Two of the strongest cannabis concentrates on the market, both rosin and shatter can deliver powerful effects and high THC content. Which is the better choice though?
As you might know, the two concentrates have many key differences in appearance and consistency. Shatter is hard to the touch, and has a glass like appearance. Rosin is more of a translucent sappy substance. Check out our article "What Is Rosin?" if you want a complete introduction to rosin.
Both shatter and rosin are usually consumed by vaping, either in a dab rig, concentrate vaporizer, or a dry herb vaporizer that can handle concentrated cannabis extract. Rosin tends to have more terpenes, but both are very high in cannabinoids like THC and CBD.
The biggest difference between rosin vs shatter is how they were produced. Both involve taking cannabis flower or hash, and processing them so that only the most potent parts of the plant remain, without any unnecessary plant material.
A typical shatter extraction method involves the use of chemical solvents, while rosins are more labor intensive but are solventless extracts.
Shatter is generally cheaper than rosin, but rosin has a lot of major fans in the weed world. And it's only in part because of the use of solvent. Let's take a deeper look and see which is better of the two cannabis products.
Rosin and Shatter Extraction Methods Compared
As we mentioned, the big difference between the rosin and shatter extraction process is whether it uses chemicals.
Solvent extracts will use butane (or carbon dioxide, alcohol, ethanol, or propane) to produce butane hash oil concentrates.
Most shatter in the average dispensary will be BHO shatter. In comparison, Rosin is a solventless extract, so the process only uses heat and pressure, with no dangerous chemicals.
But it's a mistake to say that shatter isn't safe to consume. After the shatter is produced it undergoes a thorough purging process to get rid of any residual solvents. So BHO extracts are perfectly safe. Of course, only buy shatter in a regulated legal cannabis industry, to be sure you're getting a quality and safe finished product.
Solvents vs solventless extraction process
Still, there's lots of cannabis enthusiasts who remain concerned about the possibility of leftover solvents in their concentrates. Some people prefer to consume shatter that's produced with carbon dioxide (CO2) instead of butane, because CO2 has a long history in making food products.
For others, extracts that avoid solvents just make more sense to them from a philosophical point of view. And it's even possible to get solventless shatter. For example, rosin can be extracted as shatter if the process is done at a higher heat.
You can also make your own rosin. Making rosin is so easy, you can do it with a hair straightener and parchment paper.
Higher quality rosin is made using rosin presses though. These industrial presses make it easier to apply the high levels of heat and pressure needed for a rosin press to make the best rosin.
Is Rosin the Best Cannabis Concentrate?
Everyone has their own opinions about which cannabis extracts are the best, but there's no question that rosin is consistently one of people's favorites. In addition to being produced without solvent, it's well-known for its delicious aroma and flavor.
Because of the production process, it retains more of the terpenes from the original cannabis flower. Meaning a better taste, but also terpenes themselves have enjoyable properties. Combining terpenes with cannabinoids like THC and CBD results in more of an entourage effect, which some weed enthusiasts argue results in a more satisfying experience.
However, the potency of rosin usually doesn't hit as high levels as shatter. So if you're looking for the most potent concentrate, a solvent based extract like shatter will probably hit harder.
Also when comparing rosin vs shatter, you've got to take into account the higher cost of rosin. It might not necessarily be worth it for you.
How to vape rosin and shatter
Both rosin and shatter are best experienced by vaping them. For that you'll need either a vaporizer compatible with marijuana concentrate, or for the more technically-minded, a dab rig.
There are a number of concentrate-only vapes out there on the market. They range from the super-cheap and low quality vape pens, to well-built high-end concentrate vapes that deliver potent effects.
Many cannabis fans enjoy vaping both dry herb and concentrates, and there are a few devices out there that can do both. This is a convenient option, eliminating the need to own and carry around multiple vaporizers.
With some dry herb vaporizers, you can purchase accessories that let you safely vape concentrate without damaging your vape. Basically, you insert a liquid pad into the vape's chamber to prevent melting concentrate from spilling into sensitive parts.
These inserts and liquid pads are helpful for the occasional session. But if you're a regular concentrate user, you'll probably find it annoying to deal with hot parts and messy inserts on a regular basis.
Vaping both dry herb and cannabis concentrates
Another option is a swappable oven vaporizer like Furna. Instead of getting just one oven and an insert that you always have to clean out and reload, Furna has multiple ovens. You can get ovens for dry herb, concentrate, and 510 oil cartridges.
You can instantly swap between ovens, with no waiting for anything to cool down. And Furna’s concentrate oven is much easier to clean than an insert meant for occasional use.
You can also pre-pack ovens before leaving the house, making it much more convenient and discreet to reload your vape.
Otherwise you could be stuck cleaning out and reloading your vaporizer in a public location when you don't want to. Or dealing with low quality vapor because you didn't clean and reload your vape properly. Have a look at Furna and see the difference swappable ovens can make.