What is Rosin
Let’s start this discussion by defining what I mean when I say cannabis rosin. Rosin can come in many forms: weed rosin, wax rosin, hash rosin, and even live rosin (more on this later), but all rosins have two big things in common
- They are all types of cannabis concentrates
- Rosin is produced using ONLY heat and pressure, no solvents of any kind are used to make rosin
So what exactly is a rosin?
Rosin is a thick, oil-like substance that physically resembles BHOs and other solvent concentrates. However, pressing rosin removes all plant matter, but without the use of any chemicals at all.
Because all rosins are solventless rosins they represent some of the purist and most natural concentrates available.
Unlike concentrates extracted with butane or other hydrocarbon solvents, there is NEVER a danger of residual solvents left over when pressing rosin from cannabis because there are never any solvents involved in the first place.
I asked Ryan Mayer, producer of Rosinbomb rosin presses, what he thinks about the future of his products and rosin as a whole.
“People will demand more of this when you educate them on the benefits of rosin when compared to other alternatives," he said.
"It is worth noting that rosin extracts can be used for more than vaping – you can add them to your favorite foods, create topicals and lotions, or apply them directly to flower."
Speaking on vaping, Mayer added “The experience when vaping rosins is superior. All of the terpenes and cannabinoids are in full form to offer robust flavor. As more consumers become interested in holistic, organic methodologies and want to apply them to their cannabis routine, rosin extracts will fit hand-in-glove with their emphasis on purity and quality.”
The best news for consumers who are interested in making their own rosin at home? With the proper equipment, the process of pressing rosin is extremely simple, requires no professional expertise in the field of botanical extractions, and happens in under two minutes. It’s even easier and less fuss than making dry ice kief, another simple natural cannabis extraction (although not nearly as potent or free from plant matter).
What Kinds of Cannabis to Use for Pressing Rosin
What kind of cannabis can you use to make rosin? The options are many. Of course flowers can be pressed. But a lot of people like to press concentrates. So in addition to being known as a “rosin press machine,” some people might call the rosin press a hash press, a wax press, or a kief press. (Some people even call it a dabs press because it produces great material for dabbing/vaporizing).
All of these substances can be pressed into a thick oily rosin concentrate.
Rosin making, however, is not a place to make treasure from trash, like you can do with cooking by using trim, shake, and lesser quality weed.
The rule with rosin is “garbage in, garbage out. Meaning the best quality cannabis flowers will produce not only the best quality cannabis rosin, but also the biggest volume of it.
We once did an experiment pressing two grams of some old dried herb. While this would have been fine for cooking and making edibles, it produced virtually no rosin at all. Conversely, the identical amount of top shelf produced enough rosin for 7 or 8 rosin dabs. It also tasted exquisite.
Generally speaking, the fresher the cannabis the better. That said, you do need weed that has been properly cured as water is not a good thing when making rosin. Weed at 62 – 68% humidity is perfect. Using Boveda humidity control packs can help you keep your cannabis in that perfect humidity zone, even with long term storage.
Lesser quality hash pressed in a rosin press is a bit more forgiving than low quality flowers, but even here, the better quality going into the press equals a better quality coming out. Pressing hash will separate what little plant materials remains after hash making, and leaves you with sticky potent rosin.
Uses for Rosin
While rosin might be most popular vaporized in dab rigs, you can also add it to smoking material for an extra strong and flavorful smoke.
We find that dabbing rosin produces a high that’s more akin to a strong flower smoking high as opposed to the often overpowering buzz of BHOs.
You can also use rosin for cannabis cooking and to make infusions like marijuana butter or cannabis oil that can then be made into edibles or topicals. You could even forego the infusion and simply dissolve some rosin into oil or melted butter and instantly use that to make edibles or topicals.
The Best Rosin Press for Home Consumers
Rosin is made by using heat and pressure. Some people claim they get good results pressing rosin with a hair straightener as a low cost alternative to a rosin press machine. Personally I have never had any luck with this method. When you think about it, it only makes sense. Even if you are the circus strongman (or woman), a hair straightener and your two arms cannot match the 1500 to 5000 pounds or more pounds of pressure that a quality rosin press can provide.
When it comes to buying a press for rosin for home consumers, I am a BIG FAN of the Rosinbomb Rocket. So much so that I agreed to become a brand ambassador (and I don’t do that lightly).
There are a number of reasons I favor this particular press over others that I have seen and tried:
- It’s small, smaller than a typical coffee maker and it weighs only 13 pounds.
- Despite its small size, the Rosinbomb Rocket delivers over 1500 pounds of pressure!
- You can press small amounts like a single gram or up to 5 grams at a single press, making the Rocket a great option for home consumers and home cannabis gardeners.
- Of course it presses flowers and concentrates and even freeze dried fresh plants for live rosin.
- It’s easy to use and takes no special skills. You could literally be pressing rosin minutes after opening the box. (See the video at the top of this page for a demo).
- You can precisely control the temperature you use for pressing rosin.
- It’s all electric and very quiet. That mean no noisy air compressors or manual pumps required. Pressing rosin is as easy as pressing a button!
- Rosinbomb rosin presses come with a “True Force” guarantee. That means they rigorously test each and every press in their USA facility. This might not seem all that important, but when you look at the test results of some of their competitors’ claims versus reality, you realize this is a good feature to have when you are investing hundreds of dollars in a piece of equipment.
Temperature is controlled by the user. The press comes to the customer programmed to an average recommended temperature for flowers of 220 degrees Fahrenheit.
All Rosinbomb presses are adjustable between ambient temperature and 300 degrees Fahrenheit. The heat differential from the outside to the center of the plate is approximately 2° Fahrenheit. If you order a 230V unit, your unit will show Celsius on the heat temperature display. 110V units display temperature in Fahrenheit.
If I had any complaint at all about the Rosinbomb Rocket, it is that somebody needs to seriously re-write the instructions that come with the rosin press machine. They just are not clear and actually I found them quite confusing. And they need not be as the Rocket is super simple to use. Watch the video above to see basically all you need to know:
- Plug in the machine.
- If you want to change the temperature, press the “Set” button on the left, use the up or down buttons on the right to change the temperature, hit the set button again when you find the temperature you want.
- The reset button on the left is only if things are not working properly. I have never yet had to use it.
For more about recommended times and temperatures, see the Rosin Making Tips section below.
A Complete Out of the Box Weed Rosin Making Solution
In addition to selling the Rocket Rosin Press machine separately, Rosinbomb offers a complete rosin making package that comes with everything you need. It’s a terrific value that includes:
- A Rosinbomb Rocket rosin press
- Flower bags and sift bags for making rosin for larger volumes (up to 5 grams of flowers) or for pressing hash or kief.
- Parchment squares for pressing rosin.
- A “puck maker” that prepares cannabis for pressing into rosin by making it into a tightly compressed small tablet.
Mav Stix – a multi-use stainless steel tool that can be used to place the pucks of weed on the press, or that come apart to be used as dab tools.
- Silicone dab kit
How to Make Rosin from Flowers
To turn your flower into rosin with a press like the Rosinbomb Rocket is as simple as
- Break the flowers into small pieces about an inch wide and remove any stems or twigs.
- Place between 1 to 5 grams the prepared flower into the puck maker and compress to make a puck of weed.
- Heat the press to desired temperature (more on that in the tips section).
- For 3-5 grams I like to use the flower bags included, so place puck in bag. For small amounts simply center the puck on a square of parchment paper. If using the bag, place bag with puck on a square of parchment. In either case, place parchment square centered on press (the mav sticks can help or you can use fingers, and cover with a second square of parchment.
- Use the button to press for about 30 second. Lower the press then immediately raise it again until you have pressed for the desired total time. Doing this will result in a higher yield than simply pressing once.
Optimal Temperatures for Pressing Rosin
Recommended temperature for pressing rosin from cannabis varies between 190°F-220°F. Each strain reacts a little differently, so it is a good idea to experiment with a small amount, say a single gram, to know how it reacts before pressing more volume.
Ryan Mayer of Rosinbomb says that 205 degrees F is a good place to start, then work your way up from there.
For hash and kief use a lower temperature of 150 to 180 degrees F.
Hemp, yes you can press CBD Rosin, is more difficult and needs a higher temperature, sometimes as much as 220 degrees F.
What to do with Rosin Pressing Leftovers
After you use a rosin press machine to press cannabis flower, you will be left with a flattened pancake of pressed weed. DO NOT THROW THIS OUT!!!
According the Ryan Mayer, inventor of the Rosinbomb press, about 45% of the plant’s cannabinoids are left after pressing. That is a lot!
I like to use the pressed puck for making infusions for edibles, just use more than you would regular flower as some of the cannabis has been pressed out. However, if you start with really strong cannabis, you might not even have to worry about using more.
For instance, I test the recipes on this website using 10% THC cannabis. You could press some 22% THC cannabis and use the pucks at the same amounts given in the dosing section of the recipes and still be right on the money. Make sense?
You can also use the leftover pucks for making infusions for topicals. Or you could even smoke or vape them.
Whatever you do, save the pressed cannabis pucks and put them to good use and you have stretched your cannabis stash while still enjoying premium rosin!
Rosin versus Live Rosin
Live rosin is made from freshly picked, in other words, uncured cannabis plants. However, and this is important, those fresh pants MUST be freeze dried in order to produce Live Rosin. Since this involves an extremely expensive piece of extra equipment, most home consumers will probably not be making Live Rosin. However, if you do happen to have a freeze drying machine, know that you can produce Live Rosin in a rosin press by pressing your freshly freeze dried cannabis.
Rosin Pressing Tips for Best Quality and Volume
- Break material down into 1/2” pieces, removing small sticks or stems. It is not advisable to grind material as it may adversely affect taste and color.
- Yield is largely driven by the moisture content and the quality of the cannabis or cannabis concentrate being pressed. However, yield can also be improved by employing good pressing techniques, like creating a puck to focus the plate’s strike point, and taking 2 presses on each puck after the rosin has begun to flow.
- Less press time and lower temperature produces less volume but better quality rosin.
- If you do not get enough yield, try increasing the temperature.
You can do a second pressing of the same puck, but know that both volume and quality will suffer the second time around.
- Be sure to use properly cured cannabis. Moisture is the enemy of good rosin.
- Every cannabis strain is a little bit different, and this is where the art of rosin making comes in. Experiment first with a small amount to see how the strain you are using reacts. You are looking for a nice taffy-like consistency in your finished rosin.
- Mesh bags are used for filtering out impurities and for pressing larger amounts, up to 5 grams in the Rosinbomb Rocket, however they are not necessary if you just want to press a gram or two.
- Some people recommend pressing rosin on silicone mats but this is NOT good idea as silicone is not a good conductor of heat, which is essential to making quality rosin.
- To make it easier to scrape up the rosin after pressing, place the parchment on a cold plate that has been chilled in the freezer for easiest scraping.
- For best volume, put cannabis or concentrate on the parchment in the press and raise but don’t press to heat for a few seconds, then press for 30 seconds, lower it, then immediate press again. This allows the plant matter to redistribute to get a better press. Usually about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes will produce a good quality rosin.
- If you are going to press for longer, use a lower temperature or your rosin could take on a toasty taste.
- Use a lower temp for sift (hash or kief) of 150 to 180 degrees F.
- Use higher temperatures when pressing hemp, up to 220 degrees F.
(This post contain affiliate links, meaning if you make a purchase, I get a small commission at no cost to you. However, know that I NEVER recommend products that I do not actually like and use.)