First, there was bud. Then there was sieved hashish. Then there was bubblehash and dry sift, and solvent extracts like butane honey oil, shatter, and budder.
Now comes the newest and perhaps safest and strongest processed marijuana product: rosin.
This solventless cannabis concentrate can be made quickly and easily from whole bud or from non-solvent extracts, and it’s quickly becoming a favorite of dabbers.
The buzz in the cannabis industry is that rosin is “the death of BHO.”
The original meaning of the word rosin had nothing to do with cannabis.
Rosin is a sticky, stinky resin that comes from pine trees, and was sometimes known as unrefined turpentine.
It’s used in industrial processes, and some baseball pitchers illegally use pine rosin to change ball dynamics!
Making rosin is faster than making bubblehash or dry sift, and can be more potent than those concentrates.
[Read here for information about dry sift and bubblehash]
And the best thing is, you don’t use solvents, so making rosin gives you safe product without solvent’s bad tastes or toxins.
Instead of using only whole bud, you can also use bubblehash, kief, and dry sift for making rosin that’s absolutely wicked and nearly 100% cannabinoids and terpenoids.
Making rosin consists of taking whole bud or resin gland extracts such as bubblehash, wrapping the cannabis material in parchment paper or a micron screen (or both), putting it into a pressurized heating device, squeezing it under pressure so that the volatile resins separate as oils, and then cleaning it up so all you have are the resins.
There’s even a funny word for making rosin: squishing.
Some people go for the el cheapo rosin-making method– they use a hair straightener.
It works in a crude way, won’t give you the highest quality rosin or the best yield, and wastes a lot of bud.
To get the most from making marijuana rosin, you need the right tools and materials, and the right knowledge.
- Get a rosin press. Several companies make rosin presses specifically for making marijuana rosins. As with hydroponics lighting, chillers, vaporizers, and other marijuana equipment, you get what you pay for.
- You use whole bud, bubblehash, kief, and dry sift to make rosin. Every difference in source material produces a different type of rosin quality, taste, scent, and potency.
- It’s most useful to get a rosin press that has reliable variable temperature control from 0-400F. Some cheap rosin presses don’t give you variable temperature control, and hair straighteners suck.
- The reason you want variable temperature control from 0-400 Fahrenheit is so you can experiment with temperature control to get your best rosin.
- Experimenting with temperature control while making rosin is similar to experimenting with temperature control using a precision vaporizer because specific cannabinoids and terpenoids vaporize or squish at different temperatures. The temperature you use for vaping, or for making rosin, greatly affects the taste and high you get.
- The lower the temperature you use, the more terpenoids and non-altered cannabinoids you get, but the lower yield you get.
- Some veteran rosin makers say that pressing 8-25 seconds at 170-240 degrees Fahrenheit produces the best quality rosin and yields.
- Yes, that’s a wide range of temperatures and pressing times. So what you want to do is experiment with squishing at increments of 10 degrees starting at 155F. Also experiment with pressing times. Keep a record of what you get from different temperatures and times.
- You’ll find that if the temperature is too low, no oils squish out of the sides of your parchment paper or other holder when you press your material. If squishing temperature is too high, or if you press for too long, you’ll bake the taste, scent, and some of the high right out of your rosin.
- Here are the factors to evaluate at each increment of temperature and/or pressing time change: How much rosin do you get per gram of bud or extract? How much of the original taste and smell does the rosin retain? How high does the rosin get you and what qualities and traits does the high have.
- The challenges of making rosin include: Learning the right temperature and best length of time to squish. Separating the rosin from the bud. Learning the right amount of pressure to use when squishing, especially if you’re going el cheapo and using a hair straightener (don’t use a hair straightener!).
- As soon as you stop the heat pressing process, put your rosin onto a cold plate so stored heat doesn’t further degrade the cannabinoids and terpenoids.
- You’ll want a dab rig or similar device for using rosin, although some people take tiny pinches of up and roll it in a joint or put it in a bowl with bud.
- You need a rosin press, parchment paper, storage containers, and a device to separate the rosin from the material it was extracted from, such as a dab tool.
- Cure your rosin for 3-7 days in the same kind of humidity/temperature controlled environment you’d dry buds in. Then store your rosin in stainless steel or glass containers in the non-freezer part of your refrigerator.
- Rosin-making yield can be up to 25% if you’re using high-resin source materials and are using professional presses and methods. This means for example if you use 4 grams of bud, you could get one gram of rosin.
- If you make your rosin at too high a temperature you’re going to get couchlocked with a sledgehammer sedative high and you won’t get much taste or smell.
- If you make your rosin from the highest-quality bud at just the right temperature, you get a pure high that equals or betters that of full melt bubblehash and dry sift.
- High-resin strains like Gorilla Glue #4, Girl Scout Cookies, Tangie, and Hashplant have obvious benefits for rosin makers.
- Use resin boosters like Big Bud, B-52, Bud Factor X, and Rhino Skin to push your cannabis plants to their highest resin production.
Getting a Safe, Reliable Rosin Press
Most rosin presses suck, and hair straighteners are a joke.
By far the most reliable rosin press company we’ve found so far is Rosin Tech.
For one thing, Rosin Tech is a professional manufacturing company with a wide range of long-term experience making heat presses.
Unlike some other rosin press companies, Rosin Tech backs their products well with friendly tech support and customer service.
“We’re all about making sure our electronics, press plates, electricity draw, customer service, prices, shipping, and tech support are one hundred percent dedicated to what’s best for you,” explained David, one of Rosin Tech’s leaders.
Rosin Tech has a big menu of rosin presses including an inexpensive, compact, portable model, mid-grade models, and professional commercial models.
The differences in rosin presses are the size of the pressing plates, the quality and type of temperature control, and whether the press has manual, pneumatic, or hydraulic pressure control.
If you want a mid-level rosin press with manual control, the very reliable Rosin Tech Gold Series presses are ideal, and only cost a few hundred dollars.
One of them has a 15 X 15 inch plate (it’s the one in the photo accompanying this article) and that’s plenty big for making large amounts of rosin fast!
My dream is to grow and sell enough bud and make and sell enough rosin to afford the ultimate in rosin presses– the Rosin Tech Dual Ram Hydraulic Heat Press.
The thing about the Rosin Tech pneumatic and hydraulic presses is that the sheer power of the pressing pressure ensures that all the marijuana compounds are squished out of your materials.
Another Rosin Tech benefit is Rosin Tech presses don’t draw as much electricity.
Most rosin press companies don’t make efficient heat and temperature control units.
Those presses suck down so many watts that you have power them through 20 or 30 amp circuit!
They can interfere with how many lights you’ve got on, and might cause electrical fires.
But with Rosin Tech, even their humongous, NASA-level Dual Ram only uses 1200 watts.
That’s super-energy efficient… a lot safer electrical load for your wiring and circuit breakers.
Here’s how superior Rosin Tech gear is…
The team that won all ten places in the rosin category at Emerald Cup 2016 (3rd Gen/Terp Hogz/Dying Breed) used Rosin Tech presses for all their winning entries.
Rosin Tech is a one-stop place to get all the accessories you need for making and cleaning rosin.
For example you can buy special screens for when you want to make rosin from concentrates like bubblehash.
For example, you can make super-pure rosin from dry sift, but dry sifting is a labor intensive process if you do it by hand using frozen buds.
Rosin Tech sells the Pollen Master series of dry sift tumblers that can take many ounces of frozen buds and give you maximum extraction of pure dry sift.
My goal is to grow enough bud so I need the biggest Pollen Master that can process ten pounds of bud per run!
Another benefit is that Pollen Master dry sift tumblers are all made in the USA, keeping the jobs here at home, and ensuring higher quality equipment.
One last thing I want to share with you: making rosin is an art and a science.
You definitely want to watch all the videos embedded in this article and study the article’s data and strategies before you start making rosin, or if you’re already making rosin.
The good news is marijuana rosin highs can be as good if not better than highs from shatter or BHO, but without the solvent hangover.
Welcome to the world of squishing!