Live Resin vs. Rosin

17 Jun, 2022 - by | Products

With so much innovation in the cannabis industry today, it can be tough to keep up with all the new products and their benefits, particularly in the concentrates category. The more legitimacy that cannabis gains in the eyes of the mainstream, the more resources that businesses are willing to invest in research & development (R&D). Two of the most popular products to hit the market over the past decade are live resin and rosin. 

While live resin and rosin are entirely different products, many people get them confused. Generally speaking, resin is made by extracting cannabinoids with extractor machines and solvents. Rosin is simply made by pressing cannabis flower with a rosin press. 

Live resin and rosin are highly prized by cannabis connoisseurs and newbies alike. If you are wondering which product is better for you, we’ve put together this exploration to unpack everything you need to know about live resin vs. rosin. 

What is Live Resin?

In the most basic sense, (non-live) resin is the same thing as butane hash oil, also known as “BHO.” Like other hydrocarbon extracts, resin is made by passing butane through dried cannabis to extract cannabinoids and terpenes into a viscous oil. 

Live resin differs from normal resin in the fact that it is made from fresh, frozen cannabis plant material. While cannabis extracts are traditionally made from dry and cured plant material, the “live” plant material movement has revolutionized the extracts space. Live resin was originally created in Colorado around 2011-2013 and has since taken the industry by storm.

We created a video explaining our production process for those wondering how live resin is made that you can check out through the link.

Why Do People Love Live Resin? 

The main reason that live resin has gained so much popularity is the fact that fresh cannabis flowers have much more vibrant smells and tastes than dried and cured products. 

If you have ever grown your own cannabis or perhaps trimmed it for a friend, you are well aware that fresh flowers are far more pungent and sticky  than cured and dried material. To this end, cannabis grows loaded with fresh flower are notorious for putting off strong smells in neighborhoods and industrial parks. With live resin, processors have figured out a way to capture this strong flavor and aroma within a cannabis product. 

Beyond the entourage effect,  terpenes are responsible for giving cannabis flower their unique and powerful smells, terpenes are delicate organic compounds and  degrade when cannabis is harvested, dried, and cured. Therefore, using fresh plant material allows producers to capture rich terpene profiles before they have a chance to degrade. The key with live resin is to “flash freeze” plant material before moving on to the actual extraction process as opposed to extracting from cured flower. 

What is Rosin? 

Rosin is a popular cannabis extract that is made with the basic elements of heat and pressure. Because it doesn’t require sophisticated extraction technology, people make rosin at home as well as in a commercial capacity. 

The primary piece of equipment needed to make rosin is known as a “rosin press.” Within a wax or parchment paper, plates on the press are heated to approximately 200 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature, trichomes liquefy and are squeezed from the plant material between the two press plates. When done correctly, you can separate valuable plant material like cannabinoids from leaves, stems, etc. and the oil that runs out of the press is collected and is the finalized product to be consumed or sold.

The rosin production process was originally invented for extracting rosin out of wood to be used on violins. 

Why Do People Like Rosin? 

Cannabis consumers have come to appreciate rosin due to the simple yet elegant way that the extract is made. By using the elemental tools of heat and pressure, you are able to make an excellent cannabis extract in rosin. 

One of the primary selling points of rosin is the fact that it is made without any solvents. As live resin and other popular concentrates are made by using solvents like butane and ethanol, health-conscious people fear that residual chemicals might be left in the extracts (please note, professional extractions labs are engineered to ensure that this never happens). 

People also enjoy rosin because it can be made fairly easily at home. Not only can you purchase a home rosin press for $100, but people also make presses at home with simple materials. Therefore, rosin is a great option for medical patients who need regular access to extracts but can’t necessarily afford to buy them from a dispensary. 

Live Resin vs. Rosin: Important Factors to Consider 

While both live resin and rosin are extremely popular in the cannabis industry today, there are some differentiating factors between the two products. By focusing on such important elements as flavor, potency, and purity, you can better appreciate the benefits and drawbacks of both products. 

Flavor 

  • Live Resin: The flavor of live resin is one of its most popular attributes. It has a vibrant taste terpenes don’t have a chance to degradewith fresh plant material, opposed to dried and cured flower before it is extracted and made into live resin.
  • Rosin: The flavor of rosin products can differ greatly depending on how they were made. However, rosin that has not been properly purified often has a chlorophyll taste that remains. While it is possible to remove this taste with post-extraction processing, this extra step often requires the use of solvents like alcohol. 

Potency 

  • Live Resin: Another reason that people love live resin is its high cannabinoid content. In fact, it’s not unusual for live resin to contain up to 90% THC. This extremely high potency is further complimented by the intact terpene profiles that make live resin popular 
  • Rosin: Again, because the manufacturing methods for rosin differ so greatly across the industry, the potency of these products fluctuates. However, even the best rosin manufacturers rarely make products beyond 70-80% THC potency. 

Purity 

  • Live Resin: Live resin is generally a very pure concentrate because it is made using sophisticated technology such as closed-loop extractors. Importantly, extraction machines are engineered specifically to remove even the smallest amounts of excess plant material like lipids and chlorophyll that make extracts both opaque colored and harsh tasting. 
  • Rosin: While rosin extraction processes have become quite sophisticated in recent years, it can be tough to remove all excess plant material with the basic tools of heat and pressure. Therefore, many rosin products on the market today still contain residual materials like fats that are generally not found in live resin. 

Questions? Hit us up.

At City Trees, we realize the sheer number of cannabis products on the market today can be overwhelming. Please contact us if you have additional questions about live resin, rosin, or any other cannabis products on our menu.

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