It’s said that you haven’t enjoyed the richness of cannabis before trying live resin. Apart from the robust aroma, is there much else to this hyped cannabis concentrate?
Live resin is cannabis concentrate obtained through flash freezing; this allows terpenes that are lost through heating to be preserved. This makes live resin a terpene-rich compound that offers the full benefit of entourage effects.
Live resin is prepared in concentrated form, this means that it can be dabbed or vaped to achieve maximum effects. Unlike other cannabis concentrates, live resin boasts of replicating wholesome marijuana goodness in an unadulterated form. All the therapeutic compounds in live resin are maintained in their original ratios and compositions, just as Mother Nature intended.
Where Did Live Resin Come From?
Live resin has been in the market from as early as 2011, at this time it was the preserve of a few seasoned growers. Driven by their love for the whole cannabis plant, they decided to experiment on creating an extract through flash freezing. To achieve this, they developed a specialized butane extractor that was engineered to maintain very low temperatures. Low temperatures are essential for the creation of live resin. The growers were William Fenger (the famous Kind Bill) and Jason Emo (Giddy Up). Eight years later and live resin is selling top shelf in most cannabis dispensaries. Even consumers who are uncertain about the science behind it are star-struck by this yellowish concentrate that is full of flavor.
How Is Live Resin Made?
The concept of live resin is a concentrate that is created through flash freezing to preserve the original state of trichomes in resinous glands. Different extraction methods can be used to make live resin, but temperatures must be maintained at subcritical levels.
As soon as the cannabis has been harvested, it is flash frozen and maintained at freezing temperatures throughout the extraction process. This is a very critical step as it allows the extract to retain its original flavor and aroma.
After flash freezing, the cannabis is packed in food grade cylinders ready for extraction. Extraction involves passing butane through frozen cannabis. The butane is then eliminated through heating at low temperatures. After this, you should have your live resin ready for consumption.
Live resin is not taken through drying and curing like other cannabis products. Should this happen, the terpenes present in the herb will be significantly compromised.
Types of Live Resin
Live resin comes in different forms, they include:
Live resin shatter is tricky to prepare, this is because terpenes are extremely volatile. Solid shatter (which appears as a wax) may have lower amounts of terpenes as compared to other live resin products.
This is a syrupy form of live resin and it contains the highest amount of terpenes. Unfortunately, it is hard to work with when it is in this form.
This is a light golden syrup that has been whipped into a grainy substance resembling sugar. This makes it easy to use.
Whole Plant Live Resin
Most extractors use the whole plant to manufacture live resin, apart from the roots. This gives the best mix of flavors, taste, and effects representing the essence of the whole plant.
Bud Live Resin
Live resin derived from the buds of the cannabis plant is similar to the whole-plant extract. However, it lacks the fullness of aromas present in the whole plant.
Trims Live Resin
Live resin made from trims lacks in potency as well as the aroma. Since it is leftover cannabis, it is prone to having fewer trichome glands.
Is Live Resin Potent?
To answer this, it’s important to understand what makes the potency of weed. Potency refers to the concentration of cannabinoids in a cannabis compound. Mostly, the cannabinoids in question are THC and CBD. Cannabinoids, as well as terpenes, are found in the trichome glands (the whitish stuff you find on the surface of nugs) of cannabis. Flash freezing helps to preserve terpenes but leaves cannabinoids unaffected. Because the live resin is a concentrate like others, it has high THC content from 60%-80%. In fact, freezing may help to preserve the trichome glands.
Why Go For Live Resin?
Live resin is the most terpene-rich cannabis concentrate. Most concentrates focus on having a high amount of cannabinoids such as THC or CBD. Live resin, on the other hand, will have both high cannabinoid levels and a high concentration of terpenes. This means that it will give the user a richer smoking experience as well as offer greater therapeutic value.
A group of researchers from the University of Jerusalem investigated the benefits of consuming a full spectrum extract as compared to pure isolates. They discovered that terpenes when combined with cannabinoids, a produce a healing effect that is more powerful and prolonged. Cannabis concentrates may deliver a high amount of a single compound, which works well for some situations. However, when this is combined with terpenes in a live resin, the healing effect is bound to multiply.
Apart from the healing effects, the live resin has a rich flavor and delicious aroma from a repertoire of terpenes. Terpene scents add some sweetness, herbal allures, as well as spiciness to the experience of taking cannabis. In comparison, cannabis concentrates are usually starved of terpenes and will have a bland smell. This makes live resin a win-win for most patients.
1. NCBI (2019): The Case for the Entourage Effect and Conventional Breeding of Clinical Cannabis: No “Strain,” No Gain. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6334252/
2. NCBI (2018): Medicinal Properties of Cannabinoids, Terpenes, and Flavonoids in Cannabis, and Benefits in Migraine, Headache, and Pain: An Update on Current Evidence and Cannabis Science. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30152161
3. NCBI (1998): An entourage effect: inactive endogenous fatty acid glycerol esters enhance 2-arachidonoyl-glycerol cannabinoid activity. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9721036