Learning to making rosin at home with simple tools
As a budtender of one of the world's coolest cannabis dispensaries, Magnolia Oakland, I can guarantee the best views are always behind the counter. With a full calendar of classes and events, I get to witness the most amazing dispensary experiences.
I love to dab rosin, a form of solventless extract, so I enjoyed the class on making rosin dabs at home, taught by Ray Lanier of Noble Gardens. Ray showed how to use hash or flowers to make your own solvent- and chemical-free rosin dabs at home, using only a hair straightener, parchment paper, heat resistant gloves, and round glass container. To make rosin, you apply pressure to hash or flower, and extract the highly-prized, extremely potent, red oil you can scrape up after pressing the plant matter.
Above, Ray demonstrates how to roll the hash back and forth like making a tortilla, bursting the hard shell cell walls and releasing the terpenes’ flavors. Terpenes (pronounced TUR-peens), or terpenoids, are aromatic metabolites found in the oils of all plants. Studies have shown that terpenes work together to help cannabinoids (such as THC and CBD) pass through the bloodstream easier and “lower” the blood-brain barrier, so you feel more or less of the effects of a strain based on its terpenes.
Ray discovered that the lower the temperature used to make extracts, the more flavor you retain, and suggests letting the pressure do all the work. This process is ancient; humans have been making hash for centuries. In the 13th Century, the oldest monograph on hashish, Zahr al-'arish fi tahrim al-hashish, was written, providing the first description of the its psychoactive nature. According to Chris Bennett, an expert in the ancient uses of plant medicines, humans used to place cannabis flowers in porous bags, possibly hemp-woven, which they held over a fire until the rosin melted out. They simply scraped it off to smoke. [Editor’s note: We have to try this!]
There was a big group in attendance at Ray’s class, who were visiting Magnolia as part of a pre-birthday-party celebration. They had just come from a chicken-and-waffles brunch in Oakland, which comes highly recommended as part of the local experience (Oakland has an incredible food scene!). One of them told me it was the “best birthday hash bash ever,” after consuming the rosin they had just learned to make.
That was my favorite part, too. The taste of rosin dabs is out of this world, because the method preserves the terpenes (think flavor!). It's great being able to par-toke in extra-special, fun stoner stuff on Sundays.
A visit to Magnolia while on vacation should be at the top of your list. It’s one of only nine legally permitted cannabis consumption lounges in the United States. It’s always 4:20 here, so stop by and enjoy cannabis in a fun and legal setting. And, if you see me, make sure to say high!