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All You Need To Know About Live Resin
4 min

All You Need To Know About Live Resin

4 min

Find out how live resin, one of the strongest cannabis products around, is made, as well as how best to enjoy it. With up to 95% THC and a whole host of terpenes, it's no wonder live resin products are taking off around the world! Here's everything you need to know.

In the world of cannabis concentrates, there’s one that tops the list for potency: live resin. Unusually, this product is made from fresh cannabis flower, retaining all of the goodness found in the living plant. Here, we give you an overview of how it’s made and how to use it.

What is live resin?

What Is Live Resin?

For cannabis connoisseurs, live resin is about as potent and tasty as things can get. In fact, if your aim is to consume cannabis in a way that preserves how it’s found on the live plant, then this method is hard to beat. Retaining as many terpenes and cannabinoids as possible, the live resin extraction process does very little damage to these highly sought-after compounds, meaning you get a super-rich and flavourful product at the end of it.

Live resin is, as the name suggests, taken directly from freshly harvested flowers on the cannabis plant, rather than going through the drying and curing process. No matter how well cannabis is dried and cured, it’s inevitable that the process will change the chemical composition of the terpenes and cannabinoids within, affecting both potency and flavour in turn. For practical reasons, this is usually something we just have to accept. You can't really smoke fresh bud, extracting its constituents can be difficult for the layperson (as we'll see with this method), and it can't be stored for very long. So, although live products are richer, don't reject age-old drying and curing processes outright.

That said, by extracting resin directly from live cannabis plant material, the resulting concentrate bypasses the processes that degrade dried and cured buds, creating a pristine cannabis product full of terpenes and up to 95% THC!

But making it isn’t easy.

How is live resin made?

How Is Live Resin Made?

Making live resin isn’t a particularly complex process per se, but it requires some sophisticated equipment that is expensive and hard to use in a home environment. While it is technically possible to perform at home, it’s not really an option for most people—and it’s dangerous.

Therefore, what follows is not an in-depth guide on how to make live resin, but simply an explanation of the overall process.

Outline of the live resin process

  1. Directly after being harvested, the fresh buds must be flash-frozen. This can’t be done in a normal freezer, but something more industrial that utilises dry ice or liquid nitrogen. This process means the trichomes (resin-containing glands) become brittle and separate from the plant matter much more easily.
  2. Like many cannabis concentrates, the next stage uses a solvent to separate the frozen trichomes from the plant matter—the difference in this case being that the solvent itself is cooled to around –40℃, much like the plant matter.
  3. The solvent is then purged from the final extract. This also happens at a very low temperature.

What are the benefits of using live resin?

What Are The Benefits Of Using Live Resin?

There are two main benefits to live resin:

  • Potency
  • Flavour

As mentioned, the fact that live resin is taken from fresh cannabis plants means that, at the beginning of the process, 100% of what the plant has produced is available for extraction. With normal extraction processes, up to 60% of terpenes can be lost to drying and curing, significantly reducing the final flavour profile of the concentrate. With nothing lost before the live resin extraction process, there’s much more up for grabs.

Moreover, when stored in an opaque, airtight container is a cool environment, live resin concentrates last a very long time indeed. This potential for long-term storage is another bonus of these products, if you can exercise some restraint!

Will live resin get you high?

Undoubtedly. Not only will live resin get you high, but it has the potential to get you way too high. With up to 95% THC and a wealth of terpenes, live resin concentrates are some of the strongest cannabis products out there, and should not be treated lightly.

Expect powerful, hard-hitting effects. For those inexperienced with this sort of concentrate, proceed cautiously, vaping or dabbing very small amounts at a time. Nevertheless, given the method of intake (inhalation), any negative effects are likely to wear off relatively quickly without lasting impact.

What's the difference between live resin and other concentrates?

What'S The Difference Between Live Resin And Other Concentrates?

The major difference between live resin and other concentrates is the process by which it’s made, and the fact that it’s taken from fresh, uncured bud.

Most types of concentrates start with dried, cured buds, and then a solvent is applied to the material to extract the desired constituents. Otherwise, such as in the case of rosin, heat is applied directly to a cured bud in order to extract the resin. This process is solventless, making it potentially more viable for home concentrate technicians.

What is live rosin?

But what about live rosin? What’s the difference between live rosin and live resin? Well, both are taken from fresh plant material, and both are frozen at very low temperatures. After this stage, however, the process differs.

Live resin follows the solvent extraction method outlined above, while live rosin follows the solventless method, which essentially involves using intense heat and pressure to extract the desired compounds from the plant material.

Related article

What's The Difference Between Rosin, Resin & Live Resin?

How to use live resin?

How To Use Live Resin?

Live resin can be used in much the same way as other extracts. Dabbing and vaping are the two main methods of live resin intake, with dabbing often coming in as the cheaper option. Unlike smoking or even edibles, dabbing and vaping allow you to preserve the utmost flavour and potency of your live resin.

Dabbing

Dabbing requires a dab rig—a simple piece of equipment that functions similarly to a bong but vaporizes the concentrate instead of combusting it. What’s known as a banger, or nail—which is essentially the equivalent of a bong bowl—is heated to the desired temperature, either electronically or with a torch. The resin is then dabbed onto it with a dabbing tool, where it vaporizes and is inhaled, passing through water on its way to your lungs.

Related article

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Vaping

A vaporizer conceived to handle cannabis concentrate should be suitable for vaping live resin—and live rosin for that matter. Depending on your gadget of choice, it’s likely you’ll just need to load the resin into the chamber, set the desired temperature, wait for it to heat, and then inhale! This is probably the easiest way to enjoy the potency and flavour of live resin. But vapes don’t come cheap! Nevertheless, if you intend to use concentrates regularly, a vaporizer is a worthwhile investment. Moreover, many devices can also handle raw flower, extracting the very best your buds have to offer.

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How to store live resin

How To Store Live Resin

Live resin should be stored in airtight, opaque containers to retain quality over time. However, due to its gooey, sticky nature, you'll also want a specialised container made from silicone. These non-stick containers mean you won’t lose any concentrate to the depths of a jar, nor do you risk adulterating the next batch when the time comes to refill it.

Live resin: teeming with terpenes

For most casual users, especially those in countries where cannabis products are not sold legally in shops (that is, almost every country), live resin may not be very accessible. However, if you have the chance to get your hands on, or make, some of this concentrate, it will be well worth it.

For a massive hit of cannabinoids and terpenes, it really is about as good as you can get. But if you get the chance to indulge, take it easy, as live resin is next-level strong!

Luke Sholl
Luke Sholl
Luke Sholl has been writing about cannabis, the wellness potential of cannabinoids, and the positive influence of nature for over a decade. Working with several cannabinoid-centric publications, he publishes a variety of digital content, supported by strong technical knowledge and thorough research.
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