The cannabis industry doesn’t like to let anything go to waste. You might see a “shake” for sale at your dispensary and be immediately attracted to its price point. You can get a wealth of the shake for very little money. It’s the fraction of the price of other cannabis products, usually priced at as little as two dollars a gram.
So what’s the catch? What is shake, and why is it so much less expensive than everything else at the dispensary? Before you become a cannabis bargain shopper, here’s what you’re getting yourself into.
Shake is Little Bits of Cannabis
Here’s the best analogy. You get a bag of cookies. You eat all the cookies. Errant chunks of crunchy goodness and stray chocolate chips remain at the bottom of the tray. They’re still tasty. They’re still cookies. You probably still want to eat them. Those little bits are a cookie shake.
Much like cookies, cannabis is delicate. Little bits can crumble off over time, especially if the cannabis has been transported around. These bits of cannabis are still good. They just aren’t as convenient to use as the whole flower.
When you’re using a whole flower, you control the quality and size of the grind. You know everything is equally as fresh and uniform because it all came from the same place. When you’re using shake, all of that is out of your control. You have to work with what you’ve got. Sometimes, this is very inconvenient. In other instances, it doesn’t matter very much.
Is Shake Stronger Than Other Cannabis?
The strength of shake is a coin flip. Sometimes, it’s not much different from the whole flower. Sometimes it’s weaker because it’s been sitting around for a while. Other times, it’s a goldmine. Shake sometimes holds onto kief and trichomes that fell from the cannabis flower, which increases its potency. Unless the package specifically states that the shake contains anything extra, it’s best to assume the shake is of average potency.
It also helps to check the label. Brands are required to have their products lab tested and to include the THC percentage on the packaging.
Cannabis Companies Often Use Their Shake
Some cannabis companies send their shake directly to dispensary shelves without any frills. They put the shake in a container, label it, and it’s ready to go. Other cannabis companies get more creative.
Many brands will incorporate their shake into their pre-rolls. Integrating small pieces of cannabis with properly ground cannabis won’t impact the quality of the joint. It helps them avoid waste and makes it easier for them to offer affordable pre-rolls, as the shake offsets their production cost.
Companies that make edibles will use their shake to make the cannabis-infused oil or butter that gives their treats a kick of THC.
In most cases, you’ll never be able to tell the difference. Growers worked hard to produce strains that they’re proud of, and they don’t want to let that work (or that cannabis) go to waste.
Should You Buy Shake?
Buying the shake is a gray area. People who use it to make edibles insist that it doesn’t matter. If you’re going to smoke your cannabis, you might want to think twice before you buy a bag of shake.
When the cannabis is in tiny little pieces, you can’t assess its quality by how it looks. You won’t see the flower or its color. You won’t see the trichomes on the outside of the buds. There’s no way to visually assess cannabis.
Shake might be a mixture of different strains. The cannabis in the bag may be of different ages, with parts being stale and relatively fresh. It could contain big pieces of seeds or stems that were removed when the plant was manicured. It may be improperly dried or cured.
Shake is a gamble. If you’re feeling lucky or if the quality of the cannabis you’re using isn’t that important, do as you please. If you’re exclusively in the market for quality cannabis, you might want to reconsider.
What Can You Do With Shake?
You might have some shake of your own. Check the bottom of your Stori pod for little pieces of cannabis that may have broken free from the flower. Save them for later solo use, or incorporate them with the rest of the flower from the same strain and batch.
If you’ve already purchased shake (or if you’re interested in purchasing shake), here’s what you can do with your big bag of inexpensive cannabis.
Roll Shake Infused Joints
Shake can be used to fill joints, but it’s best not to use shake by itself. The pieces aren’t uniform, and fine bits will burn up much faster. The end result is a joint that tastes more like burnt paper than cannabis, and it’s gone in the blink of an eye.
Instead, incorporate a little bit of shake into properly ground cannabis of the same strain when you’re rolling up. Mixing strains can lead to unintended effects, and their terpene profiles may not mesh well. This can lead to a joint that tastes so funky, you’ll be glad when it’s over.
Make THC Edibles
If you primarily use cannabis to make edibles, shake might be a good choice for you. It’s an economical way to purchase a wealth of cannabis, and if you’re only interested in the THC, the overall flavor and growth quality won’t matter as much.
Start by decarboxylating your shake.
Decarboxylation is a simple process that uses gentle heat to activate the cannabinoids in your cannabis, unlocking its potency. Line a baking sheet with a piece of foil, spill your shake on top and cover it gently with another piece of foil.
Bake it on the center rack of your oven at 230 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes, checking every ten minutes to assure the cannabis isn’t burning.
After you’ve decarboxylated your shake, use it to infuse oil or butter. Put two cups of oil or butter in a pot at low heat.
Pro Tip: Use the slow cooker. Once it warms up, drop in your decarboxylated shake. Leave it to simmer, periodically stirring every 20 minutes to ensure that the cannabis evenly distributes the cannabinoids throughout the mixture.
After two to three hours, your oil or butter will be thoroughly infused with THC. Strain out the shake bits with a cheesecloth or a mesh strainer and transfer your cannabutter or canna-oil into a refrigerator-safe container. You can pour it directly into a Stori pod before you stick it in the fridge. Just make sure you thoroughly wash and dry the pod before you use it to store dry cannabis again.
You can use your cannabutter or canna-oil to make cakes, cookies, or brownies. You can also use it to make anything that can be made with butter or oil, including things like salad dressing or grilled cheese. Follow your culinary whims.
Use It With a Dry Herb Vaporizer
It’s not a good idea to toss a shake into a bong or a hand pipe. Applying a flame directly to shake will cause it to burn up quickly, leading to a sooty and burnt flavor and potentially destroying the cannabinoids before you’ve had a chance to inhale them.
A dry herb vaporizer is a better solution. Vaporizing the shake removes the element of direct heat. The flavor and cannabinoids will withstand a vaporizer much better. If you don’t have a dry herb vaporizer, don’t go out and buy one just to use for shake.
Quality dry herb vaporizers are on the pricier side, but they’re worth the investment if you intend to use them as a simple cannabis tool.
Preserving Your Shake
Your shake is a lot more vulnerable than a whole cannabis flower. You need to take extra care when storing it. Stori is designed with proper cannabis storage in mind.
Put your shake into a Stori pod. Stori pods have color-coded, childproof lids. You can label the lid with the strain information and purchase date of your shake or the strain your shake came from.
Inside the lid of your Stori pod, you’ll find a little place to insert a Boveda pack. Boveda packs turn your Stori pod into a humidor. They help maintain a constant average humidity level that will keep your delicate shake from drying up before you have a chance to use it.
Stori is here for cannabis in any form you choose.