Cannabis shake is simply the collection of bits of flower that fall off the nugs cannabis in the jar at the dispensary. Cannabis flowers are cured, making them prone to losing material when jostled around in a jar together.
So, if your local budtender is always shaking the jar around before giving you a sniff you may want to consider checking out other dispensaries as every time those nugs are jostled they shed trichomes, pistils, and sometimes whole chunks of the cola (plant bud) itself.
Because shake is kind of the “leftovers” of all jar after all the whole intact nugs have been sold it is usually retailed at a discount price or used to make lower-priced pre-rolls.
Now, that begets the question, do you really want to be paying money for cannabis leftovers?
Is Shake Worth It Even Discounted?
That would be a resounding yes. Shake gets a bad name from cannabis elitists who simply have the money to spend on top shelf whole nugs. These are the type of consumers who value bag presence almost as much as they do top shelf cannabis itself.
Don’t get us wrong, we’re not doggin. If a budtender offers the fat nug on top we’ll take it, there’s no shame in enjoying the observable beauty of cannabis. That said, there are a few reasons why opting for the shake may be a better choice.
First, because it’s shake and doesn’t have that “bag presence” of whole intact flower shake is usually sold at relatively steep discounts. Getting 10-20% off for shake is pretty common, at least in dispensaries in Oregon, and often times if they go a little over in weight they won’t charge extra because it is in the dispensaries best interest to empty the damn jar so they can fill it up again.
So, if you like getting a little extra weed, polishing off the shake form a jar may be a viable path towards such savings.
Additionally, the discounts on shake are across the shelf-level, meaning you can sometimes get top-shelf, “premium”, “diamond”, or “platinum” (or whatever tier system your dispensary uses) level bud for some very healthy discounts. Sometimes these top shelf strains are excluded from daily-deal type discounts so shake may be the only viable way to get them at a reduced price outside of something like a 4/20 sale.
The second thing about shake that most people don’t factor in is that by its very nature the composition of shake is pretty solid stuff, chemically speaking. Trichomes are what comprise kief and kief is a wonderful, high priced cannabis product. Getting a higher % of trichomes at a discounted price over whole bud is kind of a win-win situation.
Finally, the fact that shake is broken off bits means it’s already moderately “pre-ground” in a sense. Sure, you’ll still probably want to run it through your hand grinder if packing a tight little joint but if phat blunts are more your style then kief is pretty much ready to be dumped into your rolling leaf as is, cutting out a tedious step in the process of getting baked AF.
Are There Any Cons to Shake?
The biggest cons in our opinion with shake are the fact that you’re missing out on the whole nug beauty but also, a little more importantly, shake tends to be a bit drier than whole flower.
The physical structure of the flower helps retain a bit of terpene moisture vs little flakes of shake that very quickly dry out and can become quite brittle. If your rolling a doobie this isn’t such a big deal, you’ll still get plenty ripped.
However if you are more of a flavor chaser, and really like them fruity strains for example, then you’re going to be sacrificing some of that flavor going with the shake, simply because of it’s lower moisture content. This is more noticeable with vaporizers like the PAX for example, where we feel like higher moisture content nugs produce a much more rewarding vapor compared to overly-cured nugs or shake for example.
Herb CEO Summary
In the end, we feel that shake gets an unfair shake (pun intended) when it comes to consumers avoiding it in the dispensary simply because of its appearance or the notion that they’re buying “leftovers”. Once you understand though the real value in trichomes and that shake is usually dense with it you start to realize that the humble shake discount is actually a hell of a bargain.
Shake makes for great bulk pre-roll filler (dispensaries making use of all their leftover inventory), blunt filler, or big bong bowl filler. Situations in which we’d advise spending more for the whole flower would be if you prefer vaporizing your flower or if you are a hemp-wick using flavor chaser.
What’s the difference between shake and trim?
Shake is the stuff that falls off already trimmed cannabis flower, which means it’s mostly solid cola and trichomes. Trim on the other hand is the leftover plant matter from the whole flower trimming process, primarily sugar leaves. While these leaves has some trichomes they aren’t nearly as dense or potent as shake found from already-trimmed whole buds.
What’s the difference between shake and kief?
Kief is almost entirely composed of trichomes, which are packed with terpenes and THC. Accumulating pure kief is usually the result of grinding already-trimmed whole nugs. Many consumer-grade premium quality 4-piece grinders will have dedicated kief catchers for these friction-freed trichomes. Commercial trim bins and industrial grinders also collect kief which is then either processed as hash or re-added to other cannabis products like moonrocks for example. Shake is found exclusively at the bottom of whole flower storage containers like dispensary jars.
What does “smalls” at a dispensary mean?
Some falsely equate smalls with shake just because they are both oftentimes discounted flower types. While shake is a catch all for loose, particulate sized remnants of colas, smalls is a size bigger and are whole popcorn nugs that come detached from their main cola or are just grown that way.
What is shake weed?
The definition of shake weed is the bits of weed leftover at the bottom of a storage vessel, such as a jar, that is then often sold at a discount because it simply isn’t as aesthetically pleasing as whole flower.