Rosin Education Blog
It may surprise some but the global cannabis market is starting to boom. The United States, while massive in stature, is just one of many several growing nations in the cannabis market. In fact, some are poised or already have lapsed the U.S. in the process. That said, a lot of time remains for large-scale cultivators to get involved in the global trade of cannabis.
As more nations open access to marijuana, rosin pressing stands poised to be a viable option for home and business use. With a low cost of entry, a rosin press machine cuts down on overhead while producing solvent-free, potent concentrates that the market is increasingly clamoring for.
Here are just a few destinations where rosin will likely take off in the not too distant future.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Canada is set to open its legalized adult use marketplace this October. For entrepreneurs, the nation set forth a detailed list of regulations related to all aspects of the industry, licensing included. In this case, Canadian and foreign owners have the opportunity to enter the market. In addition to domestic opportunities, the country is already an exporter of dry flower and should continue to see business grow through imports. Because Canada has legalized cannabis at the federal level, it is going to become a massive exporter of a variety of products. Germany is expected to be a big customer upfront (and is already purchasing cannabis products from Canada), with many more as time goes on since Canada will offer a higher degree of sophistication in its cultivation and processing abilities than upcoming nations.
Projections expect for Canada's market to be worth between $2.3 billion and $4.5 billion by 2021, according to Marijuana Business Daily's Countries to Watch report. A big key here is that at present, hydrocarbon extraction will not be allowed as a major processing method, however solventless and CO2 will be. Additionally, with edibles and infused products set to hit shelves in October of 2019, rosin producers could find ample opportunities for growth just one year into the country's market opening. While finding a rosin press machine domestically has been an issue in the past, more and more PurePressure distributors will be providing processing operations with top quality rosin presses to meet the expected massive demand domestically and abroad.
Marijuana has long been a problem in Mexico thanks to its associations to deadly drug cartels. In 2017, the country made its first steps to stave off gang violence and provide patients relief with the legalization of medical cannabis with one percent or less THC. Now, former President and current board member of Canada's Khiron Life Sciences, Vincente Fox believes new president Andrés Manuel López Obrador will legalize adult use in 2019. Fox went even further to say that cannabis should be added to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Data for Motley Fool placed Mexico as the fifth largest international cannabis market by 2022. By that time, sales of legal cannabis are expected to hit $99 million. Currently, the country is slated to earn $14 million this year. While the country's legal status is up in the air, citizens and prominent lawmakers give hope that more is to come in Mexico soon enough.
Spain is a particularly interesting country. Personal use is decriminalized in the nation - which has paved the way for numerous cannabis clubs to exist across the nation. However, clubs have seen a rise in police raids and crackdowns in recent time. Spain has a thriving cannabis culture which we expect to grow tremendously as technology is exported from the US and Canada into its market.
That aside, Spain is still a booming market and gathering place for the cannabis industry. That includes global events like the Spannabis conference, which is its seventh year. Additionally, the country is regarded for its medical research that has made advancements in cannabis since 1998. With a wide variety of options, rosin pressing could find a place in home operations, clubs or as part of vital research.
Germany is expected to be one of Europe's most prominent names in cannabis, and will likely become a global presence in the years to come. With its medical cannabis market open, the country has been importing its supply from Canada while it develops its own domestic flower. However, legal issues have made the process stop and start several times in recent months.
Despite the country's prohibition on concentrates at the moment, Marijuana Business Daily's report suggests that may change. The report suggests that rules and customer preferences will increase demand for oil. Even if that projection does not reach fruition, the country still allows for the import of oils, which could make rosin pressing businesses around the world take attention.
Australia's medical marijuana market has been far from ideal since its launch in 2016. Yet, certain states have made efforts to cut down on red tape and enhance access to the program. The country allows for exports, which places a high value on licenses for cultivation and manufacturing. For this reason and others, the country has already become a destination for global investors.
Meanwhile, the country's black market continues to thrive, which indicates a strong possibility for significant sales if a marketplace was established. MJ Biz Daily's statement went on to note that rosin pressing could find a foothold through joint ventures. Companies from the U.S., Canada and more have already gotten in on the action. Meanwhile, domestic businesses can get involved in extraction, making a rosin press machine a cost-efficient solution to enter the market at a much lower overhead price.
A Wide Range of Country’s on the Rise
The countries above represent just a portion of the global markets that could be the next destinations for cannabis growth. South America is rife with activity with Uruguay leading the way as the first legalized adult use nation in the world. Close behind are Colombia, Brazil and Chile. With Portugal and the Netherlands both involved in cannabis, we are now seeing increased activity in Italy, the Czech Republic, Greece, Macedonia, Malta and several other countries. While Africa and Asia lack the number of countries involved, progress from Lesotho to Zimbabwe to New Zealand and India all give promise to what could come.
Although the medical and legal status of cannabis varies, as does its regional stigma, it is no surprise that marijuana is growing. As such, rosin pressing has a place for cultivators, extractors and shippers of all varieties. It is a concentrate that has the solvent-free, low-cost appeal that makes it viable for both medical and adult use consumers.
Even nations without explicit concentrates laws should see a rise in rosin press machines as home cultivation is allowed. Like in North America, the rosin press trend will continue as consumers opt for potent products that contain little to no contaminants. Whether for personal use or business, a rosin press machine will make more sense as each market matures. Even in markets where business won't be viable, rosin pressing can still have a place for cultivators seeking their own oils and edibles for medical or personal use.
As the rise in cannabis, and subsequently rosin, continues PurePressure is eager to provide customers with the rosin press solutions that work for businesses and individuals alike. Whether pressing oil for your medical needs or doing so for your next business expansion, we’re here to help. That includes our team of expert consultants ready to give you the advice needed to get going in the industry.Contact us today to get started!
There aren't too many sights and aromas in cannabis that compare to the tiny bubbles that form when dabbing full melt bubble hash. We may not always take notice because we're smoking the delicious concentrates, but those tiny bubbles (and specifically how nothing should be left when they're gone) let you know that you're consuming the highest quality product around.
Bubble hash represents some of the best in solventless cannabis today. That is why rosin pressers love using it for their extractions. However, not all strains are created equal. Not every strain can cut the mustard because how it was grown, the strength of the genetics, the intrinsic terpene profile, and more all play significant roles. Even when strains are capable of producing full melt, the chances of making elite bubble hash can leave even some of the top names in the game scratching their heads. That said, they and aspiring solventless extractors in companies and home operations alike push forward to reach the upper echelon in the category.
To reach this level yourself, here is what you’ll need to look out for when creating your own ice water bubble hash and how it becomes the best.
How Bubble Hash is Rated
With the rapid expansion of cannabis offerings, hash producers and other businesses in the supply chain developed a system for rating products. The one to six-star rating system helps establish a precise pecking order and criteria for what it takes to reach the tops in dry sifting, kief, bubble hash / ice water extracts. However, joining the ranks of the best takes hard work and, most importantly, terrific starting material. Thank your grower if she or he is killing it!
1 and 2 Star
At the low end of the spectrum is where you’ll find dry sift or hash that is full of contaminants and which is far less than ideal for melting. 1 to 2 star is usually less than even half true trichome heads and stalks, with the rest typically being various organic detritus. However, these one and two-star hashes do work well for edibles - giving it the distinction "food grade hash." In addition to edibles, they are well known for being a potent addition to smoking any flower and is the most affordable kind on the market. These days you don't see much if any 1 or 2 star on any shelves, anywhere.
3 and 4 Star
Known to many as "half melt", 3 and 4 star hash or kief does just that, it half melts. The reason for the half melt is due to the presence of some debris and plant material in the final product, however it is considerably less than 1 or 2 star. These can include tiny bits of leaf material and anything that isn't a full trichome head or stalk. Half melt adds potency to smoked flower products as a bowl topper but is more often than not pressed into rosin. Half melt does works for dabbing as well, but it should usually be pressed into rosin for the best results.
5 and 6 Star
With virtually only the trichome heads and stalks remaining, 5 and 6 star bubble hash should be free of all contaminants and residue. This is the best of the best. Many claims of 5 and 6 star are actually 3 or 4 star, in our experience. True, top tier bubble hash should leave you with a copious amount of cannabinoids with a robust terpene profile to boot. It also comes with high potency test results and a trying process to perfect - which can often lead to high sales prices that are entirely deserved. With such an enjoyable product and the market demand, producers have entered the space at a rising rate in recent years. The key difference between 5 star and true 6 star is that 6 star should leave absolutely no residue on the dabber or nail when vaporized, hence the name "full melt". These grades of hash are typically only drawn from the 90 and 73 micron range, but can occur at 120 as well in certain cases.
Reaching a true 6-star caliber can be difficult, but with the right material and processes it becomes much more reliable. 5 star tends to be much easier to produce if you consistently have very high quality material but are still perfecting your wash and dry processes. Creating an elite full melt hash goes beyond the need for quality flower and know-how.
A Quick Note on Full Spectrum
Often, concentrates, oils, and bubble hash are emphatically referred to as "full spectrum". Full spectrum means that the product contains a variety of different cannabinoids and terpenes, thus encouraging the entourage effect as well as providing a much higher quality product overall. All good bubble hash is full spectrum, as opposed to distillate or other mono-cannabinoid/terpene concentrates.
What Does Bubbleman Have to Say About It?
We reached out to the godfather of the process himself to get some clarification - Marcus “Bubbleman” Richardson enlightened us with the following:
“When trying to figure out the quality of bubble hash, we generally have the star system that accords to melt factor. Remember, oil always melts, but micro-encapsulated resin glands do not always melt. The melt factor is one of the main ways we decide what the quality of the resin actually is. 6 star being the highest of the high, melting into a liquid dropping down, not puffing up like a volcano, but falling into the surface area of what you are smoking off of. It will also pop up large clear domes. I would say 6 star is not only full melt but it's when you have a full melt, clear dome trichome head. When you have bubble hash of this quality you may see up to 90% returns on rosin, but it’s actually very rare.”
In addition to bubble hash, a similar rating system for dry sift and kief has been informally created. The criteria for ranking the materials is close to bubble hash's guidelines and can have you producing near full melt concentrates as well. However, it should be noted that creating full melt dry sift is not as easy as throwing trim in a sifter. Many mistakenly use dry ice, which rips open the trichome heads and stalks of the flower. This instantly reduces the quality of the final product dramatically. Very delicate sifting, without dry ice or only with very small rice-grain sized dry ice pellets, is necessary to produce light colored rosin.
How to Tell the Quality of a Melt
There are a few steps to take in order to determine the quality of your hash.
- How transparent are the resin glands after they have been at room temperature for at least a few hours?
- Using a high definition microscope, what is the ratio of intact, full trichome heads versus stalks?
- How clean is the hash overall? It should not contain debris such as dirt specs, microfibers, or plant matter.
- Using a quartz nail if possible, do a melt test and see how much char is left on the nail.
If your bubble hash is free of debris, is composed of entirely or almost entirely intact trichome heads, and leaves zero residue on a quartz nail, you have nailed it - that's full melt. If it doesn't meet these criteria, it will fall somewhere else on the spectrum.
What Strain is Your Hash?
There is no way around it. If you use a subpar strain, you are going to end up with a subpar bubble hash. Look for a flower that is rich with terpenes and looking like it is covered in crystals. Certain terpenes however do not wash very well, which largely depends on phenotype. Often, strains that have a Chem lineage do especially well for washing. If you want to learn more about great strains to wash, check out Ed Rosenthal's guide on some of the best ones here.
Look and Smell
The look and smell of your bubble hash is just as critical as it is to the flower itself. The look of your hash should turn from the more golden yellow color to a slightly darker hue with a slight transparency when left in moderate to warmer temperatures. It will also become sticky as it "greases" up into a less pliable consistency. In order to properly store premium bubble hash, it should be placed in an airtight and moisture-tight container in the freezer.
If you notice any signs of green, brown, or black, however, then you have a problem with your process. Alternatively, if your final product has noticeable trichomes, then you’re in business with quality bubble hash.
In order to achieve the best result during the drying process, which is typically the most difficult part, modern hash makers all use freeze dryers. A freeze dryer dramatically helps in terms of increasing clarity and increasing consistency into the process. Whereas air drying can take a week or more in a carefully controlled environment, a freeze dryer typically only takes 24 hours or less to get a perfectly dried consistency. Freeze dryers are worth every penny for anyone trying to consistently produce high quality bubble hash.
Like its appearance, your bubble hash should smell like the strain you started with. This ensures that your bubble hash maintained its trichomes and aromatic profile. If you notice a lack of your starting fragrance, then you should reassess your process or consider trying different techniques.
The PurePressure Method for Bubble Hash
In past articles, we've detailed how we at PurePressure go about making our bubble hash. We typically recommend spending the extra money to get an 8 bag Bubblebag kit in order to capture as wide of a variety of trichome head sizes as possible.
Here is how it generally works out, but every strain is different and trichomes come in many different sizes. Most often 73 and 90 micron are the very best, but it really just depends on the plant.
-25 micron bag (low to medium quality trichomes)
-45 micron bag (medium quality trichomes)
-73 micron bag (high quality trichomes)
-90 micron bag (typically the best quality trichomes)
-120 micron bag (high quality trichomes)
-160 micron bag (low quality trichomes)
-190 micron bag (often debris being filtered out)
-220 micron bag (often debris being filtered out)
From there, we agitate the flower in a freezing ice washer inside a cold room for roughly five minutes per cycle. When filling your machine with water, be sure to use reverse osmosis purified water. From there, your bags come into play as the separated trichome heads are then strained and drained through your bags. We then rinse the bags while inside the washer but outside of the ice. From there, the bags are entirely removed, separated and slightly rinsed before scooping out the final product for freezing.
Everyone makes ice water hash differently, and you can certainly deviate with your own methods at points in production. Our process resembles what top names in bubble hash use as a general standard. If you decide to choose this route, it is vital that you use only the finest flower. As we mentioned previously, you have no chance of producing full melt with an ill-fitting strain. Remember that even some of the top strains don't do the job for generating bubble hash.
Beyond your flower, your water can make or break the process as well. Freezing cold purified water is the way to go. Ice water helps separate your trichome heads by freezing and snapping the stalks and heads from your buds. By using filtered water, you eliminate the risk of developing a chlorine taste or introducing any undesirable contaminants.
Lastly, we wholeheartedly endorse considering a freeze dryer as it takes the headache and inconsistency out of drying bubble hash, not to mention it dramatically can help increase "bag appeal" and clarity. Freeze dryers cut down on drying and processing time immensely, saving you hours and possibly days. Instead of complicated air drying, a freeze dryer simplifies the process like no other can achieve.
When sourcing bubble hash for yourself, consider the above factors. Whether making or purchasing the product, be on the lookout for what and how the bubble hash was produced. From the choice in strain to the room temperature it cooled in, each factor can alter the outcome of your bubble hash. That said, remember the difficulties associated with generating 5 and 6-star bubble hash. Don’t get discouraged if you stumble out of the gates. By adhering to these guidelines, you are likely to produce quality half melt hash, at least, while striving for the goal of full melt hash.
If you’re looking to get your rosin extraction lab off the ground, then it makes sense to hire PurePressure’s consulting services!
Getting a solventless lab established and producing quality yields takes time and energy regardless the scale of your operation. Your time is vital, and any mistake can set you back. Those mistakes can also cost you funds you can’t afford to burn. Josh Rutherford, PurePressure Co-founder and industry specialist, heard these concerns from countless customers over the years.
"After receiving endless feedback from the community on our educational content and videos, we started getting consulting requests because we work with the best in the business. In order to meet that demand, we have custom designed programs to get everyone what they have been asking for all at very reasonable pricing."
Today, PurePressure is thrilled to provide solventless extraction consulting to our community. Here are some of the benefits of working with solventless extraction consulting:
Solventless Lab Equipment Expertise
"PurePressure had the benefit of entering the concentrate industry very early on,” explains PurePressure Co-founder and Lead Engineer Benjamin Britton. “Once the equipment was developed, the floodgates of information opened up and we suddenly became a knowledge hub for everything solventless."
Now, we want to pass that information onto your solventless lab. Our team wants to save your time and money wasted on bad advice. With our experts guiding you towards your goal, you are sure to have the best equipment to produce rosin. We’ll make sure that your rosin extraction lab is ready to able to generate the yields you need to turn a profit.
Insider Tips and Tricks
PurePressure’s solventless extraction consulting provides rosin extraction labs with cutting-edge industry advice your solventless lab needs to shorten its learning curve drastically. We’re excited to pass on valuable industry knowledge that delivers an incredible product from the first try.
"Over the past few years we have immersed ourselves in the world of solventless concentrates and have developed solid processes for consistent results,” Britton explains. “We understand the value of a streamlined production environment and want to offer our expertise to help others attain record-breaking profitability in the cannabis market."
Instead of relying on guides and online how-to’s, invest in a proven method. Our Consultants understand the individual needs and demands of each rosin extraction lab. We’re happy to discuss your goals before you hire us. Reach out if you have any questions!
Strain and Genetic Guidance
Produce to the point that you hit your maximums! With our Consultants by your side, we’ll recommend the top genetics and strains that produce. In the past, we’ve detailed just some of the best strains for rosin pressing. Now, imagine that information amplified at least one hundred-fold.
That is precisely what you’ll get with PurePressure.
We will have you producing profitable, terpene-rich yields early and often. No worries wasting time pressing a subpar flower here. Instead, you’ll have industry-leading insights at your disposal - ready to press only the finest strains possible. Be ready for copious golden rosin coming your way.
Rosin Industry Tips, Tricks and Ideas
Working with PurePressure gives you access to not only some of the top rosin experts in the industry. You also get the insights of some of the biggest names in the cannabis industry today. We work with extraction labs and businesses of all sizes, including some of the hottest brands in cannabis. We’re happy to tap into our network to provide you the exact information you need to get your rosin extraction lab where it needs to be.
PurePressure’s Consultants are ready to assist you at any stage of the operation. We’re happy to give you those final pearls of wisdom you need to open your licensed operation. Our team is just as excited to help get your unlicensed lab ready to meet regulations and press as well.
Get your solventless lab off the ground in shorter time with PurePressure’s solventless extraction consulting. Drop us a line today and have your lab up and running in no time!
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.