Making herbal extracts at home is very rewarding. You get the benefit of knowing what’s in the extracts you made and how to make it yourself. When people make concentrates at home, they usually opt for the safe, chemical-free version called rosin. Rosin is made by placing a bud in a piece of parchment paper and pressing it between an even heat source. Too much heat and you will cook of valuable terpenes. Not enough heat and you will lose yield tremendously.
Rosin is a solventless extraction method that uses pressure and heat to extract cannabinoids from cannabis. Rosin has grown exponentially in popularity because it doesn’t require extensive knowledge or understanding of botanical extractions or chemistry. What this means is that just about anyone can make quality rosin with the right press and a little bit of tinkering.
If you’re tired of struggling with a flat iron for hair styling and some clamps to make the concentrates you want, here are some great options. We’re going to start at the top of the list with the most expensive and work our way down. Remember just because something costs more doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily better. To get to the pressing issue at hand let’s take a look at rosin press number one.
The Eglow 8000 PSI Professional Rosin Press
The eGLOW 8000 PSI Professional Rosin Press- coming in priced around $1,000, this rosin press is top of the line if you have the money to spend. The eGLOW is a pneumatic rosin press with dual 8 x 6 heating plates. This press is capable of producing 8000 PSI. A full digital display allows for easy setting of pressure level, temperature, and time. Experimenting by fluctuating and altering times and temperatures along with pressure can yield you with the perfect rosin.
The LilSmasher by NugSmasher
The LilSmasher by NugSmasher offers up 6500 PSI and is constructed from solid steel. Dual plates at 3 and 1/2 by 4 inches make for easy pressing with the attached 300w dual heating elements. Get ready for a little bit of a workout to make this rosin. If you have arthritis or weak muscles, this may not be the machine for you as the pressure is applied manually by a lever on the front of the LilSmasher by NugSmasher. This lil’ unit will set you back a lil’ coming in at around $800.
The JU1CE Box Rosin Press
The JU1CE Box Rosin Press is the ideal little device for a single individual looking to make a few dabs here and there for their personal enjoyment. This small rosin press has a 1 inch by 1 and 1/2 inch plates with dual heating elements. This makes this small device perfect for 1-3 gram presses. If you’re looking for the flat iron taken to the next level, this is it. Coming in at $124.99 the JU1CE Box rosin press has everything you need to start making rosin right away, except for the nug.
Do you have a preferred rosin press for making rosin at home? If so, let us know in the comments below! We love to learn about new and exciting products for cannabis consumers!
In terms of marijuana and its effects on brain cells, or neurons, there is little evidence to suggest that any of the active ingredients in the marijuana plant administered at doses appropriate for human consumption have neurotoxic effects.
This is in direct contrast to alcohol, where the body’s digestive process creates metabolites such as acetaldehyde and other “reactive oxygen species” which are toxic to the brain and other cells in the body. This is why you have a hangover, after drinking large quantities of alcohol.
The active ingredients in the marijuana plant, called phytocannabinoids, affect specific receptors within the body. In fact, the body produces its own set of cannabinoids called endocannabinoids and has an endocannabinoid system which regulates the activity of all cannabinoids in the body.
There are two types of receptors within the endocannabinoid system CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are located primarily in the brain and nervous system, while CB2 receptors are located primarily in the immune system.
The fact that these receptors are located all over the body is part of the reason why marijuana has been found to be useful for so many different medical conditions.
Specifically in the case of seizures, there is preliminary research which shows that the cannabinoid, cannabidiol or CBD, raises the threshold for seizure activity within the brain making it overall more difficult to have seizures, and thus providing hope to many parents of children with intractable seizure disorders. There is also some preliminary research which show that other cannabinoids within the plant actually protect brain cells from damage associated with Alzheimer’s disease. However, much more research needs to be done in order to make definitive claims on the medical benefits.
The evidence at this point indicates that marijuana does more good than harm when it comes to its effects on the adult brain.
Infographic courtesy of: drugpolicy
If you’re familiar with cannabis concentrates, you may have heard of solventless extracts. Most concentrates on the market today are made with the solvent: butane. Extract artists do their best to ensure no butane is left in the end product but more amateur extractors have trace amounts of unpurged butane left behind. Butane is considered one of the more harmful volatile substances to inhale. As a result, extractors of cannabis oils are attempting to get their product without the use of any potentially harmful solvents. Solventless extracts are relatively new but they’re rapidly growing in popularity and there are now several options.
Dangers of Butane
Butane is used to concentrate and extract as much THC as possible from the cannabis plant. BHO is becoming more and popular and even preferred by some consumers of marijuana. The butane is the more dangerous component involved in BHO. Most of the danger when it comes to BHO is in the extraction process because a flammable gas is involved. There have been incidents in the past where homes burst into flames from amateurs attempting to make butane hash oil.
One analysis found that butane extracts have on two to five percent of residual butane content. The problem with this is that inhaling butane may be harmful to one’s health. However, it’s worth noting that butane is used in many things we buy such as hairspray, cooking spray, e-cigarettes and more.
Fortunately, Dr. Melamede looked through the National Library of Medicine database and found that “there isn’t any evidence that inhaling residual hydrocarbons like butane are dangerous – at least in small amounts.”
De Melamede added that “it’s an irritant, but that’s about it.”
So yes, butane alone in large quantities might be dangerous. However, the small traces of butane left in BHO should not be enough to cause any major consequences.
If you’d like to guarantee that there are NO traces of butane left in your hash oils then your best bet is in solventless extracts.
What are Solventless Extracts?
One way to make extracts without the introduction of any chemical solvents is the rosin technique. The Rosin technique has been rapidly increasing in popularity because it enables just about anybody with a hair straightener and some weed to obtain cannabis extracts.
The rosin technique is quite simple. You’ll just need to apply some heat and pressure to cannabis nugs and their sweet THC concentrated juices will begin oozing out. People at home use their hair straighteners at low temperatures under 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Put a nug in between some parchment paper or medical grade silicone and then place it between the plates of a hair straightener. Press down as hard as you possibly can for 10-30 seconds and you should hear some sizzling. Experiment until you find what gives you the best yield/product. Lower temperatures result in lighter colored more flavorful extracts but less yields.
Another technique to extract without solvents is called “Water Hash.” This is done by putting cannabis nugs or trim into a bag and placing it in ice water. The microscopic trichomes on the cannabis will become brittle and fall to the bottom of the bag. The bags are special bags called Bubble Bags or one of their competitors. The bag has a stainless steel screen at the bottom that will prohibit most plant matter from falling through. What’s left is a crumbly pressed kief that is often labelled “full melt” at dispensaries. It’s a favorite among cannabis concentrate connoisseurs.
It’s still left to the individual to decide whether solventless extracts are worth the extra money. BHO is usually priced cheaper but some concentrate users prefer a purer extraction method.
You may or may not have heard the terms trim run and nug run. If you live in a state with legalized marijuana you may have seen these terms printed on the label of extracts at your local dispensary. The nug run labels should have a higher price than the trim run labels. We’ll go over the differences between the two and how to make sure you’re not paying nug run price for trim run. In some places trim run is less than half the price of nug run so if you’re getting trim you should make sure that you’re paying trim prices.
Nug Run Extracts
Users report better flavor from extracts made with full marijuana nugs. The better flavor combined with the higher cost of using full nugs over trim explains the higher prices. If you’re a regular user of concentrates you’ll be able to tell the difference between trim run and nug run. If you’ve been paying more for nug run you’ll be happy to know it was not just for the hype.
Trim Run Extracts
Trim run extracts are less expensive because some marijuana manufacturers are recycling what would normally be waste. If you were hoping trim run was just as good as nug run without the hype, we may disappoint you. However, when it comes to potency there is not enough evidence to say whether trim run will get you any less high than nug run would.
How To Tell The Difference
You should bring your concentrate really close to your nose and take a big whiff of it. If you don’t smell much of anything you’re probably dealing with extracts that were made from trim. However, if your nose gets smacked by a cloud full of dankness, you’ll know for sure that your oils originated from a nug.
By doing a dab of your concentrate you should be able to guess whether it was made with trim or nugs. Several users report a chlorophyll taste from trim run extracts. Nug run is usually flavorful and smoother on the throat and lungs. This is because nugs are the most trichome and terpene-rich part of the cannabis plant. One user said that trim run gave them a peppery feeling in their mouth and throat. If you can get past this taste, it may be in your best interests to save money and purchase trim run extracts.
If you’re paying top dollar for nug run extracts, make sure you’re not tasting chlorophyll. Also see if you can smell before you buy, follow your nose. You don’t want to pay sixty dollars for a gram of mislabelled trim. Oil snobs beware of any concentrates that do not smell because they’re likely made with trim. The regulations in some states allow companies to get away with mislabelling so your nug run might just be some false advertising. We hope the information in this guide was enough to help you find the right concentrates for you.
First of all, you may be asking yourself what is Live Resin? Well Live Resin is one of the newest ways of extracting concentrates from cannabis.
What sets live resin aside from other forms of dab extraction is that it utilizes fresh cannabis plants that were frozen almost immediately after being snipped. The purpose of this is to retain as many of the original terpenes as possible.
Terpenes are what contribute to the smell and taste of cannabis and the drier a plant becomes the more terpenes get lost so by freezing the plant instead of curing it leads to stronger aromas and flavor from your extracts.
Live Resin has been found to be on average 2% richer in monoterpenes than dabs made with regular non-frozen cannabis plants or trim. This makes sense of Live Resins place as the number one growing marijuana product of the year.
It’s worth noting that live resin is not more or less potent than any other form of BHO.
One feature that live resin lacks is the stability that BHO can obtain. The texture and consistency of live resin is different than your typical shatter or wax. Live resin tends to be yellow or light gold in color.
Massroots describes live resin as having “a very gooey and granular consistency.” This makes it harder to handle than shatter which can be broken off by hand even at room temperatures when made correctly.
Despite this, live resin transactions in Washington went from .3% in November 2015 to .82% by the end of May 2016.
The recent rise in the popularity of live resin has led to a mark-up of anywhere from $10 to 50 dollars more than the average gram of concentrate.
Concentrates already have a higher profit margin than flower and many other marijuana products and the fact that live resin eliminates the curing phase makes it an extremely appealing product to retailers. While the boost in flavor offers something better for concentrate connoisseurs.
image credit: coloradobudblog.com