What is Rosin?
Published on 12/6/19
Updated: Mar 9, 2022
As more and more states across the United States legalize marijuana and medical marijuana, the popularity of cannabis concentrates is growing at an impressive rate, and the once-fully illegal cannabis trade goes from a black market industry to a multi-billion dollar one, more and more people in the U.S. are going to get on board the legal weed hype train. Part of that massive growth and mainstream popularity of legal cannabis is the rise of concentrates.
Sales figures for cannabis concentrates, a more refined and stronger version of the THC-filled cannabis plants that users know and love, exploded in popularity recently. Sales figures for concentrates spiked by nearly 40 percent in 2020, continuing that surge in growth to the tune of $14.1 million more dollars in concentrate products sold in 2021. For those who aren't great at math, that's an astounding 17 percent more than the previous year. Simply put, people love their concentrates. But why? What about them is special compared to regular old cannabis flower? Thankfully for you, we here at Where's Weed are around to answer those questions and more!
What are Concentrates and Why are They Selling So Much?
The key to understanding why concentrates are popular lies in the principle of customers getting the absolute most bang for their buck possible. People think that less is more when it comes to concentrates, and they're pretty much on the nose thinking that way.
At their purest essence, cannabis concentrates are the distilled versions of the cannabinoids you would enjoy in standard cannabis flower, except without all of the plant matter that normally goes along with it. Using complicated distillation methods that we'll talk more about later, cannabis brands figured out a way to isolate and pull out the active cannabinoids from the cannabis plant itself, allowing you to enjoy the THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids present in the plant without smoking the buds themselves. This is a key reason why weed lovers gravitate toward concentrates; the increased potency and precise dosing options that extracts and oils provide.
The different types of concentrates also draw connoisseurs who are curious to try the next new method of THC ingestion. Whether it'sbudder, shatter, tinctures, wax, crumble, or rosin, there are a whole lot of options to enjoy when it comes to cannabis concentrates. The one we're going to focus on today is rosin.
What is Rosin?
Rosin is a THC-rich cannabis concentrate that is produced by putting weed under intense heat and pressure without the use of solvents. The lack of chemicals involved in the process means that the resulting rosin wax does not have any hydrocarbons and the integrity of the plant material is not compromised. Due to how it's made, many argue that rosin is the purest form of cannabis concentrate you can buy, basically making a thick, oily syrup out of just the cannabis plant itself instead of using artificial solvents to separate the cannabinoids from the plant matter. When it comes to rosin, weed buds and cannabis flower is just a stepping stone on the way to getting to the final product.
How to Make Rosin
The quality of your rosin concentrate will be a direct reflection of the starting material, so high-quality flower, kief or hash should be used when making this simple yet powerful concentrate. The concept of rosin extraction is not complicated but be aware that a large quantity of starting material is necessary, with 'sticky' strains producing more rosin.
Here's a quick list of the stuff you'll need to make some rosin of your own:
- A large quantity of cannabis flower
- Parchment paper, preferably unbleached
- A collection tool, like from a dab rig
- Heat resistant gloves
- A heat source
From there, the process really is simple as pie. Try to use marijuana that is loaded with trichomes (sticky hairs that look like miniscule mushrooms) and has a strong and fragrant aromatic profile. The marijuana should be enclosed in rosin pouches (readily available online) or basic kitchen parchment paper and placed between two heated plates (AKA a rosin press) and pressed tightly together. Enough paper should be available to catch any rosin that escapes from under the heating elements. Hair straighteners can be used to press the weed but there are now many affordable manual rosin presses and hydraulic rosin presses that can be used to slowly apply the necessary pressure.
The heat from the plates on the press loosens the trichomes that contain the plant's cannabinoids (such as THC and THCa) while the pressure gradually squeezes them from the flower. It should not take more than 20 or 30 seconds to complete the process. The more pressure your press can produce the more rosin you will get. Temperatures of 300 - 350 degrees will result in marijuana rosin - a pure cannabis concentrate in the form of a delicious resinous sap that rivals the purity and strength of some of the most technically advanced hydrocarbon extracts available. Lower temperatures of 250 - 300 degrees will produce a more solid but equally strong form of rosin. Use a dabber to remove the rosin for use or storage. Note that higher quality rosins will bubble when heated.
How to Use Rosin
Dabbing rosin is an excellent way to keep your cannabis concentrates as pure and undamaged as possible, while taking advantage of the great taste that it exudes. Rosin can also be put on top of ground-up cannabis flower in a bowl, bong, or pipe, or even just added to a joint. It works well in edibles as well since the weed is already decarboxylated, meaning that it can quickly and easily be added into just about anything! That means that the major step in preparing edibles is already complete. Rosin can also be vaped using an electronic vaporizer designed specifically for vaping concentrates. Perhaps the most versatile of the cannabis concentrates, rosin is a great choice for adding a punch of cannabinoid power to pretty much anything.
What is Live Rosin?
Live rosin differs from standard rosin because it is extracted from fresh flowers that have not been dried or cured. The flowers are then frozen but the water content in the frozen plants means that heating is not an alternative because the water will boil and ruin the weed. Instead, ice wax or freeze dried bubble hash is made first and then dried prior to the pressing that creates the live rosin. Live rosin is popular primarily because of its complete flavor profile and freshness, really allowing the flavor of the terpenes (aromatic oils that give marijuana its flavor) to shine and stand out in the plant. The untainted terpene content of the uncured cannabis shines through in a manner not present in other concentrates, making live rosin one of the most popular and sought-after forms of cannabis concentrate on the market today!
Advantages of Rosin
We noted a few of the benefits of cannabis rosin above. Here is a more complete list.
- Rosin does not contain any solvents. No chemicals (such as unhealthy butane or propane) are used in its production. It is organic and pure with no additives and no damaging leftover liquids that might impact your health.
- Rosin is easy and safe to make. A cannabis rosin press simply applies heat and pressure to the weed. Butane extractions can be dangerous because butane is a highly flammable substance.
- Rosin is potent. Highly concentrated weed rosin can reach 70 percent THC content. Keep in mind when using this concentrate that a little bit goes a long way.
- Rosin is versatile. You can vape it, dab it or put it in a bowl on top of flower. Rosin can be made into shatter, crumble, wax, budder and more. It can also be added to edibles and topicals.
What To Look For When Purchasing Rosin
Adequate rosin is now a staple at most dispensaries but there are a couple things to check prior to your purchase to ensure that the rosin you buy is well made and of the highest quality.
- The rosin should look clean and be amber or tan in color. If there is any green hue it indicates the presence of plant matter that will inhibit the efficacy of the rosin. Likewise, if plant matter is visible (green strands, specks, hairs, etc) the quality of the rosin is sub-par.
- There should be a strong smell of quality flower. The rosin reflects the starting material and if that starting material was top-shelf flower it should be evident. Rosin should not smell grassy or earthy. Straw-like smells also indicate an inferior product.
The Bottom Line
Rosin is a pretty special form of cannabis concentrate. It's the easiest to make, doesn't use any artificial or unnatural solvents or materials in the process of making it, and maintains the tastes and terpene profiles of the cannabis flower it's made from. Simply put, rosin is pretty cool! We highly recommend grabbing some for yourself and trying it out. Not only do cannabis concentrates allow users to get the most bang for their buck, allowing them to use less but get higher as a result, but they're getting the concentrate that's arguably the best and most pure.
Do you use rosin? If so, what in particular do you enjoy about it? How do you consume it? Let us know in the comment section below.