Kicking it live
SN&R tries out a new device that lets consumers make the extract at home and on the go
One interesting thing about cannabis is the way people process it. It can be made into hashish, kief, tinctures, topicals and edibles. But over the last decade, concentrates have burst onto the scene, including live rosin.
Live rosin is extracted from cannabis buds by heating and squeezing them at high pressure. Not to be mistaken with live resin, which includes freezing and using butane in its extraction process, live rosin is solventless and completely safe.
In the past, making live rosin at home was too expensive for most. Now Rosin Tech Products has a small press called the “Go” that is light enough to carry in a backpack. For $299, I was willing to give it a try.
With only 700 pounds of pressure, would this 12.5 pound press perform like the big machines? I rushed it over to a friend’s house with a jar of last fall’s cannabis crop to find out. We immediately decided to get high and watch an instructional video. “Hey guys, I’m West Coast Vinnie,” began Rosin-Tech’s gravely-voiced spokesperson. As Vinnie explained the Go’s simple operational steps, we wrapped parchment paper around two Pot-of-Gold buds and placed them between the aluminum plates.
“OK, what did he set the temperature at?” I asked, realizing that we shouldn’t be stoned for this. “We better watch Vinnie again,” said my friend.
After another viewing, we set the press at 180 degrees Fahrenheit for one minute. The Go is so light that it slipped backward when pushing the cam lever down. We fixed that by kneeling over the top and pushing straight down. A minute later, we unwrapped our harvest.
“Where the hell is the rosin?” I asked. There was nothing but a wisp of light green glossiness around a flattened-out “puck” of pressed flower. “Right there, that’s rosin,” said my friend, pointing to the gloss. By scraping the paper with a razor blade, we gathered enough for two hits.
After viewing more instructional videos, we learned to stuff the cannabis into a nylon bag, wrap it in parchment paper, turn up the heat and add another minute or two. One video mentioned that moist buds yield more, so we used an old high school trick and dropped a lime peel into the jar of pot.
We bumped the temperature up to 220 degrees for three minutes. The nylon bag was stuffed so tight it would barely fit it between the heat plates. A few minutes later we unwrapped the parchment paper and finally saw a dripping ooze of rosin. It wasn’t a lot, but we had made it from our own cannabis at home.
Folding the puck over, we slipped it in again, this time adding a steel plate underneath for more pressure. By scraping, folding and reinserting until the bag finally broke, we squeezed a half gram of rosin from a quarter ounce of cannabis flower.
“This Pot-of-Gold tastes like pine,” said my friend, lighting up his dab rig. “I’m getting a fruity taste,” I answered. We decided to take another hit each, to determine who was right, but got distracted for 15 minutes.
When we did hit that rig again, he was right about the pine.
It seemed like the cannabis still hadn’t yielded enough, but we had already pushed the Go to its limit. Instead, I broke apart leftover pucks and boiled them overnight in a crock pot with water and a stick of butter. It made enough canna-butter for a potent batch of edibles.
I hesitate to call the Rosin Tech Go a novelty item. It’s great for reclaiming high quality rosin from good buds that got old, and it travels anywhere an extension cord will go. I had a blast using it one weekend in the high Sierra.
But the lack of pressure left too much THC inside the pucks. Had they not been repurposed into canna-butter, it would have been a waste. Perhaps I should have purchased the $499 Rosin Tech Twist, a bolt-down table model with more than 4,000 pounds of pressure.
For someone with extra cannabis to play with who wants to press live rosin wherever they travel, the Go is a good choice. It isn’t cheaper than buying concentrates at a dispensary. But it’s way more fun.