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All You Need To Know About Live Resin Cannabis Concentrate

3 min
Lifestyle News

Live resin is a new kind of extract that's totally unique. It's made from freshly harvested weed instead of dry buds, which gives it some pronounced medical benefits! Plus, THC can reach a whopping 95%! Find out how it's made and whether it's worth pursuing.

Most extracts, regardless of type, have one thing in common: they're made from cannabis that's been dried and/or cured. That's where live resin differs. It's made from fresh plant material that's flash-frozen soon after harvest.

Get it? Live resin is made from live plants.

Compared to other extracts, live resin is unique. It's also more expensive, but it's about as fresh as you can get when it comes to concentrates. It even tastes and smells like properly cured weed.

Is live resin cannabis concentrate worth the extra cost? Let's take a look.

How Is Live Resin Cannabis Concentrate Made?

This is not a tutorial for how to make live resin extracts at home. This process requires expensive, specialised equipment as well as expert knowledge that's out of reach for the typical DIYer.

Flash Freeze The Cannabis

Flash Freeze The Cannabis

Ideally, the plant will be flash-frozen very soon after it's harvested. This preserves the precious terpenes that are responsible for herb's taste and smell, as well as many of its health benefits. But freezing also makes the resin glands very brittle and easy to break. That means you can't just shove the cannabis into a typical freezer.

Instead, it's stored in a commercial freezer or a dedicated cold room that can be maintained at -28 to -50ºC. Those are winter temps at the North Pole!

Closed-Loop Extraction With Butane

Closed-loop Extraction With Butane

At room temperature, butane is water-soluble, and flash-frozen cannabis is full of water. As long as you can maintain sub-zero temperatures, like the one in our cold room, the butane won't dissolve in the water. That makes it easier to fully separate from the extract for a pure end product.

Sounds tricky, doesn't it? Not if you know how to use a closed-loop extractor and have about £10K to buy one. This machine applies pressure to the butane and chills it to a frosty -28 to -50ºC. The liquid butane is then forced through an herb chamber that holds the frozen plant material. That's when it binds to the terpenes and cannabinoids to separate them from the flowers and leaves.

At this point, the butane/terpene/cannabinoid mixture moves to another chamber where it's "dewaxed", which simply means removing waxes as well as any lipids from the solution. Next is the collection chamber where the butane is boiled off. The live resin is left behind, while the butane returns to a storage chamber so that it can be recycled to make another batch of extracts.

Live Resin Has More Terpenes Than Any Other Extract… And Dried Herb

Live Resin Has More Terpenes Than Any Other Extract… And Dried Herb

Did you know that no matter how carefully you dry and cure your weed, you could destroy up to 60% of the terpenes before you get a chance to smoke the first bud? And normal extracts? They don't have many viable terpenes at all. Most are either removed or destroyed during the process. That's why concentrates don't have very much taste or smell, and why flavours are added to many pre-filled THC cartridges.

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Because the plants used to make live resin are never cured, this type of extract has a chemical composition that's very close to that of a live cannabis plant. That should translate into better medical benefits in addition to a more robust taste and smell.

What Do Terpenes Do?

What Do Terpenes Do?

There are over 100 identified terpenes in cannabis, and each one has distinct benefits. Some, like myrcene, even interact with THC and other cannabinoids to enhance your high. So yeah—they're kind of important.

Here are three terpenes that can benefit everyone:

  • Limonene, a common terpene, gives cannabis its citrusy smell. It can relieve pain, ease anxiety and depression, and boost the immune system.
  • Alpha-pinene is another terpene that's found in a lot of cannabis strains. As the name would imply, it can be found in weed that has a piney smell, kind of like a Christmas tree. It combines with THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids to act as an antibiotic and bronchodilator, but it can also counterbalance some of THC's more troublesome side effects like lethargy and anxiety.
  • If you like weed with a more floral aroma, you've probably consumed your fair share of linalool. It's the same terpene that gives lavender its soothing aroma, and it's a big reason why so many people feel totally relaxed after they medicate. Linalool acts as a pain reliever, a sedative, and displays antidepressant-like effects.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Live Resin

Advantages

Advantages

In addition to the enhanced flavour and bouquet, live resin has other distinct advantages over other types of extracts, and even dried herb. Firstly, it's a very efficient way to medicate if you need to consume massive amounts of THC or specific terpenes.

Because they're protected during extraction, this type of cannabis contains more terpenes than any other type. Also, THC levels generally range from 65–95%. It's perfect for frequent users with high tolerance levels.

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As a bonus, you only need to consume a tiny amount to get a massive dose of cannabinoids and beneficial terpenes. It eliminates the need for combustibles, and only exposes your lungs to a minimal amount of vapor. It's fast-acting too, so live resin can provide prompt relief for pain, nausea, and a host of other health conditions and side effects.

Disadvantages

Disadvantages

Even though it's a more effective and efficient way to medicate, live resin is very expensive. The increased cost is mostly because it requires expensive lab equipment and expert knowledge to make, but increased demand also plays a part. For some, it could be a compromise because they'd need much less live resin to get the same—or better—results than if they used another form of extract or dried herb.

Unlike traditional dabs, you won't be making live resin cannabis concentrates at home. Even if you had the resources to buy the equipment, there's a steep learning curve to the extraction process. It's dangerous to attempt without the proper training.

Finally, live resin is simply hard to find. If you live in an area where extracts are legal to buy, you may be able to find a reliable supply, but many dispensaries can't afford the equipment to produce it in house. Outside of the US and Canada, it's virtually impossible to find at this time.

Live Resin Is Just The Beginning

Live resin is complicated and dangerous to make, expensive to buy, and very hard to find, but it does have some unique properties that make it worth trying if you have the opportunity. As legalization spreads and more technological advances are made, the availability should increase while the price goes down.

Laura

Written by: Sherry
Featuring as a regular guest writer, Sherry lives in the wild heart of the American East Coast. Based at her family farm, she has developed a deep respect for cannabis, continuing to master and hone its cultivation.

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