Shatter vs. Wax: Which One Is Better?

So the shatter vs wax dilemma involves which is better to get high off of? Here's a breakdown that can help you decide for yourself.

Now I wouldn’t necessarily call it the age-old question, but many people want to know what is better for dabbing. This article outlines and seeks to settle the shatter vs wax debate.

Shatter vs Wax: Catching Up

So for those of you who aren’t familiar, dabs are a fairly controversial but also hugely popular form of smoking weed. The process involves heating a very concentrated form of cannabis (i.e. shatter or wax) and inhaling the vaporized oil. This method gives the user an intense high due to the high concentration of THC emitted upon vaporization.

So the shatter vs wax dilemma involves which is better to get high off of? Here’s a breakdown that can help you decide for yourself.

Creating Concentrates

The first thing to realize about dabs is that whether you use shatter or wax, you will be getting stoned. Traditional herb can range anywhere from a low 8% THC all the way up to 22%. While that may seem high, imagine dabbing a cannabis concentrate that can contain up to 80% more THC. These BHOs, or Butane Hash Oils, extract such a concentrated level of THC that those numbers are common, and are the reason why people get so damn high off of them.

So the butane part of BHO originates from the method of oil extraction. The cannabis has butane pushed through it, bringing out all the essential oils. The butane is then evaporated and then basically vacuum-removed. Both shatter and wax utilize the same method, but shatter is created using a much higher temperature during the butane blasting process.


The first concentrate to discuss is shatter. Think of it as a thin glass, stable but can be broken down without much effort. Well also much like its initial characteristics, shatter is also stronger when heated and smoked. It is a more stable concentrate and takes longer to break down.

While those two reasons alone can put you on Shatter’s side, it’s also important to realize that shatter hits hard. Many people have a difficult time handling the intense high it gives, and it is not recommended for those new to dabs.

Wax / Budder

Many people recognize wax from its earwax consistency and overall unpleasant appearance. It is created the same way as shatter yet at a lower temperature. The lower temperatures don’t allow the BHO to harden to glass, and what is left is what we call budder or wax.

As you can probably imagine, the main problem with wax is its stability. It is not as physically durable as shatter, nor does it last as long when heated. However, contrasting from shatter, the high from wax is much easier to handle.

To conclude, there’s really no deciding factor when looking at physical forms. Temperature and finishing process are really the only differences, leading the decision to how high you can get off of them. So with that said, shatter seems to be the go-to route for more experienced smokers who are just looking to get a solid high.

For people who are new to dabs, inexperienced, or looking to use this method solely to get a purer dose of marijuana’s medicinal benefits, go with wax. Both can get the job done, but it really just comes down to experience vs inexperience when looking at shatter vs wax.

" Eric Griffin : Eric Griffin is an LA-based writer and artist. His work has been featured in the Huffington Post and past catalogs for the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.."