What is the Drug "Shatter"?
Shatter has become popular over the last decade as a marijuana concentrate product. Typically appearing like golden, glassy, and transparent plastic, this is becoming a more popular route of THC intake due to its high potency and ease of production, transportation, and use.
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What is the Drug Shatter?
Shatter is a THC concentrate made from marijuana plants through a butane extraction process. Known as butane hash oils, these types of marijuana products contain very high levels of THC with minimal amounts of CBD. THC is the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana responsible for the high produced by its use. The levels of THC in shatter far exceed anything found in marijuana plants themselves. While THC content in marijuana plants seems to top out at 20%, the amount of THC in shatter is around 80% but has been as high as 91%. This makes shatter, on average, at least 4 times more potent than the most potent marijuana plant available today.
Is Shatter Addictive?
Yes, shatter is addictive. It may even be more addictive than traditional marijuana due to its much higher potency. Contrary to popular belief, marijuana does produce physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. Marijuana withdrawal may be less noticeable than others. Due to its pharmacokinetics, the symptoms are usually extended over a period of weeks and are less intense.
While shatter withdrawal may be identical to marijuana withdrawal due to the active ingredient in both being THC, the much higher concentrations of THC in shatter will produce more intense withdrawal symptoms. For example, if someone were to smoke a gram of marijuana per day, they would have a certain withdrawal intensity. Due to shatter’s higher THC content, if someone were to vape a gram of shatter per day, with all other factors being equal, then they would have much more intense withdrawal symptoms as they would be consuming substantially more THC per day.
Is Shatter Safe?
The short answer: no. For a more in-depth answer, we have to ask what the word “safe” means. Is shatter addictive? Yes. Can this lead to unsafe situations? Yes. These are obscure and indirect safety issues, but there are more direct and immediate concerns when it comes to the safeness of shatter. Physical health concerns are much more apparent. Health outcomes from using shatter can be severe and sometimes life-threatening.
The first physical health concern to address is pulmonary health issues related to vaping in general. There are still a lot of unknowns about the health repercussions of vaping products. With minimal regulation in the vaping product industry, there can be a wide range of quality control and safety practices around vaping fluid purity. For shatter, in particular, the butane extraction process can lead to a variety of compounds in the vape fluid that may become biologically volatile when vaporized. Known as “pyrolysis products,” the effects of these compounds are unknown with regard to respiratory health. The short lifetime of the vaping industry means that long-term, clinically controlled studies have not had the time to obtain definitive evidence either way. That being said, there has been a surge of respiratory health conditions, referred to as “e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury” (EVALI), that have arisen since the introduction of vaping over a decade ago.
There is also concern about the purity of the shatter product itself. The butane extraction process can introduce a variety of compounds into shatter. Terpenoid combustion can produce a variety of ozone and nitrous oxide compounds, although the behavior of these products during vaping is still unclear. Additionally, due to the intense competition in the marijuana/cannabis production market, there is always pressure to develop newer, more efficient ways to extract the most THC from cannabis with the least investment of time and resources. Coupled with the illegality of cannabis at the federal level, this has made it impossible to get patents for these extraction processes. This has made it improbable for the FDA to oversee these processes. The intense secrecy born out of the competition in the market, plus the lack of governmental oversight, has made it possible for contaminants, adulterants, and toxicants to be present in shatter products.
While the exact risks of shatter addiction are unclear, addiction of any kind can take a heavy toll on someone’s life. Overcoming an addiction is possible, but it often requires help. Here at The Summit Wellness Group, we provide comprehensive shatter addiction treatment. We use the latest medical and psychological treatment approaches alongside effective holistic addiction treatment modalities to provide the most comprehensive care. Recovery is possible, and it can begin today. The only requirement is the courage to ask for help and the willingness to accept it. Don’t wait. Pick up the phone and begin the journey towards a life free from shatter at a treatment center in Atlanta. For help finding the right center for you, take a look at our guide for finding the best drug rehab in Georgia.
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