November 10, 2020 8 min read

By George Mouratidis

The practice of pressing cannabis into rosin only began to “sizzle” in 2015. That’s when California cannaseur Phil “Soilgrown” Salazar showed off his fresh-pressed rosin on social media.

Since then, rosin has become the trendiest concentrate in the marijuana industry.

While many dispensaries now offer rosin for purchase, it’s not all that difficult to make this sweet & sticky substance at home.

Indeed, a big part of rosin’s popularity is that it’s so easy to make.

But before we get into how to make rosin, let’s clear up some confusion over what this concentrate is.

What Is Rosin? – A Quick Definition

The simplest way to describe rosin is to say it’s a “solventless cannabis concentrate.”

Instead of using compounds like butane or CO2, rosin is made by applying pressure and heat to cannabis, hash, bubble hash, or dry sift.

The final result is a sticky substance that’s often used in vaping or dabbing.

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Although rosin may not be the most potent concentrate, it typically has respectable cannabinoid percentages (~70 percent).

On top of cannabinoids, rosin contains a plethora of flavonoids and aromatic terpenes.

Is Rosin The Same As Resin?

Let’s clear this issue up right out of the gate: “resin” and “rosin” aren’t the same. “Resin” has a few meanings, but it often refers to the coating of trichomes covering cannabis buds.

If you’ve read enough descriptions of strains, you’ve probably run across the phrase “resinous buds” quite a few times.

Alternatively, “resin” is sometimes used to describe the leftover concentrate that forms on bongs.

Although this dark, goopy substance usually smells rancid, it’s not unheard of for desperate tokers to smoke it for a quick buzz. 

While we’re clearing up cannabis terms, keep in mind that “live resin” has nothing to do with “resin.”

Confusingly, “live resin” refers to one of the purest (and most expensive) concentrates in the cannabis industry. Live resin extractors use flash-freezing to preserve high levels of terpenes in fresh marijuana buds.

Customers who want the ultimate flavor experience can’t do better than a vial of live resin.

Why Is Pressing Rosin Becoming So Popular?

The simplest explanation for rosin’s popularity is that it’s the easiest concentrate to make at home. Not only is it inexpensive to make rosin, it’s relatively safe if you take proper precautions.

Even people with little technical experience could make a decent batch of rosin with a hair straightener, well-cured weed, and parchment paper.

Many other concentrates require hefty investments in hi-tech extraction technologies. Not only are these machines expensive, they’re extremely dangerous if you don’t have a technical background.

Solvents like butane are notorious for causing fires in well-controlled laboratories.

Speaking of solvents, people love rosin because there’s zero chance chemicals will stick to their final product.

Since you only need pressure and heat to extract rosin, there’s no chance compounds like butane will affect your concentrate’s flavor. 

What’s The Best Way To Make Rosin At Home?

There are two ways to make rosin at home: break out a hair straightener, or buy a rosin press machine.

Understandably, most people gravitate towards hair straighteners because they’re cheap. However, there are drawbacks to consider before using this standard beauty device.

First off, people who use hair straighteners must settle for the lowest possible return on their weed.

While there aren’t scientific studies on this subject, concentrate enthusiasts say the hair straightener method will only produce 5 – 10 percent rosin compared with your weed’s weight. By contrast, high-quality rosin presses could increase your average return to the 20 percent range.

Not only do rosin presses offer a better “bang for your bud,” they are safer to use than a hair straightener. It’s also easier to adjust pressure and temperature to your desired setting when using a high-quality rosin press.

The only thing holding consumers back from buying a rosin press is its high cost. OK, there’s no denying a rosin press will cost more than a hair straightener, but many affordable models are hitting the market.

For instance, the company Rosin Tech Press now puts out impressive machines under $1,000. FYI: you can find both the Rosin Tech Pro and Rosin Tech Twist on Everything But The Plant.

Plus, it’s important to remember you will get a higher yield with a rosin press versus a hair straightener. If you’re someone who makes a lot of rosin, it may be more cost-effective to buy one of these rosin presses.

Be sure to read through Everything But The Plant’s picks for the best rosin presses on this link. If you have any questions about these products, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our support staff.

How Can You Make Rosin With A Hair Straightener?

If you’re going to use a hair straightener to make rosin, we advise buying a unit with a temperature control setting. Although any functioning hair straightener should work, having the ability to change your unit’s temp will give you more control over the final product. 

Do you already have a hair straightener without temperature controls? No worries! You could use an IR temperature gun to figure out the average temperature of your straightener. This info will come in handy as you press your marijuana buds.

Please don’t forget to gather the following equipment on Everything But The Plant before pressing your rosin:

Here’s a standard method for pressing rosin with a hair straightener:

  • Cut out a 4” x 4” piece of parchment paper, place about 1 gram of small cannabis buds in the center, and fold the paper in half.
  • Turn on your hair straightener to the lowest heat setting.
  • Put on your heat-resistant gloves.
  • Once the hair straightener registers about 210° F, press it over the cannabis.
  • Press down hard using your full body weight for about 20 seconds, or until you hear a sizzling sound.
  • Take the hair straightener off of the parchment paper and check your result.
  • If you notice a low quantity of rosin, you could repeat this process one or two times.
  • Once you’re satisfied, use your scraper to collect the rosin and store it in an envelope or silicone jar.

Please remember, this is a basic technique for making rosin at home. People more experienced with concentrates often recommend using micron mesh screens to make this process easier. There’s also a ton of debate over the optimal temperature and primary cannabis material. 

However, this method is an excellent way for newcomers to begin experimenting with making rosin. As you discover what works best for you, feel free to adjust these directions to fit your needs.

How Do You Use Rosin?

Typically, people enjoy using rosin in a dabbing rig for an intense smoke session. However, that doesn’t mean you need to be a “dabber” to enjoy this concentrate. 

For instance, it’s quite common for people to add a drizzle of rosin to ground flower before smoking. In fact, since rosin is so sticky, many tokers like to spread a layer of it on joint paper to keep it glued shut while they’re “glued” to their couch.

If you prefer vaping over smoking, then why not add rosin to your vaporizer? As long as your device uses cannabis concentrates, there should be no problem adding a dose of rosin to your machine. You could even make a DIY cannabis e-juice with propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin.

Although not as popular as the other methods, it’s not unheard of to use rosin in cannabis edibles. Just bear in mind rosin is not flavor-neutral like other concentrates (e.g., CBD isolate). Also, rosin is exceptionally potent in low doses, so be careful how much you add to your ganja goodies!

How Long Is Rosin OK To Use?

There’s no average shelf life for rosin, but most cannabis experts recommend using it within a week. After this timeframe, the terpenes in your rosin could begin to degrade, which will lead to a less flavorful toke.

Of course, how long your rosin lasts depends on how well you store it. If possible, please place your rosin in a silicone jar that has an airtight lid. If you’re keeping your rosin at room temperature, please store it in a cool, dry area away from direct light.

For those who want to preserve their rosin for a longer time, you could place it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Typically, rosin will last for about one month in the fridge before it starts to degrade.

Could You Press Rosin With Fresh Marijuana Buds?

When it comes to pressing rosin, fresh buds are not your best option. While new weed has the highest concentration of terpenes, it also has the highest water content. If you choose to press your newly harvested buds, you will end up with watery splatter rather than sticky rosin.

On top of this terrible consistency, fresh marijuana buds won’t reward you with a terpene-rich flavor profile. Instead, this “fresh” rosin tends to have an unpleasant taste reminiscent of grass.

For the best results, please follow regular drying and curing procedures before pressing your marijuana flower. Your buds should have a humidity level of about 50 – 60 percent before you make rosin.

If you crave the highest possible terpene content in your rosin, then we recommend researching bubble hash.

What Heat Setting Is Best For Pressing Rosin?

Choosing the best temperature for your rosin press depends on multiple factors, including your desired consistency and potency. In general, it’s best to start pressing rosin with temps around 220° F, especially if you’re using a material like dry sift or hash. Anything higher than this could cause certain terpenes to evaporate.

In most cases, temps around 200° F will result in a concentrate that has a high potency and shatter-like consistency. Anything above 220° F could create a higher quantity of sappy rosin.

For more detailed information on the ideal temp for pressing rosin, be sure to read through this previous article.

What Strains Give Users The Most Rosin? 

Not every cannabis strain is well-suited for rosin. If you want to increase the odds of enjoying a high return from your press, then you need to scope out strains that produce a reliably thick layer of resin. The more trichomes are on your buds, the better chance you’ll enjoy high rosin returns.

So, what strains work best for making rosin? There’s a lot of debate on this topic online, but here are a few names that often produce great results:

  • White Widow
  • Gorilla Glue #4
  • Chemdawg #4
  • Papaya
  • UK Cheese
  • Durban Poison
  • Kosher Kush

While great seed genetics help, please remember that even the best strains can’t thrive in poor growing conditions. If you want the highest trichome counts on your buds, it’s imperative to use a high-quality grow tent and a full-spectrum grow light.

Everything But The Plant offers many fantastic name-brand grow tents and grow lights. Please browse our website if you’re interested in cultivating cannabis at home.

Get “Sizzling” With One Of EBTP’s Professional Rosin Presses!

While the hair straightener method works in a pinch, it can never top the ease and accuracy of professional rosin presses. If you haven’t already, we encourage you to look through the many hydraulic and manual rosin presses now on Everything But The Plant. Trust us; investing in one of these machines can save you a ton of aggravation, time, and money.

If you have further questions about any of the rosin presses in our catalog, be sure to contact our customer support team on this link.


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