Have you tried cannabis extracts yet? You can have your weed, and eat it too, but the most potent way to get the THC or CBD you need is to ride the amber wave of cannabis resins & rosins. There’s a lot of extracts and concentrates out there, but what’s the difference between them? Which one is right for you? Like any good marijuana product, there’s many you can customize to suit your weed needs, and we’re here to help you meet your sticky soulmates: resin, live resin & rosin.
The world of cannabis extracts and concentrates is a relatively new one, but the trifecta of R’s – Resin, Live Resin & Rosin – have impacted the stoner populace as strongly as the potent high they induce. These ooey, gooey, so-delicious-looking-you-could-chewy concentrates are some of the most potent forms of cannabis today. If you’ve ever ‘greened out’ from an edible, you better do some Olympic-level ganja training before taking on the trio of R’s – they’re significantly more efficacious than your average pot brownie or lollipot. If the sweet, seductive nectar of rosin interests you, or if you’ve always considered mucking around with the sticky tar of resin, let us take you on a guided tour of the wonderful whirl of resins, live resins and rosins.
For starters, we need to define each of the R’s and define what makes them different from one another. Right off the hop, we need to set some ground rules: extracts and concentrates are not for the greenhorn stoner or cannabis newbie. These forms of marijuana are seriously potent, and their effects can be very fast-acting and last for a significant duration. These aren’t the nugs your grandparents or parents used to smoke in their dimebag days… Resin, Live Resin & Rosin pack a serious punch, so don’t mess with this kind of ganja unless you’re absolutely certain that you want, need, can handle this level of high.
With that caveat out of the way, what are the differences between Resin, Rosin & Live Resin?
RESIN: Dark, Dank & Definitely Gets The Job Done
Have you ever heard of the “sticky icky”? Of course you have, Snoop Dogg makes mention of it pretty much every few songs. When true cannabis connoisseurs like the incomparable D-oh-double-G point something out, the rest of us Mary J appreciators need to take notice. The sticky, resinous (there’s your first hint) substance that can be found on cannabis buds is what we make Resin out of. This sappy textured semi-solid is produced by the trichomes of the flowers, and they contain much of the terpenes, cannabinoids and flavinoids that we so eagerly covet. What are trichomes, terpenes and cannaba-flava-noids?! If you’re new to the cannabis game, or just never paid much attention to the nerdy growers in your life babbling on about “Phytocannabinoid Profiles”, we can briefly break these down for you.
Trichomes are the little hairs, or protrusions that cover the surface of cannabis flowers, giving it the look of a sugar-coated bud. These tiny hairy outgrowths actually help to protect the flowers from pests or the environment, but they also contain the cannabinoids like THC, CBD and many others.
Phytocannabinoids (or cannabinoids for shorter) are the ‘active ingredients’ in marijuana that chemically interact with our bodies and create the highs (or relaxing lows) we seek from this wonderful plant. Terpenes essentially make up the flavor, aroma and overall sensual profile of cannabis flowers – such as the musky, piney or citrus smells we love to inhale, or the earthy, sour or fruity tastes of our weed.
So, Resin is the accumulation of this sticky secretion from the trichomes of the buds, and it’s basically a concentration of all the potent properties of cannabis. It’s like if you enjoyed a “hint of lemon” in your water but then decided to just eat a dozen whole lemon fruits instead… it’s powerful, it’s packed with everything you need, and it can be tough to handle. That being said, for people with a higher tolerance for THC, or if you have some serious medical marijuana needs, Resin and other extracts provide a more consistent, potent dose of the life-changing cannabinoids.
You might’ve heard of “finger hash” or “hashish” which are essentially the same thing as resin. Before modern cannabis growing techniques, and everything was done by hand, growers would get resin stuck to their hands and clothing when they handled the plants. This substance was known to lead to be very valuable and potent, so they’d roll the resin up in their hands, rub it into chunks or collect it over time into jars and sell them as concentrates or consume them. Today, there’s much more advanced methods for extractions and processing concentrates, but the origins of Resin go way back to the earliest days of cannabis cultivation.
LIVE RESIN: A Good Reason to Live the Cannabis Life
There are a number of popular ways to extract concentrated forms of cannabinoids today, but most growers utilize the Butane (BHO) method or the CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) technique. These processes involve using gases – Butane or Carbon Dioxide – in a controlled environment to extract the terpenes and cannabinoids from the plant and infusing the active compounds into a concentrated form, such as an oil, resin or wax. Some cannabis purists are not fond of these methods of extraction, because the gases can be dangerous to use or cause the deterioration of some of the cannabinoids or terpenes.
For these reasons, “Live Resin Extraction” was developed by some innovative cultivators in the pursuit of capturing the purest essence of cannabis possible. To avoid the use of solvents or gases, Live Resin flowers are frozen cryogenically immediately after harvest, before the cannabinoids, terpenes and the “freshness” of the buds have had a chance to break down or diminish. Essentially, this is like sci-fi tech in modern times – in the movies or comics, someone has a sickness to which there’s no cure, so they throw them into a cryo-tube and freeze the person up until they have a solution. This is some space-age stuff, but it works excellent for preserving the potency of the flowers.
Obviously making this kind of product requires a significant bundle of technology and know-how – not just anyone has a cryogenic system lying around, not to mention training with extraction equipment. This is one of the many contributing factors to Live Resin’s popularity, and higher prices. Live Resin is one of the most potent and pure forms of cannabis currently available, so there’s a lot of demand for it. This has led a lot of cultivators to invest in the tech required to produce Live Resin, which has also helped the industry move on from potentially dangerous extraction methods like BHO (Butane).
ROSIN: Hard Pressed to Find Anything Better
Rosin, not to be confused with Resin, is a concentrate produced by means of pressing and heating cannabis flowers, which is where it gets its name from (traditionally called a Rosin Press). These presses range from the high-tech to a household hair straightener. To make Rosin, you would place your buds in the grip of your press and apply pressure and heat to force the extraction of the cannabinoids and terpenes. This concentration takes the form of a golden or amber syrupy, oily substance. Next, to separate the prized Rosin from the press you can use anything that is non-stick, such as wax paper or kitchen utensils to collect the golden ganja nectar.
Because there’s no solvents involved, and because there’s far less equipment and training required to get your hands on the goods. Pressed Rosin just relies on two elements: heat and pressure. It’s easy to make Rosin at home, especially since there are a number of presses for sale online and at your local marijuana dispensary.
Keep in mind, the buds need to be dried or cured and not fresh; anything extracted from fresh marijuana flowers is closer to live resin. Using hydrocarbons like Butane or CO2 have their obvious risks (inhalation, reactions with other solvents), so sticking to (no pun intended) a simple heat & press system is much more realistic for many consumers. Rosin is often confused with shatter because it is melted, translucent and almost crystallized looking.
Like with other concentrates, Rosin can be smoked or added to flowers, dabbed, vaporized or even ingested. How you take your rosin is up to you, just be sure you understand the potency and start low, and start slow when trying it for the first time.
WHY ARE CONCENTRATES & EXTRACTS SO POPULAR?
Today’s cannabis consumer is typically a lot more versed in the various types of cannabis strains, the methods of consuming it, and the vast database of knowledge on the subject of “getting high”. Gone are the days of sharing one doob between a few friends – nowadays, stoners have a ton of choice in how they get their fix of Mary J. This is not to suggest that there’s anything wrong with rolling a fat joint of your favorite flower, packing a bowl full of that ‘old faithful’ weed, or popping a few canna-gummies down the hatch. Cannabis today is so much more developed and optimized for potency that the weeds of today would almost be unrecognizable to their ancestor buds.
The modern marijuana market is full of innovation, and it’s thanks to the creativity of the growers and the ever-evolving needs of the consumers that the industry has become a futuristic place to grow & smoke. Concentrates and extracts came to existence partly because of circumstance (hashish, finger wax) but mostly due to the increasing need for more potent weed for an increasingly tolerant stoner populace. It’s not secret, that many cannabis consumers feel like their tolerance keeps getting stronger and stronger, leading them to consume more and more to get the high they’re seeking. There’s a lot of research into how different marijuana strains, cannabis species and cannabis products effect our minds & bodies. Nevertheless, the fact remains that many potheads seek out concentrates & extracts because the average buds or edibles aren’t doing it for them like they used to.
What are the differences between concentrates and extracts? Concentrates, when you get right down to it, are extracted from the trichomes without using solvents like Butane or Carbon Dioxide. Rosin, sift and kief are considered to be concentrates that are produced by using heat, pressure or simpler, more natural harvesting techniques. So, concentrates are essentially extracts, but not the other way around. Extracts, on the other hand, use solvents and put more emphasis on technology & equipment to become concentrated forms of cannabis. Shatter, resin, live resin, crumble and crystalline cannabis products are extracts.
Some Canadians prefer shatter weed or wax over the more naturally occurring resins & rosins, because both shatter and wax can be some of the most concentrated forms of cannabis possible. Making shatter & wax is not the easiest to produce at home – it’s very technical and requires special equipment to process. Another knock against producing your own shatter is that it is brittle, tough to manage or can be difficult to dose properly if the active compounds aren’t distributed evenly throughout. Wax has simpler processing, but it has been known to degrade quicker than the other concentrates.
HOW CANADA SMOKES CONCENTRATES & EXTRACTS
Have you ever vaped? Dabbed? Getting the potent high’s from concentrates or extracts requires a little more ingenuity than your average doob or bong hit. Dabbing involves flash-vaporization whereby concentrates are placed on a heated, water platform which super-heats the concentrate and carries the cannabinoids into your system via vaporized water particles. Vaping is essentially the same process, but in a more mobile-friendly unit, and with less capacity than a dab machine.
Like with most cannabis consumption decisions, the equipment required and the person’s tolerance to cannabis are the defining factors. If you’ve never dabbed before, it’s important to start low and slow, because this kind of high can be vastly more potent than your typical joint or pipe. In addition, the technical know-how for managing your vaporizer or dabber or utilizing them to the best of their abilities requires some training. If you’re interested in trying these “straight to the head” methods, try going to your local marijuana dispensary or dab-lounge, the experts at these establishments can be your guide on the next ganja journey.
MEET YOUR WEED NEEDS WITH HAUTE
Haute.health has the concentrates & extracts you need to get the high you want. The best prices online ($3 grams – $8 grams) can be found at Haute, and they’re always stocked with the best buds, the tastiest edibles, and all the potent concentrates. Haute.health even has a wholesale option for the bulk shoppers of the weed world: Shatters, Resins, Hash, even Phoenix Tears, it’s all online with Haute.
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