What is Live Resin?
Live resin is a cannabis concentrate that gets its name from the freshness of the cannabis plant from which it’s made. Unlike the majority of cannabis products, Live resin extract is made from plant material that hasn’t been dried or cured. The starting plant material used for live resin includes fresh flower buds and sugar leaves; the large fan leaves and stems are excluded. The flash-freezing process helps preserve the most desirable compounds and retain the full flavor of the originating cannabis plant. Concentrate enthusiasts tend to gravitate toward live resin for its more flavorful and aromatic dabbing experience.
When producing live resin, the primary goal is to capture the massive essence and aroma of the live cannabis plant. Products extracted using the live resin process — flash-freezing the cannabis plant material, then extracting it — are associated with high-quality and flavorful concentrates. Bypassing the typical drying and curing processes allows for a greater proportion of essential oils. These essential oils, technically called terpenes, are the compounds responsible for the distinctive flavors and aromas in cannabis, and other characteristics to be expressed in the final product.
What Does Live Resin Look and feel Like?
You’ll find live resin extracts in a variety of colors and forms. The type of cultivar, or strain, used for the concentrate affects a lot of the chemical and physical characteristics of this extract. Live resin is chock full of terpenes, and in greater proportions than other concentrates. With the additional essential oils, the consistency is typically more fluid than other concentrates. The more terpenes, the runnier and more malleable the concentrate. The most common consistencies of live resin are sap, sugar, badder, budder, and sauce.
Shatter is another very common and popular type of cannabis concentrate. But Live resin in shatter form is very hard to find — if you can find it at all. There are simply too many incompatibilities when it comes to live resin vs. shatter. Most notably, shatter is defined by its brittle consistency, which is difficult to achieve with the live resin process, as the liquidity of terpenes prevents the concentrate from taking on a hard, rigid quality.
What’s the Difference Between Live Resin and Sauce?
The starting plant material is key to determine if it’s live resin or sauce. Live resin always calls for fresh cannabis plants that are processed by flash-freezing. Sauce, in contrast, can use fresh plant matter, but it is not essential, as extractors can also use cured bud for either a trim run or a nug run sauce. The cured plant material is going to lack the large quantity of terpenes found in live resin. Be sure to examine the packaging and labels of the sauce for whether it’s “Cured Nug Sauce” or “Live Resin Sauce.”
Is Live Resin Considered a ‘Full Spectrum Extract?’
Imagine a raw cannabis plant growing tall in the sunshine. In its raw form, a cannabis cultivar has a unique cannabinoid and terpene profile. Full-spectrum extracts are a type of cannabis concentrate that aim to capture as much of the full cannabinoid and terpene profile of that raw cannabis plant as possible. The goal is to acquire all the active molecules within the trichome gland without any alteration. Depending on how the plant is processed, live resin can be considered a full-spectrum extract. Not all full-spectrum extracts are produced from fresh frozen plant material. Kief, for example, is a full-spectrum concentrate, though it uses cured rather than fresh frozen cannabis as its starting plant material.
How to Store Live Resin
You’ll want to keep the aromatic bouquet and full flavor of live resin for as long as possible. Preserve the potency and quality of your live resin by keeping it away from heat, light, moisture, and open air. An airtight and lightproof container is best to help maintain its texture and consistency, as well as protecting the cannabinoids from degradation and preventing the terpenes from evaporation. If you’re in the market for live resin containers, look for concentrate storage containers made of silicone or glass. Silicone has another perk: It’s easier to scrape sticky concentrates out of it.
Light and temperature can speed up the breakdown of your live resin. Keep it stored in a cool environment, ideally in the refrigerator, or even just a cold room. After each use, be sure to close your live resin’s container securely. Leaving your live resin out in the open makes it vulnerable to a loss of potency, and can result in a change of color, texture, and taste.
Ways to Consume Live Resin
You consume Live Resin by “dabbing.” Dabbing uses a particular type of water pipe called a dab rig, or simply “rig,” as well as a flat bowl called a nail. Nails are produced from materials that can withstand higher temperatures than glass bowls used for smoking flower.
For live resin, use a dabber with a spoon-shaped tip, as opposed to a flat-tipped dabber that’s used for most other extracts. To take a dab, preheat the nail with a gas-powered torch — typically butane. The temperature of your nail is important. A nail that’s too hot means you may be combusting the delicious flavor and positive effects. A nail that’s too cold means you’re not vaporizing your live resin or not activating the cannabinoids or terpenes adequately. The optimal temperature range for dabbing live resin is between 315 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit (about 157 to 204 degrees Celsius). It’s recommended to err on the side of caution and heat your nail toward the lower end of that range to really maximize the flavor potential of your live resin.
Once the nail reaches the correct temperature, turn off the torch and safely set it aside. Use the spoon-style dabber to drop your live resin onto the nail. When the live resin comes in contact with the hot nail, the extract quickly vaporizes. As the vapor emerges from the nail, inhale through an opening on the opposite end of the rig.
Live resin can also be sprinkled on a packed bowl of flower in a glass pipe or wrapped around a joint or blunt. The combination of cured flower and live resin extract gives you a heightened experienced, as well as a flavor with extra zest.