How to Make Rosin Cartridges for Vapes
Tips, Tricks, and Techniques
Trying to learn how to make rosin cartridges? Vaping cannabis has blown up with popularity over recent years. You are more likely to find an empty vape cartridge thrown away than the end of a burnt roach nowadays. Cannabis vape carts started with BHO products and have since progressed to using solventless hash rosin to fill them. Cannabis users can press their own flower rosin or hash rosin at home with the use of a rosin press to apply heat and pressure to either flower or hash held inside a rosin bag.
For a complete guide to pressing flower rosin, follow this link: https://gutenbergsdankpressing.com/how-to-press-flower-rosin/
For a complete guide to pressing hash rosin, follow this link: https://gutenbergsdankpressing.com/how-to-press-hash-rosin/
It is worth noting that hash rosin will work better than flower rosin for producing rosin vape carts.
Rosin fresh off the press is usually not suitable to fill vape carts with because of the consistency. If the rosin is too viscous and does not flow, it will not reach the heating coil inside the vape cartridge. It is also important to homogenize the rosin to keep flavor and potency consistent from cart to cart.
To get the rosin into an ideal form for cartridges, there are several techniques that can be used. The goal is to achieve a runny consistency with low viscosity (flows relatively easily). You can get your rosin where you need it by applying a heat cure, adding terpenes, or winterizing the rosin. This article will describe each technique and give you some tips and tricks from some hashers who make top-quality rosin carts. So let’s dive in on how to make rosin cartridges…
How to Make Rosin Cartridges
Preparing Rosin for Vape Carts:
Curing rosin is the steps taken after pressing to alter the terpene and cannabinoid profiles as well as the consistency of the rosin. These changes are caused by differences in temperatures and pressures that affect the terpenes and cannabinoids that make up rosin. A heat cure uses a sealed jar containing the rosin inside or on a heat source. This usually results in a more sauce-like consistency that may be more suitable for filling vape cartridges. Many refer to this technique as “Jar Tech” or “Jar Tek”.
Directly from the parchment as soon as you can after pressing, place the rosin into a sealable jar. Seal that bad boy up to retain volatile terpenes that may evaporate otherwise. It is best to keep the jar less than about ½ filled to avoid overflowing when curing.
Next, place the sealed jar into the oven or onto a heating pad. The temperature you use is up to you and may take some experimenting to find what works best for your purposes. We asked rosin cart maker, @terrptopia on Instagram, for some of his knowledge. He places the sealed jar into the oven at 200-230℉. Others may use lower temperatures, maybe around 150℉. Generally, the lower the temperature, the longer a cure will take.
How long you leave the sealed jar in the oven depends on the quantity of rosin and the end-consistency you want to achieve. Larger quantities may take longer to cure to where you want it. Ideally, the end-consistency should be runny and flow like water. The cure might last just a couple hours, but it could also last a couple days.
When observing the cure process, you will see bubbles form and rise to the top. At the beginning there will be quite a good bit of bubbles and the rosin may even rise up a bit. When there are minimal bubbles sitting at the top and no more seem to be forming, that is a good indicator that your cure has reached a desirable consistency for rosin vapes. Never open the jar while it is hot! This is release volatile terpenes that you just worked so hard to retain
Summary: Heat Cure to prepare rosin for vape carts
- Get the rosin into a sealable jar as soon as you can after the press
- Seal the jar right away
- Set oven or heat pad to your desired temperature
- Anywhere from 90℉ to 230℉
- Lower temperature generally take longer to cure
- Leave in the oven or on the heat source until the rosin is runny and flows like water
- This could last a couple hours or a couple days or anywhere in between
- Watch for bubbles forming and rising to the top
- There will be a lot in the beginning and slow to a stop at the end
Never open a hot jar of rosin. You will lose volatile terpenes.
Terpenes are the flavor center of the cannabis plants and occur naturally. Your rosin already contains them! Adding terpenes to your rosin will not only change the flavor, but can also help make the consistency more water-like and flowy, perfect for rosin vape carts.
You can purchase naturally-occurring cannabis-derived terpenes from a number of retailers online. They come either as single terpenes or as pre-made mixes to represent certain flavors (i.e. Blue Dream, Tangie, banana, birthday cake).
How much you add to your rosin is unique to the product you are currently working with. All strains of cannabis produce rosin with different consistencies and flavor (terpene profiles). One Slurricane press may not be the same as the next Slurricane press. For this reason, we suggest starting with a test mixture.
Take a small amount of rosin, maybe a gram, and place it at the bottom of a glass jar. It may be helpful to heat the rosin up a bit using an oven or heat plate set to around 90℉. Next, add in just 1-3 drops of the terpene of your choice. Use a dab tool to mix it up and homogenize the mixture.
Consistency-wise your goal is to produce a water-like flow that will be easily to fill vape carts with. You also want to check the flavor before producing a larger batch. The added terpenes can drastically change the flavor of your rosin (for better or for worse). If the consistency is where you want it, but the flavor is off, maybe try using the same quantity of another terpene. If you feel like you need more terpenes to get the consistency just right, we suggest adding it one drop at a time and mixing in between.
Once you have made a successful small batch test, you can take the specifics and apply that to a larger batch. For example, let’s say three (3) drops of terpenes makes a gram of rosin the right consistency and it tastes how you want it. If you want to prepare 200 grams for vape carts, you will probably need 600 drops of terpenes. Treat this number as more of a suggestion and not an exact answer. We suggest adding the terpenes slowly and mixing in between. You can always add more terpenes, but you can’t take them out. Make sure to homogenize the mixture so it is the same throughout.
Summary: Adding terpenes to prepare rosin for vape carts
- Terpenes are naturally-occuring and are already present in rosin
- You can purchase cannabis-derived terpenes online in pre-made mixtures to represent certain flavors
- Make a test mixture first
- Place a gram of rosin at the bottom of a glass jar
- It may be helpful to heat the rosin up using an oven or heating pad set to 90℉
- Place 1-3 drops into the rosin and mix it up
- You want a water-like, runny consistency
- Take a dab to sample how the terpenes changed the flavor
- Place a gram of rosin at the bottom of a glass jar
- When you are happy with the test mixture, ramp it up to your larger batch
- For example: if 1 gram needs 3 drops of terpenes for proper consistency and the flavor is good, 200 grams of rosin needs about 600 drops of terpenes
Treat your test mixture as a suggestion for the larger batch and not an absolute. Add terpenes slowly and homogenize the mixture in between. You can always add more terpenes, but can’t take them out.
Winterizing rosin is the process of removing fats, lipids, and waxes from the rosin using food-grade alcohol like Everclear. Although this is not solventless like the rest of the rosin press, the alcohol will be fully evaporated at the end and none will be retained in the final product. By removing all the fats, lipids, and waxes, the rosin will have a lower viscosity and flow more like water, which is perfect for rosin vape carts.
To winterize rosin, place the rosin in a glass jar, then add in Everclear or other food-grade alcohol in about a 1:10 ratio (rosin:Everclear), or just enough to fully dissolve the rosin. Mix it with a dab tool to speed along the process.
Next, place the rosin/Everclear solution into the freezer for about 12-48 hours, or until it has frozen. You will notice the lipids, fats, and waxes have separated and settled away from the rosin. You can remove the fats, lipids, and waxes using coffee filters or another type of fine filter.
Finally, the Everclear or other food-grade alcohol needs to be evaporated from the rosin. This will happen if you leave the rosin to sit at room temperature, but you can help it along by placing the rosin, in a glass jar, onto a heat source like an oven or heating pad. Do not exceed about 200℉. The hotter the temperature, the quicker the Everclear will evaporate. When it is complete, the rosin should be free of Everclear and flow similar to water.
Summary: Winterizing to prepare rosin for vape carts
- Winterizing is using food-grade alcohol (like Everclear) to remove fats, lipids, and waxes from rosin
- Removing these will lower the viscosity of the rosin so it flows more like water which is perfect for rosin vape carts
- Place the rosin and Everclear in a glass container in about a 1:10 ratio (rosin:Everclear)
- Mix with a dab tool until the rosin is fully dissolved
- Freeze the solution for about 14-48 hours
- You will see fats, lipids, and waxes separate from the rosin
- Filter the fats, lipids, and waxes out using a coffee filter or another fine filter
- Let the rosin sit either at room temperature on heated (up to 200℉) until the Everclear is completely evaporated
The hotter the temperature you use to evaporate the Everclear from the rosin,
the faster it will go (generally).
Using Liquidizers (Not Recommended)
Liquidizers are mixtures that are premade with convenient formulas for preparing rosin for vape carts. For example, a liquidizer supplier may suggest 2-3mL per gram of rosin. This should be considered an educated suggestion and not an absolute as your rosin may need more or less to achieve the ideal consistency.
As easy as this sounds, there is a potentially major downside. Most of these mixtures contain either propylene glycol PG) or vegetable glycerin (VG) or both. Although regarded as safe substances by the FDA, this does not refer to them being vaporized and inhaled.
These mixtures are not naturally-occuring in cannabis and some feel it is best practice to not have any additives in the rosin product to maintain its purity. Because of this and the possibility that vaping PG/VG can be harmful, we do not suggest using this method to prepare rosin for rosin vape carts.
Summary: Liquidizers to prepare rosin for vape carts
- Liquidizers are premade mixtures to lower the viscosity of your rosin
- Usually contains propylene glycol and/or vegetable glycerin (PG/VG)
- These are considered safe by the FDA, but that does not refer to them being vapes and inhaled
- Usually contains propylene glycol and/or vegetable glycerin (PG/VG)
- It is best practice to not have any additives in rosin
- We do not suggest using this method because of the uncertain safety of PG/VG
Make it Your Own
All of the techniques outlined above can be used to prepare your rosin for filling vape carts. You could use just one method, a combination of methods, or a different method entirely. For example, some people winterize rosin before mixing in terpenes. It will take some time, practice, and experimentation to perfect your technique, but that is all part of the fun.
How to Make Rosin Cartridges: Filling Vape Carts with Rosin
Once your rosin is the desired consistency (low viscosity and easy flow), it is time to fill those vape carts. You are going to need a large glass syringe (at least a few mL), empty vape carts, the rosin, and a heat source (optional). The vape carts you use can be plastic or glass. We suggest using glass for superior flavor, but everyone can make their own choice. It may be best to try out a few designs to find which works best for you.
To begin, it may be helpful to place your syringe in the oven at around 90℉. A warm syringe will help the rosin flow in and out. This is an optional step. Next, when warm, fill the syringe up with rosin and accurately dispense enough to fill the vape cart without overflowing. It is best to fill up a couple vape carts and let them sit to test for leaks before filling up the larger batch.
You can then place filled carts into the oven at around 90℉ to melt the rosin to the bottom of the vape cart. Remove the vape carts from the oven and cap them immediately. Now you are ready to vape some rosin!
Summary: Filling Vape Carts with Rosin
- Choose the vape cart you want to use
- It may be best to sample a few designs because there is a large variety available
- Acquire a large syringe (about 5mL or more)
- Warm the syringe in the oven at about 90℉ (optional)
- This helps the rosin to flow in and out of the syringe
- Fill the syringe with rosin
- Dispense rosin from the syringe into the vape cart
- Be careful to not overfill it
- Place the vape carts in the oven at about 90℉ to melt the rosin to the bottom (optional)
- Remove the vape carts from the oven and cap them immediately
Fill up just a couple vape carts and let them sit for a few hours to test for leaks. Also use them to check for battery defects. If all is good, then fill up the larger batch. This could save you valuable time and money.