LIVE RESIN VS LIVE ROSIN: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?
From a time before states adopted medical cannabis laws to a time when over two-thirds of Americans support cannabis legalization, the industry has expanded its accessibility to cannabis through exploring new techniques of processing and methods of consumption.
The “one-size-fits-all” way of consuming cannabis is now an idea of the past. Todays experience feels more personable and tailored with a variety of products like extracts, edibles, tinctures, topicals, and flower.
The versatility of the cannabis plant and its many uses date as far back as 5000 years ago to the early Bronze age.
What were once makeshift methods of production taking place in garages have been upgraded to nine million square feet indoor cultivation and processing centers deploying the latest sophisticated processing technology.
Among the most sought-after cannabis products, today are live rosin and live resin. The dabbing connoisseurs of the world will immediately recognize the difference is more than a vowel.
Both are products with their own distinct traits and complex methods of extraction.
Despite the differences in production and look, a simple search on the internet will reveal that there’s still plenty of confusion about what differentiates live resin and live rosin from each other. Even reputable outlets fail to nail the nuances between the two types.
In fact, you’ll find that not only do people not realize that rosin and resin are not the same, but when when you add the word "live" to them, it further muddles consumer understanding.
Rest assured that by the end of this article the defining characteristics of each product will be as clear as 99% THC-a crystalline.
What is resin?
Resin generally is known as the brownish substance that is obtained from tree saps and used for medicinal purposes. However in the cannabis world, resin takes on an entirely different meaning.
Resin is a concentrate of the active, non-active, and supporting compounds extracted from the trichomes of the cannabis plant.
Trichomes are the sticky hairs on the cannabis plant that contain a variety of terpenes and cannabinoids, basically the “good stuff”.
When activated, the flavor and aroma from the terpenes pair with psychoactive and non-psychoactive properties from the cannabinoids, to produce the “high” that cannabis users enjoy.
What can you make from cured cannabis resin?
Resin is processed using a solvent such as butane or propane to extract the terpenes and cannabinoids from the cannabis plant by flushing it out.
These solvents and any additional impurities will get removed during a later step called purging. Towards the end of the purging process extracts can be manipulated into various types of concentrates.
Each bringing its own special quality to the table. Crumble, shatter, and budder/badder are a few of the more popular types available today.
Crumble is a popular type of concentrate that utilizes a scientific method of applying temperature and time to achieve a desired consistency with a focus on maintaining as much flavor as possible.
Although crumble is best consumed through a dab rig, many cannabis consumers enjoy incorporating it into their prerolls.
Shatter is another form of concentrate that incorporates an extra level of care after extraction to not allow the extract to crystallize.
This allows it to maintain its transparent amber color and hardened structure. While sold as one whole "slab", shatter is very fragile.
When broken it can take on the appearance of a shattered mirror, which is where the name originates from.
Storage temperatures can also affect the composition of shatter, changing its form from glasslike to a stickier sap like product.
Badder/budder is another type of concentrate that incorporates an additional step into the shatter extraction process to achieve the desired consistency.
Towards the end of the purging process, the extract is whipped into a more “butter” like consistency that is easier to handle and is great for dabbing.
The quest to bring out the more intense scents and tastier complex flavors is what keeps elevating the extract game to new levels.
With a focus on smells and flavor being a priority, extract artists uncovered a new step that would take terpene and cannabinoid preservations to new heights. They introduced the cannabis community to "live resin".
Rosin vs resin — more than a letter apart
It’s odd to think that the characteristics of resin and rosin are so different considering how similar they are in name.
While resin utilizes solvents to remove the cannabinoids and terpenes from the cannabis plant, rosin takes a more organic and natural approach.
Rosin utilizes heat and pressure to squeeze the active compounds from the cannabis plant, creating a much safer product to consume.
The downside to this process is rosin extraction yields less product overall than resin. However because rosin doesn't utilize solvents, it can skip the purging process.
This makes it more accessible to users who don’t have the money or space to house a state-of-the-art machine. Anyone can create their own rosin using parchment paper, cannabis, an iron, and a little bit of pressure.
Though resin is only extracted using the whole cannabis plant, rosin provides a few more options of sources to use. Rosin can be created using keif, trim, and whole flower.
Resin typically has a light amber to dark amber color once fully processed. It’s also more transparent in nature with the exception of badder/budder.
Rosin typically has creamy white or light yellow color and is never transparent in color.
Storage methods also vary between the two. Both should be kept out of the heat and sunlight at all times, but resin is a little more resilient.
Resin can be stored at room temperature as long as it's cool dry area. Rosin is a little more volatile and needs to be stored in a refrigerator for optimum life. Leaving rosin out at room temperature can change its beautiful coloring to a dull gray.
What makes resin or rosin "live"?
After cannabis plants are harvested and before they get packaged they go through a very important curing process.
This process allows those compounds to mature properly, brining out those wonderful tastes and smells. Unfortunately some of those compounds get broken down and lost in the process.
To solve the issue of losing these compounds, extract artist decided to flash freeze the cannabis plant immediately after harvest.
Because the plant is immediately frozen, it protects the cannabinoids and terpenes from being lost.
This allows a higher concentration of compounds to be extracted which amplifies the flavors, smells, and overall “high”. This new process of flash freezing the plant before extraction is what provides the "live" designation to rosin and resin.
Resin becomes live resin and rosin becomes live rosin by simply utilizing flash frozen flower instead of cured flower.
Remember, all live resin is resin and all live rosin is rosin, but not all rosin is live rosin and not all resin is live resin.
Live resin vs live rosin: who wins?
To quickly recap the key differences between these two popular cannabis concentrates:
Resin is extracted utilizing a solvent to flush terpenes and cannabinoids from the cannabis plant. Rosin uses heat and pressure, with no solvents being applied.
Both are “live” because flash frozen cannabis plants are used in the extraction process vs using a cured plant.
Live resin and live rosin are can be manipulated into different types of concentrates: badder/budder, shatter, crumble, sauce, and sap to name a few. This is done by implementing different steps at the end of the process.
Both are consumed through dabbing or vaping. The methods of consumption usually come down to personal preference and type of concentrate being used.
Live rosin tends to yield less and can be more volatile than live resin. These factors contribute to the higher price tags for rosin seen across cannabis menus.
Many rosin consumers can look past the price since the solventless process is seen as a more natural and safe option.
At the end of the day, there is no wrong choice when choosing between which two to try out and purchase.
There are many factors to consider when purchasing live resin and live rosin. One has to consider method of consumption, smell, flavor, desired potency, and cost when looking at the many concentrate options.
Ultimately, the only true way to decide which option is better is to stop by a store and try them both.
At STIIIZY, we only use premium flowers for all of our cannabis concentrates, including solventless pods, live rosin badder and jam, curated live resin, live resin diamonds, and much more. Explore all of STIIIZY's products here.