What is Live Resin & How Do You Use It?

September 20, 2023

A concentrate is a concentrates, right? Not quite. There are different grades of concentrates, with some looked at as higher quality than others. Live resin is one of those concentrates that cannabis consumers everywhere regard as a premium product that every dabbing enthusiast should try. In this guide, we’re going to teach you everything you need to know about live resin and how you use it.

What is Live Resin?

Live resin is a concentrate created using fresh, flash-frozen cannabis that is put through an extraction process to preserve the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds in the plant. The result is a sticky, golden concentrate full of flavor, rich in aroma, and unique in its potency. Because of this, canna-connoisseurs regard live resin as a top-shelf, high-quality concentrate. 

How is Live Resin Made?

Live resin should only be made by professionals using a closed-loop system that protects them from dangerous solvents. With this equipment, the process is fairly straightforward. First, the marijuana is harvested and flash-frozen to preserve all the compounds in marijuana that we enjoy. Then, the plant is ground into smaller pieces and packed into a column within the closed-loop equipment. Once contained, solvents are pushed through those pieces of plant material, pulling cannabinoids like CBD and THC, terpenes, flavonoids, and more from the cannabis. Once extracted, the solvents are purged from the compounds. From there, the live resin is stored and preserved as it’s shipped to dispensaries around the country.

How Do You Use Live Resin?

The most popular concentrates on the market are the ones that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Live resin is one of the most flexible concentrates in that regard. You can:

  • Dab Live Resin: Dabbing live resin is easy. As with any other concentrate, you would heat the nail in your dab rig and let it cool just a bit. Then, place a little bit of live resin on the nail. It will vaporize, and you can inhale that vapor.

  • Vape Live Resin: If you prefer to keep your concentrates contained, you should try vaping your live resin. You can find live resin cartridges at your dispensary that get attached to a battery the same way a cannabis oil cartridge would. Then, all you have to do is turn on your vape pen and enjoy.

  • Add Live Resin to Flower: Does your flower need a little oomph? Consider adding a little live resin into your joint or bowl. This addition of a bit of concentrate will boost the flavor, aroma, and potency of your next smoke session. Just know that combustion is a little harder on terpenes, so your live resin won’t be quite as much of a sensory explosion compared to vaping and dabbing.

How Do You Store Live Resin?

Proper storage is important for any cannabis product, especially live resin. If you’re trying to preserve your live resin, make sure you keep it in an airtight container that you store in a cool, dark location in your house. These conditions are key to ensuring your live resin doesn’t dry out or get activated by heat or light between sessions. 

If you’re trying to keep your live resin long-term, consider keeping it in the refrigerator. Just remember to let it warm up to room temperature before you open the container and expose it to the moisture in the air. 

What Other Live Resin Products Can I Buy?

Live resin is particularly interesting to cannabis enthusiasts who want to preserve as much of the compounds found in marijuana as possible, so it makes sense those same consumers are driving manufacturers to consider how else they can market live resin. Their solution? Live resin edibles and carts. 

  • Edibles: In many cases, consumers want edibles to taste like whatever recipe they’re trying to mimic, like cookies and candies. There are some canna-connoisseurs, however, who want to have the full-spectrum experience with their edibles. Live resin edibles are the perfect solution for them. The extract is infused into the food in much the same way as a distillate would be. Because they contain all the terpenes and cannabinoids, the entourage effect will definitely affect the endocannabinoid system, and you’ll have a more marijuana-flavored edible. 

  • Carts: You don’t have to give up vaping to enjoy live resin. There are manufacturers who are now putting live resin into vape cartridges. This creates an enhanced experience compared to cannabis oil because of the presence of cannabinoids and terpenes. A live resin cart will be more flavorful, have a stronger scent, and may even have a unique sort of potency compared to a regular cartridge. 

Resin vs Live Resin vs Rosin: What’s the Difference?

While they sound incredibly similar, resin, live resin, and rosin are very different products. The differences between the three products are:

  • Resin: The cannabis community defines resin in two ways—it’s the sticky tar-like mess left in your pipe after you smoke, or it’s the sticky sap that coats your fingers after you handle some premium bud. You may also hear the term “cured resin.” Cured resin is a concentrate made by pushing solvents through dried cannabis bud. A combination of this extraction process, heat, and pressure helps to create a cured resin sauce. 

  • Live Resin: To make live resin, marijuana plants are harvested and immediately flash-frozen to preserve all the compounds we love, like cannabinoids and terpenes. Then, that flash-frozen product is put through a careful extraction process to pull those compounds from the plant material. The result is a treat to the senses—an aromatic, full-flavor concentrate called live resin.

  • Rosin: Forget solvents. Rosin is a concentrate extracted from dried, cured marijuana plants with only heat and pressure (or some machine-based methods). This solventless extraction process separates the trichomes from the plant and then compresses them. What is left is a gooey, creamy concentrate. You may also hear the term “live rosin” when you’re at the dispensary. Live rosin is made the exact same way as rosin, but it uses flash-frozen plant material, rather than dried and cured plant material.

Live Resin vs Other Concentrates: What’s the Difference?

There are several differences between live resin and other concentrates. First, live resin is made from cannabis that has been harvested and immediately flash-frozen. Many concentrates you find on the market are made from dried cannabis flower. Second, the process of preserving the cannabis plant through flash-freezing ensures that terpenes are preserved. This makes live resin more flavorful and aromatic compared to other concentrates. Third, when the extraction process takes place, it’s with the still-flash frozen cannabis. This makes it easier to preserve cannabinoids and terpenes compared to other concentrate-creation methods. 

Answering FAQs About Live Resin

Our budtenders are constantly fielding questions about live resin. Here are a few frequently asked questions they’ve answered recently:

Is live resin considered full-spectrum?
Yes. Full spectrum means that a product has preserved all the compounds in the marijuana plant, not just THC. Because the live resin extraction process tries to preserve the cannabinoids and terpenes we love, live resin is considered to be a full-spectrum concentrate.

How much does live resin cost?
Typically, live resin is one of the more expensive concentrates available, ranging from $35 to $100 a gram, depending on the state and the quality of the product.

Can I make live resin at home?
No. To make live resin, flammable solvents are used to extract the cannabinoids and terpenes. This process requires professional equipment to ensure the solvents are removed from the final product and that the gasses from the solvents are properly contained.

Learn More About Live Resin

The best way to learn about live resin is to experience it for yourself, and the best way to do that is to visit your dispensary. You will likely find a number of options of live resin available to you, along with other concentrates. If you also need the tools to enjoy your live resin, your budtender will be more than happy to help.

Use of Marijuana Concentrate may lead to: Psychotic symptoms and/or Psychotic disorder (delusions, hallucinations, or difficulty distinguishing reality); Mental Health Symptoms/Problems; Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS) (uncontrolled and repetitive vomiting); Cannabis use disorder/dependence, including physical and psychological dependence.   Please consume responsibly. This product may cause impairment and may be habit forming. There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product.  State laws impact what dispensaries can and can’t sell to recreational customers and medical marijuana patients. Not every type of product, consumption method, dosage form, or potency mentioned on this blog will be permitted in all locations. 

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