Rosin is a new technique that’s becoming very popular on internet. In just a couple months Youtube has been filled with videos where cannabis “dabbers” from different countries show how to do it. To sum up, it consists in extracting all the psychoactive resins from trichomes using heat and pressure.
Yes, Rosin is dabbed. You might not understand what we’re talking about if you are not familiar with hash oils. “Dabbing” is the word we use for vaporizing that oil using a nail or a small recipient that we burn until it gets red hot, usually with a blow torch. This sounds familiar now, doesn’t it?
Oils of this sort are being used more frequently in our country lately, especially in Cannabis Social Centers, since they offer a greater variety of products to users. Nevertheless this extraction method is very different from the well-known Butane Hash Oil, not only because its making involves no danger, but also because it’s fast, easy to do at home and uses no solvents. That means it does not require a purge step, as opposed to BHO or QWISO (extraction using isopropyl alcohol), or QWETO (ethanol extraction) and other oil varieties.
Rosin is not a new technique, it’s been used in past decades to turn medium quality hash into exquisite, almost luxury oils for those could afford to smoke them. What people used to do then was spread the hash on a metallic surface with boiling water underneath. What’s changed, and the main factor why Rosin is a viral madness right now is the tool that enables us to directly extract the resin from the bud. A flat iron for hair straightening.
Using a flat iron (we recommend you get one for your own use. Grabbing our long haired relatives’ one has caused numerous fights) allows us to obtain the best quality oil, with the best taste and power that the most seasoned smokers can smoke –or dab, in this case-.
Without further ado, I will now explain this method. If you haven’t acquired that iron I just asked you not to steal, you’re taking too long! These are the tools that you will need:
- The iron
- Non-stick parchment paper
- Marijuana buds or any kind of hash or pollen
- A dabber or any metallic thin instrument, like a pin
- A cloth, oven glove or something to protect you from burning.
Step 1: selection of base product
This step is very important because the Rosin obtained varies drastically depending on the amount of cannabis and the format in which it is presented. In the case of buds, the “recovery”, meaning the percentage of oil mass we get compared to the cannabis mass used, depends mostly on the variety of the plant. It seems that the main factor to take into account when choosing a bud is the amount of resin that we can spot at first glance. The quantity assures more rosin in return.
In the case of hash Rosin, the purer the hash, the more rosin we’ll obtain in recovery. The recovery in buds varies between 8% and 17%, while hash recovery reaches 80%, leaving very little waste behind and almost none in the case of bubble hash.
Trick: If you plan to use buds, humidity is important. Hydrate the buds placing them inside a closed recipient together with an open water recipient. Be careful not to get the buds wet. You’ll notice a big difference in an hour or two.
If you’re going to use hash, it’s a good idea to wrap it as tight as possible in a 25 or 50 micron mesh that you can find in grow shops to make hash. If you can’t find them, many people use empty tea bags, even if they can leave residues in rosin on occasions. Always press the hash in the bag as hard as you can.
Step 2: cut the paper in rectangles
We have to get parchment papers ready so that we can start pressing the buds. Once we’ve selected the buds, cut the papers in triangles in such a size that, when folded in half, the paper can wrap the buds with a border of at least two centimeters. You can calibrate what width you really need with each variety once you start to press.
In the case of hash you will have to leave much more border, at least double that, and depending on the amount that you intend to press, which is usually greater. The oil is going to come out “flying” from the nucleus where the substance lies, so be prepared and don’t let anything touch the iron.
Trick: Not all parchment papers are the same. If you notice that the paper gets stained (usually yellow stains), that Rosin gets through to the other side, or simply that you get too little, probably your paper is absorbing Rosin. Look for a different paper. In some grow shops you can find a non-stick paper specially made for extractions, and this can be pretty useful for Rosin. (Don’t even think of using a silicone made tool for Rosin elaboration).
Step 3: heat up the iron
Optimum temperature to make Rosin varies between 100 and 150 degrees Celsius. The higher the temperature the less time we need in the process, but we risk losing some substances or even total evaporation if we reach 170 or more.
Most irons do not indicate the temperature they reach, but those with regulators probably will specify this in the box or in the instruction manual. If you don’t have temperature control, don’t let the iron get too hot, start pressing early and turn it off and on quite often.
Step 4: Press tight
Here comes Rosin. Once you have got the bud or the hash well wrapped up in the paper, place it in between the two iron plates, keeping a part of the paper out so it can be removed fast, and start pressing to close the iron. Make sure to place the material in a spot where it receives pressure from both sides. The more pressure the more recovery, especially in the case of buds.
Pressing time is inversely proportional to the iron’s heat. If it is very hot 3 seconds will be enough, if it’s low you can press up to 16 seconds (that’s around 100/101 C) and you will get a lighter colored Rosin. Many users write on the internet about the kind of mechanical tools they use to close the iron tighter. Me, I just step on it. Don’t do so if you weigh over sixty kilos. Often the hand pressure is enough to get a lot of Rosin (always covered with a cloth that isolates from the heat, or an oven glove). Specially with those irons that allow a lot of contact and pressure.
Trick: Buds’ size is very important. The tinier they are the more Rosin will come out, but the pressing will also take longer. For these occasions large flat irons are great. Also for pressing hash. You can place more than one bud in them, but they always have to be the same size and height and need to be well apart, so that the pressure is uniform and is not hitting only one of them.
Step 5: detach and gather
It’s not mandatory to do it right after pressing, in fact it’s advisable to leave the paper out to cool off and press the bud a second time in another paper or just press a different bud. After your session of trichome milking you can check the result, opening the paper pieces one by one and collecting the nectar with a small metallic surface. My advice is to scratch gently on the paper so that all the Rosin will stick on the tip of the tool. If you notice the Rosin is too liquid, look for a paper where is not as liquid and start with that one.
Trick: Cool the Rosin off. It becomes hard and easy to handle when cold. You can pick it all up fast if you use a cold surface like a bottle containing frozen liquid, a very cold can, or just placing it near a cold source. Rub the paper on the clean side against the cold surface and place it horizontally to pick up all the crystal shatters. Be careful not to fall into a frenzy when you realize how quick it works, you could send the crystal bits flying away.
Step 6: You guessed it, right?
Now you’ve got it, what are you going to do? Very few, crazy people store it. But dabbing is the compulsive option of most of us bud milkers. These honeys, as you’ve imagined, are not at all exclusive. The same way everybody can produce Rosin easily at home, you don’t need a lot of machinery to have a taste of it either. It can be smoked like other extractions, stuck to paper, with another vegetal base. The old fashioned way.
Taste is the most noticeable thing… and within minutes the powerful effect, ideal for people who need big doses for certain pains or illnesses. And it’s as healthy as the flower itself.
Trick: Move the rosin quickly into the smoking paper joining this one with the parchment paper face containing the rosin. Press both gently with the hot iron while still hot for a second, it’s not necessary to turn it on again.
This trick also works to make a tasty smoking paper with those tiny leaves that we peel off the buds. Just fill a smoking paper with spread leaves, close it and press for a second.
Well, I hope after sharing a Rosin evening with you, you will be looking forward to starting your own one. A toast of dab to you!