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What Is Rosin?

December 23, 2015

Imagine being able to enjoy your shatter without the side of solvent. Now you can, thanks to an emerging solventless technique called “rosin” technology.


What Are Cannabis Oil, Shatter, and Wax Extracts?

What Is Rosin?

Items needed to make rosin include dried cannabis flower, a hair straightening iron, a metal tool, and wax paper

Rosin refers to an extraction process that utilizes a combination of heat and pressure to nearly instantaneously squeeze resinous sap from your initial starting material. The term “rosin” originated as a method of making a product used to create friction with violin bows. With cannabis, this method is incredibly versatile in that it can either be used with flowers or to clean up hash and kief into a full-melt hash oil. The result is a translucent, sappy, and sometimes shatter-like product. If executed correctly, rosin can rival the flavor, potency, and yield of other solvent-based extraction products.

Why Is Rosin So Popular?

Macro photo of cannabis rosin extract on a dab tool

One reason for rosin’s newfound popularity is that it’s a solventless technique, meaning the process does not require use of any foreign substances. Instead, rosin uses a mechanical process involving heat and pressure to extract the resin from the plant. Other extraction methods utilize light hydrocarbons such as butane and/or propane. Often, these complex and mechanical systems require a lengthy purge to safely remove most, if not all of the residual solvents from the final product.

Rosin, on the other hand, simply uses heat and pressure and does not require any additional cleaning, so your final product is clean and ready in just minutes. When compared to BHO (butane hash oil), the two are aesthetically indistinguishable. Rosin, when made properly, retains just as many valuable terpenes that account for aroma and flavor. However, in a lab test, rosin will never contain a single parts per million (PPM) of residual hydrocarbon. In other words, you are essentially getting shatter without any solvents when using this process.


What Does Good BHO Look Like? Dabbing and Hash Oil Myths: Part One

Perhaps the most important reason why rosin has been so widely adopted is the sheer simplicity of this technology, allowing enthusiasts with no background in chemistry or botanical extractions to try it out for themselves with minimal risk.

Rosin can be made almost anywhere, and requires nothing more than the following items:

  1. A hair straightener
  2. A bit of parchment paper
  3. A collection tool
  4. Some heat-resistant gloves (safety first!).


How to Make Rosin Dabs

That’s it! Nothing more is required, and this process takes only a few minutes to complete. Compared to the days it takes to safely make BHO products, you can see why rosin is the latest trend in cannabis culture.

The significance of this discovery is paramount. Never before has there been an arguably more versatile, efficient, and safer method of achieving a high-grade solventless hash oil than rosin. Innovators are already creating industrial-sized presses that are capable of processing large amounts of hash oil within seconds. These machines scale up to multiple tons of pressure to extract at extremely low temperatures, thus preserving valuable terpenes.

Many dispensaries are now utilizing this technology and stocking their shelves with rosin. Today you can find it in almost every legal market. The horizon is bright for rosin, and this product will surely continue to make waves in the cannabis industry.

  • Great informative write-up, Patrick! The perfect introductory piece that I was looking for.

  • TruthSeeker

    Very nice. I didn’t know the difference. Solventless is the way to go. Off to the dispensary for some J1 and Cookies rosin!

  • Mark Skinner

    In Australia we don’t ever see anything like this. You tokers from America probably would not even bother smoking our “ditch weed”.

    • Joseph Baker

      i guess if i lived in Australia yes I would smoke your ditch weed (AKA) dirt weed here I can’t wait till its LEGAL in FLORIDA then i don’t have to hide

      • Meat

        Australia should be an excellent climate for a new horticultural arena!

        • It has had a booming indoor grow business there for minimum of 30 years. The only other way to get MJ into the country is coastal. Highly monitored. Easier to do indoor grow there. So dunno about where this guy gets their gear but we had dispensary Holland gear in the early 90s there. I suffered for nearly 2 decades before getting that quality again in the US and concentrates via mmj in state.

    • Phan Boi

      or I would simply grow my own dank

    • trust me 20 years ago the smoke in Aus was so much better than what we have here. We had dispensary quality access on the Gold Coast in the early 90s as well as Nimbin NSW or Brissy. Northern Lights x Big Bud was my fav back in the day. People brought in seeds from Holland. You need a new source. 😉 Oh and it wasn’t cheap. 25 a g in 95!

  • gordon_wagner

    I am soooo behind the times…

    • 143jeanne

      Me too….lol!

      • LARP Station Zulu

        Me more!

    • P Behahold

      Ya F this shit the kids are into. Let’s make Rosin illegal!!!!

      • Alberto Balsalm

        I wish your stupidity could be made illegal

        • P Behahold

          That’s not very kind……

          was being sillllllllly.

  • TruthSeeker

    Well, after several rosin’s, I’ve concluded ‘live resin’ is still my favorite way to dab.

  • Wake B

    Get a 20 ton press from harbor freight and order some press plates on ebay or from low-temp. Then get some 120 micron squish bags and you are in business. See a few videos before you get started. oregongrown has it down. So so tasty

  • 143jeanne

    Was going to get rid of my hair straightener..NOT!

  • Luney Jester

    I pressed just a small (>.3g) nugget of some very dry blue Crack flower. I bought a hair straightener at Goodwill for $.99 this morning. I got probably .15g or so from it at about 275°F. It was very dry and gummy. I tried some really dank head cheese flower next and that was very nice. I am now sourcing parts to build myself a press. There is an air-hydraulic pump that will directly replace the hand operated one that comes on the Harbor Freight 20 ton press everyone is fond of. This is immensely cheaper than my own cO2 rig, even with the replacement bottle jack.

    • Remember! Those left over dry herbals have a great purpose in some coconut oil! Can be used as an edible or replaces butter in edible recipes. Can replace olive oil too. Herbs need to be very dry and decarb’ed before put in oil. About 14oz of oil to 1 oz dried, decarb’ed herbals. Approx 4-6hrs, never letting it get too hot. 200 is high enough. The end product will store forever in refrigerator until needed – months! Spread on toast w/jam. Save straining and paper towel used to wipe up in a bag for topical use. In fact, I fold towels into a bag and pour a gravy server over them; rolled up for individual use – everyone in the family uses them. Hand/foot/shoulder/neck pain! Even clears up dermatitis!


    I use a rosineer v2 manual press. It gets excellent yield and is easy to use.

    Rosineer press $250-$350 depending on deal.
    Temp probe $8.00 Amazon
    Scale $8.00
    Parchment paper $4.50
    Product $200 oz Barry White
    Dab tool, I use a $12 revlon nail tool cvs

    Pack (2) 1gram puck like compressed pieces

    Put in paper, press 30seconds at 250degrees

    Solvent free product that tastes great if vaped at the right temp on a nail or banger. Tastes like garbage off an electric box mod

    • TruthSeeker

      How would that work in a ‘Volcano”? My lungs aren’t up for the ‘hot hits’ any more.

      • BREAKFAST4

        I start with a small dab and keeping making it bigger until I choke, then I back it down a notch

  • loudallas

    F’ing rosin baby… Super duper for backpacking and headphones. 🙂

  • ThePilot

    Here’s a real list: (1) Remington Wet 2 Straight hair straightener (2) 600 lbs Irwin Quick-Grip (3) meat thermometer [to measure straightener] (4) Kief press to make .3 -.5g nugs into “pucks.” (5) Parchment [i have one piece i continually reuse as the second (outer) layer of parchment (prevent leaks)]

  • Craig Yoder

    Rosin does not lubrcate a violin bow, it does the opposite. It makes the hair sticky, and it stands the microhairs along the horse hair up, for friction. Without friction the string would not vibrate as you pull the bow across the string.

    • look up



    I know Rosin is fun and all… but… This guy has a point at the end of this article: This is also why we manufacture higher quality concentrates like Distillates (All the stuff you want, without all the aldehydes and harmful stuff you don’t want) 😉

  • Bennet Green

    sap? like from a maple tree? what do you do with the material after squeezing the resin out?

  • Bennet Green

    Its kinda like the Indian charas.