Rosin has become one of the most sought after concentrates due to its solventless extraction method and its ability to maintain many of the highly sought after compounds native to cannabis plants.
As the cannabis world continues to expand, so too do the concentrate options available to consumers. It can be confusing trying to distinguish between different concentrates, especially those that share similar names. Cured rosin and live rosin are no exception.
While cured rosin and live rosin have similarities, the two are not the same. Understanding the differences can be crucial for concentrate consumers to make the best decisions when they set out to shop, so if you have ever been curious about rosin and its varieties, we have the answers!
- Cured rosin is made using dried or cured flower, hash, or kief, while live rosin involves fresh-frozen flower, which is then turned to bubble hash and pressed into a concentrate.
- Both cured rosin and live rosin are solventless, using only heat and pressure to create the final product.
- A main distinction between cured and live rosin, aside from the methods used to make them, is that live rosin can be more flavorful and potent.
What is Cured Rosin?
Cured rosin, or simply rosin, has been around a bit longer than live rosin and has a shatter-like consistency. Cured rosin is made using heat and pressure — no solvents required, unlike other concentrates like shatter, wax, and budder. For that reason, many cannabis consumers have found that cured rosin can be fairly simple to make at home using a rosin press.
Cured rosin is made using cured cannabis flower, kief, or hash. After the cannabis flower is dried, or kief is separated from the flower (usually shaped into a brick or ball), producers apply heat and pressure, generally in a press. (This process was originally used to create rosin for violin bows, which is how the concentrate was named.)
The resulting hot oil is cured rosin! It’s ready in minutes and involves a much simpler extraction process than others.
What is Live Rosin?
Live rosin similarly is made only using heat and pressure. It tends to look much different from rosin, more closely resembling wax or honey. The main distinction lies in what happens to the flower after it’s cultivated.
Live rosin, similar to live resin, is made from flower that is immediately fresh-frozen. This process preserves many of the highly sought-after terpenes, cannabinoids, and other compounds that curing does not.
After the flower is frozen, it must be converted to bubble hash, mixing ice, water, and the ready-to-process cannabis material. The mixture is agitated in a series of mesh bags, allowing trichomes to become brittle and break off. Producers then collect the kief, hand-press it into ice water hash, which is finally mechanically pressed into live rosin using high heat and pressure, separating from the rest of the plant.
What are the Differences Between Cured Rosin and Live Rosin?
Both cured rosin and live rosin involve solventless extractions, using only heat and pressure. Both rosin and live rosin can be extracted from flower, though live rosin is specifically extracted from fresh-frozen flower that was never cured or dried.
The main distinctions between cured and live rosin are flavor and potency. Due to the freezing process in making live rosin, more terpenes, or flavor and aroma compounds, and cannabinoids are retained for the final product. Many cannabis brands are even embracing live rosin as an alternative to decarboxylated flower for edibles.
Many consumers will attest that live rosin has some of the best, if not the best, flavor of any concentrate on the market. Live rosin is also considered one of the “cleanest” highs and has some of the highest potency as well, as more THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids end up in the final product.
All of these compounds working together encourages the entourage effect, which deems that the more cannabis compounds in a product, the better those compounds can synergistically work together to amplify outcomes.
Which is Better: Cured Rosin or Live Rosin?
In terms of quality, potency, and flavor, it’s safe to say that live rosin comes out on top. However, cured rosin still offers a very herby flavor, like that of the original plant, that many consumers enjoy. Both concentrates are made without solvents, which is also a huge perk for many concentrate lovers.
Live rosin does tend to be pricey, especially compared to cured rosin, so folks on a budget may have an easier time picking up cured rosin.