What is live resin?
Live resin is a unique product in the cannabis concentrate category. Compared to distillate, shatter, or wax, live resin boasts a much larger terpene profile. This means that it holds on to much more of the cannabis plant matter and maintains the original strain’s terpene profile characteristics after it’s been processed. Compared to other concentrates, like distillate where the flower is purged to remove terpenes and plant matter, live resin is a much more holistic approach to concentrating cannabis. Often other processes strip the cannabis terpenes out, leaving a product that has less of the plant’s original aromas and flavors.
In summary, live resin is usually the cannabis concentrate that holds on to the most taste, smell, and terpene profile from the flower it began as.
How is it made?
The first step in processing live resin relies on very cold temperatures. It begins with bud that has been flash or fresh frozen. Typically on a farm that produces live resin, the cannabis plant is harvested and immediately taken to large industrial freezers to quickly freeze the cannabis. This flash or fresh freezing is critical to creating live resin. Processors and farms often use vacuum sealers before putting the cannabis into the freezer to deep freeze at extreme temperatures between -10° to -80°F. This is the same method you see on the shelves at grocery stores, used by manufacturers to deliver the freshest produce or meat to the freezer aisle. We’ve known for a long time that the cold helps with optimal market freshness and preservation.
Fresh frozen bud allows terpenes, trichomes, aromas, and flavors to be preserved. Going straight to the freezer skips the drying and curing completely, essentially keeping the plant as live material. Flash freezing is the best way to to preserve terpene profiles known to date.
As the plant moves into the extractions step, processors often use a hydrocarbon method of concentration. This is a precise and gentle process that allows terpene elements and plant matter to stay mostly intact. Other methods used to make live resin include extraction with BHO and CO2, similar to creating wax and crumble.
The final product
The color profile of live resin can range from a nice golden color to a darker brown color. Because so much of the plant is preserved in live resin, the color of the product is dependent on the strain of the cannabis flower. For example, a typically very dark strain like Granddaddy Purple will create a darker live reason when compared to something lighter like Lemon Kush.
Live resin vape carts can be used without much prep when connected to the correct battery. Raw material, on the other hand, might take more effort and can be used with a dab rig or for the occasional addition to a home-rolled joint or blunt.
You might find that prices for live resin products are slightly higher than other concentrates like distillate and wax. The price point reflects the added labor and care that goes into the precise extraction of live resin. If you are looking for a concentrate product that is a true taste and terpene profile of the original strain, live resin might be the product for you.
Once home, it is recommended to store live resin in an airtight container in a cool place – even in the fridge if possible. This helps with the preservation of terpenes and the flavor profile of the strain.