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Cannabis Concentrates: Live Resin vs Shatter, Wax, Budder

Looking back 20 years, hash oil was pretty much the status quo for concentrates. Well, it was the only cannabis concentrate available outside of resin. 

Yup. No live resin, shatter, or the tasty sugar wax you’ll find on dispensary shelves nowadays. 

Purged of plant matter, a cannabis concentrate delivers a psychotropic hit like no other. Pretty different from your regular flower but still oh so familiar.

Below, I cover the most common Marijuana concentrates on the market with a magnifying glass on probably the most most popular of them all, live resin. 

cannabis concentrate types on dab rig

Cannabis Concentrate Definitions

Live Resin

Live resin is a cannabis concentrate produced by flash freezing freshly harvested flowers to subcritical temperatures before extraction. 

This produces a concentrate that retains the original aromas, flavors, potency, and combination of terpenes as the original flower.

Live resin can be used with a dab tool and is more pleasing aesthetically while tending to contain a higher concentration of tasty terpenes.  

As a result, a Cannabis concentrate that is made from live resin will offer a decidedly more aesthetically rewarding experience when it comes to both flavor profiles and sheer potency. Especially when compared to old-school regular resin. 


Shatter is a potent concentrate that has a golden-amber color, which references the brittle, glassy, translucent coloring that it possesses, in addition to the fact that it tends to crack and shatter into smaller pieces when broke apart.   

Shatter is replete with psychoactive resins and is a highly popular concentrate that is extremely potent and is most commonly vaped or used with a dab rig to achieve the best results.

Note – this form of Cannabis concentrate is devoid of all terpenes unless they’ve been reintroduced once the shatter has been purged. This is simply because all the plant matter is removed during extraction. 

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Sugar wax undergoes slightly different processing that gives it a slightly grainy texture that makes it somewhat less messy to handle than other types of concentrate

Both the original wax and sugar wax are equally potent and share similar flavor profiles. However, many people seem to prefer sugar wax. It offers a flavor profile that is richer and more complex than other Marijuana concentrates. 


Budder should never be confused with products such as the cannabinoid-infused butter that is used in making edibles.

Budder, which is also occasionally referred to as budder wax, is an extract with a high THC content and is yellowish in color, with a close resemblance in texture and appearance to regular dairy butter.

Because of its extensive terpene content and 80% THC content, bedder is becoming one of the most popular concentrates on dispensary shelves in the states where it is legal…Yup, it’s picking up speed to rival live resin! 

cannabis concentrate live resin

Cannabis Concentrates Deep Dive

Concentrate manufacturers generally use similar extraction processes, such as employing the solvent properties of CO2 or butane. 

This strips the plant material being used of all of its useful trichomes and cannabinoids while still retaining all of the original terpene levels found in the extract flower that was selected to create that specific concentrate.

Many Cannabis lovers currently view live Resin as the champagne of concentrates because of the fact that the extraction procedure involves the flash-freezing of freshly harvested flowers. 

Why’s this so important?

Well, it provides the user with a depth of flavors and effects that is unparalleled when compared with other types of concentrates.

live resin illustrated

This technique also allows all of the plant’s trichomes and terpenes to avoid any detrimental oxidation or damage to those elements by excessive exposure to light.

Shatter is one of the most popular concentrates on the market among the dabbing community. Its brittle, glass-like appearance makes it easier for them to enjoy using a dab tool than concentrates with a gooey texture. 

Shatter also boasts one of the best price-to potency ratios currently available. The highest quality Shatter is golden and honey-like in appearance. However, a darker, more brownish hue generally indicates the presence of impurities within the concentrate.

While most makers of Wax have traditionally used butane for extraction, more and more of them these days are converting their operations to accommodate CO2 extraction, which is infinitely safer and falls within current manufacturing standards.

Wax offers one of the least expensive options within the concentrate segment, but it is also less potent than most of its more sophisticated counterparts in the marketplace. 

It remains, however, one of the best concentrates for preserving the terpene profile of the flowers from which it was processed.

On the other hand, Budder is also a form of Wax.  The unique texture of Budder is achieved by bringing the product to the point of crystallization stage during extraction.  

The cannabinoids are then whipped like a batter to create the smooth, buttery concentrate that led to it being referred to as Budder.

Cannabis Concentrate Comparison: Shatter, Wax, or Crumble?

All Cannabis extracts take the natural resin of the plant and turn it into a powerful psychoactive substance that contains the original profile terpenes, cannabinoids, and flavonoids of the flowers used in their production.

The physical differences between Shatter, Wax, and Crumble begin with how they are processed. 

The primary difference between Shatter, Wax, and Crumble involves the amount of moisture present in the oil being used and the heat level and agitation methods employed in its processing.

This variance in processing techniques creates the individual characteristics that give these concentrates their stylized names.  

Wax Is Popular

Wax is an extract category that includes Budder, requiring much less heat to create than Shatter. 

The molecules in Wax are held together in a haphazard conglomeration, which is more loosely constructed than Shatter. 

This makes it easier to whip them into the desired texture, depending upon the final product that is being made.  

Hence, these types of concentrates are not only easier to manufacture, but they also tend to be more flexible, mailable, and easier to handle for the end-user.

Shatter Like Glass

Shatter, on the other hand, is quite brittle because its molecules are much more tightly aligned. 

The processing of Shatter not only requires a higher temperature than what is necessary to create a form of Wax, but it also undergoes a far more meticulous filtration regimen.  

These additional elements in the extraction regimen may be more time-consuming, but in the end, they make Shatter a purer concentrate. 

And, because the molecules within Shatter are more tightly configured, Shatter has a much longer shelf life than Wax and Budder.

While Shatter is a more potent concentrate, many people prefer Wax extracts because they generally have a lower price point, and it is a lot easier to handle than Shatter. 

However, these concentrates offer up a more vibrant aroma than Shatter, which makes them a bit more attractive to the connoisseur mentality.    

Live Resin Is A Unique Cannabis Concentrate

Live Resin is the newest concentrate in the Cannabis marketplace today. 

It is also rapidly becoming one of the most popular because it’s an extract that mirrors the plant make up in ints entiriety. It also helps that its accompanied by a vibrant flavor profile rich in terpenes.  

The latter of which faithfully portray the very essence of marijuana flowers that are used in its production. 

This is accomplished by extraction processes that include cryogenically flash freezing the flowers to be processed immediately after they are harvested from the mother plant; while they are technically still alive.  

This part of the process contributes to the word ‘live’ in Live Resin and helps retain the flowers’ full and original terpene profile.

While you may find a few technically stronger extracts than Live Resin, it should be remembered that it is the fastidiously preserved natural terpenes that add to the additional cost of Live Resin over other concentrates that may be on the same shelf.

Despite its slightly higher price point, most people are now choosing Live Resin because of its purity, strength, and densely flavorful taste profile, as well as the more elevated and refined experience that it provides.

Note – live extracts are not exclusively used for dabbing either. Yes. That’s right, you can now buy vapes with liquid live resin. One of our latest favourites is the Botany Farms THCV Live Resin cart, perfect for daytime use with a light level of intoxication.

Live Resin vs Shatter

While Live Resin is unique because it is processed using fresh, undried flowers that are frozen at a temperature of -23 °C. 

However, Shatter is made by processing mature flowers and trim that have already been dried and cured, which renders a finished product consisting of brittle, golden, glass-like slabs.

Shatter may technically be more potent than Live Resin, but what it offers in psychoactive strength is balanced by the fact that most of the terpenes originally present in the flowers being used are sacrificed during processing. 

This results in a concentrated extract that may knock your socks off, but it will leave your tastebuds wanting for any of the rich floral flavors you might be hoping for.

Conversely, Live Resin is intended to delight terpene connoisseurs because of the extremely high levels of these aromatic compounds that it contains. 

Live Resin is loaded with terpenes. So, if you enjoy Limonene, Myrcene, and Caryophyllene, or seeking a Cannabis experience that is perfectly suited for the epicurean palate, look no further.

Live Resin vs Sugar Wax

Unlike Cannabis Wax concentrate, Sugar Wax gets its name because of how it is processed renders a grainy, sugar-like compound that makes it easier to handle.  

Because of their different extraction processes, Live Resin has a runnier consistency than Sugar Wax. However, both of these concentrates are similarly potent.  

While both of these terpene-rich concentrates are extremely tasty, most Cannabis aficionados will ultimately give the nod to Live Resin because the Cryogenic freezing process that it undergoes provides users with a richer and far more intense taste profile.   

Live Resin VS Budder

Unlike the physical consistencies of Live Resin, Shatter, and Sugar Wax, Budder gets its name from the fact that its texture resembles that of the dairy butter that may be sitting on your dining room table. 

As a matter of fact, you could even spread a little on a piece of toast for a morning pick-me-up.      

Because of its mailable consistency, some users prefer Budder because it is much easier to work with than Live Resin. 

However, both of these Cannabis concentrates receive high marks from their respective fans for the extremely potent and aromatic high that they deliver.

How To Enjoy Marijuana Concentrates

Cannabis concentrates can be enjoyed using a variety of techniques, which often relate directly to the physical consistency of the product that you select. 

Live Resin is extremely popular, yet it has a runnier texture that makes it more challenging for those who prefer dabbing. 

While it is still possible to use a dab tool on this type of concentrate, many of its fans are turning to the Live Resin vape carts that are now entering the marketplace.

Although you can vape concentrates, dabbing remains the most popular method of utilizing products like Shatter, Wax, and Budder. 

Using a dab rig at the proper temperature allows users to fully enjoy the concentrated intensity of the concentrate as well as the full richness of its terpene content.      

Wrapping Up

The fact of the matter is, no matter how much you may enjoy smoking or vaping a flavorful flower to initiate the pleasant and powerful high you are seeking, you might want also to consider adding a premium cannabis concentrate to your arsenal. 

You simply can’t beat the efficacy, convenience, and value that they provide.