🇺🇸 Retired veteran, father, rock-climbing expert & rosin connoisseur
Pressing rosin is a great way to put surplus flowers to work, expand your cannabis horizons, and learn a new type of cannabis craft: solventless extraction. Be careful, you might even transform your entire approach and start cultivating a portion of your grows for the sake of solventless concentrates!
Rosin is a cannabis concentrate that’s mechanically extracted through the application of heat and pressure. The equipment setup is incredibly basic, requiring only heated rosin plates, a press, and cannabis source material. Rosin plates containing specialized heating elements and temperature controls are used in conjunction with a shop press to extract the rosin, free of any chemicals or solvents. The extraction process takes only minutes and the rosin is ready for consumption immediately (although curing rosin can take it to the next level).
Cannabis flowers can be pressed by themselves to create rosin, or they can be washed first to create bubble hash, which can then be pressed into rosin. More on that in a bit.
Advantages to Pressing Rosin with Your Outdoor Harvest
Some advantages to pressing rosin with your outdoor grow include:
- Diversify your cannabis products
- Enjoy a fresh alternative to smoking your flowers - dabs deliver a powerful dose with less smoke
- Can compensate for the mediocre bag appeal of some outdoor harvests (as long as the trichome production is still copious)
- Rosin can be pressed right from home with minimal time, energy, and equipment input
- Lets you isolate trichomes from less desirable plant material and any other natural outdoor contaminants
- Minimize space needed to store your cannabis
So how do you get started processing your outdoor cannabis harvest into rosin? First things first, quality cannabis flowers are a necessary ingredient in quality rosin. It’s not realistic to expect uninspiring flowers to be pressed into some mind-blowing rosin (but if you figure that out let us know!). The golden rule is “quality in - quality out”.
Furthermore, careful handling of all of your flowers during harvest is critical. Think of yourself as a trichome farmer, and those precious trichome heads are what you’ve been working hard for months to cultivate, optimize, and finally collect. Any touching, jostling, shaking, etc. should be minimized to prevent the trichome heads from breaking off before we can properly collect and press them.
Are you already growing some of the best strains for pressing rosin? Find out in our article about the best strains for pressing rosin.
Building a Rosin Press
Before harvest it’s a good idea to have your press set up and ready to go. While there are plug and play solutions that offer a high quality and convenient pressing experience, we recommend getting started by building your own press. It’s more economical and helps you learn the basic techniques of rosin before investing in some of the functionality that you don’t need as you’re just getting started.
We put together a guide on How To Build Your Own Rosin Press here. Hint: it’s easier than you think.
Flower Rosin or Hash Rosin?
After harvesting, you can dry the cannabis flowers and squish them directly, or you can go the bubble hash route and create the highly sought-after hash rosin. While flower rosin is definitely a solid choice for an outdoor grow, we recommend hash rosin as the better choice for quality.
Deciding to make flower rosin, hash rosin, or both, can impact how you handle your flowers immediately after harvest. Flower rosin requires dry cannabis material, meaning you’ll dry the flowers as you do for smoking.
Hash rosin can be made with flowers that were frozen immediately after harvest and not allowed to dry or cure (referred to as “live rosin”) or with flowers that have been dried, cured, and then washed to make bubble hash. Read our guide on how to wash bubble hash here.
Planning for flower rosin, hash rosin, or live rosin will inform how to handle the flowers immediately after harvest. Flower rosin is a great choice for your first few squishes to get a feel for the process. We put together some pointers on pressing flower rosin which you can read here.
Flowers should be pressed in bags 90 microns and above, and hash is best in the 15-37 micron range. To find out more about choosing the right microns, check out this article.
Regarding pressing temperatures, while dried flowers generally yield best results when pressed between 180-220 degrees Fahrenheit, hash should stay in the range of 140-180 degrees.
The Rosin Rabbit Hole
As you start to head down the rosin rabbit hole you’ll soon discover that the more you know, the more you still don’t know! Keep in mind that at the end of the day, pressing rosin is a very simple process. It’s the combination of heat and pressure to release the sought-after ingredients of cannabis in a pure and concentrated form.
As an outdoor grower you already have a huge advantage: access to an abundance of starting material!
This material allows you to experiment, and experimentation is key. As long as you stay open to making mistakes and improving with an open mind, you will advance in your extraction skills.
We’ve put together a great collection of resources to help you get started pressing rosin and learn some basic tips and tricks. Check out our tips and tricks blog for more.
Cannabis concentrates continue to trend in the solventless direction as more and more people discover that the exclusion of chemicals and solvents doesn’t entail a sacrifice to purity or potency in the extraction process. We can pursue connoisseur-level extracts with some quality outdoor flower, rosin plates, and a press.
Have questions? Let us know in the comments below.