Rosin: Fad or Future?
By: Mat Lee
It seems Rosin has really made an impact with the online cannabis community. It’s something of a viral sensation. So besides the gimmicky fun it’s experiencing during this viral period, can you actually produce a decent amount of product this way? If you want to even think about coming close to killing BHO, you’re going to need to up your press game.
Can Rosin be mass produced?
Of course people on the Rosin Tech Facebook group are already on it. Pictures of everything that can heat and press something have been posted. From the Foreman Grill, to T shirt presses, to Panini makers and even snowboard waxers. I’m sure some of these are more joke that anything, but there’s been quite a few people on the group spending some serious dough to figure out if you can actually mass produce the Rosin gold.
I saw someone post in the group about using this cute little hydraulic sheet plate roller bending machine roll machine sublimation heat press. Yeah, at first glance it looks ready and able to pump out sheets of Rosin, but after you spend the $10,000 on one (Sure you could probably find cheaper on ebay, but you know you need a brand new one.), you then need to consider the modifications it would require. For people like you and me, that’s probably not feasible, but for the ultra dedicated and educated, it’s just a couple trips to the hardware store away from reality.
I would assume you want equipment that heats both sides. Although Joe B. on the Facebook group says, “I used one with just one side heated, didn’t remove the rubber mat or heat it up, just pressed at 155c for 7 seconds. Return was good.”
Koga G. on the Facebook group says, “I made a bunch of modifications to the press and I was able to get some oil. First thing I did was I added a couple of washers to the heating plate so that it laid perfectly flush with the bottom plate. Next, I added a couple washers to raise the bottom plate like Soilgrown. Finally, I basically tied the unit to a piece of plywood which prevents it from rocking and allows it to be operated by one person. Also now I can crank that knob down so there is a lot more pressure on the nugs.”
Lower temperature requires more pressure. Higher temperature requires less, although you definitely don’t want to get your material to the point where it’s wasting it all. It seems like the main problem people are having with these large machines is getting them to press all the way. Buds can get pretty damn flat, so your machine needs to be able to flatten them completely. That’s where the ingenious modifications come in.
Some say three to five, some say eight to ten seconds. It’s always going to vary depending on your setup and material input. It’s also been said that you count from the time you hear the sizzle, aka sizzle time. Some bud can sizzle quickly, some can take longer. It seems like the ideal spot is somewhere with a little more moisture than you would like for normal smoking. That usually makes a nice sizzle and, assuming your buds are legit, a good yield.
Or better yet, use fresh stuff right off the plant and see how your yields are. Obviously if you can find something that is like a hair straightener, and scale it up, it will probably work. It probably won’t work the first try, or how you expected it to, but with a little tinkering, you’ll produce some sort of Rosin. It might not justify the expense and time you’ve spent, but it will at least be a learning experience. Make sure you keep sharing these experiences with the Rosin Tech Facebook group so everyone can all learn and benefit from them.
For now it seems like most of the people that are into doing it are either doing it because it’s a novelty that they can show their friends and take a couple dabs in the process, or they are genuinely health conscious enough not to want to blaze up actual plant material. Gary Bartlett on the group also said its, “not just a “novelty” thing. It is about obtaining a cleaner product than buds or trim or hash. Which are largely plant material. Minus the hash.”
I can see the upside to that, and I’m definitely not passing any judgements, but rarely do I happen upon someone who only likes dabs but won’t smoke a bowl. If anything I’ve run across more people that swing the other way, claiming you destroy the spirit of the plant by doing this or some silly nonsense like that. But even that is a rare case. It seems dabbing all these pristine scientifically made (Or not, but hopefully scientifically made) dabs has gone to our heads.
You can see some classic shirt press “mass production” in progress towards the end of this YouTube video amusingly titled The Death Of BHO Pt/3 Rosin Tech Production Sublimation Equipment here on John Berfelo’s YouTube channel. I’m sorry to say John, but you’re going to need to up production by quite a few magnitudes first. Cool toy though for sure. Plus you can make t shirts!
I did have a chance to ask an actual legit scientist that works in an undisclosed cannabis lab somewhere in Washington that processes people’s unfinished BHO and turns it into some of the best product I’ve ever seen in my life, about the whole Rosin thing, and mass producing it. The scientist said, “Rosin is a fun, easy, safe alternative to home BHO blasting. It is not particularly efficient, and probably shouldn’t even be compared to commercial extraction. It is a solvent free method of accessing the contents of some of the trichomes on a small scale. It’s a fun fad.”
It was also noted, that in experimenting with all these cool press machines, it might be wise to stay away from anything teflon coated. At normal cooking temperatures it’s probably fine, but the Cancer.org site says, “The major health effect linked with Teflon is the potential release of dangerous fumes from coated pans that are overheated. These fumes can cause flu-like symptoms in humans (a condition known as polymer fume fever) and can be fatal to birds.”
So if you are a bird, it’ll kill you, but if you are a human, it will just make you annoyingly sick. Either way it’s better to avoid teflon coatings just in case, at least until more has been studied.
There are far better options as Shane C. in the Facebook group points out like, “steel, titanium, or aluminum alloy.” If only there was an all natural metal we could use to make things really hot and full of pressure in… Wait a minute…
While you are making your rosin up, be sure to check out our Rosin Rorschach contest! You could win yourself a cool prize pack from Dr. Dabber. Also be sure to check out my article on the Rosin Rorschach here.
For Stuff Stoners Like, I’m Mat Lee.
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