Whether you are a casual cannabis consumer or a full-blown connoisseur, it’s likely you’ve heard chatter about live resin. Maybe you’ve heard that it’s especially tasty and “terpy”, for example.
If you’re just hearing this term for the first time, well, it’s highly likely the topic will come up eventually so it’s good you’re getting up to speed. Live resin is a favorite product of those in the cannabis sphere. In this post, we’ll dive deeper into what it is, how it’s made, and what effects it has that make it favorable in the market.
But first, a little history.
The origins of live resin go back to a small group of growers in Colorado circa 2012. In their company was William Fenger, who developed a specialized BHO extractor which was able to keep a low enough temperature to create live resin.
Once the extraction process was discovered, it inspired a whole new niche within cannabis consumption. Variations of the original extraction process began to crop up, so as we’ll discuss later, there are now several different ways to produce it.
We’ll also talk about the properties of live resin, its unique extraction process, the difference between cured and live resin, what exactly makes it so groundbreaking and popular in the greater cannabis world, and how you can incorporate live resin into your day-to-day life with or without a dab rig.
What Are the Properties of Live Resin?
Often concentrates are described in terms of their texture: sauce, jelly, sugar, crumble, and so on. Live resin’s consistency is malleable—its variants falling somewhere between wax and sauce. The color of live resin can vary from white to dark yellow but is more commonly found in the latter form.
It is also sticky, so it’s typically used with dab tools, however Item 9 Labs features live resin in a variety of our products including the portable Orion 710 Live Resin Pod System, which supply a convenient way to experience its effects and flavor profile on-the-go. The resin in our Orion pods consists of single-source extracts, so there are no additional terpenes added, making it as authentic as possible to the plant.
Live resin can also be used to top off a joint, blunt or bowl to enhance the experience—our infused pre-rolls are a great example of this. Of course, if you do have a dab setup and prefer the distinct effects of cannabis concentrate without flower, our live resin concentrate line is for you.
How is Live Resin Made?
What distinguishes live resin is the process that is used to make it: it is created with fresh frozen cannabis. This sounds exactly like what it is: plants that are frozen at once after harvest. Freezing the plant right away prevents further oxidation of the terpenes and cannabinoids, plus the terpene-rich trichomes are kept which gives live resin its signature complex aromatic profile.
If you are planning to store live resin, it is best to do so in an air-tight container somewhere cool, preferably in a fridge. This will preserve the many compounds and keep the integrity of the plant intact.
For growers and extractors, making live resin mirrors other extraction processes for the most part. The major difference is the flash freezing process, which is carried out in a deep freezer, and a chilled solvent is used.
Cured Concentrate Vs. Live Resin
If live resin is the process of extracting by preserving the fresh plant material, cured concentrate is made from the dried plant material. During the drying process, the plant will lose up to 60% of its natural terpenes. It can also lose many other natural plant compounds in this process.
If you are versed in the world of cannabis, you may have heard of the entourage effect, which is essentially a variety of compounds working together to modulate the overall effects of the plant. These compounds include THC, CBD, CBG, terpenes…essentially, the entire biochemistry of the plant.
With live resin, you get the entourage effect, so these compounds interact with your endocannabinoid system, supplying a more holistic experience. Often, with other products there are fewer compounds that are preserved.
The Big Question—Why Live Resin?
Now that you’ve learned a little about live resin: its origins, extraction process, and some of the benefits, you may be asking yourself if you should make the leap…
There are endless reasons to explore it. Live resin is an extract that truly respects the whole cannabis plant and its many properties.
When it first came on the scene a few years ago, it was a rare product, popular among only the most seasoned cannabis consumers. Nowadays, it is much more affordable and accessible to the casual consumer; a range of options can be found at your local dispensary.
If you are a traditional flower-smoker, Item 9 Labs’ live resin Orion pods are a premium way to get that same feel and taste discretely and on-the-go. The infused pre-rolls we offer combine flower and live resin for a more complex high and flavorful smoking experience. We also offer the concentrates on their own for dabbing or topping off your own bowls, blunts, joints, etc.
The quality speaks for itself, so the real question is: why wouldn’t you upgrade to live?
Olivia Griffin is a Phoenix-based content writer and creator.