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How to make rosin

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Contents

  1. Steps for making rosin
  2. What’s a “good” yield?
  3. How do the pros press rosin?

If you’re unfamiliar with the rosin making process, get ready for a cannabis DIY experience that could change your consumption life forever. Rosin is a concentrate made by exposing cannabis to heat and pressure in order to force out the terpenes and cannabinoids found in the plant’s trichome glands. Rosin can be made out of flower, dry sift (kief), or subpar hash with a few tools you likely have around the house.

Rosin is a concentrate made by exposing cannabis to heat and pressure in order to force out the terpenes and cannabinoids found in the plant’s trichome glands. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Since rosin is created without the use of solvents, which can alter the flavor and resulting product, it’s preferred by consumers who don’t want any chance of having residual, man-made chemicals in their concentrates.

This extraction technique has been used by other industries for thousands of years. Imagine squeezing the oil out of an olive or the juice from a grape. The rosin process literally presses the starting material until it produces a potent, solventless concentrate. It can even turn hash that just won’t melt into a dabbable product.

Rosin technology has been around for decades, but it didn’t really take off until Phil “Soilgrown” Salazar (@soilgrown_solventless) began sharing photos of his rosin experiments on social media and discussing his techniques with the cannabis community. While Salazar didn’t invent the process, he did play a huge role in creating the hype that has spurred many solventless enthusiasts to begin experimenting on their own.

A post shared by Soilgrown Solventless (@soilgrown_solventless) on Nov 15, 2015 at 10:11am PST

Ready to join the fun? Before you make your first batch of rosin, you’ll need a hair straightener, parchment paper, cannabis, a rosin bag (optional), heat-resistant gloves (optional, but recommended) and a dabber to collect the rosin when you’re done.

A hair straightener with 2-inch plates and customizable temperature controls work best, but the process will still work with a straightener that has low, medium, and high settings. It may just take a little more trial and error.

Temperature plays a big role in determining the quality and overall yield and the ideal temperature is heavily dependent on the chemical makeup of the cannabis used. If your flower, dry sift, or hash is terpene-rich, a lower temperature is needed. This is because the terpenes squeezed out of the trichome glands during the initial press act as a natural solvent to facilitate the rosin process. With fewer terpenes to play that role, you’ll need more pressure and heat to coax the cannabinoids out of the glands.

As a general rule of thumb, temperatures between 250-300 degrees Fahrenheit, or 121-149 degrees Celsius, will yield a more stable product, like shatter. Temperatures between 300-335 degrees Fahrenheit, or 149-168 degrees Celsius, tend to result in a sappier texture.

You can make rosin by pressing a cured nug, dry sift, or hash directly between two pieces of parchment paper and apply heat using a hair straightener. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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You can make rosin by pressing a cured, gently broken down nug directly between two pieces of parchment paper, or by placing dry sift or hash into a rosin screen or mesh bag and placing the bag in between the parchment paper. While typically used by more experienced rosin makers, these screens and bags are used to filter out plant particulates that can make their way into your finished product. The smaller the screen size, the more particulates it will hold back, but it will also restrict the flow of your rosin and possibly reduce your overall yield.

Choosing the correct screen size is a delicate balance should you go that route. Finer mesh screens (25-45 microns) are ideal for any form of dry sift or hash. Larger mesh screens (70-120 microns) can be used for either lightly ground nugs or trim.

We recommend using heat resistant gloves to avoid burning your fingertips, many hair straighteners come with a pair and if not they can easily be found online or at a beauty supply store. If you are using a hair straightener, you will need to use your hands to apply pressure by squeezing the tip of the flat iron. Do this at your own risk and with caution.

It’s important not to overfill screens, bags, or even parchment paper with loose bud — or to apply too much pressure or heat too fast. A rosin bag that’s too full could burst, screens with too much material in them can overflow, and overflowing buds can take away from the efficiency of the process. Start with low pressure and increase slowly for the best results and don’t overload your bag or flatiron.

Steps for making rosin

Step 1: Break down the plant material and mold it into a small rectangle. This is done to reduce any plant particulates that may end up in your rosin. Also, make sure to use buds that are properly cured and not too wet or too dry.

Break down the plant material and mold it into a small rectangle.

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Step 2: If using a rosin bag, place the plant material into the filter. We recommend nylon food-grade screens or a mesh bag. (This step is optional for flower, but necessary for hash or dry sift.)

If using a rosin bag, place the plant material into the filter.

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Step 3: Set the temperature on your hair straightener or press. Our advice: Start with low temperatures and work your way up.

Set the temperature on your hair straightener or press.

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Step 4: Place your bag or loose flower between two pieces of parchment paper. Use only as much material that will fit under the heating element. It is important that you leave a couple of inches of extra parchment paper on all sides to catch the rosin that is produced. You don’t want rosin to spill over onto the plates.

Place your bag or loose flower between two pieces of parchment paper.

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Step 5: Press the parchment paper with the preheated straightener or plates for 4 to 30 seconds. The time you need to press depends on the quality of your flower. 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.

Press the parchment paper with the preheated straightener or plates for 4 to 30 seconds.

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Step 6: After removing the flower from the parchment paper, check the amount of oil.

After removing the flower from the parchment paper, check the amount of oil.

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If you’ve got a low yield, you may need to place the parchment back under the straightener and repeat the process one or two more times.

If you’ve got a low yield, you may need to repeat the process one or two more times.

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Step 7: Once you have pressed your product, use a dabber to collect the rosin.

Once you have pressed your product, use a dabber to collect the rosin.

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Step 8: Package or store the rosin for later use or turn it into rosin taffy by stretching, pulling, and twisting it with the dabber until it’s a taffy-like consistency.

Package or store the rosin for later use or turn it into rosin taffy.

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What’s a “good” yield?

The goal of pressing rosin is to get all the cannabinoids and terpenes out of the trichome glands. Theoretically, if your cannabis has 18% cannabinoids and 2% terpenes, the yield you’d get from pressing 1 gram of flower would be 0.2 grams of rosin. Of course, a lot of factors contribute to the overall output and quality of your rosin.

If you don’t feel like you got everything out of your first run, you can always grab new parchment paper and press the cannabis again. Increasing the temperature or pressure on your second run will ensure you get every last bit of oil out of your product.

Keep in mind that when you’re pressing nugs to make rosin, you’re squeezing the plant matter. Under imperfect conditions, that plant matter can make its way into your final product, but that doesn’t mean your product is bad.

Rosin is commonly judged by a 6-star rating system used to judge all solventless concentrates. Your rosin should bubble when exposed to heat. Any plant particulates or impurities will reduce the amount of bubbling, which correlates to the star rating: 1-2 being the lowest and 6 being the highest — and the most difficult to produce. While it’s true that the higher the star, the better the dab, a little plant material in your rosin isn’t going to be a deal breaker.

Practice makes perfect, and the more you get your set up and filtering processes down, the higher quality rosin you’ll be able to produce.

How do the pros press rosin?

Professional rosin manufacturers and at-home enthusiasts may opt to purchase press kits that contain hydraulic presses, heat controllers, and more in order to process larger quantities of rosin and have better control over all the parameters involved. Rosin press prices range from $300 to more than $4,000, with an array of accessories to customize your set up.

Professional rosin manufacturers and at-home enthusiasts may opt to purchase press kits that contain hydraulic presses, heat controllers, and more. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Whether you’re interested in trying your hand at rosin with a hair straightener or looking to invest in a more high-tech setup, pressing rosin is a tinkerer’s playground, with a plethora of temperature and pressure options to yield the heady results you seek.

How to make rosin Copy article link to clipboard. Link copied to clipboard. Contents Steps for making rosin What’s a “good” yield? How do the pros press rosin? If

Rosin cannabis extraction

A post shared by Soilgrown Solventless (@soilgrown_solventless) on Nov 15, 2015 at 9:52am PST

While pressing the hash to flatten it out, Salazar noticed that resin started spewing out the side, leaving the original hash dry and unusable. Thinking he may have stumbled upon a new technique, he took a piece of hash, put it between parchment paper, and pressed it against a hot dab nail . Then came the oil, now known as rosin. He began using a hair straightener after experimenting with his wife’s hair curler. She suggested he then use the flat-iron tool, and after running out of hash, began using buds. The oil came out the same way.

In the few years since, rosin production has evolved to using screens and an industrial press to make mass quantities and more consistent products.

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.

Dry Sift Kief or Hash

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.

Equipment Needed

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)

Rosin Step-by-Step

Next, follow these steps to make your own rosin at home.

  1. Break down the plant material. Buds should be properly cured and not wet or too dry.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Once you have pressed your product, use a dabber to collect the rosin.
  8. 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.

Rosin Equipment

Although you can keep rosin production simple with a hair straightener at home, cannabis enthusiasts may want to go the extra mile. For commercial rosin production, manufacturers use a similar step-by-step process, but with more expensive equipment and a few added steps. A lot of rosin equipment and techniques exist out there, including press kits, hydraulic presses, handheld presses, heater controllers, and more. Some come with extra-large plates, multiple plates, and include up to 20 tons of pressure that are capable of applying up to 3,000 pounds per square inch (PSI) of pressure on both plates. They aren’t cheap, though. Prices for rosin presses range from $300 to more than $4,000.

Consuming Rosin

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.

Aside from immediately consuming rosin, you can also use it in edibles and topical treatments.

The resulting concentrate when heat and pressure are applied to the cannabis plant. Rosin is a desirable technique because its concentration doesn’t require the use of external solvents. ]]>