Live resin is an increasingly popular cannabis concentrate created with fresh buds instead of dried. This unique extraction process holds onto the precious terpenes lost during drying and curing. Because they remain intact, live resin is a higher-quality product in high demand. Read on to learn more.
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What is Live Resin?
Live resin is a cannabis concentrate extracted from freshly harvested cannabis plants that are flash-frozen at sublevel temperatures, treated with solvents like propane or butane hash oil (BHO), and pressed. Unlike most weed products, live resin doesn’t require the plants to be dried or cured.
This unique extraction method is precisely what makes this concentrate so valuable. The plant material used for live resin includes fresh buds and sugar leaves. Flash-freezing helps preserve cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. Concentrate lovers tend to gravitate toward it due to live resin products’ high-quality experience and flavor profile.
Where did it Originate?
Live resin is relatively new to the world of weed concentrates. Its origins date back to around 2012 in Colorado. William Fenger, aka “Kind Bill” and EmoTek Labs founder “Giddy Up,” designed the live resin extraction process by developing a way to maintain the low temperatures needed to produce it. Their goal was to preserve terpenes, flavor, and aroma.
Research from the University of Mississippi shows that cannabis loses approximately half of its terpene content during drying and curing. Kind Bill and Giddy Up created a different extraction technique to cut waste on cannabis concentrates.
What does it look/feel like?
Like most concentrates, the consistency of live resin can vary depending on the raw cannabis plant material used during production. The brightness of its golden color develops based on the strain, typically ranging from pale yellow to an orangish-golden color.
Live resin can be sticky, soft, mushy like butter, or fluid-like, similar to oil. The amount and the type of terpenes typically play a significant role in determining the texture and consistency of live resin. It can break into crumbles, mold into wax, whip into badder or fluffy butter, or form crystal-like “diamonds.”
Benefits & Risks
Live resin is more flavorful than other cannabis material due to the preservation of trichomes and terpenes from the fresh cannabis plants. It has also been proven to be higher in potency because it retains cannabinoids as well.
Growers like cultivating plants for live resin extraction because fresh freezing plants at harvest can cut out the lengthy and challenging processes of drying, curing, and trimming plants. This method saves growers vast amounts of time, labor, and money on processing the fresh cannabis plant.
We recommend buying live resin products from a licensed producer or dispensary in a legal area or with an MMJ card to ensure they meet the proper health requirements. Solvent concentrates must be purged and can only be sold if they contain a certain level of residue, so those state-mandated lab tests are crucial.
It is also much stronger than many other concentrates, so be cautious of dosage to avoid the symptoms of consuming too much THC.
How to Make Live Resin
Live resin distinguishes itself from other cannabis concentrates because it is created with fresh frozen cannabis. The drying and curing process can destroy terpenes, influencing flavor and aroma. With live resin, trichomes are preserved by freezing the cannabis plant immediately after harvest.
After harvesting, the frozen weed plants undergo a solvent extraction process using butane or propane. The plants are kept at below-freezing temperatures throughout the extraction process to preserve the fatty trichome resin glands. After extraction, live resin is often heated in a vacuum oven and packaged for consumers.
Cured vs. Live
The difference between live resin and cured resin is primarily the starting material: Cured resin is made from dried plant material, and live resin is created from frozen plant material that is kept at extremely low temperatures during extraction. Cured resin is a general term for concentrates like shatter, wax, batter, or badder that are made from dried cannabis flower.
Resin vs. Rosin
Live resin is made by putting frozen cannabis plants through solvent extraction using butane or propane. Live rosin is solventless. This process uses heat and pressure to remove trichomes, often through a press. Both concentrates are considered “live” because they use a frozen marijuana plant as the extraction material.
What is distillate?
Distillate is a type of cannabis oil created when the resin is refined to remove toxins or isolate a compound. It does not use frozen cannabis plants as its source material. When distillate is processed, it doesn’t contain terpenes and provides a neutral flavor that some cannabis users prefer.
What about weed sauce and shatter?
Sauce concentrates are really a combination of two things: a terpene rich oil, mixed with THC crystals that give the sauce their potency. This gives it the texture similar to a dip, making it especially easy to use for dabs. Sauce concentrates take longer to synthesize, which explains their flavorful terpene filled profile.
Shatter, a fairly popular concentrate derived using butane as its solvent, is known for its translucent, swiss cheese appearance. When poked with a dab tool, it can shatter into smaller pieces, making it easy to portion out for a smoke session. Shatter is also typically the most potent out of the bunch, making it a crowd favorite.
How to Use Live Resin
The three most prevalent ways to use live resin are by dabbing, vaping, or topping off your joints and bowls.
Dab rigs are a great addition and a must-have for any enthusiasts of wax concentrates. A dab rig serves a special purpose, as it’s uniquely able to process wax and concentrates in a much more efficient way than a regular water pipe could.
Dabbing is the most common way people consume live resin. A dab rig, torch, nail, or an e-rig is used to dab live wax. You’ll need a dab tool to place the concentrate in the dabber, most likely something with a scoop, given the live resin’s consistency.
Live resin comes in disposable cartridges, similar to other concentrates, but smoother and tastier. To use them, screw the cart onto a charged battery, warm it up, and let it rip.
Topping Off Buds
Live resin can top off a bowl, joint, or blunt for an added experience. Use a dab tool to place some of the sticky goodness on the top of the bowl or inside the joint paper.
How to Store Live Resin
Storage is a big deal. Take care not to leave your concentrates in direct sunlight, or anywhere that’s excessively hot or humid. Rosins, as mentioned before, are especially sensitive to high temperatures, and can be stored safely in your fridge.
Keeping live resin in a cool environment like the refrigerator will preserve its terpenes and keep it tasting and smelling great. A glass, airtight container would work best. Leaving it out will dry it out and cause the terpenes to deteriorate.
Where to Find Live Resin
In recent years, the live resin cost has dropped significantly. When it first hit the cannabis market, the live resin was new and rare and sold at high prices, sometimes hitting one-hundred USD per gram. That has begun to substantially change as production becomes more prevalent. You can typically find live resin vapes and concentrates in licensed online and brick-and-mortar dispensaries. Ask your local budtender for guidance.
The Final Tokeaway
At Leafy Mate, we’re here to walk you through the benefits and ways to use live resin. We are happy to help you navigate the ins and outs of cannabis concentrates and the different extraction methods. Live resin is a smooth, flavorful, and potent option that we recommend purchasing from a trusted dispensary.