Live Resin vs Rosin: Which Is Right for You?

live resin vs rosin
By Anthony Pellegrino Updated March 8th

Fact-checked by Alexandra Arnett, MS

Interested in cannabis concentrates? You’re not alone.

In recent years, the use of high-potency concentrates has exploded, and with it, new kinds of extract products. Cannabis consumers often seek two, in particular: live resin and live rosin. 

Keep scrolling to learn more about the key differences between resin and rosin, and how to know which product is right for you.

What Are Cannabis Concentrates?

Cannabis concentrates, or extracts, are marijuana products created by isolating cannabinoids and, sometimes, terpenes. As such, concentrates don’t contain any of the extra plant matter or material found in marijuana flower.

Cannabinoids, such as THC, CBD and CBG, are typically credited for producing the characteristic effects of marijuana, like a euphoric sensation, drowsiness, or hunger. Terpenes are primarily responsible for its flavors and scents (though there is increasing evidence that terpenes play a central role in the type of effects a consumer can expect).

Cannabinoids and terpenes are most concentrated in the cannabis plant in tiny, iridescent trichomes. Some concentrates, like hash, are nothing more than the isolated collection of these trichomes. Other extracts are produced by drawing cannabinoids from the trichomes.

Concentrates contain significantly more cannabinoids and terpenes per gram than marijuana flower. This allows users to get more effect in a much smaller package. Because much of the unnecessary plant material is excluded, many people claim that vaping concentrates offers a purer taste and smell than smoking whole flower.

A variety of methods can be used to produce cannabis concentrates. In many cases, consumers use a dab rig or vape pen to consume concentrates, but there are other options to fit the diverse range of cannabis concentrates on the market. 

Two increasingly popular types of cannabis extracts include live resin and live rosin. And while it’s easy for newcomers to mix up the two, there are distinct differences that discerning consumers should be aware of. 

What is Live Resin?

live resin

In short, live resin is a cannabis concentrate produced from newly harvested cannabis that is frozen at ultra-low temperatures shortly after harvest. From there, like many other concentrates, the plant material is blasted using a solvent such as butane, propane, or ethanol. The resulting extract is then purged and pressed.

Many consider live resin to be one of the highest-quality concentrate products because of its unusual extraction method. “Live” (fresh) cannabis flower, of course, allows manufacturers to skip the drying and curing process that is required by other extraction methods.

Why is live resin so valuable and sought after?

The finished marijuana products found at your neighborhood dispensary underwent dozens of steps to get there. For cannabis concentrates, products need to be trimmed, cured, dried, extracted, purged, pressed, packaged, and more.

With so many steps required, more than half of all the terpenes, cannabinoids, and other components of the flower are lost during these processes. Live resin’s claim to fame is maintaining, as much as possible, the original terpene profile of the freshly harvested marijuana plant from which it is derived. As a result, you’ll often find live resin is much richer in flavor, scent, and potency than many other types of marijuana extract.

What’s the Difference Between Rosin and Live Rosin?


Many people refer to cannabis rosin and live rosin as the same thing. Yet, they are different cannabis products.

Rosin is a concentrate produced from dried cannabis flower, kief, or hash. Live rosin, on the other hand, is produced from fresh or frozen (“live”) marijuana. The distinction may be subtle, but the results are not.

Live rosin is typically better tasting and contains much more terpenes than its counterpart. The two products also look fairly distinct. Live rosin looks similar to wax or honey, whereas rosin may resemble sap or other cannabis oils.

With many consumers preferring live rosin to standard rosin, we’re faced with another important question: what is the difference between live resin vs live rosin?

Live Resin vs. Live Rosin: Key Differences

live resin vs rosin compared

The main difference between live resin vs live rosin for many consumers is that live rosin is produced without solvents. Live resin is extracted using chemicals, such as ethanol, butane, propane, or carbon dioxide. Often, extractors use a blend of butane (70%) and propane (30%) to create live resin.

When these chemicals are blasted into cannabis flower, they strip and separate the cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant material. From there, they purge the concentrate, using a vacuum chamber, which removes all the chemical solvents from the extracts (leaving only the desired compounds). You can create live resin with no traces of residual solvents left behind in the finished product. Many medical and recreationally legal cannabis states require these residual solvents to test under a certain limit, but the states do vary in what this limit is. For this reason, some health-conscious consumers might want a more natural, solventless extraction method and prefer live rosins.

Unlike live resin, live rosin is extracted using high heat and high pressure instead of solvents, so it is labeled a concentrate, not an extract. For live rosin, processors can use several methods to separate the trichomes from the plant material.

  • One way is to take the frozen plant material and agitate it using a screen, separating the trichomes, before placing the material into a micron bag and putting it under heat and pressure.
  • Other processes use a method that includes water and ice, which helps preserve the trichome structure as it is separated from the plant material; this end result is called ice water hash. This sifted material is then put into a micron bag and placed in a rosin press, where it is put under heat and pressure to concentrate the cannabinoids and terpenes.
  • You can also place the plant material in a micron bag and head straight to adding heat and pressure, resulting in less product with more impurities, such as plant material and dirt.

While these processes eliminate the potential for residual solvents, it is still possible to have undesirable impurities, like excess plant material, in the final product if the live rosin is derived from low-quality cannabis or if the micron bag is too large.

With that being said, which is better: live resin or live rosin?

In terms of pure potency, live resin typically has more THC. But concentrates will have their own unique qualities according to the extraction methods used, and recreational consumers and medical marijuana patients alike recognize that THC potency is only one factor to consider. 

So, in order to draw a detailed comparison between resin and rosin, let’s take a closer look at the cost and taste differences. And in the end, the decision on which product is right for you will be based on your specific goals and needs as a medical cannabis patient or recreational consumer.

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Cost Differences

Live resin is one of the most potent and highest-quality concentrate products available at your local dispensary. And in good news for consumers, it’s also generally more affordable than live rosin.

This is because, although live resin is a relatively new concentrate, a combination of market demand and the continuous refinement of the extraction process has allowed live resin to become much more cost-effective to produce.

Live rosin is usually more expensive because it is more time-consuming and labor-intensive to produce, compared to other solvent-based processes. For instance, it may be possible for some manufacturers to produce a few pounds of solventless live rosin every hour. However, that same manufacturer might produce several dozen pounds of another concentrate using solvents. 

Taste Differences

When considering the taste differences between the two concentrates, many consumers consider live resin to be at the top of the list for its amazing flavor, scent, and color.

Because live resin is derived from fresh, frozen flower, manufacturers are better able to maintain the cannabinoids and terpenes found within the cannabis buds, which provides an experience close to the original plant.

Hydrocarbon solvents do not harm as many sensitive terpenes because of their comparatively low boiling points. As a result, live resins are some of the consistently best-tasting concentrates available.

That’s not to say that live rosin can’t also taste amazing. However, the terpene profile of live rosin is much more dependent upon the quality of the cannabis flower used. If you produce live rosin using low-quality bubble hash, for example, the end product will end up with less flavor, aroma, and overall taste.

Which Should You Choose?

Live resin and live rosin are both high-quality cannabis concentrates, and they’re popular among new and veteran consumers for a reason.

Many cannabis connoisseurs may prefer a more boutique, small-batch extract such as live rosins. Others may choose live resin for its consistent quality at a lower cost.

Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from trying both and seeing which concentrates you like best!

The information in this article and any included images or charts are for educational purposes only. This information is neither a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional legal advice or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about laws, regulations, or your health, you should always consult with an attorney, physician or other licensed professional.

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