slower you go will tend to have a more sedative effect if that’s what you’re looking for.
Most of our strains here at BCBud are deliciously flavourful in their own right, so you probably wouldn’t feel the need to process them into anything else, but the old saying holds true when you’re trying to make something perfect – “Garbage in – Garbage out”. So the better your starting materials, the better your end product will be. Personally I would love to attempt to make some edibles out of my favorite strain ever – Grapefruit soda – but as soon as the can(s) hit my doorstep I can’t help but smoke it all.
We would love to hear which strains have been your past favorites and current go-to strains or concentrates for a truly special experience!