Distillate Versus Live Resin Vape Cartridges—What’s The Difference?

Image via Rocket Cannabis Instagram

With the vaping illness crisis continuing to sweep across America, it’s important to garner further education on all cannabis products such as distillate and live resin. In the current state of the legal and illegal cannabis industry there exists inconsistencies in the cartridges one can find. Some black market manufacturers are mixing cannabis oils with all types of additives that can potentially harm you, or ruin the presumed effect and/or taste of the product. Therefore, we think it’s important to understand what’s in the cart.

Cartridges found on the legal cannabis market come typically with either two types of cannabis oil inside of them: distillate or live resin. These days, you’re also able to find solventless ways of extracting cannabis such as CO2 extracts. This method can be a little more expensive but it doesn’t use butane. But for the sake of the article, we’ll stick to the most popular forms of extraction on the legal market currently, which is BHO.

What Is BHO?

Butane Hash Oil, or BHO, is a crowd favorite for the high terpene yields that come with it. Extracting with butane is also more affordable, and the way in which both distillate and live resin are made. The difference all comes down to the level of refinement, as well as the method of harvesting and preserving the cannabis used for extraction. BHO is responsible for other dabber’s delights such as wax, crumble, and shatter.

What Is Distillate?

After refining the cannabis material down to its most clear form you’re left with distillate. After a BHO form of extraction that leaves the oil runny and nearly if not entirely clear, you’ll have distillate cannabis oil typically very high in THC. The problem with this is that it’s so refined that it’s lost its natural flavor profile entirely. This is where companies will sometimes take shortcuts and use flavoring ingredients that aren’t cannabis derived. Some of these ingredients are safe to ingest, but some aren’t.

What Is Live Resin?

Live resin is essentially the other side of the coin when it comes to finding the most potent way to extract cannabis terpenes and flavor. This is done by using a technique that takes cannabis and immediately freezes it after harvest and then keeps cold prior and throughout its extraction. Typically cannabis plants are left to hang in an open and dry room, which can let the resin glands in the plant dwindle. By freshly freezing cannabis and harvesting it its peak terpene and cannabinoid levels you get an oil that’s rich in flavor and THC/entourage effects. Live resin cartridges, or distillate mixed with cannabis-derived flavors are arguably the safest cartridges currently on the recreational market.

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