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What is rosin? Exploring the purest cannabis concentrate

Rosin is an extract of unmatched purity. Find out why that’s important

With numerous businesses entering the newly created concentrates market, one can reasonably expect, or at least hope, that the demand and quality of these products will continue to rise. Photo by iStock / Getty Images Plus

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    Wondering about rosin? With numerous businesses entering the newly created concentrates market, one can reasonably expect, or at least hope, that the demand and quality of these products will continue to rise.

    This will likely be a positive thing for cannabis customers since these products are suited for medical and recreational users, and they offer high levels of both cannabinoids and terpenes.

    What is rosin? Exploring the purest cannabis concentrate Back to video

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    What exactly is rosin?

    Rosin is a cannabis concentrate made through an extraction technique that manipulates fine hash using pressure and heat. Having a very high cannabinoid and terpene concentration, rosin is further differentiated from other concentrate products because of several important factors.

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    The first is overall purity, the result of using only heat, pressure and sift bags with microscopic openings—as opposed to any solvents—to separate cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant. As such, rosin won’t have any solvent residue, while other techniques may require going through more steps to purify the concentrate, something that is not always fully achieved.

    With numerous businesses entering the newly created concentrates market, one can reasonably expect, or at least hope, that the demand and quality of these products will continue to rise. Photo by iStock / Getty Images Plus

    Other positive rosin attributes include the price of production and the possibility of manipulating the concentrate into different textures and consistencies, including shatter, wax and crumble.

    What is the potency of rosin?

    Reaching the highest potency of any concentrate depends on the starting material used. Also critically important is the quality of the sifts used in the extraction process, because this also determines the concentration of the rosin.

    Usually, the cannabinoid concentration is around 70 percent, and can even reach more than 80 percent. It should be noted that an estimated 10 percent of rosin could be various terpenes that were present in the strain used to create the rosin.

    Terpenes may also play a key role in the feeling delivered via the fragrance and flavour of the rosin, but also perhaps related to medicinal effects since, when combined with cannabinoids, they contribute to the entourage effect.

    How to make rosin

    Unlike the methods of extraction relying on using combustible and potentially dangerous solvents (butane, as in butane hash oil, or propane), professional rosin creation involves only a machine press that heats the hash to a moderate temperature. This helps diminish the potential for mishap or injury.

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    Reaching the highest potency of any concentrate depends on the starting material used. Also critically important is the quality of the sifts used in the extraction process, because this also determines the concentration of the rosin. Photo by iStock / Getty Images Plus

    Taking into account both safety and the reasonable price of producing rosin compared to other concentrates, an argument can certainly be made that pressing rosin is an excellent extraction method option. There are two different methods to rosin: the first DIY method is relatively inexpensive; the second, more professional approach comes with higher costs.

    Let’s focus on the second method. This will require purchasing a press designed exclusively for making resin, ranging from hundreds of dollars (likely for those relying on manual pressure) to thousands of dollars. Expensive, but nowhere near the cost of a closed-loop extraction systems used for solvent-based extractions.

    First, turn the sift filter micron bags—which come in different versions and help determine the rosin’s purity—inside out. Two identical bags, which will go one over the other, will be needed, and ensure the bags do not contain any contaminants, such as hairs or anything else.

    Use a funnel to pour the hash into the first micron bag—for best results, create the hash using the dry-sifting method—employ a fine-mesh screen to manually separate the cannabis plant’s finer and small parts that contain cannabinoids and trichomes from the rest of the plant material. The resulting product will have a grainy and coarse texture. The material should then be sieved in a cold room or freezer. If looking to store the dry-sifted hash before consuming it, use the exact same technique as storing the newly created rosin for longer periods of time.

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    When retrieved from the cold room (or a fridge/freezer) high-quality hash will have a powdery feel and will quickly start greasing up at room temperature. This is something to be avoided when making rosin.

    Upon filling the micron sift bag about 80 percent, place it near the press for two to five minutes to allow the hash to start to gel a bit, something that will make the end-product better. Also place the bottom portion of the mould to warm up on the press (this should be 82 C or less, feeling warm to the touch), again for two to five minutes.

    Next, try to even out the hash in the micron pouch so that it is as evenly distributed as possible; fold the first pouch and insert it into the second micron bag, with the folded side going in first; ensure the side seams align perfectly; place the parchment paper over the press where the newly created rosin will pour over; and stamp before pressing the hash completely.

    As noted, the temperature of the plates should be about 82 C—and not over 155 C since some terpenes in cannabis evaporate at temperatures higher than this. Terpenes should be preserved as they can play off cannabinoids, contributing to a more potent effect, and some may even have therapeutic effect in and of themselves.

    Hash made from a strain rich in terpenes will produce a rosin that emerges from the press in a thicker, less liquid-like form (akin to budder or batter), than the rosin from a strain with lower terpene levels. Also, if left at room temperature, most rosins will quickly begin to harden.

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    Beyond the influence of the cannabinoid/terpene quantities, other factors contributing to the rosin include the age of the material used, and how the plant was grown and harvested.

    How to smoke rosin

    Whether using a dabbing rig or a vaporizer capable of vaporizing extracts, there are a couple of options available when consuming rosin. Consider either vaporizing it with lower temperatures, which is a better option for experiencing the terpene signature of that specific rosin, or go with higher temperatures where the vapour will be bigger and thicker. Lower temps also slightly delay the psychoactive effects of rosin, while higher temps allow the rosin to have an immediate and strong effect.

    With vaping, it’s best to always consider the temperatures to ensure every active chemical compound fully evaporates. For rosin, this is somewhere between 250 C and 282 C, because this solvent-less extract doesn’t go through the process of removing fats and lipids, thereby meaning it requires relatively less heat than concentrates, such as BHO, that use solvents in their creation.

    Because rosin doesn’t require dewaxing like hydrocarbon extracts, expect some residue after a dabbing/vaping session, something that is especially the case when using vaporizers since the residue will get the device sticky. That makes it important to clean the vaporizer with isopropyl alcohol and cotton swabs after every rosin session.

    How to store rosin?

    In order to preserve the potency and freshness of the rosin, it needs to be stored properly. There are different ways to achieve this, depending on whether the rosin is being stored for shorter or longer periods. Like with flower, there are four factors to be considered; heat, moisture, air and light should be avoided as much as possible.

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    Short-term rosin storage

    Depending on the strain from which the rosin was created and the quantity of terpenes in the end-product, the rosin will be more or less gooey, but most likely too sticky and liquid for glass containers or jars. As such, it’s better to use medical-grade silicone containers for short-term storage, since it’s much easier to remove the resinous remains.

    Whether using a dabbing rig or a vaporizer capable of vaporizing extracts, there are a couple of options available when consuming rosin. Photo by iStock / Getty Images Plus

    This is a great way to preserve the rosin for as long as seven days; do not store for longer since silicon containers aren’t air-tight, and long-term exposure to air will lessen its potency as a result of oxidation.

    Long-term rosin storage

    For longer periods, cover the rosin in parchment paper, place it in a sealed food bag and then inside an air-tight container (those that remove the air after sealing are preferable) and, last, put the container in a dark, dry and relatively cool place. For people living in really warm climates, the best long-term solution is to store the rosin in a refrigerator or a freezer. Follow the aforementioned steps and remember that the biggest enemy is humidity, which will not be an issue in a vacuum-sealed container.

    Another very important factor to take into account is ensuring the air-tight container reaches room temperature once it is removed from the refrigerator/freezer. Allow the container to sit in room temperature for about 10 to 15 minutes. If the container is opened while still cold, this could result in contamination of the rosin. This, in turn, could mean dabbing is less pleasurable because of the water trapped in the extract, and could possibly even cause damage to the vaporizer.

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    Are concentrates the future?

    Even though cannabis concentrates are currently mostly being used for recreational purposes, they have great potential for people who use cannabis medicinally. Studies exploring their potential uses, however, need to be carried out. At present, there are anecdotal reports regarding the potential use of RSO (Rick Simpson Oil), which is basically just another variation of a cannabinoid-packed cannabis concentrate, with THC levels of more than 90 percent.

    As it stands, it seems that larger concentrations of both cannabinoids and terpenes could have a beneficial effect on numerous ailments and diseases.

    Greencamp.com is an educational website dedicated to shedding the light on many unexplored sides of medical and recreational cannabis. Aside from informing people of safe cannabis use, Greencamp also provides technology for finding optimal cannabis treatment. You can download their app from Itunes or the Google Play store.

    Want to keep up to date on what’s happening in the world of cannabis? Subscribe to the Cannabis Post newsletter for weekly insights into the industry, what insiders will be talking about and content from across the Postmedia Network.

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    What is Rosin & Why Does it Matter?

    In just a few years, rosin became one of the cannabis industry’s most talked about products. With customers clamoring for cleaner, purer products that produce better highs, rosin made sense to many. Today, the rosin market is expanding. New products producing increasingly better yields are hitting the market.

    What some once saw as a fad is now a potential market disruptor. Rosin has made a beloved product much more accessible. So much so that many in the market are evolving and taking more interest in high-yield rosin . Today, it matters what equipment you make your rosin with.

    We’ll be sure to discuss your equipment as well as rosin’s origins more below. So let’s explore rosin and where it may soon be heading:

    What is Rosin?

    What was originally intended for violin products is now beloved by the cannabis community. In marijuana’s case, rosin is an extraction method that releases resin from an array of marijuana products like:

    • Flower
    • Shake
    • Dry sift kief
    • Hash

    The rosin process comes from combining high heat and immense pressure to produce a solvent-less hash oil (SHO) via a rosin press or homemade products. This method brings out your product’s oil out from its trichome heads, resulting in a high-terpene, full-melt. When executed correctly, your rosin yield will be a golden yellow sap with high potency. Best of all, it only takes seconds.

    (Pictured: Sunny D OG bubble hash rosin)

    These reasons have made rosin a well-known technique in DIY circles for years. Recently, however, technological advancements made it possible for a more sophisticated machine process.

    Rosin’s potency has the potential of going above 90% while flower tops out at 30% at most. This is no surprise to any casual concentrate fan, though. What may be surprising, however, is rosin’s comparisons to other notable products on the market. Rosin ranks in the same potency levels as all other major offerings.

    The marijuana market is constantly expanding in the age of legalization. The demand for cleaner, safer products is on the rise as more senior citizens, and health-centric individuals discover cannabis. While this has made many clamor for all things concentrates, not every product is equal.

    Comparing Rosin to the Market

    There are several kinds of concentrates on the market today. The product SHO get most compared to is butane hash oil (BHO). While both fall into the same family of cannabis products, their extraction process makes them vastly different.

    What makes rosin stand out to so many customers is its solvent-free technique. As you would expect from its name, BHO is not solvent-free. Its use of butane strips the product by removing its cannabinoids. By eliminating the cannabinoids from the terpenes, you lose some of its effects, as some would argue. Additionally, in comparison to SHO’s near-instant process, BHO is a less timely method due to its backend where you have to purge the butane before your concentrate is consumable. This can take 24 hours or longer. While rosin or SHO is a more labor intensive process, BHO is often used for bulk production since so much can be run at a time. Rosin more often than not is a labor of love from artisanal extractors looking to make the best of the best.

    Furthermore, a SHO process virtually requires you to use quality flower. If you want to pass microbial and contamination testing, you have to use top notch product. In a BHO process, you can make due with low-trichomes, subpar starting material. By allowing chemicals to be pumped into the process, you can get away with unappealing assets like moldy flower, cheap trim and other unwanted entities.

    And that’s how you get bad shatter, which isn’t the only option you have!

    Many incorrectly attribute BHO as the only source of shatter. However, rosin is used in shatter as well as other waxes, budder and other textures. This makes a solvent-free option accessible to the majority of the market. In turn, rosin grows while health risks decline.

    (Pictured: Honey Banana flower rosin shatter)

    When made correctly, rosin compares favorably to other concentrates and textures. This is a fact more users are beginning to see as they shift away from their DIY processes. Now, this isn’t meant to put down BHO or other concentrates and textures across the board. However, with health a growing concern, rosin finds itself in a very favorable light.

    Why People Choose Rosin

    People have been selecting rosin for years. And now, solvent-free rosin is gaining steam as each year passes. As we mentioned, rosin is changing the game. The bar is going higher for your flower and methods. However, the rise in tech hasn’t made it any harder to understand. Even today’s most complicated presses can be mastered in just an hour or two’s tutelage.

    A lot of history has been made in the cannabis industry over the last few years. So it may not be a surprise that we aren’t giving rosin its fair distinction. That being said, rosin technology is doing just that. Its advancements brought a versatile concentrate to the market without the health risks.

    Everything from the process to its end product is efficient. The results are telling, and the users are satisfied. When executed properly, rosin is meeting and exceeding potency bars of its counterparts. Furthermore, the costs are minimal on the back-end. After the initial purchase, the only other investment will be for refilling supplies. Couple this with the significantly cheaper setup cost that comes with rosin over BHO production and the cost benefits start to pile up quickly.

    Today, rosin presses have the capabilities to produce industrial-sized yields with ease. These presses, as well as in-home machines, have the capabilities to give you complete control and better ROIs . For example at PurePressure, the Pikes Peak rosin press can process between 4 and 5lb of flower, or 8 to 12 lb of dry sift/kief or hash during an 8-hour shift. With two employees, this can go up even higher.

    The Rise in Rosin

    As previously mentioned, the rosin technique origin began in the DIY space. Today, users continue to use the basics to create their yields:

    • A hair straightener
    • Parchment paper
    • A collection tool
    • Heat-resistant gloves

    This type accessibility made rosin a no-brainer for many in the community. Its simplicity and resulting yield combine for a streamlined process for customers. Furthermore, rosin helped break the wall down between the technical side of cannabis and their fandom. Those wanting to enter the field but unaware of the right steps now had an easy option to invest in.

    By 2015, rosin started earning distinctions like “trend of the year ” Dispensaries took notice soon enough. They began getting involved and selling rosin at their locations. Today, most legal marketplaces stock SHO due to its growing popularity among connoisseur dabbers. If your local dispensary doesn’t, make sure to demand that they do so you can try some!

    Rosin was once the byproduct of the misuse of a hair straightener and other presses. Today, rosin presses are taking home industry awards and setting the standard for concentrates. In 2017, PurePressure’s Pikes Peak rosin press earned honors such as:

    Chalice 2017 – Rosin Category

    • Highest Terpenes: The Proper Extracts, Double Banana (source)
    • Highest THC: The Proper Extracts, Hells Fire (source)
    • Best Overall Sativa: The Proper Extracts, Banana Split (source)

    Rooster Magazine’s 2017 THC Classic – Solvent-less Concentrates

    • 1st Place: Essential Extracts Lemon OG rosin batter (source)

    The Hemp Connoisseur Classic 2017 Adult-Use Solvent-less

    • First Place, Connoisseur’s Choice: Bgood/Lama Brand Cannabis, Kosher Witches (source)

    Medical Solvent-less

    • First Place, Connoisseur’s Choice: Olio, Cookies and Cream (source)

    The Future of Rosin

    The future of rosin appears bright and shows no signs of slowing. The potential health benefits of rosin make it a prime product for the health conscious. Meanwhile, its ease of use and minimal safety risk make it the sensible choice for small yields and at-home productions.

    The next step for SHO is a legalized world is to tap into marketing. If buyers get educated to rosin, as it has been the case in the past few years, more will come over to its side. With equal potency at a much lower cost, the move only makes sense.

    As the cannabis industry moves forward, rosin seems to be the horse it saddles up to. Its clear advantages for both home and business use makes it the prime option for virtually every customer in the space.

    Gauging the next wave of the cannabis market is a risky move. That’s why the majority of businesses are penny stocks at the moment. However, if you wanted to make one bet, make it rosin. It’s sure to be part of the industry’s future for some time to come.

    In just a few years, rosin became one of the cannabis industry's most talked about products. With customers clamoring for cleaner, purer products that produce better highs, rosin made sense to many. Today, the rosin market is expanding. New products producing increasingly better yields are hitting the market. What some