Solventless Rosin Vape Cartridges
Producing solventless cartridges using your Rosin is very much achievable when using a low wax Rosin in the right cartridge.
What you will need:
● Quality low wax high terpene Rosin – Bubble Hash 120 – 70 micron is best. Bubble Bags available in store
● 510 thread cartridge with large intake holes and no cotton – ideally full ceramic body and ceramic coil. Ideally large intake holes totalling 8mm in area, either 4 x 2mm or 2 x 4mm x 1mm. Full Ceramic available here
● Large sealable glass jar – double the volume of your Rosin.
● Glass Luer lock syringe with stainless steel plunger and blunt tip needle or cartridge filling machine. Luer Lock and machine available here
1. Pressing and Starting Material
Low wax high terpene Rosin will work best and ensure that your carts do not clog and burn before you get to the end. For this reason it is best to use Rosin pressed from Bubble Hash. I recommend collecting trichomes from the 120 to 70 micron range for best
results. Press in a 25 micron bag at low temps of 65 to 75 C to preserve terpenes. Flower Rosin has a high wax content and will not work well unless winterized, however this process involves the use of Ethanol and thus your carts will no longer be truly solventless. More details on winterizing below.
2. Post Press
Post pressing, place your Rosin into a glass jar. You will want a jar that seals well and has a lid and seal capable of being exposed to heat. The jar should be twice the volume of the Rosin you are processing in order to leave space for expansion during the
decarbing process. Finding a jar for the job can prove troublesome as most have plastic lids or not the best seals. The easiest quick fix I have found is using a standard 3ml glass concentrate jar and placing the lid of a 3ml silicon jar on top. The lid fits rather well and it can then be placed in between your press plates for the next step.
Decarb in an oven, heated plate/pad, double boiler, slow cooker or sous vide water bath at 65 to 75C for 24 to 48 hours. You should see bubbles forming in your Rosin during this process, once the bubbling stops or slows your Rosin should be decarbed. Decarbing time can be decreased by increasing the temperature however this risks terpene loss. If you want a quick fix then decarb at 95C for 1 hour. In order to complete the process and preserve terpenes, do not open the jar at any stage of the process and not until the Rosin has cooled back to room temperature.
You should now have decarbed Rosin that has decent viscosity at room temperature. If it is still thick you may need to add in additional terpenes to thin it out. Organic terpenes are available for purchase locally, I can also supply these on request. I prefer to use a premade mix rather than one specific one. You could also look up the strain specific terpenes unique to your strain and add accordingly. Terpenes should be added one drop at a time and then mixed. Continue until your Rosin viscosity increases to a water/cooking oil viscosity. If its cold you may want to prewarm your Rosin to 30-40C to enable it to mix well. Terpenes can be added between 1 – 5 % of your total Rosin weight.
Your vape liquid should now be ready to be filled into your cartridges. Depending on the viscosity of your liquid you may need to warm it to get it viscous enough to be drawn into your Luer Lock syringe or Cartridge Filler. You can also prewarm your syringe so the Rosin doesn’t cool down as soon as it is drawn into the syringe. Place your cartridge in an upright position and slowly begin to fill. I recommend filling halfway and allowing the rosin to sit and settle before filling further. Be careful not to overfill as this may lead to leaking. You may notice the level drop as it is absorbed into the cartridge, top up as necessary. Depending on the viscosity of your oil you may need to place the cartridges upright in a warm oven (35 – 40C) to allow the oil to settle down. Once completed you can now put on your cap. Allow a further 30 min for the oil to soak the core before testing the cart to avoid burning the coil.
Winterizing is a process of mixing your Rosin with food grade ethanol in order to separate the unwanted waxes. This is not necessary when using Bubble Hash 120 – 70 micron Rosin. Mix your Rosin and Ethanol in a ratio of 1:10 until fully dissolved. Place in a freezer for 24 – 48 hours until frozen, you should see a separation of waxes from the rest of your oil. Using a coffee filter, strain the mixture. You will now be left with a mixture of your Rosin and Ethanol. This Ethanol will need to be full evaporated before placing your mixture in your cartridges. Ethanol will not fully evaporate at room temperature and so you will need to heat the mix to 75C to boil off any remaining ethanol. Reminder that ethanol is flammable, please be very careful when doing this, ensure there are no flames and the area is well ventilated. Procuring undenatured safe food grade ethanol is highly important if you are going to attempt this. A NFAS testing report found 37% of samples had residue solvents and 44% had heavy metal contamination, ask your supplier about the food grade safety and testing undertaken on their ethanol before purchasing.
Not all cartridges are made and work the same. Cheap metal based cartridges have been proven to often fail heavy metal testing and materials used can react with your oil and affect the flavour. For this reason I recommend using quality full ceramic cartridges. Oil intake holes come in various sizes and quantities. I recommend a cartridge with a total intake area of 8mm either 4 x 2mm or 2 x 4mm x 1mm holes.