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Cannabis Concentrates - How To Make Rosin

Created by
JoshuaHolt JoshuaHolt
Added 1 December 2020

Cannabis Concentrates - Rosin

You might have heard about rosin but still be wondering exactly what it is or how it's made. Rosin has been making waves in the cannabis scene and is now a highly sought after product. Making it at home is easy, but how do heat and pressure affect the quality of the extract? This article dives into all the fun stuff about rosin cannabis concentrates so you can get started making your own with a bit of homegrown.

What Is Rosin?

Rosin Pressing

Rosin is a solvent-less extract usually made from fresh or dried cannabis flowers that have been processed into hash. Using heat and pressure, it is possible to squeeze the oils out of the trichomes to create a concentrate. The resulting product is a potent, flavourful substance made up of cannabinoids, terpenes and any other oily compounds left in the plant.

Applying controlled heat and pressure allows dabbers to extract rosin in all kinds of different consistencies. For instance, lower heat and pressure for a longer period of time results in a very oily, light, sometimes golden concentrate, whereas higher heat and heavier pressure produces a thicker, darker substance.

There is such a thing called 'full spectrum' rosin, which is essentially an extract that contains the whole range of oil cannabinoids (such as THC, CBD, terpenes, and others) found within the trichomes on the cannabis flower. Full spectrum rosin is different to 'live rosin', which we describe below. 

Making live rosin involves freezing freshly harvested plant material before extracting the trichomes, which also uses lower heat. Some terpenes evaporate during the drying and curing process, which is why many consider live rosin to be of a higher quality with a richer terpene profile.

Types of Rosin and Quality

Solvent-less Cannabis Extracts

There lots of types of rosin which all differ due to the exaction process behind making them. This is why rosin is often pressed using hash, because the some methods of extraction to make hash already involve separating the trichomes into layers of different quality. Distinct types of filter bags are used for making hash or rosin (measured in microns, or 'μ').

Most of the highest quality rosin available on the market today is made using ice and water hash, which is said to preserve more of the flavour and aroma, but a top tier product is still possible with dry sift or buds. You tend to get more out of pressing with hash but it depends on the quality of the strain you are using. Normally, roughly 20-30% of the initial weight is extracted in oil.

Flower Rosin

Making Rosin With Cannabis Flowers

Rosin pressing started with cannabis buds before it was discovered that hash is more effective for extraction. That is not to say flower rosin isn't great on its own and it is still very popular for its texture and being a solvent-less product. It's also the easiest way for home growers to make a bit of rosin for themselves without going to huge lengths.

Hash Rosin

Dry Sift Can Be Pressed Into Rosin

Hash rosin is where most of the action is at when it comes to pressing oils. Considering all the ways there are to make hash (and strains to grow to make that hash), you can imagine the amount of varying results that can come out of pressing rosin. Most hash rosin is produced using bubble hash or dry sift

Live Rosin

Bubble Hash Is Used To Make Live Rosin

Live rosin is made by freezing cannabis flowers after they have been harvested and trimmed to make bubble hash. The bubble hash is then freeze dried and then pressed slowly with low-mid temperatures (between 170-210°C) to extract the terpene and cannabinoid oils.

How To Make Rosin

To get an idea of how rosin is made we want to go over some of the ways you can get started at home. Understanding how heat and pressure affect your final product is key if you are trying to achieve a specific result.

It is very easy to setup a basic, small scale extraction system and dab producers may even choose to purchase their own press designed for extracting rosin. Depending on their quality, hash presses allow you to accurately control the heat and pressure, meaning more accurate extractions are possible. 

Materials

Rosin Making Materials - Filter Bags and Parchment Paper

To start off, you're going to need a few materials in order to properly press your hash or buds.

  • Rosin filter bags - Quality filter bags are key to making good rosin. There are plenty of options out there but preferably choose ones with food grade certifications that have a reputable history. The filter bags can be filled with hash or weed, being sure to leave some space so the bags don't break under the pressure.
  • Parchment/grease-proof paper - The parchment paper is used to wrap the filter bag and collect the rosin as it's squeezed out of the hash or weed. Make sure you use enough to avoid rosin spilling out from the sides.

Methods

Methods Of Pressing Rosin

Hair straighteners - Due to the way they are designed, it is best to use the hair straighteners on the lowest heat possible. You want to avoid heating the weed up too quickly. Although not the most ideal way to make rosin for its lack of accuracy, using hair straighteners can be a perfect way to make your first extraction.

Tip: If you have a clamp you may be able to add more pressure at a consistent level. Just be careful not to break the hair straighteners.

Hash Press - Investing in a press is suited to those looking to scale up their rosin-making hobby. Hash presses are available in different sizes and vary in quality but are worth the investment if you're serious about making solvent-less extracts from your weed. There are manual and hydraulic presses, so choose whichever best suits your needs.  

Making rosin by Fenriz from GrowDiaries.

Tip: You'll need a press that can press with up to around 2500 pounds of pressure per square inch (psi).

Heat

Cannabinoids and Terpenes Boil At Different Temperatures

Without a doubt, temperature has a big effect on the texture and taste of rosin. The compounds in cannabis trichomes boil at different temperatures, which is why heating at lower temperatures for longer periods of time can help to create a 'full spectrum' rosin, as the extraction can take place by gradually releasing the oils before they vaporize from overly high heat.

We recommend you keep your press at temperatures under 220°C and less is necessary if you are producing rosin with dry sift or bubble hash (see below for more details).

Pressure

Pressure, Temperature and Time For Rosin Press

If you do not apply enough pressure, yields may not be high. On the other hand, if you press too much you might end up getting plant material in your oil. It's best to gently apply pressure to allow the material to heat up between the plates before fully locking the press at full pressure. As far as the range goes, aim for between 400 - 1000 pounds of pressure per square inch.

  1. Turn on the press and let it warm up
  2. Place weed/hash wrap between press
  3. Apply gentle pressure to heat the wrap up between the plates
  4. Start applying more pressure, going slowly to avoid bursting the bag
  5. Keep pressing gradually until you begin to see oil seeping out from the sides of the bag
  6. Continue pressing over 60 seconds for most of the oil to be released
  7. Gently press into full lock to give a final squeeze of the remaining oils from the puck.
Rosin TypePressure (Hydraulic PSI)Temperature
Hash Rosin600-1800160-180°C
Flower Rosin800-2000170-210°C

Feel free to experiment with different levels of pressure and for different amounts of time, however you generally only need to press for about 60-90 seconds for the extraction to be fully completed. Hash tends to require less time, temperature, and pressure in order to make a complete extract. Once you see the oil seeping out of the parchement paper it is almost done. Fold the parchement paper at the end if you need to catch very oily rosin or place a jar to catch it. 

Storage and Usage

Rosin Can Be Stored In Silicon Pots

Rosin is usually quite sticky and viscous, so you need a special tool (usually steel) to collect it off the parchment paper for storage. Once the rosin has cooled, use the tool to rub along the paper for an effective way to collect the rosin. The rosin can be stored in jars or collected and kept in small, silicon pots. Or you can just leave it on the parchement paper if the quantity is small and you plan to dab soon after. 

Don't forget that rosin is an extremely strong product which levels of THC up to 90%. Dab with care and get an experienced user to help you out the first time if you've never tried it before.

Conclusion

Pressing rosin is very rewarding and so is the high it delivers. You'll be blown away by the flavour as there is nothing like a hit of terpene-rich cannabis concentrate.

If you found this article useful, why not drop us a comment? We'd love to hear about your experience with rosin!

External References

You got to love rosin: Solventless dabs, pure, clean, natural medicine. Exploring Twitter data on emerging trends in Rosin Tech marijuana concentrates. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. - Lamy, Francois & Daniulaityte, Raminta & Zathred, Mussah & Nahhas, Ramzi & Sheth, Amit & Martins, Silvia & Boyer, Edward & Carlson, Robert. (2017).

'Bubble Hash', Cannabis Culture Magazine. - Brady, P (2003)

Long term stability of cannabis resin and cannabis extracts. Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences. - Lindholst, Christian. (2010).

Cannabis extraction for better quality, health, safety, and products. INFORM International News on Fats, Oils, and Related Materials. - Miller, Eric. (2017).

The Dangers of Dabbing: A Case of ARDS Following Inhalation of Vaporized Butane-Extracted Cannabis Product. - Albrektson, K. & Masroujeh, Ramy & Young, B.P.. (2019).

This article was updated November 2020.






Comments

FishHeadMediaMan
FishHeadMediaMan

There are hair straighteners with digital displays that go as low as 170F. They fluctuate +/- 15F but I can press buttery dabs and get 25% + return just the same as an expensive press. The brand I bought is Kipozi.

The main difference is lack of heat stability and that it takes much longer to press a large amount.