How to make rosin
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- Steps for making rosin
- What’s a “good” yield?
- 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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
An Insider’s Guide: How to Make Rosin with a Flat Iron
Excerpt from my upcoming book Beyond Buds, Next Generation: Marijuana Concentrates and Cannabis Infusions -Photo by Fred Morledge – Dabsel.com
Rosin is a concentrated blend of terpenes and cannabinoids extracted using a method sometimes called “rosin tech.”
It’s the simplest, least expensive way to extract concentrate from raw buds or refine hash for more effective dabbing; instead of a chemical process, rosin tech relies on heat and pressure to squeeze cannabinoids and terpenes from the source material.
It is a very fast process; a batch of rosin can be produced in moments and consumed immediately.
The physical science of rosin is simple: Applying heat melts the terpenes and cannabinoids into a pliable resin. Then it is squeezed using a press.
Some lipids and waxes melt at the same temperatures. Thus, the finished product is generally not as refined as the results of some other methods. One tradeoff is the speed and ease of extraction.
There is a wide range of tools and equipment that can be used to make rosin. The choice depends mostly on the quantity being pressed. On the hobby level, you can use household items.
Equipment Needed for Basic Flower Rosin Press:
The easiest way to understand rosin is to make a small batch on your own.
It’s simple and requires very little equipment.
Let’s begin by pressing out some flower rosin — here’s what you’ll need to get started:
It’s crucial that you ensure clean, high-quality source material, whether you’re pressing rosin from trim, buds or hash. Photo by Fred Morledge – Dabsel.com
• Buds — for our purposes, use 1-7. Our goal is to learn the process and taste your first homemade product.
• Tong-style hair-straightener/flat iron — there are several factors to consider here, but the biggest obstacles are heat and durability. Some popular models like the Remington have minimum settings too hot to leave the device on during pressing, meaning you have to warm it, turn it off and use a laser thermometer “heat gun” to ensure ideal temp. If you’ don’t have access to a heat gun, some-thing inexpensive like the 2-inch model from Conair will allow you to “set and forget” the heat, because the lowest setting is generally cool enough for rosin extraction. However, part of the lower cost comes from a more brittle plastic housing for the heating plates, meaning the Conair is more susceptible to physical cracking and breakage. A model with a digital temperature readout is also a good choice for irons that do have temp settings low enough for rosin.
• Parchment paper — but NEVER wax paper, because you don’t want wax to melt into your final product, and it will if you use wax instead of parchment paper. You can also use silicone mats and other heat-resistant material, but for your first press parchment is fine.
NEVER use wax paper, because you don’t want wax to melt into your final product, and it will if you use wax instead of parchment paper. Photo by Fred Morledge – Dabsel.com
• Bar clamp (optional) — pressure is half of the magic behind rosin, so you have to ensure you have enough. When pressing small quantities manual pressure is generally adequate, but for a more efficient press and a higher yield clamps can be applied to the outside of the iron.
• Micromesh/silkscreen filters (optional) — pressing rosin tends to spread the extracted concentrate outward from the buds being pressed, meaning screens aren’t always strictly necessary to keep plant material out of the final product. However, to ensure a product free of particulates you can wrap your bud in silkscreen or micromesh material. Some people also use unbleached tea bags for these smaller batches of flower rosin.
• Protective work gloves — It’s pretty difficult to injure yourself making rosin, especially using this method, but it’s not impossible. Wearing work gloves protects your hands from painful burns, which a hair straightener is more than capable of inflicting.
Rosin after the press. Photo by Fred Morledge – Dabsel.com
Pressing the Flower Rosin
• Plug in the flat iron and set it to the target temperature.
• If you’ve selected the basic 2-inch Conair model, set it to “1.”
• If you have a model with a digital temperature display, set it between 280F and 330F.
• Place your bud inside the tea bag or filter (if applicable) and fold it inside folded parchment paper.
• Ensure the iron is still at the proper temperature and that the bud is secured in its envelope, then clamp the envelope with the flat iron, focusing the pressure on the buds in the middle. If you’re using clamps, tighten them for 3-8 seconds — you know you’re done when you hear the sizzle sound of resin escaping and interacting with the heat.
• Unclamp the iron, open the envelope and pluck the buds out — this step is another reason many people use bags and filters, because it reduces the opportunity to contaminate an otherwise clean rosin batch while removing plant material.
• Take your envelope of warm rosin, refold it and roll or spread out your rosin as desired. Then place the envelope on a cool surface for a minute or so before opening and collecting the rosin.
Now it’s time to dab the rosin!
If you have any left when you’re done dabbing, keep it in a cool, dark place inside of a non-stick container. Photo by BHOgart
The main drawback to rosin is that it is best consumed fresh because it does not retain its terpenes as well as other cannabis concentrates, so it goes stale quicker, especially when it isn’t kept in a cool environment. This is something to consider when deciding how much rosin to make at a time.Here’s an excerpt from my upcoming book ‘Beyond Buds, Next Generation’ on how to make a basic flower rosin using the flat iron technique. ]]>