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On Making Solvent-Free Shatter (Rosin)


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#1 Zen_

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Posted 16 September 2015 - 12:11 PM

Let's talk about Dabs. Not everyone knows about this subject and unless you're super into the cannabis scene, or live in a medical/legal state, you may likely be missing out on the hottest thing since "vaporizing" became popular.

 

By way of a history lesson, what is a "Dab" anyway? Without getting all english teacher on you, it's more of an active noun. "Want to do a dab?" or "Let's dab" are common phrases you may hear.

 

 

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Concentrates

 

The act of dabbing, however, cannot occur without having possession of a concentrate of cannabis in the form of wax, oil, "budder," shatter, or other form. Concentrates are extracted from the flowers and often times by using a solvent. A solvent sounds scary, but it's a chemistry norm - essentially different solvents dissolve different substances, while leaving others mostly untouched. A solvent can be Ethanol (everclear), CO2, Butane, Hexane, etc. The issue usually with using a solvent is the need to remove the solvent once it's job is complete. Therein lies potential issues with health and risk if the concentrate artist doesn't know what they're doing.

 

Different solvents also have varying degrees of potentially ill effects if not stripped completely. CO2 is popular because it's fairly benign. Ethanol same. Most people cannot obtain Hexane or other industrial solvents, nor do they have access to the proper equipment to use it - same for CO2. So most "home" artists usually use an open-loop Butane and/or Ethanol method. The safety concerns here should be obvious and have already been addressed. In all instances except Ethanol, the solvent must be stripped. This usually involves heated vacuum chambers and yet more specialized equipment.

 

If the solvent is not stripped then when you take a "hit" you'll also be vaporizing solvent, and nobody should inhale Butane. If your concentrates spark or "pop" when you hit them... not normal.

 

Concentrates themselves have been around since the 60's, and likely for thousands of years before that, however, 2005 seems to be the year bubble hash made its debut and it's been a booming field of study ever since! Extraction is a more modern take and doesn't seem to have been perfected or mainstream until 2009 with the advent of Budder. Since then waxes, oils, and shatter have appeared. These all exhibit varying degrees of shelf stability, but generally similar potency can be achieved.

 

Quality can also vary. Garbage in, garbage out. If the extraction is made with trim or other leaf matter it will likely be less pure than one made from flowers only. The solvent used can also affect quality. Generally, the best extracts are made from the best and most crystally of your nuggets. That's right - no more smoking your headies, time to extract them!

 

 

"Dabbing"

 

While concentrates themselves are not a new phenomenon as we have had access to hash and kief for ages, modern concentrates are extremely potent, and are difficult to heat usually requiring a "dab rig" or other method of achieving vaporizing temperatures which often exceed 600*F. The most simple and often used rig is a bubbler or bong adapted with a quartz, ceramic, or Ti nail and dish. Recently eNails have become a popular option for the Dabber. These units utilize PID Temperature Controllers, Solid-State Relays, and a variety of other technologies to heat an element that's attached to your nail of choice. This allows faster heating and a more consistent and regulated temperature vs simply using a torch. The other advantage is flavor -- the lower temperatures allow more flavor to come through than the >900*F temps often achieved with a torch. Examples include:

 

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As with 4:20 Dabbers have adopted their own designation of 710 which spells OIL upside down. Clever. ...and yes there is just as much contention with its origins as any other name.

 

 

eCigarettes- eCigs - Mini-Vaporizors

 

The newest thing on the scene is eCigs. These are handy little vaporizers that take cartridges which are often filled with different concentrations of nicotine and flavor additives. These gadgets have been a boom for the failing cigarettes industry, and have helped many actually quit smoking by way of weening. The technology that led to and is used in these devices is simple - send power through a resistive wire to generate heat. This heat then can vaporize the incoming liquid nicotine/flavor mixture. The obvious correlation here is that temperature cannot be controlled precisely and only by arbitrarily modulating the power button.

 

As all things, the next evolution is already here - temperature control. This technology utilizes a different metal for the wire and is able to read and correct for temperature variances. 

 

The biggest component to eCigs isn't the technology, though, but the mixture. The nicotine is suspended in a mixture often containing Propylene Glycol (PG) and Vegetable Glycerin (VG), and sometimes PEG (polyethylene glycol). These inert ingredients are in just about every consumer product you use, but some people may have a reaction and should discontinue or moderate their use. The FDA views these as GRASS (Generally Recognized As Safe). The majority of people clearly do not have any issue, but the long term affects of "vaping" are yet to be discovered.

 

Blah blah blah. The thing is, ALL of the above is monumentally safer than straight up combustion of "analog" cigarettes. It has been tested and proven that vaporization of these elements produces nothing more than water vapor. Whereas combustion produces tar, hydrogen cyanide, formaldehyde, benzene, carbon monoxide, and a whole host of other shit you really don't want to breath in.

 

So save a shitty concentrate artist, having leftover butane or other solvents present, raw vaping is the healthiest way to consume; and "adulterated" vaping with PG and VG is the second healthiest way to consume.

 

 

Cost, Availability, and Ease of Access

 

So time to get real -- not everyone lives in a medical/legal state, not everyone has available access to concentrates let alone anything of quality, and even still, many can't afford concentrates despite being more economical in the greater picture. I think it's fairly safe to say that most cannabis consumers have access to cannabis and can afford *some* amount of decent flowers. 

 

What about equipment costs? I believe that to be a null point. If you're a cannabis consumer whom only smokes joints or blunts and have zero access to a bong or other small bubbler then you might be in trouble. I feel the majority of the people that consume have or can obtain at least a cheap version. Assuming access to a bubbler all you need is an adapter nail and a torch. Yes, even a MAP or Propane torch will work if it came down to it.

 

Now, if you're making an investment then that's a different story. Get yourself a small quality dab rig. Maybe an eNail. If you need extreme portability and/or a need for public consumption masking then by all means get yourself an eCig unit. The recommended unit is an eLeaf 30W and a Kanger SubTank Mini. That rig should run you about 50-60$. You can step up to the 50W LiPo model but it's about 80$.

 

Another method is to buy or build an eNail rig. Purchasing one will set you back 300-400$ pretty easily, building your own DIY will be about 1/3-1/2 less. This is the Cadillac option so don't be discouraged by price alone.

 

Converting your concentrates to an "eJuice" is a simple process IF you use the right tools. A separate writeup will be done on this method and centered around vaping.

 

 

The Juicy Stuff

 

So all this is to say that there is a method for making a safe, casual home user friendly, solvent-free dab. This will provide the purest, tastiest, and most terpene rich concentrate available today. The best part is you can hold your hits in because you know there aren't any solvents present!

 

This method isn't new, but it's certainly gaining a resurgence. It's also difficult to scale, although, if done with the proper "shop grade" equipment it can yield as much or more than the traditional solvent based methods.

The only downside is that this method appears to produce a possibly less stable version of the shatter produced by supercritical methods and solvents. Nothing else changes but it's form as it has a tendency to auto-budder if not kept in the freezer. It's not really a negative though. Really.

 

 

Rosin

 

So let's get on with it. How to press your own Rosin with a 30$ straight iron and a 30$ force multiplying hand vise...

 

Overview:

  1. Select a "thumb" sized well trimmed flower and gently ball it up. This helps keep the wispier parts stuck to itself and out of your oil.
  2. Place into a precut and folded piece of parchment paper found at any local grocer. White (bleached) helps see the oil. Then pre-press (flatten) with a flat heavy object.
  3. Set your iron to low, or 250-280*F if you can set. When the iron reaches the correct temp...
  4. Place the folded parchment between the hot plates of the iron and quickly press the vise tightly.
  5. Leave for 20-30 seconds as you hear the oil bubbling out.
  6. As the bubbling slows release the vise and quickly open the folded paper to dump the "puck" out.
  7. Repeat. Save your pucks. Collect them and do a 2nd and 3rd run. Repeat.
  8. Scrape all your oil into a ball and have fun dabbing out!

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[Edit]: The components here are temperature, time, and pressure. Modifying these will give different yields, and results, as well the starting material quality.

 

Pressing at 200*F for a bit longer produces a more terpy extract that's akin to "white" bubble hash. VERY tasty. VERY heady. Pressing at 250-275*F gives a bigger yield, more shattery less buddery, but less terpy and less flavor.

 

The point being is that it depends on what you want to extract, what taste, quality, etc; what you're looking to do with it and how much yield you're looking to get. Also take into consideration that while this tek uses a hair straightening appliance and a 600lb hand-vise, you could get different results and yields if the pressure is increased. A recent press was a graduation from 190-230*F while pressing at ~17.5 tons. This took 7g and turned it into 1.5g shatter - Solventless. Activated. - about a 20% yield, and it only took 2 minutes to produce a usable product.

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Edited by Zen_, 14 January 2016 - 10:35 AM.
Added additional temperature details.

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#2 riseabovethought

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Posted 16 September 2015 - 02:29 PM

Damn Zen.  BAM!  

God bless you sir.   :meditate:


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#3 roc

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Posted 16 September 2015 - 08:12 PM

Very nice write up there Zen!



#4 TheObserver

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Posted 20 September 2015 - 10:43 PM

Great read. I'll be making some hash soon.

#5 Chancey

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Posted 21 September 2015 - 12:32 AM

Back in MY day, we vaped more butane than we did errl!

AND BY GOLLY WE WERE GRATEFUL!!!

 

 

ALL YOU DAMN WIPPERSNAPPERS WITH YOUR,

"PURITY" THIS, AND "HEALTHY" THAT

AND "DEATHLY NEUROTOXIN" BLAHBLAHBLAH.

BAH!

 

:tongue:

 

Very nice write-up though seriously man :)


Edited by Chancey, 21 September 2015 - 12:41 AM.

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#6 procell

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Posted 11 December 2015 - 02:39 AM

All of the shatter, and variants available around here are CO2 based and way cleaner than butane processed products.

Though after playing around with that stuff, I really don't like it that much.

Makes me cough and I feel a bit sore after vaping it.

I didn't understand the whole vaping of shatter and how it worked until a little while ago.

I was trying to figure out what was happenning, it wasn't smoke, it wasn't being burned, how could it be stronger than pure trichome hash?

Then I figured it out.

When the shatter/wax compound is heated it is turned into a vapor or atomized, then it is inhaled and settles on the lung tissue, the rest is exhaled.

I'm not sure how much the body breaks it down after that, I put a small piece of shatter on one of my teeth and it didn't dissolve or melt away and stayed there for quite a while.

Gonna stay with flowers . . . 


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#7 Direwolf13

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Posted 14 December 2015 - 10:38 PM

I'm going to try this thanks a lot!

Edited by Direwolf13, 14 December 2015 - 11:00 PM.

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#8 SteampunkScientist

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Posted 20 December 2015 - 05:07 PM

Most excellent writeup Zen! Very well written, lots of great info here.


May I humbly mention (as you brought up the subject of diy) my thread where I show how to build an inexpensive vape rig that works with dabs, eliquids, "spice" and costs only a few dollars to build, is electric (reusing an old computer power supply): link here:

https://mycotopia.ne...a-vape-machine/

Edited by SteampunkScientist, 20 December 2015 - 05:08 PM.

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#9 Direwolf13

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Posted 03 January 2016 - 12:16 AM

So My wife has a straightener, and parchment paper. Do I need a vice? Could I just squeeze with oven mitts on?

In terms of return what am I looking at here I can get a gram of bho for a dollar or two Cheeper then an 1/8. Do you think if I pressed an eight if have a comparable amount to say a gram of bho?

Is rosin what I see listed in dispensaries as "live resin"?

Anybody know what distilled bho is?

Any chance there's a way to make solvent free RSO?
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#10 Shadowlord

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Posted 03 January 2016 - 03:15 PM

Very good read. Been enjoying my bulb vape for its portability and ease of use. Good info for processing one's own.
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#11 Zen_

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Posted 03 January 2016 - 03:48 PM

So My wife has a straightener, and parchment paper. Do I need a vice? Could I just squeeze with oven mitts on?
Yes. Just put as much a grip/weight on it as you can. Your yield will be less.

In terms of return what am I looking at here I can get a gram of bho for a dollar or two Cheeper then an 1/8. Do you think if I pressed an eight if have a comparable amount to say a gram of bho?
This method, when done properly, and with the proper equipment can yield as much or more than other extraction methods which utilize solvents. As described above you'll likely see 15% or so return. There are several factors though - quality of herb going in, more crystals = better, the heat applied, and the pressure applied. With equal pressure, lower temps will yield less, but of much higher quality, similar to a "blonde" in bubble has terms, but way tastier. Higher temps will yield more, but it won't be as tasty or pure. Some strands and phenotypes are better with different temps or pressure than others. I might know some folks that have gotten upwards of 30% return. ;)

It's all part of this experiment we call life man. Dig in. :)


Is rosin what I see listed in dispensaries as "live resin"?
Doubtful. Very doubtful. Most places making solvent extracted products aren't using flowers - it's trim or leaf or kief. All the above that even know about rosin dislike it because it doesn't require fancy equipment to make and can be DIY. Most don't even know about it. It'll get re-popular again.

Anybody know what distilled bho is?

Bullshit. Re: above, most extractors use not flower, so they have impurities. If your shit isn't clear golden in color it wasn't likely made with flower. The darker it is. Clarification, "distilled", or any other name meant to imply a purification process simply filters and refined the product until it's to the desired clarity up to and including "clear." It's all bullshit, science messing with shit, and the high and flavor simply are not present. 

Any chance there's a way to make solvent free RSO?

I suppose, but what solvent are you using? RSO is typically made with high grain alcohol such as everclear. That's not really poisonous to us even if it's not completely stripped at the end. It's alcohol. pfft. It's typically only present in a tincture style extract as well - in most cases it's all but completely stripped or evaporated off. Stick with as clear and pure and high grain alcohol as you can and you won't have to worry about it. Use shit like isopropyl and other denatured shit and you're looking for trouble.

 

 

Very good read. Been enjoying my bulb vape for its portability and ease of use. Good info for processing one's own.
Might I recommend the Kiln? It's a great low-temp hit for pure extractions. :)

[Direct Link]


 



#12 Direwolf13

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Posted 04 January 2016 - 01:05 AM

ok so I dug into this too and did a little research.  there is rosin for sale at the local dispensaries pressed from fresh wet buds, and also what is called "live resin" which is extrapolated from plant material prior to flowering.  the distilled bho is a marketing trick I guess all bho is distilled.  

 

I am specifically asking about the RSO because I do not have a medical card and will not be able to have access to medications such as this.  I want to make my own because I need to medicate on this level. however isn't the process of boiling grain alcohol dangerous? 



#13 coorsmikey

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Posted 04 January 2016 - 04:27 AM

Boiling alcohol is very dangerous on an open flame! With good ventilation and no flame or spark you lessen the risk. But is still risky. Use your own judgment. 3 things you need for fire... Fuel, heat and oxygen. If you take one of those away you don't have fire. Spark is the worst enemy though when dealing with anything flammable especially when it is in vapor.

Edited by coorsmikey, 04 January 2016 - 04:28 AM.

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#14 Zen_

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Posted 04 January 2016 - 09:03 AM

ok so I dug into this too and did a little research.  there is rosin for sale at the local dispensaries pressed from fresh wet buds, and also what is called "live resin" which is extrapolated from plant material prior to flowering.  the distilled bho is a marketing trick I guess all bho is distilled.  

Sounds about right. I would argue the pressing of "fresh wet" buds - you'll end up with some moisture which will make your shatter crackle - not bad in this case as it's just water and not left over solvent, but still not a desirable thing. I'm sure that evaps soon enough naturally unless in sealed container. Hopefully what you have avail is good stuff. Rosin is old, yet pretty re-new if you know what I mean.  Live resin sounds like a gimmick - unless it's somehow more CBD related. Curious.

 

The distilled BHO is actually a thing though. Not a gimmick. It's just that the product is ... personally undesirable. They try and do the same shit with CO2 super-critical extract. To make clear. Meh. It strips too much resulting in their need to re-add terpenes to get *some* flavor back in. Too much monkey business IMHO. Rosin is so easy to do and it's at least as good, if not better than more traditional solvent extractions.

 

I am specifically asking about the RSO because I do not have a medical card and will not be able to have access to medications such as this.  I want to make my own because I need to medicate on this level. however isn't the process of boiling grain alcohol dangerous? 

Generally, yes. But, as with all things, it depends on the equipment you have at your disposal. If you're piecing together makeshift shit it will work, but at much greater personal risk to yourself and others around you during the process. Like BHO is, typically, made in an open-loop/open-air system and comes with substantial risk if one does not understand the implications of what they're doing. The advantage is you can get the equipment for a couple hundo or so. To step into a closed-loop Butane extraction machine you're looking at close to a couple grand. Still, not *really* that bad if you do a fair amount of extractions and consider the reclamation and safety aspects the proper equipment provides. All of that still pales in comparison to super-critical closed-loop systems which can run in the hundreds of thousands, but are built to extract pounds at a time.

 

Scientifically, *how* you make your extraction will matter too -- if it's "Activated" or not. Simply soaking your herb in high grain alcohol for a period of time will achieve similar results, but it will not be active. This means you can smoke or vape your extractions, but you cannot ingest them. Using the proper equipment will heat the alcohol to ~175* causing it to evaporate, which then gets distilled and flows through the material to be extracted all the while stripping it. The gentle heat that gets applied activates the extraction allowing one to ingest it, make edibles, tinctures, etc. "Green Dragon" is the prior, non-active, "soaking" method. Instructions for this typically include "baking" your herb at a low temp for some time before doing the soak - this is to activate it.

If you have the need and the funds, I would highly recommend a small scale extraction machine built for grain alcohol. It may still run you a grand, but if in need the added ease and safety will be much appreciated I'm sure. PM me and I can hook you up with a reputable company.

 

 

The attached images are of the alcohol extraction method. A slotted basket is filled with a coffee filter which keeps particulate from going into your extract. The dome on top keeps the alcohol inside the machine. Ice water is circulated through the cap to ease the distillation process. Once complete it needs to be clarified with activated carbon and then re-filtered.

 

A very brief overview of course, but still... the heat decarboxylates the material, the alcohol extracts the material, the carbon cleans the chlorophyl and other undesirables, plant waxes, etc; the end result is an activated alcohol extraction that can be used for tinctures or RSO. The green in the second cap pic is just food coloring added to the circulation water for effect. ;)

 

The issue is that it takes 4-6 hours to extract, it needs to be tended, and there is a lot of manual labor after the fact to get the final refined product. Not to mention the yield is much lower. Making rosin = a fraction of the time to obtain the same activated result and with much greater yields, clarity, purity, and terpene profiles/taste. It's simply a purer and better product that's much easier, safer, and cheaper to DIY.

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#15 SteampunkScientist

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Posted 04 January 2016 - 01:04 PM

You know, you can get a decent small bench vise for just a few dollars. Put the bud in the parchment at room temp, stick it in the bench vise, tighten the hell out of it, then just puth the entire vise into your oven at 200+ degrees for 20 - 30 minutes.
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#16 Zen_

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Posted 04 January 2016 - 09:11 PM

You know, you can get a decent small bench vise for just a few dollars. Put the bud in the parchment at room temp, stick it in the bench vise, tighten the hell out of it, then just puth the entire vise into your oven at 200+ degrees for 20 - 30 minutes.

 

I mean. I suppose. You could. I think it would be better to just heat the vice to the appropriate temperature and then squeeze the flower. We're only talking about 20-30 seconds. Hope you have your oven mitts handy though!


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#17 SteampunkScientist

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Posted 05 January 2016 - 05:31 PM

Just spouting theoreticals here! :) and yes, if I forgot my mits, I would soon remember! Ha ha...

#18 Direwolf13

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 01:14 AM

As a working dad, always on the go I don't always have the time to medicate multiple times a day however just eating a capsule every so often is effortless, and can be better concealed.

So then I guess using like a crock pot or pressure cooker on a hot plate outside would work as well? I would be interested in buying some equipment to do this right. No matter what I'm going to have to shell out some money either for a medical card or for growing equipment.

#19 Zen_

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 10:35 AM

^^ For those reasons are why this thread exists.

 

I have outlined a simple method for making activated solventless extractions that can be smoked, vaped, mixed into ejuice/ecig, cooked with, baked with, etc. It doesn't require complex equipment, knowledge, skills, or anything more than 60$ in equipment and a steady source of super crystally dank nuggets.

 

Try and further simplify all you want, but this is as zen_ as it gets folks. Put ur herb between the hot plates and squeeze the bejesus out of it. Shatter. Done.

 

Perfection and yield requires tweaking of the heat, pressure, and time variables but product quality results are the same regardless. Of course there are tips and tricks but those come with experience and time. :)



#20 SteampunkScientist

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Posted 10 January 2016 - 12:37 PM

...and a steady source of super crystally dank nuggets.

 

That is the key sentence... :biggrin:


Edited by SteampunkScientist, 10 January 2016 - 12:38 PM.





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