Differences Between Shatter, Wax, Resin, and Rosin

People have been using weed since around 2737 B.C., which is a good couple of centuries if you ask us.

Marijuana can take different forms and the way we use the herb now isn’t much different than how our ancestors would consume it.

Well, save for the fact that our ancestors couldn’t dab marijuana concentrates.

Speaking of which, if you’re reading this article, then you probably want to get high; and we guess you expect something more than what you typically get from dried flowers.

Shatter, wax, resin, rosin — do any of these terms ring a bell?

They all refer to a concentrated form of cannabis. However, people often tend to confuse them when shopping for weed in a dispensary.

While shatter, wax, resin, and rosin have one common purpose — to help you enjoy the benefits of cannabis on a greater scale — there are some small yet significant differences between these products.

Before dabbing cannabis concentrates, make sure you keep the dosage in moderation, as these are way more potent than your regular buds.

Wait, did we just say: dabbing?

What Is Dabbing?

If you don’t have time for reading definitions, just open your Instagram and follow a random cannabis influencer. Once done, hop on their Stories and you will see what dabbing is; nearly all weed lovers share their dabbing routine on their social media.

Dabbing refers to a flash-vaporization method of consuming marijuana. It requires you to put some concentrate on a special, heated nail, and then inhale as much vapor as you can handle through a water pipe.

The nail (or any other form of the pipe’s attachment) is typically made from glass or metal and you can heat it up with a butane torch or a battery pack.

While dabbing isn’t the best option for marijuana novices, it carries the benefit of enjoying the clean flavor of premium, properly-crafted concentrates and the fact that the method is smoke-free.

Differences Between Shatter, Wax, Resin, and Rosin

Concentrates are incredibly powerful, which is why they’re generally consumed by more experienced users.

A cannabis concentrate can come in at anywhere between 20% to 80% of THC, but the final score depends on which type you go for.

When buying marijuana in a dispensary, you may stumble upon the following types of concentrates:

● Shatter
● Wax
● Resin
● Rosin

Here’s everything you need o know about each product.


While you may be tempted to think that the name “shatter” refers to what this concentrate can do to your stress levels or something similar, the actual meaning is much more trivial.

Shatter has got its name for the fact that it has an almost glass-like consistency; plus, of course, it shatters when dropped.

The consistency of shatter reflects its purity. As a matter of fact, shatter is often regarded as the purest type of marijuana extract, reaching an opaque honey-gold color.

Shatter is made with butane or CO2 and contains remarkably high amounts of THC, often testing 90%+ THC.

While it’s totally possible to make shatter using DIY methods, we suggest that you reconsider your options, as it’s way safer to buy shatter online than to risk your safety.

Once you get your shatter, it’s best to keep it in a fridge so that it maintains this glass-like state.

People often consume shatter in a vaporizer, but as we mentioned, more experienced users like to dab their amber goodies with a dab rig to get the highest amount of THC in their bodies.


As opposed to shatter, wax has a more crumbly texture and the consistency of ear wax.

However, this isn’t the only difference between these two.

Although both shatter and wax produce a powerful, long-lasting high, their production process is not the same.

The extraction of wax starts out when the concentrate becomes an amber liquid after butane pre-extraction. Then, the liquid is heated up to produce a translucent, slightly gooey substance that resembles something between ear wax or honeycomb rather than a layer of glass.

This results from the fact that the molecular layering of wax is more of a tangled mess. Shatter, on the other hand, has those layers orderly stacked.

To sum up, the main differences between shatter and wax are:

● Wax is easier to produce
● However, it degrades faster than shatter
● Shatter is harder to measure out and use due to its consistency
● Some people believe that wax gives stronger effects and more flavor than shatter


Resin is an umbrella term to define the sticky crystal-like trichomes on the surface of flowers and sugar leaves of mature female marijuana plants.

Trichomes contain the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other active compounds of cannabis. They are responsible for the psychoactive effects of marijuana and its medical potential.

Trichomes that fall off from the marijuana grinder when you break up your buds are collected all together and called “kief” instead of resin.

Unlike shatter or wax, resin is naturally formed as a defense mechanism to protect cannabis plants against predators that may destroy the plant or compromise its yields.

Why resin is so strong? Mainly because all the cannabinoids — including THC and CBD — and terpenes are in there.

On the other hand, resin is slightly weaker than shatter or wax; but then again, it’s a bit more versatile than these two.


Our last concentrate from the list, rosin, is a concentrate produced by curing and drying marijuana flowers. After that, manufacturers use a combination of heat and pressure to release the THC-loaded resin. You can easily produce your own rosin at home, and unlike other types of concentrates, they are not dangerous when performed in-house. Besides, making rosin is pretty cheap, and it’s a great way to save on your cannabis by extending its life.

Summarizing the Differences Between Shatter, Wax, Resin, and Rosin

The world of dabbing is immersive, but inexperienced users often find those peculiar differences between various concentrates overwhelming, if not disturbing.

Fortunately, distinguishing between shatter, wax, resin, and rosin is pretty simple once you get the basics.

Long story short, shatter and wax are the two most potent concentrates of all. They carry similar effects but they are different in terms of both production and storage. Making shatter and wax requires professional equipment and can be dangerous when extracted by a novice.

Resin, on the other hand, is the naturally occurring form of cannabis extract. It’s less potent than shatter or wax, but it’s hands down more versatile. You can vape it, add some to your bong, sprinkle a little bit of the green powder on top of your joint — you name it.

When looking for the easiest way to make cannabis concentrates, rosin will be your best bet. It’s a cheap and effective way to make your weed last longer and feel better.

We hope you enjoyed the guide, guys!

What’s your go-to cannabis concentrate?

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