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The many types of solventless cannabis extracts

July 10, 2016

The world of cannabis extracts is expanding rapidly with no intention of slowing down. In most legal markets, concentrate sales are increasing steadily as they continue to grab larger shares of the market year over year. Emerging trends within cannabis concentrate sales have undoubtedly fueled innovation at a staggering pace as a result of high demands.

Explore cannabis concentrates

For consumers, this is indeed a very exciting phenomenon. Fans of hash products would agree that having options available is paramount. Yet only a few years ago, if you wanted to purchase cannabis extracts that were produced without the use of chemical solvents ( e.g, butane, propane, etc.), your only options were kief, cold water hash, and, in some rare cases, an old world pressed hashish.

What is Kief?

It wasn’t until recently, with the emergence of new advancements in heat extraction methods, where the market began to shift back in favor of the solventless hash consumer. Interest in heat extraction methods such as rosin proved to cause a profound effect within the community by reinvigorating the appeal for solventless extract innovations within legal markets, thus giving way to an entirely new generation of hash products. This rift in the cannabis concentrate paradigm can perhaps be measured most accurately by the sheer increase in solventless options available to consumers today.

What follows is a brief overview of a few solventless options that you may not be familiar with but might be available at your local cannabis retailer.

Rosin and solventless shatter

Solventless shatter

Rosin, being the game changer that it was, opened the door for several different new products. Solventless shatter, a type of rosin that maintains a stable and glass-like consistency, may resemble butane hash oil in appearance but was manufactured with nothing more than heat and pressure. Hash oil of this consistency is achieved both through the acquisition of certain genetics and the right combination of heat, pressure, and exposure period.

What is Rosin?

Some cannabis cultivars will produce more stable rosin than others. Cure time and degradation of the trichomes also greatly affect hash oil consistency in the rosin form. Rosin can be made from a multitude of precursors, including freshly harvested and/or cured cannabis flowers, kief, water hash, and even trim. The color, consistency, and flavor profiles will all vary considerably depending on the precursor used.

Many solventless hash oils are offered in more sappier and less stable forms. Their color can also vary from a golden opacity to a darker amber. Cure time and starting material will all play a role in facilitating these nuances. Heat, pressure, and exposure too can greatly impact the consistency of rosin. Higher temperatures tend to produce more stable products that more resemble shatter, whereas lower temperatures often yield sappier, less stable products. Both products are appearing on dispensary shelves and have begun to form respective niche markets.


Solventless cannabis extract

Another variation of solventless hash oil is budder, also known as cake batter or a “whipped” rosin. These products were created by incorporating light heat and agitation to rosin. The result is a buttering effect that looks very similar to a salve or batter of some sort. Using this technique has been known to significantly increase the aromatic properties of the hash oil and also provide a new creamier texture that can be much easier to work with when dabbing. While many retailers are beginning to sell whipped solvent-free hash oils, the process can be achieved easily at home with preexisting rosin by simply stirring it consistently with a warm dabber tool.

Freeze-dried hash oil products

Hash oil product

On the polar opposite end of the thermal spectrum are new products incorporating the use of sub-zero temperatures in their production. Freeze-dried hash oil products are made by utilizing sub-freezing temperature to keep trichomes in a perfectly suspended state in their degradation cycle, thus preserving valuable and volatile tepidness that would have been lost in almost any other extraction process. The machines used to create these products can be expensive, as this technique is still relatively avant garde,

As the concentrate market continues to expand, demand for solventless options will continue to inspire innovators to push the envelope even further in creating more exciting products for hash consumers. Rosin, and its many subsequent forms, was the Pandora’s Box that opened up the door for full melt hash oils, and the demand only seems to be rising. Expect to see many more products emerge that will inevitably push the boundaries of hash oil flavor, consistency, and effect even further. Long gone are the days where the only products available to concentrate enthusiasts were limited to BHO, kief, and bubble hash. Hopefully all of these options come to your area soon so you can partake in these new solventless options!

The Great Wide World of Cannabis Oil and Concentrates

  • Paul Lyons

    Thanks for NOT including CO2 processed hash in this list!

    I see way too many people refer to CO2 extract as “solventless”. It’s not. CO2 is in fact a solvent, just not a hydrocarbon solvent.

    • Robert Lamarre

      There are also unmentioned dangers with CO2 extraction that people may not be aware of. If the cannabis itself, used in production, has any trace amount of pesticide/insecticide, the CO2 will cause these molecules to bind with it, a natural result of this extraction process.

      • Gbop


        • Gbop

          So what about using co2 in your with pesticide /insecticide dose bind it then the trichom3s on the flower

          • carolann


      • Robert Burns

        The pesticide toxics are a problem irregardless of CO2. I well remember the paraquat days.

        • cre8iveqa4u

          irregardless is not a word. Correct usage is regardless.

          • Robert Burns

            False and irrelevant. Read Webster’s.

          • Broughy27

            Used by people who ignorantly mean to say regardless. According to webster, it is a word, but since the prefix “ir” and the suffx “less” both mean “not or with” they cancel each other out, so what you end up with is regard. When you use this to try to say you don’t care about something, you end up saying that you do. Of course everyone knows what you mean to say and only a pompous,rude asshole will correct you.
            Wife: “Irregardless is not a word, dummy”
            Husband: “Kiss my ass bitch! I’m still going to the strip club tonight!”
            by Dwayne Boyd August 12, 2005

          • Greenleaf910

            WOW! An intellectual stoner!

        • Lisa Wintler-Cox

          me too

    • carolann

      But… the CO2 is released into the air when the pressure is released, thus, the final product IS solventless. Hi-P CO2 acts like hexane, but CO2 at 1 atm is just gas. it doen’t hang around in the concentrate.


    Rosin is the new solventless extract that has great taste or “terps” You can make your own solventless Rosin with a hot press. I use one called Mr. Rosin Press. here is a link to the Mr. rosin press on Amazon.

    • KJ B

      I also am a huge rosin fan, so much flavour and most importantly – NO SOLVENTS! I purchase my rosin online with the Greencare Medicinal Society

      • carolann

        Is rosin as tasty as the pure trichomes made using bubble hash? is there some advantage to the hot press? ( I have not tried either.)

        • Greenleaf910

          How is the extract solidified into shatter? What causes it to go from an oily state into a hard state? Thanks in advance.

  • Sylvia Jordan

    Alpine Live Resin cartridges are solvent free

  • Apollo AR

    Great article, good to know the options Canadians have to make their own solventless extracts at home 🙂

  • Glenn Jones

    yes you can make edibles with extracts! you just need to put the extracts in the oven in some foil in a pyrex so you dont lose it. get it to a point where you can move it around and add it to butter and bam. you have extract butter!