In the world of weed vape pens and cannabis, there are a bunch of different types of oil that companies put in weed pods. You’ve got distillate, live resin, and live rosin. Out of them all, which is better comes down to the experiences you want.

Let’s discuss the difference in experience when choosing between distillates and live resin.

A package with cannabis distillate infused with terpenes lies next to the weed pen on a marble surface.

What is distillate cannabis oil and how is it made?

As you may already know, all of the good stuff we love about cannabis is found inside the plant’s trichomes.

Trichomes are the resinous crystals on cannabis flower. They are the most important part of the cannabis plant, in terms of getting high, since they house a strain’s cannabinoids, terpenes, and other chemical compounds.

This is why concentrates have such a higher potency and flavor content than cannabis flower: they pull all of the THC and terpenes to the front of the class, versus buried under the noise of plant matter.

One of the oils that can be made through a chemical extraction process is THC (or CBD) distillate. Distillate is a type of refined cannabis oil made up of pure cannabinoids.

THC and CBD distillates are the most common, as making distillates with minor cannabinoids like CBG and CBN would be extremely expensive.

Distillate is made from a process that uses solvents to separate cannabis trichomes from cannabis plant matter, then a high-temperature, steam distillation process to evaporate and isolate the chemicals, before ultimately recondensing it into a liquid, pure THC oil.

Common solvents include butane, ethanol, propane, or a blend of these chemicals. These solvents are purged from solvent-based extracts at the end of the extract-making process for the safety of consumers.

In the end, the process creates a highly potent type of cannabis oil that can be used to make products like vape pens and edibles.


A vial of THC distillate stands next to a vial with CBD distillate on a wooden table.

Vaping cannabis distillate oil

For one, at this point, no one is really vaping distillate alone. Terpenes have to be part of the formula, as consumers want delicious flavors.

While vaping only distillates it will get you super high, it’s also odorless and flavorless, which means that the experience is greatly affected. Cannabis needs flavor to be desirable.

This is why companies that make weed pens with distillate oil with added terpenes of various types. They are cannabis-derived types, botanical terpenes, and synthetic (artificial) terpenes.

Terpenes give the oil flavor, and when they come from cannabis or botanical blends, they help promote a full-profile experience known as the entourage effect.

Distillates will get you high, but if you want to feel specific effects like being uplifted and alert, or being relaxed and sleepy, your weed vape oil needs terpenes too.

While adding terpenes to the refined THC oil brings back flavor, the experience differs from full-spectrum cannabis oil that contains every compound from the original flower. So in the end, the entourage effect by definition is still lost. 


A weed vape pen and cartridge with THC oil lie next to a vial with cannabis distillate.

How is live resin different?

Live resin is another popular cannabis concentrate. It is often dabbed, however, there are also live resin vape pens that let you enjoy its many benefits.

Live resin is made from a chemical extraction process that typically uses butane, ethanol, or some sort of solvent blend. It is essentially modern-day butane hash oil (BHO) but differs by the starting plant material.

Live resin uses fresh frozen cannabis plants as starting material. By freezing plants immediately after harvest, i.e. live plants, extractors are able to preserve volatile terpenes that might otherwise evaporate during the drying/curing processes.

Live resin is usually extracted at low temperatures to preserve those terpenes. Because of the added labor and expertise in its creation, live resin weed vape pods are more expensive than distillate pods with terpenes. 

A weed pen with its vape cartridge lies next to a vial with cannabis distillate.

Vaping live resin 

Weed vape pens with live resin are a great choice because the concentrate contains a full formula of cannabis compounds. It is a great way to experience the magic of different strains. Live resin may have included a solvent at one point, but its final presentation still fits into the entourage effect’s theory.

In the end, it all boils down to the high terpene content of live resin, which makes the vapor taste extremely good. 

Four neon-colored weed pens with either cannabis distillate or live resin lie on a black surface.

Which is better for weed vape pens: distillate or live resin?

As you probably already know, choosing the best cannabis products is a subjective discussion based on one’s preferences and needs.

If your goal is simply to get high with a little added flavor, then a nice weed pod made of cannabis-derived terpenes and distillate will do you just fine. However, if we’re talking about a true experience with a cannabis strain, live resin tends to trump distillate oil formulas both in quality and experience.

If you want to explore different cannabis strains like LA Kush Cake, Berry Zkittlez, and Berry Pie, and all of the different ways that smoking their cannabis flower would make you feel, then live resin over distillate is the way to go.

The only better way would be if you went fully solventless, but that’s a different discussion altogether. Whichever product you choose to buy, just make sure it’s well-made and provides a top-tier experience.

At STIIIZY, all of our weed vape pods only use premium cannabis flower and are used with our proprietary weed pen battery system.