Cannabis flower nugget next to a pile of yellow gummies

Live Resin vs Distillate: What’s the Difference?

When it comes to live resin vs distillate, you’d be hard-pressed to find two products that look similar and yet are so fundamentally different. One is prized for its potency, the other is prized as a connoisseur-level product worth its weight in gold. So what’s the difference? In this guide, we’re going to answer all your questions about live resin versus THC distillate.

What is Live Resin?

Live resin is a concentrated form of cannabis that captures the plant's essence in its freshest state. It is produced by flash-freezing freshly harvested marijuana flower immediately after harvest. This process preserves the cannabinoids and terpenes in its delicate trichomes, maintaining the original aroma, flavor, and overall potency of the strain. Live resin is typically sticky and viscous in texture, making it ideal for dabbing or vaporizing.

What is Distillate?

THC distillate is a highly refined form of cannabis extract. It undergoes an extensive solvent-based purification process, resulting in a potent and nearly pure THC concentrate. Distillation separates the cannabinoids from the plant matter and other compounds, creating a clear and viscous liquid that can be used in various products or consumed on its own. Distillate is commonly found in edibles, cartridges, and concentrates due to its versatility and typically high THC content.

Live Resin vs Distillate: What’s the Difference?

There are a variety of differences between live resin and distillate, some more significant than others. Here are a few ways that each marijuana product stands out as unique when compared to the other:

Extraction Process

Live resin extraction involves freezing the cannabis plant immediately after harvest, which preserves the delicate compounds inside it. The frozen plant material is then carefully processed using solvents like butane or propane with the goal of preserving 100% of the terpenes and cannabinoids, resulting in a sticky and flavorful concentrate.

Distillate extraction also utilizes solvents, but that process is followed by distillation to isolate the desired cannabinoids. This method removes most impurities and contaminants, resulting in a pure and potent end product that typically has little to no aroma or flavor unless terpenes are added back into the final product.

Full Spectrum

Live resin is considered a full-spectrum extract because it retains a wider range of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other beneficial compounds present in the original plant material. Many cannabis enthusiasts feel that by preserving all the compounds found in marijuana, you can have a more authentic experience when you consume it. This experience is called the entourage effect.

Distillate, on the other hand, is typically made to be a single cannabinoid (likely THC if you’re shopping in your local dispensary). Because distillate doesn’t typically have any flavor, many cannabis enthusiasts who are deciding between full spectrum vs distillate edibles prefer distillate.

Terpenes & Cannabinoids

Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in cannabis that contribute to the plant's distinct flavors and aromas. Live resin is famous far and wide for its robust terpene profile, which offers a rich and diverse sensory experience. Distillate, in its purest form, lacks the natural terpenes found in the plant. However, terpenes can be reintroduced during the manufacturing process to enhance the flavor and aroma of distillate products.

Both live resin and distillate are popular products enjoyed by cannabis enthusiasts across the country, and best of all, you don’t have to pick just one.

Live Resin vs Distillate Edibles: What’s the Difference?

Live resin and distillate can both be used in edibles, but they provide different experiences. Live resin edibles offer a more flavorful and aromatic encounter, allowing you to enjoy the natural taste and scent of the cannabis strain. Distillate edibles, on the other hand, provide a more consistent and potent experience, as they are formulated with a highly concentrated extract but no terpenes or flavonoids. By eliminating these compounds, you’re going to taste the recipe of your edible, be it sweet or savory, far more than you will taste the marijuana product you’re consuming.

Distillate vs Live Resin Cartridges: What’s the Difference?

When it comes to vape cartridges, distillate and live resin offer distinct experiences. Distillate cartridges provide a consistent and potent dose of THC without the added flavors and aromas of the plant. Live resin cartridges, on the other hand, capture the essence of the strain. If you find yourself choosing between a distillate vs live resin cart, focus on the flavor profile you’re looking for and that will help you make your decision.

Answering FAQs About Live Resin vs Distillate

You should never feel weird about asking questions—it’s what we’re here for! Here are a few questions we’ve answered about live resin vs distillate cannabis products:

Are live resin products more expensive than distillate products?
Yes, live resin products tend to be slightly more expensive due to the specialized extraction process and the preservation of the plant's original qualities.

Does live resin get you “higher”?
This is a complicated question as it depends on the psychoactive experience - or “high” - you’re seeking. Live resin’s diverse cannabinoid and terpene profile are more closely aligned with specific flower strains, which means the effects may be similar. However, because distillate is pure THC, it is generally more potent than live resin but without the flavorful and complex experience.

Is live resin better than distillate?
The choice between live resin and distillate depends entirely on your personal preference. If you enjoy a multi-sensory experience, you’re definitely going to want to try live resin.

Purchasing Live Resin and Distillate

While THCA may not have any psychoactive effects, it can be converted into THC through decarboxylation. That said, many cannabis enthusiasts enjoy exploring the effects of different cannabinoids on their endocannabinoid system. If this sounds like you, head down to your local dispensary and talk to your budtender. They can help you find the THCA products they have available.

Recreational cannabis is not available in all states. Cannabis is for medical use only and may only be used by certified patients in Ohio and Pennsylvania. State laws impact what dispensaries can and can’t sell to recreational customers and certified patients. Not every type of product, consumption method, dosage form, or potency mentioned on this blog will be permitted in all locations.