Flower rosin and hash rosin (rosin extracted from bubble hash) are both produced using heat and pressure on a rosin press. However, the pressing parameters used for each—as well as the resulting extracts—are considerably different.
Nowadays, professional extractors focus on hash rosin while home growers and caregivers often make flower rosin for personal and/or medicinal use. In both cases, it's helpful to understand a few things about flower rosin and hash rosin to help you choose the best kind of extract for your operation.
How Flower Rosin and Hash Rosin Are Made
Making flower rosin involves fewer steps than making rosin from ice water hash (bubble hash). You simply break dried and cured flowers into popcorn-sized pieces, pack them into a rosin bag (up to 160μg), and press the bag inside folded parchment paper for a minute or so on a rosin press at 180 °F to 200 °F and up to 4,000 PSI on the gauge.
To make solventless hash rosin, you must first wash dried or fresh-frozen flowers in ice water to collect the trichome heads and dry the resulting bubble hash in a freeze dryer or cool room. Then, you pour the dried bubble hash into a 25μg rosin bag, place the bag into a pre-folded parchment paper pod, and press for up to a minute at 160 °F to 180 °F and 300 to 900 Platen PSI.
Main Differences Between Flower Rosin and Hash Rosin
The main difference between flower rosin and hash rosin is that flower rosin contains plant lipids, waxes, and oils in addition to the filtered resin from the trichome heads whereas hash rosin is pretty much pure filtered resin. Additionally, the differing physical structure and purity of each starting material mean that different parameters are used during the rosin extraction process.
Differences in Extraction Method
There are several differences between the extraction method used for flower rosin vs hash rosin, as described above.
Smaller-micron rosin bags are used when squishing bubble hash compared to flower. As stated earlier, we use 25μg bags when pressing bubble hash and 160μg bags for pressing flower.
We recommend pressing flower at temperatures of 180-200 °F and hash at temperatures of 160-180 °F. The lower rosin press temperatures for pressing bubble hash allow for maximum terpene preservation and lead to a lighter rosin color, which is appealing to customers.
4,000 gauge PSI is ideal for pressing plant material. Cannabis flowers are very forgiving and tolerate quite a lot of pressure. When pressing ice water hash, we generally try to stay around 300-900 Platen PSI. It's important to allow the hash to preheat and to apply pressure slowly to prevent blowouts. These precautions aren’t necessary when pressing flower.
Differences in Color and Consistency
Flower rosin is amber to golden in hue and generally has a sappy consistency—although this depends on the strain. Flower rosin can be cold cured to create a more buttery texture.
Hash rosin is golden to clear in color and also has a sappy consistency. Hash rosin can be cold cured to make badder or budder or warm cured to make textures like rosin jam and sauce and diamonds.
Hash rosin has one huge advantage over flower rosin that we haven't mentioned yet: the possibility of making live rosin. Flower rosin can only be made from dried flowers (you can't press fresh or fresh-frozen flowers as you’d get a soupy mess), so it’s never “live.”
According to Alec Dixon of SC Labs, 60 to 90% of the terpenes are lost by the time cannabis buds reach the processor or distributor. This loss can be avoided by pressing live bubble hash. Live bubble hash is bubble hash that’s washed from fresh-frozen flower and freeze dried to maintain the cold chain and keep the at-harvest terpene profile intact. The top extraction professionals frequently use live bubble hash to create live rosin that sells for a premium price.
Perception of Flower Rosin vs Hash Rosin
Consumers have weighed in on their opinion of flower rosin vs hash rosin in the Reddit threads r/rosin and r/dabs. The following are some of the sentiments that were expressed in relation to each:
Advantages of Flower Rosin
- Takes less time and involves fewer steps to make.
- Provides the whole profile of the cannabis/described as "full spectrum."
Disadvantages of Flower Rosin
- Has a planty taste.
- Is harsher on the throat.
- Is darker (this is a disadvantage from a marketing perspective).
Advantages of Hash Rosin
- Is described as "top shelf."
- Has a better, "cleaner," more terpene-rich taste.
- "Smells like a fruit cup from a foot away."
- Is smoother to dab.
- Is stronger than flower rosin.
Disadvantages of Hash Rosin
- Is more time-consuming to make.
People who posted on these forum threads also commented that the ice water extraction process adds several steps compared to pressing dried flowers directly. Some posters said that they compensated for the lower purity of flower by pressing it with a smaller micron size rosin bag and were happy with the results.
Cannabis industry extraction professionals create ice water hash first and press the resulting dried bubble hash because this method yields the cleanest and most consistent results. With the right hash washing equipment, making bubble hash at scale is far more efficient (and effective) than it would be to wash the equivalent amount of plant material in a bucket by hand. This efficiency eliminates the main “downside” of hash rosin.
Hash Rosin Is the More Commercial Choice
Both flower rosin and hash rosin have advantages and disadvantages. People who make extracts at home can experiment with both to see which type they prefer.
When producing cannabis extracts for sale, however, hash rosin is the clear winner. It's smoother, cleaner, stronger, has a better taste, has a lighter (more marketable) color, and can be processed into a wider range of consistencies and textures for a complete line of SKUs.