What is Live Resin and Why’s it Giving all the Smells

live resin captures essence of hemp

Posted on May 15th, 2022

Are you wondering what is live resin? Just so we’re all on the same page, you need to know that live resin is a cannabis product. Many people prefer this form of cannabis because it holds on to the plant’s aroma and flavor. But that’s not the only way to hold onto your favorite smells.

When we produce cannabis concentrate, from hemp or marijuana, we use the plant’s flowers and buds in many forms. But live resin concentrate is sourced from fresh flowers that have never been processed. Thanks to this extraction method, the end product holds onto all the terpenes. In contrast, extracting product from dried or cured buds will result in lower terpene concentrations. And, since terpenes give cannabis its smell and flavor, that could be an issue for aroma enthusiasts. But let’s dive a bit deeper before we get into product comparisons.

What is Live Resin? live resin from hemp preserves plant smell and taste

This is a high level product enjoyed by cannabis connoisseurs. Fans say their experience is enhanced by the terpene flavors. The product is sourced from fresh flower buds and sugar leaves. But stems and larger leaves aren’t included.

The main idea behind live resin is to capture the cannabis plant’s full aroma and essence. To meet this goal, we flash freeze plant materials before extracting concentrates. Because of the freshness, you have to take care and  select high quality plant material. And strain matter too.

Typically, live resin sourced from pungent cannabis strains yield the best quality and distinct aromas. Favorite sources include GSC, Sour Diesel, Ghost Train Haze, and Gelato, because of their distinct and unique smells. Right after harvesting, manufacturers place the plants in a cooler with dry ice, or dip them into an insulated cylinder, filled with liquid nitrogen. Called flash freezing, the ideal temperature for this process is minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

After flash freezing, manufacturers squeeze out extract with butane or ethanol and a vacuum oven. That oven gets set to a low temperature, getting rid of impurities in the final product. And that final product will have its own feel, look, and taste, depending on the original plant source. (The resin will also come in many forms and colors, along with a sappy, liquid-like consistency).

In contrast, most other cannabis concentrates are extracted after the plants are dried and cured. This process causes terpenes to degrade, meaning your end product could be less flavorful or aromatic. But the extract will also be more versatile, easy to infuse into many forms, from pills to tinctures and more.

Live Resin Sources and Origins

William Fenger is credited as the father of live resin. He started growing cannabis and making hash in the 1980s. But in 2013, he had a revelation. He wanted people to enjoy the smell of the plants in any and every cannabis.

That wasn’t going to be easy though. After all, plants lose 95% of their terpenes after harvesting and curing. (Even before extracting any oil). To solve this problem, Fenger needed to produce a concentrate that retained the plant’s original pungency and terpene profile. And he was finally able to do this by processing a batch of butane hash oil using fresh-frozen plant material. Now, he’d created a new cannabis concentrate, and he called it live resin.

Of course, Fenger’s invention came after some earlier failures to preserve terpenes. In 2011. manufacturers  the open-blasting extraction method, but the involved glass tubes shattered after freezing. Plus, the final concentrate was often green because of chlorophyll that came along for the ride with cannabinoids and terpenes. Also, frozen materials took up tons of space. And this severely restricted yields, making the product commercially unviable.

After much further experimenting, manufacturers finally figured out the right way to make live resin, helping it become a popular new concentrate. Mostly, people seek this extract for its flavor and pungent smell, directly linked to the original source plant’s variety. Plus, as an added bonus, resin concentrate has a glowing luminescence. If you  source it from the best plant material, that is.

Resin Drawbacks

Unfortunately, resin doesn’t have the stable consistency we enjoy with products made from dried and cured plants. Instead, it easily transforms into a granular sugar texture that then becomes soft or sappy. Storage temperature can also lead to changes in texture. As can passing time, or the cannabis strains from which the product was sourced. Basically, you need to properly store live resin, and use it quickly, or your product won’t hold up.

Also, many manufacturers use butane to extract live resin. But butane is water soluble at certain temperatures, so you have to make things really cold to extracted live resin. Get the temperature wrong, and your product won’t gel. (Plus, toxins from butane could pollute your extract.) In other words, if you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s easy to end up with junky or dangerous resin products.  Which is a problem, since resin also costs more than other concentrates. That’s why it makes sense to purchase small product quantities. So you can use your product before  it loses potency, flavor or consistency.

How Do I Use Live Resin?

However you use this product, you’ll get an intense experience from its complex, terpene-rich content. But that can be overwhelming to newbies, so go slow with early experiences. Now, you can dab resin, or place a tiny dot on a joint or bowl. Today, you can also get resin vape cartridges. Just use caution when you use this concentrate, since it’s potency runs between 40% and 90%

To help you better understand, let’s explore each use option closely. Dabbing live resin is one of the most common and popular methods. But you’ll need some tools to help you get started. Basically, dabbing tools let you heat the concentrate until it vaporizes. Then, you inhale the vaporized cannabis through the dabber’s mouth. If you use a glass nail dabber, you’ll need a butane torch heat source. Using electric nails? Just plug your device into wall sockets. (We recommend this method, since electric tools come with safety and temperature controls. So, for the best experience, choose a high quality dab rig with an electric nail.)

Need something simpler? Consider nectar collectors. These dabbing tools look like screwdrivers, with an exposed metal tip and a silicone-covered body. To get started, you heat that metal tip, then apply it to the resin concentrate, which should be sitting on a heat-resistant silicone mat. Soon, you’ll produce inhalable vapor.

Many people prefer dabbing with nectar collectors because they’re portable, and not as bulky as other tools. But you’ve always got options. And you’ll likely make a choice based on your use and comfort level.

Alternate CBD and Terpene Sources Where to Source CBD from?

As we’ve said, many people flock to live resin to enjoy a cannabis extract with unique smells and flavors. But guess what? You don’t have to roll with dabbing or nectar collecting in order to get your daily dose of terpenes. Because full-spectrum CBD products can also deliver in this department.

Need an example? Check out Tanasi’s line of natural CBD tinctures. While many people avoid this form of CBD because of it’s earthy taste, those live resin fans who want a longer-lasting, more convenient product are bound to enjoy its smell and taste. Plus, because all of our terpene-rich, full-spectrum CBD oils are hemp-sourced, you won’t have to worry about excessive THC content putting you on the wrong side of the law.

And, with convenient sub-lingual dosing, you’ll enjoy the full hemp flavor. With fast-acting effects similar to those you’d get from dabbing. But without the hassle of buying any accessories, or seeking an outside heat source. Sound good? We agree! So get your mouse, start your browsing, and find the perfect CBD oil to meet your nose’s needs. Want to hear the best part? The only tool you need is the dropper that’s included with your purchase!

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