Ganja Guides

Live Resin vs Rosin – What’s the Difference?

live resin on paper

Weed concentrates are very popular amongst stoners everywhere, and for good reasons. These extracts are very potent, have a range of flavor profiles, and come in different consistencies. There’s no question that the most popular and flavorful concentrates are live resin and live rosin. However, if you’re new to the dabbing world, navigating all of these characteristics can seem overwhelming. Luckily, by learning the differences between live resin vs rosin, you can discover the best option for you and make the most out of your extract experience. 

Photo: Unsplash

What Is Live Resin? 

Found in dispensaries everywhere, live resin is a cannabis concentrate that is great for dabbing. The wax comes in various textures and has a pale yellow to amber hue. You’ll typically find live resin sold by the gram and packaged in a very small container. In order to put that small batch of live resin on the shelves, cannabis flower goes through an intricate process involving hydrocarbon extraction. First, manufacturers flash freeze the fresh cannabis plant for about a day. Then, a solvent mixture like butane, propane, and water is passed through the flower while lots of pressure is applied. This extracts the THC oil and terpenes, or flavors, from the cannabis plant. Finally, the liquid mixture is filtered many times to extract the chemical solvents. What’s left is a THC-rich resin that can be used for dabbing or smoking.

cannabis wax live resin
Once the live resin has been extracted, it often has a thick, waxy consistency (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Thanks to technological advancements, live resin comes in a variety of different consistencies. For example, sauce, crumble, shatter, sugar, and wax all have their own flavors and textures based on the way they’re crafted at the end of processing. The texture of each type of live resin will usually have the same characteristics as the name suggests.

live resin in diamond form
Live resin isn’t always gooey – it can feel like crystals or even sugar (Source: Unsplash)

What Is Live Rosin? 

Live rosin is another concentrate that is loved by wax consumers everywhere. The rosin is made using a solventless process. First, the fresh cannabis plant is placed into large industrial bags and flash-frozen. The THC crystals are then collected from the bottom of the bags and the marijuana plant is refined in order to filter out any unnecessary plant matter. Finally, the collected materials are dried and consolidated into bubble hash. This hash is laid onto a machine called a rosin press that uses heat and pressure to extract the live rosin. 

live rosin press machine
Live rosin oozes out and is collected on sheets of parchment paper that line the rosin press (Source: Unsplash)

Live rosin is flavorful, smooth, and can vary slightly in texture. On the one hand, live rosin can be saucy and batter-like in texture. On the other hand, if the cannabis used has more of a powdery consistency, that batch of live rosin will have a putty-like yet sandy consistency. Either way, a dab or rosin-infused joint will always ensure a very strong and fun high.

up close live rosin
A great batch of hash rosin will have a light brown hue and glistens under the light. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Differences Between Live Resin vs Rosin

Most notably, live resin and live rosin differ in the way they are produced. Live resin is made by using hydrocarbon solvents, while live rosin is squeezed out with the use of heat and pressure only. As a result, live rosin costs more money than live resin because it takes a lot longer to make. Rosin is also more expensive because it is considered to be cleaner, as only heat and pressure are used in production. 

Both concentrates are still high-grade cannabis products with complex flavors and textures. Even though all traces of solvents are removed from live resin before ever being sold, some dabbers still choose rosin for the stronger flavors, texture, or just personal preference. Live resin and rosin also have different textures – live resin is waxier while rosin is a bit more crumbly. However, both extracts can be used in the same way. Simply set up a dab rig or e-rig and toke as much as you want. You can even top off your joint or bowl with a little bit of resin or rosin for that extra kick.

Which Should You Choose? 

Ultimately, whether you choose to dab or smoke live resin vs live rosin is up to personal preference. Both concentrates will deliver a very strong high and only require a small amount of product. While live rosin is regarded as the more pure and most expensive choice, live resin is a great option, too. It is very potent and usually more abundant and affordable in the weed market. Whether you’re consuming live resin or live rosin, each extract will have its own flavor and high depending on the cannabis plant used. Therefore, experimenting with both live resin and live rosin will always make for a unique experience.


About Olivia

Olivia, our Oakland-based cannabis guides writer, graduated from the University of California Berkeley with a Bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. She's an independent writer, cannabis enthusiast and Sales Lead at her local dispensary. She's also a recent grad, history buff, and has a passion for animals. You can reach her at [email protected].