What is shake

Shake is cannabis flower that has naturally broken down through handling. It’s small parts that have come off of larger buds. For the average consumer, shake collects at the bottom of your stash, which you can also use to make joints. Convenience is the real benefit of shake—you can put it in a joint without having to grind it down. However, it is thought to be lower in quality. 

If shake includes kief that also fell off of buds then the shake will likely be potent. Shake is usually of lower quality because it’s the last to go from your stash and has had the longest time to dry out and degrade. 

Difference between shake and trim

Trim is what gets trimmed off cannabis buds after harvesting—it is mainly the resinous tips of buds, but sugar leaves, stems, and some chunks of flower might make their way into trim depending on how it was trimmed. 

Shake is what falls off in your jar or bag after buds have been handled over time.

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.

what is shake


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.  

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

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.

what is shake


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.

The Cost of Cannabis Shake

Shake offers customers the opportunity to buy cannabis at a discounted price due to its small bits and suboptimal freshness. Consider shake to be the day-old doughnuts. While fine, they aren’t as fresh or pretty. Because of this, some will consider shake undesirable. 

To move either shake or doughnuts before they go bad, sellers mark its price down to remain appealing. Prices are also marked down because shake lacks the consistent quality that you find in fresh bud. When buying shake, you may get potent, quality flower. Or, it simply may be a bag of mids.

As such, prices for shake vary. Some companies try selling their leftover stock in grab bag varieties. These offerings include ounces for over $100. However, prices can be found well below triple digits as well, especially if the producer is trying to make sales. Shake sells for a variety of prices depending on the market, with some selling ounces as low as $20 for lower quality shake. “Top shelf” shake typically lists at an appealing discount to full buds but is more expensive than lower quality shake.

When to Use Marijuana Shake

Once you’ve sourced proper shake, it’s time to discover its potential. These cannabis leftovers can be used in several consumption methods. That said, it is not suitable for all situations or consumers. Dispensaries and retailers may sell shake in jars or other containers. But another common application is in pre-rolls. Reputable retailers will take their leftovers, sans trim, and roll it up to get value out of product that is otherwise getting tossed away. Since you won’t be able to see inside the pre-roll like you would a container, stick with quality cannabis cultivators and retailers.

Edibles work well with shake as well. The smaller bits of material doesn’t make it much less potent than flower from an intact bud would be. You’re working with the same stuff more or less. You might even get lucky and come across some extra potent shake to liven up your edibles. Just remember the quality in, quality out approach. Only use shake from well-cultivated buds. Otherwise, you’ll come away really disliking shake and the items it helps create. 

1 thought on “What is shake”

  1. I got a ton of shake recently, and it smells absolutely horrible. I tried making brownies with it, and they tasted so bad I almost puked. Any ideas?

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