How to Press Rosin from Shake
We talk a lot about flower rosin, hash rosin, and dry sift rosin—but can you press rosin from shake? It’s a common question, and one that deserves an answer.
Shake is a commonly misunderstood by product of cannabis. In its simplest terms, it refers to the small, loose bits of cannabis that separate from the flower and collect at the bottom of the bag or container—like crumbs at the bottom of a cookie jar.
Shake is often seen as lower quality cannabis leftovers and is usually reserved for making joints or being sold at a discount, but it can actually be just as potent as the plant’s prime buds. It contains the same cannabinoids and terpenes and, in many cases, can make for a good extract—so long as you have enough of it. But while it may be great for getting a little extra mileage out of your stash, is it actually practical on a commercial scale?
Why Pressing Rosin from Shake Is Generally Inefficient
Although trichome-rich shake can be potent, it’s generally not the ideal product for large-scale rosin production. The problem comes down to processing capacity.
If you want to choose the best starting material for maximum yields, bubble hash is the gold standard, followed by sift and then flower. In general, you can expect the following yields from your starting materials (results may vary):
- Bubble Hash: 30% - 90%
- Dry Sift Hash: 30% - 60%+
- Flower: 10% - 25%
- Shake: 8% - 15%
So while your typical shake will give you some rosin, your yield is generally going to be pretty low. An ounce of shake might yield 2 grams of rosin or less and that rosin will be of considerably lower quality than if it were made from bubble hash.
The general rule with rosin is that “quality in = quality out.” The higher quality of your starting material, the higher the quality of your finished product—even when using the best rosin press machines. If you want to get a very high-quality concentrate from shake, make sure you’re using a trichome-rich batch to begin with. The top strains for pressing rosin include Gorilla Glue #4 (GG4), The White, Chemdawg, Papaya, and Sour Diesel. Shake from these strains can produce some of the highest-quality shake rosin possible.
So as the saying goes, quality is job one. And while shake might not be great for large-scale production, it doesn’t hurt to press it if you have it lying around or if your operation has a lot of extra shake that can’t serve another purpose. The question, then, is how to press it effectively.
How to Press Rosin from Shake
There are three ways to make rosin from shake: with fresh shake you can wash the shake into bubble hash and then press it, or with dry shake you can sift it in a tumbler to make dry sift and then press it, or you can press the dry shake as-is. The bubble hash and sift approaches will result in a slightly lower overall yield to rosin but a much higher-quality product worth more at a dispensary, so it’s worth it to pursue these methods especially if you have a large amount of shake to work with. Pressing dry shake as is may result in a higher rosin yield but that rosin will be of lower quality than bubble hash or sift from the same material.
Before Making Rosin from Shake
Before you even attempt to make rosin out of shake, make sure that the shake is relatively fresh. Ideally, it should be less than 1 to 2 months old, but sometimes you can get away with pressing shake that’s much older, especially if the cannabis is rich in trichomes. When you use shake to make solventless concentrates, you need to be flexible with your expectations because it could end up surprising you or it could end up simply being food grade.
If your shake has been sitting around for who-knows-how-long and has been exposed to light and air, it’s probably best to accept the fact you’ll be making a food grade rosin that is likely high in CBN and low in terpenes. This can still be a profitable move to make, but be sure to set your wholesale costs once its test results reveal the true quality of your finished product. Sleepy solventless gummies, anyone?
How to Make Bubble Hash from Shake
If you decide to wash your shake into bubble hash before pressing, you’ll want to invest in a good hash washing system and a complete set of bubble hash bags of varying micron sizes. The bags are placed inside the hash washing vessel, which is filled with ice water. The shake is submerged in the ice water bath and agitated to separate the trichomes, which are then filtered through the micron bags and dried. For a complete breakdown of the process, refer to our guide to making hash rosin.
By subjecting your shake to this initial filtration process, you’re eliminating much of the unwanted plant material and isolating the trichomes. This will allow you to produce a more concentrated, potent extract when you reach the pressing stage. If you don’t have the time or resources to make bubble hash, you can skip this step and move right along to the pressing.
How to Press Rosin from Shake
When pressing shake, pay close attention to the temperature setting on your rosin press. Although you might experience some degree of terpene loss, hotter temperatures are ideal for shake. Ideally, you’ll want to stay above 180°F but below 220°F. Keep your pressing intervals between 45 seconds and 3 minutes. For best results, if you’re pressing your shake as-is, place it inside of ultra-fine 115μm nylon filter bags before pressing. If you’re pressing bubble hash made from shake, we suggest trying our 25μm stainless steel mesh wraps instead. A good filter bag will help you to maximize your quality even if the product itself is less-than-optimal.
If you’re pressing hash made from shake, the process is no different from any other hash pressing process, but you may need to go up in temperature to get an ideal yield. You can get away with using lower temperatures and longer pressing intervals than you would with straight shake, which presses very similar to flower. Refer to our rosin press temperature guide for more information.
Tips for Pressing Rosin from Shake
If you’re already acquainted with pressing hash or flower, you should have no trouble pressing shake. Just remember to keep a few best practices in mind:
- Go for hot pressing, not cold.
- Don’t go overboard with the pressure. Of course you want to get every last drop of usable resin, but you should never need to exceed 1,500 lbf. Too much pressure will hurt your end product, not help it.
- Make sure that your parchment paper is food-contact approved.
- Use a high-quality rosin press that offers features like aluminum heated plates, uniform heat distribution, precise time and temperature settings, and other premium features. Rosin presses like the Helix 3, Helix Pro, Pikes Peak V2, and Longs Peak are perfect for pressing shake.
Most importantly, be sure to manage your expectations in terms of yield and overall quality. Rosin quality can vary dramatically when shake, and the color may be on the darker side, especially if its old. But remember that you’re producing a potentially valuable extract out of cannabis that would have otherwise gone to waste. So, in the end, it’s always a win.