What is Rosin?

Read time: 5 minutes, 45 seconds. 

Rosin is a solvent-less cannabis extract. Don’t worry we are going to work through what that means, how it’s made, and the history. Strap in. Rosin is available in a variety of colours and consistencies including shatter, wax, budder, rosin coins, and taffy.

It can be made from any cannabis starting material including nugs, loose shake and even “physically concentrated extracts” like hash and kief. The former is referred to as “flower rosin” while the latter is called “hash rosin”.

How is it made?

Rosin is created through an extraction procedure that uses heat and pressure to force the cannabinoids and terpenes within the trichome glands out of the cannabis plant and into a concentrated consumable product. This process can be compared to squeezing the juice out of a fruit or the oil out of an olive.

Cannabis can be pressed into rosin by a professional with an industrial press, or at home with a hair straightener.

Do-It-Yourself at Home

Making your own rosin at home is astonishingly easy and fairly safe. All you need is a hair straightener, a bit of parchment paper, some sort of collection tool, some heat-resistant gloves and cannabis starting material (nugs, shake, physically concentrated extracts).

  1. Prepare the cannabis plant material. Ensure that nugs are properly cured and have optimum moisture.
  2. If using physically concentrated extracts such as hash or kief as starting material, place the material into a teabag-like filter such as nylon food-grade screens or a mesh bag.
  3. Set the temperature on your hair straightener or heat press to at least 82 degrees Celsius.
  4. Place your bag of hash/kief or loose flower in between two pieces of parchment paper. Be sure to leave a couple of inches of parchment paper on all four sides to capture the rosin that is produced.
  5. Press the parchment paper with the heated straightener for between 4 to 30 seconds. Time will depend on quality of starting material and temperature chosen.
  6. After removing the cannabis starting material from the parchment paper, check the amount of rosin produced. If the yield is low, the process may need to be repeated until sufficient amounts are collected.
  7. Once you have completed the press, use a dabber tool to collect the rosin.
  8. Package or store the rosin in an air-tight container for later use. 

Professional Industrial Press

Industrial rosin processing requires purchasing a press designed specifically for making rosin, ranging from hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars. These presses are fairly expensive but are much cheaper than solvent-based extraction systems. An industrial press follows a very similar method to the do-it-yourself process by combining heat and pressure to produce a consumable extract.

How is it consumed?

Rosin can be consumed in a variety of ways. It can either be combusted, vaporized or infused.

When combusted, rosin can be added to dried cannabis flower and smoked in a glass bowl or joint. Although rosin can be smoked, it is not the most effective way to experience all of the potential effects and benefits.

When vaporized, rosin can be dabbed in a rig (the preferred method among many) or vaped through a pen or device designed for concentrates. It is important to take into account the temperature when vaporizing cannabis concentrates such as rosin. For rosin, the optimal temperature to ensure that every chemical compound is fully vaporized is somewhere between 160°C and 280°C.

Aside from smoking or vaporizing rosin, you can also use it in a variety of infusions including edibles and topical products. Rosin can be directly added to food while cooking, or easily infused into butters and oils. Rosin is already activated, meaning there is no need for decarboxylation. Since there is no excess plant material, rosin wont ruin the flavour of your infused foods either.

How potent is it?

The potency of any given extract, including rosin, is almost completely reliant upon the starting material. The quality of cannabis nugs or shake used will dictate the strength, aroma, flavour and effects of the end product.

Typically, the cannabinoid concentration in rosin products is between 70% – 80%. Additionally, an estimated 10% of rosin could potentially be various terpenes that were contained in the starting material used to create the rosin. This is why the quality of the starting material used is so crucial.

Comparison to other Concentrates.

 Rosin is preferred by many because it delivers the same potency and experience as solvent-based extracts without the potentially harmful chemicals that those extracts require.

Some consumers also prefer rosin because it requires a lower temperature when vaporizing. Solvent-less extracts require less heat for vaporization because they don’t go through a process of removing fats and lipids.

Storage.

Storing concentrates can be tricky but is incredibly important for maintaining optimal quality of the product. Most forms of rosin are too sticky for glass containers or jars. For short-term storage, medical-grade silicone containers are ideal, since it’s much easier to remove the rosin for convenient consumption. However, silicone containers are not air-tight and long-term exposure to oxidization will lessen rosin’s potency and flavour. For longer periods, it is recommended to keep rosin in a vacuum-sealed bag inside of an air-tight container located in a dark, dry and cool location.

History of Rosin.

There is still some debate among the cannabis community regarding the initial origins of rosin. However, most believe that the extract was first introduced in 2006 in an online forum known as ICMag (International Cannagraphic Magazine) through a member with the username “Compashon”.

Almost a decade later, rosin finally started to gain popularity among concentrate enthusiasts. In 2015, Phil Salazar, referred to as @soilgrown_solventless on social media, started sharing pictures of rosin that he created by accident while experimenting with some old dry hash. After inadvertently discovering that consumable oil could be extracted from cannabis flower and physically-concentrated extracts, he began testing many methods and tools for rosin production, including his wife’s hair curler. He shared all of his findings on social media, which encouraged many others to try it for themselves.

In the years since, rosin extraction has evolved to encompass a variety of different processes and product types.

Rosin in Canada.

Although Canadians can technically press their own rosin at home using legally-purchased or grown cannabis flower, purchasing rosin products through regulated channels is currently not possible.

However, Canada is legalizing the production and sale of cannabis derivative products, including concentrates such as rosin, in October of this year. These forms of products will be available through provincially-run and privately-licensed retailers in Canada.

The Government of Canada has stated that 0.25g of cannabis concentrates is equivalent to 1g of dried cannabis. Therefore, Canadian recreational consumers will be permitted to carry and possess up to 7.5 grams of cannabis concentrates. Legal concentrates will be permitted to contain up to 1000 mg of THC per package.

The Supreme Cannabis Company is incredibly excited to begin formulating cannabis concentrates using our high quality flower in the near future.

What is THC?

There are many acronyms associated with cannabis. You’ve probably heard the term “THC” before, but what is it exactly? The cannabis plant contains over one hundred chemical substances known as cannabinoids or phytocannabinoids. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC, is the most common and well-studied cannabinoid.

What is Shatter?

As you can tell from some of our articles, we love concentrates at Supreme Cannabis. Shatter is no exception. The solvent-based cannabis concentrate is usually semi-transparent and can range in colour from dark amber to bright gold. The name Shatter comes directly from its consistency.

What is Rosin?

Rosin is a solvent-less cannabis extract. Say what? Don't worry, we are going to work through what that means, how its made, and the history. Strap in.