The legalization of marijuana, whether medicinal or recreational, has brought a new practice into the light that was formerly hidden from curious eyes. What is this unusual behavior? You’re right: it’s called development. For a long time, marijuana science was relegated to basements, backrooms, and other gloomy corners. Now, though, it has been brought into the light. Because of marijuana’s growing acceptance, the developing cannabis sector has seen a rapid boost in development over the last decade.
New methods of consumption (such as dabbing and vaping) have gained favor. Along with these new techniques has come a slew of unknown chemicals, including wax, shatter, and liquid THC. Now there’s a even more recent kind of marijuana that’s suddenly gaining popularity. It’s called live resin.
Live resin, sometimes known as live resin extract, is a liquid concentrate derived from cannabis plants. It’s produced by extracting resin glands and other plant material in the flowering stage with alcohol. Live resin is stronger than oil, wax, or shatter; however it has less terpene content. This article will explain what live resin is and how it’s made.
What Is Live Resin?
Cannabis resin is a concentrated form of cannabis, similar to wax or shatter, that contains more terpenes than other cannabis products. What are terpenes, and what do they do? Terpenes are chemical compounds produced by the cannabis plant that give each strain its own distinctive flavor and scent.
The good news is that terpenes are created by the same glands that produce THC and CBD. You know there’s gotta be something wonderful about it.
There are over 100 terpenes known thus far. They’re like snowflakes in that each one is unique. The following are some of the most frequent terpenes:
- Delta 3 Carene
- Alpha Bisabolol
The best thing is that each and every one has its own unique medicinal qualities. There’s probably a terp for everything, whether you’re suffering from anxiety, cancer, sadness, insomnia, nausea, hunger loss or another sickness.
We could devote an entire post to terpenes. Wait, we did that already! If you want to get more technical, check out this link about live resin while we switch our attention back to real resin.
Live resin is cannabis extract prepared using live, sometimes frozen, whole plants instead of decarboxylated plant material. That’s where the name comes from: “live” in live resin refers to resin obtained from living plants.
Live resin is processed without first decarboxylating the plant, resulting in a concentrate that more accurately mirrors the plant’s terpene profile. This can lead to improved aromas, tastes, and medical benefits. If you ask us, it’s all good news.
Where Did Live Resin Come From?
The cannabis plant has a long and illustrious (and often hazy) history on Earth. So while ganja-nauts have been dealing with the plant for thousands of years, live resin is but a zygote (not even a fetus yet) in comparison.
In 2013, a few growers and extractors had the notion to experiment with fresh-frozen plant material in their extract instead of the dried and cured variety. They worked toward the creation of a unique butane extractor as a result of that vision.
The new device, which retained the extractor function but also maintained extremely low temperatures necessary to keep plant material frozen, worked as both an extractor and a fridge. The inventors were then able to generate resin that was considerably closer to the chemical profile of alive plants. As a result, live resin was created.
However, there’s a lot more to live resin than simply a cool new gadget. Let’s take a deeper look at the extraction procedure.
How Is Live Resin Made?
Live resin, on the other hand, is something that can’t be manufactured at home. To produce it effectively, you’ll need special equipment and expertise. Perhaps one day someone will develop a DIY live resin kit. Meanwhile,
We’ll go through the basics of how live resin is produced, but keep in mind that this isn’t a step-by-step guide. As the cool kids say, “Don’t try this at home, dude!”
After being removed from the growth medium, the extraction of live resin begins immediately. The plant’s terpenes begin to dissipate soon after it is cut. Normally-processed plant material can lose as much as 60% of its terpenes before it reaches your bong or brownie mix. That’s a significant loss of these essential chemicals.
To protect these crucial terpenes, the entire plant is rapidly frozen. However, that raises a few issues of its own.
The trichomes—the resin glands that produce terpenes, TCH, CBD, and other cannabinoids—become extremely brittle first. Because of this, the plant must be handled with great care to avoid injuring the small heads.
If you’ve ever seen how enormous some cannabis plants can be, you know that you’ll need a really large freezer to get everything in and out of there without breaking anything. This alone would deter most people from attempting live resin extraction. But if that wasn’t enough, try this next one on for size.
Second, the fresh-frozen plant contains considerably more water than decarboxylated plant material. Because of this new variable, extracting the live resin is now necessitated by the use of extremely cold temperatures.
When we say extremely cold, we’re talking about temperatures that are below zero. However, if your freezer contains butane that has been kept for a long period of time, it won’t work. That’s because the typical home freezer is set to 0°F, whereas the butane needed for live extraction must be maintained between -20°F and -50°F. That’s very chilly.
Commercial freezers or cold rooms, on the other hand, have no clue how to accomplish such low temperatures.
For those who are interested in the chemistry, it’s worth noting that butane is somewhat water-soluble at room temperatures. That implies the potentially dangerous butane, as well as other poisons, will remain in the oil unless forced out by heat or cold. How is this accomplished?
In this situation, lowering the temperature to near or below zero makes the poisons water-insoluble. This implies they’ll be removed from cannabis oil. They will precipitate out of solution in scientific terms under these conditions. Those pollutants must be eliminated to ensure a cleaner end product.
To reiterate and underscore the fact that precipitation, in general, can’t be achieved at home without specific equipment.
A closed-loop extraction approach is the simplest and safest method to generate living resin. These systems may cost around $10,000, which is beyond the reach of many individuals. Even if you have $10,000 to spend, these technologies need a significant amount of experience to run safely.
Extractors that are made to be used with closed-loop systems function in a similar manner. They utilize the solvent—usually butane—under pressure, then cool it to cryogenic temperatures (the -20°F to -50°F or lower levels mentioned earlier). The cooled liquid butane is then passed through a material tube that contains fresh-frozen plant matter. It’s in this area that butane associates with cannabinoids and terpenes, extracting them from the plant material.
The extracted butane (which now contains all of the beneficial components from the cannabis plant) is next transported into a dewaxing chamber, where lipids, fats, and waxes are removed. This cleanses the extraction to make it ready for human consumption.
The conclusion is that the oil is collected in a collection chamber, where light heat is used to evaporate the butane. When the boiling is done, you’ll have a concentrated oil full of actual cannabinoids like THC and CBD as well as terpenes, which was extracted from cannabis plants.
The liquid butane that was boiled off is then sent back to the storage chamber and pressurized again, before being cooled to cryogenic temperatures so it may be used once more (hence the name “closed-loop”).
How Is Live Resin Similar To Other Concentrates?
Live resin is created in the same way as other concentrates, such as honey oil, shatter, and wax. As we previously stated, a solvent is used to extract the THC, CBD, terpenes, and other chemical components that make marijuana so desirable.
Butane is the most popular solvent, which is why most concentrates are known as butane hash oil (BHO) or butane hash. However, butane isn’t the only option; alternative liquids such as carbon dioxide (CO2), isopropyl alcohol, and chloroform can also be utilized to produce living resins.
Live resin is also similar to other concentrates in that it has a significantly higher THC concentration than bud you may smoke or mix into edibles. Concentrates with a potency of 80-90% THC include live resin. Comparing this to plant matter that is smoked, which can reach as high as 25 percent THC, it’s easy to see why live resin is becoming so popular.
The main goal of live resins, however, is not the amount of THC present. In reality, certain live resins might have less THC than similar concentrates produced using standard techniques. The real purpose of live resins is to keep the terpenes that are lost during decarboxylation by doing so. That leads us to our next topic.
How Is Live Resin Different From Other Concentrates?
The main difference between live resin and other concentrates is terpene concentration. Live resin has a significantly greater terpene content than other concentrates. By weight, the difference might be as much as five times higher. However, cold extraction to produce live resin generally results in less actual product than other, more conventional extraction techniques.
So, in exchange for the reduced product output mentioned above, you receive higher terpene levels (i.e., more accurate flavor). Let’s delve deeper into those terpenes.
Monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes are the two categories of terpene molecules. Monoterpenes, such as myrcene, limonene, and terpinolene, are “light” terpenes (think light). These lighter terpenes, such as geranium, rose, jasmine, kiwi fruit, and apple produce more floral scents in cannabis plants.
Caryophyllene and humulene are two sesquiterpenes that are “heavy” in terms of weight (again, think about the term “weight”). These heavy terpenes, such as skunk, musk, patchouli, tea tree, diesel fuel, and sandalwood, give off more pungent aromas in the cannabis plant.
Monoterpenes evaporate more quickly when the live plant is removed from its growth medium, resulting in a lower concentration. According to a study published by the University of Mississippi, dry curing (decarboxylation) reduced monoterpene content by 55-85%. This reduction in monoterpenes lowers the impact of heavier sesquiterpenes on the concentrate’s flavor, fragrance, and medicinal benefits.
Decarboxylated cannabis products, on the whole, tend to be more pungent since the monoterpenes have evaporated.
The freshly cut plant is immediately frozen, preventing the loss of delicate monoterpenes and keeping them from evaporating. Then, when the plant material is processed through butane extraction at low temperatures, those monoterpenes that would otherwise have been lost end up in the resin. This is superior for you since the live resin has more of what was present in the whole plant. Many customers describe it as being similar to eating fresh fruit rather than dried fruit when comparing extracts to one another.
Consider this for a moment. You might not be getting the complete taste of your favorite strain because monoterpenes are lacking in your joint-ready cannabis, which completely alters the flavor profile. How disappointing. The only way to get a taste of your preferred strain as nature intended it is to try a live resin.
How Do Live Resins Differ From One Another?
Live resins differ from one another in two distinct ways:
- Terpene profile
We’ll examine each individually in the sections below.
Extracts made from live resin are far more difficult to mature than extracts made from dry resin. In this regard, it’s worth noting that the strain used in the extraction process has a large impact. More specifically, it all boils down to the terpene profile of the living plant. As a result, extracts produced from Cherry OG seeds will vary considerably from those produced from Sour Diesel seeds.
There are even distinctions in the terpene profiles of plants from the same strain. A live resin from one batch (or even a single plant) of Yoda OG will be distinct than a live resin produced by a second batch of Yoda OG.
Resins are available in a range of viscosities (e.g., soft, medium, or hard and everything in between). The most frequent viscosities are:
Although terpenes are merely chemicals, they can modify the viscosity of the live resin extracted from the plant. However, most often, once the live resins have been removed, they will be changed.
Live resins that are too “sappy” (i.e., sap-like, not excessively emotional) are difficult to store and transport. As a result, producers will incorporate a live resin butter into the live resin sap to make it easier to handle.
Our second section is about the quality of live resin extracts. Because extractions are so difficult, live resins are frequently more costly than regular concentrates. In fact, some living resin products can sell for over $100 per gram. Ouch!
Is Live Resin Worth The Extra Price?
It’s possible that you’ll want to assert your own ideas. The answer is, of course, maybe. It’s not as straightforward as it seems. That’s because it all depends on what you enjoy. Keep in mind that the live resin extraction method produces less product than other extraction processes do.
Live resins, on the other hand, provide a much more thorough and complete chemical profile of the cannabis plant. Live resin will almost certainly be more expensive than normal BHO for these reasons: smaller yields and a more comprehensive chemical analysis.
That expense, however, may be worth it to you. The absence of those monoterpenes during “traditional” butane extraction might react with the other cannabis components to produce something you’ve never seen before. The only way to find out is to experiment with it.
Keep in mind that you’re not receiving something with a greater THC or CBD percentage. You’re getting something that is less than what’s on the market now, but it’s nonetheless better than anything else out there. That may appeal to you or not. The only way to tell for sure is to give it a shot.
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