Rosin vs Resin

Unless you consider yourself a cannabis connoisseur, it can sometimes be challenging to understand the differences between certain products, particularly ones that sound similar, like rosin and resin. 

Both are highly potent cannabis concentrates with similar properties and THC levels and are produced by extracting cannabinoids from the plant’s trichomes—however, the main difference between rosin vs. resin lies in the extraction method employed to create them.

cannabis leaf with a purple background

Rosin is created using solventless extraction processes such as heat, water, and pressure, while live resin is produced using chemical solvents such as butane, propane, or CO2. While the differences between these processes are slight, they can create noticeable variations in color, texture, flavor, and potency.

Learn more about the differences between rosin and resin, how to consume each, and which product may best suit your cannabis needs. 

Key Takeaways

  • What is rosin, and how is it made?
  • What is resin, and how is it made?
  • What is the difference between live resin and live rosin?
  • Is live rosin worth it?
  • Live resin vs. live rosin: which is better?

What is Rosin?

Rosin, sometimes called live rosin, is a cannabis concentrate created without chemical solvents, instead using heat, pressure, and water. Live rosin products are increasingly gaining popularity, as the lack of solvents allows the extraction to preserve a complete profile of cannabinoids and terpenes. Rosin concentrates are reportedly tastier and more fragrant than other extracts.

How is Live Rosin Made?

When a product has “live” in its name, it was extracted from fresh cannabis plant material. Typically, concentrate makers hang or machine dry marijuana flowers after harvest, allowing them to cure and retain a longer shelf-life. Though these processes are tried and true, curing can degrade some of the plant’s terpenes, yielding a less flavorful and nuanced high.

Rosin extractors immediately freeze the plant material right after harvest, in what’s called “flash-freezing.” After 1-2 days, processors will wash the plant matter in an ice bath to separate the trichomes - which contain the active cannabinoids and terpenes - from the rest of the material. The trichomes are filtered from the rest of the plants and grate the buds into a fine powder called kief, which is then pressed into its final rosin form. Some producers will take it a step further, refining the rosin into an oil solution that’s easier to vape or smoke. 

Examples of live rosin products include varying textures and consistencies, such as:

  • Live rosin cartridges
  • Shatter
  • Badder/Budder
  • Crumble
  • Wax
  • Sauce
  • Diamonds
  • Oil

What is Resin?

Resin, or live resin, is a cannabis concentrate made from dried or fresh cannabis mixed with chemical solvents to separate the cannabinoids and terpenes from the rest of the plant matter. Resin and live resin products are highly popular, and known for their delectable palate of terpenes and high-THC levels.

How is Live Resin Made?

Live resin is similar to live rosin in that it’s extracted from the fresh, flash-frozen cannabis flower. Instead of using water, resin extractors use a chemical solvent to lure the active compounds from the plant matter. Most use a mixture of butane and propane as a solvent, as these chemicals are highly efficient. However, they’re dangerous to ingest in high amounts, so concentrate-makers must take extra care to remove all leftover chemicals via evaporation from the final product.

Once sure that no residual solvents linger, processors pour the extract into a processor to create a variety of live resin cannabis concentrates, including:

  • Shatter
  • Budder/badder
  • Wax
  • Diamonds
  • Oil
  • Crumble
  • Sauce

What is the Difference between Live Resin and Live Rosin?

Dedicated cannabis connoisseurs claim slight flavor and potency differences between live rosin vs. live resin extracts, but to the typical consumer, they are highly similar. The only difference between the two is that resin is extracted using chemical solvents and rosin comes from solventless processes.

Due to higher terpene and flavonoid concentrations, live rosin is usually a darker amber color. Live resin is usually a more golden, honey-like hue, though both product types can cover a spectrum of colors, textures, and varieties. Sadly, identifying what product you’re getting based on color doesn’t help much.

In truth, rosin and resin products have a lot of crossovers and share similarities in name, appearance, effects, flavor, and potency. Both are highly concentrated, containing high levels of THC for those needing more potent products. They also feature higher terpene concentrations, especially in live rosin and resin, making for a tastier and more aromatic product. If you’re concerned about the intensity of your high, however, you may want to steer clear of these highly potent products.

Is Live Rosin Worth It?

Depending on where you purchase, another difference worth mentioning is that of cost. Live rosin products are typically more expensive, since they require more labor and can only be crafted in small batches. You may ask yourself: is live rosin worth it? Live rosin products, like our Delta 9 Live Rosin gummies, are also some of the cleanest medical marijuana products on the market, so you can rest assured that your weed is free of chemicals or other unwanted contaminants.

Alternatively, live resin may be a more affordable option that still offers plenty of THC potency. There are also many live resin producers on the market, so you have many brands from which to choose.

Live Resin vs. Live Rosin: Which is Better?

Neither rosin nor resin is better than the other when comparing the two extraction types. Both are flavorful, smell delicious, and offer higher potency than most other cannabis consumption methods. Solventless live rosin may speak more to the cannabis purist who wants to steer clear of chemicals. In contrast, live resin lovers may prefer a wider variety of products and more reasonable pricing. But beware: neither option is for the cannabis naive, so work up to such high potency before deciding.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is live rosin better than live resin?

Neither rosin nor resin is more potent inherently than the other; it all depends on the amount of THC and terpene profile of the product you purchase. The terpenes in live rosin and live resin can contribute to the Entourage Effect and make your weed more sedative or psychoactive, depending on the strain you pick.

Why is rosin better than live resin?

Rosin may be a healthier choice for those who prefer to avoid chemicals such as butane, propane, or CO2. While high-quality live resin makers make sure to remove all trace chemicals from their products, rosin doesn’t use any chemicals in the extraction process.

Is live rosin stronger than live resin?

Neither live rosin nor resin is inherently stronger than the other; it all depends on the amount of THC and terpene profile of the product you purchase. The high amount of terpenes in live rosin and live resin can contribute to the Entourage Effect and make your weed more sedative or psychoactive, depending on the strain you pick.

What Exactly Does "Live" Mean When Associated with Concentrates?

Whenever either online or in-person you happen to see a cannabis product (for instance a live wax or live shatter) being labeled as "live" this is meant to clearly convey that the extraction process previously performed on the cannabis product was done so on fresh from a greenhouse or garden, or flash-frozen marijuana. The general reputation around cannabis products that feature the "live" label is that they're supposed to have a more developed flavor due to the fragile, highly sought after terpenes, which are preserved through the flash-freezing process before the actual extraction. 

What's the Taste of Live Resin Like?

Live resin is cherished by both cannabis and hemp aficionados, due to its complex flavor profile, as well as its range of vibrant colors. As a result of the cryogenic freezing process, the final product is able to retain the cannabis plant's natural terpenes and cannabinoids. This retention process supports a strong flavor and well-defined color. Live resin is oftentimes hailed as a superior product with its exceptional flavor profile. 

What Explains the Popularity Behind Live Rosin?

There seems to be a palpable mounting excitement and overriding appreciation within the community of cannabis consumers over cannabis concentrates. This is largely due to the fact that live extras are able to retain the terpenes profiles that are found within the actual cannabis plant, which ultimately means that you're able to experience an unparalleled, accurate representation of the plant profile in a concentrate. Additionally, there is a potent level of THC in Live Rosin due to the way in which it's processed. 

How do you best determine the dosage of Resin and Rosin products?

You should always remember that both live resin and live rosin are exceptionally potent cannabis products when compared to other potentially more common methods of consuming cannabis. As is the case with most any cannabis product, it's always best to begin slow and with mindful caution whenever you plan to experiment with a new cannabis product. When it comes to vaping, simply adjust the setting on your vaporizer so that it's on its lowest possible heat, and then begin a gentle inhalation process. You should also make sure to allow up to 30 minutes after you've inhaled to make sure that you have an adequate amount of time to observe the vape's effects before you consider inhaling anymore. 

Then, for dabbing, you should make sure to read step-by-step instructions, and also continue to practice the philosophy that it's always best to take those "baby steps" when consuming a cannabis concentrate. Just like with vaping, make sure that you wait a bit after your initial inhale before you inhale anymore. Even though the effects can come on rapidly, it can still take a few minutes before they begin to set in. So, absolutely wait until you've felt the full effects. 

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