We discuss the differences between BHO and solventless rosin. Learn the pros and cons of each and which option is best for you.
While the flower is still the most popular way to consume cannabis, the use of oil concentrates is rapidly expanding. A recent report referred to concentrates as “the hottest product category in cannabis,” with the global cannabis concentrate market expected to grow at a CAGR of 17% through 2026 and be worth almost $6 million USD.
Two of the most well-known concentrates are solventless rosin and BHO extracts. Both are similar in terms of strength and quality, but the way they’re extracted from plant material is completely different.
Where solventless rosin uses zero chemical solvents, BHO extracts are created by soaking the plant material in butane to break cannabinoids apart from the plant material. Both oils contain similar properties, but there are some significant differences between the two.
Here we’ll take a look at both to gauge their differences and discover why you might prefer one over the other.
Solventless Rosin vs. BHO Extracts
Solventless rosin and BHO extracts are two of the most popular cannabis concentrates available. Like other concentrates such as wax and shatter, solventless rosin and BHO extracts are typically used for dabs and in vape cartridges. That being said, both rosin and BHO can also be used on top of flowers or added to edibles for a stronger effect.
Rosin and BHO are both attained by pulling cannabinoids and terpenes from trichomes on cannabis flowers. Both result in a potent product with a compelling aroma and flavor that’s much higher in THC or CBD than the flower. Where flowers might contain 10-25% THC, concentrates like rosin and BHO can have THC levels between 50-75% and higher. When recreational cannabis sales were legalized in Colorado and Washington in 2014, concentrates made up 28.9% of sales. By 2020 unprocessed cannabis revenue accounted for 51% of all legal cannabis sales. Experts maintain that market expansion and increased consumer interest are driving the growth of concentrate sales in recreational-friendly states across the country.
Solventless Rosin: An Increasingly Popular, All-Natural Concentrate
Solventless cannabis concentrate has become progressively more popular in recent years as it offers an all-natural solution to other concentrate options. All that’s needed to create rosin is heat and pressure, making it appealing to individuals interested in consuming natural cannabis products. Most rosin is made with high-quality cannabis flower, which leads to the powerful effects the solventless concentrate contains. It can also be made with hash or kief.
Solventless rosin debuted on the cannabis scene in late 2014. Interest in concentrates was growing rapidly, and rosin was different from anything anyone had yet seen. Rather than using solvents like butane, rosin was created using a heated hair straightener to press buds together. Pioneers of solventless extraction discovered that within seconds of applying heat and pressure, oil began oozing out of the pressed buds.
By 2015, rosin had gone mainstream on the West Coast and quickly became popular with experienced cannabis consumers. As interest in rosin continued to expand, new innovations in rosin extraction were created. Today, you’ll find cutting-edge solventless rosin presses such as Triminator’s Rosin TRP Stack that create high-quality solventless extracts through the use of precise heat and pressure levels.
Today’s rosin presses are designed to create premium solventless concentrates at the lowest temperatures possible. This allows for careful removal of precious trichome glands that help maintain the maximum amount of cannabinoids and terpenes. The result is a strong, flavorful, all-natural, solventless concentrate.
BHO has been around longer than solventless rosin and is the most common form of cannabis extraction. Introduced online in 1999, BHO extraction offered cannabis consumers an extract more potent than any other cannabis extract to date. Today, BHO is revered for its strong potency.
BHO stands for butane hash oil and includes any type of concentrates that are extracted with butane. This includes wax, shatter, budder, and more.
Since its debut over 20 years ago, BHO has evolved considerably. BHO extraction uses butane gas to strip cannabinoids from the plant material. Once extraction is complete, a secondary process known as a post-processing purge must occur to remove any residual solvent from the extract. If a sufficient purge is not performed, BHO concentrates run the risk of containing chemical contaminants.
Pros & Cons: Solventless Rosin vs. BHO Extracts
Solventless Rosin Pros & Cons
- Solventless rosin is all-natural and contains no residual solvents.
- There is no need for purging after extraction as no chemicals are used, making it a safer extraction method than BHO.
- Rosin pressing is much easier than BHO extraction. It’s an excellent option for amateurs and professionals alike who are interested in producing concentrates.
- Rosin extracts are produced quickly, taking only 1-2 minutes for oil extraction.
- Solventless cannabis extract is extremely potent, with THC levels that average between 60-85% (and higher). This potency combined with its purity makes solventless rosin generally demand a higher price point compared to solvent-based extracts.
- A solventless rosin press uses heat and pressure, and plates get hot. If used carelessly, the rosin press could burn the skin. While not too common, it is something to be aware of.
- Pressing for too long can burn the extract and ruin the entire batch, and precise press time is vital.
- Solventless rosin produces a smaller yield than BHO solvent-based extraction. It’s also more time consuming considering the amount of extracted material you get when the entire process is taken into account.
BHO Extraction Pros & Cons
- One of the most common methods for producing cannabis concentrates.
- BHO extraction produces consistent results when individuals know what they’re doing.
- BHO extracts are extremely potent, with THC or CBD levels that can reach up to 95%.
- Offers reliably high yields.
- Uses butane gas or another chemical solvent to extract oil from plant material.
- It’s not a suitable practice for individuals new to the cannabis extraction process.
- If not purged correctly, it can contain residual solvents, which could pose a health risk.
- During the purging process, butane can accumulate and cause an explosion, making it an extremely dangerous extraction method if not done correctly.
- Licensing is another big issue for BHO extraction. Butane extractions are illegal in Canada, and several U.S. counties are considering laws or have enacted regulations that prohibit butane extraction because of risks involved in the production process. In states that do allow BHO production, stricter licensing measures are typically required.
Solventless Rosin or BHO? Which Is Better?
Though both methods have their place in the industry, solventless rosin wins out with faster processing times, safer production, and higher purity and potency in the final product. One of the best things about solventless rosin is how easy it is to produce.
Whether cultivating cannabis commercially on a large scale or growing the legal plant limit according to your state’s laws, Triminator offers two rosin press options, both created for maximum yields of the highest-quality solventless rosin you can find.
Easy to use, Triminator’s solventless extraction presses are designed with industry-leading technology, with precise temperature settings and frames that can withstand up to 25 tons of pressure. Constructed from food-grade anodized aluminum, Triminator’s rosin presses create solventless rosin guaranteed to be free from harmful chemicals. Triminator’s TRP Stack Solventless Rosin Press was used by the 2019 Best Solventless Emerald Cup Winner. Click here to learn more about how Triminator’s rosin presses can help you create high-quality, all-natural cannabis concentrates.