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What are Concentrates? Shatter, Wax, Live Resin

If you're a first time dabber and new to concentrates, you might still be wondering exactly what are concentrates, and what is the difference between wax, shatter, live resin, and other types of concentrates. Deciding what concentrate to choose and knowing how to use it properly takes a little background knowledge. The budtenders at denver dispensaries are usually willing to offer advice to concentrate first timers, but it's still a good idea to have at least a basic idea of the different types of concentrates available so you'll be better able to understand your options. Here is a first timers guide to concentrates to answer those most frequently asked questions: What are concentrates? and What is the difference in wax, shatter, live resin and other types of concentrates?

What are Concentrates?

Concentrates such as shatter and wax are products made from extracted, concentrated marijuana oils. These oils can take the form of THC, which will get you high, and CBD, which provides pain relief and relaxes the body without affecting your mental state. Types of concentrates include wax, shatter, budder, live resin, and oil.

How do you use concentrates? What is Dabbing?

Some concentrates can be used topically or taken orally, while others are used in a vaporizer commonly known as a vapepen. Dabbing is also popular. This is the process of heating up a small amount of concentrate such as live resin with a device called a dab rig, and inhaling the vapors. Think heating up a drop of hash on a pen knife and breathing in the smoke—same basic concept, only now you can buy an actual factory-made contraption for this. You can also go the old fashioned route and use many types of concentrates to simply top off a bowl of ordinary flower to give it an extra kick.

Wax, Shatter, Live Resin – What's the Difference?

Concentrates go by many names: dabs, wax, shatter, BHO oil, budder, and live resin are just a few of the terms you might hear in reference to concentrates. Though there are many different types of concentrates, they are essentially all the same product—extracted, compounded marijuana oils. But they are named differently based on the consistency, density, and texture of the end product, and also on differences in how the concentrates are prepared. Here are the basics.

Live Resin

Live resin  is simply cannabis oil that has been extracted from fresh flowers that have been freezedried rather than air dried and cured the typical way. This produces a different flavor in the resin, imparting a more aromatic and floral bouquet. Live resin is usually somewhat gooey in consistency.


Shatter is heat extracted or chemically extracted cannabis oil that has hardened into a glasslike substance that's usually amber colored and mostly transparent. When it's heated, it becomes a viscous liquid similar to thickened honey.


Wax refers to concentrated marijuana oil that has been extracted--often with butane or other chemicals—to produce a thick, oily, and wax-like substance that can be smoked or vaporized. Unlike shatter which is see-through and hard, wax is soft and opaque. Wax is also referred to as ear wax or BHO oil, which stands for butane honey oil. Wax that is especially on the creamy side is referred to as budder, while the more crumbly stuff is called honeycomb wax.

Any questions?

If you're still not sure what to get or how to use it, just ask the budtender at your denver dispensary for advice. Medicine Man Denver is very friendly and the staff at Livwell are also always willing to share their knowledge and expertise. You can find a list of other dispensaries in denver on CannaSaver, and download some printable coupons for great deals on concentrates, too.

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