Nowadays, cannabis comes in a wider variety of product types. Aside from the popular ones like fresh flowers, edibles, and joints, you can also find concentrates, tinctures, topicals, and transdermal patches from your favorite marijuana dispensary.
There’s also a relatively new type of product that’s slowly becoming popular among both users and producers: live resin. It’s essentially a form of concentrate but with even more potent, full-spectrum effects.
What Is Cannabis Live Resin?
When you harvest cannabis plants for extraction, they can survive for a few hours after being cut. By the time they undergo processing (e.g., drying, curing, and trimming), they will have “died” completely. They also lose as much as 55% of their terpene profile.
This is what sets cannabis live resin apart from others. After harvesting, the plants are flash-frozen to ensure that they’re still “alive” and then given a quick blast of solvent like butane before being pressed. Doing this maintains their peak phytochemical makeup, thus preserving their natural flavors and aromas.
When extracted correctly, cannabis live resin will be of a consistency that’s both like wax and sauce: a little wet, stretchy, and sticky. Over time, the texture will change to become a little more granular than smooth. The color will also vary, depending on the strain, but will range from dark yellow to light yellow to white.
Cured Versus Live, Resin Versus Rosin
Both cured and live resin are forms of cannabis concentrate, but cured resin is made from dried plants. In addition, cured resin is used to produce various types of concentrates like batter, shatter, or wax. Meanwhile, live resin is usually used as is.
Alternatively, resin and rosin differ in their extraction process. For live resin, the frozen plants undergo a solvent extraction process. Aside from the above-mentioned butane, producers can also use propane or butane hash oil. Meanwhile, live rosin doesn’t use solvent but rather heat and pressure. This removes the trichomes from the cannabis plant for further extraction.
What Are the Benefits of Live Resin?
There are three primary benefits of live resin compared to other products, even concentrates. These are:
1. Higher Terpene Profile
When cannabis undergoes traditional extraction methods, they lose up to 95% of their terpene profile. This is because terpenes, which are natural compounds that give plants their unique smells, are volatile compounds. Thus, they evaporate very quickly even at room temperature.
By freezing the live cannabis as soon as they’re harvested, producers are able to preserve most of the terpene profile of the plants. Thus, live resin can have as much as 90% of the original terpene level.
2. Higher CBD and THC Content
Beyond preserving the flavor profile of the cannabis plants, the same process of extracting live resin also results in a stronger cannabinoid profile. Thanks to the freezing process, the cannabinoids don’t break down as quickly and the resulting product is more potent.
3. Cost-Efficient Production
For marijuana producers, live resin is a cost- and process-efficient product. All they have to do is to freeze the plants after they’re harvested, then send them directly to the extraction process. Compare this to the harvesting, then drying, curing, and trimming of plants before they can be properly processed into different products, and you’ll see why live resin is gaining popularity amongst producers.
This last point indirectly results in the higher overall quality of cannabis. Because the flavor profile of live resin is closer to fresh marijuana, it’s easier to tell if the manufacturer is using low-quality plants.
Another benefit of live resin is that it’s easier to store. Most cannabis products need to be kept in a cool, dry place away from heat, direct sunlight, and sources of humidity. This way, their potency and flavor can be preserved. However, these storage conditions may not be easily met depending on the location. On the other hand, live resin can be stashed in the refrigerator.
How Do You Use Live Resin?
To experience its full flavor and potency, it’s best to consume live resin fresh. Anyway, live resin has a shorter shelf life so it’s better to use it first.
That said, there are different ways you can use live resin depending on the form it comes in. Usually, you can find live resin as either dabs, vapes, or wax.
For dabbing, you’re going to need a proper rig, a torch, and a nail. You’ll also need a proper scooper to place it on the nail. Remember: live resin is sticky, so the right tool will ensure that you get the most of it onto the dab nail.
You can also purchase live resin in preloaded disposable vape cartridges for easier consumption. If you want or if you have one, you can also use a dab pen to smoke live resin. Finally, you can use live resin as a topper for a blunt or joint for a stronger kick.
As a newcomer in the cannabis market, live resin isn’t as widespread yet, but it’s gaining popularity fast. It has its own pros and cons but considering the good benefits, it won’t be long before live resin becomes more mainstream.