What Is Cannabis Rosin?Written by Chris Weatherall on Jan 25, 2024
In today’s vast and ever-expanding ocean of retail cannabis options, potent concentrates have carved out a major niche among both therapeutic users and those seeking general recreation and relaxation. But, in this diverse class of products, rosin stands out for its flavor, effect, and unique distinction as a solventless concentrate option.
Rosin’s solventless extraction process preserves more of the natural properties of the cannabis plant so that they come through in the final product. This can result in high-end rosins that present terpene notes and cannabinoid ratios nowhere to be found in concentrates made through other processes – particularly those that rely on the use of solvents to extract THC.
Here at Kind Meds, the team operating our premiere cannabis dispensary works tirelessly to provide Arizona cannabis aficionados with the highest quality rosins and other products for both medical and recreational use. Better yet, our commitment to you goes beyond merely selling cannabis.
We also believe in empowering our community with useful information about cannabis and cannabis products so that you can make informed choices and guide yourself toward positive, healing cannabis experiences. In that same spirit of education and community, we offer today’s comprehensive and easy-to-follow guide to rosin, one of the most desirable and beloved forms of cannabis concentrate on the market today.
Demystifying Cannabis Concentrates: What Is Rosin?
We’ll start with the basics first as we define rosin. It’s important to know that the word “rosin” can be used for a variety of other sticky, glue-like substances, not just cannabis concentrate. As such, you can find various non-cannabis rosin products for sale in jewelry or crafting settings. In fact, prior to the spread of cannabis legalization, the term “rosin,” given no other context, would more typically refer to an oil-soluble product extracted from the sap of long-leaf pine trees.
The word itself can be traced back to the old French “raisine.” Interestingly enough, this means your potent ball of rosin actually has the same etymological origin as raisins (yes, those raisins – the classic fruit snack created by drying grapes). This may strike you as strange, but note that both involve removing the moisture content from some substance or object in order to create a discernibly different product. In the case of raisins, you get a chewy, easily preserved form of grape. In the case of cannabis rosin, you get a sticky wad of highly concentrated cannabinoids and terpenes that can be put in your dab rig, vaporized, or used to infuse a special joint.
Rosin Vs. Resin
As you may have noticed, the word rosin is also closely related to the word resin. Some people, within the cannabis space and otherwise, even mistakenly believe that the terms rosin and resin are interchangeable. This is not accurate, however, and disregards some subtle but key distinctions. Rosin is typically a more solid version of cannabis concentrate, while resin can be more fluid.
When zooming in on the cannabis world, the definitions become a bit more rigid. When referring to cannabis extracts, rosin always refers to a solventless cannabis concentrate created instead with heat and pressure. This means the extraction process for creating rosin does not involve the use of butane, alcohol, or other chemical solvents.
For some, this may seem like an unnecessary level of technical detail, but it’s a crucial distinction for the end users of these cannabis concentrate products. The solventless process ensures the purest and most authentically “cannabis-like” experience possible when using concentrates. For this reason, cannabis aficionados who savor big terpene profiles and natural plant notes tend to gravitate towards high-end live rosin products when choosing a concentrate. Rosins are created through the precise application of heat and pressure rather than relying on solvents to extract the THC.
Learn more here: Live Rosin vs. Live Resin: What’s the Difference?
What Is Live Rosin?
When browsing today’s high-end cannabis products, you’ll undoubtedly come across concentrates and vaporizer cartridges featuring a special type of concentrate called “live rosin,” as well as its cousin “live resin.”
When rosin or other concentrate is marketed as “live,” this means that the plant material used to create the product has never been cured, dried, or otherwise processed before extraction. This focus on maximum freshness leads to uniquely robust terpene profiles and cannabinoid ratios that offer users a sweeter, more floral, and more authentically cannabis-like experience than any other type of concentrate currently on the market. This is especially true when combined with the solventless extraction process that defines rosin.
Note that while the live rosin method locks in the fresh, plant-like qualities of your favorite cannabis strain, it isn’t quite the “farm-to-table” process it might sound like at first. Typically, when we discuss “live” cannabis flower extraction, we’re talking about cannabis buds that have been picked and then flash-frozen to seal in the freshness. It can remain frozen in storage for some time before actually being pressed into rosin and still be considered a “live” concentrate. Live rosin may be made from flower that has never been cured or dried, but it is still a processed product in the sense that it has been frozen, pressed, and heated.
Many concentrate users swear by live rosin products, and the differences between live rosins, other rosins, and other concentrates (in both flavor and effect) tend to be self-evident to anyone who attempts a side-by-side comparison.
Live Resin vs. Live Rosin
Be aware that live rosin and live resin, while both popular and potent forms of cannabis concentrate, are not at all the same product. While both are made from fresh, uncured cannabis flower, it is once again the solventless extraction process that defines live rosin and sets it apart from other concentrates.
For clarification and summary:
- Rosin – A type of solventless cannabis extract created with heat and pressure.
- Resin – A solvent-based cannabis extract often created to boast high THC content.
- Live Rosin – A type of rosin made from fresh (or fresh-frozen) uncured cannabis plants.
- Live Resin – A type of cannabis extract made from fresh (or fresh-frozen) uncured cannabis plants, but which is produced through the addition of a chemical agent or solvent to extract THC and other cannabis-derived compounds.
Just like rosin and live rosin, live resin can be a great choice for use in dab rigs and vaporizers. However, it’s important to know that it’s not the same thing as live rosin, which is typically considered the superior product. This can help you understand the differences in flavor, price, and potency when you’re shopping for concentrates and vape carts.
From Plant to Dab: How Is Rosin Made?
The rosin creation process is one of both simplicity and sophistication. While the processes used for extraction are limited to simple heat and pressure, these must be applied with precision using well-maintained tools operated by knowledgeable personnel who have a thorough understanding of the process. This is to say that creating cannabis rosin may be a matter of “simple” heat and pressure, but getting solid, consistent results is far from easy. At Kind Meds, we carry some of the top rosin products and other high-end concentrates from licensed Arizona producers who have perfected the extraction process.
At its core, creating rosin is the process of using heat and mechanical pressure to separate the cannabis flower’s trichomes – those sparkling guardians of THC and terpenes – from the rest of the plant material. This process leaves behind a sticky, firm, but pliable extract that can range in color from a creamy, decadent tan to a more earthy substance carrying verdant green notes. The exact color, scent, and texture of the final product will depend on the strain used to create the rosin, whether the flower is cured or “live,” and the processes used by the producer (i.e., the exact amounts of heat and pressure applied and the method of application). Whatever its final appearance, this powerful, highly concentrated ball of aromatic cannabis concentrate is known as rosin.
The Various Methods for Producing Rosin
One of the reasons traditional rosin can take on such a wide array of colors and textures is the fact that its production can be approached in a few different ways:
In this method, whole, rough-trimmed cannabis buds (either dried and cured or fresh and “live”) are pressed between heated plates to extract the cannabis oils directly from the plant material. This type of rosin is often darker due to the presence of colorful flower site leaves left in the process.
Dry Sift Rosin
Lovingly known as “kief” in the cannabis world, dry sift is a powdery substance obtained by separating trichomes from cannabis buds through friction, shaking, sifting, or some other method. In professional production facilities, this involves sifting dried and cured cannabis flower through mesh screens of progressively decreasing size until the coveted trichome heads have been isolated. This “dry sift” can then be pressed between heated plates, whereupon it will be compressed into a sticky rosin.
You may think of hash as a completely different type of cannabis concentrate. However, this method of rosin-making is an offshoot of the concentrated ice-water hash method, essentially taking it one step further by concentrating the hash and pressing it into rosin using heated plates. Ice-water cannabis extraction is a fascinating topic in its own right, but this method, in skilled hands, is very effective for use with cured, dried cannabis and for creating live rosin from fresh plants.
Putting Rosin to Use: How to Smoke Rosin
Learning what rosin is and how it’s made is useful, but practical advice about how these potent concentrates are used is crucial for anyone interested in partaking. The therapeutic and recreational delights of rosin can be experienced through a variety of methods.
Smoking Rosin From a Pipe or Bong
If you’re already equipped to smoke herb, no special tools are necessary for enjoying rosin. You simply load your bowl with a layer of flower and top it with the desired amount of rosin. For best results, press another small layer of flower on top before lighting.
Infusing a Joint or Blunt with Rosin
Similar to the first method, simply prepare your joint as you normally would, but add a bit of rosin to your flower. If you have particularly dry rosin, you may be able to simply sprinkle it atop the flower, just like sugar. Stickier rosins will require you to roll a tiny ball into a snake-like shape to lay into your joint before rolling it all together.
Dabbing Rosin in a Dab Rig
Many modern cannabis concentrate lovers opt for a dab rig. This involves using a bong-like piece with a superheated quartz surface (the dab nail) in place of the bowl. The superheated surface allows you to vaporize a chunk of pure rosin or other extract and inhale the vapor. With a dab rig, you can experience the pure effects of your concentrate and do so without the lingering smell of smoke that comes with burning flower.
Vaporizing Rosin in a Vape or Dab Pen
You can also find live rosin vape cartridges from some higher-end vendors. You can also consider using your rosin in a vape with a refillable chamber or with a dab pen you simply dip into the rosin and then vaporize. This is essentially a portable form of dabbing.
Kind Meds AZ: Your Trusted Source for High-End Rosin and Live Cannabis Concentrates
At Kind Meds, we’re not just another retail dispensary. We’re focused on the wellness of our clients and on guiding them to positive, healing experiences through cannabis. Our flagship Mesa, AZ, dispensary carries quality rosin products for medical and recreational adult use. We offer a comprehensive line of top-shelf concentrates from the region’s best vendors, as well as the accessories you need to start vaping or dabbing your new favorite rosin.
Whether you’re a curious newcomer or a daily medical cannabis user, let our friendly and knowledgeable staff guide you to a great rosin experience. At Kind Meds, we’re always focused on finding the products and strains that meet your specific needs rather than pushing particular products. Stop into your local dispensary or browse products online today.