In today’s cannabis market, vape pens and concentrates comprise one of the fastest growing markets. But that doesn’t mean that the products created are necessarily the best to consume. Concerns over product contamination and the removal of desirable molecules consistently contribute to relevant and perpetual industry and consumer conversations. Are there residual solvents in the end products? Have monoterpenes been preserved, or does the final terpene profile or cassette actually represent the original cultivar? We spoke with SHO Products CEO & Co-Founder Sam Jurist about the pertinent place at the table for solventless cannabis products.
T&T: How and why did you get into the cannabis industry? Why did you start SHO Products?
Jurist: My partner and I saw a need, an empty space in the industry that had to be filled, where processors and consumers alike could safely produce clean medicine. It all started with a simple concept, applying heat and pressure to cannabis plant material in order to extract oil. The idea was already out there; people were using hair straighteners to press material. A friend of ours demonstrated the technique for us, and on the first try, it proved successful! On the second try, the straightener broke. We thought there must be a better way, so we founded SHO (Solventless Hash Oil) Products.
T&T: In an industry dominated by products like CO2 extracts and vape pens, why go solventless?
Jurist: Consumers are increasingly becoming more conscious of how products are made and what chemicals they are exposing themselves to. With solventless products, you know exactly what you are getting, no dangerous solvents or additives, just clean product. Not only that, but the lack of chemical irritants, actually increases terpene preservation, and produces a higher quality end product. As the cannabis industry continues to set regulations for the safety of processors and consumers, solventless extraction is the future.
T&T: What are the most important steps of making rosin at home? What equipment is recommended or needed?
Jurist: The most important step to making rosin at home is ensuring you have the right equipment. Our presses are essential, of course. The other must-have is parchment paper. I would strongly recommend food-grade silicone-coated parchment paper, specifically engineered for solventless extraction. Our parchment paper is available in three sizes, which are designed to fit the plates on our presses.
You may also want filter bags. The use of filter bags is optional but recommended for the highest quality rosin. Our filter bags are sealed using ultrasonic technology, and are offered in four sizes, accommodating different biomass capacities, and eight-micron mesh options. The smaller the micron rating number, the tighter the pore size on the filter and the higher quality rosin you’ll end up with. The larger micron rating numbers have wider holes, which means less filtering and a higher yield. Filter size is a personal preference, and it will also vary depending on your starting material; Bubble Hash, Dry Sift/Kief, Flower, Trim/Leaves/Shake.
Also optional, but recommended: pre-press molds, collection tools, and silicone mats. If in doubt, we have a variety of pre-assembled kits available, which will equip you with everything you need to get started.
T&T: Some states, like Pennsylvania, have not begun vending rosin, hash, etc. Why do you think that is? Do you think that will change?
Jurist: Now that the solventless market is developing a large base of consumers, the popularity and demand for extracts, and rosin specifically, will only grow. Some states, like Pennsylvania, are still in an adolescent stage, but as the market matures in these states, the availability of extracts like rosin will escalate.
T&T: When making rosin, how can one prevent microbial growth? Are there sterility factors that the person creating the rosin should consider?
Jurist: The most important factor to consider, in order to prevent microbial growth, is the cleanliness of the starting material (flower, dry sift, ice water hash) being used to make the rosin. Gloves should be worn while handling your material, and at all times during the process. Second, a sterile working environment, equipment, and tools are crucial to maintaining the quality of the product. Isopropyl alcohol should be used generously to wipe down your work space, ideally a stainless steel table, before and after processing, as well as your heat plates before and after every press, and your tools before and after each collection. Lastly, storing rosin in the fridge or freezer will help prevent any microbial growth.
T&T: How should the person making the rosin prepare their plant biomass? Cured, or fresh-frozen?
Jurist: Only cured plant material should be pressed into rosin. Using fresh-frozen plant material is undesirable due to the high concentration of water in the product, which results in a mess. Fresh-frozen plant material should only be used to make rosin if first processed into ice water hash. Only after the ice water hash has been properly dried can it be pressed into rosin.
T&T: What do you think the biggest misconception is in the cannabis industry?
Jurist: A common misconception, for those not involved in the industry, is that all cannabis or cannabis products are psychoactive. CBD is the biggest example of a non-psychoactive compound, which is currently becoming mainstream, and that offers numerous wellness benefits. For a high dosage of CBD, you can even make CBD rosin.
T&T: What excites you about 2019? What’s on the SHO Products horizon?
Jurist: SHO Products is a leading provider of solventless extraction equipment and technology, but we have also evolved into much more than that. We have helped pave the way in regards to solventless education, and our consulting team looks forward to continuing to educate the world through training services, panel discussions, and demonstrations. We have groundbreaking new technology on the horizon which we will be introducing into the market soon, under our Rosin Tech Products label. We are also excited about the newest addition to SHO, our distribution platform: Masterminded Distribution. Masterminded Distribution is one of the largest global distributors of cannabis products, which proudly supplies premier products to over 5,000 brick & mortar smoke shops, head shops, and dispensaries.