Rosin Education Blog
Did you know that a high quality solventless lab stands to make you massive profits?
It’s a fact that’s steadily gaining traction in the marketplace as rosin tech catches up to solvent extraction. Long gone is the notion that rosin can’t produce profitable yields. Today, solventless labs can produce yields of small to mid range solvent extracted process. Check out the recent data gathered from yields produced by the Pikes Peak rosin press.
Pretty impressive, right? Now, take a look at the Longs Peak.
The returns are often fast and sizable in today’s solventless extraction market. What was once an unreachable goal to match SHO yields is now in sight, and becoming more in-demand. With solventless’s profitability on a steady upward trajectory, driven by the market’s demand for healthier, more potent and terpene-rich options, it makes sense to get into business today.
Whether you are taking the initial steps or already have an extraction lab, getting a solventless lab started can add to your profitability. If you’re considering entering into solventless extraction, here are four reasons why you’d be making a good decision.
Less Legal Hurdles
Often, the regulatory headaches involved with solventless extraction are far less than solvent-based. Working with volatile chemicals like alcohol and ethanol require labs to meet strict Class 1 Division 1 codes. These codes ask for the construction of explosion-proof labs, right down to the lightbulbs.
Considering the additional materials needed to meet regulations, the construction of a solvent extraction lab is likely to become much more expensive than solventless. In addition to becoming expensive, solvent extract labs can become much more scrutinized under the law.
To ensure that they meet code, labs of all methods should consider turning to extraction lab consulting. With experts in regulations, you’ll have the assurance of working with a knowledgeable veteran in the space. Not only do they provide labs with a turn-key lab but can leave the lab with advice and best practices for staying up to code whenever regulations change.
Save on Startup Costs
The cost to build an extraction lab can run upwards of $250,000 for the planning and engineering of the facility alone. Add that on top of securing the lease, stocking with equipment, training and other random expenditures that may arise and your final budget could be anywhere from $400,000 to $800,000, or beyond depending on the equipment your purchase.
You can significantly cut down on your costs by going with a solventless extraction lab. With equipment topping out at about $50,000, your lab saves greatly at a time when you need to be most fiscally sound.
Going solventless leaves your startup capital more intact instead of eating into its funds through construction. To save time, many solventless labs opt for a turn-key lab solution to oversee the process. In doing so, they use some of the savings from less expensive equipment and avoid taking on this laborious task while there are other aspects of the business to handle.
Faster Product Distribution
Solventless labs get your products out to the market faster. Whether it is your focus or an extension of your CO2 or hydrocarbon lab, solventless allows you to have a product ready for sale faster than the other options. Your process will require some legwork and precision, but you're sure to see the final product much faster once you get to pressing.
From there, just watch as five to eight tons of force presses out a potent, golden concentrate in short order. Your yield is then just a few steps away from having it packaged and ready for sale.
You can also train new hires much quicker in solventless extraction. Learning the fundamentals of solventless lab extraction should take only a few hours. By the end of a new hires first week, they should be producing product at your regular rate.
Work with Solventless Experts
Extraction lab consulting provides you with the turn-key lab your operation needs. Instead of worrying and working on every detail of the lab yourself, pass the task on to proven leaders in the field.
Did you know that we’re proud to offer our expertise to your lab?
With PurePressure’s turn-key solventless lab consulting, your operation is ensured to be assembled just as you require. We'll provide you with tailored advice and develop precise strategies that meet the goals of your business. We offer both on-site consultations as well as conference calls to walk you through every step of the way.
We provide solutions for every aspect of your lab. Our Consultants are eager to assist with your lab design and equipment selection. Your lab will also come away with all the know-how to create stellar bubble hash (ice water extracts), extract rosin and know which genetics are the best for pressing.
Our industry connections are yours as well! We work with some of the top names in solventless labs and extraction art. We’re eager to connect with these incredible artists and labs to help your company produce award-winning products as well.When all is said and done, you’ll be set up for solventless success when using PurePressure consulting. Get in touch today to have your solventless lab seeing gold on its wax paper and green in its bank in no time.
Ever wonder why certain strains smell and/or taste like citrus and others like diesel? Or, why certain flower tastes differently?
The answer is terpenes. You know, the term everyone in the industry has been buzzing about lately when they aren’t discussing CBD. And they’re rightfully talking about both! That is why we are giving you a look into terpenes.
Terpenes are the aromatic molecules of marijuana which give each strain its particular smell and flavor profile. Terpenes are secreted from trichome glands, just like THC, CBD and other cannabinoids. While the terpenes are mostly known for their aromas, they are as important in the healing process as well.
Just like in aromatherapy forms outside of cannabis consumption, terpenes play a vital part in fields that use essential oils. In cannabis, terpenes create a range of medical effects. Along with CBD and THC, terpenes play a vital role in the entourage effect as well. A 2011 report from Dr. Ethan Russo reported that cannabinoid-terpene interactions “could produce synergy with respect to treatment of pain, inflammation, depression, anxiety, addiction, epilepsy, cancer, fungal and bacterial infections.”
A variety of factors can alter a strain's terpene profile during the growing process from climate to the soil. It is not uncommon to see a profile vary with each harvest. This is a point that both patients and adult use users should take notice of - each harvest may alter your experience to some degree.
It's difficult to put an exact count of terpenes found in cannabis strains. The accepted estimation is around 140, though some will put it lower around 120 as well. Regardless the accurate tally, it is clear that terpenes are abundant in cannabis and make up an essential part of the plant. Today, we will explore some of the most common terpenes you'll find in your strains. We'll also tell you why rosin pressing is one of the best extraction methods for producing a high terpene yield.
The Common Terpenes Found in Rosin
Of the vast world of terpenes, you are likely to come across a handful more than the rest of the hundreds that we know of. When pressing your rosin, you’ll notice that the flavor and aroma last much longer than many other extraction methods (more on that down below). However, if it weren’t for the following terpenes, most of our favorite strains and your rosin yields would not be what they are today.
Myrcene is the most common terpene produced by cannabis. High myrcene levels produce the classic "in da couch" effect that many people use to differentiate indicas from sativas. In addition to cannabis, myrcene can be found in a range of plants from hops to fruits to leaves. Many varieties of hops contain myrcene, which is also why some people feel sleepy after putting a few IPAs down.
Myrcene's medicinal properties promote easier blood movement and allow the effects of the cannabinoid to take effect quicker. Additionally, myrcene is regarded as an analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and antimutagenic - in addition to blocking the actions of several carcinogens.
If you've ever been told to consume a mango before consuming cannabis, it's thanks to myrcene. This is due to myrcene being found in the essential oils of citrus fruits.
Common strains with high myrcene content: White Window, Skunk #1, Afghan
Limonene is one of the two significant compounds of pinene and produces distinct citrus aromas. Behind myrcene, it is the most common terpene found in marijuana. In addition to cannabis, limonene can be found in the rinds of citrus fruits as well as herbs like rosemary and peppermint.
Limonene is credited with helping improve a user's mood and stress levels. Other studies have linked limonene with abilities to reduce tumor sizes and have antifungal and antibacterial properties. Additionally, it enhances absorption of other terpenes through the digestive tract, mucus and skin. Limonene can be found most often in sativa strains - especially with “lemon” and “sour” named strains.
Common strains with high limonene content: Lemon G, OG Kush, Super Lemon Haze
Linalool is a terpene that's credited for easing the conditions of patients with anxiety, depression, epilepsy, arthritis and even cancer. Linalool is found in flowers and spice in addition to cannabis. From a nug of Master Kush to fresh coriander, linalool is prime in giving each herb the spice they are known so well for. With such a strong profile, linalool is known to produce significant relaxing effects.
If you are in the market for a significant high that reduces stress, consider linalool. With studies showing promise in treating even severe anxiety, linalool could see even more prominence as the terpenes wave takes over the industry.
Common strains with high linalool content: LA Confidential, Purple Kush, G-13
Alpha-pinene and Beta-pinene
Of all the plant kingdom, nothing is more abundant than alpha-pinene. Both alpha- and beta-pinene increase of brain's focus and energy levels. Both pinene terpenes are credited with a range of medicinal properties - from slowing and stopping cancer growth to improving memory retention. Pinene terpenes make such a beneficial impact by crossing the blood/brain barrier to affect our neurotransmitters.
Alpha- and beta-pinene's aromas help differentiate the two. With an alpha-pinene terpene, your profile should be filled with a piney aroma. Meanwhile, beta-pinene should produce more of a hoppy, basil profile.
Common strains with high Alpha-pinene and/or Beta-pinene content: Chemdawg, Trainwreck, Jack Herer
If you're looking for strains that won't produce the munchies, then humulene is a terpene for you. Known for suppressing hunger, this woody, spicy aroma terpene can also act as an antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor treatment as well. In addition to cannabis sativa, humulene is found in hops, ginger, spearmint, sage and much more.
Common strains with high humulene content: Girl Scout Cookies, Sour Diesel, Skywalker OG
With an aroma of pines and cloves, terpineol is perfect for a wooded flavor profile. With a pleasant aroma, terpineol works well in a range of cosmetics froms soaps to perfume. In addition to being found in cannabis strains, terpineol is found in flowers like blossoms and lilacs, as well as pine trees and some citrus fruit.
A helpful way to find a terpineol-strong strain would be to find strain with high levels of pinene. However, the combination of the two can make the terpineol become hard to pick up when they work together. Even if the aroma is lost, users enjoy this terpene for its ability to work as an antibiotic, sedative, anti-inflammatory and much more.
Common strains with high terpineol content: Girl Scout Cookies, OG Kush, White Widow
Valencene's name comes from where it is most abundantly found - a potato.
Kidding, of course. The answer is actually Valencia oranges and just about any sweet citrus fruit around. Just like the refreshing citrus fruit, valencene's flavor profile is one filled with aromatic citrus that helps bring out the best of any orange strain. In addition to making your room smell like a citrus grove, valencene helps users reduce inflammation and acts as an insect repellent.
In addition to these common terpenes, numerous secondary terps can be found in your strains. Like the primary strains in your rosin yields, these terpenes can impact the flavor and experience you have with your strains. If you’d like to learn more about each terpene, be sure to visit Leafly’s in-depth analysis as well as SC Labs.
Common strains with high valencene content: Tangie, Agent Orange, Sour Diesel
Terpenes and Rosin Growing Stronger Together
If you want your cannabis products to maintain its robust terpene profile, then rosin pressing has to be a go-to solution for you. If you're a processing facility, a rosin press machine makes sense for your business on multiple levels. The same can be said for personal producers looking for a top of the line yield.
When done correctly, rosin pressing preserves terpenes for a flavor final product. Note that each terpene has a different boiling point. Be sure to set your press to the proper temperature, to get the best outcome for your yield.
Today, rosin produces high terpene content that contends with the best in the market. For example, the yields for Proper Extracts's Double Banana and Banana Splits both exceeded 81% or more total active cannabinoids. At the 2017 Chalice competition, Double Banana took home the Highest Terpenes category for rosin while Banana Splits won first place for sativa rosin.
While those two examples may have topped to competition, they aren’t the exception to the rule. In fact, they are fast becoming the norm. Rosin often tests as high as butane extraction (BH) and other concentrates on the market today in terms of terpene content, and sometimes more. Furthermore, unlike BHO, a rosin pressing process does not strip the terpenes out of the flower’s oil.
With a rosin press machine, you can preserve the terpenes of your flower and hash. The machine’s effectiveness is so potent that hash rosin in particular is sought after by numerous high-brow cannabis consumers. When seeking out the good stuff, they have turned to full plant, fresh frozen hash rosin more and more in recent years.
You deserve the best flavors and aromas possible from your products. With a superior process from a PurePressure rosin press machine, you give yourself the quality product you and your customers deserve. Instead of stripping away terpenes, preserve every last bit of oil. Regardless if you’re making a yield for a night in with friends or selling to the mass market, that preservation will show through when each hit is taken. Not only will the flavor come through, so will the healing effects that provide the complete entourage effect marijuana is intended to provide us.
Get The Best Out of Your Terpenes
Terpenes transcend cannabis. They are the healing, flavorful components to an uncertain amount of the world’s most pungent aromas. The world of terpenes continues to grow to this day. In cannabis, terpene preservation has not always been regarded as a necessary step in the process. Nowadays, that is changing dramatically with terpene preservation or separation becoming its own hallmark of quality and authenticity.
Instead, with a rosin press, you can not only preserve your terpenes. You are also able to control the boiling points to match the needs of your rosin. Now out of the shadows of the DIY era, serious rosin pressers can set and press the exact temperature to get the best from their yield. Regenerating these ideal yields is now just as easy with the Pikes Peak and Longs Peak Rosin Press where you can save up to 30 recipes.
As rosin tech continues to advance, it stands a great chance or remaining a leader in terpene preservation and overall yields. In just a few years, the market has made leaps in catching up to large-scale extraction methods and continue to close the gap. As the market demand continues focusing more on solventless rosin and terpenes at large, getting into the rosin press business makes sense now more than ever.
Above all else, rosin extraction is an extremely safe process. Unlike flammable solvent-based extraction, rosin press machines run no risk of explosion. Say goodbye to combustible elements and hello to reliable, high quality solvent-less products.
Speaking of combustible components, rosin has none of them. Instead of or often in addition to, your processing facility can produce a range of 100% solvent-free products that cater to a growing audience. From premium consumers to folks searching for a healthier high, everyone seems in the market for rosin and solvent-free options.
In addition to what many view as a healthier choice, rosin press machines produce products that are just as potent as any other concentrate on the market. With the ability to reach over 90% potency, solvent-free is just as effective as others on the market. That, combined with a rapidly growing concentrate market overall as markets mature, makes for a very attractive business prospect. Take Oregon for example:
One built-in advantage of a rosin press is that it virtually demands high-quality flower, dry sift, or bubble hash. With pressing rosin, quality is the name of the game and the price-per-gram is commensurately higher than similar solvent-based concentrates. For processing facilities and companies, this lets their consumers know automatically that their product is almost assuredly going to be top-shelf, every time.
Not to mention, with PurePressure rosin presses, most customers break even and become profitable within a week or less.
Beyond these points are an array of other reasons why your processing facility should press rosin. Let’s take a look.
A Rosin Press Produces Diverse Products
The product line you created from rosin is just about as endless as the cannabis industry itself. Simply put, it is one of the most versatile products on the market today. With rosin, processing facilities can make just about any of the favorite products on the market, solvent-free. Imagine having the ability to make all sorts of consistencies from rosin with relative ease. If you wanted, your business could offer a solvent-free product line consisting of budder, crumble, shatter and much more. In addition to making its own products, rosin can serve as an enhancement to other favorites like edibles and topicals.
Making rosin even more lucrative is its ability to be made from just about any material. From bubble hash to sift to traditional flower, any of these materials can become the starting point for an excellent rosin yield. With this flexibility comes the chance for additional profits that we’ll touch more on down below.
In all, having a rosin press machine on-site makes sense for customers and your profits.
Minimal Training Required
The learning curve to a rosin press is significantly smaller than other production processes in the space. Instead of long training sessions, rosin pressers can learn the ropes without any specialized training. While pressing does require a certain level of know-how, most are up and producing solid first yields with just a few hours under their belt.
Jake D. is an actual Pikes Peak V2 customer. He shared with us his experience learning the ropes of a PurePressure rosin press machine. "Within minutes I had the operating panel mastered and was able to begin experimenting with the different temperatures and pressures that the press has to offer.
Even if you or your company is going into rosin for the first time, your experience should mirror Jake’s in little to no time. That’s because with both the Pikes and Longs Peak rosin presses offer complete control over pressure and temperature. This level of control ensures the highest quality product for every pressing. On top of this, the software allows you to save your favorite recipes so you can replicate results. No other press gives the user as much control and replicability.
The convenience of saving recipes helps reduce training needed on the press. However, its top benefit could come when training new hires. By having your recipes already in order, no initial pressings should be a waste of product.
Efficiency and Safety
A solvent-free production isn't just beneficial to your health via consumption. For producers, a rosin press' safety measures dwarf that of solvent-based extraction. The overall first selling point to touch on is the significantly reduced risk of explosions. With rosin press machines, the risk for fires or worse is zero.
Pikes Peak V2 customer Jake D loves the safety of his machine. Unlike other methods, this one ensures that safety is a prime concern. “The two-push buttons for beginning the operation of the press make it almost impossible to get any of your fingers or body parts in general caught in between the plates. This is definitely the best press I have personally ever used!"
Add Money to Your Bottom Line with Minimal Overhead
The fact is that rosin extraction is a more straightforward process with significantly lower overhead to enter production. At most, a premium rosin extraction set up should run $10,000 and often less, with the potential to join at just a few thousand dollars as well. On the other hand, entering solvent-based, closed-loop systems can run you hundreds of thousands of dollars.
One of the stumbling blocks for processing companies wanting to enter the space was the scalability. For the longest time, producers would relegate solvent-free to boutique and niche markets since it could not be produced large-scale. Instead, companies would opt for a solvent extraction system which often left the final product stripped of its terpenes and potentially unhealthy.
Today, PurePressure is proud to stand at the forefront of that solution. Our rosin extraction technology offers commercial-scale rosin pressing that's on the level with small to medium sized closed-loop extractions. With similar yields at 1/10th the cost, adding solvent-free extraction becomes much more appealing.
The Future is Rosin
The entire cannabis industry represents a growth industry at the moment. However, rosin ranks either near or at the top in several major categories. According to MJBizCon's 2017 Factbook (below), rosin had the third-highest market share of “Other” recreational concentrates in Colorado and Washington for 2016. With a 2.5% share, rosin ranked just behind syringe applicators at 4% and crumble at 2.7%. While this doesn’t sound like much, it represents a massively growing trend. As consumers become more educated as to what goes into their dabs and concentrates, the desire for premium solvent-less options will capture more and more of the connoisseur market.
The Factbook also lists rosin as the fastest growing subcategory in both states for 2016. With a growth of 3062% (below), rosin trounced the market with only distillates having anywhere close to the same growth. While this growth could be seen as a fluke or an old product receiving new buzz, it is much harder to disregard the health-conscious movement. While some products are sure to taper off in popularity, rosin stands out as a healthier choice with the same effectiveness. That is a combination that equals lasting market value.
Overall, the future of rosin appears as bright as the yields it produces. As the market and technology advances so will rosin press extraction. PurePressure’s Marketing Director Eric Vlosky is excited for what's ahead. "The future of rosin products, in the coming years, will continue to diversify into a huge variety of different offerings, most likely with ultra-premium 100% solvent-less vaporizer cartridges and refined full melt hash-derived dabs in extremely terpene-rich textures." Vlosky went on to add that some of the latest developments already exist. In just their earliest stages, these cartridges and high-terpene special concentrates like rosin sauce (below) should become much more well-known and desired by the market soon.
So, About That Rosin Press Machine…
Ready to take the plunge into solvent-free, easy to produce, high-yielding, low overhead, rosin pressing?
With market buzz reaching a fever pitch in legalized states, expect rosin’s reputation to grow in the coming years. With extraction technology rivaling and surpassing solvent-based methods, it becomes increasingly difficult to justify not making the switch. Outside of a limited budget, the investment in rosin pressing is more than likely to become a lucrative endeavor.
Now that commercial-grade presses have caught up to many solvent-based yields, the return on investment is sure to arrive much sooner than a closed-loop system would. Introducing the process to an existing team is a breeze. Training should take less than a workday for a team to know the ins and outs of rosin pressing.
Be sure to learn more about the rosin revolution in High Times.
If you are ready to begin rosin pressing at your processing facility, contact us today. We are here Monday through Friday from 8 am to 4 pm MST. Looking forward to hearing from you!
Trichome extraction offers a world of possibilities when it comes to your preferred method. One of the most efficient techniques is to use a trichome extraction machine. Proponents of the process cite benefits like:
- The ability to sift profit right out of their trim without sending it anywhere
- It takes the hassle out of trichome extraction
- Sifted kief can be pressed into rosin with ease
When using a trichome extraction machine, you can choose from three processes. The first involves ice water. This requires using fresh frozen or dried flower and clippings that are washed in cold temperatures with ice. Doing so results in highly potent resin glands for concentrates. Water extraction is great for making bubble hash and gets more from your flower instead of letting it go to waste like other methods tend to do. Be prepared for a process that will take a little under an hour to go through and then between 24 hours and 7 days to dry your hash, depending on if you use a freeze dryer or air dry your material.
You can also use subcritical CO2 to extract trichomes. This method is quickly becoming one of the most popular, and affordable, trichome extraction processes. Subcritical CO2 conducts its extraction at extremely low temperatures which avoids damaging most of its compounds. Unlike other popular solvents like butane, subcritical CO2 extraction isn't toxic, which eases the minds of the health- and environmentally conscious.
Lastly, dry ice extraction uses solid CO2 as a cooling agent to achieve its results. Its proponents enjoy its lower temperatures (compared to ice water) and the absence of any residue at the end. This method takes an extra degree of attention as dry ice can be harmful in untrained hands. Use additional precautions when attempting this technique, and use as little as dry ice as you can get away with. Pro tip: use pellet form dry ice as small as you can get, as opposed to throwing a big chunk into your tumbler!
Dry ice is a very popular sifting method for many. However, it does a number on your product, including the introduction of flower into your kief. This can result in a lower quality material for rosin pressing.
At PurePressure, we offer a few great trichome extraction machines for any grow or processing operation to choose from. The overhead is inexpensive and the process is rather easy. You'll especially want to check out The Original Resinator and The Original Resinator XL models. Each uses liquid or gas to assist in extraction methods like:
- Live resin
- H2O/Bubble while you tumble
- CO2 Flash-freezing
- Dry-Ice frozen resination
- Bladeless trimming
Both pair perfectly with a Longs Peak or Pike Peak rosin press for any operation. The pairing will result in an efficient full-stack sifting and trimming process.
Let’s get to know each a little better.
The Original Resinator OG
Original Resinators are a multi-purpose trichome extraction machine that focuses on CO2 flash-freezing extraction. Fans love its multi-use functionality and benefits, like the ability to keep trimming an in-house process. In fact, the Original Resinator can reduce trim time by up to85%.
The Original Resinator can also process bubble hash, fresh frozen materials like live rosin and perform bladeless trimming. It also maintains edible extraction standards by using only food grade materials.
This is the machine to use if your operation has limited space or wants to produce smaller batches. It works with runs up to three pounds, or 1,359 grams of plant material per load. Once you complete a run, consider moving onto your rosin press. Pairing the OG with a PurePressure rosin press is a match made in processor heaven. Together, they are the only two machines many small operations need to perform trichome extraction and press rosin at an affordable rate.
The Original Resinator comes fully stocked (except for a CO2 tank) with everything you need to begin extracting. It includes a three-piece (200, 100, and 75 micron) drum sifting screen set, and a three-piece (200, 100, and 75 micron) resin collection bags for hashing washing as well. It can use six alternate screens that produce different results. Be sure to choose the one that meets your desired yield.
The machine is easy to understand and offers you a range of liquid and gas extraction methods to implement into your process. Or, feel free to stick to your tried and true methods. Whichever the case, you'll be sure to have a minimal learning curve with this machine. It’s also easy to clean so you can load and reload multiple runs in short order.
The Original Resinator XL
It’s a large claim to dub yourself the future of botanical extraction. However, the Original Resinator XL may just live up to the moniker.
When your grow is large-scale, you’ll need an extra large machine to do the job. That’s when the Original Resinator XL comes into play. The XL has the capabilities to process up to 14.5 pounds (6500 grams) of material during each extraction run, and seven pounds for trimming. It nets you 20% in under an hour while cutting trim time just as the OG model does. The XL is ideal for catching the female resin glands you desire while excluding the males. Its sifting allows for only the trichomes to pass through the screens.
Both models are loved by fans. They enjoy the easy to use, all-in-one capabilities of TOR’s products. They each serve grows of varying sizes while making the process easy at all levels.
An Ideal Match in Extraction
Grow operations and individuals alike can benefit from a trichome extraction machine. It minimizes work, keeps clean up at a minimum, and most of all, produces the yields you want for:
Trichome extraction easy and affordable with excellent machinery in your arsenal. Combining a TOR product with a Longs Peak or Pike Peak rosin press will maximize your yield while reducing the potential for messes and headaches.
If you’re looking to automate your process a bit and save time, as well as money, then it’s time to make the purchase. Make the investment today. You and your yields will be over the moon in no time. Best of all, you’ll never need another machine to complete your process ever again.
Header image provided courtesy of The Original Resinator team.
At PurePressure, we believe there is a rather large misconception in the rosin community that increased capacity by larger plates and a huge tonnage is an effective way to ensure higher yields. This is not necessarily the case. The aromatic terpenes and bright yellow color most people love in rosin is best achieved in small batches where the material spends minimal time in contact with heat. Color is mostly affected by the age and quality of the material. However, if too much pressure is applied there is a high probability that extra plant matter will find its way into the rosin and can reduce the quality of the final product. Rosin needs precise heat distribution to ensure proper flow, and it needs to have the proper amount of pressure at the bag. This is best achieved with the proper implementation of a basic equation: Pressure(PSI)= Force(LBF) / Area(IN^2) and by consistent heat application. When deciding what rosin press to use you should consider the following: plates (are they rectangular or square?), heat distribution (is it even?), pressure (what is optimal for the material you are pressing?). We will consider all of these factors in detail below.
To start, the plates of a rosin press should always be rectangular (ideally long and narrow, as well). There are two key reasons for this.
1) Rectangular plates maximize the perimeter to area ratio. Your bag of material will be squished between two plates effectively eliminating the top and bottom areas as possible escape routes. By dividing the perimeter of the bag by the area of the bag we are able to compare any bag size with a single metric. This metric or ratio gives us the perimeter of a bag per 1 square inch of area. In the example below you can see our 2” x 9” bag has 1.333” of perimeter per square inch of area. This large perimeter is important so that the rosin has the largest exit area. A waveform seam would theoretically be best for rosin because it would maximize perimeter. However, the rosin would get trapped in the seams and end up decreasing yield. The three equations that are important to think about are:
Area (A) = L1 x L2
Perimeter (P) = 2L1 + 2L2
Perimeter/Area = P / A (For best results maximize this number)
Exactly how a rectangular shape maximizes the perimeter/area ratio is easiest to see if we work out the math. I’ll take two common bag sizes just to make it easier to see.
2” x 9” bag (PurePressure Bag)
L1 = 9”, L2 = 1.8” (actual bag dimensions)
Perimeter = 2*(9) + 2*(1.8) = 21.6”
Area = 1.8 x 9 = 16.2 in^2
Perimeter/Area = 21.6/16.2 = 1.333
6” x 6” bag (Square Competitor's Bag)
L1 = 6”, L2 = 6”
Perimeter = 2(6) + 2(6) = 24”
Area = 6 x 6 = 36 in^2
Perimeter/Area = 24/36 = 0.667
As you can see by these two commonly used bag sizes 1.333 > 0.667. In this example, the rectangular PurePressure bag has twice as much perimeter/area compared to the competitors square bags.
2) The distance from the center of the bag to the edge of the bag should also be minimized. L2/2 is the maximum distance the rosin will need to travel to exit the bag. Larger distances (L2/2) increase the amount of time the material is in contact with heat and is the largest contributing factor to terpene degradation. A larger L2/2 also increases the likelihood of oils getting trapped inside the bag which can dramatically decrease yields. Reference Figure 1.
When making rosin it is very important to have even heat distribution. Heat lowers the viscosity of rosin by melting the trichome heads and stalks. Applied pressure mobilizes the less viscous cannabinoids and forces them out of the filter bag. Altering the temperature of the heat plates is what changes the oil’s texture and is primarily how you manipulate rosin into shatter, budder, wax and other consistencies. Even minor variances in temperature across the surface of the heat plate can produce mixed textures and small texture flaws which would be avoided on a more consistent surface.
Even heat is also essential for maximum rosin flow. Think of it this way. If there is a lot of traffic on the highway moving at a consistent speed there are no problems. If one car slows down even a little a traffic jam forms. This is the same for temperature discrepancies in rosin. Introducing cold spots will cause the rate of flow to slow down and will increase press time causing terpene degradation. It is possible that the rosin will be slowed to a stand still and will not make it out of the bag at all, which will decrease yields. In the worst case scenario, the pressure of the liquid trying to escape will build up until it exceeds the strength of the rosin bag, resulting in a bag blow-out.
We performed measurements on a variety of heat plates using a thermocouple, thermal paste and kapton tape. One of the commercial presses we measured had a 90℉ variance in temperature. This is the equivalent of a sudden stop from 60 mph. It’s a wreck. One thing that attributes to this huge differential is heating coil placement. Some rosin presses use U-shaped coils. This is not a good idea. With this heat coil placement the center is cold. By the time the center is hot enough to mobilize the rosin the area directly over the heating element is much hotter and will likely burn the material. As the rosin reaches the edge of the plate it is cooled, which slows down the flow and often decreases yield. These heat plates will produce significant flaws in consistency. PurePressure’s heat coil placement ensures the most consistent heat distribution over the entire surface of the plate ensuring replicable texture and consistent flow.
Note: infrared thermometers do not work on shiny surfaces such as our machined aluminum heat plates because their emissivity (reflectiveness) will produce a dramatically lower reading.
Probably the most misunderstood part of making Rosin is the concept of pressure. There are many things that affect the pressure required for optimal results: material type (bubble, kief, or flower), humidity, quality of grow, cure method, and age of material. For each set of conditions there will be often be an ideal "sweet spot" for optimal pressure.
The graph below shows how the sweet spot (area between the dotted lines) we've come up with changes for bubble, kief, and hash.
As you can see there is a point at which, although you may still be increasing yield, you may actually be pushing fats, lipids and chlorophyll into your rosin, potentially decreasing quality. This is particularly problematic if you are making flower rosin where more inert, organic material is possible to be over-pressed.
Based on extensive pressing and anecdotal conversations with hundreds of our customers, we feel that we've honed in on some these pressure guidelines that will help most users achieve excellent results with their rosin press. It is currently our belief that the optimal pressure range for pressing rosin is between 300 and 1000 psi, at the bag. Flower will be on the upper end at 600-1000 psi and kief or hash will be on the lower end between 300 and 800 psi. The plate size does NOT factor into these numbers. If you have a 20 ton press and press a 2x9 bag you will get 2500 psi at the bag. With a 2x3 bag you will get 7500 psi at the bag. These PSIs may marginally increase yield but it is likely that the increased yield is at the expense of the purest quality possible.
Given this, we completely accept the fact that there are many people who would disagree with us here and produce great rosin on higher tonnage presses. We believe that has a lot more to do with the quality of their material however than any excess pressure being applied.
So how is pressure achieved and how do you calculate pressure at the bag? Please refer to figure 4 below:
On a pneumatic press pressure is generated by compressed air which enters the machine and is distributed over the area of a piston. Pressure = Force / Area so Force = Pressure x Area. The cylinder on the Pikes Peak Press is 82.3 in^2. With 120 psi of air entering the machine we calculate 82.3 in^2 x 120 psi = 9,876 LBF. Since 2,000 LBFs equals 1 ton we can see that the Pikes Peak pneumatic press generates approximately 5 tons of force. This is the force at the plates. However, what we really care about is the force at the bag.
We will now calculate the pressure at the bag using the equation Pressure = Force / Area, where area is the size of the bag. For example, the area of a 2” x 9” bag is 1.8” x 9” = 16.2 in^2. (1.8” is the true measurement inside the seam). If we plug that number in we get 10,000 / 16.2 = 617 psi at the bag. Now let’s run this calculation for our 2” x 3” bags. 1.8” x 3” = 5.4 in^2. 10,000 / 5.4 = 1,851 psi at the bag. As you can see the smaller the bag, the more pressure you will get. Think of a nail. A nail tip exerts a large amount of pressure on whatever it is traveling into because it has a tiny area. If you hit a hammer with the same force but drive the head of the nail into the wood rather than the tip it will barely dent the surface. This is because it has a larger surface area. When creating recipes for a specific batch of material, you will want to know the pressure at the bag that produces the highest quality and yield. You will be able to scale your recipe up or down in size with replicable results by maintaining a constant bag pressure. For example if we create a recipe that works well in a 2” x 3” bag and we want to scale up to a 2” x 9” bag we will increase the air pressure entering the machine, compensating for the larger bag area and maintaining a constant bag pressure.
PurePressure is completely biased when it comes to our passion for rosin. We love the concentrate for its ability to reveal the growing process, for its lack of adulterants, and because the process of making it is beautifully simple yet artful. Making rosin takes consistency and finesse. It will never be BHO or CO2. This is why it gets a higher price point and why it is special. It is not my intention to say that it is impossible to get good results making rosin with high tonnage and large plates. What I am saying is high tonnage and large plates should not be the emphasis. PurePressure has researched each aspect of the process to dial in what makes truly exceptional rosin. We have designed rectangular heat plates that maximize yield while preserving terpenes. We have dialed in a temperature regulation system that consistently distributes heat within only 1 degree discrepancy and we have found a way to apply and control pressure maximizing quantity and quality. What PurePressue has found, and truly believes, is that the key to rosin is finesse not brute strength.
In the world of rosin presses, perhaps the most important elements in the extraction process are your heat plates (also referred to as heat platens or simply platens). Heat plates for a rosin press come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes, but they are typically only made with a few different common grades of stainless steel or aluminum. Depending on who you talk to, you will get a different story and many theories currently circulate as to which is better. In this article, we’re going to weigh the pros and cons of the most popular stainless steel and aluminum alloys that are used in rosin press heat plates, as well as discuss other implications with using those metals concerning consumable, concentrated cannabis products.
Virtually all metals come in many different grades, which are determined based on their purity as well as what other compounds (often other metals) they are mixed with. These other metals are called alloys. The metallurgy of each different alloyed metal will offer unique qualities intended for particular applications, so choosing the correct heat plate metal for your rosin press is critical to get the most out of your production. Perhaps the most common grade of aluminum used for rosin press heat plates is 6061 which is treated with magnesium and silicon, otherwise known as aircraft grade aluminum. For stainless steel, some of the most popular alloys are 304 or 316 which contain nickel and chromium, both which have unique properties suited for a wide variety of tasks. Given the amount of metal used in a standard set of rosin press heat plates, cost is typically not much of a consideration.
There are two primary factors you should consider when it comes to selecting which metal you want to use with your heat plates on a rosin press, and in priority they are:
Image Credit: PureTemp.com
The thermal conductivity of your heat plates is arguably the most important factor to consider when selecting which heat plate material you intend to use to press rosin. Even heat distribution + pressure + cannabis material = rosin. Thermal conductivity is typically measured in watts per meter-kelvin, or expressed as ((W/(m. K)). It is also expressed via Fahrenheit in a similar formula, but without getting overly technical, we’ll leave you with the following eloquent explanation. Via Engineering Tool Box, “Thermal Conductivity - k - is the quantity of heat transmitted due to a unit temperature gradient, in unit time under steady conditions in a direction normal to a surface of the unit area.” Each metal has its own k value, with a higher number equating to better, more efficient heat distribution.
Surprisingly, pure aluminum comes in at a k value between 200 to 249, and stainless steel offers a k value of 12 to 45. This means that most grades of stainless steel only offers 6% to 18% of the thermal conductivity that aluminum does. While heating elements deserve their entire own article which we’ll tackle down the road, what you need to know is that stainless steel of virtually all grades, as well as plain carbon steel, are poor conductors of heat across the board, whereas aluminum is considered one of the best. Other notable metals that conduct heat well are gold (k = 318), pure copper (k = 389), or even better, pure silver (k = 407). If someone wants to make a set of pure silver heat plates for us to play with at the PurePressure lab, we wouldn’t mind testing them!
Secondly, durability is the other key factor to consider when selecting a heat plate metal. Metal durability in science is often expressed on the Brinell scale, or, less commonly, the Mohs scale. For our purposes, we believe the Brinell scale is more useful, which is represented as BN. The higher the number, the harder the metal. In this instance, stainless steel is clearly the harder metal, where 316 stainless steel has a BN rating of 217 and 6061 aluminum has a BN rating of 95. Aluminum is often about 57% softer and is more prone to scratching depending on the application and the thickness of the aluminum itself. Unless your heat plates are very thin, there is virtually no risk of warping with either metal. Another factor in durability considerations is corrosion resistance; both aluminum and stainless steel tend to be quite corrosion resistant thankfully. When it comes to rosin press heat plates, extra hardness does not necessarily equate to a longer lifespan however, due to the softness of the materials being pressed. If you were stamping metal instead, stainless steel would likely be your metal of choice.
Given that rosin is made most often with cannabis flowers, kief (trichome heads), or bubble hash, all of which are very soft, you are unlikely to wear out stainless steel or aluminum heat plates even with continuous use. If your heat plates are uneven, contoured, or aren’t precision machined from thick stock material they could wear out quickly regardless of what metal was used to produce them. Furthermore, most rosin is pressed in a polyester, nylon, or silk filter bag between sheets of parchment, which virtually eliminates potential scratching. In some instances woven stainless steel filter bags are used, although far less commonly. These bags could potentially scratch aluminum if pressed without parchment or with thin, low quality parchment paper.
Why Thermal Conductivity Matters Most
When you compare the different qualities that stainless steel and aluminum have, it’s worth understanding why thermal conductivity should be your keystone measure here. Rosin press heat plate thermal conductivity is important because high thermal conductivity aides in the transfer of heat from the heat plates to the material being pressed. Combined with pressure, that heat is used to liquefy your oils and lower their viscosity so they may freely flow from the rosin filtration bag. When the heat is able to transfer efficiently you will liquefy the oils in less time and the oil will raise in temperature uniformly instead of having hot and cold spots. This means that with aluminum, you have greater process control and ultimately a better shot at higher, more consistent yields with your rosin press. The more quickly your oil escapes the heat, the higher the terpene preservation tends to be, which can often increases the quality of rosin tremendously.
Food Grade Designation: Does it Matter?
A commonly touted advantage of stainless steel is that it qualifies as “food grade”, which is determined by the FDA in the United States as a set of guidelines that metals must have in order to safely make contact with food. In fact, many varieties of both aluminum and stainless steel qualify as food grade, along with many other materials that are deemed by the FDA as “Effective Food Contact Substances”. The catch here is that when rosin is pressed between parchment paper, it automatically becomes qualified as a food grade production. This is in reference to the gelatin in parchment paper, hence the food grade qualification. Unfortunately, the FDA has scant information available on the subject and nearly all parchment paper is sold as food grade, whether it is bleached or unbleached. Another issue that is occasionally brought up is the safety of aluminum itself as a food contact metal, which has been demonstrated by the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry as a safe metal. Both stainless steel and aluminum are ubiquitous in the food industry and aluminum especially is prized for its even heating properties for a wide range of cooking applications.
Conclusion: Stainless Steel vs. Aluminum for Rosin Press Heat Plates
Suffice to say, this is a topic where it’s a little too easy to go down the rabbit hole on material sciences, tensile strengths, and some very complex topics. For the utility of our readers, we feel that the important takeaway is that, above all else, aluminum offers vastly superior thermal conductivity for pressing rosin despite being a softer metal. Poor or uneven heating conductivity can result in low yields and inconsistent rosin, which isn’t what you want when you’re trying to produce the best solvent-less rosin around. The type of metal used in your heat plate is certainly not the only factor involved in heat distribution, but it is a major one, and heating element design deserves its own discussion. It’s worth mentioning that while there are plenty of people who successfully use stainless steel heat plates, they very well could be getting better results with aluminum. As mentioned before, thermal conductivity can have a significant impact on the consistency, quality, and terpene preservation of your rosin.
In conclusion, the engineering staff here at PurePressure strongly believes based on comparing and contrasting the physical properties of stainless steel vs. aluminum that for rosin, you should demand aluminum heat plates in your equipment. Whether you’re using your own at home press or our industry leading Pikes Peak rosin press, we absolutely recommend high quality aluminum heat plates for the best results.
- Very durable, high tensile strength, but offers very poor thermal conductivity
- Very high thermal conductivity, softer, prone to scratching
With so many people making rosin or wanting to make rosin, one of the most popular questions we get asked is, “How do I make amazing golden, clear, or even purple colored rosin?”.
Clarity is seen by consumers as one of the most easily distinguishable factors that separates premium quality cannabis extracts from mediocre concentrates, or worse. This perception was first conceived with BHO (butane hash oil) and other solvent-based extraction methods which pre-date rosin pressing. In fact, most of the same factors that determine clarity are constant between both solventless and solvent-based extraction methods.
In order of priority, the factors that predict clarity when pressing rosin are:
Quality Starting Material
The most important factor that affects clarity when producing rosin is the quality of the material that is being pressed, whether it's squishing bubble hash, kief, or flower. For better or worse, what is considered “great” cannabis versus “average” is highly subjective and depends on what someone is looking for - the factors that determine “quality” can be vastly different from person to person, but a few stand out.
Terpene profile, trichome density, material density, and active cannabinoid content are all measures which can be employed to ascertain the quality of the starting material used. With that said, to simplify things, it is a quality in = quality out scenario. The better the genetics are, the more trichomes that are present, and the way the material was dried and cured all play huge factors in the clarity of rosin when it’s being extracted. The better the starting material, the better the resulting rosin will be in all measures (clarity, yield, and effects).
Age of Material
Second to quality, the age of the material used in rosin extraction is critically important in resulting clarity. The fresher and more recently the material was harvested, the better the resulting color of the rosin will be. As cannabis flowers, kief, and hash age, they oxidize, which over time changes the active cannabinoids present. The aging and storage process, which is also affected by light, greatly determines how clear or dark the resulting rosin extracted from it will be.
Based on our experience and anecdotally the experiences from extractors that we’ve spoken with, the best time to press rosin is immediately after the material is dried and cured. This will be when the material has had the least time to oxidize and, when cured well, will have high manifestations of terpenes. Similarly, rosin that is pressed from very high quality material but which is older and has been through an extensive cure (when done correctly) will often come out darker, but will still taste incredible and provide an excellent experience for the consumer.
Finally, the third key factor that contributes to clarity is the temperature at which the starting material is pressed at. Simply put, rosin that is exposed to high temperatures for too long tends to darken considerably and is subject to a loss of terpenes. Poor heat plate design and hot spots on rosin heat plates from cheap heating elements make for frustrating extracting experiences. There is legitimate scientific evidence which supports the notion of terpene loss at high temperatures, although different terpenes are damaged at different temperature levels. Additional tests have been performed on terpene degradation to oregano and basil leaves with similar results.
Many rosin extractors seem find results in the 180°F - 250°F range, however it is our belief that above 250°F the terpene profile of the material tends to degrade significantly, and we have noticed our best results for both yield and clarity in the 200°F - 220°F range. Temperature will also heavily affect yield, and that the tradeoff is typically the lower your temperature, the better the clarity, but a reduction in yield is frequently realized, and vice versa.
What About Purple Rosin or Ghost Rosin?
There has been a lot of discussion and pictures floating around the internet of purple tinted rosin. While multiple articles have been dedicated to discussing how purple cannabis is grown (see here for a quick explanation), purple rosin is less understood. Typically extremely purple, fresh cannabis flower is the only way to achieve purple rosin, and it appears to be largely based on the plant material itself. If you’re looking to produce purple rosin yourself, your best chance is to start with deeply tinted cannabis flowers to begin with. Based on our testing, some purple flower comes out tinted, and some doesn’t, so more investigation there is warranted to come to firmer conclusions.
Some advanced hash makers are pressing rosin with bubble hash that is nearly white, and are occasionally getting transparent or extremely light colored rosin as a result. This kind of rosin is occasionally referred to as “ghost rosin” but there is considerable controversy behind its quality, and whether or not nearly opaque white shades of rosin are any better than golden shades. With so much experimentation going on with rosin, we fully expect to see a full spectrum of rosin making techniques that contribute to different colors emerge over time.
How Do I Get The Best Looking Rosin Possible?
If you’re aiming to produce the highest quality rosin possible that possesses a golden or even lighter colored hue, make sure that you’re using the best quality input material available to you. In sum, a poor flush, dry, cure, or wash reduces the quality of resulting rosin significantly, and especially material that is old will tend to come out much darker. Temperature is also a major factor, so ensuring that your rosin is never burnt or pressed too hot will help your rosin reach the desired color profile.
The material and the equipment you use play a huge role in the temperature applied when pressing your rosin; even heat distribution and accurate heating are critical to reproducibility and making terrific, high-clarity rosin. Ultimately, all of the factors described here interplay in a variety of ways. If your material is fresh and high quality but it’s too hot, it may tint the color darker regardless, whereas if your material is somewhat old and of acceptable quality, lower heat may still yield the desired result. Finally, we recommend that while keeping quality, age, and heat in mind, go ahead and experiment to see where you find your best results.
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:
- Dry sift kief
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)
- 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.
Although terpenes are ubiquitous in e-cigarettes, and are infused into many cannabis products, there has been very little research into the chemicals that are released upon their vaporization. Terpenes are espoused for enhancing the psychoactive and medicinal properties of cannabis in what is referred to as the entourage effect, as they interact with multiple cannabinoids to provide palliative effects. This has lead to an emphasis on terpenes in the cannabis industry. However, the assertions that terpenes are related to this effect are suspected but still not formally confirmed in peer reviewed literature.
A new study found in the American Chemical Society published on September 22, 2017 shows inconclusively that the terpenes released in dabbing concentrates could actually have harmful health effects. The study focused on the terpenes Myrcene, Limonene, Linalool and the byproducts Methacrolein and Benzene, which showed up in the highest concentrations. Methacrolein has been found to be a noxious irritant. It is chemically similar to acreolin, which is a powerful pulmonary irritant and has caused great concern as an air pollutant. Experiments with the effects on the respiratory system of mice shows it should not exceed .3 ppm. There is debate as to how much of this chemical is harmful and to what extent. On the other hand, there is very little debate as to the negative effects of Benzene. It has been found to be a strong carcinogen. It is the “largest single known cancer-risk air toxic (sic).”
Interestingly, as the chart below shows the amount of MC and Benzene present differs terpene by terpene. In fact, the terpene linalool shows very little Methocrolein and no Benzene at all.
This implies that carcinogenic effects due to high temperature degradation is terpene, thus strain, specific and with the proper amount of research could be avoided. The experiment only tested a small handful of possible terpenes so there is still much to be learned.
The other notable result of the experiment is that the ppm of MC and Benzene decreased along with lowered temperature. For each inhalation 338 ml of concentrate was used and tested over a 10 second duration. The results were as follows: “185 ± 11 ppb at Tm = 526 °C, 157 ± 2 ppb at Tm = 455 °C, 131 ± 9 ppb at Tm = 403 °C, and undetectable at Tm = 322 °C. Note Tm refers to median time.Benzene was not detected below the highest TR. Using the same rationale as above for MC emission, one dab of BHO delivers 17 ng of benzene. Represented as a concentration in the draw volume, this value is 15 ± 1.8 ppb.”
This experiment suggests that high heat dabbing could be potentially harmful, especially with longterm, repeated use. It also suggests that, with more testing, carcinogens released by terpenes could be better understood and avoided. Pressing at low heat is the beginning but dabbers beware: Keep those e-nail temps low! Your health may depend on it.
Rosin is the king of our concentrate mountain and we love, love, did I mention love, to dab it.
Now, let me be clear, other concentrates are also delicious. BHO products: live resin, sauce, wax, shatter, budder, (these names actually refer to texture not extraction method and can be achieved with Rosin by manipulating temperature and terpenes) are good, some are even great. However, all of these concentrates have solvents, and even if you are not worried about solvents, (these things are regulated right?) what you should care about is the plant your concentrate comes from. BHO has the ability to cover up imperfections, to drown out mildew or mold, and to wash over chemicals. Rosin cannot do this. It reveals exactly what is in the plant. If the plant is older and has oxidized the color will be darker. If your plant is dry or less resinous, yields will decrease. If you start with kief that has been over-sifted the extra chlorophyll with result in a darker color. (If you are curious if this is the problem with your kief put it under a hand held microscope. You can examine your trichome heads this way.) Rosin is honest. When made well, it is unadulterated, and it is the best way to maintain the terpenes and cannabinoids that make marijuana not only enjoyable but also healing.
So if rosin is so great why isn’t it more popular?
First of all, it is. Southern California is crazy for rosin right now. Colorado is leaning more and more that way, especially now that the amount of solvents allowed in concentrates has increased. The allowable amount of Butane has gone from 800 ppm to 5,000 ppm, which is a 525% increase. People are becoming more aware of rosin as a legitimate concentrate, not just something you do at home with a hair straightener--although this is cool too! Labs are adding presses to their extraction quiver because it makes financial sense. Why not press your best buds into a product that gets a higher price point while you process everything else in a closed loop system? Why not sell a connoisseur grade concentrate as well as others? One of rosin’s difficulties is that it appears to be a one trick pony. It seems like an investment in rosin is an investment in dabs, which are only enjoyed by a corner of the marijuana market, albeit a very large corner. Dabs appeal mostly to men between the ages of 18-30. In fact, one of the most popular concentrates, CO2 is not dabbed at all. It is smoked through a vape pen, which appeals to many people because it is portable, has very little odor, and requires no maintenance meaning no joint roll, bowl pack, or dab rig.
You can use rosin in a vape pen!
And this is how:
First of all, you are going to need to make the rosin less viscous. You can do this using terpenes or a combination of PG (propylene glycol) and VG (vegetable glycerin). Most ejuices sold are a combination of the two, however the very best rosin-based vape pens are made with single source, re-introduced terpenes to achieve the desired consistency.
For terpene reintroduction vape juice, laboratories will first sift their material to produce the kief they’ll press into rosin. Next, using steam distillation with their left over trim or buds, the terpenes are isolated and siphoned off, which will be constituted as a pure liquid. Then, using a dropper and hand tools, the processing technician will add the liquid terpenes into rosin in order to achieve the desired consistency necessary for a pre-fillable vaporizer cartridge. This is often no more than a couple of measured drops per gram of rosin, but it is material dependent so you’ll have to experiment to find the right ratio. This is seen as the gold standard of solvent-less vapes and is growing in popularity rapidly.
For an easier approach not requiring distillation, two popular mild solvents are utilized, namely PG and VG as mentioned above. PG or Propylene Glycol is a petroleum by-product. It is odorless and colorless and said to carry flavor better than VG. Studies have shown that PG is safe to ingest orally and the FDA deems it “generally recognized as safe” to be used as a food additive. PG is found in shampoo, toothpaste, beauty products, and pet food. On the other hand, VG stands for Vegetable Glycerin. It is derived from vegetable oil and deemed to be the most benign solvent on the market. It does not carry flavor as well as PG. It is more viscous than PG and does not work well by itself to thin down rosin. It does create a smoother hit and since it is a more natural solvent, it is great to use in combination with PG. VG is found in sweetener, beauty products, baked goods, toothpaste, and to make the casing for some capsule pills. The FDA has classified VG as “generally recognized as safe.”
The PG to VG ratio will depend on your desired results. Based on our customers' advice, the most popular suggestion for rosin is making an e-juice that is 2:1 PG to VG. If you don’t want to make your own juice there are many products on the market pre-mixed and ready to use such as Wax Liquidizers.
Once you have your e-juice, you will add it to your Rosin. A 1:1 ratio should work well. However, if your e-juice is more VG than PG you might need to use more of it. Sometimes adding a little water is helpful. Heat the liquid for 10-15 seconds. Then stir. If the liquid is still very viscous you may need to add a bit more of the thinner. This is the experiment phase and it will probably take a few runs to get it right. You can use a syringe it get the liquid into your cartridge.
What you might be thinking is: this is great, but I don’t have a distillation rig nor do I want to use even benign solvents with my rosin because it kind of defeats the purpose of solvent-less. Very valid point.
So why not decarboxylate your Rosin and make super high-end edibles?
If you do not like the idea of PG, VG, or liquid terpenes being introduced into your rosin, you are still not limited to just dabs. You can also decarboxylate rosin and make it into super premium edibles. Decarboxylation is the process of releasing an extra carboxyl group from a cannabinoid. You cannot get high or receive the palliative effects of cannabis until this carboxyl group is released. For example, Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) is the most active ingredient in live bud. THCA does not have psychoactive effects. As the plant dries and is exposed to heat some of the THCA turns to THC. You will notice that when you get your flower from a dispensary, the highest ingredient is usually THCA. When you light your cannabis to smoke, you are really releasing a carboxyl group, decarbing as you smoke. For edibles you have to complete this process before the edible is ingested. You do this by applying heat over time. This is the same for rosin. Rosin too, needs to be decarbed. Unfortunately (or fortunately for terpenes) the heat applied in the pressing process is not nearly enough. It takes 30-40 minutes at 220 degrees to complete the decarboxylation process for edibles, and the sign of a terrific rosin press is when the activation levels of rosin that it produces are very low.
Don’t forget tinctures.
Tinctures and salves are a great way to get a little extra out of the bag once it has been squished. As with edibles, if you are going to make tinctures or salves out of rosin you will need to decarboxylate first. You can do this in a crock pot, sous vide machine, or just by baking. We’ve heard of people grinding the used puck, boiling, and then straining. We’ve also heard that many people decarb their spent rosin bags in coconut oil and then use the end product as a salve. That way, it doesn’t just have to be sweets that you can use!
Could rosin get any better?
Yes! Rosin is getting better because people are learning more about how to extract it and incorporate it in processes like vaporizing and decarboxylation. Also, there are presses like the Pikes Peak that are made specifically for rosin as opposed to the hair straighteners and T-shirt presses of old. The Pikes Peak and presses of the same caliber cater to terpene and cannabinoid preservation and remain faithful to the plant.
Hash rosin is becoming more and more popular and people are learning how to manipulate it to get textures originally reserved for BHO. A solvent-less sauce can often be created by sealing a good hash rosin and putting it on low heat (think 100 - 120°F) for a few hours. If the hash is terpene rich, the liquid terpenes will separate naturally.
Also, it would be amiss not to mention THCA separation. This process leaves you with an off white material that is testing in the high 90%s of THCA. Essential Extracts recently dropped a Lemon Koolaid HCS (High Cannabinoid Solventless) that tested 98.34% for THCA. The labs doing THCA separation are taking rosin they have pressed from hash and repressing it at a lower temp. What is left in the bag is almost entirely THCA.
What is becoming very clear from advancements like this is that rosin has the potential to do anything other concentrates can do but without the use of solvents and at a fraction of the cost. We love rosin because it’s pure, honest, and it is less removed from the plant. We don’t want to forget that all the benefits and pleasure derived from cannabis products begin in a garden.
Friendly note: all brands featured in this article use PurePressure's Pikes Peak rosin press.