Sinking your nose into a fully mature, raw cannabis plant is an unforgettable experience. The complexity of fragrances captured in a single sniff of a living flower will completely change the way you perceive cannabis plants.
At some point of your journey with the herb, you’ll start to wonder whether or not a translation of these gorgeous flavors and aromas into a consumable product is possible.
The good news — yes, it is!
The not-so-good news — it’s easier said than done.
Upon the harvest, a cannabis plant goes through several processes, such as drying and curing, both of which are essential to achieve a product that is ready for consumption, potent, and full of aromas and flavors.
But, for making cannabis concentrates, many of these are lost during the extraction. Many techniques intentionally purge these elements to achieve higher potency at the cost of the essential oils called terpenes.
So how is it possible to achieve a potent yet flavorful cannabis extract? The answer is simple— by making live resin.
What is Live Resin?
Live resin is a type of cannabis concentrate made with freshly harvested cannabis plants. The plant material is exposed to subcritical temperatures prior and during the extraction process.
The flash-freezing process of live cannabis plants allows for the preservation of the plant’s entire terpene profile.
Other types of concentrates use flowers that undergo drying and curing process. This, in turn, can have a serious impact on terpenes — the aromatic compounds that give cannabis strains their unique fragrances and flavors.
With live resin, the plant is frozen right away after the harvest and kept at freezing temperatures throughout the whole extraction process.
Doing so preserves the plant’s valuable terpene profile, thus keeping its original flavors and aromas inside.
Where Did Live Resin Cannabis Concentrates Come From?
Live resin is a fairly new form of cannabis concentrate. Its origins date back to between 2011 -2013, when a small group of growers from Colorado first introduced live resin to the concentrate scene. They created a dedicated BHO extractor capable of operating on extremely low temperatures essential for producing live resin.
Together, the growers were able to come up with methods capable of extracting concentrates that contained above-average terpene content — much higher than what traditional extraction yields with cured buds.
What Does Live Resin Look and Feel Like?
Live resin concentrates come in a variety of colors and forms. The type of cannabis strain used for the concentrate plays an important role in both the chemical and physical traits of the end product.
Live resin packs an abundance of terpenes, and in higher ratios than other concentrates. With the extra essential oils, the consistency resembles more fluid than other concentrates. The more terpenes, the runnier and less stable the concentrate. The most common forms of live resin are badder, bdder, sap, sugar, and sauce.
What Makes Live Resin Different Than Other Concentrates?
The main factor separating live resins from other concentrated extracts is the boosted terpene content that these forms of cannabis contain. On average, live resin carries more hearty concentration of terpenes than standard cured BHO extracts.
Moreover, the elevated terpene profile can also deliver more powerful psychoactive experience and boost the medical benefits of cannabis because terpenes engage with THC and CBD to create amplify their effects — this synergy is called ”the entourage effect.”
Due to the above factors, live resin has become one of the most sought-after products in the cannabis concentrate niche. Cannabis consumers tend to place a high value on fragrances and flavors as well as effect of their extracts.
Typically, live resin sells for higher prices than their less aromatic counterparts.
How to Consume Live Resin
You consume live resin by inhalation. This can be done in two ways, either through flash-vaporization in a dab rig, or through regular vaping in a vape pen.
Let’s elaborate on each of those methods.
1. In a Rig
Dabbing live resin in calls for using a dab rig. This piece of smoking equipment is essentially a more scientific water pipe with special features that allow for consuming cannabis concentrates.
A dab rig comes with a nail, which is a flat bowl to hold your extracts, a gas-powered torch, and a dabber — a spoon-shaped tool for measuring out the resin.
The science behind using a dab is to scoop out a portion of your dab and place transfer it onto a red-hot nail. The optimal temperature for dabbing live resin is between 315–400 F. Higher temperatures may cause the terpenes to combust, destroying the precious aromas and flavors.
Then you immediately inhale the vaporizing extract through the rig’s mouthpiece — voila!
2. In a Vaporizer
Live resin concentrates are typically contained in what we know as vape pens. These vape pens come with oil cartridges you can fill with live resin instead of a more conventional concentrate.
To vape your live resin, simply screw the cartridge onto a battery, turn on the heating coil and inhale through the pen’s mouthpiece.
How to Store Live Resin
When storing live resin, your goal is to maintain as much aroma and flavor of your concentrate as possible. Preserving the potency and quality of your live resin calls for avoiding heat, moisture, light, and open air.
Your best bet for storing live resin will be an airtight and lightproof container. It will help you maintain the consistency of your extracts as well as the amount of cannabinoids. Otherwise, they might degrade when exposed to the above factors.
You may find concentrate storage containers in cannabis dispensaries.
What’s the Cost Per Gram of Live Resin?
In general, you should expect to pay more for live resin than other concentrates. Depending on where you live, a gram of live resin may cost you from $10 to $50 more than you would for the same volume of, say, shatter or wax.
Premium live resin sourced from rare strains can run as high as $100 per gram and more, while the average price ranges between $60–$80 per gram.
Final Thoughts on Live Resin
Live resin concentrates have come a long way since their introduction in Colorado. These once enigmatic extracts are now storming the market as one of the most desired premium cannabis products.
We’re not going to deny the fact that live resin is priced on the higher end of the scale, but the flavorful and aromatic experience, as well as enhanced effects coming from the elevated terpene content, are well worth that price tag.
What’s your experience with live resin? Are you a fan of this form of concentrated cannabis?