Live Resin: Your New Favorite Concentrate
Live resin is a form of full-spectrum concentrate made from freshly harvested cannabis plants. The process of creating live resin involves putting frozen cannabis flower (not dried or cured) through a solvent extraction that retains most of the plant’s compounds, including terpenes and flavonoids.
This is what makes resin weed unique compared to other forms of concentrates made from dried and cured buds.
Understand that terpenes are highly volatile phytochemicals, which means that a significant percentage of these aromatic compounds can be lost to evaporation during the drying and curing process!
Like cannabinoids, terpenes have a huge impact on the entourage effect and may influence your medical marijuana experience. They have also been found to play a major role in the type of high that you get, for instance, by smoothing out the effects of THC.
As live resin becomes more available, it’s important for both skeptics and advocates to be equipped with the correct facts about this newfound favorite for many dabbers and vapers.
What Is Live Resin?
Live resin is a form of cannabis concentrate created from fresh cannabis plant material that skips the drying and curing process altogether, hence its name.
The material used in making live resin basically includes fresh buds and sugar leaves (the small leaves that buds form around). This plant material is flash-frozen almost immediately after being harvested, keeping it highly fresh and natural.
Generally, live resin is an extremely sticky concentrate with a consistently malleable texture, and you’d need a dab tool to handle it with ease. Its color varies from dark yellow to light yellow, and sometimes it can be white.
Overall, weed resin contains a higher THC content than most concentrates. Its potency can easily go over 90% THC, all while giving you an incredible flavor and aroma. Most consumers prefer to dab or vape live resin, but you can also sprinkle some on your packed bowl or add a small amount to your joint to experience a heightened high.
History Of Live Resin
Although live resin is a relatively new concentrate in the cannabis community, it has an interesting history. Back in 2012-2013, a small group of cannabis cultivators pioneered the live resin extraction process. Among this team was William Fenger, popularly known as ‘Kind Bill’ and ‘Giddy Up,’ a cannapreneur and founder of EmoTek Labs.
The team developed a sophisticated BHO extractor that maintained extremely low temperatures, required to preserve most of the plant’s terpenes, flavors, and aroma throughout the live resin extraction process.
How Is Live Resin Made?
To begin with, making live resin is not an easy process for the average cannabis consumer. The process demands experience and an extremely professional environment. Specific equipment is also required to ensure the extract is produced safely and all residual solvents are removed. In short, Do Not Try This At Home!
The process begins by harvesting high-quality cannabis flowers and then flash-freezing the material (buds and sugar leaves) within minutes of harvest. This is achieved by carefully placing the material in a cryogenic freezer at temperatures down to -292°F. Alternatively, you can put the material in a cooler with dry ice on the bottom at temperatures below -40°F.
For the solvent, the live resin process utilizes liquified petroleum gas, like, butane or propane. You’ll put the frozen cannabis material through either of these solvents to extract cannabinoids and terpenes. Some companies, though rare, may use ethanol or carbon dioxide (CO2).
The resulting solution is then exposed to lower temperatures in a vacuum oven, promoting the vaporization of the solvent, all while preserving the terpenes. Once all the residual solvents have been purged, the live resin is ready.
Some companies may perform different post-processing techniques to the live resin extract, making different end products like badder, sauce, waxes, and more!
Why Does Live Resin Skip The Drying & Curing Process?
Fresh cannabis plants contain cannabinoids in their acidic forms and cannot give you a high or deliver the therapeutic benefits the plant is well known for. That’s because acidic cannabinoids have not been activated yet and hence can’t fit into the receptors within our endocannabinoid system.
For instance, raw cannabis plants contain THCA, which must be decarboxylated (heated) to convert into THC. THCA has an extra carboxyl group in its structure, denying it the ability to fit into our bodies’ cannabinoids receptors.
That’s why most cannabis extraction companies start by drying and curing weed. Once exposed to heat during the drying process, the acidic compounds are decarboxylated. Decarboxylation converts THCA and CBDA into the esteemed THC and CBD, which readily bind to our cannabinoid receptors, providing the maximum benefits of cannabis.
But, there is a major downside to this method: some terpenes are lost to evaporation! And this loss dramatically reduces the whole experience of consuming the resulting concentrate.
Terpenes are the natural compounds responsible for giving each strain its distinctive taste and smell, including woody, earthy, herbal, and notes of lemon and coffee.
As noted earlier, terpenes also enhance the effects of THC and CBD through the entourage effect. The entourage effect is a mechanism by which numerous cannabis compounds act synergistically, giving a greater intensity of the high and amplifying the overall experience.
Quite often, processors usually have to re-introduce terpenes, other cannabinoids, and flavorings later in the production process, depending on the type of product being created.
What Does Live Resin Look & Feel Like?
Live resin comes in a variety of colors and forms. While it is technically pure white or pale yellow, the chemical and physical appearance of the concentrate is primarily influenced by the cannabis strain used.
Generally, live resin has a sugary appearance, like wet crystals. This concentrate is packed with a larger amount of terpenes than any other type of concentrate.
Note that the more the terpenes retained in an extract, the runnier and more malleable it becomes.
Benefits of Live Resin
Live resin is a relatively new concentrate, with its origin dating back to 2012. However, it has quickly become the cannabis community’s most celebrated choice for dabbing and vaping. And it’s pretty obvious why.
Live resin preserves nearly all flavonoids and terpenes, making it the most flavorful and aromatic concentrate. In retaining a full cannabinoid profile, trichomes, terpenes, and high THC levels, live resin gives its consumers a more powerful high. When it comes to medical benefits, live resin just has an edge, thanks to the entourage effect.
Growing plants for live resin is also pretty easy and time-saving for most cultivators, given that they dont have to go through the long drying and curing process. All that’s required is to chop down the plants, freeze them and send them directly to the processor.
Although the extraction process of live resin is complex and time-consuming, its uniqueness makes it an appealing option for most manufacturers. It’s easy to see why this concentrate is one of the fastest-growing products in the cannabis community.
Live Resin vs Rosin
Live resin vs. live rosin differs significantly. First of all, live resin is made by flash freezing the plant material and then putting it through a solvent extraction that utilizes butane or propane.
Comparably, live rosin is solventless, meaning that it is made using heat and pressure that squeezes cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant material.
In comparing their sheer potency, live resin typically possesses higher THC amounts than live rosin.
Another significant distinction between these two concentrates is the complexity of the extraction process. Making live resin is typically more complex, expensive, and labor-intensive than making live rosin.
This explains why live resin products are more expensive than other concentrate products, typically going for $20-$30 per gram and upwards of $80 per gram on the higher end.
How To Store Live Resin
The best way to preserve and maintain the quality and potency of your live resin is by keeping it away from light, heat, and open air.
Therefore, you want to store your live resin in an airtight and light proof food-safe container. This also helps maintain the texture and consistency of the product. Consider getting a storage container made of silicone or glass (it makes it easier to scrape out sticky concentrates).
Keep the container in a dark, cool place, preferably in a refrigerator or any cold room. Always ensure that the container is tightly closed after each use and stored back in the fridge. This will protect it from drying out or hardening while also maintaining its great taste and smell!
How To Use Live Resin
There are many different ways to consume weed resin, including dabbing, vaping, and topping off.
This is perhaps the most popular way to consume live resin. For the seasoned cannabis consumer, dabbing is a pretty straightforward method that involves using a water pipe referred to as a dab rig.
The dab rig has a flat bowl known as a nail. The nail is made from material that can withstand very high temperatures without being damaged.
You will heat the nail using a torch lighter and use a dab tool to place the concentrate on the heated nail. The concentrate will vaporize, and you will inhale the vapor from the mouthpiece.
Although most people prefer dabbing live resin, vaping is also possible with a dab pen or a vape pen. This is a viable option for most vaping enthusiasts.
Use a dab tool to put the live resin in the bowl of the dab pen, adjust the temperature, and inhale via the mouthpiece.
Alternatively, you can skip all the loading hassle by buying a pre-filled live resin cartridge, attach it to your battery, and you’re ready to smoke.
This is the best option for smoking lovers. If you’re wondering how to smoke resin- it’s easy. Sprinkle some live resin on top of your joint, blunt, or bowl if you’re using a bong and get that extra kick.
Eating Live Resin Edibles
Live resin edibles just recently hit the shelves. Because they must first pass through the gut and liver before being absorbed into the bloodstream and brain, this consumption method delivers a delayed onset of effects. But you can expect a hard-hitting high and highly potent medical benefit.
Getting Started With Live Resin
Like any other cannabis product, novices are strongly advised to begin with low doses and gradually work their way up. Live resin is highly potent, with THC amounts consistently hitting 90%. A small amount may be all you need to experience an incredible buzz and appreciate the unique terpene profile in the product.
How Much Does Live Resin Cost?
Live resin products are generally more expensive than other types of concentrates. A few years back, when live resin was still rare and before it became widely available, consumers would pay up to $100 per gram or more.
Today, live resin is more available and affordable. But note that you will still pay more for live resin products than other concentrates. On the higher end, live resin can be sold upwards of $80 per gram, while the average prices typically range between $20-$35 per gram.
Live resin is a full-spectrum, and unique type of cannabis concentrate made using fresh cannabis plants. Live resin production process involves the use of solvents in order to extract cannabinoids and terpenes from the cannabis buds.
This process preserves the plant’s delicate terpenes, flavonoids, and high THC levels, providing a highly potent product ideal for dabbing or vaping. The effects provided by live resin are very powerful, and a low dose will still give you a great high. For these reasons, live resin is not recommended if you’re a THC newbie!
Technically, you can make your own live resin at home. However, the process is best left to the trained experts as they are equipped with the necessary tools to create a safe and high-quality product.