With so many ways to smoke cannabis these days, it can be easy to get lost in the sauce when it comes to extracts. From concentrates like shatter, wax, crumble, and budder, it’s no wonder it can be confusing selecting the best quality extracts. Perhaps one of the less common – yet most desirable – forms of cannabis extract is live resin.
You might be wondering, what is live resin and how is it different from all the other smokable and dabbable products on the market? Simply put, live resin is made with fresh cannabis flowers and is bursting with flavor. Let’s explore how live resin is made and why its distinguishing features make it the most delicious way to experience cannabis.
What is Live Resin?
Live resin is a cannabis extract made by freezing the cannabis plant immediately after harvest to capture the terpenes while still alive (hence the name). This process maintains the plant’s original terpene profile, producing authentic taste and effects.
This process differs from the usual drying and curing process that cannabis plants normally undergo, which causes the plant to release a large amount of the moisture it typically retains, damaging the trichomes and wreaking havoc on the terpenes. By skipping this step entirely, live resin producers end up with a finished product that more closely resembles the original strain’s natural flavors and effect.
Other types of extracts are typically made with flowers that have been dried and cured or even more commonly made with the trim leftover from manicuring smokable buds. This method damages the trichomes, which in turn alters the flavor and abundance of terpenes. Live resin is an artform of extraction, producing perhaps the most flavorful and terpene-rich smokable and dabbable extract available.
More Than a Trend
In addition to the enhanced taste and effects that live resin offers, the extract has become more widely available and is now offered in various consumption methods. In previous years, live resin extract required a ‘dab setup’ to consume. These setups can be being costly like the concentrate itself. You can now find live resin in many different vape cartridges, at more affordable prices, making the extract more available and easier to consume.
Cannabis consumers were already flocking to vapes for the ease and discrete nature of cartridges, but finding one that offered a real cannabis experience previously proved hard to find. That changed with live resin cartridges, which offer an authentic, potent experience made more affordable and portable. The continuous sales and high quality products seem to prove that live resin is more than just a trend
How is Live Resin Made?
The method creates an intensely flavorful and effective live resin. You can taste the terpenes bursting on the inhale and soothing your system on the exhale. The terpenes are truly alive.
The process begins with a selection of curated strains from licensed growers. Rather than flash-freezing the cannabis, they head straight back to the extraction lab and process the fresh flowers within 24 hours after harvest. This method protects the precious trichomes and preserves a wide range of live cannabinoids and terpenes, hence the name. From there, they like to continue doing things a little differently.
Many other brands use hydrocarbons like butane or propane to make their extracts. Depending on the genetics, they can retain up to 95% of the original terpene profile with this extraction method. Not to mention it’s gentler on the plants, and the planet. It’s also the reason why they can preserve such a high percentage of terpenes. While hydrocarbon extraction does retain terpenes, ethanol extraction contributes to a higher concentration.
Live resin is not a viscous liquid, and to make it thin enough to put into a vape cartridge, it requires cutting agents that act as thinners. Distillation is the process of applying heat, pressure, and humidity to the cannabis plant to remove any impurities. It also removes the terpenes and flavonoids, which are set aside to be used in the next step.
Once the extract has been triple distilled and tested for purity, they combine the water-distilled terpenes with the highly concentrated cannabinoids. They then create a fingerprint of those strains and recreate each profile in their oil that is as close to the original strain as possible. This results in a flavorful, highly potent, terpene-rich live resin with flavor true to the strain every time.
Live Resin Features
Live resin has grown in popularity immensely in recent years. From novice users to cannabis connoisseurs, there is plenty of appeal.
Live resin has a broad terpene profile with higher percentages of terpenes than other extracts. The flavor is almost ‘juicy’ when inhaled, awakening the senses. With such a high concentration of terpenes, flavonoids, and cannabinoids, live resin engages the entourage effect. This term describes how these compounds naturally found in the cannabis plant come together to work synergistically, enhancing each other’s benefits. More terpenes means more flavor, but it also means more potent effects.
Possible Side Effects
As with smoking or vaping any kind of product, it’s good to know the potential side effects. Live resin is a very potent product, and even just a few puffs or dabs can result in an uncomfortable high for the novice user. Start out slowly and see how one hit affects you before taking another one.
Having a tolerance before trying out dabbing is highly recommended. But don’t worry – if you happen to get a little too high, just relax, sip some water, and listen to some relaxing music. Mixing cannabis and alcohol is not recommended. It can make you nauseous and no one wants to get sick from smoking weed! Just remember to start low, and go slow.