Live Rosin vs. Live Resin
By Heather Ritchie, Staff Writer at Terpenes and Testing
Do you use these two cannabis terms interchangeably? Despite what people may think, there really is a difference between the two. So, let’s delve into what makes these two exceedingly potent forms of cannabis unique.
Rosin is extracted using heat and pressure to release THC-rich concentrate from the cured and dried flowers of the Cannabis plant. Simple and safe enough to process in your home, rosin is versatile, and sometimes made from kief or extra hash. For the price of a consumer-grade hair straightener, you can press your own dried flowers.
Unlike other concentrates, it’s solventless, thus making it a healthy option for cannabis consumption. Some inventive California dispensaries are starting to offer onsite presses to allow shoppers the option of pressing some of the flowers they purchase for a convenient and affordable way to add variety to their choices.
Extracted from fresh, frozen flowers or trim, the distinct difference between rosin and live rosin is terpenes. While a hair-straightener might be sufficient for extracting rosin from cured flowers, the water content in the frozen plant matter would boil when heated, thereby making the technique unsuitable for live rosin. Rather, live rosin is made by first making ice wax, and then drying that extract prior to pressing it. Fans of extraction products claim that live rosin’s taste is exceptional because of the freshness. Monoterpenes present in fresh Cannabis provide that flavorful taste.
Resin, sometimes referred to as sap, describes the sticky trichomes that appear on the sugar leaves and flowers of mature female cannabis plants. Trichomes are responsible for the psychoactive and medical efficacy of cannabis. When collected, dried, and cured they are known to many as kief.
Resin also helps plants stay alive through their entire flowering cycle by acting as a defense mechanism. Their fragrance deters pests like animals and insects that may eat the plant before it reproduces. They also shield the plant from UV light.
Live resin starts with fresh, frozen whole cannabis flowers or trim, similar to live rosin, except trained professionals and expensive laboratory equipment are required. The process uses the science of cryogenic freezing on whole, freshly-harvested plants, at temperatures below -292° F. Unlike live rosin, live resin uses butane in the extraction process and therefore it isn’t solventless.
Consumers who favor the therapeutic effectiveness of terpenes are attracted to live resin because it maintains the terpene profile of cannabis. Other products that use heat lose terpenes during processing. The medical benefits of live resin are pronounced because it contains more molecules proven to reduce inflammation and fight cancer.