Live Resin: What is It and How to Make

Live Resin

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Live resin is a concentrate extracted from fresh cannabis flower buds and sugar leaves that have been frozen right after harvest. Unlike many other cannabis products, live resin extract is not from plants that have been dried or cured. By flash-freezing the cannabis plants, it helps to preserve higher water content and retain the full flavors, aroma, and essence of the plant. The retained water allows for a greater extraction, which can then be used for high-quality concentrates and essential oils. This is one reason why many connoisseurs gravitate towards live resin for a more flavorful and aromatic experience.

How does live resin look and feel like?

Live resin comes in a variety of forms and colors. The distinguishing factor that separates them from other concentrates is their robust terpene concentration as compared to traditionally cured extracts. This means that they are typically more fluid than other concentrate products. The more terpenes, the more sappy and runnier the concentrate. Due to a plethora of cannabis strains available today, there are several consistencies of live resin. However, sap, sugar, sauce, and budders are some of the most common consistencies of live resin.

In addition, live resin carries a stronger flavor, a more pungent aroma, and a more elevated psychoactive experience because of their terpene concentration. All these factors have influenced as to why live resin is becoming more and more sought-after in the cannabis concentrate markets.

How did live resin come to be?

Live resin had come quite a long way since 2013 when a group of cannabis growers and extractors were looking for new ways to extract cannabis concentrate. They wanted to see what methods could be done, aside from the dried and cured varieties, to get a purer terpene profile. As a result, they developed a special butane extractor to produce a resin that had very similar chemical profiles found in an original live cannabis plant. When live resin was first introduced, this substance was such a mysterious and rare product that it was sold only at premium markets and at premium prices. Live resin cost easily exceeded $100 per gram at that time. Nowadays, while they still hold a higher premium, considering the complexity of the process required to extract the terpenes, live resins are becoming more available to cannabis consumers.

How is the live resin extracted?

This newer form of marijuana is quickly growing in popularity because of its superiority to its concentrate counterparts. To understand live resin, the answer lies in the drying and curing process, or, in this case, the lack thereof. Cannabis cultivation often entails a drying and curing process that will result in less potent but still flavorful and harsh buds. However, throughout these two processes, a percentage of the plant’s terpenes are removed. Some experts say that as much as 60% is removed before it reaches your pipe, even if the curing process is carefully managed. In fact, some techniques that employ these processes intentionally purge all the terpenes, leaving you with an essence-less concentrate.

When it comes to extracting cannabis concentrates, butane hash-oil is the most popular method. Live resin is actually a form of butane hash oil that is focused on maintaining a purer profile. It is extracted without the drying and curing processes. The idea behind this method of extraction is to completely preserve the terpenes and avoid any degradation of the natural essence, flavors and smells of the plant. In order to extract the live resin, freshly trimmed buds are immediately frozen for about 24 to 36 hours just minutes after harvested, then extracted from there. Freezing is believed to stop the metabolic processes and prevents any degradation, in the same that fruits and vegetables are frozen for later consumption while preserving their “freshness.” Then, they are usually extracted using butane equipment as soon as possible after being frozen.

Another way to extract resin after flash freezing them is via CO2 extraction. This entails purging them in a vacuum oven that is capable of maintaining very low temperatures to ensure the plant matter stays frozen. The result is this top-quality cannabis concentrate we now call live resin.

It is important to know that you need specific specialized equipment to get the extraction right. While there is still no DIY kit available right now, it is best to leave the process to the experts. In addition, the extraction process will require the skill, knowledge, and patience to do it successfully. Once the trichomes are frozen, they become very brittle and can easily be damaged. Imagine the effort and time required to get your buds in and out of the freezer without breaking them. Another difficulty that deters most people from doing live resin extraction themselves is the fact that the entire process needs to be done at below zero temperatures – we are looking at -20 to -50 degrees Fahrenheit.

What are the benefits of live resin?

Terpenes are the backbone of concentrates. They are a large group of unsaturated hydrocarbons responsible for the unique characteristics associated with different cannabis strains. In nature, many plants and insects use these compounds to fight off predators, to signal pollination, or even to encourage cloud formation.

In cannabis, these compounds dictate the differences in each strain. This includes not only their flavors and aromas but also their medicinal effects. Many consumers contribute to the differences in cannabis effects to the differences in cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, in the plants without realizing that terpenes also play an even more significant role. Live resin produces a fast-acting relief, which is great for cannabis medical patients who need it for pain or nausea and want to avoid the need to smoke cannabis constantly. This includes patients who may be battling serious diseases like nausea caused by chemotherapy sessions, epilepsy, and even chronic migraines.

What are the best strains for live resin?

When it comes to crafting live resin, these strains stand out as great candidates thanks to their high THC concentration and mind-blowing terpene profiles.

White Widow

White Widow is widely known in the cannabis community as an energetic female that effectively stimulates cognitive function, including analytical thinking and introspection. THC concentration for this strain is at 19%, and it is an evenly balanced Indica/Sativa hybrid.

Fruit Spirit

Another strain that boasts of the high THC content of approximately 18%, Fruit Spirit, is known for its mesmerizing aroma, delicious flavors, and Sativa-dominant high. It easily catapults you cerebrally to a new level of focus, energy, and creativity. 

Royal Gorilla

The Royal Gorilla is an autoflowering strain that boasts of approximately 27% THC concentration. A single hit of this strain will leave any cannabis user baked for hours. It offers a balanced cerebral high that is improves the mood and a relaxing physical buzz that has a pleasant touch of sedation.

Live resin is a new form of butane hash oil that is consistently gaining traction in the cannabis community. Thanks to the advancement in technology and science, people can now enjoy purer cannabis concentrates that are known to provide the best aromas, flavors, and medicinal benefits. Contrary to other extraction methods that employ the drying and curing processes, the process required to extract live terpenes ensures that the material is purged of impurities.

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