Live Resin vs. Wax: Which is Better?

by Emjay

Cannabis extracts like wax have been around for a while. They found a small corner of the weed market, but they’re growing in popularity. Live resin is relatively new, and many people are patiently awaiting their opportunity to give it a try.

There are many variations of cannabis extracts and concentrates, each with their own potential advantages and disadvantages. Wax is a tried and true staple, but live resin is significantly changing the game. 

What are cannabis extracts?

Cannabis extracts are increasing in popularity, mostly because cannabis users are increasing in tolerance. People who are experienced cannabis smokers develop a tolerance to its effects over time, and they’re no longer able to enjoy it the way they first did when they started smoking weed. 

Growers have responded by successfully increasing the THC content in most of their popular strains, and that’s enough for plenty of people. People who are essentially pot-smoking experts might need an even harder nudge. That’s where extracts come into play. 

Extracts leave all the plant material behind. The cannabinoids and terpenes are extracted from the plant, leaving behind a concentrate of the plant’s benefits. The resulting product is kind of like super cannabis. It’s everything you like about weed, but you’re getting way more of it in a smaller volume. One hit of extract will take you much further than one hit of flower. 

How are cannabis extracts used?

Cannabis extracts work best when they’re vaporized. Many people buy their extracts in vape cartridges. If you’re not a big fan of the vape pen, you can use a dab rig. It’s a little more work, but it gives you better control over the temperature and the amount that you’re smoking.

People tend to add cannabis extracts to cannabis flower, topping off a joint with a little bit of wax. This works well for almost all cannabis extracts. Live resin shouldn’t be used in this way, because applying direct heat to it will destroy its benefits. 

What is wax?

Flowers are harvested from a cannabis plant. They’re dried to keep them from oxidizing or wilting, and cured to preserve their cannabinoids. This is the final step for most weed that is sold in its green form. If the weed is being used to make wax, it goes through a butane extraction chamber to separate the plant’s liquids and compounds from its leafier parts.

Wax is a concentrate that’s naturally heartier. Although it’s called wax, it isn’t as firm as a candlestick. Its consistency and texture are closer to unrefined coconut oil kept at room temperature. It’s technically solid, but it will become a liquid at the first sign of heat. 

Wax gets its texture due to the crystallization of the molecules that naturally occur after the cannabinoids have been extracted from the plant. The extract is agitated, firming up the oil and keeping all of the cannabinoids bound together in a soft mound. 

Wax is easier to work with than other kinds of cannabis concentrates, like crumble or sauce. Crumble’s texture makes it crumble, as you might have guessed. It’s easy to drop bits of crumble or get it stuck underneath your nails when you’re trying to put it in your dab rig. 

Sauce is also a little harder to work with. Its consistency is naturally runny, making it somewhat unwieldy. You need to be very careful not to waste sauce because it doesn’t want to stick together. It will run down your dab tool or leak down the side of your dab nail if you aren’t careful. 

Most people choose wax because its form is more convenient. It sticks to a small dab tool quite easily, and its firmer texture simplifies the process of taking the exact amount you want out of the container without any waste. 

Live resin vs wax

What is live resin?

The process of making live resin is different from the process of making any other kind of cannabis product. It’s the only cannabis product made from flower that hasn’t been dried or cured first. 

Rather than preserving the flower through the drying and curing process, they’re plucked off the cannabis plant and dropped directly into liquid nitrogen or placed on dry ice. This rapidly freezes the bud in its natural state, preventing decay or oxidation. 

The flower is placed in a four-chambered butane extraction system to separate the cannabinoids from the plant material and kept cold throughout the process. Heat is contrary to the goal that live resin seeks to achieve, so temperature monitoring throughout the process is one of the most important steps. 

Live resin is special because it contains very high amounts of aromatic compounds called terpenes. You won’t find a complete compilation of these compounds in any other cannabis product, not even the flower you smoke. 

When weed is dried and cured, it loses most of its terpenes in the process. The weed you smoke or vape in other concentrates doesn’t taste anything like the cannabis flower that naturally grows on the plant. Because live resin is never allowed to dry or cure, every compound of the plant is left intact. 

The terpenes and cannabinoids convert in real-time when you use your live resin with your dab rig. They don’t have a chance to escape until you’re ready to spark them up. It’s the freshest hit of weed you’ll ever taste. 

What do terpenes do?

Terpenes aren’t like cannabinoids. Cannabinoids work with receptors in your body to produce certain effects. Terpenes are the compounds that affect the way the plant tastes and smells. Some anecdotal evidence suggests that terpenes may have additional medicinal value, but more research is needed to draw a definitive conclusion.

Which will get you higher?

Whichever form of cannabis has the highest THC content will get you higher. A wax that comes in at 70% won’t get you as high as a live resin that comes in at 75%, and vice versa. How high you get always depends on the concentration of the THC in whatever you’re smoking or vaping.

In general, cannabis concentrates will get you higher than cannabis flower for obvious reasons. A concentrate is stronger. It packs more THC into less volume. Distillates will have the same effect. Edibles might work similarly depending on how your body processes them. Even experienced cannabis users often report that a high from edibles is more intense. 

If you’re trying to decide between wax and live resin exclusively because you want a stronger high, the distinction won’t matter in that scenario. Choose whatever is closest to 100% THC, and you’ll achieve the effects you’re seeking. Also, good luck. Because that’s an awful lot of THC. 

Which will give you a better high?

Everyone has a different idea of what constitutes a great high. Some people only care about the THC, while others care about the overall experience. Live resin is designed to provide the ultimate experience. You’re able to enjoy all of those bright and beautiful terpenes that lend complex flavors and unique aromas. In a way, live resin almost makes smoking weed feel like a spa day. 

If you’re the kind of person who enjoys aromatherapy or deep relaxation techniques, live resin is right up your alley. It’s tasty and flowery, just how cannabis should be. The experience is somewhat gourmet in nature. It allows you to enjoy cannabis in a way you’ve never enjoyed it before. 

The takeaway

Live resin is a little more expensive than wax, but you’re getting what you pay for. It’s labor-intensive to produce and requires a special harvesting procedure. It’s the tastiest weed you’ll ever experience, and it’s hard to conceptualize the difference until you’ve actually tried it. 

That having been said, there’s nothing wrong with wax. It just doesn’t taste as fresh or smell as good as live resin does. If that part of the smoking experience isn’t important to you, you can save a few bucks and stick to wax.

At Emjay, we’re big fans of both. We keep a lot of cannabis extracts on hand. If you want to try live resin, we have dozens of strains. If you want to try wax, shatter, sauce, or diamonds, we have just as much to choose from. Best of all, you don’t have to wait to try them. Place your order, and we’ll deliver it to your door in about half an hour. Start getting the dab rig ready. 

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