What is Live Resin?
It’s the process of extracting concentrate from the cannabis plant that was not dried nor cured. The resultant product is called live resin.
The method retains the terpenes that could otherwise be lost if the cannabis plant material was dried or cured. It mostly involves the freezing of the cannabis plant before extracting the concentrate from it. The forthcoming product is of high quality and is full of flavour, thanks to the high concentration of terpenes.
According to Kind Bill, the founder of Live Resin, the product is known as live resin because it smells like the living plant. 87AZ, a Reddit user, said he got some sauce in Phoenix, which was full of terpenes. The sauce, he said, reminded him of Live Resin.
It is defined as a concentrate that is as fresh as the cannabis plant, from which it’s extracted from. One of its features is that it’s made from cannabis plant material that hasn’t been cured or dried.
The materials used are; sugar leaves and fresh flower buds. The materials are then flash-frozen to keep their flavour. Most cannabis users have recently discovered the full flavours and aroma of live resin, which come out unrestricted when dabbing. When producing live resin, the goal is to capture the full aroma and flavors of the cannabis plant. By eliminating the process of drying and curing, the process allows for more essential oils. These essential oils are what we call as terpenes, the compounds that give us distinctive flavours and aromas of the cannabis plant.
What does Live Resin look and feel like?
Like most concentrates, live resins can be found in a number of forms and kinds, The cannabis strain that it’s extracted from matters a lot, as it gives it the final chemical and physical characteristics. Unlike other concentrates, live resin is full of terpenes. It has a more fluid consistency thanks to its generous share of essential oils.
The more the terpenes, the runnier the concentrate will be. The most common live resin consistencies are sauce, sugar, budder and sap. Shatter is another common concentrate, although it’s pretty hard to find a live resin in the form of a shatter.
This is simply because there are many incompatibilities when it comes to shatter and live resin. The most outstanding feature of shatter is its brittle consistency, which is difficult to achieve especially because of the skipped processes, and the high terpene content involved.
What’s the difference between Live Resin and Sauce?
The difference between a live resin and a sauce lies in the starting plant material that was used during the extraction process. Live resin has to be extracted from plant material that has not been dried or cured. In contrast, a sauce can be extracted from fresh matter, although that’s not essential. There are sauces that are extracted from the cannabis plant that has been dried and cured, like the nug run or trim run sauces.
When a sauce is extracted from the cured cannabis plant, it has fewer terpenes. When buying a sauce, be sure to check its profile to see whether it’s made from cured cannabis or live resin.
Is Live Resin considered a ‘full spectrum extract?’
A full spectrum extract is a product that captures the full cannabinoid and terpene profile of the cannabis plant. A product can be considered full spectrum dep[ending on the extraction process involved.it’s worth mentioning that not all full-spectrum extracts are derived from frozen cannabis plant material. A good example is kief, a full spectrum concentrate that used cured materials.
How to store Live Resin
Once you have your live resin, you don’t want to spoil its flavours and aroma, that’s why you should consider taking good care of it by storing it safely. For starters, live resin shouldn’t be stored near a source of heat, or light, open-air or moisture. To achieve this kind of environment, you need an airtight container that will keep the consistency of your live resin. A good container should keep terpenes from evaporating while preserving the cannabinoids from degradation. When you go shopping for a container for your live resin, pick the ones made of glass or silicone. The beauty of silicone containers is that you can easily scrape sticky concentrates from the base of the container.
Live resin should be stored in a cool environment because light degrades it fast. A cold room or a refrigerator should suffice. Once you use your live resin, make sure you secure the lid of your container. Leaving it out in the open makes the concentrate vulnerable to degradation, which can essentially make it lose its colour and texture.
Ways to consume Live Resin
The best way to consume live resin is by dabbing it. Dabbing involves a dab rig, a specialized type of water pipe and a bowl, which is simply called a ‘nail’. A nail is made from tough materials that can withstand lots of heat, and are technically different from the glass bowls that are mainly used to heat flower.
A dab rig with a spoon-shaped tip is the best option when you are consuming a live resin. Most other extracts can use the dabber with a flat tip. To dab, all you need is to preheat the nail with a butane torch. With dabbing, temperatures matter a lot. A nail that’s too hot can combust the live resin and spoil the good flavours, while a nail that’s too cold bars you from activating the terpenes and cannabinoids of your live resin. The recommended temperature for dabbing live resin should be between 315 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the most recommended temperature should be near the lower side of the spectrum; around 315 F, to maximize the flavour of the live resin.
Once the torch attains the optimum temperature, you should consider turning it off and setting it aside. With the spoon tipped dabber, lower your live resin onto the nail. This will make the live resin to vaporize. Inhale the vapour as it wafts from the nail.
The other methods of consuming live resin are wrapping it around a joint, or sprinkling it on a bowl of flower in a glass pipe. You can also combine cured flower with live resin for that extra flavour.
Can you vape Live Resin?
Live resin can be dabbed using the above process using a nectar collector or a vape pen. All these processes involve heating of the live resin and inhaling its terpene rich vapour.
Dabbing is the most involving method of consuming live resin as it involves lots of tools. A nectar collector, on the other hand, is the easiest of ways. It has a glass or silicone body, a titanium or quartz tip, a percolator which is essentially a small water chamber, and a cylindrical mouthpiece made of silicone or glass. Once you heat the tip, you drag the nectar collector across a dab and inhale the vapour. But using the vape is arguably the simplest method of consuming live resin. Simply get a live resin cartridge, pair it to a battery and you’re ready to go.
What are Live Resin carts?
These are oil cartridges filled with live resin. They are becoming a popular method of consuming live resin. To get started, simply attach your live resin cartridge to a battery heat it and inhale the vapour through a mouthpiece.
How much does Live Resin cost?
The process of preparing live resin is tedious and time-consuming. As such, the end product is usually expensive to buy. There’s no specific price for live resin, as its price is dictated by demand and supply as well as the location. However, it’s worth mentioning that a gram of live resin should cost between $10 and $50 more than the price of other concentrates. High-end live resin fetches up to $100 per gram while slightly lower grade resin costs an average of $60 to $80 for every gram of resin. The high price is necessitated by the fact that the extraction process yields less resin although it starts with loads of fresh cannabis material. When you opt for live resin, you’re not looking at more CBD or THC content, but a higher profile of terpenes and flavours.
How is Live Resin made?
Warning; Extraction of live resin and other concentrates should only be carried out by qualified professionals as it’s extremely dangerous. The extraction of concentrates requires precision and accuracy that can only be achieved through the use of proper tools. It’s best left for professionals. The process uses liquefied petroleum gas such as butane as a solvent. Other solvents that can be used include ethanol and carbon dioxide. The cannabis plant is harvested and frozen. The other method of preserving cannabis material is called flash freezing. It involves dipping of cannabis materials into a container filled with liquid nitrogen or lowering it into a freezer with dry ice. Storing it into a cold box requires steady temperatures of -40 degrees celsius. The process of making concentrates is the same across the board, even for live resin. The only stark difference is that the solvent for live resin must be frozen at -40 degrees. The following steps are used to make live resin.
- Pack the materials column with frozen cannabis plant materials.
- Chill the solvent to -40 degrees celsius.
- Pass the solvent over the cannabis plant material to mix the two.
- Heat the solution briefly, with low heat to vaporize the solvent.
- Chill the solvent tank to condense the resultant vapours.
This process is technically different from that of extracting other concentrates, simply because of the temperature of the vacuum purge. This process has a vacuüm purge that is designed to trap most of the essential oils to prevent them from evaporating. To achieve this, a vacuüm oven set at about 65 to 75 F is used. For comparison purposes, a concentrate named Crumble involves a vacuüm purge with an oven that’s heated to 110 and 135 degrees Fahrenheit.
History of Live Resin
Live resin can be traced back to 2013 when cannabis cultivator William “Kind Bill” Fenger, together with Jason “Giddy Up” Emo, the founder of EmoTek Labs, created the live resin. In 2010, Kind Bill launched an operation to grow legal cannabis dedicated to the production of concentrates. He did this in his home state of Colorado. In one of his harvests, he did consider making concentrates out of it. According to him, raw cannabis that he was harvesting had a richer aroma than that of cured nugs. He reasoned that if he could produce a concentrate with the same terpene profile of a raw cannabis plant, he could translate the rich aroma into the concentrate. In his first attempt, he used the Original Diesel strain, commonly known as Underdawg, or Daywrecker #1. He flash-froze his materials and came up with the Butane Hash concentrate. The concentrate had a rich flavour and aroma but was dangerous to make and yielded less product. In those days, shatter was the most popular concentrates. However, he says that his product was the best he had ever tasted. However, there was a problem; no safe and refined method existed to extract live concentrates.
In 2013, Giddy Up created an extraction unit for concentrates at a medical dispensary named A Cut Above, based in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It was a proprietary OBE-Dos model that was created by EmoTek Labs. It was a closed-loop device that was designed with commercial manufacturers in mind. It was capable of producing high-quality wax and shatter. Kind Bill was then hired by the dispensary’s employees to provide technical support. Seeing the unit, Kind bill was convinced it could pavé the way for him to create a better concentrate. He promptly teamed with Giddy Up and collaborated on various extraction models, techniques and strains.
The duo was able to produce a batch of concentrates using whole cannabis plants. The resultant live resin had the characteristics that Kind Bill had sought for many years. It was rich in flavour and aroma. He named the process, as well as the resultant product, as Live Resin.
Live Resin has grown into a household name in Colorado and California. Given its rich aroma and flavours, it’s considered a top-shelf product. Its production and demand continue to rise.
Why does Live Resin skip the drying and curing process?
Typically, cannabis set aside for extraction has to be dried and cured. Technically, ingesting raw cannabis plant doesn’t give you any high. The plant materials have to be exposed to a source of heat to decarboxylate the cannabinoids and terpenes, the active components of the plant. The idea is to extract the flower and use it for its psychoactive and therapeutic qualities, without interfering with the terpenes.
The main disadvantage of drying and curing cannabis materials is that you lose some terpenes along the way. Yet, terpenes are the compounds that give the extracts their rich flavour and aroma. The curing process wastes even more terpenes. It takes between seven and ten days, and within this time, terpenes evaporate, giving the materials a change of flavour. According to a 1995 study by the University of Mississippi, a fresh cannabis plant had more terpenes than a dried one. The study found out that drying the cannabis plant leads to a 31% loss of terpenes. Terpenes are mostly measured by the number of isoprenes in one molecule. According to the University of Mississippi researchers, there were two classes of terpenes that were involved in their study; monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes. Monoterpenes have two isoprene unit in a molecule while sesquiterpenes have three isoprenes. The researchers found out that when the two types of terpenes were exposed to heat, they evaporated at different rates, with monoterpenes evaporating faster than sesquiterpenes. Sesquiterpenes evaporated at a slower rate because they had more units of isoprenes.
They noted that a raw cannabis plant had a terpene profile of 92.48% monoterpenes and 6.84% sesquiterpenes. Once dried, the profile changed to 85.54% monoterpenes and 12.64 sesquiterpenes. This monoterpene and sesquiterpene ratio matters a lot because it gives the concentrate its terpene profile. Most monoterpenes like limonene, myrcene, linalool, and terpinolene are known to come from the eucalyptus, hops, citrus, and lavender flavours. Sesquiterpenes like humulene, caryophyllene, are believed to be associated with spicy cannabis flavours such as cinnamon, basil, black pepper, and cloves. Because live resins utilize the cannabis plant when it has the richest terpene profile, it bears flavours and aromas that are more floral, aerial and fruity compared to nug run and trim run cannabis concentrates.
Beyond the enhanced flavours and aromas, terpenes are also known to enhance the THC and CBD effects. A 2011 study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology investigated the relationship between terpenes and cannabinoids. Lead researcher Dr Evan B. Russo found out that myrcene, a terpene found in cardamom, bay leaves and hops can bring the couch lock experience when combined with THC. This proves that terpenes could really enhance our experiences with cannabis.
Kind Bill, while harvesting his cannabis plants in 2010, saw it right to preserve its rich aroma and flavour. He succeeded, and that’s why we enjoy the resin today. Live resin has that flavorful richness and potency that makes it a much sought after product.
Where to buy Live Resin?
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