Rosin extraction is opening up an entirely new world of concentrated cannabis. Until recently, very few people had heard about rosin, let alone tried it. Today, it’s one of the most requested items in dispensaries. Unlike the extraction methods that came before it, rosin is strong, clean, and easy to make at home. Learn all about how to make rosin with a hair straightener below.
The Differences Between Cannabis Concentrates
There are so many different cannabis extracts available for sale today, and therefore it can be hard to make an informed decision about what to buy. How do you choose between BHO, shatter, budder, hash oil, Rick Simpson Oil (RSO), and other available extracts? But now, rosin has changed what people expect out of their extractions.
Conventionally shatter, budder, and hash oils use petrochemicals. For example, a butane hash oil uses butane, pushing it through a tube packed with cannabis under high pressure. As the liquid drains through the other side, it captures all the valuable terpenes and cannabinoids from the cannabis plant. The mixture is heated to eliminate the toxic butane from the final extraction.
Rick Simpson oil is a similar process, relying on 100-proof grain alcohol, although some still use butane. After mixing cannabis with the liquid, the solids are filtered out, and the alcohol is gassed off using heat.
Both methods produce truly potent extractions, but there is a chance that the petrochemicals or the alcohols remain in the final product. If smoked, they might go straight into your lungs. Although the production quality of extractions has improved with the introduction of regulation and state-of-the-art labs, the final product is produced with harsh chemicals at the end of the day.
This is why rosin is so much different than traditional extractions.
What is Rosin?
Instead of relying on flammable and toxic chemicals to extract the cannabinoids from weed, rosin only uses pressure and heat to separate the resin from the buds. It’s an ingenious way to make a pure and entirely safe extraction, using nothing but the bud itself.
According to a recent interview from 2017, Phil “Soilgrown” Salazar is the one to thank for the invention of rosin. A grower and extraction fanatic, Salazar accidentally stumbled into how to make rosin with a hair straightener, of all things. Almost by mistake, Salazar understood he had discovered an entirely new and solventless extract on his hands.
Initially an accident from his experiments with no-melt hash, he didn’t exactly know what happened the first few times encountered it. He thought he had made a mistake and just mixed the rosin back into the product. In his own words, when he realized what he had discovered, “I was amazed and tripping out, and immediately I knew that this had to share with the world.” Since he publicized this new extraction form, the world hasn’t looked back.
Rosin is a thick honey-like substance. Imagine if you put honey in the refrigerator, it can be that thick, but it always depends on the weed or product used to make the rosin. It can range in color from light yellow to dark green.
It ranges in potency from 50 to 90 percent THC but also contains any other cannabinoids and terpenes found in the original plant material.
You can find rosin in about any reputable shop, but what if you don’t have any nearby dispensaries? The good news is you can learn how to make rosin from a hair straightener at home.
How to Make Rosin With a Hair Straightener
Yes, you read that correctly. You, too, can make rosin; you don’t need to shell out your hard-earned cash at the dispensary for premium rosin extraction when you can easily make it at home. Making rosin at home doesn’t require any specialized equipment. That is unless you consider a hair straightener and parchment paper technical.
Unlike other cannabis extraction methods, making rosin at home is also safe. Other extractions rely on petrochemicals like butane or 100-proof grain alcohol. These highly flammable substances combine with heat to pump out highly potent THC extract. Unfortunately, not everyone trying their hand at extractions is a chemist. Conventional extractions are not for the faint of heart and can be very dangerous when done without the proper equipment and precautions.
Because no chemicals are used in the rosin process, and especially nothing flammable, it’s safe to make at home. Unlike butane honey oil, you can make rosin inside with normal air ventilation and the windows closed. Get your hair straightener, or borrow one from your partner, and get started.
What Materials Do You Need to Make Rosin?
- Hair Straightener
- Parchment Paper – Make sure not to buy parchment paper from the dollar store and don’t use any wax paper.
- Cannabis (flower, hash, or kief)
- Collection tool (your standard dabber or a large nail usually works well)
Optional Materials: Rosin Bags (if you do not have these, a coffee filter works nicely)
The Step-By-Step Guide on How to Make Rosin With a Hair Straightener
- Before beginning, plug in the hair straightener and turn it on medium. It should be about 160 Celsius or 230 Fahrenheit.
- Prepare your product for the extraction process. If you are pressing a straight flower, little preparation is required. Mainly it just needs to be trimmed to the perfect size to fit between the two hair straightener blades.
- If you are using kief or bubble hash, you’ll need to carefully measure out about a gram or two at a time and place it in the center of a coffee filter or a rosin bag. Wrap the product tightly into a small packet. If you are using coffee filters, be sure to double wrap, as the coffee filters are prone to messy blowouts when put under pressure. The rosin bag or coffee filter keeps the product contained and filters out any kief.
- Cut a piece of parchment paper to roughly 10 cm by 10 cm, and fold it in half.
- Place the packet of kief or the flower directly in the middle and fold the parchment in half. To prevent any sideways rosin explosions, it’s also a good idea to fold the sides over. The final package should look like a little envelope with an open top.
- Place the parchment package between the hair straightener blades so that the weed is centered.
- Press down, and slowly increase the pressure until you hold it with your body weight. Put as much weight on it as possible. Some people leverage against a stable surface.
- Hold down under the maximum pressure for roughly five to seven seconds. If you start to hear a sizzle near the end, this is the juicy extraction coming into being.
- Release and remove the parchment.
Collecting the Rosin
- When you open up the package, you’ll notice a sticky extract coming out from the initial product. Congratulations! That is exactly what you were looking for.
- If you have issues removing the rosin from the paper, you can put the paper in the fridge to cool.
- If you can’t wait, grab your dabber or large nail and start scrapping up that delicious extraction. It’s pretty sticky, and you’ll notice it collects very easily.
- Once collected, try pressing the old product one or two more times. You may get even more out of your bud than you thought.
- Once a good-sized dab has rolled up on the end of the dabber, you are ready to smoke.
How to Make Rosin With a Rosin Press
Resorting to a hair straightener for commercial production is not feasible. But the industry has come a long way since its initial invention. There are full-blown commercial rosin presses explicitly built to pump out the premium product.
In the early days, many people started experimenting with larger production methods, including t-shirt printing presses. After all, they use heat and pressure to stamp designs on t-shirts. While these initial presses were an improvement regarding production capacity, the quality varied from one press to the next.
Part of the problem with a t-shirt press is the fact that there was little control over how much pressure and how much heat was used. As the industry got better and more experienced making rosin, a few things became clear. The higher the degree of control over temperature and pressure per square inch, the more control over quality.
Now, there are many specially built rosin presses, catering to the exploding extraction market. If you can imagine it, the commercial rosin press exists.
Making rosin with a commercial press is a bit different than with a hair straightener. Although some producers continue to use straight-up flowers for their rosin extractions, most now choose to up their game. Many companies are now selling rosin pressed from kief or hash. This drastically increases potency.
Perfecting the Rosin Press
Every single strain and even every harvest has differences in the consistency, potency, and quality of the oil. A knowledgeable presser will watch the first press and know how to adjust the temperature and the heat to get what they want.
According to Salazar, he believes there is a happy medium between heat, time, and pressure that produces the best final product. He suggests starting off with 90 to 110 Celsius (194 – 230 Fahrenheit) to start, pressing for 10-30 seconds. He also believes that the quality of the oil diminishes as it reaches max extraction. For example, if the plant’s resins reach maximum excretion by 22 seconds, he will typically reduce the pressing time to under 20 seconds to avoid the last dregs of oil.
It takes a while to understand each strain’s reaction to a rosin press, but temperature plays a big role in the final consistency. Lower temperatures (under 90 Celsius) create more of a budder-like texture. Higher temperatures, nearer the 110 Celsius mark, will veer towards a shatter.
What kind of pressure produces the perfect extract? The folks over at PurePressure, who make commercial rosin presses recommend between 500 to 1100 psi. Although some people take the pressure up to 2000 or 3000 psi, PurePressure recommends keeping it lower to maintain oil quality.
PurePressure also suggests ensuring that your cannabis has at least 60 percent humidity. Humidity is vital because it prevents the plant matter from merely reabsorbing the oils as they liquify under heat. As you increase heat and pressure, the resinous oils will move away from the cannabis’s natural water content, and onto the catchment paper.
How to Smoke Rosin
You know how to make rosin from a hair straightener and how to perfect a commercial rosin press, now what? It’s time to taste the end product. Rosin, unlike perfectly ground bud, vapes, or bubble hash, is a bit difficult to handle. It’s thick, sticky, and if not done right – extremely messy.
Because of their difficult to manage nature, an entirely new art form has developed around smoking concentrates: dabbing. The dabbing method is likely the most popular way to smoke rosin as well.
But what if you don’t have this special equipment? There are still many ways to get around the problem, including special vape pens for rosin, a Healthstone insert for your regular pipe or bong, or you could straight up smoke it in a joint. The results may vary, but there are countless ways to get the job done.