What is Rosin?

Scott Jones

What is rosin? What is live resin? What’s the difference? With such a wide array of CBD and THC products throughout the current market, it can sometimes be difficult to see the forest through all the different types of trees. When wandering through this forest of options, it’s likely that you’ll find yourself having questions like these. A better understanding of the products available to you leads to better purchasing decisions and a better CBD experience for your particular needs.

In short, rosin and live resin are both sticky, concentrated CBD extracts that come from hemp plants. This extract is squeezed out of the flowers of the hemp plant by the careful application of heat and pressure or by dissolving and concentrating cannabinoids using solvents. This article will give a more in depth look at how rosin and live resin are made, how they differ, and why they might be the right product for you.

Extracting Cannabinoids from Hemp

Many of the cannabinoids (such as CBD, THC, CBG, and CBN) that are found in hemp and cannabis plants are produced by the trichome glands. Trichomes are produced by many plants to protect them from weather and pests so that the flowers can fully blossom. Hemp and cannabis plants have three primary types of trichomes: bulbous, capitate sessile, and capitate stalked. The capitate stalked trichome glands are the only glands we need to worry about when it comes to cannabis and hemp products. They are the translucent, mushroom shaped glands that can be seen on mature cannabis and hemp flowers and are responsible for creating and releasing the fragrant terpenes that give cannabis it's various distinct scents and tastes. 

extracting cannabinoids from hemp buds

To make rosin and live resin, the cannabinoids must be extracted from the trichome glands. While hemp oil is made from cold pressing the flowers of the hemp plant, the rosin and live resin extraction processes involve either the slow application of heat and pressure to the hemp flowers or the use of various solvents to safely and cleanly extract the cannabinoids from all parts of the hemp plant. These two different methods of extraction both have their own benefits, but they also both result in a more potent and balanced cannabinoid concentrate that provides a wide range of the therapeutic benefits that CBD consumers desire.

Rosin vs. Live Resin

With the terms resin, rosin, and live resin all being so similar, it’s easy to see how one could get confused when trying to sort out the differences. But in truth, it’s quite easy to understand how they vary.


Resin is simply the natural sap that is emitted by the trichome glands as the plant grows to ward off invasive and damaging species, as well as to protect the flowers from the effects of the weather. It is sticky, soft, and fragrant and contains the pungent terpenes that give different strains their distinct aromas and flavor. 


Rosin is an all-natural extraction of the concentrated cannabinoids and terpenes found in hemp and cannabis using the slow, careful application of pressure and heat. This process is very similar to the process of extracting oils from other plants like avocados and olives. First the flowers of the hemp plant are cured and dried, then those dried buds are placed between the heated plates of a hydraulic press. This process is a natural, solventless extraction of the cannabinoids, relying only on the heated terpenes to pull the CBD from the trichomes and concentrate them into a waxy oil. 

Dried hemp flowers are ideal for this process because the terpenes and CBD found in hemp are more resistant to higher heat temperatures. Rosin extracted at lower temperatures has higher terpene content, leaving the extract very thick and flavorful but with a lower CBD yield. Rosin extracted at higher temperatures results in a higher yield of cannabinoids, but with a far lighter consistency and flavor.

Live Resin

Live resin differs from rosin in two very key, distinct ways. First, rather than using the cured and dried flowers of the hemp plant, live resin uses all the various parts of the hemp plant including the leaves, branches, stalks, as well as the flowers. These plants are harvested fresh and then flash-frozen. This freezing process avoids any degradation of the trichomes, terpenes, and cannabinoids that occurs in the curing, drying, and heating processes used to make rosin. This results in a more potent and complex concentrate. 

The second key difference is the extraction process itself. When extracting and concentrating live resin, solvents such as butane, propane, ethanol, or CO2 are used. Because each solvent has different benefits and drawbacks, often a blend of solvents is used so that the resulting concentrate has a more diverse range of benefits. Live resin extracts are thinner and more easily handled than rosins, making them perfect for adding to edibles or portable vape pens. Additionally, live resin can be further processed into THC-O, a synthetic THC compound derived from hemp. THC-O is a powerful psychoactive hemp-based product, so tread lightly if you’re new to the game. You can read more about THC-O here.

scientist with cannabinoid extracts

Because live resin extraction and THC-O synthesis are complicated and dangerous, it requires advanced equipment and highly trained technicians. It’s the kind of process the phrase, “Do not try this at home” was invented for. Because of this, it is important that live resin products are purchased from a reputable source that uses high quality ingredients and state of the art facilities. Purchasing from a proven source, like The Green Dragon CBD, insures you are getting a high-quality product with proven lab results and ingredients lists. 

For a detailed, medically reviewed analysis of these extraction processes, click here.

Why Choose CBD and THC Extracts

To find the perfect CBD product, you must first know what you want to get out of it. CBD and THC extracts like rosin and live resin have a wide variety of benefits, including:

Stability – by concentrating hemp extracts, the result is a more enduring product. 

Potency – concentrates are just that, concentrated, resulting in a more robust effect.

Flavor – fresh, flash frozen plants provide stronger, more delicious flavors.

Diverse therapeutic effects – because live resin is made using all the parts of the hemp plant, the resulting extracts are a full-spectrum CBD product, containing all the cannabinoids unique to each individual part of the plant.

Full-Spectrum CBD

A more in-depth and complete description of full-spectrum CBD can be found here, but to put it simply, full-spectrum CBD products contain all the extracts that are found in hemp and cannabis plants. This includes terpenes, flavonoids, and cannabinoids. By working in concert together (known as the entourage effect), full-spectrum CBD products harness all the therapeutic powers that exist in cannabis and hemp products.

Choosing Rosin and Live Resin Products

Choosing the right product type can be intimidating, especially with all of the different information out there. Even with informative blogs like this one, it can still be scary to traverse. We get it - that’s why our team at The Green Dragon CBD is available for consultations. Contact us today and let us help you find your perfect product.

What is Rosin?
Between rosin, resin, and live resin, it can get a little murky with all of the information. Read this blog for the differences of each type!
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