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Fresh is good, right?
Fresh bread, fresh fruit, fresh anything is better.
So it only makes sense that fresh bud would yield fresher, and thus better, rosin.
But that’s not quite the way it works.
Rosin extraction requires a very specific humidity level for ideal results.
And fresh bud simply contains too much water. The humidity level in fresh flower is much higher than the ideal range for rosin extraction.
So what does that mean?
Yes, you can. Sort of. But it’s not pretty and I would not recommend it. You will get much better results if you first cure and dry the bud or if you turn it into fresh frozen bubble hash and then press that.
More details below.
To extract rosin from flower, the flower needs to have a relative humidity between 55% and 62%. (This article has a section on how to achieve the ideal humidity.)
Fresh bud has a much higher humidity level. It contains far too much water. When you press fresh bud, you get a watery mess that’s near impossible to scrape off your parchment paper.
It also smells bad and when trying to dab it, it will sizzle on the nail and have a fresh chlorophyll flavor.
The easiest solution is to let it cure and dry, just like you would to get it ready for smoking. If you don't want to bother with that, just letting it dry until it reaches a relative humidity of 55% to 62% will drastically improve your pressing results.
Oftentimes, people who ask about pressing fresh bud are actually looking to get live resin. Doing this requires the use of solvents, but it is possible to get the same live resin taste without the use of solvents.
To do that, you need to first freeze your fresh bud, then make bubble hash from it and, finally, press that hash to get solventless live rosin.
Here’s how you do that.
First, let’s clear one this up: “live rosin” is a bit of a misnomer, since there is nothing really “live” about the extract you end up with. The hash needs to dry before being pressed, so the resin glands are no longer live.
However, freezing immediately (before the flower can dry) preserves the trichomes in the same way they would be in fresh material.
When you press the resulting dry hash, you end up with an extract that has the same live resin flavor and potency, but is produced entirely without solvents. It delivers one of the best highs and terpene profiles of any concentrate.
Cut the fresh flower from the plant and remove the fan leaves. Freeze immediately, before the buds start to dry.
The first thing you want to do is fill the collection bucket with the collection bags. Collection bags come in different micron sizes (micron is a unit of measurement that, in this case, is used to measure the size of the opening in the mesh).
The larger the micron size, the larger the openings in the mesh, meaning larger material can get through. A common set might have five bags of the following sizes: 25 micron, 70 micron, 120 micron, 150 micron, and 220 micron.
Place the bags into the bucket with the largest micron size on the inside. In other words, the 25 micron bag goes in first, the 70 micron bag goes inside that one, the 120 micron bag goes inside that one and so on. Do not put the largest bag (the 220 micron one, in this example) into the bucket.
Once the collection bucket and bags are ready, you can set the whole thing aside and start washing the frozen buds.
First, fill some cold, pure water into the washing machine (check out ours here) . Do not fill the machine completely, since you still need to add the frozen buds inside their bag.
Add ice made from pure water. Let it sit until the water is cold enough. You want it to be below 39° F (4° C).
Once it is cold enough, you are ready to add the buds. Fill them into the bag you did not use before (the 220 micron bag) and add some ice made from pure water into the bag with the buds. Close the bag and submerge it in the washer.
Wash for one cycle (around 5 minutes should suffice). Then drain the washer into the collection bags in the bucket. Once all the water from the washer has drained into the collection bags, it is time to remove them and collect your resin.
Take out the inside bag (the largest micron size). Give it a good shake downward to drain the water out into the next size bag. After the water has drained out, collect the resin with a spoon. I recommend rinsing the outside of the bag into the next collection bag, so that no resin goes to waste.
Repeat this process with each successive bag. As the micron size decreases, the resin gets finer. The more bags you use, the more varying qualities of resin you get.
After you have harvested all the resin, I suggest washing the bag with the flower once more. You will collect more resin this way. For this second wash, use a longer cycle. 10 minutes is good.
The quality deteriorates with each successive washing, but it is definitely worth doing at least two runs. I’d keep going until you don’t get any more noteworthy yield.
Now you need to dry the collected resin. The best way to do this is in a freeze dryer. It goes faster (about 24 hours) and preserves the peak trichome and terpene profile. If you do not have a freeze dryer, dry the hash in a cool, dark place. I suggest a fridge.
The final step is to press the hash using a rosin press. If you do not have one, this post will help you find the best press for you. If you are only going to press small amounts for personal use, you can save a lot of money and get one of these compact presses. For home use, the NugSmasher presses, reviewed here, generally give the best value for money.
Follow the instructions in this post to press the hash into rosin.
And that’s it! You have now turned your fresh buds into live rosin and you’re all set to enjoy the ultimate in flavor and potency