The medical cannabis options available today are nothing like your granny’s cannabis….that is for sure. I am very excited to be able to share information about all the new and exciting delivery methods now available for medical cannabis patients. My goal in writing these articles is to counter one of the many misconceptions about medical cannabis that still exists today; the only way to medicate is by smoking a joint.
Today’s article is all about Resin. Turns out there are 3 Rs; Resin, Live Resin and Rosin. Please note that these methods produce very concentrated, high content THC medicines that are very potent. Even seasoned veteran users will tell you that you must be careful! Start with a very small dosage and gradually work your way up.
Resin which is also known as “sap” is a term that describes the gooey trichomes produced by flowers and sugar leaves of fully mature female cannabis plants. Here is the link to a previous article about Trichomes. All the beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes are present in resin. As we learned in the article about Trichomes, resin protects the growing plant from UV light while deterring pests from consuming it before maturation. Resin is also the term used to describe the build up of brown or black tar in pipes and bongs after multiple usage. You can actually scrape out the resin and re-smoke it, if you are so inclined.
There are different methods for resin extraction; Butane Hash Oil (BHO), CO2 and rosin.
- BHO processes the trichomes using a propellant like butane or propane. As long as it is processed in a closed loop system, it is perfectly safe. The evaporated butane is recovered in a vacuum oven and recycled. After a few teens blew up their parents’ basement using this method, BHO extraction got some very bad press. Those that prefer this method will tell you that it is superior to CO2 extraction method in terms of preserving the terpenes which are easily destroyed by heat.
- CO2 extraction method blasts the flower with carbon dioxide in a sealed environment. It still is considered a solvent, although a non-toxic one. The perception of many resin users is that CO2 extraction is the better and safer process. I will let you decide. Here is a link to an article on the pros and cons of BHO vs. CO2 Extraction; for those of you who want to do more research on it.
Rosin, also known as “rosin tech,” is a cannabis concentrate where dried and cured flowers are pressed to release the resin using heat and pressure. It can be simply and safely manufactured at home. All that is required is a hair straightener and your cannabis, of course. Here is how to make your very own rosin at home in 4 simple steps. Use of heat-resistant gloves is highly recommended.
- Turn on your hair straightener and set between the following temperatures; (280°F-330°F). Different temperatures yield different effects. Lower temperatures (250°F-300°F) will result in more flavor/more terpenes. You will get less product but the end material will be more stable (more like shatter). Higher temperatures (300°F-335°F) will result in less flavor and fewer terpenes. You will get more product and the material will be less stable (more like sap). FYI, some extraction artist connoisseurs claim the best method is using just 0.25 grams at a time at 302°F with 4-6 seconds of pressure.
- As it is warming up, cut a 4×4″ piece of parchment paper. Fold it in half and insert your medicine, pressing it together with your fingers.
- Place the parchment paper and flower inside your hair straightener, applying pressure for 3-7 seconds. When you hear a sizzling sound, you know that the resin has melted away from the plant material.
- Remove the parchment paper from the straightener and unfold the paper. Using a collection tool, dabber tools work well, but you can use what you have at hand, carefully remove the sticky resin from your parchment paper. Pick out any visible plant material. Flatten it and place it on a cold surface if you wish.
Live Resin is very different from resin and rosin in that it uses cryogenic freezing of the freshly-harvested plant at temperatures below -292° F. The process is often referred to as “full spectrum” since it uses the entire plant, including flowers, leaves, branches and even stalks. It completely preserves the entire terpene profile of each strain since the process avoids the use of heat. Here is a link to my article about Terpenes. They provide additional medicinal benefits, along with the cannabinoids. It is also more expensive. The extraction process requires expensive laboratory equipment and trained technicians, so don’t try it at home!
As always, I love to hear your comments if you decide to try any of the delivery methods that I profile.
Source: Resin vs. Live Resin vs. Rosin: What’s the Difference, MerryJane.com, Gooey Rabinski, 4/13/2017
How To Make Rosin: Rosin Press and Straightener, Weedshome.com, 05/01/2017