Is Live Resin Worth It Or Just Hype?

by Emjay

We’ve all let hype get the best of us at one point or another. The internet wouldn’t have it any other way. You keep hearing about something, you buy it, and you ultimately wind up trying to convince yourself that it’s just as good as everyone says it is. You know it isn’t, and you learn your lesson with your wallet. The most important question here is if live resin falls into that category. 

Everyone is eager to preach about how live resin is the greatest form of weed. Personal preference will obviously play a role, but from an objective standpoint, live resin is very different. It’s the extract from a cannabis plant, but it’s able to offer more of the plant’s unique compounds than any other form of weed concentrate. 

What are cannabis concentrates?

Cannabis flower is the most popular form of cannabis. Cannabis concentrates are cannabis flower, but with the flower part removed. Extracting all of the oils and cannabis from the plant material and leaving the fluffy green parts behind results in a much more concentrated version of your weed. Just a small amount can contain as much THC as three grams of the green version of the same plant. 

This is the only thing that all concentrates have in common. They often have different textures. Wax is obviously waxy. Crumble is tiny little pieces, shatter is sharp brittle shards, sauce is runny like sauce, and diamonds look like diamonds. Live resin isn’t named for its texture, but for the way it’s produced. 

What happens to weed when it’s dried?

Most cannabis concentrates are made from the same kind of weed that you smoke. After it’s harvested from the plant, it’s left to dry in a controlled environment. The temperature and humidity are constantly monitored to assure that the flower will dry without shriveling or crumbling up. 

When the flower is dry enough, it’s cured. The curing process involves placing the flower in a closed container where humidity and temperature are allowed to be monitored, but the evaporation of important compounds is controlled. Fewer of these compounds evaporate from the plant, and many of its important oils are preserved.

Terpenes are the oils that give your cannabis its smell and flavor. Zkittlez, for example, is said to taste like the candy it’s named for. That flavor comes from these compounds. Terpenes are very quick to evaporate, and there aren’t many left when the cannabis enters its curing process. By the time you get your flower, most of its flavor and aroma are gone. 

Raw Garden Live Resin, photo by Lindsey Bartlett.

Live resin is never dried or cured.

Live resin bypasses this entire process. When flowers to be used for live resin are harvested from the plant, they’re instantly frozen.  Before the plant has a chance to degrade and the terpenes have an opportunity to evaporate, growers will either submerge the flowers in liquid nitrogen or place them on dry ice. 

This quick freezing process prevents the degradation of the terpenes and cannabinoids. They can’t evaporate if they’re frozen within the flower. The extract is then created at a low temperature in a butane chamber. The end result is a more complete cannabis extract, as it includes the terpenes that other extracts don’t. 

Do terpenes get you higher?

Terpenes don’t necessarily get you higher. A bottle of very old French wine won’t get you any more drunk. The intoxicating effects aren’t the point in this scenario. Live resin is more about having the best of something. In many ways, it’s like a gourmet weed. It’s been specially created to preserve its unique goodness, allowing you to experience the true flavor and aroma of cannabis. If you’ve never had live resin before, you’ve never had that opportunity. 

There has been research put into the potential medical benefits of cannabis terpenes, but that research is somewhat incomplete. Doctors and scientists still need to take a closer look at terpenes before they discover what they’re truly capable of. 

Why is live resin so expensive?

Live resin is expensive because the entire process of manufacturing this extract is unique. Other extracts are made from the dried and cured cannabis flower. Dried and cured cannabis flower is frequently sold exactly as it is. The freezing process adds more equipment, expenses, and labor to the process. 

The extraction process for live resins is difficult. Since the flower for live resin is never dried, it contains a lot of water. Even a little bit of heat can cause the water to boil, ruining the product. Live resin has to be extracted at very, very cold temperatures. 

Live resin is made in a multi-chambered butane extractor kept as low at -50 degrees. Cold extraction is used to preserve flavors and compounds, but it usually produces a lesser yield This is the same philosophy that manufacturers of high-quality vegetable or olive oils use. The end result is always a smaller batch, but the batch is much better. 

The cannabis goes through a series of chambers where it meets the butane, the butane does its job, and the butane is encouraged to evaporate. When the butane is introduced to cannabis, the cannabinoids and terpenes bond with the butane. In the next phase, the waxes and fats are separated from the cannabis compounds, and then butane is heated just enough to cause it to evaporate. 

It’s an extremely delicate process with very little room for error. Small miscalculations of temperature can spoil the batch. Making live resin is more of an art, while making other concentrates is more of a process. 

Storing your live resin:

The people who made your live resin had to work very hard to keep it from being exposed to light and air. Their labor of love was preserving those terpenes for you. Now it’s your job to take care of them. Keep your live resin in an airtight container in a cool, dark environment. Never leave the lid open, and don’t place your jar anywhere near a window. If you have one, a mini-fridge can function as the perfect place to tuck away your live resin stash. 

Bloom vape_liveresin

Using your live resin:

If you’ve used concentrates before, you’re familiar with the concept of adding a little bit to a joint or using it to top off a bowl. You can’t do that with live resin. The heat burns the terpenes off immediately, especially because the plant material catches and holds fire. Your terpenes are constantly burning, and they’re burning away much faster than you can inhale them. By your second hit, there’s nothing left.  

Live resin needs to be vaporized with minimal heat rather than smoked. The easiest way to use live resin is to get a live resin vape cartridge and use it on low heat. You don’t have to mess around with your dab rig and your eNail to dial in the right temperature. Plus, the terpenes can’t escape the cartridge. That’s always a plus.

If you’re loyal to your dab rig, get it set up. Use your eNail or torch and infrared thermometer to heat your nail to about 350 degrees. You want the least amount of heat possible when you’re using live resin. If 350 isn’t working for you, try not to exceed 400. Dial it up by 10 degrees each time until you find that sweet spot. 

The takeaway…

Live resin was made for the connoisseur of cannabis. It’s not something that would appeal to the average everyday cannabis user, especially at its price point. It’s a new way to experience cannabis in all of its glory. Before live resin, nobody really knew what weed was supposed to taste like.

Sure, there’s hype surrounding live resin. But it lives up to that hype. If you’re the kind of person who understands splurging on a gourmet meal or a spa day, you’re also the kind of person who will understand the merits of live resin. It may not become your everyday cannabis, but you’ll be glad to have it on special occasions. Treat yourself from time to time. 

If you’re so excited that you can hardly wait to give live resin a try, we’ve got good news. Emjay has a large selection of live resin, and we’ll deliver it to you. You’ll be enjoying the tasty terpenes of your live resin in about half an hour. Get your dab rig ready or charge up your vape battery. You’re in for a one-of-a-kind experience.

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