THC Distillate vs Live Resin

Hey there folks! Welcome back to another exciting cannabis blog post to help you know more and shop smarter! This week, we’re going to be tackling a question that we as budtenders get asked at least once a day: What’s the difference between a THC distillate vape cartridge and a vape cartridge that contains live resin? To answer that question, we’re going to have to start by defining some terminology. So, get your thinking caps on and let’s do some learnin’!

Thinking Cap is secured!

Excellent. Alright so, first of all what is THC distillate? THC distillate is the end result of using solvent based processes in order to isolate and extract the THC from the flower so that you can then turn it into a distillate that can be consumed. We’ve touched on some of the processes that are used for this feat of scientific genius on previous blog posts, but usually the producer is going to use some kind of chemical based solvent or CO2 compression in order to extract the THC from the plant. Then a process is used to evaporate the excess chemicals that were used to separate the THC from the rest of the plant matter so that what is left is distilled THC. If it sounds complicated, that’s because it is! There are other methods that can be used to craft a distillate, but this is probably the most straightforward method. So, in essence, THC distillate is pure THC with none of the other stuff. Which brings us to live resin or full spectrum distillates.

So, I still need to keep my thinking cap on?

Keep the cap on until further notice. Live resin, as opposed to the distillate described above, is produced in such a way as to carry over the other components of the flower. This is achieved in different ways, but probably the coolest (pun absolutely intended) is to flash freeze the plant and then extract not only the THC but also the terpenes (which provide flavor and effects), minor cannabinoids like CBD and all the other little bits and pieces that make cannabis magic. The end result is a product that produces a far more robust high, much more akin to a super charged flower high. The flavors that are present in live resins are also the natural flavors of the plant provided through the high concentration of terpenes that make their way into the resin. This is as opposed to THC distillate carts which usually have artificial flavors added or terpenes added back in after the process of distillation. Since the concentration of terpenes in a live resin is so much higher than what you’ll generally find in other products, they’re a fantastic way to get to know the individual flavors and aroma’s that each strain has. Also, they tend to get you ridiculously high, owing to the ‘entourage effect’ that occurs when all of the parts of cannabis work together.

Does this mean live resin is better than THC distillate?

It kinda depends on who you ask! I’m a big promoter of live resin over THC distillate, but that’s owed to my pronounced interest in terps and the potential medical benefits of cannabis which are more actively present in live resin products. If your interest is strictly putting as much THC into your person as physically possible without going through the sometimes-laborious process of dabbing concentrates, then THC distillates are the route for you! As is usually the case with cannabis, there is no one size fits all option that will be the best for everyone, we’re all unique and our endocannabinoid system is no exception.


So, if you’ve been dabbling with THC distillate vape carts and are looking for a new experience that will be more akin to a flower type high, give a live resin a try! (You may also now remove your thinking cap)


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