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Rosin vs Distillate Edibles: What’s The Difference?

Picture this. You walk into your favorite dispensary looking for an edible and your budtender starts describing your options. Beyond what kind of treat you might select—gummies, chocolate, caramels, taffy, mints, cookies, oh my—they’ll probably distinguish between rosin vs distillate edibles, referring to the type of cannabis extract (or concentrate) used to make the edible. 

Most of us know what kind of edible we’re drawn to, but this question of extract might be unfamiliar. So, what’s the difference between rosin and distillate edibles and how do you choose the best option for your needs?  We’ve got just the answers to help you shop for cannabis edibles confidently!

Rosin Edibles

What is Rosin?

Rosin is a “full spectrum” and solventless concentrate, meaning it’s made with zero chemicals or additives. It’s made by applying heat and pressure to whole flowers, squeezing the oils out of the plant, and concentrating the beneficial components in a ratio true to the strain. The concentrate is collected and then dosed into edibles that retain the full effects of the flower.

Rosin edibles include the amount of THC listed on the package, plus trace amounts of other beneficial cannabinoids, terpenes, and a variety of bioflavonoids. When paired together, these compounds help to collectively create the entourage effect, meaning they work together to amplify the overall benefits you experience when you consume a rosin edible.

Why Choose a Rosin Edible?

Different cannabis strains have different effects, and edibles made with rosin are more true to the effects of the flowers.

For example, our Upstate Elevator Operators Sour Starfruit gummies which are made with sativa flowers will feel energizing and uplifting, and produce more of a “head high”. Sativa rosin gummies are great for daytime use and socializing—perfect for game nights with friends or getting hyped for a concert. 

In comparison, our Blackberry rosin gummies, made with indica flowers will have a heavier “body high”, they will feel more relaxing, and calming, and may help you drift off at night. Many people prefer indica edibles for body aches, and for turning down the volume on an agitated nervous system. 

For anyone looking for an even balance, our Strawberry Lemonade hybrid rosin gummies blend the head & body high. Neither too lethargic nor too amped up, they may fuel creativity, and feel calming & mellow without knocking you out. Hybrid rosin can have a silly, giggly effect; and for some folks, ignites the best sparks in the bedroom. 

With the entourage effect at work, rosin offers a more nuanced high—like listening to your favorite album on vinyl instead of a digital recording. Rosin edibles retain some of the flavor of the flower; akin to savoring the complex flavors of a fine wine or gourmet meal, rosin edibles could be considered the “craft cocktail” of cannabis consumption. 

Rosin is an inefficient concentrate to manufacture and requires a large amount of plant material for a relatively small return. So, rosin edibles are often more expensive than their distillate counterparts.

Distillate Edibles

What is Distillate?

Distillate concentrate is made by using solvents to strip away everything except the desired cannabinoids. The solvents are fully removed before the concentrate goes into the edibles, so they are perfectly safe and create a super potent extract, often 90-100% pure THC. Using distillate is an efficient way to get the THC needed for manufacturing, so these edibles are often more affordable than their rosin cousins.

The process of making distillate is complicated but does not require whole flowers and is more efficient than rosin, resulting in less plant material waste. First, THCa is removed from the flower through extraction (usually using carbon dioxide, ethanol, or hydrocarbons). Then, the extract is “winterized”, a process that separates the fats, waxes, and lipids from the cannabinoids as they congeal. This raw extract is combined with ethanol and frozen. Any contaminants are subsequently filtered out of the solution. Next, rotating evaporation is applied to the solution. In this process, all of the ethanol is evaporated by heat and rotation, leaving behind a solvent-free concentrate rich in THCa. Heat is then applied to this concentrate, which transforms THCa into its psychoactive form, THC. Finally, a distillation machine uses heat and vacuum pressure to separate the THC from other compounds, leaving behind THC distillate.

Why Choose a Distillate Edible?

As the most common and affordable type of concentrate, distillate edibles make up the majority of THC products sold in dispensaries and are known for their consistency. In addition to being less expensive than rosin, distillate edibles often taste more fruit-forward (or chocolate, caramel, etc), without the earthy taste of the flower. If rosin edibles are a craft cocktail, distillate-based goodies are your ready-to-go canned cocktail—easy, dependable, and affordable.

Concocting with distillate is especially fun because you can create specific blends of cannabinoids, which provide specific effects. For example, our fast-acting Upstate Elevator Operators Sour Cherry gummies combine THC with CBD in a particular ratio to provide relief beyond what THC can offer on its own. Our Passion Fruit gummies offer THC plus CBN, which creates a powerfully relaxing formula to lull you more quickly into deep body relaxation before bed. Blending THC with CBG, our Yuzu gummies provide a creative, clear-minded lift for out-of-the-box thinking, artsy endeavors, and daytime adventures. 

sour cherry thc gummies

Distillate allows us to formulate delicious edibles with directed effects and allows you to shop more easily by benefit, for reliable and consistent results. 

Rosin Edibles vs Distillate Edibles: Which one is right for you?

Cannabis connoisseurs tend to choose rosin edibles for the refined, subtle differences each flower offers and for the true-to-strain high that they deliver. Each flower has a personality, and if you want to get to know it, rosin is the way to go. The entourage effect of rosin promises a more complex and perhaps more interesting high, with different emotional and psychological “notes” throughout the ride. At equal doses, rosin will feel a little more altering than distillate due to the full spectrum combination of compounds that enhance each others’ effects. 

Those looking for specific, predictable effects (and those new to edibles) might prefer distillate options for their tried-and-true nature. As an efficient and potent extract, distillate will give you the biggest bang for your buck. With the advantage of creating precise formulations, distillate edibles help you curate your experience, selecting the exact effects that you want. 

Got Cannabis Questions? Schedule A Free Cannabis Consultation

Have questions about which type is right for you? Come chat with our knowledgeable budtenders or schedule a 1-on-1 online consultation with our Director of Education!