Difference Between Shatter, Budder, and Crumble

Slab pf concentrated cannabis oil extraction

In the wide world of cannabis concentrates, consumers and producers have a wide range of extract types to choose from, each varying in consistency, flavor, aroma, potency, and color. All concentrates offer robust potency, fast-acting effects, and a long-lasting experience.

For first-time users, understanding the differences between all of the concentrated product types can be confusing. Here, we cover the difference between shatter, crumble, and budder, three of the most popular cannabis extracts on the market.

What Are Cannabis Concentrates?

Cannabis concentrates are concentrated forms of the plant’s trichomes, which contain cannabis compounds like cannabinoids and terpenes. A high concentration of trichomes are found primarily in the plant’s flower buds and also the stems and leaves but in lower concentrations.

Depending on the production method and starting material used, concentrates can have THC or CBD concentrations over 40% and up to 99.9% in THCA or CBDA crystals, a considerable increase from flower buds which contains between 0.3% THC and 25% THC.

Understanding the Cannabis Extraction Process

All concentrates start off as dried and cured or cryogenically frozen cannabis plant matter (flower buds and trim). After harvesting the plants, growers use curing and aging processes to remove moisture from the buds and refine its flavors, although there is some loss of cannabinoids and even more of its temperature-sensitive terpenes.

Most extraction methods use dried and cured cannabis biomass but some processors may opt for fresh-frozen cannabis, freezing the buds immediately after harvest and processing them shortly thereafter to preserve the plant’s full spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes. Products that use fresh-frozen cannabis include live resin and live rosin.

Cannabis compounds are typically extracted from cannabis flowers using solventless or solvent-based extractions, each able to produce a full spectrum product for safe consumption. Solventless methods include dry sifting, ice water extraction, and rosin pressing and use agitation or heat and pressure to separate the resin from the plant material. Solventless methods create concentrates like kief, hash, bubble hash, rosin, and live rosin.

In solvent-based processes, light hydrocarbons (butane and/or propane), CO2, or ethanol are used to extract the trichome oils in a closed-loop system. The system can recycle and reuse the solvent. Then, the residual solvent is purged in a vacuum oven using heat and vacuum, leaving behind a pure product.

The same broad process is used to produce shatter, budder, and crumble wax among other concentrate types. A variety of post-processing techniques like whipping the crude extract or using a low and slow purging process can create many different consistencies of cannabis concentrate.

In the early days of the recreational pot scene, there were just a few varieties of wax. Now, the wax concentrate variety ranges from traditional wax shatter to terpene-rich live resin and terp sauce. Depending on the production process and chemical solvent used, processors can create their desired concentrate variety to satisfy the evolving tastes of medical and recreational consumers.

What Is Shatter?

Shatter your THC tolerance with this ultra-potent extract.


Shatter is made using propane or butane extraction due to the low boiling points of light hydrocarbons. Butane and/or propane are better able to extract a high percentage of cannabinoids and terpenes from the raw plant material to produce products like live resin and terp sauce.

Unlike budder wax, shatter is not agitated after the primary extraction process like other cannabis extracts. Instead, shatter is purged in a vacuum oven for about 48 hours to remove the residual butane in the product. The process also crystallizes and hardens the high-cannabinoid product.


Cannabis shatter is usually a brittle, stiff, and glossy extract. It has a glass-like appearance that has a translucent, amber color. Its hard and firm consistency requires a sharper dab tool to break apart. Some shatter, known as pull ‘n’ snap, has a taffy-like, malleable texture. Expect to see THC percentages up to 99% in shatter.

What Is Budder?

Cannabis concentrate

Budder, badder, or batter. Whatever you call it, budder goes down smooth.


Budder’s production method is nearly identical to shatter’s. Budder wax can be made with light hydrocarbons or CO2 and requires removing the residual solvents. The key difference in production is when extractors use a whipping process when purging the product of its solvent content.

The whipping technique brings in more air into the extract causing the cannabinoids to crystallize and form a solid. At the same time, the residual butane is evaporating, creating a drier product. A relatively gentle whipping technique creates the smooth and creamy budder consistency.


Budder has a creamy and smooth consistency. This pliable wax has an ultra-high cannabinoid potency, aroma, and flavor like shatter. Budder is easy to load onto a dab nail or vaporizer due to its soft and malleable form.

What Is Crumble?

Cannabis extraction wax crumble

You will want to savor every last crumb of this dry and potent crumble wax.


Budder, shatter, and crumble wax have similar processing methods. Crumble is most often made using BHO extraction methods. Like other extracts, the starting material is loaded onto the extraction vessel and soaked with the solvent to dissolve the cannabinoids and terpenes.

After the primary extraction process, the crude extract is spread on parchment paper and purged in a vacuum oven to remove the residual solvent. The extract is processed at low temperatures for longer than other concentrates to create a drier product.


Cannabis crumble, also known as crumble wax or honeycomb wax, is an opaque and light yellow extract, which can darken to amber with age. Its dry and crumbly consistency makes it easy to handle. Scrape off a piece of its cheese-like body to top off your bowls or load onto vaporizers.

Which Cannabis Extract Is Better? Shatter, Crumble, or Budder?

Cannabis concentrate crumble

No matter what cannabis concentrate you choose, you will enjoy a highly intoxicating experience full of intense flavors and aromas. All extracts can be consumed in generally the same way. The main difference between wax varieties will be their appearance, consistency, and ease of use.

We recommend trying out different concentrates using a variety of consumption methods including smoking, vaping, or dabbing. Everyone's experience will vary depending on a lot of factors including the extract type, device used, and cannabinoid tolerance. A bit of trial and error can help users determine what works best for them.

In terms of ease of use, each concentrate has its quirks. Shatter is usually brittle, fragile, and easy to load but can go flying everywhere if poked too forcefully. Pull ‘n’ snap is much more sticky and stretchy. Crumble can break apart easily into dust. Budder is very easy to handle. Just scoop a dab and load it onto your vaporizer or dab nail.

A Deeper Look Into the Concentrate World

Extracted cannabinoids and terpenes can take on a number of popular forms, not just shatter, crumble, and budder. Cannabis wax can come in a variety of other potent forms including live resin, bubble hash, THCA crystals, distillate, live rosin, and much more.

Even within each extract type category, users may find differences in color, potency, aroma, and flavor. For instance, clear shatter has fewer pigments than amber shatter, due to color remediation efforts or biomass quality, but it does not necessarily mean it has higher CBD or THC levels.

Find many of these popular concentrates at your local pot shop:

  • Kief: Collection of trichome resin glands, containing cannabinoids and terpenes, from cannabis flowers and trim.
  • Hash: Kief compressed into a ball or block.
  • Live resin: High-terpene concentrates made with fresh-frozen cannabis flower and solvent-based extractions.
  • Bubble hash: Hash made using the ice water extraction method using ice, water, and filter bags.
  • Rosin: Concentrate made by mechanically pressing cannabis material in a rosin press to create a sticky and solvent-free final product.
  • Live rosin: Rosin made with bubble hash.
  • Distillate: High-cannabinoid concentrates lacking flavor and aroma, usually made for edibles and vape cartridges.
  • Isolate: Crystals or powder containing up to 99% THCA or CBDA, the non-intoxicating cannabinoids that require decarboxylation (heating) to convert into THC or CBD, respectively.
  • Terp sauce: A high-terpene full-spectrum extract (HTFSE) containing syrupy and saucy terpenes and cannabinoid crystals.

Choosing the right concentrate type requires some experimentation with different types, doses, and strains. Ultimately, the type of product you choose depends on your desired effects.

Live resin and terp sauce may be good for users who want to experience more flavor and aroma. Bubble hash may be perfect for those who do not want any risk of residual solvents ending up in their product.

Most importantly, you should always buy from licensed producers who have lab-tested their products at independent analytical laboratories for pesticides, residual solvents, heavy metals, and mold. This ensures your product does not contain harmful additives and contaminants.

How to Consume Cannabis Concentrates

Dabbing tool with small piece of cannabis

Shatter, crumble, budder, and other concentrates can be enjoyed by dabbing, vaping, or smoking them. Beyond the inhalation delivery method, concentrates can be the foundation for your favorite infused recipes, topicals, capsules, tinctures, and more.


Shatter, crumble, and budder can be enjoyed on a standard dab rig. A small butane torch is used to heat a dab rig’s nail for about 40-50 seconds. A cool down period of about 20-30 seconds creates the perfect dabbing temperature. An infrared thermometer or electronic nail (e-nail) can provide better temperature control.

A dab of the extract is loaded onto the heated dab nail and instantly vaporized. A carb cap can be placed over the top of the dab nail to act as a lid on a pot and lower the temperatures needed to vaporize the concentrate. Other accessories such as terp pearls or quartz inserts can improve the dabbing process.


Portable vape pens offer convenience and ease-of-use when consuming cannabis extracts on the go. Generally, users can load the heating chamber with their favorite concentrate and use the vape’s temperature controls to vaporize the oil and inhale.


For users who want an intense hit from smoking, shatter, crumble, and butter can increase the potency of the cannabis flower in bowls or joints. A dab can be used to top off the bowl or coat the inside and/or outside of a joint. Keep in mind, the intense heat produced by the lighter can destroy the concentrate’s flavor profile.


Shatter, budder, and crumble can be ingredients in your cannabis-infused recipe. With concentrates, you can use a smaller volume of cannabis compared to using cannabis flowers. The concentrate can be used to make cannabutter or cannabis-infused oil. Oil and butter can be used to cook with ingredients and create an infused edible product.


Any concentrate can be used to make topicals such as lotions, creams, salves, balms, all of which can be applied topically for localized relief. Cannabinoids do not cross the blood-brain barrier so users do not feel intoxicated but do feel the relief of minor aches and pains.

How to Store Cannabis Extracts

THCA crystals in terpene sauce

Properly storing cannabis extracts, or any other forms of cannabis can help preserve their aroma, flavor, and potency, for longer and slow down the natural breakdown of cannabinoids and terpenes.

Heat, moisture, oxygen, and light all speed up the deterioration of cannabinoids and terpenes. In concentrates, exposure to these elements can result in a darker-colored extract with less intense flavors, aromas, and effects.

We recommend storing your shatter, crumble, budder or any other concentrates in an airtight and UV-protected container in a dark and cool space. Glass and silicone are popular options for concentrate containers.

How Automated BHO Solutions Craft Award-Winning Extracts

Luna Technologies is the leading automated BHO equipment manufacturer for commercial cannabis operators. An automated solution can produce a variety of cannabis extract types including shatter, crumble, or budder, packed with their original flavor and aroma.

IO Extractor


Cut Labor Costs
Automated controls eliminate weeks or months of apprenticeship training required for manually controlled hydrocarbon systems.

Eliminate Operator Error
Pre-programmed recipe-monitoring system checks pressures and temperatures hundreds of times per second to remove risk of operator error.

Increase Capacity
Process 18 pounds of dried plant material or 25 pounds of fresh-frozen material per run. Single operator can process 400 pounds of biomass in a single day.

Improve Run Time
50-minute average run time with a 10-minute soak. Run-to-run changeover times of two minutes.

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