From buds to dabs in 30 seconds – is it too good to be true? The rapid growth of a new concentrate manufacturing process known as “rosin tech” is turning heads in the cannabis industry.
Rosin tech came onto the cannabis scene this year and has spread rapidly, partially due to videos and photos on Instagram, originating with a user named “Soilgrown.” It has quickly disrupted the cannabis extract market due to the fact that it’s so inexpensive and accessible for medical cannabis patients and recreational users.
Basically, partakers take a piece of silicon-coated parchment paper — baking paper — and fold it in half; then they place a cannabis flower, kief, or bubble hash in there. Soilgrown’s original method was to take a flat iron — just a basic hair straightener — and squeeze the cannabis inside the parchment with the hot iron. The result smells great, looks beautiful, and is eminently dab-worthy.
Rosin can be on par with hash oil produced by highly specialized and expensive hydrocarbon extraction technology — yes, I mean butane hash oil — but unlike BHO, solvent residue isn’t an issue, since no solvents are used. Rosin tech uses only heat and pressure, making it significantly safer than butane extraction, which relies on flammable gases that could potentially explode.
Lab tests have shown rosin clocking in at as high as 86% THC, according to SF Evergreen. This puts it on par with top-shelf BHO in terms of potency, and don’t forget that fragrant flood of floral flavonoids that greets the rosin-dabber.
“It is changing everything,” says Duncan Cameron, chief production officer at Denver medical and recreational dispensary Good Chemistry, who just entered the market with rosin. “We saw this bubbling up from trim tables,” Cameron, a master cultivator, tells us. “Good ideas bubble up, they don’t trickle down.”
“This was something totally new, totally solvent-free, no extraction equipment, and here’s another great plus: It maintains the integrity of the flower,” Cameron says. “So it has the same flavor as the flower, the same terpenes, unlike BHO, where what you get is an undifferentiated sludge.”
According to Cameron, the terpenes are an important part of cannabis’ “entourage effect,” the synergistic powers of all the compounds in cannabis working together. He explains, “You can take vitamin C, and potassium, and fiber, but that doesn’t make an orange. You can take all those separately, and you’re still not getting the total benefit of eating an orange. It’s the same with cannabis. Nothing is the same as experiencing the flower in its original state, unadulterated — and that’s essentially what you do when you experience rosin.”
“A lot of people took a lot of resources, time, and capital, investing into a BHO machine, or especially the CO2 machines, which can run six figures,” Cameron says. “We bought a BHO machine, but we never turned it on. Because we saw, after we bought it — and our timing was good, just due to luck — the regulations changed and we never used it. Whether it’s better or worse, now, as a new company coming in, BHO is probably not what you want to do. Countries in Africa aren’t putting up telephone poles, they’re putting up cell phone towers. No one’s going back.”
The democratization represented by rosin tech is bringing back the essence of the mom-and-pop cannabis industry, according to Cameron. “Now, we’re a commercial company, and I’m not going to try to hide that fact,” he says. “But it kind of warms my heart to see the little guys beat the system. You know, I don’t need to spend $60 on a half-gram. I can press it from buds I have right here in my house.”
“We’ve had rosin in the stores for about three weeks now, and every week it doubles in sales,” Cameron told us in early November. Meanwhile, solvent-based concentrate sales have remained flat. “Once you learn, who in their right mind would say, ‘I’ll take my chance on that stuff that has a little butane left in it’? What if 20 years down the line, we find out 80 parts per million of butane is a crazy number, and you’re guaranteed to get cancer from it? Who’s to say? I just know that I would not take that chance. Once people become connoisseurs of [cannabis], they are learning what they like with rosin tech. I think that’s great! It’s one of the most exciting things to happen this year.”