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

rosin dabs

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

What is rosin? How is rosin made? 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 marijuana extract.

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

Rosin shatter tends to be the most expensive form of cannabis extract available. This is largely due to the fact that cannabis rosin is made with full 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 at home in just a few minutes with a makeshift rosin press.

Rosin is also commonly found for sale in marijuana dispensaries where it can have a high price tag due to its purity, quality, and cost of making. Unlike other marijuana extracts, rosin is usually produced in small batches and uses full marijuana buds instead of low quality shake and other leftover cannabis plant material. 

How to make your own rosin at home

How to Make Rosin at Home

This cannabis concentrate is in high demand as consumers are beginning to recognize the benefits of rosin, mainly its improvements on health and flavor over other cannabis products. 

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.

While creating marijuana extracts like shatter and wax can be dangerous to do outside a specially equipped lab due to the risk of explosion from the compressed, volatile gases commonly used for extraction, to create rosin oil you only apply heat and pressure. 

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 doesn’t exceed 330 degrees fahrenheit. This will act as your rosin press. 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 to keep it from sticking.

Step 1

Place your marijuana bud between a folded piece of parchment paper and give it a pinch between your fingers, flattening the bud. You can also lightly break down your bud into smaller pieces to increase surface area. 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.

You can also make rosin using kief, shake, or even hash by using a heat resistant screen mesh bag to hold the material you are going to press. When using kief or hash, fine mesh bags between 25-45 microns. Use mesh bags between 70-120 microns for green material like shake or ground buds. You will place this mesh bag between your parchment paper before pressing. 

Step 2

Set your hair straightener to between 275-325 degrees fahrenheit and carefully place the parchment paper between the hot plates of your rosin press and hold them closed. Press tightly closed for about 10-30 seconds. You may need to hold it for longer or press your material a couple times to get a good yield, depending on the material you use. As a general rule, the hotter the temperature you use, the shorter you will want to press it. 

Step 3

Remove the parchment paper from your rosin press, unfold it, and check out your rosin. Pull out the flattened nug or “chip”. With its cannabinoid rich oil removed, there is no longer value in smoking it, though some people use it to make edibles or to vape to take advantage of every last cannabinoid and terpene they can.  

Now using your dab tool, lightly collect your rosin. You may wish to pick our any plant material that made it into 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 or possibly a sappier oil.

A great yield for your rosin when using cured buds will be about 4 or 5 to 1, meaning 4-5 grams of  quality marijuana bud will produce about 1 gram of rosin. But remember, different marijuana materials and different hardware will produce different yields. 

Want to up your rosin game? Rosin presses are readily available online for a few hundred dollars to a thousand dollars and more. These rosin presses were developed to help maximize yield and automate the process, making rosin extraction even easier.

What is rosin weed

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 produced 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 rosin

How to Use Rosin

What can rosin be used for? 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 rosin dab.

Rosin wax 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. Here is more about using a vape pen for rosin and other marijuana extracts. 

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 marijuana extracts like rosin to the outside. Another option is to add your rosin to the flower inside the joint or blunt itself before rolling it (Need a refresher on how to roll a joint?). 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 solventless 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.