What is Live Resin?

Taylor Engle
Aug 10, 2020

As cannabis legalization increases across the nation, the industry has seen more and more freedom and creativity when it comes to innovating the plant we all know and love. This freedom to experiment has resulted in countless variations to how you can handle your nugs.

The most recent innovation that has taken the cannabis industry by storm is cannabis concentrate. There are many different forms of concentrate (wax, shatter, oil, sauce, etc.), but the one that has taken center stage recently is perhaps the most potent and flavorful form of cannabis yet: live resin.

What is Live Resin?

You may already be familiar with concentrates, which are cannabis plant derivatives designed to remove excess plant material and isolate the plant’s favored compounds (the cannabinoids and terpenes). Heating up the concentrates and inhaling them, a.k.a. “dabbing,” has a much stronger effect than smoking flower. As a whole, concentrates are a very effective way to receive the benefits of cannabis without having to smoke much at all.

Live resin is a type of cannabis concentrate, with a heavy emphasis on terpene preservation. Terpenes are a compound found in many plants, but when it comes to cannabis, they are the bread and butter of flavor. These aromatic oils determine how your bud will smell and taste–that dank gassy smell of your Purple OG and the citrusy essence of your Agent Orange are both thanks to terpenes.

Other than making your greens smell and taste elite, terpenes are also recognized for their medicinal properties. Depending on the strain, cannabis terpenes can aid with depression, anxiety, insomnia, cancer, nausea, and lack of appetite, to name a few. The process of making concentrates usually diminishes the terpene count in the final product, but live resin is deliberate about keeping a high terpene count.

How is Live Resin Extracted?

When live resin is produced, the main goal is capturing the aroma of the plant. While other concentrates stem from cannabis that is already activated, live resin freezes and draws from raw cannabis, which allows it to preserve much more of the plant.

As far as consistency, live resin is similar to wax in malleability, with a slightly wetter texture. It should be stored in an air-tight, cool container–preferably in a fridge. This helps preserve the taste, smell, and terpene content.

How to Use Live Resin

Much like the other cannabis concentrates, live resin can be consumed by dabbing or vaping. In order to do so, you’ll need a dab rig (a type of water pipe specific to concentrates), a dab nail (the dabbing version of a “bowl”), a dabber (to handle the hot live resin), and a butane torch. This can seem intimidating, especially if you’ve never taken metal shop before, but it’s not as complicated as it sounds.

When it comes to dabbing, the temperature of your nail is everything. If it’s too hot, it can taint the flavor and benefits of your plant. On the other hand, a nail that isn’t hot enough might not properly activate the cannabinoids or terpenes. For live resin, it’s best to dab somewhere between 315 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once your nail has reached the preferred temperature, set the torch aside and place the live resin into the nail. Be ready to inhale, because it will begin to evaporate quickly–and you want that in your lungs.

Not into the idea of dabbing? No problem! You can find vape pens with live resin, or simply sprinkle it on top of your bowl of flower or throughout your joint for an added buzz.

Benefits of Using Live Resin

Live resin is most popular for its preservation of terpenes, which contain a host of medicinal benefits. So far in cannabis research, over 100 types of terpenes have been recognized within the plant. Some common terpenes are: limonene, alpha-pinene, beta-pinene, myrecene, linalool, eucalyptol, and terpineol.

Each terpene is different from the last, but their healing properties are widely recognized within the cannabis community. The high terpene count in live resin allows for a smoother and tastier hit, and an overall more refined experience. You’re able to experience the concentrated benefits of the plant without using very much of it at all. This helps to decrease any negative effects the act of smoking might have on your body–simply because you don’t have to smoke as much.

Research also indicates that while terpenes seem to have many benefits on their own, their increased presence in live resin allows the terpenes to interact with the cannabinoids, therefore increasing those benefits as well. As medical cannabis becomes more available throughout the nation, the introduction of live resin to patients may have a very positive effect on the way people consume and react to cannabis.

Licenses: Jetty, No. CDPH-10002243, Neutron Genetics, No. CDPH-10003230

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