Live resin is vibrant, aromatic, and flavorful. A cannabis product manufacturer worked very hard to create the live resin you’re about to enjoy. You need to do their work justice by enjoying live resin the way it was meant to be enjoyed. Stop before you mix it into that blunt. Treat your live resin right and smoke it with low heat.
Live resin takes a lot more work than a bag of cannabis flower. It’s not for a causal smoke sesh – it’s for a memorable experience. It’s pricier, fancier, and a lot more flavorful. Make an evening out of it, and make sure you’re smoking it properly.
What is live resin?
Live resin is resin extracted from cannabis flowers that are harvested from the plant and immediately frozen at a low temperature. This usually involves submerging the buds in liquid nitrogen, but sometimes involves placing them on dry ice.
Deep freezing the buds the moment they’re harvest stops the clock. They stay preserved exactly the way they were when they were attached to the plant. Every trichome and terpene stays within the plant, awaiting its extraction.
The buds are processed in a very cold butane extraction chamber to gently pull all of the cannabinoids and compounds from the plant material. The butane evaporates and leaves behind live resin, a combination of waxes, cannabinoids, and aromatics.
How is live resin different from other resin?
Live resin is essentially made from the live cannabis flower. It doesn’t go through any other processes before it becomes resin. Other resins are made from the same flower that you smoke. You don’t smoke freshly harvested cannabis. You smoke cannabis that’s been dried and cured.
Drying and curing help the bud to last longer. Properly removing the moisture from cannabis flower gives it a longer shelf life. It won’t decay or become overrun with bacteria. The end result is a flower that lasts for many months, or even a year if it’s stored in the proper environment. Selling cannabis flower wouldn’t be feasible without drying and curing it first. It would wither and degrade much faster than a head of lettuce left out on the counter.
While so much of the cannabis industry depends on the practice of drying and selling cannabis, it’s less than perfect. Live cannabis contains a wealth of aromatic compounds called terpenes that contribute to the fragrance and flavor of the bud. Terpenes are really finicky – almost skittish. They’ll start to run away at the first sign of evaporation. Your bud loses most of its terpenes before it gets to you.
If you’ve ever smoked something like Girl Scout Cookies or Zkittlez or Wedding Cake and realized that it doesn’t really taste like what it’s supposed to taste like, that’s because the terpenes that contributed to that flavor profile have been cut down by more than half.
Live resin skips the drying and curing process completely and preserves every last terpene. When you get a live resin of your favorite strain and smoke it properly, you’re going to notice that it doesn’t taste anything like you thought it did. The flavor is much more potent, pleasant, and a little more floral. You’ve never actually tasted your favorite strain until you’ve tried it in live resin.
Smoke live resin with as little heat as possible
Terpenes love to evaporate. They’re constantly looking to run away. Even the slightest bit of heat, air exposure, or natural sunlight will send them packing. Burning them with a lighter like they’re ants under a magnifying glass is going to kill them before you ever experience them.
The cherry of your blunt can burn at more than 1,000 degrees. Your bowl hit gets close to 1,000 degrees when you hit it with a standard lighter. This is the exact opposite of a low-temperature hit. Your terpenes die off instantly when you’re using a direct heat source or encouraging your cannabis to burn. That live resin was kept cold for so long for a reason. It’s up to you to continue to carry that torch. In this case, that torch is your dabs torch.
Your live resin will begin to melt at about 350 degrees. Try the lowest temp possible. If 350 degrees isn’t doing it for you, slowly increase in increments of 10 degrees until you find the sweet spot. Don’t exceed 400 degrees, or your terpenes will start to die off.
Using a dab rig
If you’ve never used a dab rig before, it’s not that complicated. It only looks a little intimidating. At the end of the day, it’s not much different from a bong. All you’re doing is encouraging the resin to evaporate, rather than burning it.
You fill the dab rig with water just above the percolators, the same way you would with a bong. Your live resin is sticky, so use a dab tool with a scooper to load it into the little bowl. The piece that holds the bowl is called a nail, and that’s what you heat to make your dabs rig work.
Since you need to carefully control the temperature of your dabs rig when you use live resin, it might be a good idea to get an e-nail. An e-nail is a device that looks like a car battery in a little suitcase. Again, it’s not as complicated as you’re thinking.
It has a little connector piece that you fit to the bottom of your bowl. You turn it on and it regulates the temperature for you. These devices usually come with a pre-setting for low-temperature dabbing, which makes your life so much easier.
Alternatively, you can use a butane torch like the ones made for creme brulee and aim a digital thermometer near your bowl to measure the temperature, stopping when you’ve hit your desired temp. That’s a lot cheaper and a lot less involved than an e-nail, and you might already have a butane torch out in your garage or near your grill.
Prolonging the life of your live resin
The way you smoke your live resin won’t matter if your live resin is wrecked. An important part of smoking it correctly is storing it correctly. A low temp dab won’t bring back the lost terpenes. You need to keep them there.
The best way to preserve your live resin is to treat it the same way you’d treat an essential oil. The properties of the terpenes are the same as the properties of floral aromatics in essential oils.
The best thing you can do for your live resin is to put the container it came in into a larger airtight glass container. You probably don’t want to stick the tiny little jar into a giant flour container. Look for a quart-sized airtight container. They make even smaller airtight containers for freshly harvested spices and herbs, which feels a little more appropriate for an herb product.
Keep that lid closed at all times, and store it in a dark, cool place like your refrigerator. A small container won’t take up too much space, even in a minifridge.
Never open the container in the heat or in direct sunlight. Take out only what you need and immediately close the container and put it away. If you forget to do it before you start dabbing, you’re going to be in a world of trouble. Even leaving the lid off for an hour while you’re having a social dab session can be enough to destroy your live resin.
You know you’re going to forget to put it away when you’re high. Do it while you’re still good.
If you take really good care of live resin, it can last you for up to six months before it starts to degrade. It probably won’t take you six months to go through a gram of live resin, but if you’re the type of person who wants to treat your special cannabis like a bottle of fine wine, you probably won’t be using it every day.
The first time you try live resin as a low-temperature dab, you’ll immediately understand what all the fuss is about. You’re going to experience the flavors and smells you’ve been missing in all the time you’ve been using cannabis. It’s an eye-opening experience, and everybody should give it a try at least once.
Emjay is here to make it easy for you. We have a wide variety of live resin and other cannabis extracts, and we can deliver them to your house in about 30 minutes. Keep your comfy clothes on, put on some Queens of the Stone Age, and get your dab rig ready. We’ll be there before you know it.