We love living in a state with easy access to a large variety of cannabis products, but sometimes, the selection is so good that it can be overwhelming. It can be complex to navigate different strains and terpene profiles, and even more complex when those components have been processed and turned into a different product altogether. If you have ever wondered how a live resin gummy differs from a distillate-based gummy, keep reading.
Let’s break down the differences in three main types of cannabis concentrates: distillate, live resin, and live rosin. Concentrates are, well, highly concentrated, which makes them great for creating edibles, vapes, wax, topical balms, and more. Each type of concentrate has its own pros and cons, and methods of creation.
First, let’s talk about the extract that’s most commonly found in edibles: distillate. THC distillate is made from dried, cured cannabis flower that is then extracted, typically using a solvent like butane, CO2, or ethanol, and decarboxylated into oil. The crude oil is then distilled using a fractional short-path distillation process which combines heat and pressure to separate out the THC into a clear, highly potent, and odorless liquid.
A quick rundown on how distilling works: different compounds have different boiling points. This means that if you know the boiling point of a compound such as THC, that individual compound can be extracted by heating oil and separating out what evaporates at its corresponding boiling point. Because distillation strips cannabis oil into nearly pure THC, some companies add terpenes back into their products for their aromas, flavors, and benefits.
Up next: Live Resin. Live resin is made from fresh or frozen cannabis, rather than dried. Often, the cannabis flower is harvested at its peak and flash frozen to preserve its many crucial compounds. Live resin is then extracted (again, typically using a solvent), decarboxylated, and ready to go. Live resin can take several forms of different viscosities. It is generally a sticky, dark yellow substance marketed as live sap, jelly, butter, sugar, badder, or shatter.
Without the distillation process, live resin retains terpenes, flavonoids, and other compounds that combine to create what is referred to as the entourage effect. In other words, live resin generally makes for a high that is more similar to smoking flower than distillate. It is less intense but often more complex, and longer-lasting than distillate. The most popular way to consume live resin is dabbing, but it also can be found in vapes as well as some full spectrum edibles.
Finally, Live Rosin is the most rare and sought after of the three concentrates and is rapidly growing in popularity. Live rosin is made by squeezing or applying pressure and heat to cannabis, hash, or kief. If distillate is orange juice from concentrate, live rosin is freshly squeezed. The production process produces smaller yields than distillate and resin, making it one of the market’s rarer and more expensive products.
Many people prefer it because it is considered to be less toxic than other concentrates. It is made without solvents, making it more pure and potentially safer on lungs. Rosin can be smoked or vaporized, or twaxed, which refers to the process of mixing rosin with dried cannabis before smoking to enhance the experience. Live rosin is also an excellent candidate for edibles as it maintains so much of the plant’s aromas and terpenes. Often considered the cannabis connoisseur’s choice, products made with live rosin provide more depth and dimension than other concentrates can offer.
Ultimately, a resin or rosin edible or other product will give a much more well rounded cannabis experience than distillate, but distillate is a tried and true, no-nonsense way to get you high. They all have their place in our hearts and on our shelves. Stop by your local Timber Provisioning Center to explore our selection and get a customized recommendation from our friendly budtenders.