Solvent-Free Cannabis Extracts: Kief, Hash & Rosin

Solvent-Free Cannabis Extracts: Kief, Hash & Rosin

With so many formats of cannabis out there, and the next phase of legalization coming up in just a few months, we thought it would be the perfect time to review a few of the more common solvent-free cannabis extracts – one of which you’ll find at the bottom of your grinder!

Different Types of Solvent-Free Cannabis Extracts

You may have come across various terms such as ‘wax’, ‘budder’ and ‘dabs’. All of these typically refer to cannabis extracts made using solvents. Today, we are going to talk about three (much less complex) solvent-free cannabis extracts: Kief, Hash and Rosin.


Kief solvent-free extract

Also referred to as dry sift or pollen, Kief is the simplest cannabis extract of them all. In fact, if you have ever used a grinder, you’ve made it! Have you ever noticed a high-THC strain like Ultra Sour sparkle as the light reflects off its buds? That frosty coating is from the trichomes – resin glands of the cannabis plant which produce cannabinoids. When these THC-rich particles accumulate at the bottom of a grinder (especially a 4-piece one, which has a fine filter at the bottom and a compartment underneath for collecting Kief), they form a light tan-coloured, sand-like substance known as Kief.

Wondering what you can you do with Kief? Its powdery consistency makes it ideal for sprinkling on top of a pipe bowl or adding into a joint. Keep in mind that Kief is much more potent than dried cannabis – so the saying “start low and go slow” is especially applicable with this cannabis extract.


Hash is made from Kief

Another solvent-free extract is Hash. Hash is short for hashish, which means ‘grass’ in Arabic, and its use has been traced back to the Middle East as early as the 9th century. Its colour ranges from light brown to black, and its consistency is either crumbly or firm depending on the way it was made.

Hash, like Kief, can be added on top of a bowl or placed inside a joint. Unlike Kief, it can be smoked on its own in a pipe (most consumers find Kief by itself to be quite harsh to consume; moreover, its fine consistency allows it to slip right through a filter, which can be unpleasant to say the least!). Like any concentrated cannabis product, it is extremely potent, so if this is your first time trying hash you should start with a very small dose.

Rolling a Hash joint

How is Hash made? You might be surprised to learn that Hash is essentially just pressed Kief. The simplest method of making hash involves taking a pile of Kief, placing it inside a pollen press and tightly squeezing the Kief until it becomes a compressed puck – this is referred to as Pressed Hash.

For the connoisseurs out there, you might be wondering about Bubble Hash. Bubble Hash is a solvent-free cannabis extract highly coveted for its potency and purity. This premium cannabis product is made using a bit more complex method than traditional Hash, involving a large bucket and mesh bags with varying levels of filtration.


Not to be confused with Resin, Rosin is a bit different than the previous two cannabis extracts mentioned. While Kief and Hash are made with only pressure and filtration, Rosin requires heat in addition to pressure. In order to make high quality Rosin, most folks choose to use a Rosin Press.

You can think of a Rosin Press as a giant hair straightener – two large metal plates that heat up and press against each other. Cannabis buds are placed inside the machine with pieces of parchment paper between the bud and the plates, and the machine clamps down to press the cannabinoid-rich oils out of the plant matter. The result is an extremely potent, viscous and sticky solvent-free extract known as Rosin (featured in the image at the beginning of this article).

When made correctly, Rosin can be very flavourful and potent. It’s also ideal for ‘dabbing’ or putting inside an oil vape pen. As with any concentrated cannabis product, make sure to start low and go slow for the best experience possible.