What is Shake? A Guide to Hemp/CBD Shake

In simple terms, shake is the small bits of hemp flowers that gather at the bottom of the jar. These "left over" flowers are often used to make pre-rolls and serve as a quick and easy form of smokable hemp.

But there's much more to shake than that simple summary suggests.

How is CBD Shake Formed?

Hemp flowers are often stored in large glass jars. As these nugs are sold, they are removed by hand, disturbing the flowers and causing small pieces to break away. Over time, this plant matter accumulates at the bottom of the jar, and that's the shake!

You can also make shake yourself. Just keep your cannabis flowers or hemp flowers in a jar or bag and "shake" it out when the flowers have been used up.

Is Shake Good Quality?

Shake includes something known as "sugar leaves," which grow out of the sides of the flowers and are loaded with trichomes. These resinous trichomes contain high concentrations of cannabinoids, trapping all that famous flavor and health benefits. 

However, these little leaves have lower concentrations than the whole nugs. The difference between whole flowers and shake varies from strain to strain, but in high-CBD strains, shake contains around 3 to 5% less CBD.

In simple terms, cannabis shake is still high in THC, and hemp shake is still high in CBD, but they’re often lower than whole flowers.

How to Buy the Best Shake

Different strains and buds will produce shake of varying quality. It may or may not contain seeds, trim, and other less desirable parts of the plant, making it essential to stick with reputable retailers selling high-quality products.

Ways to Use Shake

Pay attention to the strain, make sure it's all or mostly flower, and consider the ingestion method. Shake can be used in the following ways:


Marijuana shake and hemp shake are great for making edibles. You don't need a grinder and can simply add the product to butter, making your own Cannabutter or hemp butter. This can then be used to bake cookies, muffins, brownies, and more. It can also be added to coconut oil or another fat-based carrier.


If you're going to be rolling and smoking joints, pre-rolls might be the way to go, as all of the work has been done for you! A pre-roll is simply a spliff loaded with hemp or cannabis plant material. Some use 100% hand-trimmed flowers, others use shake, and some use all of the plant. 

The quality, like the strains themselves, can vary significantly.

You can either buy ready-rolled joints from your chosen retailer or purchase some empty cones and stuff them yourself. These cones are cheap and are typically large enough for at least a gram of shake. You'll need to stuff them yourself, but this way, you will get more bang for your buck, can choose your own shake, and make sure it's 100% flower.

Hemp Tea

Hemp is not just flavorful, it's also nutritious. Those flowers are loaded with healthy terpenes and flavonoids, giving you a boost of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. Some of these benefits may be offset by smoking, but with hemp tea, you'll get all of the good and none of the bad.

The effects are not as immediate or as pronounced, but they are definitely still there, and if you combine that shake with some chamomile, lavender, or lemon balm, you could boost those benefits.

Pipe or Bong

Although it can be a harsh way to smoke, a pipe also provides an immediate and hassle-free experience. Alternatively, use a bong, as it uses water to cool the smoke down, thus allowing you to get more of it into your lungs.


Vaping hemp produces a slightly different experience from smoking, as it produces a much milder and sweet flavor. You can buy vape kits that contain high concentrations of CBD, but these are expensive. Just vape your shake for a unique, cheap, and pleasant experience.

Make Extracts and Concentrates

​If you have some time to kill or want to turn your homemade shake into something more potent, consider making a concentrate like kief. You'll need some time and equipment, and it can be a messy and complicated process. Regardless, there are many different methods you can use, including dry-sifting, ice-water extraction, and CO2 extraction.

Shake: Final Thoughts

Whether you're buying medical marijuana from dispensaries or gathering bottom of the bag shake from your own collection, this product should not be dismissed. It might not be as rich in flavor and benefits as top-shelf flowers, but it still has its uses!

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Disclaimer: According to The American Lung Association, inhaling smoke of any kind is considered harmful to the lungs, regardless if it’s coming from cigarettes, hemp flower or campfire.

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