Live Resin vs. Distillate: How Are They Different?

Live Resin vs. Distillate How Are They Different

Cannabis has been gaining popularity in the past decade. Forms of cannabis products have dramatically changed and now come with full spectrums, broad spectrums, isolates, live resins, and distillates. All cannabis extracts have some common characteristics, but they also have differences.

Two of the most popular cannabis concentrates used in vaping are live resin and distillate. The key difference between live resin and distillate is attributed to the terpene content after extraction. Understanding the difference between different concentrates in the ever-expanding marijuana market is essential. Today, you will learn to distinguish between distillate and live resin and determine which is better for you.

What Is Live Resin?

A quality live resin is made from a fresh cannabis flower. At the peak of harvest, the live cannabis flower is cut down and flash-frozen to preserve naturally occurring plant substances such as terpenes and cannabinoids. The frozen cannabis flowers will then undergo specific extraction methods to produce what is known as live resin.

When you look at a live resin, you will observe a thick, saucy cannabis extract that resembles crystallized honey. Since terpene and cannabinoid content remains intact, genuine live resin tastes like musky fruits or astringent herbs. Find out more about cannabis resin here.

What Is Distillate?

A photo of cannabis distillate in a syringe

Distillate more likely refers to the extraction process rather than the product. Cannabis distillate is the name given when you extract all cannabis compounds individually to make the product. Crude cannabis oil is extracted after the cannabis plant is cut, dried, and cured.

The crude oil can be turned into cannabis concentrates such as wax, shatter, budder, or crumble, depending on the extraction process used. In the distillation process, the crude oil undergoes fractional short-path distillation. Here, the beneficial cannabinoids are extracted at different boiling points.

Since the distillation concentrates the specific cannabis plant’s compounds, you can separate the THC to make a potent, clear, and odourless liquid.

Live Resin vs. Distillate: What Are Their Differences?

Both live resin and distillate come from the cannabis plant but differ significantly. The key difference between live resin vs. distillate is their terpene content. Distillate only contains isolated cannabinoids and does not retain terpenes after extraction.

To explain better, let’s distinguish distillate and live resin just like how we compare juice. Think of live resin as a freshly squeezed juice straight from fresh fruits. On the other hand, distillate is the concentrated juice you can buy from a store. They both come from fresh fruit but differ in the extraction process and content.

The critical thing to remember is that live resin is made from frozen cannabis flowers. On the other hand, distillate is made from cured cannabis extract. The extraction of cannabis compounds may vary in the type of solvent used and other proprietary processes. Nevertheless, you can still make distillate and live resin from the same cannabis processor or extraction machinery, but the post-extraction processes will vary.

In other words, the product is considered live resin as long as the plant matter is frozen or made from fresh buds. But if the concentrated form of the cannabis extract is made from a dried flower and consists of pure cannabinoids, the product is a distillate. To give you more ideas when comparing live resin to distillate, check out more of their differences below:


Cannabis distillate is a yellowish liquid consisting of the desired cannabinoid but is void of all the rich flavours from terpenes. The product’s clear, thick, and yellow hue characteristics are due to the cannabinoids being separated from the plant matter during the fractional short-path distillation process.

Terpene Content

The main goal of cannabis aficionados or manufacturers in creating live resin is to maintain the highest terpene content possible. Terpenes are the cannabis plant compounds responsible for not only the aroma but also the flavour of the fresh plants.

Terpenes may be found in various combinations, and their synergistic impact with other beneficial cannabinoids and flavonoids helps provide a range of physical and mental effects. They are not psychoactive like THC cannabinoids, but they play an essential role in the cannabis flavour and live resin smell.

Entourage Effect

Terpenes and cannabinoids produce what is known as the “entourage effect” when consumed together. The entourage effect can only occur when there is a synergistic interaction between a wide variety of cannabinoids and terpenes. This effect is the harmonious result of taking these naturally occurring plant compounds simultaneously.

Experts and cannabis consumers believe that the best approach to get the most out of cannabis plants is to preserve their components in their natural state. For instance, using non-cannabis-derived terpenes in a distillate is not as effective because the terpenes are drawn out during the distillation process.

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User Experience

Your preference is the most crucial factor when debating live resin vs. distillate. Sometimes you want to vape a juicy live resin that leaves you with a mouthwatering taste. However, sometimes you want an odourless distillate with pure THC that can give you a very potent high.

Talking about the high associated with live resin and distillate, the former tends to provide effects comparable to what you would feel if you smoked the dried flower. In other words, the high is almost identical.

On the other hand, the distillate will generate a strong initial high. However, this high will often only last for a shorter period because the absence of other cannabinoids and terpenes makes the entourage effect possible.

Which One Between Live Resin and Distillate Should You Use?

Producing live resin and distillate is carefully done for their respective uses. Neither is superior to the other, and both have distinct roles in the ever-expanding cannabis culture. When it comes to choosing an extract, an essential thing to take into consideration is the product’s level of purity and overall level of quality.

Always assess the brand and manufacturer to ensure they use professional extraction equipment in a sanitary setting and adhere to all regulations to achieve state-mandated compliance. Search or request to view the lab test for their product.

Looking for Live Resin?

If you are looking for quality live resin, check our products here at BudLyft. You can always find a suitable product, from pure resins to vape cartridges. Check out some of our recommended live resin products below:

  • Peach OG Live Resin by Heat Makery: Peach OG is an Indica dominant hybrid consisting of 85% Indica and 15% Sativa strain. It boasts a moderate THC level that is likely between 15% to 20%. Using Peach OG may let you experience an immediate onset of mild euphoria that leaves you slightly energized, focused, and motivated. Due to these effects, this live resin is said to be ideal for patients suffering from conditions such as nerve damage, chronic pain, mild depression, and muscle spasms.
  • Pink Kush Live Resin 1g Vape Cartridge By Boost: This vape cart is made from a unique and hand-picked selection of cannabis-derived live resin oils sourced from BC growers. It is rich in terpenes and cannabinoids, delivering a full taste profile. The product uses CCELL-certified carts with wooden tips for the ultimate vaping experience. It is also free of harmful artificial flavours, additives, and cutting agents.
  • Strawberry Vape Cartridge or Pen by Unicorn Hunter: Made by a certified Vancouver-based cannabis manufacturer, this vape is discreet and easy to use, with minimal effort needed to get your recreational and medical doses. The vape pen is disposable, but you can recharge them using a standard 2.0 Micro USB cable. It contains Strawberry Kush strain extract with 93% to 95% THC content. The bud has an aroma and sweet and sour strawberry taste that intensifies upon each exhale. The Strawberry Kush high slowly spreads throughout the body, leaving you lazy and hungry.

Looking for Distillates?

Whether you are looking for a distillate syringe to use for smoking or distillate capsules to add to your daily routine, BudLyft has many products available. Some of them are:

  • Mary’s Honey Oil Syringe: Made from the finest locally grown cannabis, this honey oil contains all the cannabinoids and terpenes in fresh flowers, producing rich and flavorful aromas. This product is an excellent choice for those seeking a more potent high or a high tolerance to THC, which ranges from 800mg to 900mg. It can be added to joints or dabbed on its own.
  • Mary’s 1ml Distillate: This distillate uses high-quality cannabis and a state-of-the-art extraction process to ensure the product consists of almost purely cannabinoids. Unlike Honey oil which is full-spectrum, this distillate results in little to no taste or smell. It has around 90% to 95% THC content, which is excellent for those with a high THC tolerance. It can be added to joints or dabbed on its own.
  • Boost Gel Caps – CBD 30: If you are constantly travelling or always on the go, a convenient option to get your daily dose of CBD is through capsules. It contains quality cannabis isolate that is proven effective in helping quell anxiety and pain. This product contains gelatine capsules, organic hempseed oil, and CBD isolate. Each bottle comes with 30 gel caps for convenient and discreet usage.

Live Resin vs. Distillate FAQs

Is live resin better than distillate?’

Live resin is often seen as more tasty and fresh than distillate, which may be more inexpensive and discreet. Choosing which one is better depends on the type of experience and effects you hope to get.

Live resin is the way to go if you are searching for a more delicate high with more natural flavours. In addition, the live resin can provide a more intense effect due to the entourage effect coming from the combination of terpenes and cannabinoids. On the other hand, the distillate is for those who want a greater high with lesser flavour.

Why is live resin better than distillate?

The high from live resin is often more intense since terpenes can amplify the effects of cannabinoids. This entourage effect leads to more potent and long-lasting impacts than distillate.

In addition, since it retains more of the cannabis plant’s compounds, including a higher concentration of naturally occurring terpenes, the live resin may have an advantage over distillate regarding its therapeutic benefits. Terpenes have various effects, but the essential one is that they contribute significantly to the medicinal value of cannabis.

Are live resin carts better than regular ones?

Live resin cartridges have a greater quantity of natural terpenes and tend to be tastier than regular cartridges, even though the regular ones are more cost-efficient. The reason why live resin carts are more expensive is because of the complexity and cost of the extraction and freezing process required to make the product.

Compared to other vape items, live resin cartridges have a terpene level much higher than other vape products. Not only will you love the smell, but you may also have a more intense experience due to the terpenes.

Is distillate the same as live resin?

Live resin and distillate are two utterly different cannabis products. The primary difference between the two is the extraction process. Live resin is extracted from frozen cannabis flowers, while distillate is extracted from those that have been cured and dried. The extraction procedures can differ in various ways, including the kind of solvent that is used.

Is the aroma of live resin more pungent than that of distillate?

Yes. The most distinguishing feature of live resin is its rich and robust fragrance due to its high terpene content. This complex aromatic extract has a scent that is very similar to that of freshly ground buds. On the other hand, in comparison to live resin, distillate is more processed since the distillation process concentrates on specific cannabinoids. Thus, a significant portion of the terpene content is lost in the process.

It is generally agreed that consuming live resin is the tastiest approach to using a cannabis extract. However, some users do not like its strong cannabis flavour and smell. Cannabis distillate is often used in edibles, and terpenes are generally blended with it in vape pens to disguise the taste of cannabis. 

Is distillate more expensive than live resin?

No. The price point is generally based on the quality of the raw materials used. The production of live resin requires the use of freshly harvested cannabis plants. The entire flowers and leaves are used to acquire the greatest possible terpene concentration. When creating distillate, there is not much of an advantage to using the whole flower because the terpene content will be lost throughout the distillation process. Most distillates are produced with trim, shaking, and leaves. Thus, the components of distillates are far less expensive than live resins.

What are some of the benefits of using live resin?

When creating live resin, the trichomes on the plant need to be protected so that the finished product has a high concentration of terpenes and cannabinoids. Such high percentages give live resin the potential to exhibit medicinal and therapeutic characteristics. In addition to contributing flavour and scent, terpenes collaborate with THC to produce the unique mental and physical effects of each cannabis strain. One example is the calming effects of the terpene myrcene, which, when paired with the psychoactive effects of THC, may bring about a profound sense of calm and relaxation.

Instead of having to cut the plant, hang it up to dry, trim it, and cure it, the process of extracting live resin is considerably simpler; all that has to be done is cut it and then freeze it. This presents a number of benefits to farmers.

Is it possible to get high on live resin?

Yes. The high that you may get from using live resin is often more intense, depending on the product and method of usage. Terpenes can amplify the effects of cannabinoids. This is why live resin’s psychoactive and physiological effects are far more potent and long-lasting than those of distillate used on its own.

Is the high from dabs stronger than live resin?

Using a dab rig or pen to vaporize cannabis extracts is called “dabbing.” Dabs can refer to various cannabis extracts, such as shatter, wax, budder, and live resin. You can put a dab of live resin on your joint, or you may sprinkle it on top of a bowl. Since it contains more terpenes and cannabinoids than other types of dabs, the live resin has more potential to be stronger than other types.

Full spectrum, broad-spectrum, isolate, distillate, and live resin are some popular cannabis products that dominate the market. Both live resin and distillate are highly in-demand for different purposes. Live resin is popular due to its rich and flavourful aroma, while distillate is preferred as an addition to cannabis edibles due to the absence of terpenes, flavour, and scent.

Are you ready to make your live resin or distillate purchase? Head over to BudLyft’s product page and take your pick from our quality items. Please place your order now so the items will be delivered within the day for free through our same-day delivery service across Vancouver and Lower Mainland. Otherwise, you will get your parcel within one to three business days.

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