The Death Of Distillate

High quality, low priced options like 100% Cured Resin Carts from Alive & Well ( have given Cali cannabis consumers a full spectrum experience that can fit any budget and have given retailers good reason to kick distillate to the curb… RIP hot dog water…

When clear, golden, weird tasting distillate first hit the weed scene, it was certainly intriguing. As with a lot of cannabis concentration in those days, SOPs were held tight and the mystery surrounding this new tech presented itself as IG photos of dudes holding “Dragonballs” of what appeared to be completely stable globes of honey-colored hash.

It turns out the pics were trick photography and it didn’t take long for the distillation process to be revealed and mass-imitated. It also didn’t take long for true cannabis connoisseurs to see through it all and determine that there is a very good reason why nature doesn’t make cannabis plants with 99% THC and zero terps or complementary cannabinoids. Still, distillate held its place in the market based almost solely on its incredibly low cost to produce… until now. You had a good run disty, but your time is up.


Last month we told you about our experience with the game-changing 100% Cured Resin vape carts from our buds over at Alive & Well. 

After another dope conversation with them, we felt that the topic of what role, if any, distillate should play in a quality-conscious cannabis market needed to be addressed. As we have written thousands of words about, way too many cannabis consumers are using the wrong metrics to determine quality when staring at a dispensary menu. Some shop solely by whatever claims to have the most THC… oops! Some assume that the higher the price the higher the quality… oops! These are the same folks who would fall for any distillate-based product that touts itself as “premium”… oops!

As we told you in that last article, tuned in Cali cannabis customers are snatching up these full gram, full spectrum, cured resin carts from Alive & Well for less than $30 TOTAL out the door! This puts them on par, pricewise, with some of the most popular distillate cart brands on the market but with a product that is infinitely superior in all aspects.

It is damn near 2024 and brands are still running production-level extractions on otherwise unsellable aged and degraded boof trim and waterleaf, then distilling that slop into a terpene-devoid monocannabinoid oil which is then blended with multiple strains and experimental amounts of supplementary flavors in an attempt to mimic everything that the plant already offers in abundance when grown, harvested, dried, cured, and stored or packaged correctly.

On the contrary, Alive & Well is forming mutually beneficial relationships with respected farms here in Cali to source dank sugarleaf and frosty smalls as close to their harvest dates as possible in order to craft their flavorful lineup of 100% Cured Resin vaporizer cartridges.

On every package, Alive & Well provides the actual name of the actual strain used to craft that cart. This is something that they are very proud of, and they ought to be – it matters! The 100% Cured Resin boxes also tell you the three dominant terpenes present in each rendition, as well as thoughtful tasting notes compiled by the seasoned heads on the Alive & Well team.

Pictured above is Alive & Well Co-Founder / Lab Director Nick Weaver and Senior Lab Technician Tylor Whittle 

Nick Weaver, co-founder, lab director, and lead innovator at Alive & Well, gave us this undeniable analogy during our discussion.

“To help understand distillate,” Weaver told us, “I think of what I would rather have in a perfect world. The average meat eater would tell you that they would rather have a ribeye steak for dinner versus drinking a whey protein shake. Whole food (cured resin) vs. lab processed protein isolate (distillate). Now what if we told you that the ribeye was the same price as the isolate?  Easy answer. The ribeye everytime

Some slick marketing in the distillate world has a new trend making its way onto store shelves under the ambiguous descriptor of “liquid diamonds”. Many distillate-based brands have recently revealed their own take on this tech but most of what’s on the market is still too often derived from incredibly low-grade and otherwise unusable biomass employing every CRC and distillation trick in the book to eradicate the unpleasant aromas and appearance out of the product. What’s left is aesthetically pleasing high THC-A flavorless crystals that are then soaked in botanical terpenes to reintroduce some flavor and attempt to re-create “strains”. Instead of hotdog water, it’s hot dog candy.

Weaver hits our taste buds with another apt analogy, saying, “We like to refer to our cured resins as fresh squeezed orange juice. In the OJ world, this is the tastiest, most nutrient-dense, and strain-specific way to enjoy the bounty of mother nature. Then you venture down the processing line to your grocery store OJ (other competitor live resins, liquid diamonds, and cured resins) and it doesn’t quite taste like fresh squeezed orange juice. Travel a little further down the processing line, and now you end up in the Sunny Delight world, the ‘distillate’ of orange juice.

“Simply put, the moldy, blemished, undesirable oranges that would never make it to the shelf were used in all of the processes except for fresh squeezed OJ. You would not want to see some nasty old oranges in the OJ machine in your favorite breakfast diner and you would not want “premium fresh squeezed” OJ if it was cut with Sunny D (distillate) behind the scenes.”


If you have been reading Beard Bros articles long enough, you have almost certainly seen us preach, hard, about the importance of the full spectrum of terpenes, cannabinoids, and other harmonious compounds that different cannabis cultivars uniquely express. 

Anyone who has ever bought an 1/8th in a ziplock bag or a zip in a mason jar before the age of lab testing and misplaced marketing schemes knows that smell, appearance, flavor, and effects are all that matters and in a quest for providing such an experience that their friends and patrons would be genuinely stoked about, the team at Alive & Well has dedicated their craft to serve those principles and you can taste it in every toke of 100% Cured Resin.

Don’t get it twisted, when Alive & Well dropped their 100% LIVE Resin carts, they definitely blew people away with a full spectrum, real, true to the plant aroma and taste. However, there was one thing that was missing from the equation. The fresh-frozen harvesting methods used in Live Resin production only capture the aromas of the flowers when they are still alive and growing. This has pros and cons. The average person that consumes weed is not as familiar with the way weed smells in a garden. It’s different, and great in its own respect, but the average weed lover may not truly appreciate that subtle unfamiliarity.

Over many years of producing batch after batch of strain specific live resin, Nick knew that the market had a massive void in the extract world – delicious cured resin carts with a smooth finish and a flower like effect with those nostalgic gassy and funky notes that are accentuated during the drying process. This desired profile is often muted in “live” extracts and is always totally absent in distillate.

Catching back up with Nick Weaver at Alive & Well, he told us, “We abide by one mantra at Alive and Well:  Follow your nose. Your nose is one of the most powerful memory conduits. It warns you of bad and attracts you to the good and you never forget either. If you love the smell and taste of cannabis, you will love our cured resin. Cannabis provides some of the most unique and unrepeatable aromas and we want to share that with the world.”


Compared to any “premium” distillate on the market, cured resin always delivers a deeper, stonier effect. Flower connoisseurs will be the first to tell you that distillate-based vapes deliver a quick-hitting and even quicker-dissipating effect that never satisfies.

Cured resin, though, is an extract that is able to encompass all of the additional full spectrum aspects that exist in flower.  The drying/curing process wicks all of the essential compounds (ie. flavonoids, terpenes, good fats, sulfuric compounds, and cannabinoids) into the trichome heads. These are the same full spectrum compounds that are consumed when sparking a fat joint, blunt, or bowl of your favorite bud.

In our experience, 100% Cured Resin vape carts from Alive & Well encompass all of these elements. Take it from some big bearded dudes who know a thing or two about properly grown, harvested, and cured cannabis…these carts will get you just as high as smoking top-shelf flower.

We’re not alone either, check out this real-time market feedback:

“I love selling the Alive & Well Cured cartridges to budget cart consumers because, first of all, they taste delicious. Good, cured weed has sometimes richer, and more nostalgic flavor than live resin. Second, if you know what most distillate is made from, we are stoked to have a cost-effective product that has been intentionally sourced yet stays affordable. They hit like a dab and have outsold the live resin and distillate carts since we got them in… and everyone comes back

  • Chrystal Ortiz, Co-Owner at High Water Farm and Owner at Herb & Market Dispensary in Arcata in Humboldt County.

“I have been trying to educate every customer who is into carts about Alive & Well and why I like the brand. I am picky about my concentrates! I have had three people come back saying ‘ brooo these are fire!’.”

  • Joey Brown, Budtender, Catalyst in Stanton

“It didn’t take long to realize that Alive & Well is doing something special. A quality cured resin cart at the same price as distillate is a no-brainer. For me, knowing what strain I’m puffing on is a must. It only makes sense to go with these guys.”

  • Caesar G. Campos, Lead Budtender at 5th and Green Dispensary in Crescent City

… and check out THIS REVIEW on YouTube – shout out to you, David!

Enjoyed that first hit? Come chill with us every week at the Friday Sesh for a freshly packed bowl of the week’s best cannabis news!

4 Responses

  1. So far I’ve had 5 or 6 flavors, and only the NF1 and Papaya had any discernible terps at all. The rest tasted like blank, leafy, low grade dabs. Just being honest. GMOZK, Waffle Cone, a few more.

    I’m gonna give a few more of theirs a chance, because I believe they’re just not being picky enough but that the idea is right. Only SUPER SUPER TERPY STRAINS make sense for cured resin, you’ve got to overtake the flavor of the various plant matters.

  2. And for credentials…

    I’m a 27 year industry vet, former broker, own a dispensary in Cali of which I’m the buyer and an budtender, own an indoor farm, an extract brand, and am an hourly smoker.

  3. Let me clarify, I’m not a hater at all!! The flavors I like are FIRE, amazing for the price, and other people may like some of the ones I didn’t like.

    But there are a lot of Live Resin carts at discounts nowadays that might be a step better than some of the A&W cured flavors. Just some feedback, love the brand and will keep repping it!

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