Benjamin Britton is the CEO and Co-Founder of PurePressure. Based in Denver, PurePressure is the leading solventless equipment manufacturer in the cannabis industry, providing premium solventless processing products and rosin presses to support any operation.
Now that solventless concentrates have become a staple category in North American dispensaries, how can processing labs take advantage?
Solventless extracts, such as dry sift, ice water hash, rosin, and all the SKUs that can be made with them typically represent the highest price point and perceived quality at the retail level. These products are big brand builders that attract connoisseurs and influencers to a cannabis business because it demonstrates that they are focusing at least a portion of their efforts to make a premium product. Consumers tend to reward brands with serious loyalty when they are able to consistently make high quality solventless products.
What is the difference between live resin and live rosin?
This is a question we get all the time. Both live resin and live rosin share one important thing in common, which is that they are both made with fresh frozen, never dried cannabis. This is where the “live” comes in, as many of the special and delicate volatile terpenes are lost during the drying process. Live resin is made with high pressure solvent-based hydrocarbon extraction, which is then purged of most residual solvents and sold at economy prices. Live rosin is made by first washing fresh frozen cannabis into ice water hash, which then freeze dried, and finally has heat and pressure applied in a rosin press. This makes a finished product that is both 100% solventless and carries a premium retail value.
What are some of the common mistakes processing labs make when trying to launch a solventless processing division?
Making high quality ice water hash and rosin requires more attention to detail than other concentrates, and for that reason it’s important to have someone on your staff who is passionate about solventless. Where many labs stumble is by underestimating the quality of material that is required to make a top shelf hash rosin – the trim and shake that can get you by with CO2, distillate, or BHO will not suffice. The world’s renown solventless brands use the very best flower you can imagine. Another frequent mistake we see a lot of brands make is not putting enough effort behind their marketing to justify the higher price points to consumers. In-dispensary flyers, budtender training, as well as educational social media and blog posts are easy ways to inform prospective customers about why they should pay the extra for solventless products.
Can you make edibles with rosin or ice water hash?
Yes, you definitely can, although most processors use rosin because it’s easier to work with once decarboxylated. This is a segment of the edibles market that is gaining a lot of momentum right now. Food grade or non dab quality rosin, such as what is known as 3rd press, kief rosin, or lower grade flower rosin are all perfect for making edibles. True full spectrum rosin can be used to make any infused product out there and is increasingly being leveraged by processors to createstrain and profile-specific edibles that carry higher perceived quality than their conventional distillate or CO2-made counterparts.
What kinds of cannabis are ideal for making solventless concentrates?
Having a pipeline of high quality self-cultivated or purchased material is essential to being successful with solventless processing and many businesses do a mixture of both. THC-dominant strains are the most popular, but now some top tier CBD cultivars are also being used for solventless processing. In most instances this comes in the form of procuring fresh frozen cannabis, which is used to make ice water hash, which is then sold as-is or more likely pressed into live rosin. Since the dry sift, ice water hash, and rosin extraction processes do not offer any remediation capabilities, the cannabis used must be contaminant-free and highly resinous. Businesses must be more mindful of the quality of the cannabis they are using in order to maximize their profitability, but the rewards for finding and processing winning material are very high.
Ice water hash, otherwise known as bubble hash, is experiencing a renaissance. Why is that?
Ice water hash has been made since at least the 70s, but with the rise of rosin in the latter half of the last decade, its utility as the product of choice to press has become evident for a few reasons. First, ice water hash made with fresh frozen cannabis is maintained below freezing which preserves the majority of the plant’s living terpene profile. This allows processors to bring the full expression of the original plant to life in their full melt or live rosin. Second, now that solventless extraction techniques have rapidly increased in sophistication, extractors can use high quality bubble hash to make every imaginable texture of live rosin, 100% solventless rosin cartridges, and more, making it a very versatile product.
Is it true that you can make a vape cartridge with just rosin?
This is true, but it does require mastery of the ice water hash process first. There are a lot of ways to make vape cartridges, but perhaps none are more exciting to consumers than actual pure solventless rosin options due to some of the lingering negative connotations of CO2 and distillate vapes from the EVALI vape crisis of 2019-2020. Rosin vape cartridges are made with high quality bubble hash or dry sift that is then pressed and mechanically separated into raw solventless THCA and terpenes. Afterwards, a recombination process takes place that requires training and skill to get a consistent viscosity that works with modern vape hardware. It’s for these reasons that solventless rosin cartridges typically retail for over $50 or more per half gram in North American markets and are simply unavailable in most others. This is pretty much the holy grail for any solventless division as these kinds of cartridges appeal to very broad audience
To find out more about PurePressure, visit their website here.
The Cannabis Extraction Report takes a detailed look at the extraction industry, analysing methods of extraction, the types of extracts and extract-based products currently available, technology advances, supply chains, and an in-depth look at the North American and European markets, and the regulations that currently govern extraction in these geographies.