Cannabis connoisseurs are continually looking for the next big thing in cannabis concentrates. The desired outcome is unique to the user. Some people look for the highest THC percentage, while others prefer a more well-rounded full spectrum flavor rich in terpenes. Others want a solventless option made without using any hydrocarbon or advanced extraction equipment. Live rosin checks many of these boxes and isn’t an extract at all. Let’s see how it compares to other formats.
What is Live Rosin?
Live rosin is considered one of the cleanest, most pure forms of cannabis concentrate. We say concentrate because it’s not an extract. The word “extract” is an umbrella term for hash made from cannabis, but “concentrate” is another hash category. Concentrate is the most appropriate category for rosin. So, what’s the difference?
Solventless Live Rosin
All live rosin is solventless. When you read about solvents used for cannabis manufacturing, it usually means hydrocarbons like butane or propane. However, CO2 and even ethyl alcohol are included as a solvent for cannabis extraction. Cannabis extracts are made by placing buds or trimmings into an extraction column, and the use of heat, pressure, and a hydrocarbon draw the cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant material. Live rosin is solventless because only ice water and some slight pressure is used to make it.
How Live Rosin is Made
Before we talk about how to make live rosin, it’s essential first to understand how rosin is made.
Hash-making or rosin-making is one of the oldest methods for making concentrates from cannabis. Even though it has been around for ages and appears simple in concept, it is a method that actually requires a good amount of skill and focused attention. Any hash maker will tell you that it is very much an art to make the best live rosin.
A rosin press is composed of two heated metal plates that firmly press together. First, you place cannabis buds between a folded piece of parchment paper or a type of mesh sieve bag. As you press the buds between the two plates and increase the pressure, the resinous sap seeps through the bag or paper, teeming with cannabinoids and terpenes. This concentrate is highly potent and smells and tastes very true to its strain because it is the closest you can get to fresh buds. Making rosin is something that anyone can do with some parchment paper and a hair straightener, although it’s better left to the pros who have access to a commercial rosin press and plenty of experience.
To make live rosin, you incorporate the term “live” by using live cannabis. The plants are cut down and flash frozen as soon as they are ready to harvest. This way, the fragile trichomes containing the chemistry remain intact. Then, the frozen buds are used to make ice wax, also called bubble hash or ice hash. Finally, the hash is squeezed through the rosin press, producing an absolutely luscious, terpene-rich, highly potent concentrate. This is live rosin.
What Makes the Best Live Rosin
The science is still out on this, but the evidence is accumulating that growing conditions, soil and even terroir can have a significant impact on the finished quality of live rosin. Some people believe that the best live rosin comes from cannabis that is grown from seed instead of clones, as this allows the plants to attain their maximum root structures which gives them the ability to bring in vital nutrients to the flower. Allowing plants to grow to full term under the sun also allows for the complete development of terpenes and other substances which add to the taste and full spectrum experience.
Finally, we believe the native soil of the Emerald Triangle, both in the mountains and on the dry farm river beds, are major contributors to what we would call the best live rosin on the planet. URSA Live Rosin is never made from cannabis grown in a greenhouse or indoor facility, only from the finest full term, Humboldt-grown flower.
Live Rosin Compared
There are so many terms thrown around when it comes to cannabis extracts and concentrates that it can be confusing to keep them all straight. Some go by many names, and others are aptly named for their appearance or texture. Here’s how a few of the varieties compare to live rosin.
Live Rosin vs Live Resin
Live rosin and live resin are often compared for their incredible flavor. Because they each use live plants, the taste is very true to its strain. Although they might not boast the highest THC percentages compared to some extracts, the entourage effect is fully engaged. This is what happens within the endocannabinoid system as it interacts with cannabinoids. When we add the plant’s fullest potential – terpenes and flavonoids – to the mix, it results in a full head and body high that is often much stronger than the high from THC alone.
Live resin also begins with freshly harvested and frozen buds, but rather than turned to hash and pressed, they are extracted. Butane is a popular hydrocarbon for this purpose, though a mix of butane and propane is also fairly common.
Live Rosin vs Hash Rosin
Live rosin is hash rosin in a sense. However, there is one big difference between the two. Live rosin begins with fresh, frozen cannabis that is turned into hash before it’s pressed into rosin. Hash rosin is also pressed hash, but it doesn’t require the starting material to be flash frozen.
You can make water hash, ice wax, or bubble hash (different names for the same thing) with simply ice water, bubble bags, and whatever weed you have around. The starting material determines the overall quality of the hash, so if you use buds instead of trim, you will have a much more potent and flavorful product.
Live Rosin vs Ice Water Hash
As mentioned above, ice water hash is just another name for bubble hash or ice wax. It’s made by agitating cannabis and ice water until the trichomes are separated from the plant material. As it separates, the ice melts through a sieve, and the remaining concentrated cannabis is left behind.
Ice water hash is dark brown and resinous and is what we think of when we simply use the term “hash.” It’s unlike live rosin because the process ends there. Ice water hash is perfectly exceptional to smoke or dab as is.
Live Rosin vs Wax
Wax, or sugar wax, is a cannabis extract made with buds or trim of any cannabis plant and a hydrocarbon. What sets it apart is the post-processing whip to create its sticky and wax-like texture. Because it’s whipped, stirred, or mixed, the wax has a soft, malleable texture that makes it a bit easier to handle. Be warned that wax is incredibly sticky, and you’ll need a tool to work with it.
Wax contains a reasonably high cannabinoid content, and the extraction process does retain some terpenes, but nowhere near the concentration of live rosin. Although, despite being higher in terpenes, live rosin typically contains lower levels of THC than wax.
Live Rosin vs Shatter
Shatter is named for its appearance and texture. It’s anywhere from amber to translucent in color, and it looks like a thin sheet of Swiss cheese, with little holes from popped air bubbles during the purging process. Shatter is an extract that contains very little terpenes due to the extra processing required to draw out as much cannabinoid content as possible.
When comparing shatter to live rosin, it would be fair to say that shatter might get you higher faster, but the effects from live rosin will be more full-bodied and potentially last longer.
Live Rosin vs Budder
Budder, or badder, is another extract named for its texture. It’s thick, creamy, and sticky. It’s pretty fluffy due to the extra whipping during post-processing, and it even looks like a lump of yellow butter. Live rosin is somewhat similar in appearance and texture, making these two quite alike. Budder tends to retain a good amount of terpenes and cannabinoids as well. When deciding between live rosin and budder, the determining factor is simply a preference for solventless or solvent-based extraction.
Calling All Cannabis Connoisseurs
The best thing about weed is you don’t have to choose only one format. You can smoke it, dab it, vape it, or eat it any way you like. Live rosin is exceptional in quality and flavor and tastes as fresh as possible. It’s like inhaling the scent of a bud at the pinnacle of harvest, followed by a full mind and body melt into a blissful high. We hope this inspires you if you have yet to try live rosin.