What is Rosin?
Updated: Apr 1
Rosin is a form of cannabis concentrate that can be made through heat, pressure and time, to extract resin from within the trichomes. These trichome glands can still be on the flower, or they can be separated through a hashmaking. Making Rosin involves pressing the cannabis buds or hashish between two heated plates until the trichomes are ruptured and release the liquid resin, separating it from the trichome membrane.
Cannabis rosin is a relatively new and popular form of cannabis concentrate that is favored for its potency, purity, and solvent-free nature. Unlike other cannabis concentrates that may involve the use of solvents such as butane or ethanol to extract the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds from the plant material, rosin is made using only heat and pressure, resulting in a product that is considered to be cleaner and more natural.
This solvent less extract can be consumed in a variety of ways, including vaporization, dabbing, or adding it to a joint or bowl. It has gained popularity among cannabis enthusiasts and medical users alike for its potent effects and the fact that it does not involve the use of potentially harmful solvents.
There are two main categories within Rosin: Flower and Hash Rosin.
Flower Rosin vs Hash Rosin
The difference between Flower and Hash Rosin is your starting material. When pressing straight flower on the hot plates, you are making rosin from flower, or Flower Rosin. If you decide to wash that flower and separate the trichome heads so they can be squished on their own, then you will be making rosin from hash, or Hash Rosin.
The main advantage of pressing hash instead of flower is that the result of the first is almost purely resin from the trichomes, giving you a very accurate representation of the terpenes from that plant, whereas the second consists of resin + fats and lipids from the flower which interfere on the overall taste and consistency of the dab.
On the other hand, making Flower Rosin is considerably quicker and easier, giving you a great result in fewer steps. That is because all you need to do is press the flower, as opposed to first making the hash to then press it.
Live Hash Rosin vs Cured Hash Rosin
Within the Hash category, there are two main sub-categories: Live and Cured.
If you harvest your fresh plants and put them in the freezer right away, that will preserve the nugs in their "live" form, and the hash made from that is called Fresh Frozen Hash. Pressing Fresh Frozen Hash will result in Live Hash Rosin, or Live Rosin for short. If, instead, you decide to dry and cure the harvested plants first, to then freeze and wash, you will be making Cured Hash. Pressing Cured Hash will result in Cured Hash Rosin, or Hash Rosin for short.
There is a current lack of terminology in the hashmaking world for product made from flowers that were partially dried. That is because there is no official "time-window" to tell when flowers will be fully dried, due to so many variables. Therefore, as a general rule, the name "Fresh Frozen" only applies when the plants went to the freezer immediately after harvesting, with no steps in between. In other words, any amount of time the plants are drying after harvesting will qualify it for the Cured category.
Live Rosin is not necessarily better than Hash Rosin. Ultimately, it is personal preference as they are simply two distinct representations of the plant's resin in different stages. Now, why is it that most Live Rosin extracts are in fact better than most Hash Rosin extracts? The reason comes down to two key factors: time and money.
Is is very rare for a grower to allocate time and efforts into drying and curing the flower decently, only to then freeze and wash those perfect nugs. In addition to that, financially, it makes more sense to sell the nugs and use the by-product of trimming (which usually contain trichomes) to make Cured Hash and Rosin. The only way Live Rosin and Hash Rosin can be fairly compared is if you harvest some plants and half of it goes to the freezer, half to the drying tent. Then, after the ones in the tent are dry, the whole nugs would have to be washed as well as the other half of fresh frozen nugs, to further be pressed into rosin.
Here at GCR, we like them both!