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.
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.
When 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 around? 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: