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With the legalization of the 2018 Farm Bill, many Americans felt comfortable enough to try CBD for the first time. Joining individuals who have long hailed the potential benefits of CBD, this influx to the cannabinoid’s consumer base brought with it an emerging market steeped in competition. Now, the hemp-derived CBD market is on pace to become a billion dollar industry in the coming years and there are countless products hitting shelves that cater to CBD’s growing popularity.
Among some of the most popular hemp-derived CBD products are concentrates in the form of wax, shatter, budder and other consistencies. However, many of the commercial CBD concentrates are derived from hydrocarbon extraction methods. In the midst of a solventless hash revolution, consumers are seeking options that omit the use of chemicals from the process. With the advancements in home rosin press technology, making solventless CBD concentrates at home is now a reality. The DIY hash movement is taking off and anyone keen on CBD can now make high-quality concentrates from the comfort of their own homes.
The DIY Rosin Revolution
As we’ve covered at PotGuide before, rosin can be some of the purest, cleanest and most flavorful concentrate available. The process is championed lacking any chemical element, resulting in a natural, unadulterated product, only touched by pressure and heat. Though it takes a little more care and attention to make rosin, the process is infinitely simpler, far safer, and can be done without an industrial chemistry lab.
The relative ease and safety of rosin production has enabled CBD-concentrate enthusiasts to take matters into their own hands, resulting in clean, high-quality product anyone can dab with peace of mind.
In order to make CBD rosin, all that's needed is equipment for pressing (from simple presses to affordable professional rigs), parchment paper and some starting CBD flower material. These basic requirements can go a long way, but there are some awesome companies, like PurePressure, that allow consumers to take their rosin pressing to the next level. And when it comes to pressing CBD rosin, one of the most important aspect is the quality of equipment you use.
PurePressure manufactures artisan rosin presses for at-home use that are rigorously tested to ensure maximum performance. The Helix and Helix Pro rosin presses offer even heat distribution up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit, precise temperature accuracy, real-time bag pressure display, and the ability to create custom recipes and parameters for pressing. Even more, the Helix rosin presses are engineered using the same heat plates as PurePressure’s award-winning commercial line of rosin presses. With 3 ton and 5 ton pressing power respectively, the Helix and Helix Pro rosin presses are an excellent investment for CBD enthusiasts looking to get the most from their CBD flower.
Speaking of CBD flower, in addition to unleashing the CBD market at large, the Farm Bill has also enabled smaller, conscientious growers to produce quality, lab-tested hemp flower that can be shipped to any state. We at PotGuide have had positive experiences with CBD flower from Tweedle Farms and Plain Jane, but there are many other reputable sources popping up.
Understanding THC Concentration in CBD Rosin
It may sound redundant, but concentrates are in fact, concentrated. Though CBD flower may contain only trace amounts of THC, CBD concentrate made from that flower may have different resulting levels of THC.
Will this pose a legal issue? Right now it’s a gray issue when all things are considered and the main focus is placed on the starting material – AKA your CBD hemp flower. As long as a consumer purchases hemp flower that does not exceed the legal limit of .3% THC they shouldn’t worry too much about pressing their own CBD rosin from that flower. Sourcing quality flower that is within the legal limit is the best option for people looking to press their own rosin at home without any issues.
It’s important to note that some states are in the process of reviewing their CBD regulations, so be on the lookout for changing laws. Unless explicitly stated, CBD products should be recognized as federally legal. Law Enforcement officials often lack equipment to distinguish between THC and CBD products, so it is best to err on the side of caution, and always be aware of your local laws and regulations.
How to Make CBD Rosin
There are quite a few variables that go into making quality CBD rosin. We’ll get into these factors below, but first take a look at the helpful video created by PurePressure’s team of experts to get started.
Preparing Your Starting Material
Before pressing, pack the CBD flower into a micron mesh bag (between 90-110μm). Using a funnel or chopsticks can help wrangle the flower while keeping things tidy. Alternately, you can place buds directly on parchment paper for pressing, but run a higher risk of bits of plant matter getting in your finished product.
Regardless of which method is chosen, it is a good idea to tamp down the prepped material into a more flattened shape in preparation for pressing.
Do not use excessive force, this step is simply to get the bud in a better shape for contact with the plate. Try to tamp the product into form as even as possible for ideal heat distribution. Once packed and tamped, carefully place it between parchment paper and prepare for pressing.
Pressing Time and Temperature
Pressing time and temperature will vary depending on the density and quantity of your bud. Ideal ranges are between 160-220 °F, with times ranging from 45 seconds to 5 minutes. It is good practice to keep a log of your starting material, weight, time and temperature settings as well as the resulting yield. Keeping track of your results can help you know what works best for your preferences and replicate the results in future pressings.
Use a scraper to carefully collect your rosin from the parchment and place in a container of your liking. Paint scrapers can be found at most hardware stores and should work well for the task, however, try to avoid anything with sharp corners that might tear the paper. You can also simply use a dab tool if you’re dealing with smaller quantities.
Tips for Making Your Own CBD Rosin
There’s a saying popular among cannabis extractors, “quality in, quality out.” Though solvent-based extractions can sometimes get away with using lower-quality starting material, when making something a pure as rosin, the quality of starting material will largely determine the quality of the end product.
Extractors report that the best rosin comes from buds that are as fresh as possible, with a healthy cannabinoid profile. Drier bud is likely to absorb some of your yield, and overly wet bud makes rosin extrusion difficult.
CBD flower should be judged by similar standards to THC-rich flower. It should have a fresh smell with a noticeable, pleasant bouquet of terpenes, lack “hay” notes, be mold- and contaminant-free, and come with verified lab testing. Wispy, larfy or brittle bud structure are some clear signs of malnourished or improperly grown flower and should be avoided.
Getting high yields is always desirable when making CBD rosin. Yield is dependent on a number of factors, from starting material as mentioned, to variations in temperature, heat, and how much resin is present on the flower. Higher temperatures can increase yields but sacrifice potency and flavor, while colder pressings can preserve these elements but reduce yield.
Relative humidity is also a large factor. Extractors recommend a relative humidity of 55-62%. This can be achieved using humidity regulators like Boveda or Evergreen Pods. Use of a hygrometer can help determine the current level your bud is at (and even a quality digital one should be under $30). Finding the right combination of factors will help maximize yield, while retaining quality.
How to Consume and Enjoy CBD Rosin
While dabbing is the most popular method of consuming CBD rosin, the extract can be used in a number of ways. CBD gummies are one of the most popular preparations, and can also be made easily at home, but also oils, tinctures and infused topicals can all be made using CBD rosin. When production is DIY the applications are endless.
Have you ever made CBD rosin before? Share your tips, tricks, and experiences with other readers in the comments below.