How to Make Shatter with a Rosin Press

Reading time - 7 minutes - May 25, 2021

The world of marijuana has taken some interesting turns over the years. The imagination, when it comes to enjoying weed, is essentially endless. Not only are there now buds, edibles and oils, there are even cannabis concentrates. All of these weed-based products contain varying levels of CBD to THC and cause different effects. Cannabis concentrates are especially potent and are made through a variety of ways. Today we’re going to be looking at how shatter can be made with a rosin press. This will also include what a rosin press is, how it works and why someone would buy one in the first place. Well done for doing your research on a fairly new part of the weed world. It’s always good to keep up to date on cannabis culture. Anyway, let’s not dilly dally. It’s time to shatter some rumours (if you’ll pardon the pun). As always, strap yourself in. Let’s go!

Is Weed Legal in the UK?

First things first, it’s always nice to remind ourselves of how unprogressive the UK are. Just joking. But it is genuinely important to know the law in the UK, as it’ll help you understand where we are at in relation to the rest of the world. It won’t take long. If you want to read about it in more detail then check: is weed legal in the UK?

What’s Legal?

The UK has not legalized much when it comes to marijuana, but they have legalized certain things. For example, medicinal marijuana has been legal since 2018. However, due to the fact that you cannot be prescribed it on the NHS, the only way to get medicinal marijuana is to go private; which is extortionate. Sometimes it can cost as much as £50,000 a year. 

However, that’s not to say it’s all bad. CBD products are a lot more prominent now in the UK. Oils, edibles (like hemp gummies) and creams containing CBD are all legal and have many health benefits. 

What’s Illegal?

The marijuana plant is essentially illegal in the UK. Any substance that contains more than 0.2% THC is deemed illegal. This includes bud, edibles and liquids. This even includes CBD flowers, which don’t technically have more than 0.2% THC, yet they are still not allowed. Perhaps because they look too much like the weed plant. Who knows? 

What are Cannabis Concentrates?

Cannabis concentrates are a mind field. It is a name for many different substances – one of which is shatter, which can be created using a rosin press. But more on that later. Cannabis concentrates are created by extracting the most effective parts of the cannabis plant. The substance is full of the terpenes and cannabinoids which are most responsible for the high feeling you get when you enjoy weed. If you want to find out in detail about cannabis concentrates, then check out our other article: best cannabis concentrates guide.

How strong are Cannabis Concentrates?

Well, the answer is: very strong. Or, very potent. Within usual marijuana buds there’s usually around 15% levels of THC. However, in cannabis concentrates like shatter, there’s more like 50-90%. They are the next level. But would you use a rosin press to make one of them?

What is Shatter?

Shatter is part of the cannabis concentrates family, but what exactly is it? Shatter is actually cooled down resin, which when left, hardens, and looks like glass. Hence the name: shatter (some also call this rosin – hence the name ‘rosin press’).  It is often a shiny, golden colour. But what is resin? Well resin is just the liquid form. It’s the immediate substance that occurs when marijuana bud is squashed and heated. This can be done with a rosin press or, sometimes, even with hair straighteners. 

What is a Rosin Press?

A rosin press looks and sounds like something a lot more complex than it actually is, so don’t fear. Although it might look a bit like a spaceship, a rosin press is actually just anything that uses heat and pressure to create rosin. Usually this will mean it has two metal plates which are heated and squashed together, causing the marijuana bud to create the cannabis concentrate. 

DIY Rosin Press

If the description of a rosin press is just two hot plates pressed against one another, then this sounds a heck of a lot like a hair straightener, doesn’t it? This is correct. At the beginning of the rosin press journey, hair straighteners were used constantly, and they still are. However, they are not consistent in their rosin yield. Whilst a decent rosin press can be made using hair straighteners, the inconsistency makes it problematic; no one likes wasting their bud. Without being able to properly control the heat and pressure, it’s hard to get a good yield and often the yield is around 5-10%. The yield of a commercial rosin press is more like 30%, so you can see why people will spend the money on an official one.

How does an official Rosin Press work?

Within the rosin press market there are two types of rosin press’: hydraulic and pneumatic. They both look and work practically the same, but the difference is how they are powered. 

Pneumatic Rosin Press

The pneumatic rosin press uses air to create pressure, which then helps to crush the bud. Some prefer this method as it can be quieter to use, and be easier to maintain.

Hydraulic Rosin Press

The hydraulic rosin press uses compressed fluids to create pressure. These types of rosin presses can offer a higher pressure interval, but can be harder to maintain and sometimes don’t give an even distribution of pressure. The key to a good rosin press is a distribution of pressure. If you want to find out more information about how hydraulic press’ work, then click here.  

How to make Shatter with a Rosin Press

Whichever rosin press you have, the way to make shatter will be much the same. And we are going to show these to you in a few simple steps. Although rosin pressing might seem like something only scientists should do, don’t be threatened. Anyone can do it. Although the yield isn’t the best, if you want to use these tips with a hair straightener then go right ahead. 

Step 1 – Heat

First things first, find the right temperature for your rosin press. Try around the 150 degrees mark. If it doesn’t fit you this time, then try anywhere between 120-180 degrees for next time.

Step 2 –  The Bud

Find a 4 by 4 inch piece of parchment paper, fold it in two, and place the bud in between the fold. The amount you want to use is up to you. You’ll learn from experience how much you want to try. We would recommend using at least a gram to begin with. 

Step 3 – The Rosin Press

Now place the folded parchment paper with the bud on the rosin press. Ensure the weed is evenly placed and will receive as much contact from the rosin press as possible. Now you press the rosin press down using the lever. The amount of time will depend on the machine you are using. If you’re using a hair straightener then no longer than seconds should work. A rosin press may be different. 

Step 4 – The Extraction

Now you can carefully take the parchment paper off the rosin press and unfold it. You will see a golden liquid oozing from some left-over bud. Now you carefully unpick any of the left-over bud, so that it’s just the gold rosin left. Fold it again, and flatten it. 

Step 5 – Shatter

Now you have your rosin, you’ll want to make shatter. This is done by simply putting the folded piece of parchment in the freezer until it’s nice and hard. Simple enough. When you take it out, it should look a bit like a golden piece of glass (or a modern art piece). 

How to enjoy Shatter

There are various ways to enjoy your cannabis concentrates. A key thing to remember with shatter, and any other cannabis concentrates, is that they are a lot more potent. Whilst buds have a usual THC level of 15-20%, concentrates are a lot higher with a 50-80% percent THC. A great way to enjoy your shatter is with a dry herb vaporizer. Not all vapes allow for cannabis concentrates, but the Nectar Platinum dry herb vape does. All you have to do is place the shatter on the concentrate pads and vape away.

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