Rosin vs Resin: Whats The Difference?

With all the cannabis-related lingo and new advances in the cannabis industry, sometimes it is hard to keep up, with one cannabis product after another hitting the market.

Two of the most common marijuana terms that confuse people are rosin vs resin

It’s easy to mix up, so grab your dab rig and get ready as we set the record straight. 

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Both Are Solventless Extracts

When it comes to cannabis concentrates, there’s more than just a single way of doing things. It’s one of the things that makes cannabis so unique and, well, awesome. 

There’s a significant fork in the road with respect to extraction when it comes to the tools used to pull apart those cannabinoids and tongue twisting terps from the flower. 

Most hemp products contain extracts that use solvents to separate the compounds we want (terps, cannabinoids, flavonoids) from the cannabis plant. This comes with its own issues related to residual solvents – adulterating the concentrate in the extraction process. 

On the other hand, rosin and resin are two types of cannabis concentrates that are solventless extracts.

Going solventless means you preserve flavor while optimizing for the synergistic effects of cannabis. This is because you retain the cannabis-derived terps (CDTs) and a natural and complete full spectrum plant profile. 

Solventless concentrates are where products like superfluid CO2 (which is FDA-approved), alcohol, propane, butane, or other commonly used solvents are not used in extractions.

On the other hand, concentrates which use solvents essentially pull apart each compound from the plant one by one, and the process destroys the terpenes in the process. 

As a result, the final extract is often a science experiment, consisting of re-adding the compounds together and reintroducing terps from botanical sources or from distilled hemp flower.

Naturally, solventless extractions are more natural and cleaner than the various concentrates that are not solventless. For this reason, solventless cannabis concentrates are favored over other marijuana products.

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Resin VS Rosin – The Difference

When it comes to rosin and resin, there are several differences between each one.

Rosin is made with marijuana flower, or kief, and is an excellent concentrate for those consumers who want to avoid solvents. In contrast, Resin is more like a hash. 

For the former, cannabis material is transformed through heat and pressure into full-melt hash oil, ready for consumption.

Another secondary difference between rosin and resin is that the two cannabis concentrates have differing terpene profiles. This variation in terpene profiles is due to the extraction process and, of course, the strain used.

Resin, more particularly live resin, retains its terpene profile while creating rosin results in the loss of some terpenes, though it still retains a lot of the aroma and flavor.

Resin is also solventless, but live resin is not. It is created through an extraction process that commonly uses butane or propane. But, this is something we’ll cover down below.


What Is Rosin?

Rosin is a concentrate that is made by exposing cannabis to heat and pressure. 

This forces out the terpenes and cannabinoids found in the trichome glands of the cannabis plant, and what you are left with is an amber-colored, sap-like product.

Dispensaries often use a press to create it. Still, there’s an interesting  DIY method that’s popular to make these types of concentrates at home


Homemade Rosin

Yup, you can make it at home by using a hair straightener…Yup! While we don’t recommend it and suggest you pick up a real rosin press instead, the process is summarized below:

You place the marijuana between two sheets of parchment paper and then press it together with the hair straightener until a gooey sap oozes out. You can then consume it through vaping or smoking.

Disclaimer: do this at your own risk, it isn’t something we recommend, and we outline it for informational purposes only.

It’s a relatively safer homemade extraction method when compared to creating BHO (butane hash oil). Making BHO can often be a risky endeavor as the process uses highly volatile compounds, which constitutes a significant fire risk. 

This has unfortunately been illustrated multiple times. Where most recently, an explosion in May of 2020 in Los Angeles, injuring many firefighters while battling the blaze where butane was used to make BHO.

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It’s popular because it is a solventless concentrate that is relatively easy to make on your own than other extractions. 

It is often cheaper than most other concentrates like live resin and shatter, as the process is not as complicated as it is with other cannabis products. 

Though the extraction technique has been used for thousands of years, like how grapes are juiced to make wine, it has only been applied to cannabis and gained popularity in recent years. 

It is also often portrayed as a ‘healthier alternative for cannabis consumers to enjoy their concentrates.


How Do You Use It?

There are several ways to use this and other concentrates. The most discreet way is through a handheld vaporizer. You can buy vaporizers at most smoke or vape shops.

Many people also infuse it into oil or butter for cooking, and they even make teas with it.

But, the most common method of use is dabbing.

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A dab rig is a great way to use most concentrates. If you are going to use a dab rig, which is similar to a water bong, you will need the following tools:

  • Dab rig
  • Torch
  • Dab tool
  • Rosin
  • Carb cap

You start by heating up what is called a banger with your torch. This attachment is similar to what you would find on a bong and has a bowl for your concentrates.

Disclaimer: Be careful when handling the banger after heating. You do not need to pull it out like you would on a bong, and it can cause severe burns. Use at your own risk.

live resin

By placing a small amount of the concentrate (referred to as a dab) on the tip of your dab tool, you put the dab in the center of the banger and begin inhaling. Using the carb cap, you cover the banger’s opening, which will generate more smoke for you to inhale.

Remember to start by taking a small dab to determine your tolerance level. Also, do not inhale right after you warm it up. Give it half a minute or so to cool down. Your throat will thank you for this.

thc dabs

Resin Is Old School

If you went to Woodstock in the sixties, you might have come across what a hippie would call resin. The word resin or rez describes that black tar-like residue left in your pipe or bong after smoking marijuana.

Some people scrape this substance out of their pipes and bongs when they run out of cannabis. 

You can get a slight high off of this because burning cannabis flower does not combust all the THC. Generally, only those who are out of weed and are feeling super desperate do this nowadays.

What Is Live Rosin?

Live rosin is one of the preferred extracts to dab with. It’s preferred because it is extracted from fresh or frozen flowers that have never been cured or dried.

live extracts

How Live Rosin Is Made

Step 1: Agitate freshly frozen cannabis plant matter in a water and ice bath. This shakes the frozen trichomes free of cannabis.

Step 2: The trichomes are then filtered through a series of fine mesh bags to sift out the unwanted matter.

Step 3: The trichomes are collected and then dried to a full-melt bubble hash using a freeze dryer.

Step 4: The bubble hash is then pressed into the live extract through a press. The press uses low temperatures and pressure to produce live rosin.

The resulting concentrate is considered one of the purest cannabis products and is packed with flavor from the terpenes. It also has higher than average THC content that many users find appealing.

People who love cannabis concentrates seem to prefer it due to the terpenes present in the fresh cannabis used to make it. 

Live extracts retain the terp profiles as found in the plant, which means you’re about as close to the plant profile in a concentrate as you can be. 

It also has a potent level of THC due to the way it is processed.

One significant difference between rosin and the live version is that live rosin appears opaque and resembles wax or honey with a grainier texture instead of the amber color of rosin. 

This texture makes it easier to work with than something like shatter, which some people may find annoying.

cannabis flower, wax and shatter

How Can You Use Live Rosin?

For the consumption of live rosin, you can use it just like cannabis rosin. You can vaporize it, whether it is a handheld or tabletop vaporizer, and you can also dab it, as mentioned previously.

What Is Live Resin?

Live resin is the only solvent-based extraction process discussed in this article. And, It’s nicknamed the champagne of cannabis concentrates for a good reason.

It uses flash freezing and the closed-loop extraction process to preserve terpenes and Isolate THC.

Like other live extracts, the production of live resin also uses freshly frozen cannabis. Producers only use the flower buds and sugar leaves and remove fan leaves and stem before extracting.

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The Live Resin Extraction Process

One of the differences between live resin and plain resin is that concentrate producers first freeze the cannabis with liquid nitrogen or dry ice. Then the frozen cannabis goes through closed-loop extraction using hydrocarbon solvents like butane or propane.

The raw flower is sprayed with pressurized butane or propane to pull apart the cannabinoids and trichomes. The solvents never contact the air and are contained in a chamber before being sucked back up by a vacuum pump where it re-enters the solvent tank for reuse.

thc diamonds on a dabbing tool

After, the live resin cannabis concentrates need to be purged for 72 hours. The purging process often occurs at room temperature in a vacuum oven. 

Once this process is completed, you can then enjoy an end product with a THC content of up to 98% THC, which concentrate lovers can then ingest through various methods.

Live resin is a popular concentrate that is enjoyed by cannabis connoisseurs and newbies alike. 

It produces a heavy head and body high, though it depends on the strains used. If you are looking to achieve a high equivalent to being as high as Mount Everest, you should try live resin.

How Do You Use It?

You can either vaporize or dab live resin concentrates. 

Due to its high THC content, it packs a punch. Be sure to use small doses and lower temperatures at first to determine your tolerance and protect your lungs.

Rosin VS Resin The Take-Away

When it comes to the resin and rosin, there are many differences between these two concentrates. 

They are processed to the taste, color, aroma, and amount of THC present in the cannabis concentrates. Both resin and rosin concentrates have swiftly become some of the most popular ways for people to enjoy cannabis.

Which one’s right for you depends on your preference!