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Should I Buy a Rosin Press?

rosin press
Written by Joseph Mcqueen

If any cannabis lover had all the money in the world, their house would be full of all of the many weed accessories that are now available in the 21st century. The innovation that is now behind the cannabis industry is booming and, consequently, there are a plethora of exciting, strange and beautiful products.

The rosin press, a device that allows the user to create their own potent cannabis concentrates, is one of the more advanced accessories that a weed lover can buy. But in the capitalist world we live in, with thousands of new products coming out every week, it’s hard not to wonder: is it actually worth it? Should you bother buying a rosin press when the heat and pressure from a pair of hair straighteners could – theoretically – do the same job? Let’s find out. 

What is a Rosin Press?

Don’t stress, the cannabis industry has so many random devices and tools that it’s not hard to get lost in them all. What ever happened to the days of a gram of bud and a lit joint, eh? Well, times have changed. There are now vapes to unlock the flavorsome terpenes and potent effects of weed, as well as edibles if you’d rather not inhale anything at all. But there is also something else, an industrial level rosin press that allows you to unlock the world of cannabis concentrates.

This device comes in many shapes and sizes, but it is worth noting that they are often large – definitely too large to take around in your pocket. Some are so big that you probably wouldn’t even be able to pick them up at all without some help. Remember – rosin press’ use heat and pressure to turn cannabis buds into concentrates. 

How Does it Work?

Whilst a rosin press might look like a highly advanced and complex machine, it actually is pretty simple. The press has two slabs of metal that are heated to a certain temperature. These two slabs then press together – with the cannabis buds or hash between them – and eventually this results in a batch of concentrates, such as rosin or wax. It is important to remember that concentrates can be super sticky, so placing the cannabis in some baking paper before placing it on the machine is essential. This way, when the process is over, you can unfold the paper, slowly scrape out the wax and enjoy it. The common rosin press is powered by either pneumatic, hydraulic or manual power.

Pneumatic Rosin Press

This type of device uses air or gas in order to create pressure. A pneumatic rosin press is usually bigger as it needs an air compressor, but it usually has a higher yield. This is because air pressure can work quicker than water pressure.  

Hydraulic Rosin Press

Hydraulic powered machines usually come smaller and more portable. These use heated liquid in order to create the pressure. The issue is that the yield can be lower with these machines. 

Manual Rosin Press

This type of device is the simplest. It allows the user to use their own force to press the cannabis. These rosin press machines are the easiest to use and usually the most portable. 

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Cannabis Concentrates

A key factor to consider when debating whether to purchase a rosin press is whether you actually want to create cannabis concentrates. For some people, the idea of consuming a 40-70% THC product is close to a dream. For others, a 10-15% THC joint or vape hit is potent enough. Concentrate and its strength is not for everyone. NIH writes:

“Marijuana concentrates have very high levels of THC. Solvent-based products tend to be especially potent, with THC levels documented at an average of about 54-69% and reported to exceed 80%, while non-solvent based extraction methods produce average THC levels between 39-60%”

A rosin press is just one way of creating these sorts of substances, there are many other ways that involve both solvent and non-solvent solutions. Solvent methods use CO2, alcohol or hydrocarbons. Whereas non-solvent methods can use ice water, sifting or the rosin press (pressure and heat). 

Types of Concentrate

There is a wide range of cannabis concentrates that exist in the world, and many of them seem like they are just the same substance but with a different name. Nonetheless, people find strict differences in each of them. Here are some of those:

  • Rosin
  • Shatter
  • Wax
  • Hash
  • Kief

How much is a Rosin Press? 

Cannabis concentrates – if purchasing from a dealer – can cost you anywhere from $50-150. The market is wide open, and often many buyers don’t know how much they should be paying. This is why many cannabis fanatics are considering purchasing a rosin press and making the concentrates themselves. If you’re one of those people, then let’s take a look at the average price of a rosin press. To be brutally honest, finding a device that costs less than $300 will be a stretch, with some larger ones easily surpassing $1000. Remember, these are industrial-quality machines. However, there are smaller ones – such as the Nectar Pollen Pincher – that acts as a great beginners rosin press. 

If you think of it mathematically, the purchase of a rosin press only really makes sense if you’re going to use it reasonably frequently. The cost of a device can be around 5 times the cost of a gram of concentrate – at the least – which means that you’ll be starting in a deficit but can quickly reach a profit. This, of course, will only happen if you’re a cannabis concentrate connoisseur. Picture this: 

You buy a gram of concentrate once a week for 2 months:

8 x $75 = $600

But what if you bought a rosin press?

Let’s say a rosin press costs $300

8 grams of usual bud, which you’ll use to put in the machine, costs around $100

This totals a $400 expense. 

Therefore, in around 2 months you’ll be spending less than you would have done. However, if you’re not going to use it that much, then perhaps an alternative option is better. 

DIY Rosin Press

On Amazon, you can buy a pretty basic hair straightener for around 20 bucks. If you want to invest a little more than you can purchase one with specific heat controls, which will increase the yield of your concentrates. That’s right, you can use a device like this to create these substances too. It might sound crazy, but many people use this method as a cheaper and beginners way into the world of cannabis concentrates. It has heat and it has pressure. The issue is, the yield of a pair of hair straighteners is going to be a lot less than an industrial rosin press. For your information, the yield essentially means the amount of concentrate you get from your cannabis buds, and how much is or is not wasted. Nectar Medical Vapes writes:

“The usual yield received from a DIY rosin press (hair straighteners) is only about 5%… It’s harder to manually change the temperature and pressure of hair straighteners, whereas with a rosin press it’s built into the system… However, with a shop bought rosin press the usual yield increases to about 40%, which is a great deal better and more efficient.”

It’s also important to note that the durability of straighteners is far less than a rosin press, which is literally designed to create wax. But, again, if you’re only wanting to try to concentrate every so often then it probably isn’t worth investing in an expensive rosin press. Straighteners will do the job if you’re looking to experiment and don’t mind wasting a bit of your stash. 

Is it Worth It?

So, the question still remains, is buying a rosin press actually worth the money? Well, now you understand a little better about the different types, the price and what these devices can do, the answer to that question is left to you. It is evident that if you’re a concentrate lover then, in the long term, purchasing a rosin press will eventually become far more worth it. However, if you’re someone that simply wants to try these substances and are not looking to indulge in a long-term, industrial creation process, then why not just buy some straighteners? A rosin press is a powerful and wonderful device, but only if you really need it.

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About the author

Joseph Mcqueen

Joseph is a cannabis journalist in the UK. His search and love for the truth in the cannabis industry is what drives him to write.