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How to Choose Live Resin vs. Distillate

Published: August 2, 2023

When it comes to cannabis concentrates, the choices can be overwhelming. Two popular contenders stand out among the many options available: live resin and distillate. Cannabis enthusiasts love both for their unique qualities but differ significantly in production methods, potency, flavor, and effects.

Today we’ll explore the key differences between live resin and distillate to help you decide which option works best for your cannabis experience! 

Production Methods

The primary distinction between live resin and distillate lies in their production methods, which significantly influence their final composition.

Live Resin Production

Live resin is revered for its freshness and robust terpene profile. It is made from freshly harvested cannabis plants that are flash-frozen immediately after harvest to preserve the delicate terpenes and cannabinoids. 

The frozen plant material is then processed through a specialized extraction method, usually using hydrocarbons like butane or propane. The resulting extract retains a high concentration of cannabis terpenes, providing an aromatic and flavorful experience that captures the original plant’s essence.

Distillate Production 

On the other hand, distillate is created through a refined extraction process known as “short path distillation.” This method involves heating the cannabis plant material to separate the cannabinoids and other compounds from the plant matter. 

The extracted mixture is then distilled to purify and isolate the desired cannabinoids, primarily THC. Distillate is celebrated for its potency as it typically contains very high levels of THC, often reaching upwards of 90% or more.

Potency of Live Resin and Distillate 

As mentioned earlier, potency is where distillate truly shines. Due to its high level of THC isolation, Distillate offers a concentrated and intense experience for cannabis users seeking a powerful high. It is a popular choice for medical patients who require higher doses of THC for symptom relief. However, consuming distillate responsibly is essential, especially for beginners or those with a lower THC tolerance.

Flavor and Aroma

While both live resin and distillate have their merits, their flavor and aroma profiles differ significantly due to their production methods.

Live Resin

The flash-freezing of the cannabis plant material in live resin extraction helps retain the plant’s natural terpenes, resulting in a product with a rich and complex flavor. Cannabis enthusiasts often prefer live resin for its aromatic and authentic taste, providing a more complete representation of the strain’s unique flavor profile.


One drawback of the distillate production process is that it removes many of the cannabis terpenes, resulting in a product lacking the nuanced flavors of live resin. To compensate for this, some manufacturers reintroduce terpenes from other sources to improve the taste and aroma. However, this may not fully replicate the original strain’s profile.

Effects of Live Resin and Distillate

The choice between live resin and distillate also depends on the effects you seek from your cannabis consumption.

Live Resin Effects

Thanks to its abundance of cannabis terpenes, live resin offers what is often called the “entourage effect.” This term suggests that combining cannabinoids and terpenes in live resin works synergistically to produce a more well-rounded and balanced high. The entourage effect is believed to enhance the therapeutic benefits of cannabis and create a more pleasant overall experience.

Distillate Effects 

The distillate is more focused on delivering a potent and consistent high due to its high THC concentration. It may lack the nuanced effects of live resin, but it can be an excellent option for those seeking a powerful and straightforward THC experience.

In conclusion, choosing live resin or distillate depends on what you prioritize in your cannabis concentrates. 

If you value a robust flavor, a diverse terpene profile, and a potential entourage effect, live resin might be your best bet. However, if you’re seeking a potent and high-THC experience without the complexities of taste and aroma, distillate could be the right choice for you.

Remember to consume cannabis products responsibly and start with small doses, especially when trying a new concentrate. Ultimately, the best choice between live resin and distillate is subjective, and exploring both can lead to a deeper understanding of your preferences and tolerance levels. If you have any questions, please contact your Doobie concierge to find the perfect product for you! 

Disclaimer: The content provided in this article is for informational purposes only. Please consume cannabis responsibly and follow all local laws and regulations.

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