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A guide to Live Resin

Back in the day, you were lucky if you found cannabis flower with a THC level over 5 percent, but in recent years, we’ve become spoiled. Spoiled with concentrated products that use modern methods to increase cannabinoid and terpene levels, specifically in live resin. But what exactly is live

resin? How is it made? How do you use it? Well, you’ve come to the right place to have all of those questions and more, answered. Consider this article a rundown of everything you need to know and more about one of the most popular concentrates in the industry. A live resin 101, if you will.

What is live resin and how is it made?

Live resin gets its name from the fact that it is made from “live” plant material including leaves, stems, and buds of the flower that have not been dried or cured and its effects depend on what plant it is derived from. After the live materials are taken off the plant, it is then cryogenically frozen, thereby trapping the complete chemical profile into the final product, giving it a stronger taste, a more potent aroma, and a higher level of cannabinoidsresulting in a more intense high overall.

What does it look like?

While live resin has a waxy appearance like most other concentrates, its color can vary depending on how the cannabis was grown, the maturity of its trichromes, when the live resin was extracted, and the terpenes that are in it. Concentrates that are derived from dried and cured material, such as BHO, tend to be darker in appearance. But because live resin is extracted from fresh material, it is normally lighter than its counterparts, ranging from gold to amber in color. However, if you find live resin that is lighter than this, it is a good indicator that the cannabis it was extracted from was not grown well and the trichromes were not matured enough at the time of extraction.

How do I store it?

Live resin’s properties stay fresher, longer due to its flash-freezing process so think of storing it in terms of fresh produce versus frozen. Once it is pulled from the ground or picked off a tree, produce starts to deteriorate. But when the produce is frozen, the nutrients are preserved, making it last much longer. In fact, keeping your resin in a cold and dark environment with low moisture can double its shelf life from an average of 3 months, to 6 months. This will also keep it from hardening up. It is also important to keep in a small glass or silicone container, away from any light. By doing this, its texture, color, and taste can be sustained.

How do I consume it?

Live resin can be consumed like any other resin—with a dab rig, vape pen, on top of a bowl, in a blunt, or in a joint. That being said, if you’re going to combine products, do so with caution. If you’re not careful, you could be putting a product that can range anywhere from 65 to 90 percent THC on top of a product (most likely flower) which today, has an average of 15 to 25% THC. Because THC levels can become astronomic if you don’t know what you’re doing, combining products in general should be left to experienced cannabis users.

What are the benefits? Are there any cons I should know about?

Like any product, you’re going to have your pros and cons. In addition to providing a smoking experience that is full of flavor through its terpenes, the health benefits of those terpenes could shine through. This could add to the healing benefits live resin’s high THC levels already have for those with chronic pain, nausea and eating disorders. Certain terpenes on their own have been thought to help with inflammation, anxiety, depression—even epilepsy.

So what’s the downfall? Well, first off, it’s impossible to make it at home. Unlike some concentrates that can easily be made, such as bubble hash, Live resin is frozen by putting the cannabis into liquid nitrogen, which is a task that should only be done in a licensed laboratory due to the potential risks involved with that process. The extravagance of the process itself can also be a bit of a problem if you are on a budget. On average, live resin can range anywhere from $65-$80 per gram, sometimes up to $100 or more depending on where you buy it. Other concentrates such as rosin or wax range from $20 to $40 per gram. In addition to its high cost, it can also be difficult to find, particularly outside of the United States due to its popularity.

The Takeaway

Live resin’s target audience is the cannabis connoisseur. The main draw is its flavor and aroma. Not that those who like diner coffee can’t enjoy a nitro-cold brew every once in a while, but if THC percentages in cannabis products are your main concern and you can’t afford to splurge, your average hash or BHO will suit you just fine. However, if you want to get the most out of your favorite terpene flavors and aromas, live resin will be right up your alley.


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