Cannabis enthusiast and student of the art of solventless extraction
Hash rosin has been exploding in popularity among cannabis consumers, hobbyist extractors, and commercial rosin brands alike. Most of the rosin currently being sold in cannabis dispensaries is pressed from ice water hash, reflecting consumers’ preference for an ultra-refined product. It seems that solventless extractors have mostly abandoned the idea of pressing rosin from whole cannabis flowers, favoring the purity and potency of hash rosin over the more all-inclusive and motley array of oils in flower rosin. But does flower rosin still have its place in the solventless game?
Whether using dried and cured cannabis flowers or an ice water extracted hash, you’ll see different results depending on the type of material you start with. Both flower rosin and hash (ice water extract) rosin have their own set of advantages and disadvantages to solventless extractors.
Flower Rosin is rosin that’s been extracted from whole dried and cured cannabis flowers. Flower rosin is generally pressed using larger micron bag sizes (90+ microns) and higher heat settings (215-230 degrees fahrenheit). Whole cannabis buds are carefully broken apart into popcorn-sized chunks and packed uniformly inside rosin bags in preparation for extraction.
Once pressed, the cannabis flowers release an array of oils, fats, and lipids along with a variety of cannabinoids and terpenes found primarily in the trichome heads.
Cannabinoids and terpenes most prevalent in the trichome heads are the main focus of rosin extraction, while additional plant oils and fatty acids are less desirable.
Advantages of Flower Rosin
One advantage of flower rosin is that it can often have a more robust and comprehensive flavor profile. Pressing whole flowers produces a rosin that fully expresses the complexity of flavor of the cannabis plant. While many people prefer this enriched flavor factor, it can be a drawback to others who want a cleaner and clearer taste.
Another advantage to flower rosin is that starting with whole flowers eliminates additional steps to pressing rosin. Cannabis can be harvested, dried, cured, and then pressed without undergoing the additional process of ice water extraction. Flower rosin cuts down on processing time and complexity.
Regarding supply, it’s often easier to find exceptional cannabis flower than exceptional hash, which is another advantage to flower rosin. That said, always go with whichever source material is of the overall best quality.
A final advantage of flower rosin is that pound for pound, using whole cannabis flowers generally offers greater yields than using an already-refined hash source material.
Disadvantages of Flower Rosin
A disadvantage to flower rosin includes the presence of plant oils, fats, and lipids that don’t contribute to the medicinal or therapeutic effects of cannabis. These plant oils are squeezed from the plant and mix together with all the desirable compounds found inside the trichome heads, mixing both wanted and unwanted oils inside the rosin. Tasting and inhaling unneeded materials is a disadvantage to many rosin enthusiasts. Flower rosin is a less-targeted extraction that includes higher rates of secondary plant materials than is found in hash rosin, as the hash making process filters out many of these so-called contaminants.
Hash rosin is rosin that’s been pressed from ice water extraction hash, or bubble hash. Hash rosin is a more refined version of rosin because the cannabis material first undergoes an ice water extraction before the rosin extraction process begins. To make ice water hash, cannabis flowers are agitated in a bath of ice water which knocks away the trichome stalk and heads from the rest of the plant material.
These tiny stalks and heads are filtered out of the water using a series of screens and then collected to form the cannabinoid and terpene-rich material we know as hash. The hash is dried and only lightly cured before being pressed for rosin extraction. Hash rosin is made with smaller micron rosin bags (25 micron) and lower temps (170-190 degrees fahrenheit).
Advantages of Hash Rosin
The biggest advantage to hash rosin is the overall quality, clarity, and potency of the finished product. Hash rosin has a cleaner flavor profile and often gives a more pronounced effect. It offers the highest levels of potency and is less contaminated (with unwanted plant compounds) than flower rosin.
Hash rosin generally has a lighter color as well, which is a benchmark that many consumers use to gauge quality. While not always indicative of overall premium quality, rosin that’s lighter in color is more desirable.
Disadvantages of Hash Rosin
A disadvantage of making hash rosin is the extra time and equipment required to create ice water hash before it’s ready to be pressed into rosin. While relatively straightforward, ice water extraction is an art that requires more than knowledge of process. It requires a touch and finesse and a familiarity with the cannabis plant and trichomes that takes years and years to achieve.
Another potential disadvantage is the rarity of exceptional ice water hash to use as starting material for hash rosin. Premium hash rosin requires premium hash to start, the likes of which is often difficult to find at dispensaries. Even if you’re able to grow your own cannabis, learning how to make premium bubble hash is an involved process. However, if you have the time, space, and resources, it’s definitely worth your while.
Flower rosin and hash rosin both have their places in the solventless extraction landscape. While flower rosin provides a great entry point into the world of rosin extraction, most seasoned rosin enthusiasts gravitate toward the potency and purity of hash rosin. The standout quality of hash rosin comes at a price, as the additional steps to ultra-refinement require more time, a deep knowledge of process, and an artist's touch.
Both flower rosin and hash rosin can deliver a quality dabbing experience. Each type of rosin offers unique characteristics in how it’s created and how it’s enjoyed. In the end, the better rosin is the one which you prefer dabbing, it’s as simple as that.
Which one do you prefer?