Extracts or “dabs” are revolutionizing the way we think about and experience cannabis. Not only do they offer higher potencies, but their high concentration of terpenes also brings new flavors and aromas to the table that surprise even veteran weed lovers.
Unfortunately, cannabis extracts like wax and shatter can be hard to access outside of the world’s few legal cannabis markets and are far from safe to make at home. Rosin, however, is an exceptional extract that you can easily make without burning down the neighborhood.
What is Rosin?
Rosin is like BHO’s chemical-free, DIY-friendly cousin. It’s made using a combination of heat and pressure that extracts terpenes and cannabinoids from dried cannabis, hash, or kief. The result is a golden, translucent, and sap-like extract with a rich flavor and roughly 50-70% THC.
Rosin produced from professional, licensed extractors is made using specialized rosin presses. These machines cost anywhere between $1,000 and $10,000 and use either pneumatic or electric pumps that are able to deliver tons of pressing power. These professional presses also have precise heating elements to maximize their yield potential and are able to press large amounts of flower or kief at a time.
Pure Pressure’s Long’s Peak, for example, is a pneumatic rosin press designed specifically for commercial rosin production. It is capable of generating 8 tons of pressure and pressing up to 35 grams of flower or 70 grams of kief or hash at a time.
What’s the cool thing about it?
Similar to other extracts, rosin boasts a different high to what you’d normally expect from flower. Based on my experience, I’d describe it as more of a clear, mental rush, but this can obviously vary depending on what cannabis strain your rosin is made from.
In the US and Canada, considered by some to be the frontiers of cannabis legalization, rosin is a huge hit. And it’s not hard to see why; unlike BHO (Butane Hash Oil), which usually has to undergo a long, slow purge to remove any residual butane prior to extraction, rosin is a 100% solventless extract. It is made using only heat and pressure and is completely chemical-free.
Best of all, you don’t have to have to go to a dispensary or risk burning your house down to get your hands on some delicious rosin.
How to make your own Rosin. Easily.
Some manufacturers sell small rosin presses designed for personal use. The MyPress, for example, is a popular manual rosin press that can exert up to 6 tons of pressure and is capable of pressing about 1 to 1.5 grams of flower at a time. According to some reviews, the MyPress can produce yields of 20-25%, which is very good for such a small press.
At $420 USD, however, the MyPress can be a pricey investment for the recreational cannabis user. But then again, you don’t really want to be pinching pennies when buying a rosin press, either. You’ll want a machine capable of delivering plenty of pressure and just the right temperatures in order to maximize your rosin yields.
Luckily, if you don’t want to fork out $420 for a personal rosin press, you don’t have to. You can make your own rosin safely at home with a good hair straightener, some parchment or baking paper, some kind of makeshift dab tool (a clean, sharp pocket knife works quite well), and heat-resistant gloves. Here’s how:
- Break up roughly 0.5g of cannabis flower, kief, or ice water hash and stick it between 2 pieces of parchment or baking paper. Fold in each side of the paper to create a kind of envelope.
- Preheat your hair straightener to its lowest setting.
- Place your wrapped flower in between the heated plates of the hair straightener and press down very firmly for at least 3-7 seconds. Once you hear a sizzle, relieve the pressure and remove the parchment paper from the straightener.
- Remove the sticky sap from the parchment paper using your pocket knife and put it in a container for storage or load it directly into a bowl or joint and enjoy!
OPTIONAL: If you’re pressing flower, consider pressing it twice for a better yield.
Keep in mind that this is by far the best way to press rosin. It is, however, effective enough if you want to make small batches of this delicious concentrate at home without investing in a proper press.
If you’re serious about making your own rosin and want to maximize your yields, however, you’ll need to dig deep into your pockets and invest in something like the MyPress.