Cannabis concentrates have been quickly becoming a popular way to enjoy the effects and benefits of cannabis. It's fun to have a higher-strength option that offers different experiences, especially if you have a higher tolerance to cannabinoids like THC.
There are lots of concentrates out there, and a helpful way to sort them in your head is by categorizing them according to how they were made. Some concentrates are made using chemical solvents, like butane, propane, ethanol, or carbon dioxide, while others are made with solventless techniques.
If you want to learn more about how all the different concentrates are made, check out our complete guide to weed concentrate.
Solventless Cannabis Concentrates
After the concentrate extraction process is finished, the concentrate is cleaned to remove residual solvents. But some trace amounts of solvent will be left over.
Some people in the cannabis community have a preference for avoiding solvents in their concentrates, and try not to consume concentrates that were produced using solvents.
Traditionally, the most popular solventless weed concentrates have been hash and kief.
But a newer contender rapidly growing in popularity is rosin concentrate. Rosin is generally stronger than hash and kief, and you can even make your own rosin at home. (All you need is a hair straightener and some parchment paper.)
Let's look more deeply at this concentrate, from how it's made, to how to consume rosin.
How is rosin made?
Unlike other popular extraction methods like butane hash oil, rosin production doesn't use chemicals at all. Instead, high heat and pressure is applied to marijuana flower (or kief or hash) until a translucent sappy substance is squeezed out of the plant material.
Rosin usually preserves most of all of the active ingredients in cannabis. All the cannabinoids (THC, CBD, and others) and terpenes will be retained, giving you a concentrate that will deliver all the effects of the original herb.
This isn't true of all concentrates: many solvent-using concentrates will be a distillation of only some parts of the original weed strain.
Most distillates will have no terpenes, and might emphasize only one cannabinoid (usually THC or CBD) from the starting material. Although these concentrates can still be enjoyable, you'll probably notice a difference in the effects and high compared with the original source cannabis.
What is live rosin?
If a rosin is labeled as "live rosin", that means the cannabis flower that was used to produce it was never cured or dried. Instead, live rosin is made from fresh or frozen flower.
Don't confuse live rosin with live resin, even though they have similar names. Live resin is a different product entirely, and it's made using solvents.
Live rosin tends to look more opaque compared with translucent regular rosin. Some cannabis enthusiasts argue that live rosin has a better taste and more terpenes than other concentrates. It can also be more potent.
It's typically more expensive to buy live rosin, it can even be the highest priced concentrate at some dispensaries. But for some weed concentrate lovers, the higher price is worth it for the potency and flavor of a higher quality extract.
How to Use Rosin Cannabis Concentrate
You can consume rosin a number of ways: vaping, dabbing, and smoking it. Ingesting rosin is possible, but you need to heat it up first to decarboxylate it and activate the THC. Eating rosin will take longer to take effect.
Also, the effects will be limited if the rosin was produced at a lower temperature, because the THC needs to be heated to be activated. So if you're looking for strong and fast effects, you're better off vaping or smoking rosin.
To vape rosin, you'll need a vaporizer designed to work with cannabis concentrates. Simply add some rosin to the vape's chamber, then heat it up to the desired temperature and inhale.
You can also do rosin dabs, by putting a small amount of rosin on the nail of a dab rig. The nail is then lit with a blowtorch or heated by an electronic element, and then vapor is produced that you can inhale. Dabbing rosin involves some specialized equipment and knowledge, so it's not for everyone, but it's one of the most popular ways of consuming rosin.
Smoking rosin is pretty straightforward. Just a chunk of rosin to a joint, pipe bowl, or bong hit. It's a good idea to put it on top of ground cannabis flower to keep things from getting messy. Adding rosin is a surefire way to take smoking bud to another level.
Remember, rosin is an extremely concentrated form of cannabis, so go slowly and with small amounts. You don't want to end up with effects that are stronger than you're comfortable with.
Best dry herb vaporizer for concentrate
Vaping rosin and other concentrates can be a lot of fun, but for many cannabis enthusiasts, concentrates are only one of the ways that they like to consume weed. Usually, people want to be able to vaporize both dry herb (fresh cannabis) and concentrates.
Unfortunately, not very many vapes are able to handle both dry herb and concentrates - meaning you might need two vaporizers if you want to do both. You can sandwich some concentrate in the middle of a bowl of dry herb if you like, but that can sometimes get a bit messy.
Some vapes like the PAX, the Mighty, and the DaVinci IQ have optional attachments and inserts that allow you to use the devices for concentrates. However, it can be a time consuming process loading and cleaning them afterwards, and you have to be careful while handling potentially hot parts.
Furna has a more convenient solution, with their swappable oven system. With the Furna vape, you can instantly swap between a used oven and a fresh one, without any waiting.
Furna also has specialized ovens for dry herb, concentrate, and 510 oil cartridges.
It’s a breeze to switch from dry herb to concentrate and back again, going wherever your session takes you. Having multiple ovens also makes it way easier to keep everything clean. Check out Furna vaporizers to learn more about it.