420 Culture

Distillate, Live, CO2, and Rosin Vapes: What’s the Difference?

July 23, 2022

Glance over our full menu of vape cartridges and you’ll be blown away by just how many choices you have. Distillate, live resin, CO2, rosin, and more! There are so many cartridge options, you may find yourself wondering, “Which one is right for me?” Well, it depends. Do you want broad-spectrum or full-spectrum? High-THC percentage or a diverse terpene profile? Do you care about the production process? There are a host of options to choose from.

We’ve created an easy guide below to key you in on the difference between distillate, live, CO2, and rosin vapes, and what kind of cannabis consumer may enjoy each product. 

Distillate Vapes

Distillate is one of the most potent forms of concentrates, and is frequently used as a base for vape cartridges as well as cannabis edibles. 

Distillate has had all of the lipids, fats, terpenes, flavonoids, and other substances removed from it, as well as any undesired cannabinoids. So, when you purchase a pure THC distillate cartridge, THC is all that is in there. The THC percentage in a distillate cartridge can reach up to 99%! The same goes for a CBD, CBG, or CBC distillate vape cartridge. Artificially or naturally sourced terpenes are usually added back into distillate vapes to enhance flavour, and may widen the effects spectrum, but won’t reach the same range as full-spectrum concentrates. 

Why Should I Choose a Distillate Vape Cartridge?

If you’re looking for a high-potency vape cartridge with predictable, basic flavours, this one’s for you. You’ll get the most bang for your buck with each toke.   

Why Should I Choose Something Else?

If you’re a medical consumer looking for the effects of full-spectrum cannabis, or you like your vape cartridge experience to be a more full-bodied, head-to-toe type of high, you might want to go with one of our other options. Broad spectrum these are not.

Live Resin Vapes

Live resin vape cartridges are one of the tastiest concentrate options you can find. Live resin is extracted from cannabis flower and other plant material that was flash frozen moments after harvesting, completely bypassing the curing process. 

crumbly bright orange cannabis live resin wax on a beige background
Live resin cannabis concentrate
Photo Credit: Shutterstock

This flash frozen plant matter is processed using a hydrocarbon-based solvent like butane. This method preserves more fresh terpenes in the final product, which makes for a far more pleasant flavour experience where you can taste the unique, natural blend of flavours in each strain. The cannabinoid content is not as high as distillate, but contains far more tasty terpenes. 

Why Should I Choose a Live Resin Vape Cartridge? 

If you’re looking for a full-spectrum, full-bodied, flavour-forward experience, this vape’s for you. You’ll get to enjoy the rich, full taste of those terpenes and maximize the more subtle and pleasant experience of the entourage effect. 

Why Should I Choose Something Else?

If you’re just interested in pure THC potency, you might want to go with a distillate vape cartridge. Also, if you are a medical patient with extra emphasis placed on the purity of your product, you might want to go with a more naturally sourced solvent process, like CO2 extraction, or a solventless method like rosin. 

CO2 Vapes

CO2 vape cartridges are a “best of both worlds” type of vape with a powerful combo of flavour, pure, and potent. They’re extracted using all-natural carbon dioxide that’s been liquified through temperature and pressure manipulation. This sets them apart from other concentrates like distillate or live resin, which use chemical solvents like butane to extract the resin from the cannabis plant matter. 

a silver vape pen with CO2 extracted cannabis oil cartridge
Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Producers use the liquid carbon dioxide to strip trichomes from the plant materials, which is then extracted into concentrate. Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring compound, so CO2 vape cartridges are considered to be one of the purest forms of concentrate (only outdone by rosin). Because they have no other additives, the naturally occurring terpenes shine through in the flavour, while still being potent, full-spectrum concentrates.   

Why Should I Choose a CO2 Cartridge?

They are a pure, potent, and tasty form of solvent-based concentrates, without chemical additives like distillate or live resin. If you’re sensitive to additives, this type of cartridge is among the purest you’ll find.   

Why Should I Choose Something Else?

Being the “best of both worlds” sometimes means not enough of the one world you like the best. If you want pure cannabinoid potency, go with distillate. If you’d like more flavour, go with live resin. If you’re looking for absolutely solvent-free, go with rosin.

Rosin Vapes

Rosin is extracted from plant matter by using a combination of heat and pressure to press full-melt resin directly from the plant. This is by far the most natural way to extract resin. 

close up image of yellow-orange cannabis rosin in a translucent container
Rosin cannabis concentrate
Photo Credit: Shutterstock

The resulting vape cartridge is full-spectrum, potent, and tasty. Rosin vapes have a high-THC percentage since they’re processed from cured plant matter or kief, and offer the full-bodied, flavour-rich terpene experience of live resin. These vapes are great for anyone, but especially medical patients who want to keep anything they consume as unadulterated as possible. 

Why Should I Choose a Rosin Cartridge?

They’re unadulterated, all-natural, potent, flavourful, and give you the full-spectrum benefits you may be looking for if you’re either a medical or recreational consumer who enjoys the full body and mind experience. 

Why Should I Choose Something Else?

They don’t have the flavour punch of live resin and they’re not as THC-rich as distillate. Rosin tends to have subtler aroma and flavour notes, so if you’re looking for something with more pronounced traits, consider other options.

Now that you’re in the know on the differences between distillate, live resin, CO2, and rosin vapes, you can pick the right one for you and get it delivered the same day. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the Difference Between CO2 or Distillate Vape Cartridges?

CO2 vape cartridges are extracted using all-natural liquified CO2 and contain all-natural, full-spectrum terpene flavour and effects. Distillate vape cartridges are extracted using hydrocarbon-based solvents and have distilled out all the plant materials so that only THC remains, with artificial terpenes added in later for flavour.  

Are Live Rosin Cartridges Better Than Distillate Cartridges?

Live rosin cartridges are more full-spectrum and taste much better than distillate, since they contain the fresh terpenes extracted from the strain. Distillate has stronger cerebral effects since it’s almost pure THC. 

What are Live Resin Cartridges? 

Live resin cartridges are vape carts that contain concentrate extracted from cannabis that was flash frozen after harvesting, without curing it. They’re not as potent as some other vapes, but contain more fresh, natural flavours from the strain and full-spectrum effects.