Is Shake Just Bad Weed? Your Guide to Leftovers

Characterized by the loose, fragmented pieces of the plant (leaves, stems, etc.) that accumulate at the bottom of a bag or container during cannabis manufacturing, shake is literally “shaken” off the plant throughout the supply chain process. 

Once the handling, transportation, and storage of larger cannabis buds is complete, a less potent, more affordable product remains for cannabis consumers to rely on when seeking more bang for their buck. Not to be confused with kief, shake is an excellent dispensary purchase for those looking to make their high-quality cannabis stretch a little further—and for anyone who has never judged a book by its cover.

Is marijuana shake bad?

While cannabis shake is less aesthetically appealing than big, glamorous nugs and tends to have a lower level of potency, consumers seek it out when it’s time to enhance an existing product, taking its entourage effect to new heights. And while it may come with a few potential negatives—like decreased potency, widely varying quality, and a generally harsher taste—there are quite a few pros consumers are chasing when they purchase these discounted cannabis crumbs.

The pros of buying cannabis shake

Shake tends to be way more cost-effective than other products, which is why it’s such a popular choice for consumers on a tight budget. It’s also pretty widely available, especially in dispensaries that handle and package their own flower. 

Beyond its affordability, purchasing this form enables consumers to be a little more versatile and creative with their consumption habits. Pre-rolled joints are taken to the next level with a little shake, whose entourage effect adds to the overall potency of the original product. This is because shake can still contain significant amounts of cannabinoids and terpenes even if its THC levels aren’t as strong.

Where you find shake weed

If you grow cannabis at home, look no further than your own tent to find all the leftover cannabis your heart desires. But for those who prefer purchasing cannabis, you can find the stuff at the bottom of your eighth jar, in pre-packaged containers, or in most of the house pre-rolls at your favorite dispensaries. 

In fact, next time you visit your favorite weed shop, ask a budtender about their shake selection. You might be pleasantly surprised by this new tier of purchasing potential. 

What you can make with shake

There are several easy homemade cannabis products that are made with shake, including:

  • Infused butter or oil
  • Cannasugar 
  • Infused coffee or tea
  • Tinctures 
  • Topicals 

Marijuana Shake FAQ

Can you smoke shake?

Absolutely, you can! While it may not be as potent or aesthetically appealing as larger nugs, marijuana shake still contains a highly concentrated amount of cannabinoids and terpenes, which means it might just be capable of taking your smoking experience to the next level. 

Whether you’re rolling a blunt, joint, or packing a bowl, try sprinkling some weed shake into the mix next time around. This special little addition will amplify your high, diversify the flavor and aroma, and increase that highly sought-after entourage effect consumers often chase. 

Are shake weed and trim different?

Very! Pot shake and trim are different parts of the cannabis plant, each with its own characteristics and functions.

Trim refers to the excess leaves, stems, and other plant material that are removed during the trimming process after harvest. Trimmings typically have lower levels of cannabinoids and terpenes compared to buds, where the highest concentrations are found. They’re commonly used to make extracts, concentrates, edibles, or topicals. Trim is rarely smoked on its own due to its low potency levels and harsher taste. 

On the other hand, cannabis shake refers to the small pieces of cannabis flower that break off and accumulate at the bottom of your stash bag. While shake also contains lower concentrations of cannabinoids compared to whole buds, it typically contains more trichomes, which is why it tends to be more potent than trim. Shake can be smoked on its own, rolled into joints or blunts, or made into other cannabis-infused products like edibles or topicals. 

How much is shake?

Buying shake is something of a fine art, akin to hunting through vintage racks with a particularly discerning eye. But once you know what to look for—like preferred strain types, terpene and cannabinoid profiles, or harvest dates—you’re in for a highly discounted treat. The price of your local dispensary shake can vary widely—anywhere between $2 to $10 per gram. Since it’s considered a byproduct and is typically less potent than normal buds, you can usually score a pretty sweet deal. 

Is shake as strong as flower?

It can be, but shake typically has a lower potency compared to whole cannabis buds. This is because it consists of small, broken-off pieces, which may contain fewer trichomes, terpenes, and cannabinoids. However, keep in mind the potency of shake can still vary depending on factors like the high-THC strain it comes from, how it was handled, and whether it contains any kief or trichomes. 

Are smalls or small nugs the same as shake?

Nope. Small nugs—also known as “small buds” or “popcorn buds”—are small, densely-packed buds. While they may contain lower levels of cannabinoids and terpenes than their larger counterparts, small buds are still more intact than shake, which means they also tend to be more potent. 

How are shake and ground weed different?

Finding the difference between these two is difficult but doable. While shake and ground weed present themselves identically visually, shake has been broken off and preserved at some point throughout the manufacturing process. 

On the other hand, ground weed is intentionally broken down, and this breakdown typically occurs mere moments before you’re ready to smoke it. Because it’s processed intentionally, ground weed is usually more uniform in texture than shake. It can also vary a little wider in consistency, ranging from fine grind to coarse grind, depending on the user’s preferences.