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What is Live Resin and How Does it Work?

Learn about the cannabis concentrate known as live resin and why it is so potent and beneficial.
Jason L is a 1st time father to a bouncing baby boy, and long time cannabis enthusiast.

Written By Jason L

On May 28, 2019

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Between 2017 and 2018, the number of cannabis concentrate items inventoried by dispensaries using Leafly increased by 600%.

Among one of the most recent additions to that family of cannabis products is live resin. Although this concentrate is similar to other concentrates in texture and texture, it’s unique processing method makes it something quite different.

You’re not a concentrate connoisseur unless you’ve tried live resin extract. The flavor and aroma profiles this concentrate offers are the closest you can get to what the real plant has to offer.

But how does live resin do all that, you ask? Keep reading to find out.

What is Live Resin?

Live resin is a cannabis concentrate that’s similar to wax, shatter, and budder. What differentiates it from other concentrates is its unique method of extraction. The extraction technique developed to create live resin results in a concentrate that has high levels of terpenes.

Terpenes are in the trichomes of the cannabis plant (aka the sparkly, sticky, crystals that cover the buds, flowers, and leaves, of the cannabis plant). They’re responsible for all of the different flavor and aromas of a particular cannabis strain. We currently know of over 100 different terpenes, each of which interacts with cannabinoids in their own synergistic way.

Live resin has a high terpene concentration. It gives users a better chance of experiencing the true essence of the plant. That means better flavors, better aromas, and potentially better symptom relief.

And depending on what you’re looking for in your concentrates, a live resin might bring a more intense psychoactive experience. Some varieties of live resin, with highly concentrated and complex terpene profiles, interact with THC and CBD in a way that elevates their effects.

Drying and Curing

In the process of growing, harvesting, drying, curing, and creating extractions from cannabis, a lot of harm can be done to the trichomes that rest delicately all over the plant. When any one part of this process isn’t performed with expertise and precision, the result is a colorless and odorless concentrate that also lacks flavor.

But some growers will tell you that the most important part of the process, in terms of preserving the original essence of the plant, lies in the drying and curing. These growers claim that the way in which a plant is dried and cured has a major impact on its terpene.

After cutting down the cannabis plant cut, there are two steps for drying and curing. For 1-2 weeks after harvest, the plants dry themselves out. The purpose of this is to allow any moisture and chlorophyll to evaporate before extraction.

Following the drying process, the buds are separated from the stalks. These buds sit in airtight containers for 2 to 8 weeks while they cure. Occasionally the buds will be exposed to air when they’re given a chance to breathe and release any leftover moisture.

This traditional method for drying and curing results in the loss of terpene. Firstly, terpenes are evaporated along with moisture and chlorophyll during the drying stage. And in both steps of the process, terpenes are exposed to oxygen, light, heat, and physical agitation which can affect both their quality and concentration.

How Is Live Resin Made?

What makes live resin different from other concentrates is the amount of time allotted for drying and curing. In order to maintain as many of the terpenes as possible, live resin isn’t dried or cured. Instead, live resin is made from freshly harvested cannabis plants.

Minutes after the plant has been harvested, it’s flash frozen at subcritical temperatures. These temperatures are maintained throughout the extraction process.

This is why live resin is about as close you can get to the true essence of the plant. It brings as much of the scent and flavor of the plant to the final product that’s currently possible.

How Much Does Live Resin Cost?

Live resin is a relative newcomer to the scene of concentrates. When it first made its round, it could only be found in some underground connoisseur markets. And when it could be found, the price of such a rare and premium product often exceeded $100 USD per gram.

You still pay a premium for live resin, but not nearly as high as its early days. That’s because the extraction method used for this concentrate is more widely-used now. That accessibility translates to more affordability for the consumer.

You can also find some form of live resin in most dispensaries these days. They range in textures and viscosities. You might find it as a butter, jellies, sugar, or sap.

How Does Live Resin Work?

Like other concentrates, live resin typically has a higher concentration of THC or CBD than a natural flower or a CBD oil. As such, it’s not something to be smoked in a joint or even mixed into edibles.

One of the most common ways to smoke concentrates is dabbing with a dab rig or a dab straw. But make sure you use the right tool for a job.

A glass or quartz straw will give you better flavor and more control over the temperature. Using a metal nail is the cheap option that can easily lead to burning the dab or ruining the flavor and scent.

But dabbing isn’t exactly beginner-friendly. For that, you might try a dab pen or a vape pen. These are discreet, easy to use, and offer you best experience in terms of savoring the terpenes.

Live Resin, Wax, and More

Live resin is a cannabis concentrate known for its high-level of terpenes. The complex flavors and aromas it delivers are largely a result of the extraction process. Instead of drying and curing the cannabis used to make live resin, the plant is flash frozen immediately following harvesting.

And there’s a whole lot more out there in the world of concentrates. Browse a list of our products to find one that’s right for you.

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