Across the cannabis industry, rapid evolution is taking place. In 2015, a new method of processing THC extract began to take form in the shape of heated presses. The experimental beginnings of the rosin press were started by DIY enthusiasts tired of the extreme conditions required of solvent-based products.
These enthusiasts wanted to develop a method that was safer, used fewer contaminants, and could be done cheaper. The end product — a translucent, sap-like concentrate that closely resembled solvent-based shatter. It’s shatter that’s more consumer-friendly, safe, and cost-effective, though — all while being produced in a fraction of the time.
In this guide today, we want to cover a variety of topics regarding the rosin press. What is a rosin press? Why do we prefer it for our full spectrum products? Let’s dive into our comprehensive guide on our favorite extract and the device it’s made with. We’ll also show off some of the products that are made with full-spectrum hemp rosin from our very own rosin press!
What is a Rosin Press?
Rosin extracts started from individuals who wanted a safer alternative to solvent extraction processes. These individuals began with homemade machines that could generate shatter-like extract, but without the setups necessary for butane and propane. Experimentation around heated presses followed, in an effort to press out the same level of extract without industrial solvents.
Initial setups included modified shirt pressing machines and even hair straighteners. They would generate heat across two plates to evenly distribute pressure. This would force the resin-like oil directly out of the cannabis flower.
From this early pioneer technology, newer and more efficient means became available to the general public. This granted more people the ability to extract a safe, clean, and efficient product within the comfort of their homes.
4 Types of Rosin Press
As of 2021, multiple types of rosin press equipment are available for those looking to break into their own production. Currently, there is no particular “industry standard” when it comes to home rosin production. However, there are still an array of options available to the public.
1. The Classic — A Common Hair Straightener
As basic as it sounds, the hair straightener was the starting point for the rosin press movement. While not the most efficient — by any means — the hair straightener covers all three necessary mechanical components for rosin extracts.
To make rosin, you need heat, time, and pressure. The layout of the average hair straightener offers this combination at an extremely cost-effective rate. It also has the added benefit of only being able to handle a set amount of pressure before breaking. Early adopters used this to properly gauge the maximum force they could use in the process without overdoing it.
While not the most efficient method, its affordability, and ease of accessibility, make a hair straightener still a worthy option. For those wanting to try out rosin production at home without committing to the more expensive options, hair straighteners are a perfect choice.
2. A Modified Hat Press
Not too long after hair straighteners had proven their ability to produce rosin, people started instead modifying larger equipment. A downside of the hair straightener was that it couldn’t produce much product at one time. The result spawned the early adaptation of the hat press.
It was larger and, as a result, able to handle more flower in a single press. Unsurprisingly, this heated hat press helped to increase rosin yield. The drawback for a regular hat press is that it only heats its top plate. Typically, a hat press doesn’t require the bottom plate to be heated. Both sides don’t need to be hot to apply work to hats.
With that in mind, some modification was in order. Aftermarket companies accommodated, providing heated solutions in the form of compatible parts. Quickly after, the hat press became a viable option to increase overall rosin yield.
Unfortunately, the yield quantity still limited the hat press to personal use. It also doesn’t provide enough benefits to constitute any industrial or large-scale production. As quickly as the hat press came into the market for rosin, it also quickly faded into the background. Comparing the price to product, there are other, much more efficient options.
3. The Pneumatic Press
Beyond the field of DIY rosin pressing, a more streamlined, specialized type of machinery came forward. Above the hat press tier is the pneumatic press. A heavy hitter, the pneumatic press uses air — pressurized air, which can deliver upwards of 2000 pounds across its surface.
From here, the cannabis industry saw the makings of much larger batches of rosin. Quality increased with the quantity, too, as the pneumatic rosin press has more precisely controlled variables. This allows rosin producers to generate more consistent results.
And, since the variables are more controlled, we can use this to preserve more of the terpenes in each strain. Terpenes are what give every plants its flavor and aroma profile, so they’re kind of a big deal.
As with all things, though, there are some drawbacks to the pneumatic press. The change in quality is directly correlated with the change in initial investment cost. Considerable manufacturing requirements and modern technology are required to produce equipment like this. Still, even with the greater cost, pneumatic presses continue to flood into the consumer market. Thanks to their high reliability and consistent output, they’re a necessary commodity for some rosin producers.
4. The Hydraulic Rosin Press
Beyond the pneumatic press lies its big brother: the hydraulic press.
This absolute beast of a machine dwarfs the pressure output limits of the pneumatic press by orders of magnitude. For comparison, the pneumatic rosin press can achieve upwards of 2000 pounds of pressure per square inch. The hydraulic press can generate ten times that.
Also known as an H-frame press, this unit uses a hydraulic cylinder compared to the pneumatic’s compressed air system. Another advantage of such a machine is the much larger surface area on its pressure plates. The larger the plates, the greater the volume of rosin can be produced at once.
The greatest benefit to the hydraulic rosin press, though, may come as somewhat of a surprise — it’s also cost-effective. For the volume and consistent quality that it can produce, the hydraulic press has a relatively low price point.
With the space to set up and store a hydraulic press, the barrier to get into rosin is low. The average twelve-ton shop press can be acquired for as little as $100. Then, only about $75 more for additional equipment to be converted into a functional hydraulic rosin press. The alteration doesn’t even require extensive mechanical expertise, so you don’t have to feel out of your element. It can make an excellent addition to anyone’s operation, with most alteration parts available online.
Potent Products Made from Rosin
All of our full-spectrum products are made from full-spectrum hemp rosin, which we make using — you guessed it — a rosin press. We still want to show you what makes a good rosin press, as well as why we choose rosin for these products. In many ways, the method is better than solvent extraction, and we want to highlight some of those reasons. First, however, we want to spotlight just some of the products near and dear to our hearts.
Delta 8 Brownie Bites
Many people’s first edible is the classic cannabis brownie. What better way to ease into delta 8 than to have your first delta 8 edible also be a brownie? Our brownie bites are a wild ride! Packed with CBD, Delta 8 THC, CBC, CBG, and even some delta 9 THC, get ready to blast off. You’ll learn later in our guide exactly how rosin makes your experience so much better.
Full-Spectrum CBD+Delta 8 Oil
Tinctures have been a popular mainstay among CBD products ever since CBD gained national attention. While not everyone enjoys the taste, it’s an easy way to get your daily dose of cannabidiol. We take our full spectrum oil up a notch by combining it with other cannabinoids. This one, in particular, we combined with delta 8 for a more powerful experience. Enjoy the best of both worlds when you put a few drops of our CBD+delta 8 oil under your tongue.
There’s even more to love in our CBD+THC rosin honey. Each teaspoon contains 14mg CBD, .7mg delta 9 THC, as well as CBGa, CBG, CBDa, and CBDv. Strap in for a delightful adventure no matter what time of day it might be! Promote overall wellness and enjoy everything else the cannabinoids have to offer. Whether you add it into your oatmeal or other breakfast food or a snack throughout the day, discover what you enjoy with it most.
Full-Spectrum CBD+CBN Oil
Last but not least of what we’ll mention for now is our full-spectrum CBD+CBN oil. An alternative scenario compared to the CBD+delta 8, CBN provides something entirely different. Known well for its sedative properties in various communities, CBN is a rising star in the cannabinoid world. Get better sleep than ever before with hemp oil that powers you through the night.
What Makes a Good Rosin Press?
Now, as far as prebuilt rosin press machines go, there is a difference between manufacturers. Quality will vary between machines. Some go-getters simply buy individual parts and build the presses from the ground up themselves. This can help you really get a feel for how they work and make sure the parts are high-quality.
Others may be less inclined to do the hands-on work and opt to buy prebuilt instead. If opting to buy, there are some things to keep in mind when looking through the plethora of available equipment.
Digital PID Temperature Control
PID temperature control allows you to reliably hit the needed heat threshold to maximize your rosin harvest with consistency. The ability to control temperature means you can choose low- or high-temp batches.
- Low-temperature batches, typically between 190°F and 220°F, can help to maximize the terpenes, offering a more pronounced flavor and aroma.
- High-temperature batches (between 220°F and 250°F) offer a higher yield at the expense of arguably better flavor.
The temperature also plays a role in the consistency of a rosin press batch. Low temperatures provide a more butter-like honey texture. Meanwhile, higher temperatures produce a less stable, sap-like yield.
Dual Heating Plates and Stainless Steel Machine Backbone
Both plate sides need to be able to achieve heat for a successful rosin extract. This is where the big downside from the hat press comes, and why it requires alteration.
Unfortunately, you can buy a hydraulic or pneumatic press that lacks a heated bottom plate. Trying to use either press in this state is going to result in a botched attempt. Instead, you’ll need to attach dual heating plates for max efficacy.
Likewise, a solid stainless steel backbone also provides the machine with structural integrity. This is necessary to reliably produce harvests while not warping the rosin press under such a heavy workload.
Adjustable Pressure and Downstroke Speed
A good rosin press needs the option to adjust pressure output and speed in proportion to the material being pressed. This maximizes efficiency and helps to ensure a high-quality outcome.
To maximize efficiency and high-quality outcome a good rosin press should have the ability to adjust its pressure output and speed to match batch sizes equal to the material being pressed. Flower and hash both produce rosin, but not under the exact same conditions. You risk wasted harvest potential by not being able to adjust your equipment properly.
Food-Grade Stainless Steel Covers for Aluminum Heat Plates
While not technically food, rosin is still something that comes in contact with the human body. Used by itself or in edibles, it still gets consumed. To this extent, you want to make sure your machine is food-safe with the right parts. Otherwise, you may end up with contaminants that you didn’t account for.
One of the main selling points of pressed rosin is how much cleaner of a process it is overall. However, you still get what you pay for. When it comes to safety, make sure you’re not cutting corners. It can affect the end product to a degree you can’t repair!
Why is a Rosin Press Better than a Solvent Extraction?
The two major players in extract production come in two flavors.
- There’s the pressure-based rosin, from a rosin press.
- Then, there’s the solvent-based extract, typically made with either butane or isopropyl alcohol.
More Work for Less Reward
Solvent-based extracts can produce extremely consistent results. However, the level of know-how and safety precautions far exceeds that needed for a rosin press. Likewise, solvent-based extractions always run the risk of leaving traces of butane and/or alcohol in the final product. When this happens, there’s no true way to fully clean the harvest.
Solvents Take Time
It also requires time to freeze the entire product during the extraction process. This step is what separates the chemical from the extract in the first place, so it’s a necessary step.
And even after all that extra effort, it’s still impossible for a solvent-based extract to be assuredly 100% clean.
Meanwhile, a rosin press is always clean, as long as you don’t actively press a contaminant into the batch. Rosin comes out clean every time if you’re using proper equipment that’s cleaned regularly and well-maintained.
Less of a Learning Curve
The average beginner can learn how to use a rosin press within the first hour of tinkering with it. Realistically, you could have a usable product after 15 minutes of learning how to use a rosin press. Plus, this also results in significantly faster turnaround times for rosin yields. Just about anyone can start making rosin on their own, provided they bought the press and have it set up.
The Rosin Press Preserves Flavor
The low heat and high pressure of a rosin press also act to preserve flavor. Without having to introduce external chemicals, the terpenes are left intact at the end of the process. This can give you a more robust flavor profile.
Solvent extraction tends to strip the flavor out while leaving the potency intact. This, coupled with the lingering flavor of butane, makes for a less desirable taste. It can also give the end product a machine flavor as opposed to something natural.
A More Powerful Entourage Effect
We saved one of the biggest benefits to using a rosin press over a solvent solution for last. The preservation of terpenes allows the end product to more easily deliver the “entourage effect.” With the terpenes intact, they can work with the cannabinoids to produce a more immersive, deeper interaction. You can maximize a user’s experience, allowing the full potential of a strain to activate.
Why is a Rosin Press Beneficial?
In the face of a growing market of various concentrates, rosin manages to stand in a league of its own. Compared to its competitors, rosin production is more cost-effective, beginner-friendly, and safer. This is with the added bonus of high-quality end products with much faster turnaround times.
Why is a rosin press beneficial? We’ll let you count the ways.
- Rosin pressing results in zero solvent contaminations. There are no leftover chemicals to cause a harsh interaction with the consumer, because there are no chemicals. This is as clean as it gets.
- From a heated rosin press, extracts can be just as potent as BHO and other popular concentrates. A rosin extract could test in at 70% or even 80% or more cannabinoids per gram.
- Rosin presses are significantly cheaper than any solvent-based setup. The initial cost is more appealing, as well as the cost to maintain a rosin press. Your biggest obstacle is just keeping stocked on the wax paper necessary to run the press. Compared to the slew of chemicals needed to run a solvent operation, this helps to always keep costs down.
- Rosin extraction is the safest of options by a massive margin. It has heated plates that could cause serious burns if touched, sure. The same can be said of a kitchen stove, though. Alternatively, solvent operations run the risk of flameless explosions that could cause serious harm or even death.
- Finally, rosin can be extracted from almost any starting material. Whether it’s hash, flower, or even trim, it can be pressed into pure rosin. Rosin then retails for $40 to $80 a gram. This makes using a rosin press highly lucrative.
Final Thoughts on: What is a Rosin Press?
As we wrap up, we want to brag on rosin some more. Both medical and recreational patients are learning that pure rosin offers a wide variety of benefits. It could be pain relief or relief from other symptoms for some. For others, it could be the full flavor and powerful effects from the concentrate. Regardless, we hope this guide helps you see the benefits to the rosin press a bit more.
The demand for rosin increases steadily each year. It comes as no surprise that many manufacturers are clamoring to stake their claim on rosin production. The age of efficient, affordable presses is here, and they’re coming in the form of a rosin press.
Anyone interested in acquiring a press of their own just needs to be aware that just like any other budding market, the market is flooded with cheap inferior technology. The market is young and just now finding its footing in a new and exciting world. So take care, be careful, and take your time finding the parts or prebuilt press that really fits your needs.