Terpene awareness has been growing in the solventless rosin community, and this has precipitated a shift away from both high temperature pressing and dabbing, all in the name of terpene preservation. However, heat plays a much bigger role in concentrate making than just pressing and dabbing temperatures. From cultivation and harvesting, all the way through to extraction, pressing, and storage, heat can seriously deteriorate your rosin’s terpene profile. That’s why keeping your entire extraction facility cool is of the utmost importance to rosin makers.
Everything Causes Terpene Loss
Terpenes are incredibly volatile and delicate substances that deteriorate rapidly. Contact with air, excess moisture and heat, or simply the passage of time will all negatively affect that sweet flavor and aroma profile that you’ve been working so hard to extract. Ultimately, almost everything you do with cannabis will cause some kind of deterioration of its terpene profile.
Simply opening a jar of rosin will cause some terpenes to escape; if you can smell it, then it’s losing terps. And yes, even the heat applied during pressing will destroy some terpenes. So, with the knowledge that everything causes terpene loss, the aim of rosin makers is to choose extraction methods and techniques that lose as few of them as possible.
Heat and Terpenes
As mentioned, all manner of things can deteriorate the terpene profile of your rosin, but here we will focus on adverse temperatures and their effects on cannabis terpenes. Temperature plays a critical role in almost all cannabis production. Cultivators need to keep their crops at a 70 to 75°F temperature at all times, even after harvesting precisely because excess heat will damage the plant’s resinous terpenes.
But this is also applicable to cannabis at all stages of its life. Heat can wreak havoc on your product, whether that be at the extraction phase, pressing, or post-press storage, which is why accurately controlling the temperature of the environment that you are producing in is so critical.
How to Keep Your Lab Cool
The most volatile terpenes found in cannabis will begin to evaporate around the 70°F mark, so it therefore becomes imperative to keep your lab’s ambient temperature below this, and at the same time try to avoid any large swings in temperature.
Depending on the climate of where you live, this can be a more difficult task for some more than others. Because of that, by far the most effective means to ensure cool temps in your lab is with the use of air conditioning systems. Although this may be an expensive solution for many, without air conditioning, it can be very difficult to maintain a stable cool temperature, and your terpenes will suffer as a result.
Additionally, you want to ensure every inch of your lab is air conditioned, from your extraction space to your pressing room, and of course your storage area, too. Preserving as many terps as possible is the name of the game, and therefore you don’t want your produce to be subjected to any potentially damaging temperatures.
So put simply, keep your lab cool and you will retain more delicate terpenes in your solventless rosin.