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Cover Image for comparing cannabis concentrates: is live resin the same as wax?
// March 22, 2024 //

comparing cannabis concentrates: is live resin the same as wax?








When it comes to cannabis concentrates, there are so many different options. If you don’t know the details, it’s overwhelming, right? What do you look for and what is good? Wax and live resin are some of the most common concentrates that you might see and both are good in their own ways.

The problem is that a lot of people think these cannabis products are the same thing. Those people are slightly misguided. Is live resin the same as wax? Not really. These two categories do have some similarities, but overall they are very different in consistency, terpene profiles, extraction, and other details. Curious about the differences? Keep reading to learn more!

what is live resin?

Let’s start with live resin. This concentrate is very rich and also very potent. Resin typically comes from a heat extraction process directly from fresh cannabis plant material. Since it comes from the freshest of plant matter, you get a totally different effect from other types of concentrate.

In order to extract live resin, the fresh plant is flash-frozen and then the heat process begins. By doing this, the natural elements of the plant are preserved, creating strong aromas and flavors that you simply can’t resist. If you compare the intensity with concentrate that comes from other means, you find a major difference.
If you appreciate the THC properties of cannabis and want high potency paired with rich flavor, live resin is the way to go. It’s intense, it’s natural, and it’s a perfect way to appreciate the cannabis strain.

 live resin

what’s so great about live resin?

There is a certain draw to the fresh nature of live resin, but it really goes beyond that. There are certain characteristics that make it appealing.

What stands out about live resin are these three things:

solventless extraction

Since live resin comes from a fresh plant, it is one of the freshest concentrates out there. It’s nearly impossible to get anything fresher. The plant is quickly frozen immediately after it is harvested and then the extraction begins immediately. The process maintains that freshness that is so attractive.

When you look at the benefits, it all builds on the fact that the cannabis is fresh. The next benefit is the richness of the terpene. Since the cannabis flower is perfectly fresh, the terpene remains in a high concentration. What does that do for your concentrate? Well, your flavors and aromas stand out more and they are rich and natural.

If you’re impressed with traditional concentrate flavors, think about how much more impressive it is to have a rich terpene profile, natural aromas and flavors. Does your mouth water thinking about it?

Finally, live resin concentrates come from an extraction process that uses no solvents. It typically is extracted through a rosin press or heat method. That being said, the extractors can use solvents, but it is very important they purge the solvents to maintain the purity and quality of the resin.

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what is wax?

Have you heard of budder or crumble concentrates? These are a form of wax and a popular concentrate. Much like resin, wax has a reputation for being very potent. It’s also very versatile. However, that is pretty much where the similarities between the two end.

A wax extraction process is very different from resin. Resin is one of the few options that come directly from a fresh cannabis plant. Instead, wax concentrate comes from dried and cured cannabis flowers. You can use solventless extraction methods for wax since it is a dried flower, but it’s more common to use solvents like CO2 and butane and then try to purge residual solvents from the concentrate.

The extraction process strips out terpenes and cannabinoids. The concentrate is very waxy, which is why we call it wax concentrate. Makes perfect sense to us!

cannabis wax

what’s so great about wax?

Is wax better or worse than live resin? It just depends. They are very different so you can’t really say one is better than the other. They are unique and have different characteristics that set them apart. You might find that you prefer wax, but your bestie might prefer resin. It’s not a matter of right or wrong, it’s just understanding they are different.

Here is what stands out about wax concentrate the most:

solvent extraction

There isn’t a set consistency for wax because it can vary. In one extraction, you might get a buttery texture that is soft and attractive. However, you can also end up with a brittle or crumbly consistency too. That’s where the names budder or crumble come from–it’s the consistency of the wax.

You can have some control over the consistency if you’re familiar with the extraction processes. The different consistencies are direct results of variables in extraction. Little things like temperature or humidity can affect this consistency. If you’re looking for a specific result, you will want to understand how your surrounding environment might affect the consistency.

Wax concentrate is considered very potent, but the terpene profile changes significantly compared to resin. The terpenes are far less rich since the extraction doesn’t use a fresh cannabis plant. The extraction will maintain some of the cannabis strain terpenes, but it won’t be as strong in aroma or flavor. The drying and curing process used to prepare for wax is what impacts this the most.

If you want a strong or potent flavor and aroma, you will be more impressed with resin than with wax.

Resin does come from solvent-based extraction methods sometimes, but it’s also easy to transition to solventless options. However, with wax, solvents are always part of the equation. That being said, the producers do purge the concentrate to help remove residual solvents so they don’t affect the final product most of the time. Purging those solvents can also help get the consistency that is preferred from the wax.

live resin vs. wax

The details are clear as mud, right? Live resin and wax are not the same at all in the cannabis industry. If you purchase one or the other expecting similarities in the concentrate, you’re likely going to be disappointed with what you get.

But just to be clear, let’s break down the key difference details here.

flavor and aroma

Wax has a lighter flavor and aroma. While it is still considered to be potent, the drying and curing of the cannabis plant do make flavors and aromas far more subtle. The concentrate remains potent, but the effects are changed for your senses more than anything else.

Live resin can be pretty intense with flavor and aroma. For some cannabis connoisseurs, it actually may be too intense. It all just depends on your preferences. The differences in flavor and aroma finishes have to do with how the terpenes are preserved during extraction.

It makes sense, too. Live resin comes from a fresh plant so the aroma and flavor will hold the boldness of being fresh.


If you’re comparing potent forms, you can’t go wrong with wax or resin for psychoactive effects. While they are so different in extraction, flavor, and style, they are both very potent. Wax and resin both have high levels of THC content in them. Your cannabis experience is going to differ.

What you will notice is that the high is different because of the terpene content and how it is affected by processing. Are both potent? Yes. Are both the same in their overall effects? Nope. Live resin retains more terpenes, making it more robust overall because of the aroma and flavor. Wax is still potent, but it loses some of the boldness from extraction.

indoor cannabis farm


The consistency of wax vs. resin is going to be very different as well. Even from the terms, you can tell the finished consistency isn’t the same.

Think about it. When you think of a resin, do you think of a hard material? No, you probably picture more of a thick liquid, right? Of course, when you think of wax, it’s much harder in comparison, but may still be soft or have a crumbly texture. This is about how the consistency varies between the two.

Live resin comes out more like a thick liquid while wax comes out more like a waxy material. The consistency can vary considerably for each one, but they are still very different from each other.

When you break it down, the benefits really don’t vary much. Both have highly potent effects, but with live resin cannabis users will likely have a more intense high because of the preservation of aroma and flavor with extraction.

final thoughts

In the question of is live resin the same as wax, the answer is no. Both of these forms of cannabis concentrates are great in their own ways and both can be very potent. You can find plenty of flavors and options from wax or live resin and both can be impressive. The real differences between the two come from the final product, which has a different consistency and a totally different terpene profile as well. They are very different concentrations and yet both can still be enjoyed.

Which one should you choose? Well, it depends. Do you want something more robust and bold? Then, live resin is probably your top choice. If you want something softer and yet still potent, give wax a try. It’s perfectly acceptable to enjoy the best of both worlds, too, you just get to make an informed decision.

The real question is, which one will you choose? Explore our premium selection of live resin products today and experience the difference for yourself.

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