Live Hash Rosin Vs Distillate

When it comes to concentrates, it seems like the choices are endless, and with new products popping up daily, making the right choice can feel like taking a test when you never went to class. So, what can you do to find a concentrate product that best suits your needs? Don’t worry friends, we’ll let you have a peek at our answers. 




Not all concentrates are created the same. On the contrary, concentrates differ in their methods of extraction, distillation, flower type and quality, curation, and more. Each of these different steps produces a different concentrate experience and level of quality.  


The process of making live hash rosin has been redefined to an art over the past few years, making it the most craft concentrate available on the market. This tedious process was created to perfectly preserve the trichome heads and the entourage effect of the plant’s cannabinoids. Full melt and with terpenes/fats in their native form of the cannabis plant from harvest to smoke, it is no wonder why live hash rosin has grown to be a cannabis connoisseur must-have.


Distillate is created with a focus on the THC levels of the concentrate, disregarding the terpene profile in trade for THC levels as high as 99%. Distillate uses a distillation process that involves volatile solvents to refine cannabis down to its most potent extract form. From there, other terpenes, perhaps from hemp, but often from other organic sources, are reintroduced to add aroma and flavor. The true essence of the plant does not make it to the end of the process. Rather, that aspect is reengineered, often with varied results. 




This article will breakdown step-by-step how distillate and live hash rosin are made, the differences in their process, and why those differences are vital to choosing the correct concentrate for you. Not all concentrates are made the same and knowing where your concentrate comes from will help you make the perfect concentrate decision.



What goes in and what comes out




Each and every concentrate starts with cannabis, duh. But product lines begin to diverge from there. The quality flower that is used in live hash rosin varies greatly from the trim and left-over plant matter used to create distillate, each providing you with completely different smoking experiences. The cannabis you start the process with considerably impacts the product you end up with, so it is important to know what kind and quality of cannabis biomass were used for each concentrate.  




Lower-end dried flower, trim, and other leftover plant biomass are the most common base material used for distillate. The process for distillation is far less focused on the terpene profile of the strain and more focused on the pure THC level of the resulting concentrate. The result is a concentrate loaded with THC and the essence of the plant is lost in the process.  Other cannabinoids are present in distillate besides THC, but to concentrate the THC, a majority of them are refined out. However, this process does allow for a greater variety of terpene flavors to be added, so if you’re looking to consume fruity or other novelty flavored concentrates…distillate is your thing.




When it comes to creating live hash rosin, you must start with a strain naturally rich in perfectly structured trichome heads and terpenes. The entire rosin process is centered around preserving the original terpene and cannabinoid profile of the plant to create a rich concentrate with unparalleled purity, taste, and aroma. To do that, the process must always begin with masterfully grown top-shelf flower and nothing less. 


After harvest, the flower is immediately frozen to perfectly preserve the trichome heads and terpenes. This process of freshly freezing the flower is called ‘WPFF’, or ‘Whole Plant Fresh Frozen’. We freeze the entirety of the plant, from top to bottom, to ensure the best quality flower is used to make our craft rosin. This freezing process is where the name live hash rosin gets the word ‘live’ from as the flower is preserved in its freshly picked form. 



Breaking it down


Once you have your base material, the next step is to separate the cannabinoids, terpenes, lipids, and other compounds from the cannabis flower itself. How this process is completed varies greatly depending on the concentrate itself. Some utilize hand-washing to separate the cannabis, others heat, and some use chemical solvents.




With a focus on THC over anything, distillate uses what is called a crude extraction method which utilizes a solvent of some sort to chemically separate the individual cannabinoids at a molecular level. Typical solvents used are butane, alcohol, CO2, and propane. The process burns off all the naturally occurring terpenes of the original plant. While chemically harsh, this approach does a supreme job of extracting extremely high contents of THC from the cannabis plant, leaving a pure base material to which other terpenes (from hemp, lemons, pine, etc.) may be reintroduced. 




On the opposite end of the spectrum, live hash rosin focuses on preserving the trichome heads and terpenes present in the premium cannabis flower. ‘Fresh frozen’ flower is gently washed by hand, or sometimes by machine, in filter bags and ice-cold water. The filter bags are designed to separate different micron size trichome heads from the cannabis plant and different macron size filter bags are used depending on the desired yield. The resulting material is called ‘bubble hash’. Bubble hash is all the trichomes that have been separated from the plant in a concentrated, condensed form. By way of analogy, this is like smashing apples to make applesauce. Nothing is added on the back end in the way of terpenes. The flavor profile and smell comes directly from the cannabinoid profile of the flower itself. 



Finishing touches


Once the cannabinoids and terpenes are separated from the plant, the concentrate process is nearly done, but there are still some steps left to make a smokeable product. In terms of what you are smoking, these finals steps hold great importance. Some concentrates use heat and pressure to finalize the product, while others use additives, like ethanol, to further process the cannabis.




To make distillate a smokeable product, there are still a few steps that need to be taken. The crude oil produced from the last step now must go through a process called winterization. This method of winterization is done by mixing the crude oil with ethanol and allowing it to rest in a very cold environment for about 24 to 48 hours. This allows for any remaining plant matter and other impurities to fall to the bottom, leaving only the THC and cannabinoid oil to rise to the top. The oil is then filtered to remove any ethanol that was used. 


Even after winterization, the oil stills needs more processing to become a smokeable distillate. A heating process called decarboxylation allows for the cannabinoids that are present in the extract to take on their well-known and loved psychoactive effects. As for all the terpenes, they were burned off through the distillation process as previously mentioned, so many growers will add terpenes from cannabis and other botanicals back into the distillate to give it the desired flavor and taste. 




After a quick dip in the freeze-drier, the bubble hash is ready to be pressed. Live hash rosin is created by pressing the freeze-dried hash at the lowest temperature possible to produce some of the purest, most potent, and terpene-rich concentrate on the market. Free from additives, solvents, and over-heating, live hash rosin relies on pressure to be created. By doing so, the live hash rosin maintains the original and natural terpene profile of the plant in its purest form, from start to finish, to create an unparalleled taste, smell, and smoking experience.


Which is best? 




When it comes to choosing between distillate and live hash rosin, it all comes down to your taste and what you look for in a cannabis smoking experience. For the smoker who cares about the purity standards of their cannabis, as well as preserving the natural entourage of cannabinoids and terpene profile of the plant, live hash rosin offers an amazing solvent-less, additive-free concentrate solution. For the cannabis user on a budget and who is after a more monotone high, distillate might be a good option for you. Distillate also comes in novelty flavors such as strawberry and grape for the consumer who could go without the taste of organic cannabis-derived terpenes. 




If you can’t decide, then don’t. Now that you know what goes into the making and creation of each concentrate, it is time for you to go find out what they can do for you. Try both and choose for yourself. You can listen to us talk all day, but at the end of it, the best person to know the perfect concentrate cannabis experience for you is you. Aren’t you glad we let you cheat off our exam answers? You owe us a favor though… for reals.




Pleasantrees offers contact-less curbside pick-up, as well as delivery of our premium craft live hash rosin, distillate, and more, all grown right here in Michigan. Start your order today by clicking here.