Rosin is a marijuana extract that is free of chemicals and can be inhaled with a regular pipe, dab rig, or vaporizer.
Over the past several years, both rosin and rosin presses have been gaining popularity in the cannabis industry, and for good reason. Don’t let the common nickname of the “everyman’s concentrate” fool you though (this term only refers to the accessibility and simplicity of the extraction), rosin is no run of the mill product.
In fact, rosin rivals the potency and purity of some of the most advanced hydrocarbon extracts on the market – without the use of any solvents. What once was a product made in bedrooms and garages with hair straighteners and t-shirt presses has grown into a full-scale manufacturing movement.
Rosin is a cannabis concentrate that is prized for its purity, potency, flavor, and simplicity. While most people prefer to dab or vape rosin, there are actually several different ways to enjoy it. Keep reading to find out more about how to use rosin!
More about rosin
Rosin is a solventless extract that uses heat and pressure to force the compounds within the trichome gland out of the cannabis plant, where all of the THCA, other cannabinoids, and terpenes are located. Think of it like squeezing the juice from grapes or oil from olives, with the end result being similar to butane hash oil (BHO), but without the harmful chemicals.
The rosin process serves as an alternative to a closed-loop extraction system, which outside of cannabis production, is used in making essential oils. Closed-loop extraction is time-consuming, requires technical training, a lot of expensive equipment — pumps, a tank, and a specially designed room to perform the extraction — and you won’t have a solventless concentrate until you purge all the residual solvents using a vacuum oven. Even then, there may still be minor amounts leftover in solvent-based extracts. (Warning: Do not try any processes involving chemicals at home; these should be left to a professional.)
While rosin will also have a high THCA concentration and should be consumed carefully, the process of making rosin is considered safer than many other concentrates. With the temperature and pressure used during the rosin extraction tending to dictate color and consistency, rosin is available as shatter, wax, badder/batter/budder, rosin coins, and taffy
Rosin is a clean and potent cannabis concentrate that can reach potency levels of over 80% THC. It really hit the mainstream after being popularized by cannabis connoisseur Phil ‘Soilgrown’ Salazar in 2015. However, the extraction method used to produce it is believed to have actually been around since the 1990s or early 2000s.
It is considered to be purer than other cannabis concentrates because it is solvent-less. Unlike concentrates produced through BHO extraction (shatter, etc.), rosin does not require a solvent to produce, and thus cannot contain any traces of potentially harmful chemicals (if produced correctly!).
Instead of being run through with solvents like butane or CO2, rosin is produced by applying a mix of heat and pressure to high-potency plant material like fine-pressed hash. The result of this process is a thick, gooey whole-plant extract containing a healthy mix of terpenes and cannabinoids. Thanks to its abundant terpene content, it is not only potent but also delicious!
In its standard meaning, rosin is a solid form of resin obtained from pines and other plants using heat. Fresh resin is heated to vaporize terpenes and form a semi-transparent compound that ranges in color from yellow to black. It is commonly used on violin bows.
When it comes to marijuana, the rosin process takes a marijuana product like flower, shake, kief or hash and adds heat and high pressure to produce a solvent-less hash oil (SHO). It is a quick and simple process that yields a golden sap with extremely high potency. Even better, no solvents are used in production.
Benefits of Rosin
1. Zero residual solvents
One thing that distinguishes rosin from other cannabis extracts is it is entirely solventless. Unlike butane hash oil (BHO), rosin doesn’t need any solvent to extract. This means the end product is a purer, clean extract. In fact, rosin rivals other concentrates when it comes to potency. If you’re looking for a pure form of extract to dab, rosin might be right for you.
2. Safer to produce
Unlike butane, which is highly flammable and susceptible to explosions, you can safely make rosin at the comfort of your home.
All you need is a rosin press, collection tool, parchment paper, and safety gloves. You don’t have to worry about any risks.
Perhaps this is the reason why rosin has been widely adopted, and its simplicity allows cannabis enthusiasts with no background in chemistry to try out themselves with minimal risks.
3. Simple to make
With the right equipment, you can make rosin in less than 15 minutes. With a combination of heat and pressure, rosin press liquifies terpenes and cannabinoids content in the bud into a resinous sappy substance. The process of making rosin is incredibly simple, and in a matter of minutes, you’ll have a high-quality concentrate.
4. Extremely versatile
There is an incredibly wide range of products that can be created from a rosin press. Depending on how hash oil is produced, it can vary from the color, flavor, and a sappy consistency to a glassy-like solventless shutter. The differences are as a result of the amount of heat and pressure exerted during extraction plus the materials used.
With a rosin press, you can typically create any cannabis concentrate, including shatter, budder, crumble, and wax using solventless extraction. In fact, rosin can be incorporated in nearly all cannabis products, including topicals, salves, and edibles.
Producing rosin is way cheaper compared to solvent-based extractions. Once you know how to make rosin, you can expect to save more bucks. This is because of how accessible this form of cannabis is and has a high potency than other standard flowers and oils. With rosin, you can enjoy the high you need without spending much.
6. Higher potency
Rosin is revered by many because of its high potency. Early reports on some rosin extracts showed that rosin could have 50-70 percent THC content compared to flowers that usually have 25-30% of THC. The abundant terpene and cannabinoid content make rosin an excellent option for many cannabis patients. This means less product is needed to experience full effects. And the best thing, it is a purer and cleaner option since there are no additives.
Since rosin is rich in terpenes and cannabinoids, its high potency means you’ll experience the effects quickly. A small amount of rosin contains a high dose of cannabinoids, and you may want to use larger amounts of standard flowers to get the same effects of rosin. For that reason, rosin is beneficial to patients who need a more fast-acting dose of cannabis.
Why People Choose Rosin
People have been selecting rosin for years. And now, solvent-free rosin is gaining steam as each year passes. As we mentioned, rosin is changing the game. The bar is going higher for your flower and methods. However, the rise in tech hasn’t made it any harder to understand. Even today’s most complicated presses can be mastered in just an hour or two’s tutelage.
A lot of history has been made in the cannabis industry over the last few years. So it may not be a surprise that we aren’t giving rosin its fair distinction. That being said, rosin technology is doing just that. Its advancements brought a versatile concentrate to the market without the health risks.
Everything from the process to its end product is efficient. The results are telling, and the users are satisfied. When executed properly, rosin is meeting and exceeding potency bars of its counterparts. Furthermore, the costs are minimal on the back-end. After the initial purchase, the only other investment will be for refilling supplies. Couple this with the significantly cheaper setup cost that comes with rosin over BHO production and the cost benefits start to pile up quickly.
Today, rosin presses have the capabilities to produce industrial-sized yields with ease. These presses, as well as in-home machines, have the capabilities to give you complete control and better ROIs. For example at PurePressure, the Pikes Peak rosin press can process between 4 and 5lb of flower, or 8 to 12 lb of dry sift/kief or hash during an 8-hour shift. With two employees, this can go up even higher.
Consumer preference for rosin
Why do some prefer rosin? Although it’s a slight misnomer, rosin is known as a solventless technique because it doesn’t use any external solvents to dissolve the trichome. However, natural hydrocarbon terpenes act as a solvent. Thus, the only “solvents” left are the natural hydrocarbon terpenes from the trichome glands.
Rosin can turn low-quality hash into a dabbable wax. It’s also a very quick process compared with other extraction methods. It doesn’t require time in a vacuum oven to purge out residual solvents. It can be made safely at home with minimal investment, allowing home growers to make the most of their trim, typically a byproduct that’s thrown away.
Rosin input material
A variety of input materials can be used to create rosin. The input material can affect how many plant contaminants are left in the rosin, which can therefore affect the quality of rosin. Rosin from a flower is going to be different from rosin from kief or ice hash, for example.
Rosin from buds typically has some contaminants in the form of plant material that makes it through to the final product. They tend to be small pieces, but they can make a big difference to the flavor when dabbing rosin. The plant material will add a layer of burnt flavor to the overall experience. To avoid having too much plant material in your rosin, try using a rosin screen or mesh bag.
Rosin from kief adds an extra step to the preparation but tends to be cleaner, as the trichomes are removed from the buds prior to exposing them to heat and pressure. This extra step ensures that no plant impurities make their way into the final product.
Bubble hash rosin
Rosin from bubble hash is a great way to make use of lower-quality hash that does not fully melt as a result of plant contaminants. While you would not want to rosin 5-star or 6-star hash, rosin is a simple way to make your non-dabbable one to two-star hash into a flavorful dab.
Fresh frozen ice hash
This process makes live rosin, which is highly sought after due to the high cannabinoid and terpene retention of the fresh frozen cannabis. Similar to live resin — butane hash oil made from frozen buds — live rosin is rosin made from frozen buds.
While flowers that were frozen directly after being harvested are considered “live,” to get to live rosin, you’ll need to first make ice hash with the fresh from plant material. If the resulting ice hash concentrate falls between a one- and four-star rating, it can be placed into a bag and put through the rosin production process to create live rosin. The end result is a strong and flavorful pure concentrate.
Live resin vs rosin
Although the terms are distinguished by a single letter, there’s a major difference between live rosin and live resin. While rosin is considered to be a solventless extract, live resin refers to a solvent-based extract, usually BHO, that is made with live or freshly frozen plant material. With the live resin process, a single-pass extraction is used to capture the plant’s terpene and cannabinoid profile by processing the resin glands before the plant is dried and cured. For live rosin, the chemical profile of the plant variety is maintained without the use of solvents, offering a flavorful concentrate without the use of potentially hazardous chemicals.
Making rosin at home
Making your own rosin at home is incredibly easy and fairly safe, unless you’re prone to burning your fingers while holding a hot iron (it happens). To make your own rosin, you’ll need specific equipment and to follow a few simple steps.
In order to make rosin at home, you need to collect the following starting materials:
- A hair straightener or press, preferably with 2-inch-wide heated plates and a temperature display
- Parchment paper
- Filter bags (optional if using flower, but required if using any type of hash)
- Cannabis material (nugs, dry sift, bubble hash, etc.)
- Dabber to collect the rosin
- Heat-resistant gloves (optional, but recommended)
Next, follow these steps to make your own rosin at home.
- Break down the plant material. Buds should be properly cured and not wet or too dry.
- Place the plant material into a teabag-like filter, preferably nylon food-grade screens or a mesh bag. This is optional for flower, but required for hash.
- Set the temperature on your hair straightener or press. A lower temperature of 180-220 degrees Fahrenheit, or 82-104 degrees Celsius, will yield less rosin that tend to produce a sappy or buddery consistency. Higher temperatures of 230 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit, or 110-122 degrees Celsius, will give the highest yield with a more flavorful and stable consistency, like shatter. Start with low temperatures and work your way up.
- Place your bag or loose flower in between two pieces of parchment paper. Use only as much material that will fit under the heating element, about one-fourth the size of the parchment paper. Do not overfill! Make sure to leave a couple of inches or centimeters of extra parchment paper on all sides to catch the rosin that is produced.
- Wear optional heat-resistant gloves and press the parchment paper with the preheated straightener or plates for between four to 30 seconds. The time depends on the quality of the flower and temperature used, and pressing firmly with the straightener laying flat like a stapler will generally yield better results. This may take a few times experimenting to get the hang of it.
- After removing the flower from the parchment paper, check the amount of oil. If you’ve got a low yield, you may need to place the parchment back under the straightener and repeat the process once or twice more. If that doesn’t do the trick, consider raising the temperature, applying more pressure, or spending a few extras seconds pressing the product.
- Once you have pressed your product, use a dabber to collect the rosin.
- Package or store the rosin for later use, or turn it into rosin taffy by stretching and pulling it, resulting in a taffylike consistency also referred to as snap-and-pull.
A little bit of rosin goes a long way. Once you’ve made your rosin at home, you can smoke it in a glass bowl or joint, dab it in a rig (the preferred method) or vape it in a pen made for concentrates.
Remember, this is a highly concentrated product full of cannabinoids and has a robust terpene profile. Start with a small dose and work your way up. For medical patients who need fast-acting cannabis, rosin is an easy way to fast-track the plant’s healthful properties.
Difference between Rosin and Resin, as well as other concentrates
The biggest difference between rosin and shatter, live resin, wax and most other concentrates is that rosin production does not involve any solvents or filtering – it’s all natural and with plenty of cannabinoids and terpenes, making it very popular among enthusiasts. And it also affects the price since you do not need complicated and expensive equipment. Using pressure we create SHO or solventless hash oil from trichome heads, and we get high potency golden colored sap like end product.