Photo courtesy of Select
In the cannabis world, concentrates have become king. More and more people are making the complete switch from flower, or at least adding some dabs into their repertoire. This increase in demand has cultivators setting aside larger amounts of their yield for the express purpose of making extracts, and has manufacturers honing their extraction techniques to create the purest concentrates possible. Some companies, like Select, have been formed specifically around extracts, and are committed to creating the best THC oil for vaping.
With so many different types of concentrates out there now, it can be difficult to keep them all straight. Especially when the names are so similar, like resin vs rosin. Today we’re going to look at the holy grail of concentrates, live resin, and figure out exactly what makes it so coveted.
Live resin is a unique type of cannabis concentrate that is typically a deep yellow color, and has a consistency similar to wax. Don’t get confused though, despite the texture live resin and wax are completely different. The main distinction when it comes to live resin vs wax is the way the concentrates are extracted.
This sticky concentrate is one of the most sought after in the world, and surprisingly, it’s not because live resin has a higher potency than other forms of concentrates. In fact, when browsing your local dispensary you may find that when comparing live resin vs shatter, that shatter has higher levels of THC. That’s because in this case, terpenes and flavor are what drive up live resin prices. The more complex terpene profile not only makes for a better-tasting concentrate, but it also encourages the entourage effect—a way in which different cannabinoids and terpenes work together to enhance their individual benefits.
The key difference between live resin and other types of cannabis concentrates lies in its unique extraction process. Live resin is made using similar techniques to BHO hash oil. The cannabis is soaked in butane to separate the oils from the plant matter, and then the product is heated to remove the butane. However, unlike with BHO, shatter, or wax, the cannabis plants that are used to make live resin are flash frozen before they are ever dried and cured. By cryogenically freezing the cannabis, it is in effect still alive—this is where the live part of live resin or live oil comes from. Flash freezing maintains the plant’s original terpene profile.
The drying and curing process that most cannabis plants undergo causes the plant to release a large amount of the moisture it normally retains, damaging the trichomes and wreaking havoc on the natural terpenes. By skipping this step entirely, live resin manufacturers are able to end up with a finished product that more closely resembles the flavors of the original plant.
Unfortunately for the DIY crowd, searching how to make live resin at home is an exercise in futility. First off, making any extract with a butane solvent is incredibly dangerous, as butane is wont to explode. It is not recommended to be attempted by amateurs. Live resin adds even more complication, since most of us aren’t capable of creating an environment cold enough to flash freeze cannabis in our basements. Best to leave this one to the professionals, like our friends at Select.
You can consume live resin in a few different ways. Firstly, you can dab live resin the same way you would dab wax or shatter. What you’ll need is a dab rig, a blow torch or e-nail, and a dabber tool. Heat the nail of your dab rig until it is glowing hot, typically this is around 550°F, then use your dabber tool to drop the live resin onto the nail.
Live resin can also be used in a dab pen the way other concentrates are. Place the live resin into the chamber of the pen and then simply click the button or take a draw depending on the type of vaporizer you’re using.
Nowadays there are all different types of vape cartridges, including live resin carts. These pre-filled cartridges are probably the easiest way for consumers to access live resin, as they don’t require any further investment like dab rig or wax pen. All you need to do is attach the cart to a 510 battery and you’re good to go. For our money, the best live resin cartridge is the Select Elite Live. With the Elite Live, Select has improved on their famous Select Elite Cartridge by adding freshly harvested enhanced live resin terpenes that bring out the delicious natural cannabis flavors. All Select oil is of the highest quality, so you can be sure you’re getting a premier product.
Finally, you can always throw a little live resin into your joint or on top of your bowl to add that little extra oomph.
Whether you’re looking for live resin wax, or a pre-filled cartridge, your local dispensary should have you covered. Go in and ask your budtender what options they have for live resin, and if they have Select’s new Elite Live cartridges be sure to give it a try.
For the Canadians out there, check-in with Herb Pickup to find out where the best live resin products are around you. You can even order online and skip the line!
Once you’ve acquired your delicious, terpene-rich live resin, you’re going to need to store it properly. Make sure to keep your live resin in an airtight container, and in a cool environment to prevent the terpenes from degrading. This will maintain that mouthwatering natural cannabis flavor for the next time you use it. Leaving the lid off, or leaving your live resin exposed to the open air will cause it to dry out and crumble which you want to avoid. If you’ve purchased your live resin in the form of a pre-filled cart however, this isn’t as important since the cartridge will already be tightly sealed.