Full Spectrum Vs Live Resin: How Do They Compare?
Posted on June 15th, 2021
Full spectrum vs live resin: what the heck is the difference? That’s a very good question! We’re guessing that you’ve probably heard about CBD. After all, this cannabinoid became legal in the US following the 2018 Farm Bill. And it’s popularity has soared ever since! But live resin is a newer development in the cannabis world, so it’s worth exploring.
Here’s the deal. Many recreational and medical consumers turn to CBD because the cannabinoid extract produces various effects in your body. Even in this short time period, more CBD products and consumption techniques have emerged, as cannabis technology strives to keep up with demand.
To begin with, people can now enjoy many forms of CBD. These include CBD isolate, which is a pure CBD product. You’ll also be able to choose between broad-spectrum and full-spectrum CBD. Both broad and full spectrum CBD produce the ever desired entourage effect. So they’ve been the go-to product for people seeking the full cannabinoid experience.
Recently, though, a new player, live resin, came on the market. And everyone’s talking about it. Which may leave you wondering, “How does full spectrum vs live resin compare?” Well, we’ll explore that very question in today’s post!
What Does Full-Spectrum Mean?
Today, most CBD consumers use full-spectrum extracts. (They’re also known as whole-plant extracts, since they keep preserve all the plant’s properties.)
When extracted from hemp, full-spectrum products contain all the included cannabinoids like CBD, THC, CBDA, CBN, and CBC. In this way, a full spectrum product offers you offer a holistic approach to experiencing potential hemp plant benefits.
Simply put, you can think of full-spectrum extracts as cannabis concentrates that preserve the raw plant’s full terpene and cannabinoid contents. This allows each of the plants components to work together synergistically, maximizing all the effects in your body.
Structure of Full-Spectrum Products
First, a note. If you’re wondering, what is hemp, the answer is simple. This is a variety of cannabis plant with THC contents lower than 0.3%. And, whether you source full-spectrum CBD product from hemp or marijuana, you’ll want to focus your attention on the trichomes, since they produce cannabinoids and terpenes.
That’s why, when we say full-spectrum, we mean a product that includes all compounds produced within the fat-based and lipid trichomes. In other words, a full-spectrum extract includes all the un-altered compounds found in trichome glands. And that’s no small order!
After all, there are over 400 compounds in the cannabis plant. So full-spectrum extracts include flavonoids, esters, proteins, aromatic terpenes, and phenols. And they also include compounds like THC, although at levels below 0.3 percent when extracted from hemp plants.
Every full-spectrum product will have slightly different blends of cannabinoids. This mix is influenced by the plant’s growing environment. Also, some full-spectrum extracts don’t undergo decarboxylation. to preserve the acidic nature of CBDA, CBGA, and THCA during extraction. But, as it turns out, their presence in full-spectrum products is cause for some debate. In fact, they’re a major reason why some users debate purchasing full spectrum vs live resin.
How Are Full-Spectrum Extracts Produced?
Supercritical CO2 Extraction
Pressure and temperature are used in a supercritical extraction to create CO2 changes. It transforms from a gas to display both liquid and gas properties. CO2 can effortlessly infiltrate porous solids, given its low surface tension and gas-like viscosity. This action deposes hemp compounds out of the plant matter.
Supercritical CO2 extraction can force out the desired compounds through the creation of a precise environment. They do this by fine-tuning the CO2 by altering pressure and temperature. Little post-processing is required once extracted the full-spectrum compounds.
Butane-propane or butane can produce full-spectrum extracts through hydrocarbon extraction. Liquified hydrocarbon gas passes over hemp plant matter. Dissolution of the desired compounds occurs, and the solution refines through dewaxing or winterization. Minor timing, solvent, and temperature changes can cause significant variations in chemical composition, potency, and consistency.
Unwanted compounds require removal to produce full-spectrum extracts. For instance, certain lipids result in low-quality flavors. Other concentrates contained in lipids, like rosin, are at times regarded as full-spectrum. The use of pressure is relatively safe and doesn’t require any solvent. However, compounds like terpenes are lost since heat is involved.
Potential Benefits of Full-Spectrum Extracts
The Entourage Effect
Full-spectrum CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to produce various health benefits. Research shows that CBD has more potent, potentially therapeutic, effects when used together with other hemp compounds like flavonoids, terpenes, and other cannabinoids.
Easy to Get
Full-spectrum CBD is widely available in most US states. You can find full-spectrum extracts in topicals, edibles, capsules, and sublingual. It’s also one of the least processed CBD forms, ensuring compounds are close to their biochemical makeup.
Risks of Full-Spectrum Extracts
There’s a small percentage of THC in full-spectrum extracts. Drug screening tests may turn out positive. You may also experience weight and appetite changes as well as fatigue.
What Is Live Resin?
Here’s the tricky part of our post. Live resin is a full spectrum product. But not all full-spectrum products are live resin. Allow us to explain.
You see, live resin is a cannabis concentrate, similar to shatter or wax, with a higher terpene content than other cannabis products. Remember, terpenes are responsible for the hemp plant’s unique smell and taste. They form alongside CBD and THC in the plant’s resin glands. And they’re also present on the surface of mature hemp buds and foliage.
Live resin comes from fresh, living hemp plants with high terpene concentrations. These plants survive for a few hours after being cut before they dry out, preserving hemp’s powerful aroma. Then, living hemp plants undergo freezing to a supercritical temperature during the extraction process.
When extracting live resin, manufacturers skip the drying and curing stages. That’s because increased light, oxygen, and heat exposure can degrade terpenes. Physical agitation can also speed up degradation. In fact, hemp may lose 55-85% of its monoterpene count through decarboxylation.
Disregarding decarboxylation captures the terpene profile of hemp more accurately. This, in turn, translates to better flavors, aromas, and more potentially medicinal effects. Freezing happens immediately after harvesting the hemp to preserve its terpene profile. This ensures that the live resin extraction has the highest terpene concentration compared to any other extraction technique.
How Is Live Resin Made?
Live resin is made by flash freezing the plant soon after harvest. The freezing happens within minutes after harvesting, so the fresh plant matter is as natural and fresh as possible. Flash freezing is either done using dry ice or liquid nitrogen. The optimal temperature is around -40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once unfrozen, you can extract live resin from the raw plant matter, using a butane extraction process. The solvent ethanol and CO2 extraction are also part of the process of producing live resin. Sugar leaves and buds are part of this process, given their high concentration of terpenes and cannabinoids. Removal of impurities, with a vacuum oven, happens once extraction is complete.
What Does Live Resin Look Like?
A live resin extract typically has a stark gold color. It’s a malleable concentrate with a texture somewhere between wax and sauce. This extract is exceptionally sticky and waxy. Live resin extracts come in different forms, including dabs, waxes, shatters, and vape pens.
Potential Benefits of Live Resin Extracts
Research has shown that live resin may help alleviate nausea and chronic pain symptoms. There are more benefits to higher terpene concentrations other than great taste and aroma.
Live resin extracts have higher cannabinoid levels. Terpenes work together with cannabinoids to provide various effects, including addressing a lack of appetite and targeting depression and anxiety. Consult your doctor before using live resin extracts if you have a weak immune system. This goes for individuals with autoimmune disorders and cancer patients.
Live Resin Hemp Extracts
Initially, live resin extracts were available for recreational marijuana use since they were high THC strains. Today, there are high-CBD hemp strains in the market. Both hemp and marijuana produce terpenes. There will likely be more advances in the hemp live resin space in the coming years as more studies seek to determine the benefits of terpenes.
Full Spectrum Vs Live Resin: The Takeaway
Full-spectrum extracts are one of the most popular CBD products on the market today. They come from dried plants, thereby lack the entire terpene profile. Regardless of how well the curing process goes, it will eliminate nearly 60% of terpenes.
The main difference between live resin extracts and other concentrates is the chemical profile and the aroma. It all boils down to the terpenes. Live resin captures the full hemp phytochemical profile. These extracts also have a superior flavor and aroma since it preserves tasty terpenes during flash freezing.
In the past, many companies overlooked live resin extracts because of their shorter shelf life and higher production costs. But times are changing. And demand for live resin extracts grows by the day.
The ideal cannabinoid content and high terpene profile have made many consumers interested in trying out live resin extracts. But you can also find this mix (and a longer shelf life) with high-quality, full spectrum CBD products.
Remember, Tanasi is your source for superior CBD products, all of which include full ingredients lists and certificates of analysis! Whether you use full-spectrum CBD extracts or live resin extracts, we recommend starting with smaller doses as you begin your cannabinoid journey.