Here’s Why Live Resin Buds Could Be Your New Favorites
Posted on July 12th, 2021
Live resin buds are the latest development in cannabis, and worth exploring. You may already know that live resin is a concentrate that’s high in terpenes. Remember, terpenes are natural oils found in cannabis plants. They give each plant variety its unique smell and taste.
To date, we’ve already identified over 200 different terpenes. The most common are Limonene, Beta-Pinene, Myrecene, Delta 3 Carene, Alpha Bisabolol, Alpha-Pinene, Linalool, Caryophyllene, Eucalyptol, Terpineol, Cineole, and Borneol. And each of these has it’s own unique properties, that can change your cannabis experience. Which is why, whether you’re looking for hemp or marijuana extracts, many people now prefer live resin.
In a minute, we’ll talk more about this extraction method. But first, we’ve got to pause and talk about legal cannabis. Because there’s a difference between hemp and marijuana plants. And it has to do with legally permitted THC concentrations.
Hemp vs Marijuana: What’s the Difference?
Both plants are cannabis varieties. They’re cultivated differently, grown under different conditions, and harvested at different sizes. But the main difference between these plants has to do with their concentrations of psychoactive THC.
You see, under the 2018 farm bill, hemp gained a legal classification. Now, any cannabis plant with less than 0.3% THC concentrations is considered hemp. Plants with higher THC concentrations are marijuana, and subject to federal legal restrictions. So, with that explained, we can now turn our attention back to extracting concentrates using live resin buds.
A New Way to Harvest
Traditionally, we extract cannabinoids from dried and cured cannabis buds. But live resin changes the game–you take extracts from fresh plant material. As a result, your preserve more compounds such as terpenes. And you’re left with live resin, a very high quality product.
Manufacturers first explored live resin buds in 2013. At that time, extractors tried freezing fresh plant material, hoping it could replace dried sources. They designed a special butane extractor that worked helped maintain the required low temperatures. And the result? An extract so close to the live plant’s chemical profile, that it smelled and tasted as if it were a live plant. Not surprisingly, they called it live resin.
Making Live Resin
Standard hemp extracts come from dried and cured plant materials. But once you cut plants, they start losing their terpene content. In fact, this loss could be as high as 60% by the time an extract is manufactured. To prevent this loss, you can freeze live resin buds as soon as you cut the plant. (It should happen within 20 minutes of harvesting.) The temperatures for this flash freezing must be between minus 20°F and minus 50°F. Otherwise, the butane extraction process won’t function properly.
Now, flash freezing preserves terpenes, but it also makes the resin glands brittle. As a result, you have to carefully handle the frozen material. So you need to employ high tech machinery to make this product.
Closed loop extractors are the best equipment choice. In these extractors, you pressurize solvent butane, then cool it to temperatures below 50°F. The chilled liquid butane than passes through a tube containing the fresh-frozen live resin buds. Next, the butane bonds with the plant’s terpenes and cannabinoids, helping pull them out to create extracts.
After extraction, liquid butane heads to a dewaxing chamber. There, the machinery removes all the plant’s waxes, lipids and fats, making the remaining material fit for human consumption Finally, the dewaxed liquid heads to a collection chamber. There, light heat boils off the remaining butane. And what’s left behind? Concentrated oil packed with CBD, other cannabinoids and lots of tasty terpenes.
Even better? You can recycle the butane. So you can keep turning fresh frozen plant materials into live resin, completing the closed loop cycle with minimal waste.
Live Resin is Different From Other Concentrates
The main difference between live resin and other normal concentrates is the level of terpenes. This difference can be as much as five times, with live resin having the higher levels. The trade off? Cold extraction leaves you with less product, so it comes at a higher cost.
Terpenes can be light or heavy. Light terpenes give you the floral scents that can vary from apple, kiwi, jasmine, geranium, or rose. The heavier terpenes will give off more pungent scents like sandalwood, tea tree, diesel fuel, musk or skunk. Lighter terpenes evaporate faster from the plant after it is cut, resulting in the heavier terpenes being more dominant in the flavor and aroma of the resin. So, products of cannabis that have gone through a process of curing and heating will seem more pungent, while live resin products will be more aromatic.
Live Resins Can Differ From Each Other
Every live resin has its own terpene profile and viscosity, giving it an individuality of its own. It is the live profile of the terpene in the plant that can give its own special taste and flavor. Even plants of the same strain can have varying terpene profiles and give you variations from batch to batch.
Live resin is produced in many forms. It may be soft or hard, and the viscosities can make it like sap, a jelly, like butter or as shatter. Terpenes are chemicals and impart their own influence on the resin’s viscosity. Sap-like resins are more difficult to transport and store, but can be whipped to make it like butter and easier to handle.
Storing Live Resin
Live resin is best stored in a place that is dry and cool. If it gets exposed to heat it can affect both its taste and potency. The live resin can also become more watery. Due to its consistency, live resin has a tendency to cling to the container in which it is stored. Storage in silicon containers can greatly reduce this problem.
Consuming Live Resin
There are different ways you can consume live resin, but the most common are dabbing, vaporizing or by sprinkling it on a joint. Dabbing needs the use of a dab ring, and an electric nail or torch. For hygienic reasons it may also help to have a dabber that can pick up the live resin from a container. You need to heat your dab rig, place a small amount of the resin on the nail, and allow it to heat up and vaporize before you inhale it.
Dab pens are easy to use devices that can fit in easily into your pockets and work in the same way as dab rings. Many people prefer to use their own cigarettes and roll them. Topping these off with the live resin concentrate is said to give a smoke that is impactful.
Buying Live Resin
Live resins can have a taste varies from sour to spicy, so play around to find your preference. You’ll also want to work with reputable CBD stores with third-party lab certificates for their products.
Live resin can also have different potencies and CBD content. Recreational live resin users may prefer higher THC content, whereas those who use it for wellness purposes may prefer resin with higher CBD content. Every body reacts differently to cannabis, so be aware of your own limitations. When in doubt, always speak to your healthcare provider. And start with lower doses when exploring a new product.
Live resin can vary in color from gold to deep amber and must have a good balance of crystals and liquid. THC comes in the crystals, while the terpenes are in the liquid. Your live resin needs to be aromatic. Let your nose be a guide to the live resin that you buy. And, if you’re looking for other full-spectrum hemp extracts, we invite you to explore our range of oils, edibles and topical cannabis extracts.
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