Weed shake refers to the loose scraps of plant matter often found at the bottom of a bag of cannabis. Understandably, beautiful buds don't remain perfect forever, and inevitably, pieces fall off and detritus collects at the bottom of the container.
We don't know much about the origins of the word shake, but it stands to reason the term originated to describe the tiny pieces that were shaken off the whole buds during handling.
Shake is often considered to be a lower-quality weed, and understandably so when compared to the frosty nugs from which they separate. These leftover pieces of bud and kief aren't much to look at, but shake can be a highly potent and useful addition to your cannabis cabinet.
How much is shake?
You won't often find shake on dispensary shelves, but most cannabis shops hold on to the unseemly trimmings to maximize their profits. Depending on the laws in their state, some dispensaries throw all of their shake into a large, grab-bag container and use it to roll their in-house joints. These can be a fun, surprise smoking experience but tread with caution — you never know quite what strain you're puffing with a shake-filled joint. When in doubt, ask your budtender for more details.
Dispensaries typically will also sell different amounts of shake for far cheaper than the flower on their shelves. Some shops in legalized states will sell an ounce of shake for as little as $40. In a pinch, shake is cheaper, looks exactly like pre-ground bud, and it's just as smokeable.
What is weed shake used for?
Once you move past the lack of glamour, shake is an excellent substitute for full, fluffy buds.
Shake essentially is pre-ground flower, ready to pack in a bowl or fill out the empty space in a large joint or blunt. When crafting edibles, too, one needn't worry about the look of one's buds -- they're all about to be mixed into your recipe. You only need pretty flower to use as a garnish.
Some cannabis consumers create tinctures using their leftover shake. As long as you have enough shake by weight for your recipe, the alcohol in the tincture recipe will properly strip all the THC-goodness from your trim.
Occasionally, cannabis extractors will use shake to make concentrates, though many in the industry prefer to use flower, ensuring a higher quality end product.
Is weed shake bad?
Whether shake is bad or not really depends on individual preference.
There are some cons to smoking shake. Sometimes shake is rife with unsmokable cannabis trimmings such as stems and seeds, which can be a pain to remove. Dispensary-bought shake defies identification, too, as most bags are a mix of cannabis genetics and won't provide a reliable psychoactive experience every time. Shake also dries out quickly, so you'll want to smoke it fast before its condition worsens.
For some, the pros of inexpensive and usable shake outweigh the cons. It's ultimately up to personal preference, budget, and the intended use for the shake.