cannabis shatter

What is Cannabis Shatter?

Cannabis Shatter is a new, super-strength strain of Cannabis that is growing in popularity and usage in the UK. The drug is sometimes also called Butane Hash Oil (BHO), Weed Shatter or Honey Oil. It is manufactured in ovens and is produced using large volumes of highly flammable butane gas.

The butane gas is used to strip THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, from the plant. After extraction, what is left is a glass-like material that has the appearance of a honeycomb or cooled caramel. The sheets of the drug are then broken into pieces. Small shards can then be smoked by users in joints. The drug can also be found in paste form. This type of shatter is marketed by manufacturers under names such as Diamond Sauce Shatter. Northumbria Police identified this particular variant in October 2019.

The same force raided and closed a cannabis shatter factory on the Croft Estate in Ryton, Northumberland in 2017. Police arrested a 25-year-old man and a 21-year-old woman on suspicion of supplying the super-strength cannabis variant.

In January 2020, The Sun reported that the drug was available to buy easily on Instagram, with teenagers being tempted to purchase the drug. The paper reported that shatter was four times stronger than normal cannabis.

What Are the Dangers of Cannabis Shatter?

Shatter is a much more potent type of cannabis than that supplied in its traditional form. Tests have found that the drug can be up to 10 times stronger than normal cannabis.

The medical effects of using the drug can be extreme. Long-lasting psychiatric problems may result and the intense negative effects of using the drug can include drug-induced psychosis, paranoia and anxiety. Often it contains high levels of solvents and chemicals that can damage the lungs and respiratory system.

It is also important to note that using cannabis shatter can impair judgment and coordination, which can increase the risk of accidents and injuries. Driving while under the influence of shatter is especially dangerous and illegal. Lastly, using cannabis shatter can also lead to addiction, and those who become addicted may experience withdrawal symptoms when attempting to quit.

Cannabis shatter is produced in ovens like this (Photo: Northumbria Police)

Are There Any Other Worries?

Yes, those who produce the drug are putting themselves and others in serious danger. The manufacturing process uses highly flammable butane gas to extract the THC from the cannabis plant.

In the United States, use of the drug is growing. and as a result, there have various reports of house fires and explosions that have occurred after people tried to make cannabis shatter in homes or makeshift factories. In 2016, two people are know to have died as a result of explosions whilst manufacturing the drug. A further two dozen people have also known to have suffered serious injury. In October 2021, a huge explosion ripped through a flat in Hull, where the drug was being cooked up illegally.

Can Cannabis Shatter Be Detected By A Drug Test?

Sure. Cannabis Shatter use can be detected by a drug test in the same way as normal use of cannabis, such as when it is smoked. A urine drug test for cannabis will detect recent use. A saliva drug test for cannabis will do the same.

However, it is important to note that the length of time that cannabis shatter can be detected in a drug test varies depending on several factors, including the frequency of use, the amount consumed, and the individual’s metabolism. Generally, cannabis shatter can be detected in a urine test for up to 30 days after last use, while it can be detected in a saliva test for up to 72 hours.

Photo Credit: Northumbria Police / Handout

Zoom Testing is a leading UK drug testing company and a supplier of Drug Test Kits.

This post was originally published in 2017. It was last updated in June 2023.

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