The world of concentrates has only recently joined the legal cannabis community (despite being around for centuries). What was once an industry of joint-rolling, blunt burning and bowl-packing has expanded to include a collection of highly potent marijuana extracts. With this new variety of products comes the need to understand the differences between them, which is easier said than done.

Three of these concentrates have similar names, which can make it slightly more difficult to remember the characteristics that define each type. These types are resin, live resin, and rosin. Don’t panic just yet, though, we’re about to break down the differences between them so you can discover which is best suited for you.


Put simply, this term describes the gooey trichomes that appear on the flowers and sugar leaves of mature female cannabis plants. When these trichomes are dried, cured and collected, the trichomes are called kief. Cannabinoids and terpenes are all housed in resin.

If you’ve ever run out of your stash and found yourself scraping your bowl or bong to get the black tar, or “res” out so you can smoke, this can also be considered resin, albeit the stoner’s last ditch effort to get high in this form.

Live Resin

Like BHO and CO2 concentrates, the live resin extraction process requires expensive equipment and trained professionals. It involves the cryogenic freezing of a freshly-harvested plant, and can involve everything from the plant’s flowers to leaves, branches, and even the stalk. Because most or all of the plant is used here, it can sometimes be referred to as “full plant” or “full spectrum”.


Also known as “rosin tech”, this concentrate is created when dried and cured flowers are pressed under a combination of heat and pressure to release the THC-rich resin. A key difference with this process when compared to BHO and CO2 extraction is that it is much safer to perform in one’s home because it does not involve potentially harmful extraction solvents. It can be as easy as purchasing a hair straightener and pressing your flower to get the golden oil.

As concentrates become more common in the market, it’s important to know exactly which type of concentrate you’re purchasing. There are plenty of other forms out there, but hopefully this breakdown of resins and rosin helps you jump into this aspect of cannabis!