Blog - Resin vs Rosin

Published on 26 June 2023 at 10:55

What is Rosin?


Rosin is a cannabis concentrate that is solventless—it’s not made with any solvents or chemicals. Relying on heat and pressure to extract cannabis compounds, rosin is considered a cleaner extract, but it’ll cost you: Rosin is typically more expensive than concentrates made with solvents.


Rosin is a cannabis extract made using heat and pressure—cannabis plant material is placed in a press with heated pads and then compressed, squeezing out hot oil. The process is solventless, so no solvents or chemicals are used in creating rosin. This process was originally used to create rosin for violin bows, which is how the concentrate gets its name.  


Rosin is ready in minutes and doesn’t require any extra steps to purify or dilute the extracted oil. Making it is simple, and anyone can make rosin at home with a DIY rosin press or a few household tools (more below). 

Rosin is “considered” to be a dab, as it is most often consumed in a dab rig. However, it can also be put in a cartridge and vaped. Rosin is not considered a wax, as waxes are made with solvents such as butane.


What is Rosin Made from?


Rosin is mainly made from hash, but can be made out of a variety of types of cannabis, including:

  • Nugs or flower
  • Trim
  • Kief

The higher the quality of the input material, the higher the quality of the rosin. People who consume rosin are usually looking for flavor in their dabs and will often use flower or nugs to press it, which is the highest quality starting material.

Rosin can also be made from trim, kief, or hash, and is great to make if you have a surplus of any of those. Pressing trim, kief, or hash into rosin will refine them, although the final product won’t be as high of a quality as starting with flower or nugs.


Is Rosin Full-Spectrum?

Many cannabis extractions are further refined to remove other compounds, but rosin is a full-spectrum extract, containing the cannabinoid and terpene profile of the original plant.

Types of rosin

Different types of rosin include:

Flower rosin—uses dried nugs, mids, shake or trim; most common source material for rosin, and more flavorful than hash rosin

Live rosin—uses frozen weed plants; more flavorful than other rosins as using frozen plants preserves terpenes and flavors

Hash rosin—uses bubble hash or dry sift hash; generally harsher than flower rosin as hash is harsher, and can be more potent depending on the hash used

What is Live Resin?

Live resin is a cannabis concentrate created using a solvent-based technique that’s applied to flash frozen cannabis flower. The solvents used to make live resin aren't really unique. We push butane, ethanol, propane, and supercritical CO2 through cannabis all the time. What makes live resin unique is that the process is done to marijuana that is flash frozen after it’s harvested.

You see, typically, before marijuana hits the shelves or is turned into a different product, it’s both dried and cured. Using this more traditional method can degrade the cannabinoids and terpenes within the flower. By flash freezing the marijuana, we’re preserving more of those compounds we love in our cannabis before we start the extraction process. 

Live = extraction process was performed on fresh-from-the-greenhouse or fresh-from-the-garden, flash-frozen marijuana. Products with the “live” label are said to have a better flavor because more of the delicate terpenes are preserved by flash freezing the marijuana prior to extraction


Resin vs Rosin

Live resin and rosin are made in two very distinct ways: live resin is made using a solvent-based extraction technique, and rosin is made using just heat and pressure, no solvents. Live resin—emphasis on live—is made using flash-frozen cannabis flower, but rosin is made using dried and cured marijuana. That said, if you’re interested in a solventless, flash-frozen rosin, just ask your budtender if they carry any live rosin. They’ll be able to point you to what they may have in stock. 

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Liz Dion
a year ago

Well written article. Thank you, this is a very helpful resource to share! 👏