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Rosin vs. Resin: A Detailed Comparison of Cannabis Extracts

Cannabis Rosin

Cannabis concentrates are all the rage for their potent effects, so who will win in the match between rosin vs. resin? These dab-worthy products are known to cause confusion, as it seems not everyone can tell the difference between them. 

Let’s unpack the characteristics of resin and rosin to discover the winning extract. Ring the bell and let the match begin! 

Rosin vs resin: Ultimate comparison table

What’s the difference between resin and rosin? Understanding their unique features can be complicated, so let’s compare them in a simplified table

Extraction methodSolvent-based extraction technique using chemical hydrocarbon solvents like butane and propaneHeat and pressure extraction techniques
Texture Sticky texture, similar to tree sapShiny and similar to liquid, like syrup or whipped, creamy butter 
Color Dark brown or goldenRango of colors from beige to deep golden honey 
Terpene profile Rich terpene profile but may be affected by chemicals Rich terpene content that’s purer but could lose some terpenoids 
THC content Typically more potent than rosin but strain dependant Potential to be extremely potent depending on the strain
EffectsStrain dependent but tends to be stronger than rosin Strain dependent but can be extremely potent with proper techniques 
Benefits Typically more affordable than rosin with a high terpene contentThe main difference between resin and rosin is the latter is a cleaner, solventless end product
Uses Use with a dab rig, concentrate vaporizer, as a topping on pipes, bongs, and joints, or infuse it into ediblesSame uses as resin
Potential risks Can be extremely potent and has the potential for allergic reactions due to chemicalsCan be overwhelming in high amounts

What is resin?

Both live resin and rosin are concentrated versions of fresh flowers, unlike cured resin. People derive it from the trichomes on the buds and sugar leaves of female plants.

When cannabis plants are flowering, they secrete a sticky resin on the buds and sugar leaves. It may look like crystals or be sticky and shiny. These little resinous gems are called trichomes

The plant produces resin to protect itself from excess sunlight, herbivores, and pests. It also secretes this sticky stuff to attract pollinators and beneficial insects, which help it reproduce and survive in the wild. 

The cannabis trichomes pack high levels of cannabinoids and terpenes, making it the powerhouse of psychedelic and medicinal benefits. Resin is a concentrated version of these crystals

How is resin made?

Resin starts with fresh cannabis plants. Once buds are harvested, the terpenes degrade over time. Flash-freezing them conceals cannabinoid, terpenoid, and flavonoid content. 

The compounds are extracted from the flowers using a solvent that spreads through the plant and releases trichomes rich in THC. This step is the main difference between live resin and rosin. 

Once the extraction is done, low heat is added to remove the solvent. It preserves the natural aromatics of the weed plant and removes any chemical aftertaste. 

Resin goes through a complicated process that requires special equipment. It’s dangerous to create it in your kitchen, as the solvents are highly flammable and toxic. 

Key characteristics

Resin and rosin are easy to confuse. Here are some characteristics of resin: 

  • Soft and gooey 
  • Amber brown or golden color 
  • Sugary or sap-like texture 
  • Potent 
  • Sticky 
Cannabis resin
Cannabis resin

Aroma and flavor

The aroma and flavor depend on the cannabis strain and the solvent used. Hydrocarbon compounds like hexane don’t impart a strong scent, while opting for a BHO extraction will. 

Without proper technique or laboratory-grade equipment, it’s difficult to remove the chemical flavor completely. Low-quality resin can have a bitter, acetone aftertaste

The terpenes in different cannabis strains impart a variety of scents and flavors. Here are some of the most common ones: 

  • Limonene: Fresh, citrus aroma with a sharp bite. 
  • Humulene: Deep, woody scent and warm, comforting taste. 
  • Pinene: Sweet, refreshing flavor with a pine forest aroma. 
  • Linalool: Spicy, citrus taste and floral perfume. 
  • Caryophyllene: Spicy, pepper burst with earthy, cinnamon aroma. 
  • Myrcene: Musky scent with herbal flavors. 


Resin is generally expensive when compared to most cannabis concentrates on the market. It’s extremely potent, so one cart could last you a long time.

To put things into perspective, wax or shatter costs around $20 for about 0.04 ounces. Resin will run you about $50 to $120 per 0.04 ounces.

Consumption method

Resin is a versatile concentrate that you can enjoy in many ways. Let’s unpack two of the common consumption methods: dabbing and topping off. 

Dabbing is the most popular way to consume resin. It’s convenient, trendy, and easy. Hitting the dab is the best way to enjoy the potent effects while preserving the terpenes and cannabinoids. Here’s how to do it: 

  1. Using a dabber tool, scoop up the desired amount of resin. 
  1. Apply it to the dab rig and light it with a torch and nail. 
  1. Inhale deeply and exhale. 
Are dabs bad for you?

You feel the effects of the dab almost immediately, which makes it an excellent option for those seeking speedy results. 

Another benefit of dabbing is there’s little to no combustion involved. People who want to avoid carcinogens or harmful toxins present in smoke appreciate dabs. 

Topping off is one of the easiest ways to enjoy resin. It involves adding a smidge to the top of a blunt or joint. Put some on your bong bowl for an extra blast. 

This method allows you to get the best of both worlds. Dabs are fun but they don’t allow you to puff for long as they’re extremely potent. Adding resin to your blunt enables you to have a longer smoke sesh

What is rosin?

Rosin is also known as solventless hash oil or olio (SHO). People use heat, cold and pressure to draw out the cannabinoids and terpenes. This natural technique is free from chemicals and results in a pure end product

The process of extracting rosin was originally used to create rosin for violin bows. It’s named after that application. 

With rosin vs. resin, the former is considered a healthier, purer option, since there are no chemicals

How is rosin made?

Rosin is created through an extraction technique that applies heat and pressure simultaneously to juice the resin from cannabis. It’s made using dried flower, kief, and hash. Live rosin is created with fresh or flash-frozen buds. 

The nugs are sandwiched between two hot surfaces with intense force. This process causes a separation from the dry cannabis plant material and sticky resin. Once the rosin is extracted, it’s collected and packed at stable temperatures

A key factor with resin or rosin is the latter can be made at home. In fact, it started as a DIY trend where people were using home appliances to squeeze the sap. You can either extract it with water and ice or use a resin press / a hair straightener and parchment paper to make this extract. 

Professional equipment is more precise and results in less wastage. The pressure in rosin machines is strong enough to separate dry buds from trichomes efficiently. 

Key characteristics

Rosin is a popular extract that many look for in dispensaries or attempt to make themselves. Here are some key characteristics: 

cannabis rosin
Cannabis rosin
  • Waxy textured paste 
  • Aromatic and booming with terpenes 
  • Solvent-free
  • Slightly sticky
  • Range in textures; some can be runny like honey 

Aroma and flavor

Unlike resin, rosin doesn’t contain chemical solvents, so there’s no chance of polluting the taste. Cannabis connoisseurs appreciate this form, as it’s pure and rich in authentic cannabis flavors

The culinary profile of rosin is largely strain dependent, similar to resin. It gets its aromatic profile and flavors from its terpene content. This concentrate is said to taste fresher than resin


Is rosin better than resin? Most consumers think so, as they’re willing to pay around 20% more for it compared to other distillates. It’s slightly more expensive than resin, typically starting at around $70

Consumption method

Resin and rosin are consumed in the same ways. Dabbing is the most popular method, but vaping and edibles are also top contenders. 

You can vape rosin with a dab pen, which allows you to insert the concentrate and puff away. This method is convenient, modern, and perfect for those who use marijuana on the move. 

Since everyone enjoys the natural flavor of rosin, edibles bring out the pure aromatics in the best way. If you want powerful space cookies, why not put some of this concentrate into your next batch? 

Live resin vs live rosin: What makes them both “live”?

Most cannabis products are made from dried or cured buds. During the drying process, the flowers lose many of their unique cannabinoids, like CBG and CBN. They may also drop some of their trichomes when handled. 

Resin and rosin are considered live because they’re derived from freshly harvested, uncured, and undried cannabis plants. What makes live extracts so special?

Live extracts deliver an entourage effect. The terpene content is higher than in a blunt, and cannabinoids like CBC, which don’t survive combustion, are present in resin and rosin.

Rosin vs. resin: The winner announced

So, which is better in the matchup between rosin vs. resin? Rosin is free from chemical solvents and boasts a rich terpenoid profile, while resin has a strong cannabinoid content. Both are excellent options for anyone who needs a powerful kick

If you plan on making rosin or just rolling a fatty, shop our selection of high THC weed seeds to grow juicy, delicious buds.

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