Advantages of Rosin Pressing vs Solvent Extractions.. Pros and Cons

Oh! This a hotly debated topic these days..

I have to admit I am somewhat biased towards the rosin pressing (go figure huh?). I have done many, many butane/iso extractions with great results, but in the back of my mind, even before I learned about rosin, there was always that nagging feeling that I should of purged my material longer. No matter how long I purged, it still felt like I should of done more.

Lets preview the pros and cons of both. Lets do rosin 1st (told you I was somewhat biased).

Rosin Pros:

  • You will never, ever find any butane/iso molecules left over in your rosin. Rosin is a solvent free extract.
  • Rosin is ready to use in under 15 minutes. Flower/sift to full melt dab within that time period.
  • No purging needed..ever. Rosin is ready to use the second you have finished pressing the material. ( You CAN purge to remove the moisture to help stabilized the rosin. This is not mandatory, but purely an operator choice. I personally vac all my rosin, with no heat added. If you want to know more..email me.)
  • Rosin is usually dabbed with low temperature set ups. Combusting any materials, then inhaling them is not the way to go (might as well just smoke a cigarette). A low temperature vaping system is the best way for extracts..all extracts.
  • Rosin gives you the 'entourage effect". This is where all the terpenes work in concert together, to give you a deeper and more complete 'sensation" than other forms of smoking cannabis.
  • Easy for the average cannabis client to learn how to use in under 5 minutes. Dabbing in 15 minutes.
  • Clean and delicious results. Rosin pressing gives you a contaminant free end result. There is no 'tane' aftertaste. This IS a butane free zone!
  • There are none of those fantastically explosive and volatile solvents around. Do not fool yourself, butane and 99% isopropyl alcohol are dangerous chemicals and if not respected, they will kill you.. end of story.
  • You can see the results of your efforts about 20-40 seconds after starting your press. Sometimes instantly.
  • ZERO purging needed. There is never any purging needed when rosin pressing. It comes from the press ready to dab.
  • You can make crumble, wax, pull-n-snap or shatter. Rosin pressing can do all of these effortlessly. It is all about controlling the temperature.
  • The low heat and high pressure of rosin pressing preserves the flavour, the terpenes you want and the potency you demand from your extracts.
  • We do not have hidden fees and what you see is what you get. Honest prices, discounted shipping, customer service that really is unmatched and a FULL 1 year warranty. ( I just gave my company a plug. Is that narcissistic or just smart?)
  • It is LEGAL to press for Medical Clients. There are NO solvents used. Check your local laws!

Rosin Cons:

  • High pressure presses can be dangerous if not properly respected.
  • The rosin plates are hot, hot, hot. Burning hot to the skin. Be careful.
  • It is easy to press for too long and you will burn the extract or turn it into a 'sappy mess' that just will not come off the parchment paper. Pay attention!
  • Rosin pressing equipment can be insanely expensive. Here at Cannaplates we offer very affordable solutions, often 100's of dollars le$$ than the competition. 
  • You use a lot of parchment paper. 
  • Honestly, I am having a hard time coming up with cons for rosin pressing.

Solvent Pros:

  • Consistent results, if you know what you are doing. Amateurs need not apply..
  • Solvent tech is the most common way to do extracts.
  • Easy and legal to obtain the solvents for the average consumer. Disclaimer: What the consumer does with that solvent is entirely up to them.
  • The amount of info out there on how to do a solvent extraction is enormous. 

Solvent Cons:

  • The amount of info out there on how to do a solvent extraction is enormous...Most of it is wrong.
  • Extremely dangerous to the mis/uninformed or novice iextractor. Can not stress this enough. It is fucking dangerous! (I can swear here because this is my blog )
  • Dangerous (I know I said this already, but that is how passionate I am about the danger involved when using a solvent extraction method). If not respected, butane and isopropanol solvents can and will kill you. You may smile at this, but all it takes is one SMALL static electric spark and......BOOM. At the very least 1st to 3rd degree burns. At the worst, you killed someone or yourself. Yaaaa. Got it? Good.
  • Butane extractions are especially dangerous. Right from the second you start to empty that can of butane into your extraction set up, you can experience a 'no-flame' explosive event. This is where the screen on the end of the tube you are using to extract the oil, suddenly gives out or bursts from too much pressure. All that is needed is a spark, as the metal screen scrapes against any other metal, as it is being ejected violently off of your extraction tube..annnnd spark..then you have a VERY large......BOOM. All this happens in milliseconds of time. The last thing you will see is your eyeballs melting.
  • Butane and iso extractions basically strip a goodly portion of the flavour out of the material. Potency is still there, it just loses a lot of true flavour.
  • Solvents can strip the chlorophyll out of the material. Iso is especially susceptible to this action. It grabs both the positive and negative molecules. You only want the negative ones. Positive ones are the chlorophyll and waxes.
  • Your material needs at least a 24 - 48 hour 'freeze time' to lock in all the crap you do not want in your extract. Freeze the iso as well and all containers used to rinse the material. Butane is already cold out of the can. This is called winterizing. Butane has oils in from the manufacturing and sealing of the can.  Those oils move to your shatter. No amount of purging will remove those machine oils. Pain in the ass and pain in the lungs.
  • The lead time of solvents is enormous compared to the lead time of rosin pressing. On average it can take several hours / days to properly 'purge' your extraction of its solvent(s). Rosin is for all intents instant use.
  • People seem to want to smoke or light a match, when in the same room as the solvent extraction. Stupid.
  • Most of the time, (I was guilty of this as well sometimes) the people doing the extracting do not ground themselves while handling these solvents. I learned 1st hand how easy it is to have a spark happen. See story below this point.

True Life Extraction Story:

I was in a hurry one day to get this iso extraction done that I was doing for a friend. I neglected to ground myself from static electric sparks, you know the kind..rub your socks on the carpet, then chase your sibling around the living room trying to touch them to give them that static shock.

So, anyway, I got up out of my easy chair to check the evaporation process of the iso. I walked a good 30 - 35 feet across the floor and I reached out towards the very edge of the evaporation plate with my finger. Guess what happened? Yup. A big static spark jumped from my finger ( I had not even touched the plate yet) to the plate. I saw the spark make the jump from my finger to the plate and my heart exploded in my chest because I expected in the next few milliseconds to be engulfed in fire. I even flinched, jerked back from the plate, ducked and covered my face. (It would of been way too late anyway, but it shows you 110% what I expected to happen.)

But it did not happen. I am not sure why that spark never ignited the iso. It should of melted my eyeballs and blew my face off, but it didn't. The nearest thing I can think of is that the fan I had on, pointed towards my extraction area, gave me another chance.

It blew the vapours at just the right time, away from the spark on the edge of the plate. It did do one thing. It scared the living hell right out of me. I am 6'1" 200lbs. Not much scares me. That terrified me. I was very, VERY lucky. It was very shortly after that episode that I began my rosin adventures. I never looked back. Not even once.

Ok, well I hope that clears up some questions you may have had about the pros and cons of both.

You decide what is best for you.