Everyone has their own opinion about what type of extracts are the best. No one is wrong, really, so long as quality material goes in and experts process it. If you like cannabis extracts and are used to vaping cartridges doing dabs, maybe you’ve already tried live resin. If not, you’re in for a real treat. Live resin makes a delicious dab and a supremely flavored vape cart. When comparing live resin vs. distillate, rest assured that most people will raise their hands in favor of the flavor of live resin. Here’s why.
What is Live Resin?
Live resin is a cannabis extract made with the whole live plant. There are a few ways to do this, but the goal is always to preserve as much of the plant’s vital resin as possible. Some extractors will cut down plants right at the peak of harvest and cryogenically freeze them in liquid nitrogen before they can begin to dry or degrade. Other extractors might cut the plants down and take them right into the extraction facility for immediate processing.
Why do this? Well, the magic of cannabis primarily resides in its trichomes. These are the glistening, bulbous resin heads sparkling across the buds. This is where the terpenes and cannabinoids grow and mature and ultimately are responsible for a strain’s specific effects. Whether you are making live resin or not, it’s super important to make every effort not to damage these precious trichomes.
This flavor is preserved by extracting the freshest plant material possible, resulting in a product that tastes as close to the strain as you can get. Many cannabis connoisseurs consider this to be the most sublime extract type for its juicy flavor and aroma and high terpene content.
Benefits of Live Resin
We touched on the intense flavor of live resin. That’s certainly reason enough to choose this as your favorite type of extract, but there is another major reason why enthusiasts love live so much. It’s not the high THC content, because live resin usually hovers between 40-60%. That’s pretty low compared to other extracts like distillate and shatter that often reach over 80%.
The magic of live resin is due to the symphony of its abundance of terpenes working alongside the cannabinoids. The preservation process of freezing or immediately extracting live resin is specifically meant to maintain the plant’s chemical integrity—letting the goodness shine through to the final product.
The entourage effect, or ensemble effect, is the term used to describe the synergistic effects of terpenes and cannabinoids working together. Unfortunately, the more we process cannabis, the more of its natural compounds are lost. Yet, live resin allows you to experience the strain fully, resulting in a more robust high. In addition, its effects are full body and cerebral. So even though it might not have the highest percentages of THC, it certainly provides a very well-rounded and potent therapeutic effect.
How to Smoke Live Resin
Live resin is usually amber or golden yellow and sometimes looks like the crystallized honey at the bottom of the jar. It sparkles and glistens and is often dense and crumbly. There are plenty of ways to smoke live resin and enjoy this flavorful variety of extract.
Vaping Live Resin
The easiest way to enjoy live resin is in a vape. Vape cartridges are easy to use, portable, and usually last a decent amount of time. Making live resin vapes is a bit of an art form because you have to get the proper viscosity, so the cartridge doesn’t get clogged when you use it. When done right, live resin vapes are super flavorful and full of terpenes.
Smoking Live Resin
You can add live resin to the top of a bowl or even sprinkle it inside a joint or blunt. Because live resin is a sticky substance, be sure to use some kind of scoop or shovel to handle it. Be cautious of the dosage and start with just a minimal amount. Not only are you smoking live resin, but you are smoking weed, so there is added potency.
Dabbing Live Resin
Dabbing is not for the faint of heart. When we say start small by adding live resin to bowls, we mean start really small with dabbing. You’ll need a dab rig, torch, and dab tool for dabbing, so this isn’t the most convenient way to smoke live resin. However, it’s an excellent way to experience the pure flavor of the extract. Dabbing can be lighter on the lungs than smoke but with a bigger flavor when dosed properly.
How Live Resin is Made
Live resin is made much like shatter, crumble, and wax. It’s produced in an extraction lab with closed-loop extractors and some kind of solvent (usually a mix of medical-grade butane and propane). The starting material is the big differentiator factor between live resin and these other extracts.
Most extracts are made with trimmings, leaves, and small buds. Some of the cannabinoid and terpenes are lost during the extraction process from the original strain. However, live resin starts with fresh, live plants. Or flash-frozen plants. This careful process preserves as much of the terpene and cannabinoid as possible, so even though some is lost during extraction, much more is preserved than in other extracts.
Why Buy It?
Live resin is a great way to taste the essence of a strain and experience its effects more fully. It’s widely available, and generally affordable, and there are plenty of ways to consume it. If you are interested in a full-body high with mental and physiological effects, give live resin a try. On the other hand, if you simply wish to explore the depth of flavor of a strain, this is definitely the right choice.