How Cannabis Resin is Made
Anyone who’s held a good-quality cannabis bud knows just how sticky they can be. This stickiness is caused by resin on the surface of the cannabis plant. Resin is similar to sap, except it has a much lower sugar and water content. This means that it is much gooier and harder to remove from the cannabis plant than sap would be.
This resin is prized for both medical cannabis and recreational use due to the extremely high concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD) and other important chemical compounds. As a matter of fact, more than 500 chemical compounds are found in cannabis plants, almost all of them in the resin.
Where do you get cannabis resin?
The resin is highly concentrated in the buds of female cannabis flowers, though it can be extracted throughout the entirety of the plant. “Hash”, which is most often the flowers of the cannabis plant, is particularly high in resin. This is the most common for
In most situations, the terms resin and “hash” can be used interchangeably. However, hash can refer to an extremely wide variety of resin-derived products. On the other hand, resin is, strictly speaking, just pure resin. But even that can come in a wide variety of forms, colors, and viscosity. For practicality’s sake the two are essentially the same.
Methods for producing cannabis resin
As with coffee and beer, producing enjoyable resin as much an art as it is a science. There are a number of ways cannabis resin can be extracted, ranging from the traditional to the high-tech.
Charas is perhaps the simplest way to make a cannabis resin product. It’s essentially trimmed and handrolled young cannabis flowers. Rolling the flowers by hand warms up the resin, making it possible to make a sticky ball. You can then later use this for smoking, vaporizing, edibles, and extracting THC and CBD oil.
Sieving is another popular method that involves converting dried cannabis into dust. Without getting too technical, this can be done any number of ways, from super fine grinding with an herb grinder, to simply running the dried plant over a sieve, from where the process gets its name. Then any of a wide number of different methods can be used to apply gentle heat and pressure to extract the resin from this dust and activate the cannabinoids. The result can then be rolled into balls or bricks. While flowers will net the most resin, this can be done on any part of the cannabis plant, though potency will suffer.
Cannabis resin can also be extracted from the goop that collects in pipes and other smoking devices. However, this can be extremely harsh and will not have as much active cannabinoids as regular hash, due to the fact that it has been burnt. They also contain a high level of carcinogens. Resin extracted from bongs may also have mold, making it dangerous to consume.
Most modern methods essentially scale up these processes, though others involve using a solvent like butane or ethyl alcohol to dissolve the resin from the plant, with the resulting solution being evaporated. Solvent-based methods have to be done in controlled laboratory environments to ensure that no dangerous contaminants are left in the final product.
Cannabis resin can be extracted in a variety of ways. If you’re interested in a resin product, it makes sense to understand the sources and processes involved in its manufacture, as some of these may be less healthy or potent than others.