🇺🇸 Retired veteran, father, rock-climbing expert & rosin connoisseur.
As a cannabis enthusiast, few things are as rewarding as making your own medicine. Whether you’re already consuming rosin on a regular basis or just getting into the world of solventless for the first time, pressing rosin at home is a worthwhile pursuit.
Solventless extraction is one of the most exciting facets of the cannabis industry. While high-level artistry is required to produce the best of the best, the basic mechanics of pressing rosin are relatively straightforward and easy to replicate and customize for your unique set of needs.
We created this quick guide to help you, a new extractor, think through the list of equipment you’ll need to get started. Ultimately, the type of equipment you use and the design of your in-home lab will evolve to fit your specific preferences. You’ll learn more about your preferences once you have some extraction experience, and it’s incredibly simple to get started.
So let’s get after it!
Rosin can be extracted from various forms of cannabis source material, including raw, dried flower, dry sift or kief (unprocessed trichomes and trichome gland heads), and ice water hash (processed material optimized for trichome gland heads).
The quality of your final product will be a direct reflection of the quality of your source material. Regardless of which of the above forms of cannabis you choose to press, the importance of starting with high quality cannot be overstated.
Rosin yield rates also depend on the type of source material you choose. Expect hash to produce more rosin per gram of material than flower or dry sift and kief.
When you’re just getting started, pressing properly dried and cured flowers is a great launch point. Flowers have the added benefit of often being the most cost efficient and readily available source material.
Growing your own cannabis can be a massive advantage too, and give you greater control over the quality of your source material. Learn more about the advantages of growing your own here.
Broadly speaking, a press is the mechanism through which you’ll apply pressure to your source material. Presses run the spectrum from inexpensive hair straighteners to industrial grade pneumatic work horses.
Your press just needs to meet the basic function of housing a set of heated plates, while allowing you, the extractor, to apply either manual or automated pressure adjustments between the plates.
Plates create the interface of heat and pressure, the two magical mechanisms at work to squeeze rosin from cannabis.
The plates generate the heat and should allow you to adjust the temperature, giving you greater control over the extraction process. Consistent heat distribution, effectiveness of temperature control, and overall durability and quality are some key considerations when picking out plates.
Rosin bags provide multiple advantages during the extraction process. Put simply, their main job is to hold your cannabis source material while it’s being pressed. While they serve a basic function, their importance shouldn’t be overlooked.
Rosin bags provide a barrier between the source material and the final product, filtering out plant material and other less desirable ingredients as the cannabis is squished and rosin flows from the center to the outside of the plates.
Rosin bags also give you a higher level of control over how much pressure is consistently maintained during pressing. Without bags, the source material will “pancake” and spread itself thinly between the plates, diminishing the level of consistent pressure you can apply for the duration of the press.
Consider both the materials and the construction of the rosin bags you choose. Nylon is the most common and dependable material, and be sure to use only rosin bags with heat resistant and food grade nylon.
Also look for quality stitching work. The Press Club bags are made with a proprietary stitching that provides incredible strength for extractors and lays the foundation of our no blowout guarantee.
The Press Club rosin bags are also pre-flipped, which means the seams are already located on the outside. This eliminates that extra step some extractors need to take when pressing with other brands, and is another feature that makes The Press Club rosin bags an excellent choice.
Although not a necessity to press rosin, funnels are used to make filling your rosin bags with material easier, faster, and more efficient. Cutting down prep time is always a win, and funnels help you save valuable time.
Funnels also eliminate the hassle of trying to fill the bags bit by bit with your hands and spilling over the sides of the bag, or fumbling with a hand-made cardboard cone of some sort.
Once you fill a few dozen bags by hand, you’ll come to appreciate the value of a funnel.
Pre Press Mold
Pre Press Molds pack and condense the material inside the rosin bags before it’s placed on the press. After using a funnel to fill your rosin bags, fold the top of the bag and place it into the pre press mold. Apply pressure downwards onto the mold to firmly compress the bag.
Pre-pressing reduces the amount of open space and pockets within the cannabis material, thereby maximizing the amount of rosin that can be successfully squeezed out (as opposed to being locked into any gaps within loosely packed source material).
Find pre-press molds that match the size of the bags you’re using here.
Parchment paper collects freshly squeezed rosin as it oozes through the bag during pressing. Without a folded sheet of parchment to enclose the filled rosin bag, rosin would be pressed out and flow directly onto the heated plates, ruining the product and leaving stains on your gear.
Be sure you’re using extra thick, heat resistant, food grade parchment that’s coated with silicon on at least one side to make rosin collection easier.
Cold plates help cool freshly-pressed rosin immediately after it’s removed from the plates. After removing the rosin bag from inside the folded parchment paper, place the unfolded parchment and fresh rosin directly onto the cooling plate. Cooling the rosin makes collection from the parchment paper a breeze.
Rosin collectors, or rosin stamps, are the ideal tool for picking up rosin from the parchment paper. The smooth, slightly curved surface area of the rosin stamp lets you remove all the rosin from the parchment with just a couple quick passes.
They’re especially effective if you’ve used cooling plates to quickly cool fresh rosin.
Once you’ve pressed and collected the rosin, it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Consider using FEP sheets for short-term storage of your rosin.
FEP comes in terpene-proof, nonstick, and transparent sheets that you can use to keep small amounts of rosin fresh in the short term.
While not the optimal permanent storage solution, FEP sheets are a convenient way to keep your rosin handy for your next dab.
Glass jars are the ideal long-term storage solution for your rosin. Glass won’t absorb the terpenes and cannabinoids in rosin or interact with its constituents, which helps maintain the freshness and quality. Additionally, jars close with an air-tight seal, another important advantage to preserving your rosin.
Warm temps and light will degrade rosin over time, so be sure to store the rosin inside glass jars and keep them in a cool, dark place for the long term.
Bonus Tip: Anytime you’re setting up your workspace, make sure it’s located in a well-lit area where you can clearly observe the color of your rosin as it’s being extracted. If you don’t have ideal lighting already wired in your workspace, The Press Club’s hands-free pressing light is a great solution.
To Sum It Up
Becoming a self-reliant extractor is a rewarding journey. Not only will you enjoy the thrill of building a new skill set and constantly improving your abilities, you’ll soon be producing a premium solventless cannabis concentrate without the premium overhead you’d pay at the dispensary.
At the bare minimum, you can press your first bit of rosin with as little as a hair straightener, rosin bags, and dried cannabis flower.
All the equipment discussed here will help you get started on the right foot. As you progress into the world of solventless extraction, you’ll develop a more intuitive sense of how each piece of equipment contributes to the process, and where you want to invest more resources in improving your overall setup.