CannaPlates THCA Pictorial Guide

Updated December 11, 2018

Introduction to THCA:
There are many methods (times and pressures and techniques) to mechanically separating THCA from rosin. Most work well. Some do not. This is the one I use, as I have had consistent success with it.

CannaPlates THCA guide is only a guide. Your results may vary, as mine have, in this not so cheap adventure. Hopefully I have borne most of the cost of this adventure, so that you don't have to make the same mistakes. Thca is made by separating the components of the rosin. The mild heat and mild pressure of this process, causes the thca to separate from the rosin and solidify into a chalk like form, that snaps like drywall.

To begin with you need the right kind of rosin. Rosin that is clear or shatter like or runny will not work. Do not try to use these kinds of rosin and expect results. You will not get them. The rosin MUST be cakey. It must be chunky like ..well ... chunky peanut butter that has dried out.
The more crumbly you can get your rosin the better off you will be.

The return rate on this process is quite low, while the process I use gives a better than average return, so it can get expensive, but the payoff is melting your face off good. I have found on average, that you will get 1/3 of your weight back in THCA using this method, if done reasonably well.

Rosin In:

1.79G of thca ÷ 5.22g of rosin = 34.29% return. Above 30%!

Ok lets begin!

The Bags:
You need to use 2- 25u bags per press. Take both bags and cut them in half. Take bag 1 and cut down the side of the bag to the bottom of the bag, LEAVING the seam alone. DO NOT cut the seam side of the bag! Do not cut the bottom seam!
If you are using CannaPlates CenterLine Seam™ 25u rosin bags, then you do NOT have to cut any side or any seam. Just cut the bags in half! If you are using bags with the seam on the sides, make sure the stitching is on the outside of the bag, the reason for this is so that the bag does not fray (and it will) into the product.

Take your rosin that you have prepared earlier and insert it into the corner of bag. Fold over the edges until you have a square shaped bag full of rosin.
For this, use about 3 grams of rosin. For this guide I have used about 5g of CAKE rosin.I don't suggest the novice press this amount. If you fuck it up, you will be pissed off at me haha!

Take the second bag and insert the 1st folded up bag with rosin in it, into the 2nd bag. Insert it so that the seams are not on the same side as each other.

Fold over the edges to make the same square shape as before. The bags will not want to stay in the folded square you are trying to put it into..Keep reading and I will provide a solution for this issue in the Press and Temperature section below.

The Paper:
This is the easy part. When I do this I take my normal sheet of pressing paper and fold it lengthwise down the center. This gives you a paper that can do multiple presses, (you will see what I mean later) I then cut this in half so that I have 2 sheets out of the one.
ALWAYS KEEP THE BAG NEAR THE FRONT OF THE PLATES, so you can see what is going on!

The idea here is to keep 'moving' the rosin bag full of rosin to a new spot on the paper. When pressing you need to see how much is coming out to correctly gauge the pressure. This is extremely important to remember, as you will see later in the guide.

The Press and The Temperatures:
Pressure or lack of it is key here. It is measured in literally lbs to begin with!
  • Your 1st temperature setting is 45C..yes.. 45C - 4-5 presses
  • Your 2nd temperature setting is 65C - 4-5 presses
  • Your 3rd temperature setting is 85C - 1-5 presses
  • You can do a 4th if you want at 95c. THCA melts at around 150C (300F)
Put your rosin folded bag into the press, keeping the edge of the bag near the front of the plates. Make sure you can see the seam on the INSIDE bag, if you are not using CannaPlates bags keep track of where the seam is, if you are using my bags, then you don't have to worry about any seams..ever again!
Make sure the bag stays folded. A really good way to do this is bring the plates together so that the bag just fits in, this way you can use the plates to help keep the bag folded.

You need to be able to see the rosin coming out, so you can stop adding pressure!!!
Position the bag on the paper starting at either the left or right side of the paper. You need to do multiple presses, so lets max out the paper use!

The 45C Press:
One or 2 degrees +/- on any of these temperatures is fine! 

Apply SUPER light pressure and STOP as soon as you see ANY rosin escaping. I can not stress this enough..stop!!
Once you see a small amount escape, start a countdown of a 5 minutes or so. Open the press and take out the paper with the folded bag inside. Gently lift the bag to a new position on the paper KEEPING the bag folded at all times.

You can see below that there was practically no rosin escaping out of the outside bag. Success! You can see the inside seam of the CannaPlates Centerline bags (that is what that whitish line is.).
DO NOT open the bag to look inside!

Apply the same kind of pressure again, only until you see more tiny bits of rosin (sauce by now) escaping.  Release and move the bag again. Do this at 45C for about 4-5 times. (Now you see why you start at either the left or right side of the paper!)

Again pressure ..or LACK of pressure is key here.. By the time you are on your 4th press you should see the THCA starting to seperate. DO NOT OPEN THE BAGS!
The image below is deceptive! There looks like a lot of rosin has escaped, this is an illusion, as I have pressed this flat with my hand. There is very little that escaped. See above picture for reference.
Once you have completed the 4-5 LOW pressure, each at a 5 minute press, at 45C the THCA should be well formed and when you tap the outside of the bag with your fingernail (once it cools) it should be hard like plaster.and sound like a fingernail tapping on your table top. Lets go to the next step of this guide..65C

The 65C Press:
Once you have the 45C presses done it is time to up the temperature to 65C. Repeat the above steps using the same lack of pressure for the 1st - 2 presses at 65c. (to be safe) Press for 5 mins

For the remainder of the 65c presses (1-2 more) you can UP the pressure to about 1/2 ton. 
After the 1st 2 presses at 65c, open/cut the outer bag off.
Then open up the folds of the inner bag and lay flat on the paper. Do not open the bag to look inside! Trust and Faith! 
You can see that the bag is very stiff. this is the THCA!
Lay the bag out flat and press. Rinse and repeat for another 1-2 times making sure to apply only that 1/2 ton of pressure, no more!

The object here, as in the 45C press, is to continue separating and solidifying the THCA from the rest of the rosin or 'sauce' in these initial stages. Continue with 5 minute presses

For this particular press I did 4 - 65c presses. You may do more if you want.

The 85C Press:
Ok here is where we separate the rest of the rosin from the THCA. Up the temperature to 85C and then press. Put the folded bag in the plates and hit it with about 1 or 2 tons of pressure for 5 minutes again
As you progress, you can add more pressure to help remove remaining rosin. I do not suggest much above 5 tons as you could force the THCA into the holes of the bag and onto the paper and that's a diminishing return. The most pressure I used was right around the 4 ton area.
Keeping open the folds of the bag continue to lay it flat as discussed above and continue pressing, but DO NOT look inside. DON'T DO IT!

Rinse and repeat until YOU are satisfied all rosin has been removed to  your standards
There will be some discoloration at the edges. You can repress the THCA in a new bag if you want, but there will be diminishing returns. Everytime you move the THCA you have product loss.

By now you should only be pressing the inner bag now, having removed the outer bag as previously stated in the 65c section of this guide.
Once you have pressed to get enough of the rosin(sauce) out of the thca, you can take some scissors and cut the edges of the bags off, as I have in the next section.

The Opening of the Bag:
Get a piece of parchment paper to open the bags over!!!  Cut the bag as shown below.

Once you have done this, gently cut along the bottom seam and gently open up the bag and... will see that all your hard work and diligence has paid off!
It looks like dried up plaster of paris. Turn the bag inside out to help getting it all out of the bag!
This is heaven.
Store in a glass jar and enjoy!

This concludes this THCA guide. If you have any questions or comments or concerns, you know what to do.

The Sauce:
Collect all the sauce that has been pressed out. This contains your terpenes and flavors. Thca does not retain the flavor of the rosin. The closer you get to a pure white sample, less flavor is present. To me thca tastes like a really good hash sample, close to a full melt bubble hash taste. Its glorious!

Collect and put into a glass jar and put the lid on tight. Turn your plates on to 55C. Set the closed jar on the plates. Check every 20 mins or so until the sauce has cleared up! This can take 1-4 hours or more.

The pictures below are the before and after the heat treatment.
The picture above is being held up against a very bright light. Its a solid paste type sauce.
This picture is after the heat treatment of about 3 hours @ 55c in a closed jar. This was a very dark rosin to begin with, so the sauce is dark as well. The taste is on point!

HINT: this is kind of the same step to make Diamonds...stay tuned, that guide is coming once all research is done!


1 comment

  • can’t wait thanks.

    robert mcDonald

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