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Secrets of the Sauce: Understanding the Science of Terp Sauce

Photo Durban Poison Andres Rodriguez


Secrets of the Sauce: Understanding the Science of Terp Sauce

Got sauce? If you’re dabbing BHO, you’ve probably tried terp sauce. If you haven’t, you’re in for a unique sensory experience.

Culture is a funny thing; it can be an unyielding arbiter of cool and uncool one moment and a rapidly shifting, fluid expression of emerging ideas a moment later.

This is most easily observed by watching the choppy evolution of music and fashion, but cannabis also shares this simultaneously erratic and static rhythm — yesterday it was Do-Si-Dos and Gelato, today it’s Forbidden Fruit and Tangie. Nobody knows what tomorrow is, but every day is OG.

And so it goes with cannabis concentrates, particularly BHO, which like candy can take a multitude of different forms depending on how the base product — the combination of solvents and cannabis — is purged and processed. One day shatter doesn’t matter, then if it’s not shatter it doesn’t matter. One day it’s the dawn of a “rosin revolution,” the next day the future is crystal (distillate) clear.

So is it at all surprising that the shifting winds of dab fashion have conspired to elevate yet another incarnation of BHO to the forefront of the scene and the market?

Streets are talking, and they say the juice is temporary — but the sauce is forever. Take it or leave it, but when it comes to “terp sauce,” people are definitely juiced.

What Sauce Is Not: Nucleated Shatter

First of all, before we get into what “terp sauce” is, let’s talk about what it is not: Sauce is not nucleated shatter. Please write that down, tattoo it on the back of your hand — whatever it takes.

Nucleation is a basic chemical process; you can see it at work if you’ve got an old chocolate bar. You know the one: There’s a patina of white powder over the bar, and instead of a smooth consistency, it’s a crumbly mess. This is the result of nucleation — solid and liquid ingredients in a suspension or emulsification that have separated.

In the case of the chocolate bar, you’ve basically got some ruined candy. With BHO, a lot of dabbers feel like you have a terpier, more flavorful product. Maybe, but you shouldn’t pay extra for something Father Time will do for free if you purchase regular shatter. It never ceases to amaze (and lightweight disgust) me when a dude who was shaving $10 of the per-gram cost of shatter because it “buttered up” a year or two ago asks for an extra $15 per-gram this year because it “sugared up.”

How Is Terp Sauce Made: What is Diamond Mining?

Most importantly, nucleated shatter simply isn’t sauce — that’s the result of fractional distillation, or another less technical process Will X of Terp Boys likes to call “diamond mining.”

Terp Boys, which has already made a major impact in the shatter sector of the BHO market, is just starting to branch out into this new technology after seeing demand for terp sauce increase over the last year, with a marked spike in the last six months or so.

“After the solvent runs through the machine, it’s basically just a different purge,” said Will X. “With the diamond mining, instead of putting it in the oven right away, you’re collecting it and putting it in a cool, dark place for however long — usually a couple of weeks at least.”

While the concentrates are resting, “that’s when the separation occurs and the diamonds stack,” said Will X. “Then, we pour the liquid terps off [the diamonds] after the separation has occurred, and then we purge separately.”

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He stresses that the product is not just incredibly flavorful, it’s also much more potent than the most shatters, which is already very powerful — even the “terp sauce” portion of the sauce has its own substantial cannabinoid content.

“Some of our shatter tests very high in THC, but this [terp sauce] should be like 95 percent,” he said. “Even with the pour off, we’re waiting for result, but that still contains some THC in there — like 30-40 percent.”

And the result is otherworldly: My first dab of the sauce fired a spike of lightning into my synapses, shaking my senses to high alert and flooding my brain and body with endorphins as my lungs flooded with a crushing wave of tantalizing terps.

Will this just be another passing phase of dab fashion? Or is the sauce truly boss? No way to be certain, but for now, you might as well hazard a taste.

TELL US, have you tried terp sauce?



  1. [email protected]

    January 23, 2019 at 10:08 am

    All you liittle weed snobs over here

  2. Charles E. Elkins

    October 2, 2018 at 3:52 am

    This diamond sauce is going to be around for quite awhile. Plain and simple. Dank. And for the seasoned smoker only. Newbies would freak out. Imagine yourself. 16 you just dabbled this with friends after newly smoking. Your in class freaking out. LOL

  3. Nick n

    May 12, 2018 at 12:35 pm

    What temps u purge at? 90 like shatter? or at cool temps just to pull the remaining solvent? Thanks..

  4. RotStone

    March 16, 2018 at 5:56 am

    Tasted some Farmer Johns Sauce and it is amazing. Better than any shatter ive had. Even the high is better. Terps smell great, like the flower they came from, not like some added artificial terps.

  5. Joshuatrees710

    January 26, 2018 at 10:55 pm

    Just tryed some dabinport out of Cali three days ago n honestly, it tasted good on a nice temp banger but I have stronger shatter n with a lil liquidizer, I got better for way better price…

  6. 420Daddy

    January 17, 2018 at 9:52 am

    Then why the $900 “diamond miner”, if I could just let time change my shatter into sauce?

    • 718__dabbers

      January 28, 2018 at 9:35 pm

      did you not read ??? thats not sauce mom0

    • AnonLive

      February 16, 2019 at 6:56 pm

      No lol you take your pour off and let it settle for few weeks…Your shatter would of already been purged hense why its shatter…..Can you not read?


  7. matt

    January 12, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    “but you shouldn’t pay extra for something Father Time will do for free” Kind of funny cause as you said making sauce is just an extremely slow long purge.

    • You ump

      April 15, 2018 at 1:09 pm

      You must be stupid. A long slow process for a business means and increased cost in production therefore a higher retail price. Go get your $10 shatter grams

      • Jay

        May 10, 2018 at 4:24 pm

        You throw an insult, yet they only have a slight delay in profits while waiting on the first batch. All subsequent batches will follow at the same pace as shatter since they will have a backlog.

        Adding the increase in profits from the marketing, they are making plenty.

        • Chad Hill

          August 26, 2018 at 11:31 am

          But you are being dumb man. Look at any aged alcohol and aged meats. Products cost more when they take longer to produce……

        • heh

          December 15, 2019 at 4:53 pm

          Storage, staff, climate control, etc… c’mon, buddy.

  8. TF

    January 5, 2018 at 8:35 am

    Almost none of this is acurate as far as process goes…stupid.

    • Chris

      January 25, 2018 at 3:32 pm

      Tech info appreciated.

  9. Jason Back

    November 10, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    “that’s the result of fractional distillation”

    Butane extraction process is not fractional distillation….

    • James

      December 3, 2017 at 4:09 am

      That’s not what they said… learn to read

      • Dakota

        January 6, 2018 at 11:14 am

        The author needs to learn to write. Simple typos and syntax errors can throw off the meaning of a whole sentence. When we are talking about a highly technical process where a lot of terminology is still being coined and brought mainstream, this is even more important. It probably doesn’t help that I am heavily medicated, but I found the article interesting, though not particularly helpful as a resource because of the errors I pointed out.

      • brandon

        January 13, 2018 at 10:59 pm

        That is what they said tho.. nucleation of shatter being “sugared up” shatter has nothing to do with fractional distillation. fractional distillation is the process of making distillate or “clear”. Learn to know your shit

    • MW

      June 1, 2018 at 12:43 pm

      this just seems like a bunch of misinformation exactly it’s not fractional distillation.

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