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.
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.
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, 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.