Live resin is full-spectrum concentrate made from freshly harvested cannabis plants that are quickly flash frozen, retaining most plant compounds, including the delicate trichomes containing terpenes and flavonoids. This differentiates it from other concentrates made from dried and cured cannabis plants.
How is live resin produced?
Back to our live resin. The plant flash-freezing process is followed by carefully controlled extraction at low temperatures, retaining all the plant compounds. Some popular extraction methods include hydrocarbon extraction and butane hash oil (BHO) extraction.
It’s important to note legal cannabis manufacturers use modern laboratory equipment and follow commercial fire and safety protocols to ensure the extract is safely produced and tested for any residual solvents. Butane hash oil extraction is something you should NOT try at home! The live resin extraction process contrasts with more conventional methods where cannabis plants are first dried and cured with heat and decarboxylation to create THC distillate. Depending on the product type, manufacturers may re-introduce terpenes, CBD and other cannabinoids, along with flavoring and other ingredients later in the production cycle to create specific product effects.
Is live resin better than THC distillate products?
Does live resin’s unique extraction process make it superior to products made with THC distillate? Not necessarily.
Live resin is only as good as the quality of the plants that went into its production. In addition, the live resin extraction process is complex and time-consuming. If a manufacturer takes shortcuts, they risk losing valuable terpenes or end up with a product that contains residual solvents.
Also, THC distillate made from dried and cured plants often proves more efficient for ingestible products because it can be more precisely measured into a uniform dose.
Both budget and personal preferences also come into play. You may try a live resin product and love the effects and flavor or alternately be left wondering what the hype is all about.
When it comes to therapeutic benefits, live resin may have an edge, given that it preserves more of the whole plant compounds, including a higher concentration of naturally occurring terpenes than you’ll find in dried flower. Terpenes play an important role in cannabis’s healing power, with a wide range of effects. In a previous blog, we provided tips on how to identify the best terpenes for your needs.
Live Resin vs. Distillate: The Differences
The most pronounced difference in live resin vs. distillate is the high terpene content in the live resin. Distillate does not retain any terpenes after extraction. When comparing live resin vs. distillate, an excellent mental image is comparing juice.
Live resin is the fresh-squeezed juice straight from the fruit, and distillate is the concentrated juice bought from the store. They each have their uses, and it just depends on each person’s preference. However, other notable differences include the extraction process, the terpene and cannabinoid content, and smoking experience.
The Extraction Process
The fundamental difference between the processes is that live resin is made from frozen cannabis, and distillate is made from dried, cured cannabis. The extraction methods may vary in the type of solvent used (if any), winterization and decarboxylation methods, and other proprietary processes. You can make a distillate and a live resin on the same kind of extraction machinery, but the post-extraction processes do vary.
So long as the plant matter is frozen or freshly cut and extracted, the end result could be considered live resin. Once extracted, live resin is decarboxylated and ready to go.
Distillate goes through the fractional short-path distillation process to further refine the extract. The cannabinoids are separated from the plant matter in this process, leaving behind a thick, clear or yellowish liquid that is almost purely cannabinoids.
The distillate has a much higher cannabinoid percentage, but is void of all terpenes. Live resin is lower in cannabinoids and very high in terpenes.
Live resin edibles: Live resin edibles are newer to the scene. While terpenes primarily interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system via smell, they can also affect the digestive system where many endocannabinoid receptors are located.
Brothers.MD will soon be launching our own LIVE RESIN Premium Edibles, so be on the lookout!