Solventless Extraction 101

Many of us started our cannabis consumption journey with the all too familiar flower. At some point many of us have since explored into the world of cannabis extracts, which offer completely different experiences in their consumption, effects, and PUNCH. Adventuring into extracts opens up a whole new world of products, processes, and terminology. Recently, solventless extracts in particular, are more in demand than ever before. We wanted to give our patients and clients an expert scoop on all the dabbing details.

What are solvent based extracts versus solventless extracts?

Solvent based extracts are extracts that typically use a solvent such as butane, propane, pentane, ethanol, or CO2 to extract the cannabinoids and terpenes out of the plant material. Solventless extracts do not use any solvents for said extraction. Heat and pressure is required for extraction, but too much heat or pressure can evaporate cannabinoids and terpenes that are sensitive to high heat and pressure levels. Butane and propane extractors operate off of a low boiling point and pressure to separate trichome heads in a way that does not compromise said sensitive cannabinoids. The various solvents have differing methods of extraction, for example, when using butane, temperature is meticulously monitored. All solvents are purged from the final product, allowing for only the extraction result. 

How does solventless extraction work?

Solventless extraction works in several ways, as it depends on the product. For example, using a bud in between a rosin press, is a quick, efficient way to do “solventless extraction.” However, to make hash rosin, a lot more steps, labor, and equipment are needed. Ice water hash is made first. This is done by “washing” the trichome heads off of cannabis buds in bubble bags, and then filtering said trichomes through different sieves. It can be consumed as is, or turned into ice water hash, which is then pressed with heat and pressure in a rosin press and turned into hash rosin. 

What are the differences between solventless products: Rosin, live rosin, hash rosin, full melt, budder etc?

Rosin refers to extraction simply by utilizing a perfect combination of heat and pressure on cannabis buds. Hash rosin refers to the “squishing” of ice water hash. Some hash rosin products come with numbers next to their name, and said numbers affect the price of the concentrate. This refers to the micron size of the sieve used to isolate the trichome. Larger micron sizes are used to capture entire stalked trichomes. “Live” rosin products refer to the starting material utilized to make the concentrate, if the fresh, uncured buds were frozen immediately after harvest, they are considered “fresh frozen” and the product made from them is considered “live.” Budders, badders, and jellies referred to how the product was cured after creation. Many badders and budders are created through a physical “whipping” of the concentrate like a badder! Full melt refers to “six start” hash rosin, which is the highest grade. 

What is the best way to store my solventless product?

The best way to store your solventless product is in its sealed, child proof, container, somewhere cool, but not too cold. A fridge can do the trick, but ensure the temperature is not too cold, or else it’ll be super difficult to work with! Leaving your solventless extract somewhere too warm can result in a loss of terpenes, and a “buttering up” of your extract. 

How do I consume solventless extracts?

Ice water hash alone can be sprinkled on joints or in bowls, as well as dabbed. Rosin/hash rosin must be dabbed. One of the cleanest, most efficient ways to consume solventless extracts is with an E-nail or vaporizer. We are big fans of the PuffCo Peak vaporizer and PuffCo Plus vaporizer pen, both in which we carry at the shop. Ask your patient consultant about our PuffCo deals! Another way is through a traditional glass dab rig, or a glass straw often referred to as a nectar collector. These can both be found at local glass or head shops. Dabbing solventless extracts at lower temperatures will really allow you to explore terpene profiles and enjoy the entourage effect!

Solventless extraction is a method of extracting terpenes and cannabinoids from the precious cannabis plant using only ice, water, heat, and pressure to provide a smooth, tasty, terpy smoke. Solventless extraction is a labor-intensive process that creates a potent product that prides itself on maintaining the integrity of the plant and profiles. Next time you stop at the shop, ask your patient consultant about our solventless selection, and consider giving some live hash rosin or budder a try!