Cannabis 101

What are live resin cannabis concentrates?

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Once a cannabis plant has been harvested, there are many processes between that and the final product that can destroy the plant’s valuable flavors and aromas. Additionally, many extraction techniques purge terpenes and other compounds, leaving the consumer with an odorless concentrate completely devoid of its original essence.

But live resin concentrates are able to capture the flavors and aromas of the living plant through extraction, compared to other types of cannabis concentrates.

What is live resin and how is it made?

Live resin is a type of cannabis concentrate that is produced using a unique technique—freshly harvested cannabis is frozen to a subcritical temperature prior to and throughout the extraction process, skipping the drying and curing phases.

The drying and curing process that a cannabis plant typically undergoes can have a devastating impact on terpenes, the compounds that account for flavor and aroma. They are present in the trichomes, which line virtually every surface of a mature cannabis bud and its surrounding foliage.

During drying and curing, the cannabis plant wicks itself of moisture and chlorophyll. Trichomes may also be subjected to adverse conditions such as: increased exposure to heat, oxygen, and light, and physical agitation, which all can degrade terpenes.

By freezing the plant immediately following harvest, the cannabis plant retains its valuable terpene profile, original flavor, and fragrance through the extraction process and into the final product.RelatedFactors That Impact Your Cannabis Strain: Part 5, The Curing Process

What does live resin look like?

live resin concentrate

Live resin is typically a dark yellow color. It is a more malleable concentrate, sitting somewhere between a sauce and a wax—not too wet and not quite like taffy.

Like all cannabis concentrates it is extremely sticky, so you’ll need a dab tool to handle it. Depending on the producer, some live resins may have a runny consistency and some may be more solid or waxy.

Where did live resin originate?

Live resin is relatively new to the cannabis concentrate scene. Its humble origins go back to 2011-2013 with a small group of growers and extractors in Colorado.

Among them, William Fenger (also known as “Kind Bill”) and EmoTek Labs founder “Giddy Up” pioneered the live resin extraction process by developing a specialized BHO extractor capable of maintaining the incredibly low temperatures needed to produce live resin.

Together, they were able to preserve terpenes, flavor, and aroma during the extraction process.

What makes live resin different from other cannabis concentrates?

Live resin differs from other concentrates such as shatter, rosin, or other BHO products because of its high terpene content. A more complex terpene profile can deliver a different and more complex experience as well, because of the entourage effect—how all the different cannabis compounds work together to create an experience.

Fans of cannabis extracts tend to place a high value on flavor and aroma as well as effects, so there’s a big demand for live resin concentrates.

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