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THC concentrate (wax/shatter/rosin) and buds, by High Grade Roots via iStock

What Every Cannabis Consumer Needs To Know About Live Rosin

High There

By High There

December 23, 2021

If you’ve been around the cannabis scene for any amount of time, then you might have noticed concentrate connoisseurs passionately discussing an extract called live rosin. But what is live rosin, and why is it gaining so much traction in the cannabis market?

Today, we’ll be answering these and other important live rosin questions – We’ll let you know exactly what live rosin is, how it’s made, and the advantages it has over other cannabis products. Let’s dig in.

What Is Live Rosin?

Live rosin is a solventless cannabis concentrate extracted from fresh (emphasis important) cannabis plants. It has a gloopy consistency and has similar properties to concentrates like shatter and wax. It’s an exceptional dabbing extract and is famed amongst cannabis consumers for this reason.

Common knowledge states that live rosin was first discovered by Phil Salazar in 2015. While attempting to flatten hash into thin”dabbable” sheets with hair straighteners, he noticed a gooey liquid leaking out from the hot plates. After curiosity took hold, Salazar experimented with this liquid on his dab rig. From that day forward, cannabis rosin was born!

THC concentrate, by Ayehab via iStock

Live Rosin, Rosin, And Resin, What’s the Difference?

Resin, rosin, live resin, and live rosin. Although these concentrates have similar names, they are actually all different from one another. This is an incredibly confusing aspect of the cannabis extract world, and/has can lead to many misunderstandings.

Let’s start with the difference between rosin and live rosin. Both are extracted by pressing cannabis flower with a combination of heat and pressure. Rosin is made using dried plant material, whereas live rosin is extracted from fresh, or frozen, plant material. When making live rosin, the fresh cannabis must be converted into bubble hash before pressing.

Due to this variation in extraction, live rosin contains more monoterpenes than regular rosin. Many rosin consumers claim that the monoterpenes present in fresh cannabis give live rosin a superior taste and a more enjoyable smoking experience.

Resin and live resin differ from each other in the same way – resin is made from dried cannabis and live resin is made from fresh plants. The resin itself comes from the same organic cannabis compound that’s used to make resin.

Where rosin is made using a powerful press, resin is extracted using a mixture of chemical solvents. Resin is extremely versatile and can be crafted into hash, waxes, and oils.

This might all sound confusing. To keep it as simple as possible, rosin and resin originate from the same compound but are extracted from cannabis in different ways. When manufacturers use fresh or flash-frozen plants, the concentrates are referred to as “live” extracts.

The Benefits Of Live Rosin Over Other Cannabis Extracts

Solventless Extraction Process

Unlike with live resin and other solvent-based extracts, the live rosin extraction process is completely solvent-free. To make live rosin, a heated press is used to squeeze the concentrate from cannabis plants. As a result, live rosin is presented as a completely natural product.

Solventless extraction is also better for the planet. Commonly used hydrocarbon-based solvents such as butane come from crude oil, which is extracted from the earth at a great environmental cost.

Natural And Unaltered

But what exactly is the advantage of a “natural” cannabis extract? For one, the avoidance of synthetic solvents ensures that the full spectrum of terpenes and cannabinoids is preserved during the extraction process. These are the compounds that provide the incredible therapeutic and psychoactive effects that cannabis is known for.

High THC And Terpene Extract

If potency is what you’re looking for from your cannabis extract, it’s hard to go wrong with live rosin. The extract retains a high level of THC from the source material, as well as a wide variety of other cannabinoids. If you’re a newcomer to the world of cannabis, then be sure to keep your rosin doses small and sensible at first!

Typically Small Scale Production

Since the live rosin extraction process is fairly involved, production is usually done on a relatively small scale. Artisans are able to spend time carefully crafting their live rosin and ensure that it’s a super high-quality product.

Ideal For Dabbing

Live rosin has a low melting point, which makes it absolutely ideal for dabbing. In fact, dabbing is one of the very best ways to enjoy rosin, and nearly always results in a clean, powerful high. If you’ve never tried out a dab rig before, consider it next time you pick up a fresh batch of live rosin.

THC concentrate (wax/shatter/rosin), by High Grade Roots via iStock

The Live Rosin Extraction Process

Commercial Production

1) The Cannabis Plant Is Flash-Frozen

Live rosin is made using fresh cannabis plants. To preserve their freshness, plants are frozen immediately after harvesting. This means that the monoterpenes present in fresh cannabis are retained, but the plant matter can be stored for later use.

Commercial producers will typically use an industrial device to efficiently freeze the cannabis. The ideal freezer will also have humidity control, to eliminate the chance of any plant deterioration.

2) Create Bubble Hash Using Ice Water Extraction

Unfortunately, rosin cannot be extracted by simply pressing the frozen cannabis flower. This is because the water content in the fresh material is too high. Instead, the frozen buds must first be converted into “bubble hash”.

Bubble hash is usually produced using the “ice water” extraction method. When the cannabis flowers are frozen, the trichomes (used to make the hash), can be broken off easily. An ice bath is used to keep the frozen cannabis plants cold whilst the trichomes are removed.

In reference to this method, solventless cannabis extracts are said to be part of the “ice wax” family.

3) The Bubble Hash Is Pressed To Produce Rosin

After the bubble hash has been completely dried, it’s ready to be pressed into rosin. Commercial manufacturers will use a dedicated rosin press to do this. A rosin press can reach extremely high pressures and uses heated metal plates to increase the yield.

4) Concentrate Is Crafted Into Its Final From

The pressed rosin is collected from the press, before being crafted into a final product. The final part of the production process usually involves a period of curing to bring out the beautiful live rosin flavors.

Home Production

It’s clear that the production of live rosin is quite an involved process. For this reason, making this concentrate at home can be a bit of a pain.

If you’re keen to make your own cannabis rosin, then we’d recommend avoiding the “live” variety and sticking with regular rosin. You can make rosin super easily by pressing your dried buds, without the need for any complex flash-freezing or ice water extractions.

However, it’s definitely possible to make live rosin at home, and many people have been able to do it successfully. You can flash-freeze your fresh cannabis using a standard freezer, and the industrial rosin press can be swapped out for hair straighteners if you’re on a tight budget.

In fact, making your own live rosin can be a very rewarding experience. It’s also much safer than other cannabis concentrate methods. The use of butane solvents during the live resin extraction process is much more dangerous, for example.

Ways To Smoke Live Rosin

Dabbing

Dabbing is arguably the best way to get your live rosin fix. Dabbing involves heating up a cannabis extract on a hot surface and inhaling the vapors that are produced. To do this, most people use a glass device called a “dab rig”, which is similar in design to a bong.

Dabbing is considered by many to be one of the “cleanest” ways to consume cannabis. Vaporized weed does not contain the same level of carcinogens that come with smoking plant matter.

Vaping

Vaping rosin is a very similar process to dabbing, with many of the same benefits. Instead of a dab rig, a vape pen is used to convert the rosin into an inhalable form. In fact, a vape pen that is designed for cannabis concentrates is often known as a “dab pen”, and is a great solution for on-the-move cannabis consumption.

Add To Joints Or A Bowl

Of course, you can add your live rosin to a joint to give it some extra potency. By adding just a small amount of rosin, you can take your smoking experiences to whole new levels.

Tips For Live Rosin Storage

Whether you’ve picked up a fresh batch from the dispensary or have just finished pressing your own live rosin, you’re probably wondering how you should be storing it. Properly storing your rosin is critical to preserve its texture and flavor, as well as limiting its rate of deterioration.

There are a number of things to think about when storing rosin; we briefly list most of them below, but most of the information contained in our thorough “How To Store Your Weed” guide also applies here.

Pick Your Container Material Carefully

Picking the right container is one of the easiest ways to maintain the beautiful condition of your rosin. If you only need to store your rosin for a short period of time, then you can get away with a couple of layers of parchment paper. For something more purpose-made, consider a pack of terpene-proof FEP sheets.

Not only do these methods provide secure rosin storage, but they also show off the gorgeous color and texture of your product. If you’re gifting some rosin to a friend, then serving it up between some FEP sheets is a great option.

If you’re looking for a medium-to-long-term solution, then glass is nearly always the way to go. We’d recommend avoiding any silicone-based container since the material can react with rosin’s acidic terpenes. Over extended periods of time, this will negatively influence the quality of the rosin while damaging the interior of the container.

A glass container avoids these issues, but you may find that your rosin sticks to the sides of the container more. Ultimately though, preventing the rosin from breaking down is more important than being able to get it out of the container easily.

Use An Airtight Container

Airtightness is also a key consideration if you need long-term storage. Any pot, jar, or glassware you use should have some sort of airtight seal. It doesn’t matter if it’s a screw-on lid or snap-down seal, as long as it prevents contact between the rosin and the air then you’re good to go.

Keep It In A Dark, Cool Place

Live rosin doesn’t like being exposed to heat and light, and can deteriorate very quickly when it is. Anyone who’s left their rosin near a window on a warm day will let you know just how disastrous that can be.

To avoid this most unfortunate situation, make sure you’re storing your rosin in a cool, dark place. In fact, your best friend for rosin storage is the fridge.

Keep It Dry

Many cannabis concentrates don’t fare well in moisture-rich environments, and live rosin is no exception. Moisture can encourage oxidation and damage your product over time. Finding a dry spot for your rosin is an easy way to keep it in great condition. Again, the fridge is probably your best solution.

THC concentrate (wax/shatter/rosin) and buds, by High Grade Roots via iStock

FAQs

How Long Does Live Rosin Last?

If stored properly, live rosin will last for months before it starts to degrade. In some cases, the extract can maintain its condition for over a year. Unless you’ve got a huge batch of rosin, you shouldn’t have any problems consuming it before it deteriorates.

Are Live Resin And Live Rosin The Same Thing?

Although it’s true that live resin and rosin are similar concentrates, there’s a key difference between their extraction processes. To extract resin, a butane solvent is used, whereas the production of rosin is completely solvent-free.

To avoid solvents, live rosin is extracted through a series of freezing and pressing processes. Because of this, rosin is typically more expensive than resin. It also means that producing this type of hash rosin at home can be a difficult task.

The easiest resin-based concentrate to make at home is flower rosin. If you have some dried buds, then you can simply put them between a pair of hair straighteners, apply some pressure, and wait for the gooey goodness to seep out.

How Long Does The Drying And Curing Process Take For Homemade Rosin?

Most rosin enthusiasts agree that the concentrate is best when it is allowed to cure following extraction. The rosin curing process involves exposing it to different temperatures over a period of time. It’s thought that this improves the flavor, consistency, and potency of the finished product.

Manufacturers will cure their rosin industrially, but the process can also be done with homemade rosin. Rosin makers can either follow a “cold curing” procedure, where the extract is placed in an airtight container and left at room temperature for a week, or a “warm curing” method, where gentle heating is used to quickly develop the texture and flavor of the rosin.

Are Solventless Concentrates Better Than Solvent-Based Cannabis Extracts?

The use of solvents in concentrate extraction is generally a practical choice. Solvents can help manufacturers get better yields from their cannabis plants while speeding up the overall extraction procedure.

If made correctly, solvent-based cannabis extracts are completely safe and can be as pure as their solventless counterparts. However, there’s definitely an argument to be made that solventless concentrates are a more natural – and thus to some, healthier – choice.

The most obvious way in which solventless extraction is a better method is in home production. Using solvents such as butane can be extremely dangerous, especially if you don’t have any specialist equipment; solventless extraction is generally much less likely to go wrong and is always the better option for homemade rosins and concentrates.

High There

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High There

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