Unsure of the difference between cured resin vs live resin? Let us enlighten you. Canada is home to one of the world’s largest cannabis market, toppling over $4 billion in sales in 2022. The demand for legal weed means it’s a connoisseur’s dream, and the options for how to consume resins by the day.
As cannabis lovers, we are kids in giant THC-filled candy stores, gobbling up gummies and sweets. You can smoke organic, sun grown flower fed with only hand-mixed, custom nutrients. There are vape pens filled with the utmost desirable forms of concentrate, like cured and live resins, live rosin, and everything in between. So, what’s with these two types of extracts? How are they the same, and what makes them different? Read on to find out.
What Is Live Resin?
Live resin is a cannabis extract made from fresh frozen cannabis. The reason live resin is so popular is because it’s full of cannabinoids and terpenes, which gives it a strong aroma and flavor. Live resin can be very flavorful, so much so that it can taste like a sip from smoothie, the first chew of a piece of Juicy Fruit gum, biting into a perfectly ripe orange, or a drink of fresh gin. It’s complex, unique, and tantalizing.
It’s terpenes like myrcene, terpinolene, caryophyllene, limonene, and more that lend themselves to these complex flavor profiles.
Live resin offers a robust high from the entourage effect (the synergistic effect between all the cannabinoids and terpenes). In other words, you get more than just THC or CBD when you smoke or ingest live resin. You get many different cannabinoids and terpenes in one hit! This offers a long-lasting, full body (and mind) high that is quite simply unrivaled.
How to Make Live Resin
Live resin is extracted from cannabis with a solvent like butane or propane. But the most important part of making live resin starts with the plants still on their stalks. This is where the “live” part comes in. Instead of drying buds (which we’ll get to below), live resin extraction uses freshly harvested cannabis. Sometimes it’s extracted within hours of being cut down, and sometimes it’s flash-frozen to preserve the plant’s trichomes.
If you’re looking to get as high as possible as quickly as possible (and who isn’t?), then go for live resin—it’ll pack an even bigger punch than regular shatter or wax.
What Is Cured Resin?
Cured resin is made from dried, cured whole buds. It’s typically more stable and less prone to degradation than live resin. Cured resins are usually a little less potent than live resins because the trichomes have been damaged during the curing process. Still, cured resin is different from some types of extracts. Plenty of manufacturers are still processing only trim, shake, or B-grade buds. This is not the same as cured resin, which is produced more intentionally. And, cured resin can ultimately become distillate with more processing.
How to Make Cured Resin
After harvest, buds are hung to dry for anywhere from seven days to three weeks. It depends on the size of the buds, the strains, and the environment. Airflow is incredibly important to reduce the possibility of mold and mildew. Once fully dried, trim the buds to remove the big leaves. When the buds are used for extraction, it’s not as important to manicure them perfectly. Save that time and effort for buds sold whole, but do remove excess stems and leaves.
Then, it’s time to cure. Curing flowers properly will maintain and enhance the flavor and aroma while maintaining optimal color and moisture levels. To do so, put the buds into glass jars or another airtight container. Don’t overpack the jars, the buds need airflow. Once or twice a day, open the jars to “burp” them by letting in a little air for a few minutes. This process releases moisture while allowing fresh oxygen in.
The entire curing process can take two to four weeks. After the first week, you only need to burp the jars once every few days.
Once cured, the buds undergo the same extraction process as live resin. The real difference when comparing cured resin vs live resin is the starting material.
Cured Resin vs Live Resin Compared
Alright, now that we have the basics covered, let’s take a look at the major comparisons between cured resin vs live resin.
You could make live resin and cured resin from the same plant, but the ingoing material differs. Live resin is created with fresh, frozen whole plants, while cured resin uses dried and trimmed cannabis flowers as its source material.
Some people prefer the bold flavor of live resin, while others find it too intense. Cured resin tends to have a more subtle and complex taste. Live resin is complex, with multiple terpenes coming forward at one time. Cured resin is a bit smoother and well-rounded in flavor, which some prefer. When properly stored, both will last for many months.
Live resin likely offers the best high because it retains the most terpene and cannabinoid content. Cured resin can be very high THC, but we all know by now that THC percentage isn’t the only thing affecting our experience. If the fullest high is what you’re after, then live resin might be your preference.
Live resin is usually a bit more expensive because the freezing process can be costly. It adds complexity to the project. However, curing cannabis can take quite a while, delaying the process of extraction. If you decide to hand trim instead of using machine trimming, that adds to the overall production cost. Ultimately, the pricing is going to vary from brand to brand.
Cured Resin vs Live Resin: Final Verdict
Perhaps cured resin is the perfect wake and bake, while live resin is your go-to in the evening. While the answer to this question depends on what you’re looking for, there are some general guidelines. If you’re looking for a powerful high, live resin is the way to go. It’s also a better choice if you want your concentrates to have an intense flavor profile. However, cured resin might be easier to work with and more affordable—and it still packs a punch.
The good news is that you don’t have to choose! That’s the beauty of being a cannabis enthusiast in today’s world. Try a little bit of everything and decide what you like best.