Dabbing and concentrates have become the new gold standard for using cannabis. Some people seem to love it for the amazing flavours they get from a nice big chunk of concentrate. On the other hand, concentrate doesn’t just pack a punch of flavour, but it also packs quite a punch of potency!
Concentrates contain anywhere from about 60% THC to about 95% THC. This functionally means, one good hit off the dab rig and you’ve consumed an entire joint worth of THC!
For the last several years, most concentrates, and particularly isolates, are made in laboratory facilities and they require specialized, and sometimes dangerous, equipment in order to produce. Creative stoners came up with Rosin as a way of producing concentrates in a much safer, at home way.
Rosin is a concentrate product that has the potential to hit the same levels of flavour and potency as some lab-made concentrates. In the most basic description, Rosin is made by pressing two heated plates together with flower or traditional hash placed in-between the plates. The cannabinoids, terpenes and terpenoids and fat content of the material is squeezed out and collected – and immediately ready for use!
Many of us will remember in years past when we were young, or out of money, or just simply out of weed and wanted to get stoned, that we would scrape our pipes for the resin that is produced around the glass after hundreds of ganja sessions have been enjoyed through the pipe. Rosin is not the same as resin. That resin was actually build-up of many carcinogenic compounds, tars, and burned materials that accumulated around the pipe. While there was definitely some amount of cannabinoid content – it was decidedly low and the flavour, all of us remember, was just atrocious.
Rosin on the other hand is a term referring to the concentrate product produced by the specific technique using two heated plates.
Just like shatter or distillate, Rosin is primarily consumed in a Dab Rig and vaporized at a specific temperature. Most connoisseurs use digital temperature controllers in order to make sure they are enjoying their Rosin at the perfect temperature for the perfect flavour. In general, higher temperatures will produce a stronger effect while lower temperatures will produce better flavours. It seems that everyone these days has their own opinions on the perfect temperature. This being said, evidence has surfaced which suggests that temperatures above 370ºC can create harmful bi-products when dabbing.
Rosin, like any other concentrate, is essentially a concentrated form of cannabis, which does not contain any amounts of any other materials than those found in the cannabis plant. This said, the question of whether or not Rosin is safe to consume is a complicated one.
On one hand, because Rosin does not involve any amount of solvent for production, there is no chance of even a single ppm of residual solvent being found in the end product.
Rosin tends to have a much higher fat content than that which is found in lab-made concentrates like shatter or distillate. This might be cause for concern. Because of the high percentage of plants waxes and fats that might be found in the end product, there has been some evidence to suggest that consumption of these types of concentrates could provoke liposomal pneumonia. This is a type pneumonia which develops specifically from the inhalation of fats and oils into the lungs.
Rosin is in fact a great material for making edibles, however it would be a waste to consume it by itself. Remember that cannabinoids and concentrates can not just be immediately eaten but must be prepared in specific ways. The THCa content must be converted to THC by removing a carboxyl group from molecule. A delivery system for absorption is also very important. This involves encapsulating the now THC rich concentrate with a specific fat in order to make fully available for absorption within your body.
You sure can! Savvy stoners have developed a way of creating Rosin at home with a hair straightener! Check out this step by step guide on how you can give it a try yourself!
Turn on a hair straightener to a low setting (140-165°F):
When making rosin from fresh material, there is a good chance that a vast majority of the cannabinoids within will be in their acid forms. For example, THC will actually be present as THCa. As mentioned before, THCa must be converted to THC for cannabis edibles. This is a process that is usually done through heat, when a flame touches the THCa. A carboxyl group is removed and the THC is vaporized. This process, often referred to as decarboxylation, must be done without vaporizing the THC before making edibles.
The easiest way to decarboxylate your Rosin for use in edibles is in a small silicone bowl in the oven. Set the oven to 120ºC and place your rosin inside. Leave it there for 30-45 min and then remove it and allow the heat to come back to room temperature slowly. You will observe during its time in the oven, that bubbles appear. As the carboxyl group is removed, CO2 is formed and this makes the reaction observable with the naked eye. Instead of just placing your rosin in the oven for a period of 30-45 min, you can dial in the exact time and be more accurate by waiting until you see the deceleration of bubble formation. This is the point at which more THC is being converted to CBN than new THCA is being converted to THC.
Your Rosin is now ready to be dissolved into a fat like coconut oil, or MCT oils, and mixed into whatever recipe you can imagine! Be careful with the dosage. 1G of Rosin might have between 500-700mg of THC within it. For edibles, 5mg is considered a safe starting dosage until you become familiar with how eating THC might effect you.