You’ve probably heard terms like “live resin,” “rosin,” and “live rosin” thrown around either at dispensaries when talking about concentrates or among people who like to vape and dab.
And if you are familiar with what those are, you might be asking yourself: “which one is better?”
The short answer to that question is: it depends on what you’re looking for and how much you want to spend.
Both live resin and live rosin represent the ultimate gold standards of cannabis concentrates, especially when compared to their resin and rosin counterparts.
Now for the long answer, and it starts with understanding what we mean by “live”: frozen cannabis buds or plants—it makes a difference.
LIVE ROSIN AND LIVE RESIN VS ROSIN AND RESIN
It is common to dry and cure a cannabis plant when harvested to make edibles and concentrates from either resin or rosin.
But extract artists have found that by freezing cannabis upon harvest, they can conserve more of each cannabis flower’s unique properties.
Remember that it’s those hair-like, mushroom-shaped crystals called trichomes that contain each cannabis flower’s signature combination of chemical compounds: the terpenes and the cannabinoids.
Terpenes imbue each cannabis flower with its signature flavor and fragrance while cannabinoids like THC, CBN, and CBD are what give rise to its psychoactive, medicinal, and therapeutic properties.
Different strains have distinct chemical profiles of terpenes and cannabinoids. The more manufacturers conserve from the original profile, the more unique the cannabis experience will be for the user.
Curing and drying cannabis causes the flower and its coveted trichomes to degrade, resulting in a loss of some of its properties. To avoid degradation, extract artists now prefer to immediately freeze the plant when it’s ready for harvest.
That means the products you make from cured flower won’t be as potent and flavorful as what you make from live cannabis.
In other words, a cannabis product that has the word “live” in front of it, such as live rosin and live resin, means you’re paying much more for significantly higher quality than say, standard rosin and resin.
But what’s the difference, between resin and rosin, anyway?
ROSIN VS RESIN
E = solvents. O = solventless.
Resin and rosin are both extracted from cured and dried cannabis flower. In the case of rosin, the starting material can also be hash or kief. Extract artists use both resin and rosin to create a variety of cannabis concentrates.
To extract resin, manufacturers utilize sophisticated closed-loop extract machines which flush out the cannabis trichomes using solvents like butane and ethanol, which then must be purged from the resulting mixture.
Rosin is the product of a purely solventless method of extraction, which involves heat and pressure—you can make it at home using a hair straightener, but a press machine, or rosin press, would do a much better job.
The main advantage in favor of rosin vs. resin is that it’s solventless, meaning you don’t have to worry about any residual chemicals.
Then again, if you’re getting resin from a licensed dispensary, that’s not really a problem, as the residue will have been properly purged down to well below established acceptable levels.
CANNABIS PRODUCTS MADE FROM ROSIN
Rosin chips are the most common cannabis product made from standard rosin (not live rosin). Cannabis flower or dry sift hash (kief) is wrapped up in parchment paper, which is then placed in a press machine where it is squished into pancake-shaped chips, also called pucks.
The ooze extracted out of the chips can then be dabbed, vaped, or added to prerolls. Manufacturers also may use the leftover rosin chips for making edibles or re-pressing them to extract more rosin.
But most rosin-derived products come from pressed, dry sift hash, as opposed to cannabis flower. There’s rosin budder (or badder), which is what you get when you the extracted trichomes pressed out of dry sift hash are then whipped up into a homogenous consistency.
Sauce and diamonds essentially let you visualize the distinction between THC, the cannabinoid that gets you high, and terpenes, the compounds responsible for the plant’s aroma and taste.
The THC forms into large diamond-shaped crystals—dazzling to look at, as diamonds tend to be—and incredibly potent.
But what would a cannabis experience be without its fragrance and flavor? That’s why most THC diamonds made from rosin come with a terpene-enriched sauce.
A product that’s almost identical to rosin sauce and diamonds is rosin jam, the main difference is the “warm curing” process that allows the terpenes to separate from the crystals all by themselves.
ROSIN VS LIVE ROSIN CANNABIS CONCENTRATES
These days, you’ll be hard pressed to find rosin budder, sauce, and diamond that wasn’t made from flash-frozen cannabis flower. It’s true that rosin is much cheaper than live rosin, but pressing dried flower or kief results in a considerable loss of terpenes the cannabinoids, the very chemicals you want to conserve.
Just by drying and curing flower in the first place, you’re sacrificing some of the plant’s treasured properties. If you then heat and press them, you’re losing even more.
That’s why you’ll find that when dispensaries talk about rosin, there’s a good chance they’re referring to live rosin.
CANNABIS CONCENTRATES MADE FROM RESIN
While resin-based cannabis concentrates might come in a slightly wider variety, their names, appearance, and consistency are often the same as rosin cannabis concentrates. The difference is products using resin (or live resin) rely on solvents for trichome extraction.
As extract artists perfect their ability to achieve superior quality, the demand for lower-grade cannabis products will likely die out, and the types of cannabis concentrates sold at dispensaries will change.
Manufacturers can now purge solvents from their resin mixtures with increasing efficiency, which means fewer terpenes and cannabinoids get lost.
As with rosin cannabis concentrates, the names for each resin-derived concentrate reflect the look and consistency of the end product. Dispensaries may offer resin budder (or badder), diamonds (or sugar), and sauce, but also shatter and crumble.
Resin shatter looks like a flat, brittle piece of glass that can and does easily shatter, while crumble sort of resembles a honeycomb. Both offer lower quality and quantity of terpenes and cannabinoids compared with budder, diamonds, and sauce, but they’re also cheaper.
And despite their lower cost, they may become outdated. The demand for higher-grade resin concentrates simply outweighs the cost for something cheaper but not as enjoyable.
RESIN VS LIVE RESIN CANNABIS CONCENTRATES
In the same way that resin concentrates like budder, diamond and sauce outperform shatter and crumble in popularity, the preference for live resin cannabis concentrates over resin extracted from cured flower—also known as cured resin— has also become a growing trend.
Both extracts yield the same products, but those derived from live resin are just much more enjoyable, albeit more expensive.
LIVE RESIN VS LIVE ROSIN
Live rosin arguably stands upon the highest tier of cannabis delicacies, even when compared with live resin concentrates––but that’s debatable, as there are many factors to consider.
It’s unclear whether live resin concentrates contain more THC and terpenes than live rosin products. What is clear, is that even if live rosin was slightly less potent and aromatic, it’s unlikely to be enough to make a difference or affect a user’s level of enjoyment.
What will determine a preference for one over the other will be cost and your fear of solvents. Live resin takes longer to make, but it yields more product and is likely offered at a lower price than live rosin.
The main advantage that live rosin has over live resin is that it doesn’t use solvents. In that sense, it’s the purest of all cannabis concentrates.
But as we’ve stated before, live resin cannabis extracts sold at legitimate dispensaries will have undergone the proper amount of purging. The amount of residual solvent will likely be imperceptible, and well below what’s considered the acceptable levels for consumption.
Yet, some people just don’t want to worry about that at all. If that’s you, and you’re willing to pay more, then live rosin cannabis concentrates are the way to go.
In either option, you’re getting the full spectrum of each cannabis plant’s cannabinoids and terpenes, giving you the ultimate entourage effect so beloved by users. It’s that special combination of flavor and fragrance with different kinds of physical and mental sensations.
At STIIIZY, we only use premium flowers for all of our cannabis concentrates, includingsolventless pods,live rosin badder andjam,curated live resin,live resin diamonds, and much more. Explore all of STIIIZY’s productshere.