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Rosin: What It Is and How To Use It

Concentrates, specifically rosins and resins, are becoming a popular way to ingest cannabinoids these days.

As far as cannabis trends go, cannabinoid-rich rosin has undoubtedly made its mark. These concentrates are among the most aromatic cannabis extractions available on the market right now. 

This potent concentrate is well-known for its aromatics because of the presence of powerful cannabis-derived terpenes.

Here you will learn everything you need to know about rosin, from how it’s made, how to use it, and even why rosin is potentially the future of cannabis.


Rosin: What is it?

It is a waxy and pasty extract that contains high amounts of various compounds from marijuana and hemp plants. It is typically made without any solvents and may contain an array of different cannabinoids from THC to delta 8, CBD, as well as terpenes, and more.

Two methods can be used to extract the compounds from marijuana or hemp plants: heat under pressure, and solvents. Common solvents used in extraction include alcohol, vegetable glycerin, or oil. There are also other compounds used to naturally pull cannabinoids such as THC, D8, and CBD out of the plant material, but we won’t get too into this here.

While there are many ways to extract cannabinoids from the plant, this particular extract is set apart from other concentrations because it is usually made naturally and without any solvents. Rosin is an excellent option for those looking for a more natural way to enjoy their cannabis.

What separates this concentrate from the rest is its extraction process. This kind of concentration undergoes a glamorous and sophisticated method of extraction…

Rosin is made naturally using the same process that is used to create diamonds and other minerals. The plant material is placed under high levels of pressure and heat to produce a high-quality cannabis product. 

To summarize, it is a liquified and resinous mixture, extracted from cannabis under extreme pressure and heat.

One might go as far as to say that rosin is the diamond of cannabis extractions…

What is it made of?

As we mentioned above, this potent extract is derived from pure hemp or other cannabis flower. The flower used in extraction largely depends on the desired outcome as well as the legality in the state it’s being made. For example, in California or Colorado where high THC flower is legal, they might extract rosin from high THC cannabis plants. Whereas, in a state that hasn’t legalized recreational use of THC, hemp flower high in CBD may be used.

In addition, the potency of this extract depends mostly on the amount of pressure and temperature applied to the flower during extraction. In some cases, with THC extractions, they can contain up to 80% THC. 

Furthermore, rosin is a full spectrum extraction. This means that it provides a ‘whole plant medicine.’ Studies have shown that ingesting a full-spectrum extract of cannabis is the best way to experience the therapeutic benefits of the cannabis plant. 

This is because a full spectrum extract not only contains a wide array of cannabinoids, but also terpenes, minor cannabinoids, and other phytonutrients and flavonoids that work in unison and synergistically together to deliver the most therapeutic benefit to the user. 

In a full spectrum extract, no cannabinoids or compounds found in the cannabis plant are isolated. This leads to a beautiful and harmonious symphony of cannabinoids and other compounds working together synergistically to deliver potent healing effects.

Known as the Entourage Effect, this phenomenon is widely researched. 

To summarize, a full spectrum, whole-plant extraction is the best way to go when it comes to ingesting cannabis and its medicinal benefits. 

Essentially, this is part of the reason why rosins are such a potent and medicinal way to get a solid dose of cannabis and its healing properties. 

How to make Rosin

How do you make it?

A “rosin press” is the most common tool used by those who make their own potent extracts. This is a hydraulic or mechanical press equipped with heated pressing plates.

Rosin is generally made from pressed marijuana, hemp flower, kief, or hash.

Heat and pressure are applied to the parchment-wrapped flower using heated pressing plates. Finally, the resinous extract from the flower is forced out and collected by scraping the rosin off of the  parchment paper.

Photo courtesy of Vice.

Can you make your own DIY rosin?

It is possible to make your own potent extracts, however, some of the materials used are quite costly so most people prefer to buy their rosin.

If you are going the DIY route, you will need cured cannabis flower, parchment paper, and a rosin press or flat iron. 

Interestingly enough, some people make their own makeshift press out of a hair straightener and a woodworking clamp. The process is actually pretty similar to using a real heat press. The plates of the hair straightener are used as the heat source and a clamp is used to create pressure. 

However, the results of using a hair straightener as opposed to a designated press are obviously much less consistent, and the yield is generally lower than if you used a real rosin press.

How much THC?

Commercially, most rosin you will find is between 75% and 85% THC. Depending on the strain, marijuana flower found in dispensaries naturally ranges from 15% to 25%. That being said, this powerful extract can be about four times more potent than regular raw flower.

You can expect wildly different levels of purity when making homemade rosin, especially if it is made using a DIY press. Homemade extracts can be expected to be between 40% and 60% pure.

By weight, the amount of THC in rosin depends largely on the plant used in extraction. For example, medical strains that are naturally higher in THC (let’s say around 30%) will inevitably produce a higher THC extract. 

Furthermore, strains or flower that is around 15% THC will produce a less potent extraction.

Photo courtesy of Vice.

So, how do I use it?

In order to produce psychoactive effects, the rosin needs to be heated to convert the THCa into THC. It is most commonly used by either smoking it or vaping it. Additionally, some people prefer to make potent edibles with it.

To enjoy their extract, most people use a dab rig. Once the bowl has been heated to the desired temperature, usually using a torch, the user inhales through a mouthpiece while simultaneously placing a small amount of extract or wax into it.

To ensure that all of the extract is consumed, a bowl cover is often used called a “carb cap”. This ensures that the airflow is directed through the rig so as not to waste any of the rosin.

Some users just add a dab of the extract along with their flower in a bong, pipe, or in a bowl. Others simply add a small amount of rosin in a joint or blunt. The extract is heated up along with the flower before being inhaled which allows time for the THCa to convert to THC.

How to store?

Rosin should be kept in an airtight, small glass container. Standard extract containers can hold about one gram at a time. This maximizes freshness and minimizes air getting in the container. The extract can slowly degrade as it is exposed to air, which makes it less potent. It also loses its valuable terpenes.

Regular users often keep their extracts at room temperature which normally doesn’t lead to significant degradation. However, those who use it less often will find that it is best to store it in the fridge and then thaw it to room temperature before consuming it.

Although you can freeze it for long-term storage, you will likely see some degradation. It is important to not open a frozen rosin container before it thaws. This is because condensation can form and cause the extract to prematurely rot.

Here are the three different types of rosin you should know about

There are actually a few different kinds of rosin extracts. The difference largely lies in the type of plant material used in the extraction process.

Additionally, these extracts almost always have multiple different kinds of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other phytonutrients. 

However, the three main types of rosin are named after their main constituent:

#1 Delta 9 THC Rosin

Delta 9, which is notoriously referred to as THC, is the most popular and well-known cannabinoid out there. Delta 9 is one of the first cannabinoids to be widely known and recognized. 

Commonly referred to as just “THC” it is the primary psychoactive constituent in the cannabis plant.

Delta 9 rosin is usually made with the goal to deliver a potent high. As we mentioned briefly earlier, THC rosin is rich in cannabinoids, terpenes, and other phytonutrients that make it a better and more medicinal alternative to products that only have isolated Delta 9 THC.

It is made using the same process mentioned above, by applying heat and pressure to a high-THC flower or kief.

The potency falls between an impressive 75% to *5% THC, rendering it one of the purest ways to enjoy full-spectrum CBD.

#2 CBD Rosin

This extract contains high levels of cannabidiol, (CBD). It is produced by pressing high-CBD and low-THC hemp flower. Legally, it must have less than 0.3% THC per weight.

CBD extracts may have potencies as high as 85%. It is also usually a full-spectrum product. Like Delta-9 THC extracts, the final product contains additional cannabinoids, terpenes, and other phytonutrients.

A full-spectrum CBD rosin is one of the most medicinal ways to ingest CBD, by consuming such a  potent and full-spectrum product, you are able to get the utmost medicinal benefit.

It helps with almost all the same ailments that THC helps with, except without the psychoactive effects. It can aid in pain relief, overall relaxation, and sleep.

#3 Delta-8 THC Rosin

Delta 8 THC Rosin is distinct from both CBD and Delta-9 THC extracts. Simply because delta 8 occurs naturally within the hemp plant in very low concentrations. 

Because of this, many manufacturers spray Delta 8 distillate onto CBD flower before putting it through the heat press and applying pressure to extract the concentration. 

Thus, delta 8 THC extracts are generally less potent than delta 9 extracts. The potency of delta 8 THC rosin is usually around 60% and 75%.

Delta-8 extracts offer all the benefits of delta 8 and CBD, as well as terpenes and a long list of nearly 100 minor cannabinoids.

Additionally, the high and overall experience of high-quality delta-8 THC extract differs from standard D8 products. It can feel clearer, more mellow, and low-key, and is also less likely to lead to grogginess the next day.

Live resin vs Rosin

What is live resin? What’s the difference? Rosin vs. Resin

While the differences are highly contested throughout the cannabis world, it really comes down to what inputs are used (flower, kief) and how it is made.

That being said, there are a few key differences between these two forms of cannabis concentrates. They are easily confused and mistaken for one another because of their similar names and appearance. 

Here are the key differences:

#1 Rosin vs live resin: How it’s made

Rosin is made by heating kief or marijuana flower under high pressure. Because it doesn’t use solvents or chemicals, it’s considered a natural product.

Live resin is obtained by cryogenically freezing plant matter following harvest. Then, butane and or propane are used to extract the desired compounds – either delta 9 or 8 THC or CBD.

Even though the solvent hydrocarbon is removed prior to sale or consumption, the extraction of live resin is considered to be less natural than rosin.

Rosin can hypothetically be made using household items, however, it is next to impossible to make live resin at home without thousands of dollars worth of high-tech equipment.

#2 Taste

Another important difference between rosin & live resin is the taste. Rosin naturally contains terpenes which enhance the taste and overall experience of smoking. because of this, extracts are often preferred to smoking flower, according to many users.

However, the heating process can cause some terpenes to be lost. When it comes to resin, it really depends on the solvent used and if it is able to capture a good amount of terpenes.

All in all, the difference in taste really comes down to the terpene content found in the final product.

Live resin is also extracted from fresh or frozen flower that has never been dried or cured.

Resin is made in a number of different ways, in fact, it is often made without any solvents. So, there are multiple different ways to make and enjoy live resin.

#3 Cost

Live resin and rosin differ in cost. Rosin usually only produces a small amount of concentrate at once, whereas live resin is usually a cheaper process and makes larger batches at once. 

Rosin products are usually about 10% higher in cost than live resin.

However, that is not to say that live resin is cheap. When it comes to standard cannabinoid distillates, live resin can cost 20% more.


The legality of this potent cannabis concentrate varies from state to state depending on the respective cannabis laws.

CBD rosin

Federally, CBD rosin is legal, as long as it is derived from hemp plants. In 2018, congress passed the Farm Bill that legalized hemp production, sale, and manufacturing of any products containing hemp constituents.

However, just because hemp is federally legal, that doesn’t mean that states don’t have their own laws around it. In fact, some states have altogether banned CBD products while others simply have restrictions on production and sale. 

Furthermore, the legality around CBD extracts is dependent on the legality of CBD in your state.

Delta 9 THC rosin

In the same manner, delta-9 THC is legal anywhere that D9 THC isn’t prohibited. Federally, high-THC cannabis is illegal. This renders any D9 products to be federally illegal unless you are in a state that has legalized the sale and production of THC products.

If your state allows for THC products to be put on shelves, you should have no problem finding them. However, if THC is only available for medical patients in your state, you will need a medical card to purchase Delta-9 THC extracts.

Delta 8 THC rosin

Delta 8 currently exists in a legal gray area. However, the general rule of thumb when it comes to Delta-8 is that if it is derived from hemp flower, it is technically legal on a federal level. State laws are constantly changing, so you should check to see if D8 THC is legal in your area before purchasing or using delta-8 extracts. 

If you are in Florida, check out this article for the legality of Delta 8 THC.


Closing thoughts

Rosin is a solventless extraction made from marijuana or hemp plants. It can have high levels of delta 9 THC, delta 8 THC, as well as CBD, or a combination of these major cannabinoids. You may also find natural terpenes, which enhance the taste and effect, as well as minor cannabinoids that help to improve the overall profile and effects.

Rosin is created by heating marijuana, hemp flower, or kief under high pressure. You can store the resulting extract at room temperature, in the fridge for purity, or in the freezer for long-term use and storage.

Rosin users typically smoke it using a dabbing device, but some use it with other smoking materials like a bong, pipe, bowl, joint, or blunt. Also, as long as your vape is set up for concentrates, you can add your rosin.

Rosin is one of the purest possible extracts out there.

It is considered a premium product and often sells for a high price. Its legality can vary from one state to the next, depending on local laws as well as the cannabinoids it contains.

Have you tried rosin? Do you prefer rosin or live resin? Let us know! We would love to hear from you!
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