• Mitch Pfeifer

What is Rosin?

Cannabis concentrates have taken on dozens of colloquial nicknames as technology and legalization has rapidly advanced extraction processes and techniques. As a result, when it comes to "dabs," we've found that consumers at our Washington dispensaries are often confused as to what the differences between say "rosin", "resin", "shatter", "wax", and so on, actually are. That's why we're here to explain what Rosin is, one of our all-time favorite cannabis concentrates.


It's important to know the differences between these substances in order to make the most informed decision about what you're consuming, as it likely impacts the way you're going to feel. Continue reading to gain a better understanding or what rosin is and how its made. Alternatively, if you have follow-up questions, please feel free to stop by one of our Washington locations or give us a call--we're happy to help!


Concentrates in general:

Image via Lookah.com

Just as the name concentrate suggests, cannabis concentrates are the product of distilling down the plant to its most concentrated form. Concentrates can be made a number of different ways, either by using heat and pressure or through chemical extraction. Therefore, they routinely have a far greater proportion of terpenes and cannabinoids than raw cannabis flowers--that's what makes them so potent and so tasty!


These cannabinoids and terpenes are found throughout the cannabis plant in the crystal-like structures called trichomes. Therefore, cannabis concentrates are really just an accumulation of the plants trichomes. Perhaps you have even noticed these sparkly substances coating the flower of your bud (seen below).


Image via @ryanlange

So, what's rosin?


Photo by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

If you're a sucker for potency and flavor as a cannabis consumer, then you'll likely want to learn more about rosin. When you think of concentrates, you should think of rosin like a top-shelf liquor, or a meticulously aged-fine wine. That's because rosin is a solventless concentrate, meaning--it's not made with any solvents or chemicals. Instead, rosin is crafted by applying heat and pressure to cannabis plant material. Subsequently, the end result will be a golden nectar of sorts (Check out this video to see rosin pressed with a Nugsmasher machine).

While rosin can be extracted by using the whole cannabis plant, the quality of the rosin often depends on the quality of the material used to procure it. Therefore, the best rosin is typically the product of flowering buds. Moreover, rosin can be made in minutes because it doesn't require extra extraction steps to purify or dilute the end result.


As a result, rosin is a pretty standard DIY project that in theory anyone can make at home by using a rosin press (or perhaps a hair straightener). Moreover, some cannabis brands may refine their rosin further, or refer to their rosin as "live." Simply put, "live rosin" just means that the plant material was frozen first to preserve the maximum amount of trichomes, terpenes, and cannabinoids available.


Nevertheless, rosin is a full-spectrum extract that ranges in potency. Accordingly, because of its level of purity and the machines necessary to produce high-quality rosin, this product is typically a bit more pricier per gram than say a gram of shatter or crumble. That's because typical flower produces THC levels around 15-30%, whereas rosin can generate a range from 50-90% THC. However, for many stoners the price isn't an issue when it comes to rosin, as it's a sure way to produce luscious flavor profiles alongside powerful euphoric effects.


How do you smoke rosin?

As with most concentrates that contain high levels of THC-A, rosin must be heated through a process called decarboxylation to feel its effects. Therefore, most consumers choose to consume their rosin through a traditional dab rig. However, if you choose this option, we recommend that you heat your nail to a cooler temperature than with other concentrates because the high temperatures will alter the flavor profile of the rosin, which is arguably the best part.


Conversely, you may choose to sprinkle a small amount of rosin over your dry flower and/or infuse it into a blunt or joint. One could also infuse edibles with rosin, although be sure once again to be mindful of the temperature you select to decarb your rosin.


Ultimately, one of the tastiest ways to enjoy rosin is with an electric nail or another electric terp-pen device. These tools often allow consumers to choose different temperature settings with accuracy, as opposed to eyeballing it with a torch. Moreover, these devices often do a solid job of maintaining the integrity of the rosin's flavors to make for an excellent smoke sesh. Take it slow to start, as you should only need about the size of a grain of rice to feel the effects.



Image via Puffco: a great way to enjoy rosin.

Why is rosin so popular?

As a cannabis industry, we have seen the demand for rosin rapidly increase over the past few years. Whether it's because rosin is entirely solventless, and therefore thought to be healthier and less harsh on the lungs, we're not sure. However, Washington dispensaries have seen many brands move towards producing rosin and other rosin infused products. This is a good thing for those of you who enjoy the endless strain combinations that rosin can be pressed from.


Ultimately, rosin is delicious and extremely effective given its high concentration of trichomes, which bolsters its overall potency. If you stop by any of our Washington pot shops, be sure to try out some of our rosin including: Cannalope Kush Rosin, Apple Jacks Rosin and more.




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