What is the difference between a live resin cartridge and distillate cartridge for cannabis?
If you’re new to vape technology, something as simple as picking a cartridge can quickly become overwhelming. From battery choices to potency, terpene flavor profiles to sativas, indicas, and hybrids – there’s a whole world of choices you can enjoy with a click of a button and a deep breath.
Vaporizers are still a relatively new technology, initially meant to replace traditional methods of smoking for increased safety. Vaporizers eliminate the need for smoke during consumption and for tobacco users, vape cartridges often contain fewer chemicals than cigarettes. While vaporizers started with tobacco products, cannabis users were quick to modify and adopt these tools.
Today, users can even vape cannabis flower using tons of different vaporizers for dry herbs, concentrates and oils located on Portable Hookahs. Vape batteries for dry herb allow users to fully experience the flavor and benefits of an individual strain without any additives. However, these batteries can be a bit expensive compared to othercartridge options.
Cartridges come in hundreds of flavors and styles. Moreover, cannabis manufacturers have elevated the artistry in their cartridges by offering different extraction types. Some of the most common types include distilled, CO2, live resin, full-spectrum, oil, and terpene-infused.
Keep reading to find out about the pros and cons of each cannabis cartridge type! And, for information on the various types of vape batteries, check out vaping accessories such as 510 threaded batteries, variable voltage batteries, and pass-through charing batteries.
Does your cannabis cartridge contain solvents? Does it matter?
Most vape “juice” contains solvents to facilitate easy delivery with each inhale. Typically, cannabis producers will use MCT oil to thin their products into a desirable consistency, and current science regards this additive as safe (you may have heard of MCT oil as the miracle ingredient in bulletproof coffee or a staple in Keto diets). Aside from MCT oil, you’re likely to find vegetable glycerin in vape cartridges for any of the big three vape products - THC, CBD, or tobacco.
Vegetable glycerin is used in multiple industries, for food flavors to beauty products and pharmaceuticals. However, its use in vape oils is still mostly untested for health effects. We do know that in the short term, vegetable glycerin does cause inflammation in the lungs.
The best way to rule out unsavory solvents is to find a company and brand that you trust. Avoid illegal THC/CBD vape products at all costs, as multiple reports found Vitamin E and other toxic chemicals present at dangerous levels in black market products.
Rosin – Full Spectrum, No Solvents, Higher Price
Rosin is extracted from cannabis flowers using heat and pressure.The process extracts a thick, caramel-textured concentrate. It can be enjoyed in edibles or added to flower to kick up the intensity for a smoke. Rosincan also end up in a vape cartridge – assuming you have the right type of vaporizer! Because rosin is so thick, it should only be used with devices like the Stella Vaporizer, which can reach the ideal temperatures.
Rosin offers a few key advantages, namely, no chemical additives and the extraction method ensures you get a full-spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes. Rosin can be a bit pricier than other options, but the quality is hard to beat.
Live Resin – Best Terpenes, Potent, Popular
Live resin comes from fresh, rather than dried, cannabis buds. The THC-rich flowers and leaves are flash frozen and then exposed to high-intensity flames (usually butane). This method of extraction preserves more terpenes than any other. Some studies estimate that up to 30% of cannabis’s naturally occurring terpenes are lost during the first
Distillate – Classic, Precise, Affordable
Distillate dominates the THC and CBD vape market, as it was one of the first methods of extraction adopted for vaporizing. For the distillate process, THC and CBD are extracted with either physical (press) or chemical means, then mixed with ethanol and frozen to separate any remaining plant parts from the cannabinoids. This process allows producers to collect loads of THCA for decarboxylation, but it also destroys most of the terpenes present in the cannabis plant. Distillate is a very precise method of extraction, but the limits to its flavor profile mean it’s often used as a base ingredient in other cannabis products.
Honorable mentions – CO2,Full-Spectrum, and Terpene-Infused
CO2 extraction involves the use of CO2 gas to forcibly separate oil from the cannabis plant. The method is expensive, but doesn’t require any solvents and preserves terpene flavors. Full spectrum is a widely-used term to describe a vape product that has retained all or most of its original cannabinoids and terpenes. Full spectrum products can come from a variety of extraction methods, including CO2 and live resin. Terpene-infused cartridges have added flavors, often from the cannabis plants, but occasionally from food-grade sources.
- We don’t fully understand how inhaling added solvents affects long term health. Be careful when choosing a cartridge, and avoid known toxic additions like vitamin E oil. It’s best to shop within legal markets for vape cartridges to ensure the product has been tested and adheres to current regulations around additives.
- THC and CBD extraction methods affect flavor, potency, purity, and price. Live resin and rosin are expensive but flavorful; distillate is efficient but doesn’t have much flavor unless it’s added later.
In addition to choosing the right type of cartridge, be sure to choose the right vaporizer to fully enjoy the benefits of your cartridge. The right tool can help you customize your vape experience and ensure you get the most out of your THC/CBD product.