The cannabis marketplace has grown considerably in recent years, and new products and ways to get high are popping up each day. Some new products have different ways of processing flower, and others use different cannabinoids or terpenes. The key to mastering these new products is understanding their differences and experience.
When it comes to extracts, products like live resin, rosin, and even distillates can get complicated. That’s why we’ve decided to compare two of the main extracts found in vapes, carts, and even dabbing: live resin and distillate. So follow along and learn more about these products, how they compare, and much more!
What is Live Resin
Let’s start with the basics. Live resin is a product that concentrates fresh flower from the hemp plant. Right at harvesting, these plants are gathered and preserved through a flash-freezing method (like a cake) to preserve the trichomes. That’s where the “live” part comes from, as these trichomes begin to diminish and degrade in the normal curing process.
The frozen flower is then extracted to create live resin. This product has a high concentration of terpenes and cannabinoids, specifically THC, thanks to the curation process.
You can enjoy live resin from different strains and plants. It is often considered one of the top-shelf products in the cannabis market. Live resin looks like crystallized honey. This thick substance has a strong terpene composition thanks to the fresh buds used, creating a more complex experience than your typical distillate or other extracts.
You can find live resin in disposable vape pens, cartridges, or in a jar. Cartridges and vape pens are usually the easiest way to consume this product, as they can be heated easily.
Live Resin Benefits
Cannasseurs and cannabis experts love this cannabinoid-based product. In general, live resin provides a flavorful experience compared to other distillates or hemp-based products. The flavor is accentuated with each toke thanks to terpenes. So expect more potent aromatics and flavors than other vape devices.
If you have favorite strains, flavors, or accents you might want to try them in this extract. This product also has greater potency, as it contains all of the ingredients in the plant.
Live Resin Extraction Process
Let’s talk about the extraction process. The “live” part comes from using freshly frozen nugs in the extraction, which makes them keep their trichome crystals and terpenes intact. That preserves the flavors, aromatics, CBD, CBN, and other cannabinoids.
Once the freshly harvested plant is ready, a solvent is run through it to create the extract. Warm water is then added to eliminate impurities, but no heat is used to create live resin.
If no solvent is used, the product is called live rosin. Instead of solvent, rosin uses a physical process like mechanical pressing. You can learn more about the differences between the two products and their process here.
Does Live Resin Make You High?
Yes, as long as it has THC or other psychoactive components. And let's be clear on this - live resin offers one of the strongest highs possible thanks to its concentration of cannabinoids, specifically THC.
You’ll need a dab rig or a device that can burn concentrates. And of course, if you do smoke live resin remember a little goes a long way as extracts, in general, are pretty potent.
What is Distillate?
Distillate is basically a simpler version of live resin. Instead of using flash-frozen flower, it uses dried and cured plants to extract into oil. The oil can be transformed into many different types of extracts, from shatter to crumble, depending on the method used.
Read about the differences between shatter and other extracts here.
However, for distillate, the crude oil undergoes a special process called fractional short-path distillation. This method uses heat and pressure to extract particular cannabinoids as they all have different chemical structures and characteristics.
In the end, this product results in an odorless liquid that contains the desired cannabinoid. Distillate can be found in syringes (though not the kind you inject), but most commonly in vaping pens and disposables.
What are the Benefits of Distillate?
First of all, most distillates are odorless and have great accessibility. You can try distillates from different cannabinoids at a fair price point, which can be great for new users who want to try vaporizing cannabis for the first time.
Distillates can also have different terpenes added in the process, making them easy to customize depending on what kind of flavor you want. So instead of your typical skunk-like notes, you can find the distillate in any flavor profile or strains you like.
Distillate Extraction Process
The process of distillation in itself can be used for different products as we mentioned above. It first collects the plants, cures them, and extracts them through a solvent for oil. This oil is then heated, pressurized, then filtered for impurities. Then, through the fractional short path distillation process, the oil is again processed and concentrated to get your final product.
Does Distillate Make You High?
Yes, distillate can make you high. While not as concentrated as other extracts, this specific cannabis-based product can get you high as long as the cannabinoid that has been concentrated has psychoactive components, like THC.
If you take CBD or full spectrum CBD distillate, the THC content is low, so you won’t get the high you might be looking for. Other forms of THC or cannabinoids, such as THC-O, THC-V, THC-P, Delta-9 THC, or even HHC can and will get you high thanks to their psychoactive properties.
Live Resin vs Distillate, Which is Better
As usual, this depends on the experience you're after. The biggest difference between both is how their processes work, the quality of the terpene and flavor profile, and, of course, potency.
Distillates are great for users who want to try a new flavor, cannabinoids, or just wants to try the wellness benefits. This experience won’t be as strong as with live resin, and is affordable.
Live resin, on the other hand, offers a gourmet experience, providing the utmost care for the product from harvest to the distillation process. The flavors and aromas can come off as strong if you haven’t tried cannabis before, but it is a higher quality product overall.
Also, live resin creates the "entourage effect." This happens when cannabinoids and terpenes work together to maximize and enhance their effects. THC is coupled with CBD, as well as other cannabinoids and terpenes to give a more holistic experience. Distillates can also have terpenes and extra cannabinoids, but some industry experts find they might not work together as easily as pure strains.
Distillate vs Live Resin, Which is Stronger
Now let’s talk about potency since it might be one of the decisive factors in the kind of experience you want. Live resin is stronger than distillate. While it might seem that distillate can get you higher at first – especially if it's created to maximize THC content – in the long run, the live resin has a stronger potency thanks to the entourage effect and the quality of the extract.
Temperature and the technology used in your vape pen or device can affect your smoking session as well. Live resin from a jar might need a special E-Rig or dabbing device to enjoy to the fullest, or you’ll have to get a vape pen with precise technology to get the full benefits from this product.
With that said, it all depends on the experience you want. Neither is better or worse than the other, as you can enjoy them in different ways. So choose freely by knowing how both extracts work.
Where to Buy Live Resin
If live resin piqued your interest, here at Botany Farms we do have fresh strains to liven up your sessions. Our live resin lines have three different products to choose from, all coming from an artisan process from the harvesting to the extraction.
If you want to try live resin through vaping, we currently carry our live resin + Delta 8 THC cartridge. This cart has the full benefits of full-spectrum CBD with the smooth, euphoric high of delta-8 THC in a full gram with over 72% of cannabinoids per cart. As a premium product, this live resin uses our hybrid Sour Space Candy’s fresh flowers to create a high-terpene, high-quality product to keep all the aromatics. Expect sweet and tart aromatics and notes from this cart, which combine perfectly with the diesel-like notes.
If tinctures are more of your thing, we also have live resin CBD-only tincture and the Delta-8 THC + CBD version. The CBD version also comes from a hybrid strain, it comes with a total of 1500mg of cannabinoids, making about 50mg of CBD per serving. This one has incredible tart lemon notes and sour apple, that mix perfectly with the hoppy and earth notes.
The live resin delta-8 THC tincture has 1000mg of CBD and a hefty 500mg of delta-8 THC. This one also uses the Sour Space Candy as a base, so expect zesty and lemony undernotes. Each serving contains about 33mg of CBD and 17mg of delta-8 THC, perfect for dozing off or just relaxing and having a strong relaxing session.