Rosin vs. Resin vs. Distillate - What's the Difference?
Rosin and resin are both types of cannabis concentrates that are made through the extraction of cannabis, but they can be made from different starting materials and have key differences in terms of their production and properties.
Some terms you may have heard before referring to these forms of concentrate may include: rosin, resin, live rosin, live resin, hash rosin, budder, batter, nectar, cold cure, cured, and more. See our glossary here.
Rosin (including hash rosin and live rosin) is made by pressing the plant oils from fresh, frozen cannabis flowers or pre-made hash using heat and pressure.
The resulting product is a high-potency, sticky, sap-like substance that is rich in terpenes and cannabinoids. Live rosin is the most popular form of dab-able rosin, as it preserves terpenes as it’s made from fresh frozen buds. The process of making rosin is more basic, where rosin is made by applying heat and pressure to dried cannabis or hash made from dried cannabis.
Rosin extractions are referred to as “solventless.”
Resin is a little more broad, but usually associated with “Live” or “Cured” Resins, and are hydrocarbon extracted. Other common names for “resin” include Live or Cured Resin, Live or Cured Sugar, Live or Cured Budder/Batter, shatter, or oil (errl iykyk).
Resin extraction methods include solvents other than water, heat, and pressure – including Butane (BHO), Propane (PHO), mixed hydrocarbon, CO2, or Ethanol.
Distillate refers to the product resulting from additional processing steps, and could in theory be made with any concentrate, including rosin. The steps to create distillate include heating the concentrate at very specific levels to purify and activate the THC. This may be repeated multiple times, and be paired with additional filtration steps.
These terms (rosin, resin, & distillate) are not based on scientific naming nor legislation, but seem to stay rather consistent in the market, industry wide.