House shake weed
Weed shake. No, not a frothy drink made from blending cannabis with ice. We’re talking about the loose, leafy detritus found at the bottom of baggies and bottles. Is that stuff any good to smoke? Is it good to use in baking or extraction? Or is it best used as backup weed for when your mooching friends come over to bogart your stash?
First, a little etymological history of the term “shake.” Like most things relegated to cannabis folklore, we don’t know when this term originally appeared or who said it first. But back in the days of widespread prohibition, “shake” simply referred to the leftover weed that fell off the lush, fuller buds. Think “table weed.”
Today, “shake” often refers to the shittier flower that dispensaries won’t put on display. Sometimes the shake is made up of bud pieces that weren’t properly cured. Usually, though, pot shops will throw all their well-cured scraps — from multiple strains — into a ‘mixed salad’ and sell that at discount. In some legal areas — like Denver, for instance — an ounce of shake can go for as little as $40.
What to do with a pile of shake, if you come across some? Here are a few ideas even the haughtiest cannabis connoisseurs can dig.
When crafting cannabis edibles, bud quality doesn’t have to be the highest priority. (Though, in our opinion, fairly decent buds are what people should exclusively consume, period.) Rather, prioritize a high-quality oil or butter used to cook along with the weed. Since pretty buds aren’t necessary for edibles (unless used as a garnish), shake weed is perfect for dropping into a home infusion device or right onto a baking sheet for decarboxylation. Besides, since weed should be ground up before mixing into a cooking oil, sticking with shake means you can skip a step.
Keep in mind that because most shake weed today is composed of flower from several strains, there usually isn’t a reliable, lab-tested THC content on its packaging. Without an accurate THC percentage, calculating how much shake weed should go into an edible can be tricky, if not impossible.
As with edibles, tinctures can be made with weed shake, too. If the tincture needs an extra kick, consider adding some hash or kief to beef up the potency.
Related: Weed Porn: Cannabis Up-Close
Big Ass Blunts
Blunts and ice cream cone-sized joints require a ton of bud to fill all that empty space. Since shake weed usually comes cheap, why not stuff that into a Backwoods wrap instead? Although you should reserve the primo chronic when sharing blunts with the homies, random guests at a hot-boxed house party likely won’t notice the difference.
Gravity bongs will always serve as a test for college freshman’s Weed MacGyver skills. Although they’re great for getting the entire dorm fucked up, gravity bongs pretty much suck when it comes to savoring quality weed’s citrusy, sweet bouquets. Because gravity bongs rapidly condense an entire bowl’s worth of smoke into a two-liter cloud, the rip ends up tasting like pure campfire ash, regardless of how much that Strawberry Cough actually tastes like strawberries. Don’t waste the dank stuff in a gravity bong; go with some shake weed instead — you’ll get just as stoned, trust us.
For those (safely) making extracts at home, shake weed provides a good alternative to top-shelf buds, especially for those new to the extraction game. Why accidentally fry a quarter pound of top-notch Tangie when you could use shake weed as training wheels instead? However, other carefully-made concentrates like pressed hashish or ice-water hash should only use the best flower to ensure a better-quality product.
Catching a Lighter Buzz
The jury is still out on how different strains cause different kinds of highs, but some tokers swear that shake weed gives them a much chiller buzz. With commercial cannabis hitting over 30 percent THC, less potent weed means someone can smoke a lot more for much longer. That’s ideal in social situations where the joints make the rounds nonstop, or when someone wants to get slightly lifted but still remain totally functional.
Essentially, treat shake weed like you would any other weed, but always assume it’ll be lower quality than a fresh batch of craft flower.
We're talking about “schwag,” or the loose, leafy detritus found at the bottom of baggies and bottles. Is this pot any good to smoke, or should you toss it?
What Is Shake Weed? Should You Buy It?
Weed snobs will tell you no.
by Macey W. – May 13, 2019
Much like the discounted “ugly produce” found at the grocery store, shake weed can save you some money while still giving you what you set out to buy. It may not be glamorous, and some people downright refuse to use shake, but let’s not act like it won’t get the job done.
What Is Shake?
Handling weed naturally causes bits and pieces to fall off which tend to stay at the bottom of the bag. All of the leftover scraps can make up shake weed, including trichomes which offer high potency. It should not be confused with kief, which comes from tiny bits of trichomes and is much more potent.
Shake weed is essentially just leftover weed, and it doesn’t have to be considered bad as some cannabis enthusiasts (ahem…snobs) will try to tell you. In fact, you might even buy pre-rolls loaded with shake without realizing it. It’s not uncommon to use leftover bud to fill joints, because why waste perfectly good weed?
Pre-rolls with shake help dispensaries cut back on wasted materials. In a perfect world, this would be no problem because the bits of bud that have fallen off should be just as good as the bud itself. Unfortunately, some dispensaries will still stuff the last of their materials into pre-rolls, even if it’s low quality and will end up just giving users a headache.
Shake doesn’t have a universal set of standards so it can mean different things to different people. Shake sometimes has stems, and small amounts don’t really cause any issues. But it can be unpleasant to get a discounted bag of shake and find out it’s merely a bag full of headaches and nasty taste because it’s mostly made up of stems.
If that happens, you’re probably getting trim, which is basically the unwanted parts of the plant all in one place. That should not be confused with shake, nor should it ever be passed off as smoke-able. Unfortunately, some places try to pass trim off as shake.
If you get handed a bag with prominent leaves and stems under the guise of shake, shake your head “no” and find a new dispensary.
Why Would I Buy Shake Weed?
This may come as a surprise to some, but shake is not just some last-resort fix for moments of desperation. While scrounging up all you can scrape off the bottom of a bag could help you acquire shake, you can also get it at the dispensary and there are some good reasons to do so.
You can use shake as you would any other flower, and it may even be a better choice for specific uses. It’s usually cheaper, which makes it great for any sort of cannabis-related venture you’re going on that requires large amounts but doesn’t rely on consistency.
For example, if you’re making edibles, you can easily use shake to make cannabutter . It’s cost effective and will provide the same results as any other weed you use because it is the same stuff, just in smaller bits and often a compilation of different strains.
Shake is also a more cost-effective way to roll joints, spliffs, or blunts . If you’re buying shake from a trusted dispensary, you’re not going to get a bunch of stems or garbage weed. You’ll just get the leftover good stuff you were planning to roll up anyway – why not save a few bucks?
If you use shake, you won’t have to grind your weed either, saving time spent preparing in exchange for more time toking up. Shake also tends to be drier than other types of weed, though this has to do with how it is stored.
Who Shouldn’t Use Shake?
Since shake is often a leftover mix of many strains, medical users who rely on specific effects from specific strains should avoid using shake. Or, ask the budtender if they have any shake that would fit your specific needs.
iStock / Stefan Tomic
If you like knowing exactly what it is you’re getting, shake may be more stress than it’s worth. If you buy pre-rolls made from shake, depending on the source, you might end up with a pre-rolled joint filled with stems because how could you notice if it’s already wrapped up?
If there are certain strains or types of cannabis that you do better with, shake may be more of a gamble than you’re willing to make. There’s really no guarantee that you’ll know exactly what you’re getting with shake, which can be fun for the go-with-the-flow type, but if you’re prone to negative side effects from some types of weed, you’ll probably want to make sure you know exactly what you’re consuming.
Much like the discounted “ugly produce” found at the grocery store, shake weed can save you some money while still giving you what you set out to buy.