What is Live Resin?
Posted on August 3rd, 2022 to Education
Out of what seems to be countless forms of cannabis concentrates, live resin is becoming more and more popular among dabbers. This particular concentrate has quickly become widely known as the most delicious form of cannabis and is considered to be one of the top cannabis concentrates available.
So, what is live resin? What about live resin vs distillate or other concentrates like rosin, budder, or shatter? Take a closer look at the answers to all this below.
What is Live Resin?
Live resin is a cannabis concentrate that takes its name from resin, the yellowish or brownish substance extracted from some trees’ gum or sap. Like most cannabis concentrates, it is named based on its texture. In the case of resin, the concentrate is a more soft and workable substance than wax, but a thicker and more solid substance than an oil.
Live resin is also renowned for its complete and distinct flavor profile, with more flavor from the flower it is extracted from than other concentrates. This is because the way live resin is made does not degrade existing terpenes in the plant, and therefor more of the natural plant compounds remain.
For this reason, live resin is also often referred to as a “full-spectrum” concentrate or extract because it contains the full collection of constituents found in the plant itself.
How is Live Resin Made? The Flash Freeze is Key
While other concentrates are extracted from cannabis plants that have been dried or cured, live resin is extracted and made from fresh flower and buds that have immediately been flash-frozen after they are harvested at the peak of their flavor and cannabinoid content. The flash frozen buds are then separated using a light solvent like ethanol or butane. The plant material is separated from the trichomes, which is where the bulk of the valuable terpenes and cannabinoids reside.
The unique extraction process with live resin makes it easier to preserve and transfer the plant’s terpenes, the essential oils responsible for the plant’s natural flavors and aromas, to the final product. Incredibly potent with THC and boasting a delicious flavor profile, it’s no wonder why live resin is sweeping the cannabis world.
Live Resin vs Other Cannabis Concentrates
When you show up at the dispensary for cannabis concentrates, you’ll find so many unique choices. Each small amount of concentrate can boast a different color, consistency, viscosity, and price. Check out how live resin compares to some other popular concentrates.
Live Resin vs Distillate
Distillate is a concentrate made through a distillation process. The cured cannabis flower is pressed to obtain a crude oil, and then the oil is put through specially made distillation equipment. The equipment relies on a combination of heat and potentially air pressure to force different compounds to evaporate. For example, a manufacturer may use a certain level of heat to cause THC to evaporate. These evaporated compounds are captured, and you have a cannabis distillate.
The major differences between live resin vs distillate include:
- Distillate does not contain flavorful terpenes and is not a full-spectrum product like resin
- Distillate has a light, most often transparent, honey color, while resin can be thicker with a more opaque appearance
- Distillate is thinner and not textured like resin
Live Resin vs Rosin
While live resin is made by flash-freezing the fresh cannabis plants and then possibly using a solvent to separate the valuable trichomes, rosin is most often a solventless extract. For live rosin, the freshly harvested plants are also flash frozen, but then natural things like pressure, an ice bath, or hot or cold temperatures are used to separate the plants from the trichomes. The only difference between live and standard rosin is the same as with resin; live rosin is made with “living” plants, whereas standard rosin is made with cured plants. Both resin and rosin tend to be flavorful with most terpenes still intact, but rosin can be even more flavorful due to its solventless extraction process. Textures and colors can be similar, but rosin often has more of a green-ish tint.
The major differences between live resin vs rosin include:
- Resin is made using solvents; rosin is not
- Live rosin can be more expensive because it takes longer to make and the yield is lower than concentrates made using solvent-based extraction methods
- Rosin may be closer to a full-spectrum concentrate because some more delicate terpenes are sometimes lost with solvent-based extractions
Live Resin vs Budder
Budder is a cannabis concentrate that truly has the appearance of creamy butter. Budder is soft and spreadable and can be anything from light honey colored to deep and golden almost like peanut butter. Budder is made in a more rudimentary way than live resin, but still makes use of solvents like butane. Essentially, the cured plant material is placed into a container and blasted with a solvent to extract THC. This material is then manipulated with heat and purged with pressure to eradicate solvents and whip it into the familiar consistency.
The primary differences between resin vs budder include:
- Budder has a creamier consistency where resin is a bit more pliable and thick
- Budder may not be as flavorful due to terpene evaporation during extraction
- Budder sometimes has a higher THC content (80 to 90 percent) than resin
Live Resin vs Shatter
Shatter has a totally different consistency than live resin or budder. As the name implies, shatter has an almost glass-like consistency. It can be broken into small pieces or chipped apart like thin glass or hard candy. When heated, shatter can be more malleable, however. The hue of shatter can vary, but usually has a slightly darker color profile compared to resin’s bright golden honey color. Shatter is made by blasting buds with liquid butane to collect the trichomes and then heating the butane slowly and using pressure until it evaporates, leaving the trichomes behind. The primary difference between budder and shatter is that shatter is heated slower during processing, which creates the hard-candy consistency.
The primary differences between live resin and shatter include:
- Shatter is usually more potent than live resin
- Shatter has a very different consistency from live resin; some claim that it is harder to work with
- Shatter is less flavorful due to terpene evaporation during the long process time
How to Consume Live Resin
The most popular way to consume live resin is by dabbing. Dabbing is a way to smoke a high THC level cannabis concentrate with a dab rig.
What’s a dab rig?
A dab rig is a water pipe with a flat bowl on the base called a nail. Nails are made from materials that can withstand higher heat than glass, as it takes a much higher temperature flame than a lighter to burn concentrate. Usually, one needs a torch lighter or a cigar lighter to successfully burn concentrate into a smokable form.
You can also vape live resin as another method of consumption. The simplest way to vape live resin is by a live resin cart that you can screw onto a vape pen. A vape pen is a two-piece device that uses electricity to vaporize flower or cannabis concentrate that can be smoked and deliver the effects of cannabis to the user.
How Much Does Live Resin Cost?
Because of the high potency and superior quality of live resin, you should expect to pay more for it than other forms of cannabis. From our research, the average cost of live resin can be anywhere from $30-$80 a gram, while higher-end live resin can cost upwards of $100 a gram.
But fear not. Because of the high potency of live resin, you can expect to be able to consume less to feel your desired effect than with other forms of cannabis. As a result, it lasts longer, thus eliminating frequent trips to dispensaries for repeat purchases.
Are There Risks to Using Live Resin?
Like any other substance, using cannabis and live resin can have risks.
First, we recommend only buying live resin from licensed sellers and growers in a legal market, like us at Southern Sky in Mississippi. Since Mississippi has a legal, medical cannabis market, products are heavily regulated and guaranteed to be free of harmful substances, unlike some products on the street market.
With more and more reports of substances spiked with dangerous, sometimes life-threatening materials, your safest bet is to receive a medical marijuana card and shop at one of the many medical marijuana treatment centers that Mississippi will have by the end of 2022.
Where to Get Live Resin
Live resin will be readily available at medical dispensaries in Mississippi in late 2022. When that day comes, you should see us at Southern Sky, where we will ensure that medical marijuana patients in Mississippi can get everything they need to start their treatment.