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Wax can come in a variety of different textures – buttery, crumbly, or sugary.
This aptly named concentrate is put into an oven to purge after removing it from the collection base, but isn’t vacuumed. Once taken out of the oven, it’s whipped. Wax typically tests higher in THCa, but lower in terpenes – resulting in a fluffy, more dry texture. Both the purging and whipping processes force any remaining butane to evaporate.


Shatter typically resembles glass, or “melted Jolly Rancher” in appearance and texture.
This concentrate undergoes a lengthy purge, heat, cool, repeat process. Once removed from the collection tank, the concentrate is placed in a vacuum oven where it is purged of solvents. Any remaining butane will bubble up and disappear as the concentrate flattens, resulting in the commonly-seen swiss cheese appearance. This multiple-day process causes the extracted oil to condense into a brittle, glassy consistency.


Sugar is identified by its sparkly crystalline appearance, and is the most flavorful type of concentrate. Specific strains contain large amounts of terpenes, which create a very suitable environment for THCa to crystallize once extracted.

Once the terpene-rich concentrate is removed from the collection base, it’s spread out on parchment paper to allow it to crystallize. The crystallization process is called nucleation and leaves us with a concentrate resembling wet sugar. Further whipping of this concentrate causes nucleation to continue – resulting in a fluffy, sparkly concentrate. This whipped sugar is now put into the oven to purge out any remaining solvents.

Today we’re examining the differences between shatter, wax and sugar. If you haven’t read our latest extraction blogs, you can get all caught up here:

BHO (Butane Has Oil) Basics

How Butane Hash Oil Is Made

Surprisingly to some, the extraction process is exactly the same from sugar, to shatter and wax. It’s the post extraction processes that distinguish the textures, flavor and experiences of varying has products.