What is Rosin? Differences Between Shatter and How to Make it


Just when you thought cannabis concentrates couldn’t get any better, rosin comes around. 

And no, it’s not full of solvents like it’s cousins shatter, wax, budder or live resin. Instead rosin is a solvent-free concentrate that’s just as easily consumable, psychoactive and flavor-rich. 

Unfortunately, the concentrate still lives in the shadows of its more popular cousins, so, naturally, there’s a lot of confusion as to what rosin is and how it differs from the rest, let alone how it’s made. 

Read further as we shed light on the concentrate by breaking down what is rosin, how to make rosin at home and what makes it stand out from the rest. 




What is Rosin Extract?

Rosin is a cannabis concentrate, meaning it is cannabinoids and terpenes – the valuable cannabis chemicals – in a more pure-refined state. The process creating rosin uses heat and pressure to separate cannabinoids and terpenes from flowers, without any use of detrimental solvents like Co2, ethanol, propane and butane. Hence, it’s commonly referred to as the solventless-concentrate

But, you’re probably thinking there’s a trade-off when you don’t use solvents and when you do when making concentrates. 

How is Rosin Different From Shatter

Shatter is generally a member of the butane hash oil (BHO) family of cannabis concentrates, using the exact same extraction processes as crumble, budder, wax and so forth. The process involves using solvents like butane and propane, hence the label “butane hash oil”, thus it’s considered a solvent-based concentrate, unlike the solvent-free rosin.

Using solvents to make cannabis concentrates creates at least two cautions that don’t exist with rosin, which have to do with safety in consumption and extraction. If you’re consuming solvent-based concentrates, you must ensure it’s high quality and made from reputable sources, otherwise, you’re consuming solvents along with cannabinoids and terpenes. In terms of extraction, using butane is exceptionally more dangerous for DIY home-makers, as butane is highly flammable and invisible. However, shatter and the like are not always made from solvents.

How is Rosin Different from Live Resin?

Live resin may be the most flavor-rich concentrate available, thus it’s superior over Rosin in its terpene content. However, like shatter, Live Resin is made from solvents with the added initial step of cryogenically freezing buds before extraction begins. 

Ever heard of live rosin? The concentrate applies both live resin and rosin techniques to create a final substance that is solvent-free, without sacrificing on flavour. The best of both worlds, some would say.

However, don’t be confused with resin and live resin, as resin is commonly known as left over or “reclaimed” oil or goop that’s left behind used bongs and pipes. With cannabis becoming legal, resin is almost obsolete. 




How to Make Rosin – Step-by-Step

The rosin press method has many things going for it – it’s solvent-free, retains high thc levels – and, as we’ll introduce, inexpensive and straightforward. Out of reach tech and advanced chemistry, knowledge isn’t needed, in other words. 

Materials Needed:

  • Baking or parchment paper
  • Hair straightener with a digital temperature display and with plates two inches wide
  • Oven or safety gloves
  • Metal dabber


Before Tips:

  • Length of time depends on the quantity of cannabis 
  • Having a digital temp display on your hair straightener ensure you’re extracting in the optimal 200-300 degree F range
  • This method is ideal for making smaller batches (7 grams or less) as it creates higher quality rosin yields, thus creating bulk isn’t recommended



  1. You’ll need to preheat your “rosin press”, that is, your hair straightener to 200-300 degrees F
  2. Don’t use wet buds. Moist buds are ideal.
  3. Put on safety gloves while working with your hair straightener. Caution: Your fingers will be near the hot plates. 
  4. Place your hair straightener on a flat surface with one paddle flat and the other in the air. Be prepared to use it like a stapler. Doing so ensures you have the best angle for a hard press.
  5. Cute a piece of baking paper that’s more wide than the width of your hair straightener.
  6. Take your cannabis and press and mold it into a dense nug using your hands and fingers
  7. Place your pressed cannabis into the middle of the baking paper and then place it in between hair straightener plates
  8. Using your gloves or oven mitts, press the top plate of the hair straightener, using your body weight, to press down on your cannabis, baking and the other hot plate. Timing varies depending on strain quality, but 5-10 seconds is a general rule.
  9. After time length, assess your baking paper for rosin oil by removing the pressed cannabis. You may need to fold and re-press your cannabis a few more times. 
  10. Once you’re satisfied with the amount of rosin oil extracted onto the baking paper, scrape it with a dabber. 


How To Make Rosin Final Thoughts

Rosin isn’t your average concentrate, it’s solvent-free yet highly psychoactive and easily consumable. The process of extracting rosin oil is straightforward as well, making it an ideal concentrate for DIY enthusiasts. All that’s needed is a hair straightener, baking paper, gloves and cannabis–no butane, propane or isopropyl alcohol that’s generally used in other solvent-based concentrates. 


But if experimenting at home isn’t your thing, make sure to try rosin next time you visit your next dispensary!


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