Photo courtesy of Keti

Guides | 03.07.2022

Live Resin vs Distillate: What’s The Difference?

Let's see what's the deal with these types of concentrates. Created with Eureka Vapor.

If there is something that characterizes the cannabis culture, the constant innovation and development of new products will get high. Distillate and live resin are opposites in how they are derived, causing a completely different result for the consumer. 

The significant difference between live resin and distillate is the high terpene content in live resin because distillate does not retain any terpenes after extraction. 

So what are the differences between live resin and distillates?

What Is Live Resin

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Live resin is a concentrated cannabis extract known to be fresh, strong, and of great quality and taste. Its texture resembles crystallized honey. 

To obtain live resin, the marijuana plant is frozen, and then the compounds are extracted. Additionally, fresh flowers are used, which allows the terpene profile to remain intact, giving it a delicious flavor and aroma. 

Actually, frozen cannabis flowers are extracted into what is known as live resin. It is packed with terpenes, with a fresh fruity, musky mango or astringent herbal flavor. 

The true purpose of live resin is to keep 100% of the terpenes intact. Keeping the plant frozen and “alive” during the production process guarantees the best possible preservation of the terpenes.

If you want to try this flavorful concentrate, we suggest getting your hands on a Premium Infused Pre-Roll and the new Premium 500mg Live Resin Disposable from Eureka Vapor. The former is handcrafted using exotic strains and the finest live resin, and the latter sends you into concentrated resin heaven with live cannabis terpenes. 

What Is Distillate

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Distillation is more of a process than a “thing,” but distillate is the name given to a cannabis extract that concentrates the desired cannabinoid, usually THC. 

Once the cannabis plant has been cut, dried, and cured, the oil can be extracted. Typically, the goal of distillation is to separate the THC to obtain a highly potent product in the form of a clear, odorless liquid.

Distillates are made up of isolated cannabinoids, such as THC, which makes it very potent, and gets you very high. Distillates are an attractive option if you are looking for the highest amounts of THC in your cannabis products. 

The purpose of distillates is to create the highest amount of pure cannabinoids, like THC, which means removing as many impurities as possible. 

For fans of distillates, Eureka has three different infused pre-rolls, two distillate disposables, and a heavy-hitting cartridge. Don’t miss out on the fruity and refreshing flavors of both the Classic Infused Pre-Roll and the Fusion Infused Pre-Roll, not to mention the discreet and sleek nature of the 500mg Classic Disposable and Fusion Disposable. Last but certainly not least, toke to your heart’s pleasure on Eureka’s 1000mg Distillate Cartridge, coming in Sativa, Indica, and Hybrid. 

If you’re a beginner, we suggest you try one of their classics but if you are more experienced, the cure ones offer more flavor and exotic strain offerings.

Key Differences Between Them

Extraction Process

Photo courtesy of Keti Ch

The most crucial difference between the two is that live resin is made from frozen cannabis, and distillate is made from dried and cured cannabis. Distillate and live resin can be made on the same extraction machinery, but the post-extraction processes vary.

As long as the plant matter is frozen or freshly cut and extracted, the end result could be considered live resin. Once extracted, the live resin is decarboxylated and ready for use. 

The distillate has a much higher percentage of cannabinoids but lacks all the terpenes. Live resin is lower in cannabinoids and very high in terpenes. 

Another critical difference in the extraction processes of each is that distillates use heat to extract the THC cannabinoids, and live resin uses freezing temperatures in its extraction process. 

The distillate goes through the short path fractional distillation process to further refine the extract. The cannabinoids are separated from the plant in this process, leaving a thick, clear, or yellowish liquid that is almost purely cannabinoids. 

Live resin takes the live cannabis flower and freezes it quickly. The terpenes and cannabinoids are preserved in the freezing process, but because decarboxylation has not occurred, the THC has not yet been activated.

Freezing the plant preserves all the rich flavors and wonderful aromas that the plant has.


Photo courtesy of Keti Ch

Live resin is a compound that enhances the entourage effect because it is full-spectrum. It contains all the terpenes and cannabinoids offered by a particular strain, including THC.

While the distillate is broad-spectrum, which means that it is composed of specific cannabinoids, but allows to exclude -some- cannabinoids according to the needs or specificities of the product.

The entourage effect only works when many cannabinoids and terpenes work together, which is why live resin tends to enhance it.

The entourage effect describes the overall harmonious impact of the combined consumption of these natural plant substances.

Terpenes include all the active compounds that give cannabis its flavor, aroma, and effects. If the terpenes are left untouched, the live resin has the full spectrum of its original fresh plant profile.

Because distillates prioritize a more robust, purer concentrate, the final product is less flavorful than its live resin counterpart. However, it is ideal for those cannabis consumers looking for a more potent concentrate.

Terpene Content

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The main characteristic of live resin is that it maintains the highest possible percentage of terpenes content. Terpenes are responsible for the smell and taste of each strain of the cannabis plant.

They are found in various combinations and work together with cannabinoids and flavonoids to produce a full spectrum of mind and body-enhancing effects. 

Terpenes are not psychoactive like cannabinoids but play an essential role in the overall effect.

Smoking Experience

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The smoking experience with each of these products is different. With the live resin, you get a vibrant and juicy smoke full of smell and taste.

While with the distillate can be a little more discreet but get a more potent high due to the higher concentration of THC. 

As for the potency of the high, the live resin will give you a similar effect to smoking the dried flower, although a little less potent.

While the distillate will produce a more intense but short high, as there is a lack of other beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes to achieve the entourage effect.

Which One Is Best?

Like almost everything in the world of cannabis, it comes down to the preferences and needs of each user. Both live resin and distillate are carefully crafted for different purposes. 

Both will get you high, but it all depends on the desired experience. If you want a concentrated and holistic experience that gets you as close to smoking flowers as possible, live resin is for you. If you want something more discreet but that gives you a more potent high, distillates are the way to go. 

None is better or worse, and each has its place in the great world of cannabis. When selecting an extract, the most important thing to consider is the purity of the product and the quality of the extract.

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