Vaporizing is quickly becoming one of the most popular ways of consuming cannabinoids of all sorts. With that being said, there appears to be a bit of confusion about what these vaporizer or cannabis cartridges actually contain. No, these cartridges don't all contain the same things. Yes, they all contain some kind of hemp or cannabis extract. This means that cannabinoids and other substances are extracted from the plant matter, refined into an oil or similar substance, and then placed within a cartridge that is then vaporized using a special device. However, there are many different kinds of cannabis and hemp extracts that they may contain. Just two of these include a live resin and distillate, two fairly special types of extracts. Today, we want to figure out what both live resin and distillate cannabis cartridges are. We want to find out what they are, how they're made, what makes them different, what makes them similar, and more. By the end of today's article, you should have all of the information you need to make an informed decision between live resin cartridges and distillate cartridges.
- Live resin and distillate are both very potent forms of cannabis concentrates.
- Live resin is made from live or flash-frozen plant matter, whereas distillate is made out of dried and cured plant matter.
- The production of distillate involves more heat and pressure and also involves an additional refining process, therefore resulting in a much more potent final product.
- Although the extraction process used to make distillate allows for a much more potent product, it also removes a lot of the original terpenes and flavonoids from the equation.
What Are Live Resin Carts?First, we have live resin, which is a very special type of hemp or cannabis extract. One of the defining features of live resin is that it is made with live plant matter. This is different from most other types of concentrates, which are made using dried and cured plant matter. Live resin is one of the only types of concentrates where the plant matter, the hemp or cannabis, is not first cured and dried. This makes a big difference in terms of the overall final product. Live resin generally contains almost all of the original cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids as contained in the original strain that the extract is taken from. The fact that live plant matter, or sometimes flash-frozen plant matter is used, makes a massive difference here. Live resin products can contain a variety of cannabinoids, with THC and CBD of course being two of the most popular ones. Live resin often has a THC percentage anywhere between 45 and 60%, with over 50% being quite common. If you’d like to try vaping, check out our own Botany Farms HHC Sour Elektra Vape Cart, or this awesome Bubba Kush Vape Cart.
What Are Distillate Carts?As you can probably guess, distillate is another type of cannabis extract, although a much more refined one than live resin. One of the defining features of distillate, as opposed to live resin, is that here, dried and cured plant matter is used, as opposed to living plant matter. Another defining feature of cannabis distillate is that it is extremely refined. It goes through many more refining processes than live resin, which usually leaves you with a much purer product, especially in terms of potency and cannabinoid content. So, live resin is made from flesh plant matter and isn't overly processed, whereas distillate is made from dried and cured plant matter, and is highly processed, resulting in a pure and super potent final product. Exactly how both of these are made will be discussed further below. Distillate tends to be extremely potent, usually at least 85% THC, if not higher. If you are looking for a super potent and high cannabinoid vaping experience, check out our Botany Farms Cherry Pie Delta-8 THC Vape Cartridge, this Delta-8 Tangerine Dream Vape Cartridge, or even this Botany Farms Berry Blossom Delta-8 THC Cart.
What is the Extraction Process for Live Resin?The extraction process for live resin has one main feature that differentiates it from the extraction processes of other extracts. As mentioned above, this is the fact that live plant matter is used. To be specific, some people may use live plant matter as is, whereas others may flash freeze it first. Some dip the plant matter in liquid nitrogen to instantly freeze it, whereas other people may just put it in an extremely cold freezer, usually below - 10 degrees Fahrenheit, for around 36 hours. This freezing process helps make the extraction process much easier, although it does not affect the cannabinoid, terpene, or flavonoid content of the final product. The main point here is that using live or flash-frozen plant matter helps to preserve more of the original cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, therefore allowing for diverse cannabinoid content, flavors that resemble the original strain, and a maximum entourage effect. After the plant matter is frozen, the extraction process is not all that much different from other concentrates. Here, a closed-loop system is used for extraction. The cannabis or hemp buds are placed within a closed container, through which a solvent such as CO2 or ethanol is then blasted. Another defining feature of the extraction process here is that the solvents should be cold or chilled. The extraction process for many other concentrates involves a lot more heat and pressure, which can damage cannabinoids and terpenes. Therefore, using a cold or chilled solvent allows for the maximum preservation of cannabinoids and terpenes. Once ethanol or CO2 passes through the plant matter, the cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes stick to it, and then come out the bottom as one oily or gooey substance. This is then purged inside a vacuum chamber. A vacuum is used to heat the product at a pressure less than atmospheric pressure, which causes the molecules to heat and release the gasses, therefore removing the solvent and leaving behind the cannabis extract, which in this case is live resin. Now, as you will see further below, the process used to make distillate then goes one step further, which as you can probably guess, involves distillation.
What is the Difference Between Live Resin and Distillate Cartridges?There are some pretty big differences between these two types of cartridges, live resin, and distillate, so let's take a quick look at what all of these are.
Potency vs FlavorWith live resin, terpenes and flavonoids are prioritized. Because the plant matter is not dried and cured, the THC content is not allowed to increase very much, but the flavonoids and terpenes are all preserved. This means that live resin is not quite as potent as other types of concentrates, because the original plant matter was not allowed to cure, with the curing process being responsible for a great increase in THC content. That curing process can effectively double THC contents, but it also kills a lot of the flavonoids and terpenes. Distillate, on the other hand, is made with dried and cured bud. This means that the final product is much more potent. That drying and curing process allows the plant matter to have much higher levels of THC, but also much lower levels of terpenes and flavonoids. The result is that live resin cartridges are extremely tasty and have plenty of flavor, mainly resembling the original strain, but they aren't overly potent. On the other hand, distillate cartridges are far more potent and have higher cannabinoid contents, yet have much lower terpene and flavonoid contents, therefore being much less flavorful. They usually don't have a flavor that resembles the original strain. So, to summarize, the biggest difference here is that live resin cartridges are much tastier and less potent, whereas distillate cartridges are much more potent but less tasty. The former tastes much better, but the latter will get you much higher.
The Entourage EffectLet's also keep the entourage effect in mind here. For those of you who don't know, the entourage effect happens when cannabinoids and terpenes are combined. Cannabinoids are of course known for potentially getting you high and providing many benefits. Terpenes on the other hand, while they will not get you high, can still provide you with a variety of potential benefits. These potential benefits include things like helping you sleep, making you feel calmer, improving your mood, taking away pain, and so on. As you might be able to recognize, these are many of the same potential benefits as cannabis cannabinoids may have. Now, when you combine both together, cannabinoids and terpenes, these individual benefits may be greatly increased. For instance, if THC alone can reduce inflammation, and a specific terpene also can reduce inflammation, when they work together, this anti-inflammatory benefit should be much greater. Because distillate doesn't have many terpenes at all, this entourage effect is minimal. On the other hand, because live resin contains a lot of terpenes, this entourage effect is much more pronounced.
CostAnother big difference here is the cost, and this mainly has to do with the extraction process. The main point to keep in mind here is that distillate requires an additional process to produce the final result, which is of course the distillation process. Furthermore, because distillate uses dried and cured bud, it takes a lot longer to make. It takes several weeks, if not months, to fully cure and dry weed. This extended timeline and more difficult and time-consuming process result in a more expensive product. That said, this is why resin also isn't particularly cheap, especially when compared to more basic cannabis concentrates.
Live Resin vs Distillate: What Are the Similarities?There are also some similarities between these two types of cannabis or hemp concentrates, so let's take a quick look at what these might be.
- Both of these products are generally made with similar extraction processes. Yes, we said similar, but not the same. Generally speaking, solvents such as CO2, ethanol, or even butane are used to extract cannabinoids from the original plant matter. A vacuum chamber is also used to purge the solvent from the cannabinoids in both processes.
- Both live resin and distillate, are designed to be vaporized. This means that they are designed to be heated up to the point where the cannabinoids turn into a vapor that you can then inhale, unlike combustibles like raw flower, which force you to light the plant matter up. In other words, concentrates like these tend to be much friendlier for your lungs than smoking. Vaporizing isn't nearly as harmful to your respiratory tract as smoking. Both live resin and distillate can be put in a cartridge or vaporized in a dab rig.
- Both of these types of concentrates are still extremely potent, much more potent than regular cannabis flower. For instance, regular cannabis flour usually contains between 10% and 30% THC. On the other hand, live resin usually contains between 45% and 60% THC, with distillate containing 85% THC or more. Both of these products are super potent and will most definitely get you very.
- Another big and very important similarity here is that as long as they fall within legal limits in regards to Delta-9 THC, both distillate and live resin cartridges are also perfectly legal for purchase.