Difference Between Wax and Shatter

As more and more countries are moving towards the legalization of Wax, it opens up new possibilities of business and innovation with the products offered by this plant.

With legalization, the consumption will also increase, giving a boost to the production of plant products.

Wax vs Shatter

The main difference between Wax and Shatter is that Wax is a weed concentrate with high content of THC, but with a slightly thick, butter-like consistency. Shatter is also a weed extract, which is known to be the purest form of concentrate extracted from weed. It has a transparent and glassy appearance.


Wax is a weed concentrate and is extracted from different types of Wax plants. The concentrate is oily when extracted, but the molecules of the oil crystallize during the process to form the end product.

It gets its name from its butter-like appearance, with yellowish-orange color and waxy consistency.

Shatter is also a weed concentrate extracted from weed plants. The extract is perceived to be the purest form of concentrates available, due to its high content of THC and relatively clean appearance.

It has an orange-yellow color, and as the molecules are agitated its viscosity changes depending on the temperature. 

Comparison Table Between Wax and Shatter

Parameters of Comparison Wax Shatter
Aroma It has a strong aroma It has a weaker aroma
Consistency Butter-like consistency Gum-like consistency
Color Yellowish orange Caramel color 
Appearance Wax is thick and opaque  Shatter is Translucent and glassy   
Durability It is not very durable and can It has a longer shelf life and does not spoil that easily

What is Wax?

Wax is a concentrated product extracted from cannabis plants. Similar to the other concentrates, it is also a more focused product that is made up of some of the compounds of the plant, such as cannabinoids, terpenes, and so on.

As the name suggests, the end product has a waxy consistency and appearance and looks very much like common butter. It is also yellow in color and has a crumbly texture.

Wax is mainly produced and consumed due to its high levels of THC, the main chemical resulting in the psychoactive effects after consumption.

As the product contains a good amount of THC, it can be directly consumed, without having to smoke for its effects to start.

Wax is made by first extracting the cannabis resin from the plant by heating the plant buds with butane inside a test tube. When the resin is extracted, it is concentrated by removing the excess butane from the resin. 

The concentrate is then baked in an oven along with Butane Honey Oil (BHO) and then cleaned or purified. The molecules of the concentrate crystallize due to the process and the oily resin turns into a waxy product.

The quality of the product is determined by its color, as a good quality product should have an amber-gold color.

What is Shatter?

Shatter is an extracted compound obtained from wax plants. It is known to contain high quantities of THC and is known to be very potent when properly extracted.

It is characterized by its translucent and glassy appearance, which is very different from the Wax in appearance.

As shatter is a highly pure concentrate, it contains high quantities of THC, almost 90% and above if properly extracted. It has an orange hue and closely resembles honey or caramel in appearance. 

The molecules of Shatter are not agitated, as in the case of Wax, and thus it has a clear and glassy appearance.

Depending on the temperature, the viscosity of the Shatter changes and it can go from being hard and brittle when it is cold to have a sticky and “pull and snap” consistency it is warm.

The preparation is very similar to that of Wax. The plant buds are first blasted with butane to extract the cannabis resin from the plants. The resin is then cleaned to remove the trichomes from the extract. 

The extract is then concentrated by heating it in an oven to evaporate the residue butane. Once it is concentrated, the final product has a glassy appearance and an orange hue. 

Main Difference Between Wax and Shatter

  1. Wax has a stronger aroma than Shatter
  2. Wax has a butter-like consistency and is spreadable. Shatter has a gum-like consistency and it can be pulled and snapped
  3. Wax is yellowish-orange in color whereas Shatter has an almost caramel or honey like appearance
  4.  Wax is thick and opaque and can sometimes crumble on touch. Shatter is translucent and glassy and depending on the temperature, its viscosity changes
  5. Wax is not very durable due to the agitated state of the molecules. Shatter has a longer shelf life and does not spoil that easily.
Difference Between Wax and Shatter


Wax is becoming legal in different parts of the world and this has opened a new vertical for business ideas on the products offered by the plant.

As consumption is sure to increase with the legalization of the drug, the demand for the various products of the plant will also increase.

Both Wax and Shatter are concentrates extracted from the plat. Both are extracted in almost similar processes, with a few differences in steps.

Both products contain mainly THC, which is the main chemical that results in the psychoactive effects experienced after the consumption of the drug.

Wax as the name suggests is waxy and almost butter-like in appearance. It is yellow in color and the brighter and more pronounced the shade of yellow, the better is the quality of the product. It is opaque and has a crumbly texture.

Shatter is also a concentrate obtained from the plant buds. Although it is extracted in the same way as wax, the molecules are not agitated and hence they do not crystallize.

Shatter is gum-like inconsistency, has a clean appearance, and has a golden, caramel-like hue. The product is also known to contain the most amount of THC. 


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0920996416300561
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0376871617303113
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