What is the difference between Live Resin and Live Rosin

Posted on March 26th, 2024 to Education by

THC, CBD, CBG, terpenes, ALLLLL THE GOOD STUFF in cannabis is not within the plant, but on its surface.  These lollipop-looking-things are surface-level “hairs” called “trichomes” and the round lollipop heads contain >90% of all cannabinoids and terpenes.  The game of cannabis extraction is getting the chemicals from those heads into a jar for the patients to benefit from.

“Live”?

The “Live” prefix means the attached term was made from frozen cannabis   Cannabis flowers/stems/leaves were harvested and very quickly frozen,  in comparison to the standard 1-2 week drying process that produces smokeable flower.  This freezing helps to trap all the smell and taste compounds, including terpenes, which would normally be lost during drying, making the extract from frozen cannabis often more flavorful than from dried cannabis.  Therefore, “Live” extracts are often prefered to “Cured” or non-prefixed counterparts (Live Rosin > Rosin) (Live Resin > Cured Resin).

“Live Resin” is a  solvent-based extract: it is classically produced through hydrocarbon extraction (butane, propane, iso-butane, etc.). These chemicals act as “solvents” by dissolving the THC, CBD, and terpenes from within the trichome heads, separating the chemicals from the cannabis material.

Live Resin is known for THCA crystals known as “diamonds” surrounded by a terpene-rich “sauce”.  These crystals can range from large (Live Resin) to tiny (Live Sugar) to microscopic (Live Badder) depending on how the extract is treated.

Live Rosin

“Live Rosin” is a  solventless extract: it is produced without dissolving chemicals and uses only water, ice, heat, and pressure.

Live Rosin is produced from top-quality Live Bubble Hash.  Bubble Hash is made by washing cannabis plant material in ice cold water to mechanically separate the trichome hairs and heads from the plant.  The trichome heads fall through the water into various micron sieves where they can be separated by size.  After drying, this collection of trichome heads is called “Bubble Hash”.

By collecting Bubble Hash into a porous bag, you can press the Bubble Hash at the right heat-pressure combination to pop the trichome heads, allowing the resin/chemicals within to extrude through the bag while retaining the trichome coating.  This is similar to juicing grapes within a porous bag that will trap the grape skins and separate them from the final product

Why do people like Rosin?

Rosin is considered artisanal. Because Rosin doesn’t use any solvents or added chemicals, it cannot be easily “doctored” for better smell/taste/color/appeal.  As a result, it is considered the  cleanest extract on the market and the truest extracted representation of a particular cannabis strain.  It has the same smell, taste, and effects as the strain, if only enhanced and “concentrated”. Furthermore, because the only thing being represented is the flower: better-grown flower will produce better quality Rosin.

However, only some strains work for this type of extraction, and Rosin is extremely low yield.  You are lucky to process 1000g of cannabis and produce 50g of rosin.

Live Resin: uses chemicals to dissolve THC/CBD/etc. from within trichomes

Live Rosin: uses water to separate and collect whole trichomes, then presses them to extrude THC/CBD/etc.

Quick Concentrate Hierarchy

  • Live Rosin: top tier, top-price, high natural terpenes, clean and limited, “connoisseur”
  • Live Resin: high tier, mid-price, high natural terpenes
  • Non-Live Concentrates (Shatter, Wax, Badder, etc.): mid tier, cheapish, some natural terpenes
  • Distillate: lowest tier, cheap, no natural terpenes

Written by Charles Thompson: Lab Director- Southern Sky Brands

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