Rosin and resin cannabis extractions

Which is best?

Rosin vs Resin

Understanding the different cannabis extraction methods

Rosin vs resin presents a timeless debate. It begins upon understanding they are actually two different things. Rosin extractions derive from low to medium heat applied with high pressure. In this process, the essential oils of the plant, along with the liquified lipids, ooze out at high pressure. Fully separated, the essential oils removed from the cellulose plant matter. Resins, on the other hand, derive from different methods of solvent based extraction methods.

Is Rosin better than Resin?

So, Rosin avoid solvents to obtain these terpene rich essential oils. Whereas, resin always involves extraction via a solvent.  However, solvents also oftentimes work best with additional pressure to extract optimal yield too. In terms of which is better, user discretion and understanding makes all the difference for personal preferences.

Solvents Used For Cannabis Extractions

Solvents fall under a few categories. Hydrocarbon based solvents like pentane, butane, propane are used. Also, various types of alcohol and ethanol break down the cannabinoids  for extraction. Finally, CO2 offers a method for extraction which also uses pressure and temperature as well. Each solvent acts uniquely, so their differences provide a range of options.

Efficiency Of Solvents For Extracting Resin

The type of solvent depends on the processor. Some solvents work more aggressively to create higher yields. While others may yield less, but provide a wider spectrum of the terpene profile. Also, solvents might also work in tandem. For example, butane extractions that are then “winterized” with ethanol to remove the lipids and chlorophyll. Ultimately, the processor balances yield, purity, efficiency of extraction, cost of extraction, and of course potency. Methods might have similarities, but each “recipe” for solvent extraction has its advantages and disadvantages.

The Pros And Cons of Rosin vs Resin

Everything depends on the intended goal. Higher THC concentrations? Wider terpene profile? Higher yield? Health concerns? The market demand dictates and the processors heed the call. In terms of potency, resin allows higher THC levels through greater distillation and refinements. For the full entourage effect of the terpenes then rosin provides most of the terpenes intact. However, all methods of extraction impact the terpenes.

Which Extraction Method Is Best For Terpenes?

In the case of solvent extractions, depending on how aggressively the hash oil is refined impacts the terpenes. The more refined, the greater the necessity to add terpenes back into the final product. At various points in the process, terpenes separate out. This is done intentionally through “fractional distillation”. The terpenes get added back, but of course they process alters them slightly as a result. If you ever tasted a candy made with “natural fruit flavors” for example, then wondered why it didn’t exactly taste like the intended fruit, now you know why. Without the full range and balance of terpenes, the flavor becomes an approximation.

The Terpenes In The Rosin vs Resin Debate

So, if you want the closest thing to full spectrum of the plant’s terpene and cannabinol profile, and don’t mind the slight reduction of potency, then rosin is the way to go. If you want the highest THC potency, then resins make sense. One thing to keep in mind, always check test results for resins to know how many PPM (parts per million) of residual solvent exist. This demonstrates how well the end product has been purged.

Health And Wellness

Anyone with respiration issues should best avoid resins. While even driving in traffic involves breathing a certain ppm of hydrocarbons for example, excessive dabbing of resins may have negative long term effects.

By the same token, also make sure to inspect if a product derives from pesticide free plant materials, since those impact rosins as well.

Cannabis Extraction

Processes and Terminology

Familiarize yourself with the terms and processes of cannabis hash oil extractions for rendering rosin and resins.


The person or entity that operates a cannabis extraction business for retail and or wholesale purposes.


The process of using a solvent such as ethanol to separate the lipids and chlorophyll from the essential oils of the plant.  Winterization mixes a nonpolar substance, the essential oils of the cannabis, and dissolves it in a polar solvent (ethanol) at sub-zero temperatures. In essence, the solids are being removed from the liquids.



Any substance that can isolate essential oils from the plant matter. Solvents range from hydrocarbon based liquid gases like propane, butane, and pentane, to things like ethanol and alcohol and CO2.

Hydrocarbon Solvent Extraction

Hydrocarbon solvent extraction is a method for extracting cannabis essential oils (hash oil) from plants. It uses a hydrocarbon solvent, such as hexane, to extract the oils from the plant material. The plant material is ground into a fine powder and then mixed with the solvent. The mixture is then left to soak for a period of time, during which the solvent dissolves the essential oils from the plant material.

The solvent-oil mixture is then filtered to remove any solids and the solvent is allowed to evaporate, leaving behind the essential oil. This method is generally used for extracting essential oils from plants that have a high oil content, like cannabis and hemp.


Fractional Distillation

Fractional distillation is a method to separate and purify cannabis essential oils and their various terpenes, which nuance the taste and smell, but also play a role in the effects. It involves heating the hash oil until it vaporizes, and then condensing the vapor and separating the different components of the oil based on their boiling points.

Fractional Distillation Separates Terpenes And Cannabinoids

The vapor is passed through a fractionating column, which allows the components to cool and condense at different rates depending on their boiling points. The different components of the oil are collected in separate containers as they condense and are then cooled to return them to their liquid state. This process allows for the separation of the various components, the terpenes, cannabinoids, etc of the hash oil, which can then be isolated and added back to create a flavor profile.


CO2 Extraction

CO2 extraction is a method of extracting essential oils, flavors, and other compounds from plants. It involves using carbon dioxide (CO2) under high pressure and low temperature to extract the desired components from the plant material.

There are several different methods of CO2 extraction, including:

  1. Supercritical CO2 extraction: This method involves using CO2 in a supercritical state, which occurs when it is at a temperature and pressure above its critical point. In this state, CO2 acts like both a gas and a liquid, allowing it to easily extract the desired components from the cannabis plant material.
  2. Subcritical CO2 extraction: This method involves using CO2 at a temperature and pressure below its critical point. It is a slower process than supercritical extraction, but it can produce a more refined and purer product.
  3. Mid-critical CO2 extraction: This method involves using CO2 at a temperature and pressure between its critical and subcritical points. It offers a compromise between the speed of supercritical extraction and the purity of subcritical extraction.


Solvent Free Extraction Methods

Solvent-free plant oil extraction is a method of extracting oil from plant materials that does not involve the use of any chemical solvents. This method is often used to extract essential oils, which are concentrated plant oils that are used for their aroma, flavor, and therapeutic properties.

Solvent Free Methods Include:

  1. Steam distillation: This is a common method for extracting essential oils. It involves heating the plant material with steam, which causes the essential oils to vaporize. The vapor is then cooled and condensed back into a liquid, and the essential oil is collected.
  2. Cold pressing: This method involves mechanically pressing the plant material to extract the oil. It is often used to extract oils from seeds, such as olive, sunflower, and coconut oil.
  3. Supercritical CO2 extraction: This method uses supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) as a solvent to extract the oil from the plant material. The CO2 is heated and pressurized until it becomes “supercritical,” meaning it has properties of both a gas and a liquid. The supercritical CO2 is then used to extract the oil, and the CO2 is later released back into the atmosphere.

Advantages of Solvent Free Extractions

Solvent-free plant oil extraction methods are generally considered to be safer and more environmentally friendly than methods that use chemical solvents, as they do not leave any residue in the final product.

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