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A tool with golden cannabis concentrate on top, by Roman Budnyi via iStock

How to Make Rosin (for Amateurs & Pros Alike!)

High There

By High There

January 22, 2022

Whether you’re a regular user of cannabis concentrates or a first-timer looking for a new way to consume, learning how to make rosin is a handy skill that could upgrade your cannabis game forever.

By exposing cannabis plant material to heat and pressure – either through a rosin press or DIY methods such as a flat iron – you can successfully extract rosin from the material, to be used for dabbing, smoking, or even adding to edibles!

It’s possible to carry out rosin extraction at home with a few accessories (that you’ll probably have lying around the house anyway). Read on to learn exactly how to make rosin, including how to store your finished product, different options for consumption, and top mistakes to avoid!

Rosin Explained

What is Rosin?

So, you might be wondering what exactly rosin is. Put simply, rosin is a type of cannabis concentrate – like shatter or crumble – which is made by adding enough heat and pressure to plant material in order to extract a sap-or-honey-like substance known as rosin.

In scientific terms, rosin is made up of cannabinoids and terpenes, which are found in the trichome glands of the cannabis plant. Resinous sap can be extracted from a range of starting materials, including the cannabis flower, dry sift, and hash.

A key characteristic of rosin is its naturally solvent-free composition. Unlike other cannabis concentrates, rosin contains no residual solvents after the extraction process, which makes it a much safer home concentrate creation option than, say, BHO.

How is Rosin Made?

Industrial Production

Those making large quantities of rosin, such as manufacturers who sell and distribute this hash oil en masse, will usually use a rosin press as part of the industrial production process. A rosin press is a machine that uses a pair of hot plates to press cannabis with enough pressure to force cannabinoids and terpenes out of the trichome glands.

A rosin press will have different programmable settings, including the heat used to press the dry material, as well as the amount of pressure and time duration used. The fine balance between these three elements will affect the quality of the final rosin yield.

Benefits of using industrial rosin pressing methods such as with a rosin press include being able to press large quantities of starting material at once and being able to carefully program heat, duration, and pressure settings to ensure a fine quality yield.

Many industrial rosin producers choose to focus on creating hash rosin – a type of double refining that creates a really high-quality hash (one we detail out in our companion article “What Is Hash Rosin?”). If you’re interested in making hash rosin home, though, you’ll need to follow a slightly different process of extraction.

Home Production

Although using a press is the most guaranteed way of ensuring a higher yield of rosin, we’ve got good news: it’s entirely possible (and pretty simple) to make rosin at home!

Rosin presses can be quite costly and will take up quite a lot of space in your house. Nevertheless, it’s entirely possible to create rosin by using a common household item in place of a heat press – a flat iron.

A device that has temperature control features is best, so you can manipulate the pressing conditions whilst creating your rosin. This can help to ensure higher quality rosin, and avoid a blowout (this is when your dry material ruptures the filter bag or parchment paper, resulting in plant material contaminating your rosin).

It is possible to create rosin with any type of flat iron – You’ll just need to take a bit more care during the pressing process, to make sure your cannabis doesn’t get overheated (and potentially burned!)

Cannabis bud & concentrates, via eskymaks via iStock

Benefits of Making Your Own Rosin

Making rosin at home can be a fantastic alternative to purchasing expensive marijuana concentrate, and is in fact a relatively safe and simple concentrate to make at home. Most people can carry out rosin extraction using items they have around the house – such as a hair straightener, or the flat iron mentioned above – so it’s cheap and easy to get started.

Many other concentrates require the use of solvents as part of the process of extraction. These solvents include gases such as butane and propane, which are both toxic and highly flammable. This can make for a dangerous extraction process, one that shouldn’t be carried out by the at-home amateur. Rosin extractions require no solvents, so in terms of chemical contamination, they are much safer to experiment with at home than other extraction methods.

Another benefit of creating rosin at home is that it’s reasonably quick and easy. Once you’ve nailed down your rosin-making technique it should only take a few minutes to extract your own yield. And, unlike concentrates extracted with solvents, rosin has no purge time, meaning it can be used straight away.

How to Make Rosin at Home

What You’ll Need

So, you’ve decided to take the plunge and start making your own rosin at home. Before you get started making your own gooey concentrate, there are a few key items you’ll need to make sure you have:

  • A flat iron: ideally one with temperature controls.
  • Parchment paper (or an alternative like wax paper): You’ll likely have this in your home anyway, or you can pick it up at any supermarket.
  • Organic starting material: This can include cannabis flowers, bud, dry sift, or hash
  • Rosin filter bags: Depending on the dry material you’ve decided to use, you might need to use a filter bag to help stop any plant particulates from getting into your final rosin yield.

Some optional equipment that will help, but isn’t necessary, includes:

  • Heat-resistant gloves: Handling a flat iron can often result in burnt fingers, so using gloves is recommended!
  • A scraping tool: Such as a titanium dabber tool or a blunt knife, will help to collect the rosin from the parchment paper.
  • Pre-press mold: When using a rosin bag, this will help to make sure your material is packed evenly and spread out all the way to the seams. This helps to prevent blowout and makes pressing easier overall.

The Extraction Process: Step-by-step

1.) Flatten your Dried Weed

Although grinding your dried material isn’t necessary before creating rosin, it’s important that you flatten out your dried weed as much as possible before pressing; you can do this by placing your cannabis between your parchment paper and either pressing with your hand or by using a rolling pin/etc.

Flattening out your weed will help to ensure an even press, and ultimately result in a better final product. This will make sure that your substance quantity will fit both in the parchment paper and on the bottom plate of your flat iron.

2.) Place Inside a Filter Bag

Some marijuana materials (such as flower) can be pressed directly in parchment paper, but others (such as hash or dry sift) will need to be placed inside a rosin bag (or filter bag) before being pressed. Filter bags are specially designed to prevent any plant materials from contaminating your rosin yield.

It’s important to consider your choice of rosin bag carefully: the smaller the screen size, the more particulates it will catch: but it could restrict the flow of your rosin and result in a reduced yield. It’s also important to separate your dry material into even-sized portions for each of your filter bags (if you’re using a pre-press mold, now’s the time to do so).

3.) Set the Rosin Press Temperature

Now is a good time to set the temperature on your DIY rosin press (aka your flat iron). As a first-time rosin maker, we’d recommend starting on a reasonably low temperature, and working your way up to find the heat that works best for you.

In general, the higher the temperature, the larger and quicker the yield, but you could run the risk of scorching your plant material if you’re not careful. This will mean your final product turns out dark, runny, and potentially with a foul taste/less-potent effects.

It’s hard to say exactly what heat to use, as every strain of weed and material will react differently when pressed. For this reason, we’d recommend using a small amount of material to begin with, in order to experiment with heat and pressure settings for your particular product.

4.) Line with Parchment Paper

Next, you’ll need to line your homemade press with parchment paper. To do this, fold your parchment paper in half and place either your rosin bag or cannabis flower in between the halves of the parchment paper. Place your folded parchment paper on top of the bottom pressing plate (or bottom plate on your straighteners).

It’s important to make sure that all of your material fits well on the bottom plate of your heat press. You don’t want any of your dried herb to be out of contact with the heated plate, and you want it to be spread out in an even layer if possible. You might want to use heat-resistant gloves at this point, as the plates will already be hot!

Additionally, you’ll want to make sure there’s an extra few inches of parchment paper on all sides of your dried material, to catch the rosin as it is extracted.

5.) Begin Pressing Gently

Once your materials are secured inside the parchment paper, and your DIY press is hot, it’s time to apply pressure! When you first begin, it’s important to be quite gentle. Adding too much pressure too quickly can cause a blowout, as the herb isn’t warm enough yet to start secreting rosin.

The more practice you have creating homemade rosin, the better idea you’ll have of the ideal pressure needed.

6.) Apply Increasing Pressure

You can now gradually add more pressure to your heated plates. A few things will affect the pressing time needed to create a good rosin yield, including the quality of your start material, the size of your flat iron, and the quantity of the material you’re pressing.

For this reason, pressing time can range from anything between 4-30 seconds. It can take a few attempts to get the hang of how best to apply pressure when you’re creating rosin, so don’t get disheartened if you don’t get the best results the first time.

This is also why we recommend experimenting with small amounts of dried materials at first. Practice makes perfect!

7.) Check the Results

After your first press, open the parchment paper and see how much hash oil – or rosin – has been created. We’d recommend repositioning your nug or flower on the paper and pressing again until no new oil is being created.

If there isn’t much rosin on the parchment paper, try adding more pressure next time around.

8.) Collect with a Dabber

Once you’ve finished pressing and are happy with your rosin yield, collect the rosin – while it’s still warm – from the parchment paper with a titanium dabber. If you don’t have one of these tools, a flat knife will also do the job.

Scrape the honey-like substance off of your paper and either place it in a jar or between fresh paper, depending on how long you’re planning on storing it.

A tool scrapes golden cannabis concentrate off of a non-stick sheet of paper, by Roman Budnyi via iStock

How to Store Your Rosin

A key element of learning how to make rosin is to understand how best to store it for future use. How you choose to store your rosin will depend on how long you plan to keep it before using it, as well as how much rosin you’re planning on making.

If you will only need to keep your rosin for a short period before you use it, you can use some fresh parchment paper – the same type that you used to create your rosin. It’s important that you place the parchment paper (with the rosin on) inside an airtight container, and keep it in a cool dry place. This will help to ensure your rosin is kept fresh for future use.

If you’re planning on keeping your rosin for a while before using it, such as when making large batches, you should use a glass jar or container, with an air-tight removable lid. Silicone, plastic, or parchment paper are unsuitable for storing rosin for long periods as the chemicals in the materials can react with the rosin and contaminate your yield when left for a long time.

If using a glass jar, you can scoop your rosin straight in after making it – doing it while it’s still warm will make it easier to transfer! Again, to keep your rosin as fresh as possible, place the glass jar in a cool, dry place, such as a cupboard. If you want to keep a store of high-quality rosin for weeks or months, glass is the way to go.

What Does a Good Yield Look Like?

When creating rosin, your overall goal will be to force your dry material to excrete as much oil from the trichome glands – made up of terpenes and cannabinoids – as possible. A number of things will contribute to how much rosin you manage to extract from your source material, as well as the overall quality of your final yield.

For many, the more you practice how to make rosin, the better the final yield will be. Things such as applying too much pressure (or not enough), the heat used, and the duration of the press will all impact how much oil is excreted by the plant.

It’s also important to remember that the quality of your source material – be that flower, bud, or bubble hash – will have a significant impact on how good your final yield is. In short, the fresher your dry material, the more rosin you’re likely to extract. If your source material is old and dry, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to extract much substance, no matter how hard you try.

On average, you might expect to extract a concentrate that is around 15-20% of the weight of your starting product. Remember: you can always press your material again if you feel like you haven’t got a great yield the first time around!

Ways to Smoke Rosin

So, you’ve learned how to make rosin, and now you get to use it! There are a few popular ways to smoke or consume rosin within the cannabis community, but the best method for you will depend on your own personal preference.

Many people use their yield to smoke rosin dabs, by using a dab rig. You can learn more about how to smoke rosin dabs here. You’ll need to have the right equipment, a bit of technique, and, most importantly, practice!

Another option is to use your rosin in a dab pen, which makes smoking rosin incredibly easy. It’s a bit like a cross between smoking and vaping! You can read our guide on how to use a dab pen here. If you prefer a more traditional smoking method, you can also sprinkle some rosin on top of a joint for a bit of an extra kick.

As an alternative to smoking rosin, it’s also possible to use it as an edible. It’s naturally plant-free, which means it doesn’t leave any nasty taste if you add it to your cooking.

Common Mistakes

We hope this guide helps you to guide you through the process of making rosin at home. We think it’s a great marijuana concentrate as it’s naturally solvent-free and pretty simple to make safely at home. To help you avoid any problems when you’re making your own here are a few common mistakes that you should try to avoid for the best results:

  • Using poor quality or old herb when pressing. Your final rosin can only be as good as the quality of your starting product, so it’s worth ensuring that your bud, flower, or hash is as fresh as possible! You can’t just use any old bud. Poor bud quality = poor rosin quality.
  • Pressing too quickly, or using too high a heat. When learning how to make rosin, it will take a bit of trial and error before you find the best combination of pressure, heat, and time. We’d always recommend starting out gently, to avoid a blowout. You can always press your material again afterward.
  • Overpacking your parchment paper or filter bag. If you use too much material in your paper or bag, you’ll likely suffer a blowout, or some plant particulates could contaminate your rosin yield.

FAQs

Can You Make Your Own Rosin?

It’s super simple to make rosin at home, and you’ll only need a few pieces of basic equipment – such as a flat iron, parchment paper, and a knife or dabber.

Why not follow our step-by-step guide if you’re interested in learning how to make, store and smoke rosin.

Is Making Rosin Worth It?

Making rosin at home can save you money, and help you to ensure the purity of your concentrate. What’s more, it’s simple and safe to make your own at home. For this reason, many people in the cannabis community prefer to make their own and find it worth the effort.

How is Rosin Made?

Rosin is made by applying both pressure and heat to dry cannabis (such as flower, bud, kief, or hash). It’s possible to use an industrial rosin press, or to follow your own DIY method (such as the one outlined above!) to make rosin in a home environment.

Are Resin and Rosin the Same Thing?

Oh boy.

There are a very large array of cannabis products with very similar names, ranging from “resin” to “rosin” to “live rosin” and others. To put it simply, no: rosin and resin are not the same types of concentrates, and differ greatly in their manufacturing process; if curious about the two, please check out our article on “Rosin vs. Resin: What’s The Difference?” for a full breakdown.

A gathering of brown cannabis concentrate, by AYEHAB via iStock

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re a regular rosin user or want to try it for the first time, learning to create rosin at home will allow you to save money and ensure the quality of your concentrate. What’s more, it’s one of the safest extractions to make, as it’s solvent-free, and you can do it with minimal equipment from your own home.

When it comes to making your own, practice makes perfect. The results of your pressing process will depend on a combination of factors, including the ratio between heat and pressure, and the quality of your dry materials.

Don’t give up – if your first rosin yield isn’t great, keep trying! You’ll get the hang of it in no time, and will soon be able to easily create your own store of this gooey and glorious cannabis concentrate.

High There

About The Author

High There

HIGH THERE MISSION

WE’RE A CREATIVE COMMUNITY — EXPLORING THE SCIENCE, CRAFT, AND CULTURE OF CANNABIS.
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