What is live resin? Learn everything you need to know.

Rising in popularity as new methods of cannabis consumption become more widespread, live resin is a fresh and flavorful option for both newcomers and seasoned tokers looking for a quality concentrate.

Below, learn everything you need to know about live resin.

What is live resin?

Live resin is a form of cannabis concentrate produced using fresh frozen material as opposed to dried and cured buds. This extraction method releases cannabinoids while retaining the terpenes and allows the extractor to capture the flavor of the live plant over the characteristics of dried and cured buds. Since these flavorful terpenes remain intact, live resin is considered a high-quality, connoisseur-level product.

The history of live resin is short yet bountiful:

  • 2010: William “Kind Bill” Fenger started the first legal grow operation dedicated exclusively to producing concentrates in Colorado. He considered the idea of producing extracts from freshly harvested cannabis plants with richer aromas and flavors, rather than extracts made with cured nugs.
  • Initial attempt: Fenger created live resin with the Original Diesel cultivar using flash-frozen plant material to produce BHO. The resulting extract is flavorful and aromatic but has a low yield, is dangerous to make, and is aesthetically unappealing.
  • 2013: Jason “Giddy Up” Emo installed an EmoTek Labs OBE-Dos extraction unit at A Cut Above, a medical dispensary in Colorado Springs. Fenger is hired as a consultant for technical support, leading to a collaboration.
  • The collaboration: Fenger and Emo worked together for over a month, experimenting with various strains and extraction techniques using the OBE-Dos unit.
  • First successful batch: Fenger and Emo produced a successful live resin batch using whole cannabis plants that had been flash-frozen, which achieved the desired aromatic and flavor characteristics. They name both the extraction process and the resulting concentrate live resin.

How to consume live resin

Live resin is a flexible cannabis concentrate that you can consume in various ways.

  • Vaporizing: You can use vaporizers or dab pens designed for cannabis concentrates. These devices heat the live resin to a specific temperature, turning it into a vapor that you inhale. You can also dab the concentrate with a rig or e-nail. 
  • Flower: Some drizzle live resin on top of a packed bowl or incorporate it into a joint or blunt. This method enhances the potency and flavor of the cannabis flower, but may not provide the same level of terpene preservation as dabbing or vaporizing.
  • Infused into edibles: You can add live resin to food to make edibles, but note that infusing live resin into brownies, gummies, or chocolates requires decarboxylation to activate the THC and other cannabinoids. Some brands, like Kiva, make live-resin-infused gummies if you prefer to go the store-bought route.
  • Infused into tinctures or topicals: You can infuse decarboxylated live resin into a carrier oil or alcohol to create tinctures or topicals. Consume tinctures sublingually or orally via food and beverages. Apply topicals directly to your skin for potential localized relief.

Benefits of live resin

The ease of the live resin process is a benefit to growers. Since live resin is first fresh frozen from buds that don’t need dried or cured, they can skip the time-consuming steps needed to create other forms of concentrate. 

Live resin is one of the most flavorful forms of concentrate since the result is flush with cannabinoids, trichomes, and terpenes. These elements remain intact, and closely resemble the taste of the starting fresh bud material. The extraction process also makes for a higher potency end product suitable for recreational and therapeutic consumers alike. 

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