Rosin remains relatively unknown to many cannabis tokers and smokers today, despite the waves of new cannabis products hitting Canadian shelves. There are a few reasons for this, and the primary one is that many long-term tokers prefer traditional butane hash oil products such as shatter, waxes, and crumble.
Don’t get us wrong, those options remain timeless classics for good reason. However, with more and more investors and businesses entering the cannabis space, technology, and the extraction process being used to make better and danker cannabis concentrates are improving day-by-day.
One of these new products is rosin. If you’re not too familiar with the term or why more and more people in the cannabis community are starting to make the switch over from solvent-based concentrated such as shatter to solventless alternatives – don’t worry. We’re here to give you the 411 on these new cannabis concentrates from what they are, the steps needed to make it, and the best practices behind rosin made at home and from manufacturers.
Let’s dive and uncover its solventless secrets!
What is Rosin?
Rosin shares a name with a musical instrument accessory by the same name. If you’re heavily involved with strings instruments, you might have heard of violin rosin or rosin for violin. Fortunately for all you pot heads out there, we’ll be talking about the kind of rosin that gets you high, not the kind you rub on violin strings to improve sound!
So, what is rosin?
Rosin is a cannabis concentrate that’s made through a unique extraction process. While other cannabis concentrates use solvents (such as butane) to strip, extract, and concentrate all of the beneficial cannabinoids from the cannabis plant, this concentrate uses only heat and pressure.
It’s lauded by many as a healthier, tastier, and better alternative to traditional hash oil concentrates. Many believe that because solvents are excluded, the starting material (fresh, dank bud) is highly indicative of the final product’s quality.
That means that you won’t be smoking a cannabis concentrate that’s made from shake or trim – you’ll be smoking something made from full-nug cannabis.
Another major selling point for this hash oil alternative is its flavour profile. Without solvents stripping away the plant’s natural terpenes, you’re able to experience a much more robust bouquet of aromas and flavours that would otherwise not be present in traditional BHOs (butane hash oils).
How is Rosin Made?
Making rosin is actually an easy process, but making it in large quantities requires some special machinery to get it done.
To begin , high-quality, fresh nugs of cannabis are taken and wrapped in an envelope of waxed parchment paper. This envelope is then typically placed between 2 hydrualic presses that come together to squish down on the package. Heat is also channeled through these plates.
As heat and pressure are applied to the bud, the bud’s thick, viscous essence slowly oozes out of the envelope into a collection tray. Once it’s collected, the rosin is ready to be enjoyed in a dab rig or in a twax joint!
We mentioned earlier how the exclusion of solvents is a major selling point for rosin products, and we do believe that this is a major benefit that rosin has over other concentrates in its category.
While cannabis concentrates made from trusted dispensaries will have no leftover solvents in the final product, it’s understandable why many would have some reservations about the potential for leftovers.
Since rosin only uses heat and pressure, those fears are entirely abated and the focus can be shifted entirely onto the starting material (the flower) as a measure of quality.
In many aspects, rosin could even be considered a “craft” cannabis concentrate due to the care, attention, and focus that are placed on the quality of the starting weed and bud used to make rosin. If you’re interested in the more nuanced details surrounding this concentrate, including the benefits and disadvantages of using solvents in concentrate production, check out our writeup on how rosin is made!
DIY Rosin Press – Making Rosin at Home
If you’re interested in trying rosin out for yourself, but don’t want to pay the somewhat expensive price tag that rosin typically carries, there’s an option for you.
We did mention earlier that hydraulic presses are typically used, but unless you plan on making pounds and pounds of the stuff, you’ll only need a few household materials.
Surprised? We were at first, until we tried it out for ourselves.
Here’s what you’ll need to get started:
- Hair straightener, ideally with ceramic plates
- Parchement paper
- Tongs or a scraping tool
- Some quality bud
A DIY rosin press is, essentially, anything that can compress and squish weed with heat long enough for the rosin to be extracted. A hair straigthener is obviously not ideal, but if you want to make a gram or two of homemade rosin, it’ll be more than enough.
Here’s our DIY rosin press guide with step-by-step instructions. It’s worth a quick read if you want to have some homemade rosin!
Solvent and hassle free, the only thing that might be troubling is the amount of starting material you’ll need to have in the first place to get a decent yield. On the plus side, you won’t have to work with any dangerous solvent or chemicals that could danger or harm you.
Are “Squish” Cannabis Concentrates Worth Trying?
Since rosin is literally “squished” between 2 heated plates, its ‘squish’ streetname is quite appropriate – at least we think so!
However, the question remains of whether or not it’s worth it for you to take the plunge and try rosin.
If you ask us, what do you have to lose?
Rosin doesn’t use a solvent in its production, is packed with flavourful terpenes, and best-of-all, it’s easy to make – even at home!
Some of you joint and vape purists might be thinking “how can I enjoy rosin without buying a dab rig?”
Luckily for you, rosin is also available in vape pen cartridge formats. Even without a dab rig, you’ll be able to enjoy the full-bodied experience that rosin is able to provide.
Don’t think you’re ready for shatter quite yet? New to cannabis concentrates in general? Rosin can be a safe and comfortable stepping off point for a toker’s first few steps into the world of concentrates. At the very least, we can guarantee that you won’t be disappointed!