Making rosin can be as simple as squishing cannabis flower with a hair straightener or as high-tech as pressing live bubble hash with a rosin press fitted with digital sensors and real-time pressure tracking.
Once you have made rosin, you can consume it immediately, cure it, use it to make edibles, use it to make cartridges, dose it into capsules, or sell it as is. This versatile concentrate has myriad applications and high profit potential—all without the use of solvents.
What Is Rosin?
Rosin is a cannabis concentrate that consists of the filtered resin of cannabis flowers that is released from the trichomes when heat and pressure are applied. Its texture can range from sticky to tacky and its color ranges from dark amber to golden to clear.
Rosin was developed in 2015 when Phil “Soilgrown” Salazar made it accidentally with a hair straightener. Since then, rosin has taken off in the commercial sphere: rosin vape sales grew 109% between January and July 2022 compared to 20% growth in all other vape sales, according to market data from BDSA (p.39 of the PDF).
Hash Rosin and Live Hash Rosin
Hash rosin is pressed from bubble hash, which can be made from either fresh frozen or dried and cured cannabis flower. Live rosin is made specifically from live bubble hash, which is bubble hash that is made from fresh frozen cannabis flower and dried in a freeze dryer.
You can make great rosin from both dry material and live ice hash or bubble hash. However, live rosin is higher in terpenes than its non-live counterpart and offers the consumer a more flavorful experience. It also tends to sell at a higher price point in dispensaries.
Kief and Dry Sift Rosin
Rosin can also be made from kief (sieved trichomes) or dry sift, which is the refined version of kief. Kief and dry sift rosins are typically of a lower grade than hash rosin but of a higher grade than flower rosin.
Flower rosin is made from dried and cured cannabis flower. This kind of rosin is generally food-grade and is more popular with home extraction enthusiasts than with commercial extraction companies.
What Is a Good Rosin Yield?
Your yield when pressing rosin will depend on your starting material and what kind of press you use. We typically see the following results:
- Dry Flower to Rosin: 10-30%
- Unrefined Kief to Rosin: 30-60%
- Hash to Rosin: 60-90%
How to Make Rosin With a Rosin Press
Making rosin with a rosin press is the most effective method of making rosin and yields the best results. For small extraction operations, the Lowtemp V2 3"x5" hydraulic press is an excellent starting point. For large operations, our 5-press Medusa System offers the greatest labor efficiency and cost savings.
Gather your materials. You will need:
- Starting material (dry cannabis flower, kief, dry sift, or bubble hash)
- A rosin press
- A funnel
- A pre-press
- Folded parchment paper (do not substitute with wax paper)
- Rosin pouches (160μm for flower, 25μm for kief or hash)
- A scraping tool
- A mason jar
Prepare the rosin pouch. Put your starting material inside the rosin pouch.
- Remove any large stems that could puncture the pouch.
- Fill the pouch with flower.
- Break up the nugs inside the pouch using your hands, then place the pouch in a pre-press to even out the material.
Kief or hash requires a finer micron pouch and will need to be inserted with a funnel. After filling the pouch, fold the end over.
- Put the rosin pouch inside a piece of parchment paper. Tuck the rosin pouch inside a piece of folded parchment paper for pressing.
Heat the rosin press. Heat the rosin press to the desired temperature. We recommend:
190-220 °F for pressing flower
180-200 °F for kief
160-180 °F for pressing high-quality bubble hash
Press. Apply pressure to the heated plates to squeeze out the rosin. We recommend:
- 4,000 PSI of pressure on the gauge or 900-1200 Platen PSI for flower. Press for around 15-60 seconds.
- 300-900 Platen PSI for kief and bubble hash. Press for around 20-60 seconds.
- Collect the rosin. When the rosin has stopped flowing out of the press, release the pressure and use a scraping tool to collect the rosin from the parchment paper. Put the rosin in the mason jar and allow it to cool to room temperature before sealing the jar.
- Cure the rosin (optional). Rosin can be dabbed straight off the press. However, curing the rosin allows you to create a wider range of textures. You can cold cure the rosin for a badder-like texture or hot cure the rosin to make rosin jam or sauce and diamonds. Learn more about curing rosin in our article How to Cure Rosin.
How to Make Rosin With a Hair Straightener
We've covered the optimal way to make rosin. However, making rosin with a hair straightener (the low-budget method) can provide a great port of entry to the world of solventless extraction for beginners and gives you a feel for the interplay between pressure and output.
To make your own homemade rosin dabs with a hair straightener:
- Gather your materials. You will need:
- Cannabis starting material (options as above)
- A hair straightener, preferably with a digital display and wide plates
- Folded parchment paper
- Rosin pouches
- A funnel
- A scraping tool
- A mason jar or other airtight container
- Pack the rosin pouch with your starting material, as described above.
- Heat the hair straightener. You are aiming for a temperature of around 200 °F. If the hair straightener is hotter than that, unplug it and allow it to cool a little before pressing your starting material.
- Put the rosin pouch inside the folded parchment paper and place this packet between the heated plates of the hair straightener.
- Put the hair straightener on top of a heat-resistant table and press down with all of your upper body strength. Wear oven mitts or place a thick tea towel between the hair straightener and your hands to prevent burns.
- Once the rosin stops flowing out, release the pressure and turn off the hair straightener.
- Allow the parchment paper to cool. Then, use the scraping tool to collect the rosin and put it in a small airtight jar or container until you are ready to use it.
Please note: Using a hair straightener to make rosin produces a far smaller yield compared to using a rosin press. This is due to the small size of the plates and the fact that you can't apply as much pressure as you could with a hydraulic, pneumatic, or manual rosin press. Depending on the size of the plates, you can generally press 3-4 grams of flower with a hair straightener and collect around half a gram of rosin.
Whether or not you cure your rosin, it's essential to store rosin correctly. This will help to conserve the flavors and slow down the degradation of cannabinoids. Store your rosin in an airtight container like a mason jar in a cold, dark place. A fridge is ideal for short-term storage and a freezer is best for long-term storage.
Rosin made with a hair straightener is usually so small in quantity that you would consume it then and there rather than storing it for weeks or months. If you do plan to store it for a few days, keeping it in parchment paper in an airtight container is usually sufficient.
How to Use Rosin
Rosin is most commonly dabbed with a dab rig. It can also be vaporized in a pen or cartridge after achieving a liquid consistency via jar tech. The following are a few alternative ways to consume rosin:
- Decarboxylate the rosin and use it to make edibles or capsules. Decarboxylation can be achieved by heating the rosin for 30 to 90 minutes at a temperature of 225 to 250 °F. A higher temperature will result in a shorter decarboxylation time.
- Roll a small amount of rosin into a long, skinny “worm” and wrap this worm roll around a joint or blunt for a stronger hit.
- Sprinkle tiny pieces of rosin on top of flower in a bong or pipe.
- Make moon rocks by dipping dried buds in melted rosin and then rolling the sticky buds in bubble hash.
Reach New Heights With Rosin
Rosin made with high-quality starting materials and the right pressing equipment can be flavorful, potent, and potentially very profitable. Pressing rosin—especially from live bubble hash—is a great way to turn your plant material into top-shelf cannabis concentrates with a comparatively modest upfront investment.
If you're just pressing for fun, it's fine to start with a hair straightener to get a feel for solventless extraction. Once you've got the hang of it and want to press in bulk or for sale to consumers, consider buying your own rosin press. You'll be glad you did!