Last few years concentrates/extractions became very populair and well known in the cannabis industry. Concentrates like hash or kief are well known for lots of years but the very pure concentrates like BHO or rosin is quite new.
BHO was first in this genre but it required some expensive equipment and you have to know how to use this equipment to get a good product. Later they discovered that you are able to get the same kind of extraction when pressing cannabis between 2 hot plates. When a concentrate is made by this method it’s called: Rosin!
Since rosin got introduced to the cannabis scene, it became very populair very quickly. Not only because of the good looking product but also because it was pretty easy to make and you don’t always have to buy expensive equipment. (There are very expensive presses, but you don’t necessarily need to get one of these)
When pressing, everybody has their own techniques and every press/temperature works different on different strains. These kind of differences leads to differeces in rosin. There are multiple reasons that could be the cause of your rosin turning out dark/bad
In this article we show you the steps to get the best kind of rosin out of your bud!
1. Checking the quality of your pressing material
The quality of your pressing/flower material is one of the most important aspects of pressing good rosin. There is a saying that goes: Garbage in, Garbage out which simply means that the quality of the material going in to your press, is the same quality of rosin coming out. This is absolutely true and should be the first thing to check if your rosin turns out black/dark.
Another reason to check your buds is the fact that cannabis ages over time. This causes the level of cannabinoids in your material to drop, the oxidization process and light will lower the quality and change the colour of trichomes into amber.
Next to that some terpenes are air-volatile and even more effected by age. You shouldn’t wait too long before pressing your material if you want your rosin to be clear.
To get top quality rosin you should definitly use fresh cannabis, experts say that material which is around 4-5 days old (picked of the plant) is perfect to press. Another method to get very clear/good rosin: Shock freeze or use fresh cannabis, makeice bubble hasj (Ice wax) out of it and finally press it.
By freezing your cannabis right after it’s cut down, you keep all trichomes and terpenes intact and fresh. This extract is called Live Rosin and leads to the best quality according to most experts.
Another important aspect to improve colour of your rosin is the moment you harvest. It’s recommended to cut them down a little earlier as normal because trichomes won’t be turned into amber yet which also leads to a better/lighter coloured rosin.
If you are not growing yourself yourself, it could be quite tricky to find fresh, potent material for your rosin compared to commercial growers. Try to find fresh material or get to know some people in the scene!
2. Check your temperature and turn it down.
Even with the right, fresh material, it’s possible for your rosin to turn black because of the heat. So the second thing you should check out is if you are using the right temperature when pressing. The #1 reason Rosin gets black/dark is because of old cannabis material or a too hot pressing temperature. Also when pressing for too long, your rosin will be too long exposed to the heat which could destroy some cannabinoids.
Finding the right temperature is pretty difficult and if you find the right one for a particulair strain, it could be too hot for other strains. All strains require a different temperature to get the best results so there isn’t just one good temperature for all.
Yet there are some guidlines you could follow that you should start with. The main rule is: The lower temp, the more clear your rosin will get. But lower temperatures often lead to a lower yield so you need to find a good balance in quality & quantity.
One good way to find this balance is by simply starting at 190 °Fahrenheit (87.8 °Celsius). When pressing at this temperature, take a good look at your bag/nug. If it takes very long (minutes) for the rosin to come out and the return is very small, the plates are probably too cold for this flower material and you should adjust the temperature a little higher. (around 10-15 °Fahrenheit)
After every press you should compare the results in colour and weigh how much the return is. Once you are happy with the product, keep it at this temperature and time but remember: every strain is different so a temperature may not give the same good results on different strains.
3. Using filter bags
If you have been watching rosin/press videos on instagram or youtube, you probably seen them pass by: The white filter bags that will be filled with plant material. After being folded in the right way, this bag will be placed in the press to be squished and produce some nice rosin. The bags come in different sizes and micron sizes (the size of the filter holes), alls for specific use:
Microns bags that are good to use for hash, kief, dry-sift-bubble hash:
- 37 Micron: Highest level filtration (smallest filter holes), smaller yields but highest quality rosin.
- 72 Micron: Lower level filtration, Bigger yields then 36 Micron but a little lower quality
Micron bags that are good to use for Flower, trim and shake:
- 90 Micron: Highest level of filtration for flower, Lower yields but high quality rosin
- 115 Micron: Lower level filtration for flower, Bigger yields but slightly lower quaity
Next to these Micron seizes, there are a few others depending on the brand. However with these sizes and usage details you will have an idea on what size to get for a certain material. These filter bags are able to get out any raw plant material that would normally end up in your extract. This wil improve the smell, taste and look of the rosin big time!
To get the finest and clearest rosin you have to do a lot of practice. Find out for yourself how plant material is behaving in a press and recognize what kind of material act in a certain way. Think about heat, pressure and pressing time. Even if you would have 2 buds of the same strain, grown by a different grower, it would act very different and has to be pressed different.
The most important and trickiest thing is adjusting the right temperature. Before pressing a bigger amount, you should do a few test presses on different temperatures and compare the results next to each other.
Once you get the result you wanted, you should presss the rest of your plant material on that temperature. The biggest probem for most people is getting enough cannabis to experiment and practice with because once you have a new batch of cannabis, you should change your pressing strategy too.
You could also experiment with different kind of presses/pressure. Some presses work manually and other with hydraulic/pneumatic. Next to that some presses are capabable to work with way higher pressure force then others. Depending on how much you press at once, these aspects could have some impact on your final product and it’s quality/quantity.
5. Pressing the right way
Yes, even when you have the perfect press material, found the right temperature and press, You could be ruining your yields by pressing the wrong way. Press with your feeling and do it with a nice touch instead of just pressing it down quick and hard as possible.
The reason for this is that your plant material should be warmed from the center to its sides to get all the oil out. Especially when using press-bags it is very important to slowly press the oil out with a touch! This is not possible when pressing it all down, very hard in 1 second.
When pressing it down very hard, and fast you will burn more of the terpenes and cannabinoids in your rosin. This is because the oil in the middle of your pressing bag is still not hot enough so it takes longer to get all the oil out wich results in the rosin staying longer between the hot plates. This will make you rosin to taste worse and could change the colour too.
When pressing with bags you should slowly put the press down a little and let it heat up until the bag gets a little “wet”. Then you will slowly apply more pressure until it’s fully pressing down. This build-up will definitly lead to more clear rosin + less damaged terpenes wich results in a better taste/aroma.
Some people might think that because of the slow press, you’d burn more terpenes then with a fast, hard press.
Well off course some of the terpenes will get damaged when the rosin is waiting between 2 hot plates, but you won’t burn more then normal because thanks to the pre-heating process, it does not take so long for the oil in de the middle to come out wich results in a bigger yield and more flavor/smell.
Like told before: Pressing rosin is an art and it takes a lot of practice to get the perfect product. Next to that the fact that every strain/batch of cannabis requires a different strategy could make it hard sometimes. Still it’s very fun to do and after a while you will recognize what strategy fits certain plant material.
The most important thing is finding good pressing material. Really, it mostly depends on this so find yourself a good grower, tell him to let you know when he got some fresh material and experiment!