There is a cannabis craze sweeping the United States. States are legalizing marijuana and new products are hitting the market every day. At the federal level, hemp was legalized in 2018 through the Farm Bill. The difference between hemp and marijuana is the level of Delta-9 THC in the plant. Delta-9 THC is just one of over 100 cannabinoids that make up the cannabis plant, but it’s the best known. Delta-9 THC is the cannabinoid responsible for feeling high. Marijuana is loaded with Delta-9 THC, up to 35%! Hemp, on the other hand, must legally contain less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC. This means that hemp and hemp products will not get you high.
Instead, hemp is loaded with another cannabinoid, CBD. Cannabidiol (CBD) has been shown to potentially produce many of the same benefits enjoyed by marijuana users. This includes pain management, anti-inflammation, anti-anxiety, stress reduction, digestive aid, sleep aid, etc.
All this, without any high.
The CBD in hemp flower can be extracted and used to make concentrated products such as edibles, tinctures, and dabs. There are a seemingly endless number of ways to benefit from CBD. Dabbing has become a popular product in the market for its high potency. While hemp flower can contain up to around 25% CBD, dabs can reach up to 90%! These stamps can be made in several ways. In many cases, butane or another solvent is passed through the buds to remove the cannabinoids. The solvent is then evaporated leaving only the pure cannabinoids.
Using solvents to extract cannabinoids is not the purest method for many users. Solvent-free extracts have become very popular recently. We call it “Rosin”. Rosin is made by applying heat and pressure to cannabis in order to “crush” the concentrated cannabinoids. It’s safer to make than swabs that require flammable solvents, the equipment to make it is significantly cheaper, and you can do it yourself from the comfort of your own home! In this article, we are going to discuss the best way to press CBD flower rosin from hemp.
How to Squeeze the Best CBD Flower Rosin
To press the flower rosin, the hemp flower is broken down and packed into a rosin bag. Rosin bags are made of fine mesh nylon. The purpose of the rosin bag is to hold the plant material inside while allowing the cannabinoids and terpenes (aroma) to pass through the small gaps in the mesh when pressed on a rosin press. A rosin press is equipment with two heating plates that press against each other. Squeezing rosin is a simple task, but the little things can make a big difference. It will take some practice to really dial in the techniques that work best for you. Let’s dive into it.
Pro Tip: Start with a small amount of flower and do a “test press”. That way, if something goes wrong, you won’t have wasted a lot of material.
You will need a few things to make high-quality CBD flower rosin. This includes hemp flower, rosin bags, parchment paper, a rosin press, a dab tool, and a sealable glass container. We’ll cover the specifics of each in this guide.
- hemp flower
- Rosin bags
- rosin press
- buffer tool
- Sealable glass container
There’s a simple saying we like to remember when we find the hemp buds we want to press into rosin. This saying is “Shoot, shoot”. It’s no surprise that high quality hemp produces high quality rosin. Hemp that has high levels of CBD and terpenes will generally produce high yields of good rosin.
You also want moisturize the flower before pressing. During the rosin pressing process, if the buds are dried out, the heat can burn valuable cannabinoids or terpenes. You want to aim for around 62-72% relative humidity (RH). You can use humidity packs to achieve these relative humidity levels. Once you have chosen your buds, they need to be broken down to pack the rosin bag. DO NOT CRUSH THE BUDS. You just want to remove all the stems and leave the small to medium sized buds.
After your flower is prepared, it’s time to choose a suitable rosin bag and pack it. There are several brands of rosin bags, but we prefer Gutenberg’s Dank Pressing Co. Their bags are double stitched for extra durability so they won’t break (blow out) during a press. You can use the code “maryjane15” for 15% off your order at Gutenberg’s Dank Pressing Co.
Rosin bags are available in a variety of mesh sizes. The spaces between the meshes are measured in microns (µ) and generally vary from 15µ to 220µ. The larger the micron, the more space there is in the mesh, the more material can pass through. This means higher yields, but it can also mean less clean rosin. For flower rosin, we suggest using a micron bag between 90µ and 220µ.
The size (dimensions) of rosin bag you use is based on the amount of material you are pressing and the size of your rosin press plates. For example, a 2×4 inch bag can hold up to approximately 7 grams of flowers and a 4×7 inch bag up to approximately 25 grams. You never want to use a larger rosin bag than your rosin press plates.
To wrap the rosin bag, make sure the seams are facing inward. Gutenberg rosin bags come this way. Then start forming a flower base at the bottom of the inside of the rosin bag. Take care to avoid air pockets. Continue building the flower inside the bag. You want to leave at least a 0.5 inch gap at the top. This will serve to fold and “seal” the bag. Some people prefer to use a pre-press mold to form their flower into a tight brick before putting it in the rosin bag.
Tech Style (BTS) Squeezing Bottle is another flower rosin production method that has gained a lot of support. Using this technique allows the presser to maintain more even pressure. Some say it also produces higher yields. When packing a BTS rosin bag, the only difference is that before packing the bag, push the bottom corners of the bag inward. Then proceed as you normally would.
Prepare the rosin press
The rosin press plates should be lined with parchment paper to “catch” the rosin that comes out of the bags. It may be helpful to use a magnet to hold the parchment paper in place. We suggest that the parchment overlap the plates by a few centimeters (more if pressing a large amount).
Place your rosin bag(s) flat on the press plates towards the center. You want enough room for the bag to expand when squeezed so that it doesn’t expand beyond the confines of the press plates. If you press BTS, place the bag vertically on the press plates so that the bottom with the depressed corners sits straight on the plates (shown above).
Set a temperature
When pressing CBD flower rosin, we suggest using a temperature between 160℉ and 200℉. Lower temperatures may produce less than higher temperatures. On the other side of the coin, lower temperatures can produce more flavorful rosin because more terpenes are retained. As far as consistency goes, higher temperatures can produce a saggier rosin or, if it’s on the press longer, a burst-like rosin. Lower temperatures can result in a more bud-like consistency. It will take time and practice to find the temperature that works best for you. Remember that not all strains or even all buds will press the same way.
To start, we suggest applying just enough pressure to hold the rosin bags in place. The hot plates will begin to warm the hemp in the rosin bag and better prepare it to be crushed. About 30-60 seconds should do the trick. For the rest of the press, you want to increase the pressure steadily and evenly. Do NOT apply pressure, then let it sit, then apply pressure again and repeat. This can lead to clogs in the mesh, burnt terpenes, and underutilized cannabinoids. The amount of pressure you apply is a personal choice. Many don’t even use pressure gauges and instead press by touch. Again, this is going to take some practice.
How long you leave your rosin bag on the press is up to you. For flower rosin, one press typically takes about 90 seconds to 4 minutes. The more material you have, the longer you will likely need to press.
When you’re done with the press, it’s best to immediately scoop the rosin off the parchment paper using a dab tool or a non-stick mitt. If the rosin is a little runny and hard to collect, you can chill it on a cold plate or in the fridge. This can help stabilize the rosin and make collection a bit easier. Once collected, place the rosin in an airtight, resealable glass container.
We are now at the “curing” stage. This is an entirely optional step and some prefer to take advantage of freshly squeezed rosin. Curing refers to the introduction of light, time, oxygen, temperature differences, and agitation to alter the rosin’s consistency and cannabinoid/terpene content. We suggest using an airtight jar as oxygen can degrade desirable terpenes and alter the flavor of your rosin. It is also best to store rosin in a dark place, away from direct sunlight.
Rosin can be hot or cold cured. Hot cures (around 90℉ to 220℉) can create a sauce-like consistency. Cold cures (about 50℉ to 75℉) generally give worse consistencies. The duration of your treatment depends on you. It could be 12 hours or 12 days or 12 weeks. Generally, the colder the temperature at which you cure, the longer it may take.
During a cure, it’s not uncommon to start seeing terpenes separate from cannabinoids and form “puddles” or even their own layer. Once this happens, many choose to “whip” it to even out the mix so that each dab has the same terpenes and cannabinoids.
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