Wax vs Shatter: Difference and Comparison

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

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

Key Takeaways

  1. Wax is a form of concentrate with a sticky, waxy texture, while shatter is a form of concentrate with a glass-like texture.
  2. Wax is easier to handle and manipulate than shatter due to its malleable texture.
  3. Shatter is more potent than wax due to its high concentration of THC.

Wax vs Shatter

Wax is a type of cannabis concentrate that is made by extracting the THC and other cannabinoids from the cannabis plant using a solvent, like butane. Shatter is made via a similar extraction process as wax. It is purged for a longer period of time to create a more stable and glass-like consistency.

Wax vs Shatter

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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

Parameters of ComparisonWax 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 baked in an oven along with Butane Honey Oil (BHO) and 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.

Shatter is a highly pure concentrate, so 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; 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 having 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
  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0920996416300561
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0376871617303113

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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