The marijuana industry and innovations in the way cannabis is used have progressed far beyond the simple joint. Waves of legalization and social acceptance of the substance have also enabled ambitious and creative developments to advance in the open. Two of the most popular forms of consuming cannabis today, live rosin and live resin in California, result from such unfettered exploration into the possibilities of the plant and its processing. Both concentrates are renowned for their potency and aromatic allure. However, there are also key differences consumers need to be aware of before making informed decisions on their dispensary purchases.
Differences in Processing and Extraction
Live resin concentrates in California result from processing fresh or fresh frozen cannabis with certain chemical solvents to pull out the compound-rich substances. While several types of concentrates are available in the modern market, this is a particularly strong and flavorful form. Customers should expect quality and strength from their live resin purchases, as all of the key ingredients, such as trichomes, terpenes, and cannabinoids, are retained in their most dynamic states.
The resin used in live resin cartridges in California is extracted in a laboratory using chemicals such as butane or propane, with the entire process taking place in a low-temperature setting to preserve flower buds fresh and frozen. After extraction is complete, the solvent then must be removed through distillation. This allows processors to forgo the drying and curing of more traditional cannabis processing. In turn, this avoids losses in moisture and chlorophyll, which leads to terpene and cannabinoid compound loss from heat exposure. AS a result, the taste and flavor of resin are much stronger and more interesting than that of cured resin.
Live rosin uses heat, pressure, and sometimes ice and water rather than chemical solvents to isolate the naturally occurring resin within the cannabis buds. It can also be extracted from kief or hash, a processed kief. Unlike live resin, live rosin also calls for less labor and time with its lack of a solvent. For those inclined, it is even possible to make it at home fairly simply.
Textural and Aesthetic Characteristics
Live resin concentrates in California are quite sticky as a final product, having a somewhat grainy appearance and shiny golden hue compared to honey and nectar. However, live rosin possesses a lighter, amber-colored hue, sometimes closer to off-white. The texture and consistency are also described as airy and “whipped,” similar to the concentrated “badder” that resembles cake frosting or batter.
Compounds and Properties
Of all concentrates sourced from cannabis, live resin in California is renowned for being of the highest quality and purity. The maximum strength and content of cannabinoids, especially THC and terpenes, are kept intact and lend these resins their reputation. Preparation between establishments and the plant bud strain from which the product originates make these factors vary a bit, with THC ranging between 65% and 95%. This resin is also one of the more expensive ways to consume the plant, given the involved extraction process.
Like live resin, live rosin also offers consumers elevated levels of THC and CBD cannabinoids. THC specifically is around the same as live resin, averaging around 75% depending on the originating strain. The terpene content is similarly high, as the fresh flower is also used for production. Though live rosin is less hard to make than live resin, it still requires a lengthy process, making it one of the most expensive ways to profit from cannabis' qualities. As the properties of live rosin are comparable with its resin counterpart, the biggest draw to live rosin is the more natural process and lack of potential chemical traces.
Live resin lends itself to a wide array of forms of consumption, from live resin cartridges in California used in vaping, to dabbing, to adding a little to a joint or pipe bowl filled with regular smoking flowers. Forms available on the market, aside from straight live resin, include:
- Sauce, which has a darker, transparent, and crystalline, amber-brown look and contains elevated levels of High Terpene Extract and THCa Crystalline (isolate THCA)
- Badder, which resembles a dark yellow cake frosting or batter and contains exceptionally high levels of terpenes
- Sugar, like straight live resin, which looks like honey, complete with crystallized sugar granules
- Diamonds/Crystals, with visibly crystallized THC
- Crumbles, which has a powdered and dry aesthetic
- Beach Sand, dry and highly filtered to create its fine texture
However, it cannot cause a consumer to get high or feel sedative effects through eating. This is because it provides only raw THCA, which is only converted to the infamous THC component through high heat.
Live rosin can be consumed in the same ways as its resin counterpart, including vaping, dabbing, and sprinkling as an extra kick for joints and pipes. However, it can also be eaten to produce a high, whether as pre-made edibles or as an addition to a drink. As heat is used in the production process, the THCA has already been activated and converted to readily available THC. Live rosin can also be made into “jam,” which results from washing, applying pressure, and curing in a temperature-controlled environment to create its distinct texture.
Live Rosin Vs. Rosin
It is important for consumers to know that, though often used interchangeably, live rosin and regular rosin are two different things. Live rosin, as explored above, is made from fresh flower buds which have not been cured. Rosin, however, is a result of extraction from dried buds, kief (made from the sticky hairs on trichomes), or hash (made from kief processed with heat). Live rosin boasts a higher terpene and, therefore, higher monoterpene content than rosin, which provides a greater taste and aromatic experience.