Rosin: The clean, quick, and easy way to make concentrate

You may have heard of the latest trend in cannabis concentrates called Rosin. Rosin utilizes the process of heat pressing cannabis flower, hash, or even kief and collecting the essential oil that is forced out of the original product. What you’re left with is a pure cannabis oil, with all its original terpenes, that will satisfy even the most hardcore dabbers. Unlike BHO (butane hash oil), however, Rosin doesn’t require the use of harmful solvents, only heat and pressure.

rosin multi photo

Another benefit of Rosin is how easy, cheap, and safe it is to make compared to other concentrate production methods. Lab equipment required to properly make CO2 concentrates or BHO can run into the thousands of dollars. To make Rosin, all you need is a $20 hair straightener and some parchment paper or Oil Slick Sheets (NOT wax paper). The wider the plates are on the straightener, the better (2″ wide preferably). Some folks producing larger quantities of Rosin have rigged up T-shirt presses to achieve higher efficiency. If you are willing to spend some cash, ‘D-nail’ actually sells a pre-rigged press with heating plates on both sides and digital temp gauges.

For processing flower, simply fold a piece of parchment around a small bud(s). Allow your hair straightener to heat up to between 150-300 degrees Fahrenheit. There are varying opinions on the best amount of heat. More heat will yield more rosin, but will also run the risk of cannabinoid degradation and result in a darker product. A straightener with a digital temperature readout is preferable but not required. Some folks are able to feel the straightener with their finger and make a judgment call on the temperature. This may require some experimentation. If you want to get really precise, you can use an infrared thermometer on the hot plates of the straightener to really dial in the desired temperature.

pressing head onWhen you’re ready, firmly press the straightener over the parchment paper with your flower in it. The harder you press, the more Rosin you’ll be able to squeeze out. Some have had success using a vice to add even more pressure to the straightener (The strength of the straightener may vary). Typically you don’t want to press longer than about 5-8 seconds at a time. The higher the heat, the shorter amount of time you need to press. If you hear a sizzle, you’re pressing too hard or it’s too hot. You can press the same bud a few times leaving some cool off time between presses. I like to move the bud to a clean piece of the parchment for each new press so I don’t keep heating the extracted rosin.

In your parchment paper you should now see some Rosin that will now be separated into a lightly scattered silhouette around the bud. Use a dabber tool, razor, or card of some kind to collect the Rosin. If it’s too goopy to collect, a few seconds in the freezer can help. Lower grade flower will naturally yield less than top shelf buds.

Have some lower grade hash lying rosin bigaround? You can turn it into a much nicer product using the same technique except this time you’ll want to use a ‘pressing screen’, which are usually sold in 25 micron, as a filter between the hash and the parchment. Put the hash into the center of the screen and twist the screen tightly around the hash. Then fold the parchment around the screen and proceed to press. You may have to adjust the heat when pressing different products. You may lose a bit of yield to the screen itself but it’s a small price to pay to potentially transform a mediocre product into a top-shelf dabbable concentrate.

There are several different approaches to creating Rosin but they all consist of the same heat press concept. Try some different techniques and see what works best for you!

 

Other Rosin tutorials and resources

420 Magazine forum Guide to making rosin with a hair straightener, with photos!: http://www.420magazine.com/forums/hash-kief-concentrates/241730-how-rosin-tech.html

Medicaljane.com guide to rosin: http://www.medicaljane.com/2015/04/13/rosin-tech-how-to-make-solventless-extraction-with-ease/

Alchimiaweb Rosin walkthrough: http://www.alchimiaweb.com/blogen/rosin-hash/

Walkthrough using flower:

Bubbleman’s walkthrough to rosin tech using dry sift:

Bubbleman’s D-nail Rosin Press review/walkthrough: 

 

 

 

Enough Research

You’ve heard it repeated so many times, by both industry advocates and adversaries: “There’s not enough research. We need more research! We don’t know enough about the medical benefits of cannabis.” The problem with this statement is that, while it contains some truth, it is ultimately false. The truth? There is absolutely a need for more cannabis research. But when this argument is used to maintain the current prohibitions until more research is done, it is dangerously short-sighted. To be clear: there has already been more than enough research to tell us that cannabis use is safer than cannabis prohibition. We also have pre-clinical and mounting anecdotal evidence suggesting a long list of potential benefits that could save (or improve) countless lives.  Controlled clinical trials on humans are happening now around the world, and we can all agree that we need more to better understand this plant’s medicinal capabilities.

historical perspectiveResearch has also shown that it does not cause violent behavior or act as a gateway to harder drugs. A prohibitionist view based on a perceived lack of research overlooks the fact that humans have cultivated cannabis for at least the past 12,000 years, and ignores the many extensive studies done during the past 200 or so. Worse, it implies that we are somehow safer or better off by continuing to prevent patients from having safe access and arresting three quarters of a million people* every year until we reach the unspecified threshold of “enough” research.

Opponents have repeatedly tried to make a connection between cannabis and mental illness, but if there was a direct causal link between cannabis use and psychosis, it follows that the number of diagnoses of psychosis would rise with the increasing prevalence of cannabis use in society. It has not. According to government surveys, some 25 million Americans have smoked marijuana in the past year, and more than 14 million do so regularly. We know that, in California, one in 20 adults (or about 1.4 million people) have used medical cannabis to help treat an illness or condition. Of those Californians, a whopping 92% felt medical cannabis was helpful in treating their disease or illness. We know that deaths from prescription opiates have fallen 25% in states where medical cannabis is legal. Certainly there is still much we do not know, but what we do know tells us, in the words of the DEA’s administrative law judge Francis Young, that it is “unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious for DEA to continue to stand between […] sufferers and the benefits of this substance.”

And we know that, in order to achieve the current legal and regulatory status of cannabis, it has been necessary to ignore a massive amount of research:

1894: The Indian Hemp Drugs Commission Report
This 3,281-page, seven-volume classic report on the marijuana problem in India by the British concluded: “Viewing the subject generally, it may be added that moderate use of these drugs is the rule, and that the excessive use is comparatively exceptional. The moderate use produces practically no ill effects.” Nothing of significance in the report’s conclusions has been proven wrong in the intervening century.

1916 – 1929: Panama Canal Zone Military Investigations into Marijuana
After an exhaustive study of the smoking of marijuana among American soldiers stationed in the zone, the panel of civilian and military experts recommended that “no steps be taken by the Canal Zone authorities to prevent the sale or use of Marihuana.” The committee also concluded that “there is no evidence that Marihuana as grown and used [in the Canal Zone] is a ‘habit-forming’ drug.”

1944: The LaGuardia Report
This study is viewed by many experts as the best study of any drug viewed in its social, medical, and legal context. The committee covered thousands of years of the history of marijuana and also made a detailed examination of conditions In New York City. Among its conclusions: “The practice of smoking marihuana does not lead to addiction in the medical sense of the word.” And: “The use of marihuana does not lead to morphine or heroin or cocaine addiction, and no effort is made to create a market for those narcotics by stimulating the practice of marihuana smoking.”

The study also noted that “The majority of marihuana smokers are Negroes and Latin-Americans” and that “The consensus among marihuana smokers is that the use of the drug creates a definite feeling of adequacy.”

1968: The Wootton Report
This study report on marijuana and hashish was prepared by a group that included some of the leading drug abuse experts of the United Kingdom. These impartial experts worked as a subcommittee under the lead of Baroness Wootton of Abinger. The basic tone and substantive conclusions were similar to all of the other great commission reports. The Wootton group specifically endorsed the conclusions of the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission and the La Guardia Committee. Typical findings included the following:

  • There is no evidence that in Western society serious physical dangers are directly associated with the smoking of cannabis.
  • It can clearly be argued on the world picture that cannabis use does not lead to heroin addiction.
  • The evidence of a link with violent crime is far stronger with alcohol than with the smoking of cannabis.
  • There is no evidence that this activity … is producing in otherwise normal people conditions of dependence or psychosis, requiring medical treatment.

1972: The Report of the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse, entitled “Marihuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding”
This commission was directed by Raymond P. Shafer, former Republican governor of Pennsylvania, and had four sitting, elected politicians among its eleven members. The commission also had leading addiction scholars among its members and staff and was appointed by President Nixon in the midst of the drug-war hysteria at that time.  The first recommendations of the commission were:

  • Possession of marihuana for personal use would no longer be an offense.
  • Casual distribution of small amounts of marihuana for no remuneration, or insignificant remuneration not involving profit, would no longer be an offense.

The recommendations in this reports were endorsed by (among others) the American Medical Association, the American Bar Association, The American Association for Public Health, the National Education Association, and the National Council of Churches.

1980: The Facts About Drug Abuse, from the Drug Abuse Council
A 1972 report to the Ford Foundation, “Dealing With Drug Abuse,” concluded that current drug policies were unlikely to eliminate or greatly affect drug abuse. This conclusion led to the creation and joint funding by four major foundations of a broadly based, independent national Drug Abuse Council. The Council concluded, in part:

  • Psychoactive substances have been available throughout recorded history and will remain so. To try to eliminate them completely is unrealistic.
  • The use of psychoactive drugs is pervasive, but misuse is much less frequent, and the failure to make the distinction between use and misuse creates the impression that all use is misuse and leads to addiction.
  • There is a clear relationship between drug misuse and pervasive societal ills such as poverty, racial discrimination, and unemployment, and we can expect drug misuse so long as these adverse social conditions exist.

1988: DEA Docket No. 86-22, MARIJUANA RESCHEDULING PETITION
Before issuing his ruling, The DEA’s own Chief Administrative Law Judge Francis Young heard two years of testimony from both sides of the issue and accumulated fifteen volumes of research. This was undoubtedly the most comprehensive study of medical marijuana done to date. Judge Young concluded that marijuana was one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man, that it had never caused a single human death, and that the Federal Government’s policy toward medical marijuana is “unconscionable.”

How much is enough?

It’s a little overwhelming, looking at all the evidence that’s been presented over the years, and then considering how different the world might be if we had followed the research that’s already been done. If the 1972 recommendation that “possession of marijuana should no longer be an offense” had been followed, there would have been somewhere in the neighborhood of 12,000,000 fewer arrests made between then and now. Individuals whose lives will never be the same. Families, whole communities left devastated. Meanwhile, the FDA recently approved OxyContin for children as young as 11, while we are in the midst of a prescription painkiller overdose epidemic.

Wouldn’t the money spent to enforce this failed prohibition on cannabis be better spent doing more research? How many lives could we save? How many jobs could we create?

 

*US average annual marijuana arrests, 1996 – 2012: 763,348

Seven Reasons Why Delivery is the Future of Cannabis Retail

Denver, United States. 1st January 2014 -- The line started in pre-dawn and grew far down the street before the Lodo Wellness Center, a pot dispensary in Denver Colorado, opened their doors. There have been some interesting developments regarding applications for cannabis delivery services lately. Startups like Nestdrop have already come under fire, being slapped with a lawsuit from the city of Los Angeles before it could take off in that city. Eaze and Meadow are other offerings, both claiming to be the Uber of weed, promising quick and easy delivery from participating dispensaries. The problem is these apps are essentially glorified versions of the Yellow Pages and provide little more than marketing value (at a steep commission) to the dispensary. Unless you do business in a city dense with dispensaries to choose from, there is little incentive for you, as a dispensary, to sign up with such a service. They make big promises of convenience to consumers, and sit back collecting fees while the dispensary does all the work and has the onerous task of making that super-fast delivery, and tracking that inventory in another system. Eaze may work with a contracted team of drivers to make deliveries, but you need your own staff if you want to make deliveries to patients outside the app. And you must maintain at least two inventory lists: one in your system, one that’s referenced by the app. That becomes extremely inconvenient for the dispensary owner, and leads to problems for the consumer when they order something and find out later that it’s no longer in stock.

A recent article in Cannabist suggests the delivery space is not necessarily fit for investors right now. I agree that apps like Meadow and Eaze are not where the market is headed (yet), and don’t carry a fully-baked value proposition. Yet having operated a successful delivery service for several years, I’d like to point out some key consumers whose needs will never be met by storefront dispensaries:

  1. Working-girl Wynona: People will always value the ease and convenience of having something delivered (hello amazon.com). Dispensaries often cater to a younger crowd; older consumers are seeking privacy, discretion and good service over a party atmosphere.
  2. Paranoid Peter: Not everyone wants to be seen in a dispensary making a purchase for something he still considers taboo.
  3. Housebound Hannah has mobility issues and can’t get to a storefront.
  4. Anti-social Alex doesn’t want to deal with people; he likes to order online and prefers text updates from the driver for a streamlined experience.
  5. Anxious Annie has a hard time making decisions in the presence of pierced and tattooed strangers. She feels overwhelmed with too many choices and wants to review an extensive menu from the comfort of her living room, free from a smoke-filled, bass-thumping vibe at the local 420 guys’ hangout.
  6. Loyal Linda: Has been using the same delivery service for years; even when a new dispensary opens nearby, she likes the selection and personal attention she gets when she calls her to place her weekly order.
  7. NIMBY Nancy: Like a significant majority of US voters, she thinks medical cannabis should be legal, but is less than enthusiastic about having a dispensary move in across the street.

Delivery services are an ideal solution for giving patients in legal states safe access to cannabis in cities and counties that want to ban dispensaries. There’s no reason they can’t be licensed and regulated like storefronts – with an unpublished address. Security concerns inherent with storefronts can be largely mitigated; and there’s no evidence that delivery services are just rogue/non-tax-paying smooth operators; you’re confusing us with white-collar criminals on Wall Street. Do you inherently feel your pizza delivery guy is more “shady” than the waiter at the pizza place? A delivery service can endeavor to be both discreet and fully compliant with the law.

The real need in the cannabis delivery app space is for a robust, user-friendly and, yes, specialized application that give start-ups a tools to manage their business, from inventory to patients to driver routing, with simplicity and transparency. Cannabis is an extremely complex plant; it makes sense that an application designed to connect consumers with this medicine in the most appropriate way would have some nuances that can’t be purchased off-the-shelf.

It also seems to be the case that regulations are slow to follow the will of the people. As state and local laws across the country are shaped and re-shaped, it’s quite possible that a well-regulated licensing scheme for delivery services would alleviate many concerns of storefront opponents and be an ideal compromise in the fight for safe access.

The Family Tree of OG

OG Kush is a legendary strain whose origins are bit mysterious. The most likely theory states that sometime in 1993, a guy who had original Chemdawg got together with a guy who had a Lemon Thai x Paki Kush male he called the “secret ingredient”, and the brilliantly balanced hybrid OG Kush was born. It became wildly popular by 1995, and remains a staple in California dispensaries.

Growers have worked with this strain extensively over the past twenty years, creating an amazing variety of phenotypes and hybrids. Phenotypes have the same genetics, but differ in the expression of the genetic instructions, which are influenced by environmental and developmental conditions. The fantastic variety of phenotypes shows the versatility of the OG genotype, which gives growers so much to work with.

The following graphic shows the OG phenotypes and hybrids we have in stock right now, as they relate to each other (unconnected circles are phenotypes, connected circles show hybrids).  Making this graphic was pretty fascinating, and it led to the making of the second, expanded graphic (desktop wallpaper size, if you’re interested) showing past OGs we’ve had as well.

Our goal is to keep our menu stocked with something appealing in every category at every price point, and OG Kush in its many forms is a big part of that variety.

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Current OGs

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Extended Family Tree of OG

 

 

The Price of (Delivered) Weed

In the interest of transparency, and to help illustrate why we’ve implemented a per-delivery fee, here’s a breakdown of what it costs to provide safe access to medical cannabis in this area. Because we have avoided the “backpack delivery” model where drivers carry their limited menu with them (on the advice of our attorney), we require a larger communications budget than those types of services, and we have a much higher staffing need and the expense of cars, gas, and maintenance over brick-and-mortar shops.  Additionally, we require testing of all our medicine, something that is not a practice with many California collectives. We do this for the same reason we don’t carry any BHO products, because in the absence of adequate safety and quality regulations, we are holding ourselves as providers to the standard we would want to see as patients and consumers.  We also promote an atmosphere where staff are encouraged to learn, research, and share their knowledge internally, so that we are able to educate our patients (and hopefully, the community as a whole).

It won’t always be this expensive to get one order out the door. We expect to be significantly more cost-efficient when we have proper software in place, and the simple act of allowing collectives to use banks just like regular people would lighten our administrative burden considerably. The effort and energy it takes to work around all the barriers that have been placed between patients and their medicine is costly, but in the end we feel it’s been worth it.  After all, safe access to this medicine is a right that’s already been established by the people of California.

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Juicing Raw Cannabis

The world has discovered the health benefits of juicing in recent years, and Sespe Creek Collective hopes to start regularly bringing those benefits to our patients.

Juicing helps pull the essential oils, minerals and vitamins out of plants into an easy to consume, nutrient-dense form. This holds true for the cannabis plant as well. Prior to drying or heating (from baking, vaporizing or smoking) the plant has little to no THC/CBD because the plant itself creates THCA/CBDA, or THC/CBD acids. THCA/CBDA becomes THC/CBD through a process called decarboxylation which occurs through heat. While still in its acidic form the THCA does not have psychoactive effects. It instead works on the endocannabinoid system to create neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects. It has been used in the treatment of epilepsy, cancer, autoimmune and GI disorders.

Kristen Peskuski is a researcher and patient who put her systemic lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, interstitial cystitis, and numerous other conditions into remission by juicing fresh cannabis. Patients have reported success with osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune disorders, cancer and many other conditions using this unique therapy. This 15-minute video is worth watching:

Medical cannabis expert Dr. David Bearman recommends regularly consuming the juice from 20 cannabis leaves. In the spirit of Dr. Bearman’s advice we are now offering packets of 20 leaves and assorted popcorn flowers fresh from a healthy, mature plant for $25. Fresh cannabis leaves are perishable like any other  flowering plant, but they will keep in your refrigerator for a few days with no problem.

How to Juice

For the best results, use a juicer designed for leafy greens. These range from expensive and complicated to small and cheap; what you’re looking for is a “masticating” juicer, the kind you would use to juice wheat grass. The leaves will produce a small, not very palatable amount of juice, so you’ll probably want to mix it with other juices. If you don’t have a juicer, any blender will do, as demonstrated by Chef B, here: