How to Choose the Best Cannabis Flower to Press
Pressing cannabis flowers is the best way to get rosin, a solvent-less extract with utmost purity compared to other marijuana concentrates. It's obtained by applying pressure and heat to flower material. The resulting substance has an oily consistency and is rich in compounds such as Delta-8 THC, Delta-9 THC, and terpenes. If you're producing your own rosin at home, you'll need a handheld rosin press.
The most important factor that affects your rosin's clarity and coloring is the quality of flower that you use. You can’t expect to produce top-shelf rosin from poor-quality, overly dried buds, no matter the quality of your extraction equipment. While the quality of resin sometimes depends on what you're looking for, there are some factors that you should never ignore when choosing your buds. These include:
For best results, rosin extraction calls for a low humidity level on the plant material. Fresh flower contains plenty of water, which is not ideal for rosin extract. When you press fresh flower, you can expect a watery mess that's almost impossible to collect from your parchment paper. And when you dab the resulting rosin, it releases an offensive smell along with a fresh chlorophyll flavor.
A simple way of knowing the moisture content in your cannabis flower is by its brittleness. A bud with high moisture always feels spongy to touch. So you should allow the cannabis flower to cure and dry as you would before smoking it. Dry and cured cannabis flowers serve as a sponge and soak up much of the extracted rosin oil before it can escape.
For the best results, the hemp flower should have a relative humidity between 55 percent and 62 percent. You can keep your buds in an airtight container made of glass or silicone to maintain the proper humidity level.
The age of your cannabis flower also matters. You need to pick freshly harvested and dried buds for pressing rosin. Freshly dried buds have had less time to oxidize and, after proper curing, will have high quantities of terpenes.
The buds should also have a good mix of clear, milky, and amber trichomes. So you can expect the color of your final rosin to range from light cream to yellow depending on your choice of flower strain.
Flower buds that have stayed for too long are past their prime and have been exposed to too much oxygen and UV rays. This darkens its trichomes and breaks down the cannabinoids, making it less potent. The result of pressing older buds is a dark-colored resin.
Quantity of Trichomes
Trichomes are the fine outgrowths that cover the cannabis flower. They secrete resin and accommodate all the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids found in marijuana. Trichome-laden flower buds have high terpene levels, producing thicker and less viscous rosin.
You should inspect the bud's trichomes to determine whether it's a good fit for pressing. Sadly, cannabis trichomes are typically too small to be examined by the naked eye. So you'll need a magnifying glass to judge the number of trichomes on the sample bud.
But it isn't only the abundance of trichomes you should look at. You should also inspect their condition, especially the glandular heads, to check for any damage. Remember, trichomes are highly delicate, and any rough treatment during the growth cycle, harvesting, shipping, and packaging will easily rip them apart. When that occurs, plenty of the essential oil trapped inside will erode.
Of course, you might find an extent of rupturing on most cannabis flowers. But a good rule of thumb is to select the flower bud with minor trichome damage and an abundance of trichomes.
Not all hemp strains carry the same genetics. While some buds perform better when vaped, smoked, or infused into gummies, they may not yield much rosin when pressed. This is why you should scrutinize the genetics when picking a flower to press into rosin.
In general, indica-dominant flower strains produce high yields when pressed, although some sativas can also handle the task. Indica-leaning strains typically have denser, more resinous buds than their sativa counterparts. Remember, indica strains do well in cool and dry climates. Thus, they are short and have a tighter flower structure. Meanwhile, sativa strains thrive in warmer, more tropical conditions. Therefore, they have a loose, airy bud structure as a mechanism to protect against mold-related diseases.
The indica-dominant cultivars that are ideal for rosin press include:
- Mimosa shot
- Carlifonian Snow Auto
- Wedding Glue
Sativa-dominant strains for rosin press include:
- Monster profit
- Sour diesel
- Monster Bruce Banner Auto
The bottom line is that the above strains boast a high resin production in their indica or sativa categories.
The starting flower material will determine the potency of the concentrate produced from the rosin press. The typical cannabinoid content of extracted rosin ranges between 75 percent and 85 percent. Thus, the percentage of THC in the used flower takes up much of the concentrate. That said, cannabis buds with high THC content will naturally produce a potent rosin concentrate. So you need to pick cannabis flowers with a high THC percentage to end up with a potent extract.
Cannabinoids like delta-8 THC and delta-9 THC also play a significant role in the type of effects delivered by the pressed flower. For example, you may experience feelings of relaxation, focus, and happiness from one product. And with another, you may feel sedated or have an increased appetite. It is important to also note that THC combines with other cannabinoids and terpenes, which may result in an entourage effect.
The Bottom Line
The quality of the cannabis flower you put into your rosin press will determine the quality of your rosin. So you should ensure that the cannabis flower you pick for rosin extraction ticks all the right boxes. The buds should be trichome-laden, freshly dried and cured, and have high THC content. You should also seek the best genetic strains.