Dabs are concentrates made by extracting essential oils from the cannabis plant and have become a favorite in locations where cannabis has been legalized. Dabbing is actually a way of consuming the cannabis plant’s active cannabinoids and terpenes in a fast, discreet and very small, but strong dose.
Rosin dabs are a concentrated form of cannabis you can make safely with supplies you likely already have in your house. This method employs heat and pressure to press the essential oils containing cannabinoids out of your flowers, kief or hash. The resulting hash oil quality exceeds hydrocarbon extractions in potency, effect and flavor. Rosin tech was the original method used for removing plant particles from hash, making it appear more presentable.
Rosin is creating a huge impact on the cannabis market because it’s potent, flavorful and free of the extraction chemicals found in other concentrates. Accessibility of rosin at local dispensaries is increasing as word of its qualities continues to spread.
Two techniques for making your own rosin with a hair straightener include:
“Hot and Quick” – The temperature of the hair straightener should be set to 350 degrees Fahrenheit or more, and the flower should only be pressed for 2-3 seconds. This technique yields product much quicker, but the quality suffers.
“Low and Slow” – The temperature of the hair straightener should be set to 200-250 degrees Fahrenheit, and the flower should be pressed for up to ten seconds.
Either method works well, so experiment, then use the method you prefer most.
Supplies you will need:
Hair Straightener - temperature control with a ‘low’ setting of 300 degrees Fahrenheit or less, any hotter and you risk losing precious terpenes as they evaporate.
Starting Materials - cannabis flower, kief or hash
Parchment Paper - unbleached is best
Collecting Tool - most dabbing tools work
Heat-Resistant Gloves - work safely to avoid burns from the hair straightener
Coffee filter or micron bag (optional) – to make a pouch for the starter material
1. Preheat the hair straightener to approximately 300 degrees Fahrenheit. You may need to turn up your heat setting to produce enough heat for the process to work, but, don’t burn up your material and its essential oils in the process.
2. Use the scissors to cut a piece of parchment paper into approximately a four inch square. Fold paper in half, place starting material (or starting material pouch, see note below) inside paper and press both sides of straightener together, with as much pressure as possible, and hold for 3-7 seconds. A sizzling sound indicates the resin has melted and separated from the plant matter.
3. Remove the piece of parchment from the heat and open it, then peel the pressed flower from the parchment paper. What’s left is very potent and consumable resin.
4. The remaining resin is very sticky and you will need something similar to a dabbing tool to collect it from the paper. A good amount of delicacy and patience will go a long way here, so be careful. If you’re making a lot of resin, use separate sheets of parchment for each individual batch going into the hair straightener. Store your dabs in a small glass or silicone container in a cool, dark environment.
Cut a piece from a coffee filter or micron bag that when folded in half will not be wider than the plates on the hair straightener. Fold the filter material in half and seal two out of three sides by folding the edges over twice. Pour your ground flower, kief or hash into the pouch to fill it, but don’t overfill, then seal the final side. This step will save you time used in picking plant material out of your finished product.
Machines are out there designed specifically for producing large quantities of rosin at once. Rosin presses come in an assortment sizes from small home gadgets to industrial class, high-yielding presses designed for use by extraction laboratories and dedicated cannabis enthusiasts.
Rosin presses have a wide price range, from a modest couple hundred dollars to several thousand. As with any manufactured piece of equipment, each has its pros and cons and proper research should be conducted before you choose to purchase any press. The amount and quality of rosin yielded varies widely among the different presses as well, so you really do get what you pay for.
The ultimate goal is a high quality yield of easily extracted cannabis oil through safe, solvent-less methods. The final product can be consumed discreetly and made in your own home, very appealing to both the medical cannabis user and the recreational user alike. Making your own high quality dabs at home may quickly become the wave of the future in cannabis concentrates.