Live Resin vs Distillate: What Are the Differences?

marijuana live resin
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Live resin and distillate are two different types of cannabis concentrates. They have different extraction methods, terpene contents, THC volumes, and effects.

In this blog post, we will discuss the differences between live resin vs distillate and elaborate on all their different aspects. We will also explore which one is better for you. Keep reading to learn more!

Live Resin Concentrate on Dabber
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What Is Live Resin?

In general, the resin is a sticky, tar-like substance that is secreted by plants. Cannabis resin contains high levels of THC and other cannabinoids. Live resin extraction is achieved by using fresh cannabis buds that are frozen immediately after harvest. The frozen cannabis buds are then ground up and extracted using solvents such as butane or propane. This extraction method preserves the terpenes in the cannabis buds, which gives live resin its unique flavor and aroma.

The final product is a thick, gooey concentrate that is golden brown to amber in color. Live resin typically has a higher THC content than most other concentrates, with the exception of distillate THC which is higher. It also has a more complex flavor profile due to the preserved terpenes.

You could compare it to extra virgin olive oil or cold-pressed juices. The extraction method means all the valuable micronutrients, minerals, and entourage terpene compounds of the live plant are captured in the final product.

container of cannabis distillate
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What Is Distillate?

Generally, distillate refers to any liquid that has been purified by distillation. In the cannabis world, distillate is a high-quality concentrate that is made using a solventless extraction method.

The cannabis material is heated until it vaporizes and then the vapor is collected and cooled. This process separates the cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant material.

The final product is a clear, colorless oil with a very high THC content. The distillate has a very clean flavor and aroma. It is also one of the most potent concentrates on the market.

Due to its purity, distillate is often used in vape pens, edibles, and other products. It can also be added to live resin to create hybrid concentrates.

As a result of the distillation process, distillate contains little to no terpenes. It has a clean and potent taste, with a THC content that can reach up to 95%.

Live Resin vs Distillate: Differences In Different Aspects

So, which one is better for you? Well, it depends on your needs and preferences.

If you are looking for a strong high, then distillate is the way to go. It has a much higher THC content than live resin.

Live resin has 20-50% THC while distillate has 60-95% THC. This means that live resin gives a subtle high with all the flavors, aromas, and effects of terpenes intact

live resin concentrates one of the most popular weed products
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Extraction Method

The step-by-step extraction method for the live resin is classic, herbal essence cold extraction.

Firstly, excellent cannabis is sourced, then it’s frozen. After that, the live resin is then put into a device known as a vacuum oven for 24-48 hours, this effective freeze-dries the product and prevents the valuable entourage terpene compounds from being destroyed. Following that, it’s ground up, and as we explained a cold process of solvent extraction is used to produce the final result.

The step-by-step extraction method for distillate starts with heating the cannabis using an open flame or by using hot gas. The distilled product is collected in a condenser where it reverts to liquid form. This method is similar to how potable water or distilled water is produced.

Terpene Content

One of the biggest differences between live resin and distillate is the terpene content. Live resin contains high levels of terpenes, while distillate does not contain any terpenes.

This means that live resin has a much more flavorful and aromatic taste than distillate. It also retains the effects of the original fresh plant. If you like the flavor and effects of terpenes, live resin is the better choice for you.

The amount of terpenes in live resin is tied to the strain of cannabis used to make the resin. Higher terpene strains produce a more high-terpene final product.


The effect of live resin is more subtle than the effect of distillate. Live resin has 20-50% THC while distillate has 60-95% THC. This means that live resin gives a subtle high with all the flavors, aromas, and effects of terpenes intact.

Distillate, on the other hand, is more potent and provides an intense high. It’s perfect for those who are looking for a strong cannabis experience, possibly for medicinal purposes.

If you are someone who uses cannabis products for pain relief or doesn’t enjoy the flavor of entourage compounds and terpenes, you might prefer a distillate.

Consumption Methods

So, how can you use both of them?

Live resin can be dabbed or vaped with a nectar collector or dab rig. It can also be used to make edibles, due to the THC being activated (decarboxylation).

Distillate can be vaporized, topped off your joint or bowl to smoke it, sublingually, or even as a suppository. It can also be used to make edibles, due to the THC being activated (decarboxylation). Distillate, on the other hand, contains a lower terpene content and may be more viscous, whereas the use of terp pearls allows for even distribution of the concentrate on the inner wall of your banger, greatly improving the experience.

Which Is Best for You, Live Resin or Distillate?

Neither is better or worse, and each has a place in the big wide world of cannabis. Which to choose depends on your preference.

If you want a strong high with no flavor, then go for distillate. If you’re looking for a subtle experience with all the flavors and aromas of cannabis intact, live resin is the way to go.

Both live resin and distillate are types of cannabis concentrates. The main difference between them is that live resin contains high levels of terpenes, while distillate does not contain any terpenes.

If terpenes are important to you choose live resin. If THC is your priority go with distillate.

Live Resin vs Distillate? Both Options Are Great

Both options are very potent and have their benefits and drawbacks. It ultimately comes down to what you are looking for in a concentrate.

Who is the winner: live resin vs distillate? Neither. Whether you would like to try both live resin and distillate or choose the one that sounds best to you, we have a beautiful range of products to assist with that.

Updated: by Roma Almich