Not to be confused with resin or rosin, live resin is one of the newest developments within the cannabis concentrate community. Introduced to the market only in the last decade, live resin has been considered the “champagne of concentrates” and is becoming more in demand every day.
Live resin is unlike any other concentrate on dispensary shelves, despite having a
similar appearance. Below, we’ve detailed everything you should know about this unique shape.
of concentrate, and what exactly makes it so different and so boutique.
Table of Contents
What is Live Resin?
While the name might sound a little strange, live resin is no more intimidating than your typical cannabis concentrate. Most concentrates are made using
extraction processes that require high temperatures. However, live resin needs the opposite. Live resin is the result of freeze-drying the cannabis plant before and during the extraction process. Keeping plants and oils at sub-zero temperatures allows the
terpene deformation profile to remain unchanged,
that is, live resins typically have a stronger smell, taste, and, for some, psychological effects.
Extremely new to the cannabis scene, live resin originated from a few Colorado growers in 2013. Made with the production of a specialized BHO extractor, William Fenger and Jason Emo found that extracting their marijuana while frozen yields a unique concentrate. By skipping the drying process of the bud itself, you are preserving the terpenes. Terpenes are lost over time and the drying process takes a long time; when you avoid that, you keep those flavors and aromas pungent and easily identifiable.
Live resin is most commonly enjoyed through drying. The high dabbing temperatures help bring out the terpene profile, giving you one of the tastiest dabs you could ask for. You can apply all forms of live resin, regardless of whether it is waxy or crumbly.
What are the properties of Live Resin?
Live resin can come in a variety of appearances and textures. Like butane hash oil, or BHO, its final structure simply depends on how it is handled during the extraction process, and external elements such as excess moisture. You can find live resin that is as bold as wax, or even as fragile as shards. But live resins that are less solid are usually more easily found, though you can always check the menus of your local marijuana dispensaries to see what kind they have. It’s no wonder that Canada’s live resin community is as strong as it is. Let’s delve deeper into the world of cannabis concentrates in our Live Resin Guide.
As discussed, the smell and taste of live resin is really what sets it apart from your other concentrates (apart from the freezing temperatures, that is). The different flavor profiles that terpenes bring add a layer of distinction that can only be achieved when terpenoids are properly preserved, such as with live resin. When it comes to the individual flavors themselves, it all depends on the strains that were used during the extraction process.
Typical cannabis concentrates can sit between 60-80% THC. This is no different for live resin, as its potency is almost identical to that of its concentrated brothers and sisters. However, many consumers claim that the high level of terpenes improves the overall high, making the effects feel even more potent. That said, concentrates like live resin aren’t for new consumers because of how powerful they can be, so make sure you’ve had your fair share of cannabis experiences before diving into these intense extracts.
How long live resin stays in your system really depends on how often you smoke, how your body metabolizes THC, and how you consume it. With dabs and their high percentage of THC, they can stay in your system for up to months at a time, depending on how often. On the other hand, your first dab can quickly pass through your body, leaving THC only present for a few days. That is totally up to you.
How live resin is made is what sets it apart from splinters, buds, cave-ins and all other concentrates.
Instead of being left out for days at a time to dry out the moisture, the flower used for the live resin is frozen prior to extraction and is kept at these freezing temperatures throughout the extraction process.
Like other concentrates, live resin is made when the plant is subjected to extraction with alcohol or a chemical solvent that separates the natural oils from the plant material itself. When the yolk is sandblasted or doused with solvents such as butane, the plant matter is destroyed while simultaneously preserving all other cannabis-related elements such as cannabinoids and terpenes.
After separation, the remaining oil must be purged of residual solvent such as butane, helping to ensure purity and safety. Once this is complete, the live resin is then left untouched to create a chipped appearance, or is mixed and shaken to create a more waxy structure.
It is crucial to note that concentrates such as live resin should not be made at home as the process is extremely dangerous and has resulted in multiple cases of fires and household fatalities. Proper extraction equipment costs hundreds of thousands of dollars and meticulous care is strongly urged to leave this process to the professionals.
Best used by, storage of your Resin
Due to the high terpene content, it is not recommended to leave the live resin on the shelf for an extended period of time. The longer the concentrate is exposed to air, the more the terpenes will begin to disintegrate, eventually losing their signature strong tastes and smells. But realistically, you can keep concentrates as live resin stored for up to a year before you notice big changes – if you store them correctly, that is.
If you’re looking to keep your live resin stored for a little while before enjoying it, make sure you keep it in a cool, dark place. Most consumers choose places like refrigerators or freezers to keep their concentrates fresh as the temperature, lighting and humidity remain consistent. Be sure to keep your live resin properly labelled if you choose to do this, just to make sure it doesn’t end up in the wrong hands.
Do not store your live resin in any container that allows excess air to enter. Vacuum-sealed jars are the best option, helping to keep fragrances fresh over time. Be sure not to frequently change the storage location of your live resin, as changes in the environment are often detrimental to the composition of concentrates.
How to enjoy
There are a few ways to choose to smoke live resin in Canada, although the most effective comes from dabbing. As mentioned, the extremely high temperatures required for dabbing allow us to fully experience the potent flavor profile of their concentrate.
Live resin can also be tricky to handle depending on its structure, so trying to add it to joints or bowls can be difficult. Also, we don’t heat our joints and bowls as hot as we do with straws, as that would completely destroy the marijuana flowers. while you are
possible, will not be as successful as with equipment.
The other way to get the best flavor and potency out of your live resin is to vaporize it. Whether that means putting it in a standing vape or adding it to your vape pen is up to you, but it smokes all the same. Vaporizers have the heat and tools you need to make inhaling and handling your live resin as easy as possible.
When it comes to dosing your live resin, starting small is key. Even a tiny dab can give you intense, intoxicating effects, so be sure to see how your body reacts before trying a bigger dose. Consuming too much is the easiest way to get a bad high, so don’t underestimate the power of live resin! Starting small can help ensure you only have the most relaxing and beneficial high possible.
Live resin compared with other cannabis products
Continuing with our live resin guide, the terms “resin” versus “live resin” may sound very similar, but the two are actually quite different. If you look at your cannabis plant under a microscope, you will notice that it contains thousands of transparent glands. These glands are what produce resin that, when dried and cured, turns into a scarf. The resin contains high amounts of terpenes, as do all the psychoactive cannabinoids that marijuana is so sought after. Living resin, on the other hand, simply refers to the bud that has been frozen to the point of preserving all of the natural oils, terpenes, and cannabinoids. Both live resin and resin can be harvested, but live resin tends to be more expensive and difficult to find compared to resin.
It is crucial not to confuse resin with rosin, or live resin with rosin. Rosin is another form of cannabis concentrate, but it is made with more rudimentary (and safe) extraction procedures. To get rosin, all you need is heat and pressure – no solvent! Some choose to make rosin at home with a simple hair straightener and some flower, although you can use anything that produces high temperatures and pressure. Rosin has a similar THC content to live resin, but is technically more “natural” as it does not require any kind of solvent to make.
Live resin and cannabis are incredibly different, despite the fact that live resin is a direct product of the cannabis flower. Cannabis flower is less concentrated and has much lower levels of THC than live resin. With live resin having the potential to reach up to 95% THC, even the most expensive, luxury cannabis will not be found at percentages higher than around 30. Due to this potency, high levels of live resin last much longer. and the effects are stronger.
While live resin definitely has a strong flavor, weed edibles are much tastier. This is because, with edibles, the cannabis is easily disguised within the ingredients, often masking the individual flavor profiles of the terpenes involved. Compared to live resin, an edible high will last for hours longer, with effects felt strongly throughout the body. Although edibles are more concentrated and more potent than regular flowers, the flower used to make edibles will lose a significant amount of its THC percentage when boiled or cooked. This makes live resin even a little more potent than THC edibles, although both create new, lasting levels of THC.
As mentioned, the biggest difference between live resin and other concentrates is that the flower is not dried for days at a time before extraction. In fact, it is not dried at all, but frozen before starting the process. Keeping the yolk at sub-zero temperatures is unheard of, except for this unique form of concentrate. You can find live resin in all forms, although finding shards of live resin is more unusual than others, as achieving this glassy consistency is not easy.
The various benefits and use cases
The high concentration of THC and CBD makes live resin a great candidate for natural pain relief. Studies have shown that CBD oil at higher levels, as well as when combined with THC, exhibits properties of many different types of medications. From an anti-inflammatory to an antipsychotic, the medicinal properties of live resin extend far and wide.
When it comes to the physiological benefits of live resin, most cannabis users turn to it to help relieve chronic joint and muscle pain. Through research, we are learning that CBD reduces inflammation by targeting our body’s glycine receptors. Glycine carries pain signals from the brain throughout the body, while CBD binds with these receptors to inhibit the body from absorbing these amino acids. This prevents us from feeling the pain as intensely as we would otherwise, giving our body relief very different from Aspirin.
The psychological benefits of live resin are just as effective as those of Aspirin. Helping with a myriad of sleep disorders, anxiety, depression and even PTSD, CBD works with the cannabinoid receptors in the brain to combat the symptoms of psychosis. Unfortunately, due to the live resin’s high potency of THC, consuming too much has caused panic or anxiety to many, so it’s crucial to be careful with your dosage, especially if you have a history of mental disorders.
New research is being directed towards terpenes and what higher concentrations of these can do for your experience with cannabis in general. Some are starting to suggest that terpenes may have the potential to enhance psychoactive as well as medicinal properties. If this is true, it means that live resin can be much more effective than other concentrates that do not have this high terpene content.
Potential Side Effects of Live Resin
Now let’s talk to the live resin guide and talk about the side effects. While the high you can get from live resin can be one of the best and happiest of your cannabis experience, sometimes it can also be too much. Due to the strong potencies and high concentration of THC, it is easy to consume too much and become uncomfortable.
When you get a really big dab, feeling nauseous or even having to throw up is not uncommon. As mentioned, panic is also reported frequently, but these cases are rare and can be avoided with low and slow resin consumption.
If you accidentally take too big a dab or smoke too much live resin, don’t panic. You cannot overdose on concentrates, despite how sick or stressed you may feel. It’s important to remember that this feeling won’t last more than a few hours and that you’ve simply had too much. Try drinking water or eating a snack to maintain an air of normalcy. So just distract yourself as best you can. Whether it’s taking a nap or talking to a best friend, all of these things can help bring you back to reality, and tame your high concentration.
When applying live resin, always remember to start small and see how the dab affects you. Too much live resin can definitely ruin your day, while the perfect sized dab can give you one of the biggest and tastiest peaks yet. Use discretion, but enjoying the live resin every now and then has the potential to completely transform your cannabis journey.