Feature Image

What is Rosin? Your Guide to Making Your Own Solventless Cannabis Extracts

This easy to follow guide reveals what rosin is, compares rosin to live rosin, shows you how to make your own rosin, and even gives you a few ideas on how to use your rosin.

Rosin is a cannabis extract, similar to other concentrates, like shatter, wax, and oil. However, unlike these other concentrates, rosin is extracted without the use of solvents like butane, hexane, and other potentially toxic chemicals, allowing for a safer, healthier extract.

Instead of solvents, rosin uses heat and pressure to squeeze the cannabis flower’s cannabinoid-rich oil from the bud. It can then be collected and used like any other cannabis extract.

Rosin tends to be the most expensive form of cannabis extract available. This is largely due to the fact that rosin is made with full cannabis buds, rather than the trim and shake that usually makes up the source material for solvent-extracted concentrates.

Because rosin isn’t made with solvents, it is a healthier option over extracts that use toxic chemicals, and since it is easy to make, you can create your own rosin at home in just a few minutes.

Rosin is also commonly found for sale in marijuana dispensaries where it can have a high price tag due to its purity and quality.

making rosinHow to Make Rosin

Rosin is in high demand as consumers are beginning to recognize its health and flavor benefits. Large scale manufacturers are working to develop high capacity presses to keep up with demand and mass produce this top quality cannabis extract. However, the process itself is incredibly simple and can be done right at home.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Hair straightener (flat iron)
  • Parchment paper
  • Cannabis flower
  • Dab tool to collect rosin

Ideally, you will want to use a hair straightener that has a variable heat setting or that only reaches 300 degrees fahrenheit or so. Don’t overheat your rosin or you can damage it’s potency and flavor. Also be sure to use parchment paper, not wax paper, when extracting your rosin.

Step 1

Place your marijuana bud between a folded piece of parchment paper and give it a pinch between your fingers, flattening the bud. The piece of parchment paper should be large enough to allow the oil to squeeze out the side of the bud and settle on the paper.

Step 2

Carefully place the parchment paper between the hair straightener’s hot plates and press closed. Hold the hair straightener tightly closed for about 5-7 seconds. You will hear a sizzle, indicating that the oil has been extracted from the bud.

Step 3

Remove the parchment paper from the hair straightener and unfold it. Pull out the flattened nug. With its cannabinoid-rich oil removed, there is no longer value in smoking it. Now using your dab tool, lightly collect your rosin. The resulting rosin will be like a thin oil when hot but will cool to a hard, glass-like consistency similar to shatter.

Rosin vs. Live Rosin

You can use either fresh marijuana flower to create your rosin, or you can use marijuana flower that has been dried and cured. When using fresh flower, the oil is referred to specifically as live rosin.

What is the benefit of using fresh flower to create rosin? Taste. Because the cannabis flower is fresh, the terpenes responsible for its flavor and scent haven’t begun to degrade, giving you a more flavorful dab.

dabbing rosinHow to Use Rosin

Once you have extracted your rosin, you can use it right away or save it in a silicone jar for later.

You can use your rosin in the same ways that you would use other cannabis extracts.

Rosin can be dabbed using standard dag rigs. Simply collect your desired amount of rosin onto your dabber and dab as normal. Be advised, rosin can often have a much higher concentration of cannabinoids like THC, resulting in much stronger effects in each dab.

Rosin can also be vaped using appropriately equipped vape pens. Look for a pen that clearly states that it is designed for cannabis extracts like shatter, wax, or oils. This allows you to take your rosin with you for on-the-go use.

Want to give your marijuana flower a flavorful boost and increase its potency? Rosin can be used to top a bowl of marijuana flower. Simply add a small amount on top of your flower before you smoke it. If you hold your lighter a bit above your pipe’s bowl, you can effectively vaporize some of your rosin before smoking the rosin-soaked marijuana flower.

Finally, a popular way to up the potency of a joint or blunt is to “twax” it, or add cannabis concentrate to the outside. Another option is to add your rosin to the flower inside the joint or blunt itself before rolling it. Either way, your joint or blunt will an extra bump of potency from the high-THC rosin added to it.

Always be sure to enjoy your rosin safely and recognize the stronger high it can produce.

Want to Learn More?

Be sure to visit our Cannabis 101 page for more, from cannabis basics to more advanced topics, or check out our news feed for the latest in cannabis reform, research, and more.

Post by Jeffrey Stamberger

Jeffrey writes media content covering the latest in news, medical research, policy changes, and product education from the cannabis industry.
View More