If the terminology surrounding cannabis extracts wasn’t extensive and confusing enough, some newer, even more niche subcategories are sprouting up. One such subcategory is sand, whether you’re talking about hash consistency, tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCa) sand, or live resin beach sand, which on paper may sound like one of those exercises in which you have to choose the word that doesn’t belong with the rest of a select group. But it’s actually simpler in reality.
In short, live resin beach sand refers to a high potency concentrate that came from freshly frozen plant material, hence the “live resin” part. The best way to explain is by breaking it down in smaller pieces.
Let’s start with resin.
Resin is a sticky, gooey substance, insoluble in water, that many trees and plants secrete.
In cannabis, resin is like glue that holds the trichomes, and respectively the cannabinoids and terpenes, together. The practice of collecting resin is basically the practice of making cannabis extracts and concentrates.
Continuing with live resin.
Live resin comes from cannabis that hasn’t been dried and cured, and instead has been frozen fresh at -50° C or below. This is done to preserve terpenes and other valuable cannabinoids, which are otherwise subjected to collateral damage during drying and curing stages.
Where does beach sand come in the picture?
Dry sift, a.k.a kief, is achieved by sifting trichomes through a series of progressively finer micron screens. When pressed and heated, sift produces hash.
When sift is extremely fine, and respectively valuable, it has been through the finest of screens. This weeds out as much of the coarse material from the resin as possible. In texture, the result is reminiscent of beach sand.
Live resin beach sand is uncommon; you don’t really see or hear it much (FarmaceuticalRx in Pennsylvania is one such vendor). THCa sand, however, is another story. This is a more concentrated product (95%+ purity) referred to as ‘sand’ due to its fine crystalline texture.
THCa is the acidic version of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a non-intoxicating precursor that isn’t converted into THC until decarboxylation — the chemical process of removing a carboxyl group and neutralizing THCa. This takes place when heat is applied, for example upon combustion. THCa Sand can be more commonly found, such as products like these and these. And when the crystalline concentrate is derived from live resin, it’s referred to as “live resin beach sand.”
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