How To Make Live Resin?
To make live resin, the cannabis buds must be flash-frozen before extracting the terpenes and cannabinoids using hydrocarbons as a solvent. Flash-freezing separates the trichomes from the buds while preserving the flavor profile, unlike in other cannabis extraction methods. In return, the process produces a versatile concentrate we call live resin.
How To Make Live Resin?
1. Flash-freeze freshly harvested cannabis buds.
Begin the extraction process by flash-freezing the cannabis buds 20 minutes after harvest. The temperature should be around -80F (-62C). Along with the buds, keep the solvent cold too. Both the buds and solvent need to stay cold throughout the duration. Putting them back in the freezer every interval is a good way to keep them cold.
2. Crush the buds into smaller, chunkier pieces.
3. Stuff the buds into the extraction tube.
After crushing the buds, stuff them in the extraction tube in preparation for the extraction process. Keep in mind not to overstuff the tube to allow the solvent to seep through. Secure the open end of the tube using two layers of the coffee filter and a hose clamp. The duration of crushing the buds and stuffing them in an extraction tube has changed the temperature of the buds by now. Put them back in the freezer before letting the solvent run through the buds.
4. Extract the buds using the solvent.
Extract the cannabinoids and terpenes from the buds by letting the solvent flow through them in the extraction tube. The amount of solvent used is dependent on the amount of buds used. Continue to extract until the solvent runs clear.
5. Purge the solvent after extraction.
After extraction, what you have is a solution of solvent with the substances from the cannabis buds. At this point, this solution is not safe for human ingestion. Let the solvents evaporate by exposing the solution to open air at room temperature.
6. Let the concentrate cure.
Once you have a consistency between a sauce and taffy, that signifies that the concentrate should be good for consumption. But to further improve the experience, store the concentrate for a few more weeks and let it cure. After curing, it should produce crystals and sauce with an improved taste and quality. The crystals come from the cannabinoids, while the sauce comes from the terpenes.
The Difference Between Resin and Live Resin
Cannabis resin is a substance produced naturally in the trichomes of the cannabis plant. It contains many active compounds known to cannabis, such as Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component of the cannabis plant.
Trichomes are the hairy outgrowth from cannabis plants. There are three trichomes produced in weed which are bulbous, capitate-stalked, and capitate-sessile. Out of the three, bulbous is the smallest and the trichome responsible for resin production. It holds the resin gland that grows nipple-like protrusion that secretes resin.
Meanwhile, capitate-stalked glands produce most cannabinoids on the female plant’s flowers and around tiny leaves near them. Capitate-sessile glands, on the other hand, only produce cannabinoids as the plant matures. According to Royal Queen Seeds, the resin is a natural defense mechanism by trichomes. It protects the cannabis plant from predators, pests, and adverse weather.
To clear the confusion, resin is a sticky substance from the cannabis plant, while live resin is a concentrate extracted using fresh, flash-frozen buds instead of dried and cured ones.
What Is Live Resin?
Live Resin is a cannabis concentrate utilizing solvents like Butane, Propane, and CO2 (in some instances) for extraction. But the difference is that manufacturers substitute dried and cured buds for flash-frozen buds. In return, the extraction process produces a terpene-rich concentrate with high THC and CBD levels. It is also a malleable concentrate with consistency between a sauce and a wax, having a dark yellow color.
What’s unique about live resin is its process of creation. Normally, manufacturers will first dry out and cure cannabis buds before beginning the extraction process. It removes all the moisture from the plant to prolong its shelf life and improve the flavors. However, due to extreme temperatures, it loses some of its potency and flavor over time. According to research done at the University of Mississippi, drying and curing cannabis plants may lose 55% of their essential oils. But since live resin production uses fresh buds, the product provides a dabbing experience with more floral, fruity, and spicy flavors than concentrates made from dried and cured nug run or trim runs.
Live Resin vs. Other Concentrates
In comparison to other concentrates, Resin differentiates itself, beginning with the process of its production. The buds are flash-frozen right after harvest to preserve their terpenes and cannabinoids. Typically, manufacturers would first dry, cure, and decarboxylate the plants to prolong their shelf life, enhance the flavors, and activate the THC content in them. However, based on numerous studies, that usual practice affects the final product greatly and causes a decline in effect and flavor profile.
Often confused with Live Rosin, the two have a big difference starting with their method of production. Resin uses solvents like Butane, Propane, and sometimes CO2 for extraction. Meanwhile, Live Rosin uses heat and pressure for extraction. But these two concentrates both use flash-frozen buds which makes them similar to each other. However, due to Live Resin’s dangerous nature of production, people usually leave the process of making it to expert manufacturers.
The Best Way to Consume Live Resin
There are a few ways to consume live resin, but the most common ones are dabbing, vaporizing, and sprinkling them on a joint.
Most people dab live resin. All you need is a dab rig and a torch or an electric nail. You would also need a dabber or something to pick the concentrate from its container for hygienic reasons. Heat your dab rig, place a small amount of concentrate on the nail, and wait for it to vaporize and inhale. In case you’re looking for a dab rig to try, we wrote about the best electric dab rigs for this year!
Dab pens are portable and easy-to-use devices that fit in your pockets for cannabis concentrate consumption. It works the same way as a dab rig, and all you need is a small amount of the live resin, and the vape pen will do its trick. In case you’re looking for vape pens to try out, we wrote about the best vape pens for this year!
Sprinkled On A Joint
For a more impactful smoke, some stoners top off their rolls with a bit of concentrate before rolling them to close. However, be more cautious with this approach especially if you have no idea how your body reacts to a higher dose of concentrates. If you’re doing this approach, make sure you are with someone to check on you in case something happens.
The Best Way To Store Live Resin
Properly storing live resin ensures that the product maintains its effects and stays fresher longer. Badly storing concentrates may degrade their effects and eventually become unusable.
Much like other concentrates, live resin will do best if it’s stored in a cool, dry place. Keep in mind that live resin’s extraction method includes flash-freezing the buds to ensure the preservation of the cannabinoids and terpenes in the buds. Exposing the final product to heat during storage may affect taste and potency. Added to that, exposure to higher temperatures may loosen up the consistency of the live resin and turn it more watery.
Using containers made out of silicone makes the storage a bit better. Due to the consistency that concentrates have, sometimes, it’s hard to find containers for them since they stick anywhere. But with silicone containers, they easily come off as soon as needed.
What To Consider When Buying Live Resin?
Since creating live resin is tedious work, users prefer purchasing them from trusted manufacturers and sellers. However, if you’re new to the club, what do you need to consider when buying live resin?
The first thing you would want to do is to get acquainted with your preference in flavor profiles. A big part of choosing the live resin for you begins with choosing how it would taste like. Since the said production concentrates highly values flavor profiles and potency, the end product is a collection of flavors ready to explode. Live resin can range from having a sour to a spicy taste. If you have an idea in mind, it will be easier to find the perfect concentrate for you based on the cannabis variant used to produce it.
Potency is another factor that needs double-checking. Some strains produce more THC than CBD and the other way around. Consider these cannabinoids in picking the perfect concentrate, depending on how you would need it. For casual, recreational users, lean more into buying high-THC concentrates. Meanwhile, CBD is more important for people using cannabis for its medicinal effects. Every person’s body reacts differently to the dose of cannabinoids found in weed. Start with a concentrate with low THC levels and later progress to a higher dosage once you get used to consuming concentrates.
A live resin’s appearance is also something to consider. A good-quality live resin should have a warm color that can range from gold to deep amber. Well-made live resin should have a good balance of crystals and liquid. The crystals are THC, and the liquids are the terpenes. Since live resin has more terpenes due to its production, it should have a more aromatic smell. As the old saying goes, "The nose knows."