Strange but true: Not all weed is meant to be smoked. Some of it is meant to be dabbed, blasted or pressed — in other words, extracted from. But to find those strains that work best for solventless extraction, a form of hash-making that uses water, heat or pressure to create cannabis concentrate, you may have to do a lot of searching.
According to solventless extraction wizard Kennn Wall, “Maybe 5 to 10 percent of strains on the market actually do well for solventless and water extraction,” with strains that may do well in a joint coming up short and weak in the rosin press. But times are changing, with breeders and growers developing strains just for hash, many of which are sold in dispensaries.
But which perform the best under the pressure of the rosin press? After talking with a handful of professional and home extractors, we came up with seven strains or strain family trees ideal for solventless extraction.
This is by far the top vote-getter among the extraction artists with whom we spoke, both amateur and professional. “Yield, strength, aesthetics are all off the charts,” says a solventless extractor in Colorado, who describes the terpenes as “funky garlic-onion.” The strain, a cross of all-time heavyweights Chemdog and Girl Scout Cookies, is expensive but available.
A product of Oni Seed Co. — a breeder known for trichome-heavy strains made for extraction — is a cross between Girl Scout Cookies and Tangie, a citrus powerhouse that may have been too strong for its own good. Tangie’s daytime buzz, a never-ending climb with little focus, and Tang flavor are fun for one ride, but hard to keep around for regular use. Tropicana Cookies, however, is much more reliable for focus and balanced flavor, without skimping on the THC yield.
Although Sunset Sherbet doesn’t carry the highest yield in terms of flower, I know home extractors who are getting upwards of 25 percent yields on their rosin presses (flower only, no bubble hash, but still), “which is hard, because those purple, frosty pebbles are hard not to burn by themselves,” according to one Oklahoma extractor.
Papaya is a fine strain in flower form, but it’s become beloved by extractors.
This is a clear favorite for extractors. Papaya, Papaya Cake, Strawnana Papaya — you can’t go wrong with any of them. “Papaya and Papaya crosses are also top of the list,” one extractor notes. Add in a thick tropical flavor, and it’s easy to see why hash-heads love it.
Just more proof that Chemdog is timeless. By far the oldest strain on the list, Chemdog is continually crossed and back-crossed to create some of today’s most popular strains, whether that be for extraction or flower purposes. You’d be surprised how many strains Chemdog had a role in birthing. While being a branch on the Chem family tree isn’t a guarantee of good extraction yields, it’s a good sign. Chem De La Chem and Chemdog #4 are some cuts favored by extractors right now, and my amateur friends love Donkey Butter.
Gorilla Glue strains
My lack of enthusiasm for its flavor notwithstanding, Gorilla Glue’s penchant for THC potency and its heavy coat of resin glands make its inclusion on this list no surprise. In fact, along with Girl Scout Cookies and Papaya, Gorilla Glue is essentially a stud strain for extractors, crossed with a long list of other strains for the sole purpose of new concentrate flavors.
The White strains
Another strain known more for potency than flavor, the White is used for breeding purposes just as much, if not more, than grown on its own for flower consumption. The strain was actually named after how white the buds look because of their unusually thick coating of trichomes, so it’s no wonder that extractors are drawn to the White’s genetics.