10 Minute Guide to Flower, Dry Sift, & Hash Rosin
Rosin is one of the purest, most enjoyable cannabis concentrates on the market. It provides many benefits to consumers while standing as an incredibly versatile and profitable extract for businesses. Rosin can be produced from two different sources: cannabis flower or hash. When we break this down a little further, that means you can make rosin by applying heat and pressure directly to the flower to extract the oils or, you isolate the trichomes (hash) from the rest of the plant first, and then proceed to apply heat and pressure. There are a couple of ways to isolate the trichomes and collect hash but for the purposes of this article, we will be talking specifically about dry sift and ice water hash.
If you're familiar with the industry, you probably know that award-winning rosin can be made from flower, sift, and hash alike. However, producers and consumers have their preferences on which is better to use and why.
It's important to know that no matter what starting material you are using to make rosin, each aspect, from soil to oil, can impact the outcome. Overall, the quality of your starting material will shine through ten-fold. Cannabis flower's genetics including its terpene concentration and how it was cultivated will also impact the final result. Keep in mind that heat and pressure will not necessarily improve the quality of your starting material. That is why we always say, fire in = fire out and that end product quality is heavily dependent on your starting material quality. For example, if you are pressing flower rosin and the starting flower is not fresh, your rosin will come out dry and dark. Additionally, low quality starting material can dramatically reduce your yields as well as the overall flavor and effects.
Choosing What to Press
There are many reasons why producers choose the starting materials that they do for making rosin. Some prefer pressing flower for its ease as well as the benefits that a whole-bud extract can provide. Others prefer hash, because despite the extra effort, it provides a cleaner product that is almost entirely isolated trichomes containing the desired terpenes and cannabinoids from the plant.
Consumers seeking higher potency products tend to turn to dry sift or hash rosin. This is because the product was produced from a concentrate rather than a lower THC content flower. Hash proponents also often note how the resulting rosin after pressing is more stable and much easier to gather than flower rosin.
Many are familiar with flower rosin simply from seeing people experiment with a hair straightener and a cannabis bud. A benefit to pressing flower is that you don't need much starting material to produce a little bit of rosin. With only 5-10 grams of flower, you can easily press rosin at home on the Helix press and see yields between 15 to 25%.
Pictured: flower rosin on parchment, pressed on a Pikes Peak V2 rosin press
Additionally, flower rosin can be produced with or without filtration. As you can see in the image above, we used PurePressure nylon rosin bags to filter our flower rosin. When it comes to pressing flower, we suggest that you use filtration sized at 90µm or more so that you don't lose any yield to the filtration. If pressing without filtration, you can simply place your nug(s) directly on the parchment paper and press them into rosin that way.
Pressing temperatures for flower can range anywhere from around 180°F upwards to 220°F, depending on the quality and nature of the material (old and dry flower requires hotter temperatures).
Dry Sift & Hash Rosin
While it does take extra steps to obtain the isolated trichome heads prior to pressing, there is much to be said about the benefits to hash rosin. Ice water extraction and dry sifting techniques are the two methods we will cover in this quick guide and there are several differences between the two.
More commonly produced, ice water hash is made by agitating frozen cannabis with ice and water using a paddle or trichome separator to shear the trichomes off of the plant material. It is then collected onto trays and freeze dried to remove moisture.
Dry sifting on the other hand, shears the trichomes from the dry cannabis by tumbling the nugs over various sifting screens or using a machine like the Alchemist 420 trichome extractor by GreenBroz. This is similar to how you may build up a kief collection at home using a grinder, leaving the sift that passed through the screens in the bottom compartment.
Pictured: dry sift hash (R) made by The Cuban Grower (Instagram: @cubangrower) and ice water hash (L) made at KushMasters (Instagram: @kmlabs.co) in Boulder, Colorado
Once you have collected your dry sift or ice water hash, it is sieved to separate the heads further and create more surface area for pressing. The hash is then put into rosin filtration media (often nylon bags or stainless steel mesh) which allows only the oils, terpenes, and cannabinoids to escape, leaving behind the trichome "shells."
For ice water hash and dry sift, we recommend using 5µm-72µm filtration and we tend to suggest pressing between 180°F and 220°F for the best results.
Rosin is one of the most versatile ways to consume cannabis extracts and can be consumed in a variety of ways from inhalation, ingestion, or transdermal applications. Nikka T. of Essential Extracts taught us how varying temperatures can also affect the consistency of your rosin. In doing so, it creates different textures. Two popular ones include:
Pictured: rosin shatter made by Essential Extracts (Instagram: @essentialextractsllc)
Considerations When Producing and Consuming Rosin
As we mentioned, to ensure a clean, high-quality rosin made from either flower or hash, a producer must know the origins of their source material. Be sure to also consider the pressure and temperature used during extraction. Rosin exposed to high temperatures for too long will darken, lose terpenes, and moisture. Also consider the type of press that you use. Those looking to produce rosin of either kind, for home or business, can do so with an industry leading rosin press from PurePressure.
Once produced, rosin can be dabbed, added to bowls, wrapped around joints, filled into vape cartridges, or infused into edibles, topicals, and tinctures. With inhalation, be sure to shoot for lower temperatures on your nail or device to avoid any combustion or potential adverse effects.
If you're looking to start making rosin, this is a great place to start. PurePressure supplies all of the equipment and tools that are needed for solventless hash extraction and rosin pressing. Our sister company PureCannalabs also offers in person or remote cannabis extraction training to help you get your solventless extraction business started.