Distillate vs Shatter – Differences and Similarities

CBD oil

If you have been dabbling with cannabis for a while then surely you have this question in the back of your mind, “what are the differences and similarities of distillate and shatter?” This is actually a common question in the cannabis community.

It seems like people are evenly split between distillate and shatter. If you have never tried either of them, should you buy shatter online canada first or go with distillate? Let’s talk more about these two products.

Is there a difference?

It makes sense that some people don’t even think that there is a difference between the two. From tinctures to edibles, there are various products that offer similar experiences, albeit with a different method of intake. However, don’t forget that quality could affect your experience with any kind of product, which is why you should only buy distillate or shatter from a reputable store similar to this one here.

With so many options out there, it may be difficult for beginners to find out the differences and similarities of them all. Fortunately, there are many places where you can find various products with ease, such as distillate direct.

One thing we should be clear about is that both shatter and distillate are cannabis extracts just like live rosin, dabs and hash. Cannabis extracts are products made by isolating or extracting cannabis compounds into a product. Shatter is more like a solid cannabis extract that contains terpenes and cannabinoids, giving it more of the flavor/effects of the plant.

Cannabis distillates on the hand contain online a single cannabinoid, in this case, it is generally THC. This kind of product is typically a liquid that is thick and similar to molasses. The biggest advantage of a cannabis distillate is that it is edible as it is. It doesn’t require heat before consumption, unlike shatter with decarboxylation.

What is shatter?

Shatter has been around for many years, as of this it should be available in any cannabis dispensary near you, and it is loved by many people who have a lot of experience with cannabis. Many cannabis users would say that shatter is better than distillate because it is stronger and more flavorful. The fact that shatter needs to be heated first doesn’t really bother them.

Shatter itself is a Butane Hash Oil extract or BHO that was invested in the 90s. The extraction process involves exposing the cannabis flower to a solvent (usually butane) and evaporating the mixture through a purging process. Then, cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds are produced.

Shatter itself is rather flexible and it can vary from product to product. You can find shatter that has a dark color or even golden light-yellow color. The consistency may also vary from glasslike that is brittle to waxy and pliable. Glasslike shatter is more common, and that consistency is why shatter gets its name. So people usually expect shatter to shatter when they put some pressure on it. But nowadays, you can find shatter with various consistencies.

What is distillate?

Cannabis distillate looks like a molasses-like extract that can be potent and pure. In fact, many manufacturers boast of near-90% purity of their distillate products. Usually, cannabis distillates are available in purely CBD or THC formats, but you can find some hybrid options as well. The manufacturing process involves using a series of vacuums to remove other undesired compounds from the cannabis plant.

The most popular way of consuming distillate would be using vape pen cartridges. But, distillates are rather flexible. They are also easy to use and rather discreet, two advantages that cater to many people. Basically, distillates are designed to be used without further preparation. You don’t really need additional vaping or smoking to consume a distillate.

Some key differences

I have a list of key differences between shatter and distillate.

  • Flavor and terpenes. Both products have terpenes, but, shatter retains much more of its original flavor compared to the distillate.
  • Potency.  Shatter is definitely a more potent product of the two. But if we are speaking about numbers, then distillate’s potency is typically higher than shatter’s. Keep in mind that potency doesn’t usually influence a product’s high.
  • Usability. You can simply use distillate in various ways with no problems, no matter whether you are a complete beginner or not. Shatter on the other hand as to be dabbed in a dab rig.


There are several differences and similarities between shatter and distillate. That said, I can’t say which one is better for you because everyone has their own preferences. You can always try both to come up with a conclusion of your own.