Live resin vs. live rosin: What's the difference?

Although separated by one vowel, there are distinct differences between live rosin and resin. Perhaps the most important thing differentiating them is the extraction process. Whether it's live or regular, resin is created by passing chemical solvents over fresh plant material whereas rosin extraction is solventless, using pressure and heat to extract the final concentrate.

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male cannabis plant Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

What is meant by “live" in reference to concentrates?

Whether referring to resin or rosin, “live" means that the concentrates were extracted from freshly harvested plant matter. Compared to other concentrates that are made from dried cannabis flower, extracting from live plant material is thought to provide a more flavorful experience. To preserve as many terpenes as possible, cannabis may be flash-frozen at harvest until it can be processed.

What is live resin?

Live resin refers to a specific type of concentrate extracted from fresh plant matter. The plant matter is not dried or cured but instead flash-frozen to preserve the array of active compounds and terpenes that would be lost otherwise during the curing process.

Live resin is extracted using chemical solvents such as butane. This is similar to the process for producing butane hash oil (BHO) where the butane is passed over plant matter under high pressure.

This process yields a sticky brown or yellow liquid which is then dried into an amber concentrate. The solvent gets removed and recycled from the final product using a vacuum and can be used to start the process again. By using fresh plants, the product may have a fuller flavor and high terpene content.

rosin Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

What is live rosin?

While similar to live resin in the sense that it is harvested from fresh or flash-frozen plant matter, rosin differs due to its solventless extraction process. Instead of chemical solvents, live rosin is made using pressure and heat. The plant material must first be turned into ice wax or bubble hash, which involves using water, ice, and a series of mesh bags to collect the fallen trichomes.

Once collected, the trichomes are processed in a rosin press, which applies heat and pressure to extract the sap. Depending on the temperature and pressure used during extraction, rosin can take on a variety of colors and consistencies. You can find rosin available as shatter, wax, badder (aka batter or budder), and taffy. Unlike the resin production process, which requires complex equipment and training, rosin can be made at home with a simple press or even a hair straightener.

Bottom line

Ultimately, the difference between resin and rosin comes down to extraction.

  • Live resin is extracted with chemical solvents to produce a potent, amber-colored concentrate that packs a punch on terpenes and flavonoids.
  • Live rosin is extracted in a solventless or chemical-free manner and therefore may appeal to those who want to avoid the possibility of chemicals in their concentrate. However, because of this slightly lengthier process, prices tend to be a little higher for live rosin.

Both concentrates have a high cannabinoid content and provide powerful and distinct experiences. Because of their high potency, it is best to start low and go slow with consumption. Regardless of the product, a little goes a long way with cannabis concentrates. Compared to other concentrates made from dried and cured cannabis plant material, both live resin and live rosin are intended to provide unique, flavorful, and aromatic experiences.

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The information contained in this site is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical or legal advice. This page was last updated on May 26, 2022.