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Live Resin vs Live Rosin

By Luis Cordova
Published: November 10, 2021
Key Takeaways

They are similar products, but live rosin and live resin have some key differences. Check out what separates these high-end cannabis products and why they’re becoming more popular.

Caption: Left: Platinum Russian Stomper live resin courtesy of Kind Selections. Right: Tallymon live rosin courtesy of Pineapple Reserve. Source: Kyle LeGrow

If you frequent many of the cannabis dispensaries in the world you have probably come across resins and rosins that are labelled "live". Live resins are cannabis extracts and are produced via a chemical separation of trichomes from the plant material. They consist of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), terpenes, and other compounds.

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Typically, resin colors range from light to dark brown and they are sticky. Resins are made primarily from butane hash oil (BHO), but can be made via a CO2 extraction process as well. Rosins are concentrates created via a physical/mechanical separation of the trichomes, which are then pressed in a rosin press. Both products typically have high cannabinoid and terpene profiles compared to other products. Rosins are considered full-spectrum as they maintain the complete chemical profile of the original plant.

What does “live” mean in the cannabis community? Live means the concentration or extraction has been performed using flash-frozen fresh cannabis as opposed to dried and cured cannabis. The cannabis plant material is flash frozen immediately upon harvest. The cannabis is then extracted or concentrated within 24-36 hours.

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What is Live Resin?

Live resin is an extract with high terpenes, THC, and CBD compared to other products. Live resin is extracted using a hydrocarbon solvent, typically butane or propane. These solvents are cooled to below 32°F (0°C). Currently, many cannabis producers are altering their processes to produce specialized consumer products. Some producers are focusing on specific terpenes or cannabinoids to develop potent, flavor-packed consumables.

Live resin differs from other extracts as it often has a more complex terpene profile. It can also produce a more complex or different experience for the user due to the entourage effect. The entourage effect is how all the compounds in cannabis work together to create the experience for the consumer. Most live resin products differ from one another in their terpene profiles and viscosity. Some can be as thick as butter or as smooth as sap.

Left: Platinum Russian Stomper live resin courtesy of Kind Selections. Right: El Chapo live rosin courtesy of Kind Selections. Photo credit: Kyle LeGrow

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What is Live Rosin?

Rosin pressing does not use any solvents or chemicals in its process. Instead, rosin is made using heated plates above and below a fine mesh bag of material. The bag can contain live hash, freeze dried cannabis, or even live kief.

The cannabis concentrate is then pressed under extreme pressure using a hydraulic or pneumatic press. All the targeted compounds emerge in a pure, resinous sap as they are pressed out of the remaining plant material.

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Live rosin differs from rosin extraction in the steps of manufacturing. Live rosin usually uses bubble hash as its cannabis product. Live bubble hash is produced from ice-cold water, cannabis, a bucket, and different sizes of mesh bags. After the hash is collected from the mesh bags, it is dried. This "full-melt hash" is then placed into a rosin bag and pressed in a rosin press. The result is a very powerful and flavorful product. Live rosin is a very pure product that can range in color from yellow to off-white. Live rosin is considered full spectrum and is considered an artisanal product. The terpene and cannabinoid profile of live rosin are dependent on the content of the cannabis being used.


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Which is Better?

The better product is very difficult to answer so we will try to separate them based on different factors, considering terpenes, health benefits, price, and overall usability.

When we look at live rosin versus live resin, the terpene profiles differ widely. Firstly, live rosin is a full-spectrum product, so every terpene contained in the original plant is concentrated. The product is dependent on the terpenes in the original material and doesn’t allow for terpene selection. When we compare it to live resin the differences are evident. Depending on the extraction method used to make live resin, specific terpenes can be increased or decreased. So, products can be produced that have different terpene profiles. This allows for more enhanced flavor and aroma and allows the consumer to have more variety.

Now let’s consider the health benefits. With live rosin, no chemicals or solvents are used. This adds to the health benefits for many health-considerate consumers. You do not have to worry about any potential long-term damage to your body. Live rosin is also considered to be a more pure and cleaner product. With live resin, the health factor is dependent on the purge or removal of the solvent the producer used. Purging of solvents usually results in almost 100 percent removal of solvent, however, there may be trace materials left behind. Over time these may concentrate in the consumer and cause other health issues.

With every consumable product, price is a big factor. On average, live rosin sells for $50-80 per gram, while live resin sells for $35-100 per gram. For the cash conscious, live resin may be the cheaper option. However, remember, whatever price you choose, ensure you are getting the freshest product possible.

Using live resin or live rosin is the same. Many people prefer to dab it or vape it. For those that don’t prefer these methods, more edibles with live rosins and live resins are being produced.

Conclusion

To answer the question of which is better and considering all the factors laid out, I prefer live rosin. For me, it is a cleaner, full-spectrum product that I can easily consume. Choosing one product over the other is dependent on you. It is enticing to try both and see which one you prefer. In the ever-evolving cannabis community, remember with live resin and live rosin you are consuming the freshest, most flavorful product on the market.

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Written by Luis Cordova | Plant Biotechnician, Pharmaceutical Scientist

Profile Picture of Luis Cordova

Luis holds a M.S. in Plant biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Science. He is a long-time cannabis grower He has put his focus on breeding cannabis and development of organic soils for tropical regions. He loves how much the industry has grown and changed. He hopes to pass on new and old knowledge to all growers across the world.

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