Nowadays, many cannabis concentrates are made using chemical solvents, which are obviously not good for your health. However, you can make your own solventless rosin at home with the help of a rosin press.
A rosin press machine is a great product that uses high pressure and heat. It will ensure that the terpenes from the plant extract of cannabis are intact. There are no dangerous chemicals or any off-gassing requirements involved. Instead, you just need a rosin press, your favorite herb, and your dab rig.
Read on if you want to know more about this process, and we’ve also reviewed some of the best weed presses to suit your needs.
Rosin results from extracting the oils of a cannabis plant using heat and pressure. The entire process is simple and does not require harsh chemicals, unlike other methods that use propane or butane.
Since solvents or similar substances aren’t used to extract the oil, you can expect that the final product is very potent, pure, and tastes and smells just like the strain you’ve extracted. This is the reason rosin extraction is gaining attention and taking over the marijuana extract market.
There are different types of rosin, and here’s how to differentiate them:
1. Flower rosin
The extraction is done directly with whole dried and cured flowers. Flower rosin can be made with either homemade or professional methods. The quality depends mainly on the kind of plant you use, but it will also vary according to the temperature and pressure.
To make flower rosin, you must know how to combine temperature with the ideal pressure, as well as the moisture content of the plant.
2. Hash rosin
This type of rosin uses pressure, temperature, and filter bags to make a pure hash. When it’s done well, it generates a very high-quality product that completely melts when smoked or vaporized because it does not contain any vegetable matter. The technique involves reusing hash leftovers from ice water production.
3. Live rosin
Live rosin is made with freshly frozen plants, meaning that the trichomes and terpenes are still fresh. The plant is harvested, then the excess leaves are removed. After that, it will be frozen for at least 24 hours. For this type of rosin, you need to use a rosin press.
A rosin press is a machine that uses heated plates to press the cannabis material with tremendous pressure. You can use it on buds, kief, or hash to make the terpenes and cannabinoids produce an oily substance called rosin.
There are three things needed to produce rosin: heat, time, and pressure. The technique involved in the production of rosin relies on a balance between the three factors to make an exceptional product.
When extracting rosin, the heat must be controlled to preserve the terpenes and cannabinoids. Subjecting them to high temperatures can degrade their molecules, making a bland finished product. That’s why producing rosin at the lowest temperature is recommended, as it helps to retain most of the terpenes.
When you reduce the heat, you need to put extra pressure. You will know that the rosin press is effective when it can provide enough pressure to lower the heat to the point of minimal degradation.
Of course, the flower is the prime consideration when pressing flower rosin. Without good cannabis flowers, you can’t expect your rosin to be of good quality. Looking for the most worthy cultivars is a great step to get started. You can find the best strains for pressing rosin here.
Regardless of the strain you’re using, the flower should be dried and lightly cured for extraction. It would be better if they’re fresh; however, the bud won’t produce quality rosin if it’s pressed while it’s still wet.
Flowers should have around 60 to 65% humidity before pressing. You can measure the humidity level with the use of a digital hygrometer and a mason jar. To do this, fill the jar with flowers and put the hygrometer in. Wait for a moment to get a stable reading.
Knowing the number of flowers to press will help you identify the type of press and the plate size you need. If you’re only pressing a few grams of flowers, you can use a hair straightener to get familiar with the process.
On the other hand, if you’re growing cannabis and have access to lots of flower, making your own H-Frame press and buying quality rosin plates can be the most effective technique.
When deciding on the amount of bud, think of the type of press you’re using for rosin extraction. It isn’t feasible to press a lot of flower with a hair straightener; likewise, you don’t need a 20-ton press if you’re just pressing just a few buds for personal use.
Here are some things you’ll need when pressing:
These are filter bags that can hold the cannabis flower and keep the plant material, lipids, and other contaminants from mixing with the final product. They also help in maintaining consistent pressure on the source material during extraction, increasing the rosin yield.
Parchment paper is used to catch the fresh rosin immediately after it’s extracted through the bag. Fold a sheet of parchment paper in half, then place the rosin bag between the layers. This allows you to collect the rosin after extraction easily, and it keeps your press plates stain-free.
Microns gauge how fine the screen filter that compromises the rosin bags is. Higher microns have larger gaps in the filter screen, while lower microns mean tinier holes. For flower rosin, you should consider using rosin bags in the 90 to 160-micron range.
It’s an excellent idea to try out different bags for each strain you’re pressing, since the optimal micron size might vary for different strains.
After you’ve chosen the bag, gently break apart the cannabis and remove the main stems. The buds should be handled carefully to keep the trichomes from breaking and falling before they go into the bag. Don’t grind the flowers, but you can break them into small chunks.
When packing the rosin bag with cannabis flower, make sure you get rid of any air gaps and empty spaces in between the pieces. Check that the bottom corners are filled up, as well as the sides and bottom of the bag.
Any gaps will reabsorb the rosin as it’s being extracted, reducing the overall yield, so you want to firmly pack the flowers within the rosin bag.
After working the bags with your hands, use the pre-press mold to compact the material and ensure that they are spread evenly in the rosin bag.
After the rosin bag has been loaded with the material and pre-pressed, it’s time to begin the extraction process. Ensure that the rosin plates are set at the correct temperature. It’s best to pre-heat the plates as you prepare the rosin bags so that they have time to reach the right temperature.
Fold a piece of parchment paper in half and put the bag in the middle. Slip the folded parchment and rosin bag horizontally in between the plates.
With the heated plates touching the bag, allow the material to heat up for 30 seconds. This idea is to get the plant resins melting so that the oil can flow easily once full pressure is applied.
You can now apply full pressure. Increase the pressure gradually to reach the maximum PSI toward the end of the press. It’s essential to ramp up to full pressure to maintain a steady flow of rosin.
The total duration of the press should be between 90 to 120 seconds, but you can continue to press as long as you notice the rosin flowing from the filter bag and onto the parchment.
The ideal temperature range for pressing flower rosin is 180 to 220 degrees Fahrenheit. Low temperatures tend to yield rosin with a more batter-like consistency, but too-high temperatures produce brittle rosin that shatters easily.
The right balance of heat and temperature is crucial in getting the best quality of rosin. As a general rule, higher temps will facilitate higher yields; however, the terpenes might evaporate, affecting the flavor negatively.
It’s also important to measure the pressure being applied to the cannabis inside the bag. Aim for a Platen PSI in the range of 650 to 1000 PSI. More pressure can generate a heavier rosin yield since it drives away the undesirable fats, waxes, and lipids produced by the cannabis plant.
To collect your rosin quickly, use a cooling plate under the parchment paper. You can store the cold plate in the freezer, then after the extraction process, take it out of the freezer and put the parchment paper with the fresh rosin on it.
Afterward, you can peel the rosin bag away from the parchment paper, then use a rosin stamp to collect the rosin from the paper. Finally, put the fresh rosin in a mason jar for storing and curing.
When it comes to rosin presses, there’s one brand that stands out, and that’s Dabpress. Here are the best Dabpress machines you should consider:
This model is recommended because the pressure is more powerful than other models, and it has larger plates. While most machines have 3-inch by 5-inch plates, this one has 4-inch by 7-inch plates that can press more material.
In addition, it exerts 12 tons of pressure; however, be careful not to exert too much pressure. If you see that the rosin has stained through the parchment paper, it’s a sign that the pressure is too high.
Unfortunately, Dabpress machines don’t come with pressure gauges, so it’s difficult to tell exactly how much pressure you’re exerting. One way to avoid excessive pressure is to start by heating the product first. You should also remove the stems before you begin.
- 12 tons of pressure exerted by a hydraulic bottle jack
- Easy to replace bottle jack
- Accurate temperature control
- No pressure gauge
- A bit pricey
This 6-ton model is one of their most affordable units. It features an accurate temperature gauge, and the plates can heat up to above 200 degrees Fahrenheit rapidly. You can load up to 7 grams of flower at a time.
Moreover, this press is easy to use, and you can create your own rosin after just a few minutes. This unit is extremely durable and is great for those who make rosin for edibles.
- Easy to use
- Great value
- Dual heated plates
- No pressure gauge
- Very heavy
This model is one of the best options because of its hydraulic cylinder, allowing you to exert 12 tons of pressure from the top onto two heated plates. The temperature can reach up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. It has 3-inch by 5-inch plates, allowing you to process lots of material at once.
The only downside is that you need to buy the hydraulic pump separately. It weighs more than other models, around 30 pounds. Nevertheless, it’s sturdy and durable.
- Can exert 10 tons of pressure
- 3-by-5 inch plates
- Couplers to connect the pump are included
- Hydraulic pump is sold separately
- Coupler reducer kit is sold separately
It depends on whether you’re looking for a manual press, hydraulic press, or pneumatic press. Pneumatic presses are the most expensive since they’re complex and heavy-duty. They use air compressors and are ideal for large-scale operations.
Meanwhile, manual presses are the most affordable ones. They’re good enough for most home needs.
Yes, you can make a DIY rosin press. However, you should expect that the end product will be of lesser quality. If you want to try it out, you can use a hair straightener, although it’s not very reliable in terms of temperature control.
We hope this guide has helped you learn about the process of weed or rosin pressing. As you start, remember to keep it simple and be open-minded. Take notes of your progress so that you can get more each time you press. And of course, the best pressing machine that can do all the work for you is Dabpress.