Once upon a few years ago, almost all cannabis extracts were obtained using chemical solvents mostly composed of hydrocarbons, such as propane and butane. There were favored for their ability to separate THC from the cannabis plant quickly and were later always removed from the extract within the same process.
But it was never a clean process, and the hydrocarbons always posed carcinogenic risks to extract lovers. And there wasn’t much of an alternative.
Then solventless cannabis extraction went mainstream a few years back, and the rest is history. Extracts are now being obtained without chemical solvents; hence the ‘solventless’ moniker, and the final result is cleaner and free from carcinogenic components.
Lots of solventless cannabis extracts have since been developed with this new method; below we guide you through the most popular ones.
Rosin and Solventless Shatter
Among all the solventless cannabis extracts available today, none matches rosin in popularity. Rosin is both the name of the extract and the process that makes it.
As a process, rosin changed the cannabis world by making extraction possible without the use of hydrocarbon solvents like butane. The rosin process employs just heat and pressure on the flowers or bud of the cannabis plant to squeeze out the resin-filled sap, also called rosin.
Rosin essentially forms a solventless shatter, which is a cleaner alternative to the butane-pressed shatter cannabis fans were previously stuck with. Rosin is commonly dabbed or added to vaporizers, while some fans add it to a bong or pipe to maximize its aroma and potency for the hit of a lifetime.
Budder is a wax-like version of rosin and hash oil that’s also been gaining popularity ever since a solventless version of it was made public. Previously, budder was always extracted from the cannabis plant using either butane or carbon dioxide, which were then removed using air pressure and heat.
Today, thanks to advances in extraction technology, chemical solvents and their associated side effects are out. Budder is now created by stirring rosin repeatedly while applying light heat to create a batter or wax-like concoction.
For those that can’t afford to buy the already-made budder, you can always create your own at home by adding rosin to a bowl and stirring it repeatedly using a warm tool.
Because of its waxy nature, it’s easier to use than shatter, its solid lookalike. Some users add it to their meals, cannabis bowls and drinks. Budder can also be layered onto joints before rolling or added to pipes and bongs. For the best effect, we recommend dabbing it in a dab rig so you can take advantage of its creamy texture.
Freeze-Dried Hash Oil Products
Among solventless cannabis extracts on the market today, freeze-dried hash oil is extremely popular. Also known as bubble hash, this cannabis extract has also seen a major resurgence in popularity following new technological advances that render it completely free from hydrocarbons.
Traditionally, freeze-dried hash oil is made using a method of ice water agitation that involves adding the cannabis plant matter to ice and some cold water in a bucket and stirring the mixture.
This agitation draws resin glands from the cannabis plant material, just as the ice-cold water triggers the plant’s trichomes into a brittle state. The brittle trichomes are then screened, dried and cured.
Today, with the advent of rosin presses and other new technology, this process has been updated to create a similarly solvent product that’s also of way higher potency. As its popularity continues to grow, hash oil is being consumed regularly by smoking, or by sprinkling onto cannabis bowls, in food and drinks and beverages.
Hashish, better known as hash or hash oil, is a potent cannabis extract that’s got from compressing the trichomes from a cannabis plant. In nature, hash contains higher concentrations of cannabis’s active ingredients such as THC, resulting in potency as high as 80%.
Like freeze-dry hash oil, hash is made by collecting trichomes from the cannabis plant. The trichomes contain resin glands that supply the psychoactive abilities of the cannabis plant.
Separating the sticky trichomes from their plant attachments requires ice and light agitation for a while. Once they’ve set free, the trichomes are dried and pressed into hash bricks or hash powder. Alternatively, the plant’s buds may be frozen first, such that the trichomes are shaken off and pressed into hash faster.
Hash is commonly used recreationally today, mostly by being smoked in bongs, cigarettes, pipes and rolled blunts. In some regions such as India, hash is added to beverages like Bhang for consumption. Dabbing is another popular way to consume hash; it involves melting the hash to create vapor that is inhaled.
Kief is another solventless extract that’s hugely popular among cannabis fans for its potency. In the simplest sense, a kief is the small crystal bulb that forms on the strand that grows on the plant bud, a collection of which form the resign gland-filled trichomes.
Extracting kief for use is pretty simple and can be done from home. Most users extract their kief from the cannabis plant by grinding the cannabis in a three-chamber grinder that lets the kief crystals fall through into a collection vessel.
Alternatively, you can also employ layered screens to sift and collect the kief from plant matter. In its purest form, kief appears to have an off-white color.
Kief continues to be wildly popular today, partly because of its many application options. You can use it to make your own moon rocks by sprinkling it on top of your buds, add it to ground cannabis and roll up a joint or sprinkle it all over your cannabis bowl. You can even press it from home DIY style to create rosin.
With the advances in extraction technology, cannabis fans are no longer limited to propane or butane-based cannabis extracts. Solventless cannabis extracts are providing a safer, more potent alternative, and judging by how positively they’ve been received by fans, we can expect that they are here to say. We hope the guide above helps you understand the new popular solventless cannabis extracts better.