Rosin concentrate slowly oozing off of a spoon

What is Rosin, a Cannabis Concentrate?

Cannabis has been consumed for thousands of years, and throughout those years, we’ve found new ways to experience the plant. Of course, back then, there were no solvent-based extraction systems. So what did they do? Well, first, they collected trichomes and dried them, making kief. Then, they took that kief and pressed it into a shape, making hash. Eventually, someone thought to take that hash and heat it too. The result? Rosin.

In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about this delicious, solventless concentrate, answering the questions:

  • What is Rosin?
  • What Is Live Rosin?
  • How Is Rosin Made?
  • What Are The Different Types Of Rosin?
  • How Do You Smoke Rosin?
  • Can I Make Rosin At Home?
  • Rosin FAQs

What is Rosin?

Rosin is a concentrate created when dried trichomes are collected and then compressed using heat. This process creates a sticky, potent, solvent-free concentrate rich in flavor and aroma. Rosin can be both purchased at a dispensary or made at home using a rosin press.

If you’ve heard of rosin’s concentrate cousin, resin, you might think they're the same thing, just spelled differently. They’re actually two unique products. While rosin is made using simple, solvent-less production, resin requires a chemical solvent to extract the cannabinoids and terpenes from marijuana.

What is Live Rosin?

Live rosin is a type of rosin that’s made the exact same way as rosin—just using flash frozen cannabis flower instead of dried, cured cannabis flower. This process of flash-freezing cannabis is a relatively new thing, but by doing it, delicate compounds like terpenes and cannabinoids can be better protected and preserved compared to the traditional method of drying and curing cannabis. For many cannabis enthusiasts, live rosin is the cream of the cannabis crop—a delicious, aromatic product created without the use of chemicals.

You might be wondering—what about live resin vs rosin? What’s the difference? The term “live” simply refers to a product made with flash frozen cannabis. So if resin is a concentrate created using solvents, live resin is a concentrate made using solvents and marijuana that’s been flash frozen.

How is Rosin Made?

To make rosin, you need kief. Kief is simply the dried trichomes from a marijuana plant. That kief, when shaped or pressed into a brick or ball, is referred to as hash. To turn hash into rosin, you have to apply heat and pressure to that hash. This can be done professionally or at home, but you’re likely going to get a better quality product from a dispensary. Rosin that you purchase from a dispensary is made using state-of-the-art rosin presses, expensive machines that are perfectly temperature and pressure regulated to ensure all the things that make rosin popular are preserved during extraction.

What Are the Different Types of Rosin?

Like any marijuana product, there are a variety of ways to create rosin. How rosin is made is what distinguishes it from one type of rosin to another. The three most popular rosin types are:

Flower Rosin

We’ve mentioned that rosin is most commonly made using kief. Well, it can also be made by applying heat and pressure to the actual flower bud. This process keeps a lot of the plant material in the rosin, including fats and oils. While flower rosin might be a little faster and easier to make and create a larger yield, you’ll notice a different flavor and what some cannabis enthusiasts say is a less desirable flavor.

Hash Rosin

Hash rosin is probably the most popular rosin product on the market, and it’s made by first extracting kief using an ice water technique and a variety of screen bags that collect those tiny trichomes. Once collected, the kief is compressed into hash, and then the hash is placed in a rosin press. What you’re left with is a top quality, highly potent concentrate without a lot of the plant material found in flower resin. Out of all the ways to make rosin, this one is the most complicated and requires the most skill to ensure you preserve as many trichomes as possible to make your final product. 

Dry Sift Rosin

If you want a slightly less messy method of making rosin, dry sift rosin might be the answer. First, the cannabis flower is broken into pieces and laid out on screens—each screen finer than the last. Then, the flower is carefully sifted back and forth over the screen to knock the trichomes from the bud. While time consuming, this technique requires less skill when compared with hash rosin.

How Do You Smoke Rosin?

The nice thing about rosin is that you can enjoy it in a variety of ways. This gives cannabis consumers options, whether they prefer to vape, smoke, or eat their rosin.

  • Dab: Dabbing is one way to vape concentrates. To dab rosin, the rosin is loaded on the hot nail, and the vapor is inhaled. It is said this is the best way to truly enjoy the terpenes (aka the flavor and aroma) in the rosin.

  • Infuse: If you prefer to smoke rosin, infuse it with ground cannabis flower. This can be done by adding it to the marijuana in your hand or water pipe or rolling it into a “joint.”

  • Make edibles: Due to the nature of rosin, it can be added to just about any edible. Make a regular weekly recipe and add a little bit of rosin to your sauce or opt to smear it with frosting on a slice of cake. You can also add it to your cooking oil (just keep it at a low heat). Because rosin is decarbed when it’s made, you don’t have to worry about cooking it like you do with regular flower. This allows so much more flexibility when adding it to your food.

Can I Make Rosin at Home?

Yes. Rosin can be made one of two ways at home: using a hair straightener or using a rosin press. While rosin you purchase in a dispensary is made using state-of-the-art equipment, at-home rosin presses tend to vary in quality and price. You can purchase a pretty decent press for a couple hundred dollars, but you can also spend over a thousand dollars on one. Depending on how much rosin you regularly consume, for most cannabis enthusiasts, it’s going to be more cost effective to just purchase rosin at one of our dispensary locations.

Answering FAQs About Cannabis Rosin

Now that you know what rosin is, let’s answer a few more questions for you, including:

Is rosin full-spectrum?
Yes, rosin is full spectrum. The term full spectrum is used for products that contain all of the compounds found in cannabis, including cannabinoids and terpenes.

How do you store rosin?
Rosin needs to be stored the same way as other concentrates—out of heat and light in an airtight container. If you need more details, check out our How to Store Concentrates guide.

What’s the difference between shatter and rosin?
There are few concentrates that are as polar opposite from one another as shatter and rosin. There’s a few reasons for that:

  • Extraction technique: Rosin is made using solventless extraction. Shatter is typically made using a chemical-based extraction.
  • Appearance: Shatter resembles glass—it’s a hard, transparent sliver of concentrate. Rosin is an oily, sticky substance.
  • Consumption methods: Rosin can be consumed a variety of ways, but typically, shatter needs to be dabbed.

Purchasing Rosin

Our goal is to ensure you get the product you want or the tools you need to make a product. Whether you’re purchasing your high quality rosin directly from our dispensary, or looking for premium flower so you can make your rosin at home, our budtenders can help you find exactly what you need.

Recreational cannabis is not available in all states. Cannabis is for medical use only and may only be used by certified patients in Ohio and Pennsylvania. State laws impact what dispensaries can and can’t sell to recreational customers and certified patients. Not every type of product, consumption method, dosage form, or potency mentioned on this blog will be permitted in all locations.