Extraction Products

Live Resin: Material and Preparation

Written by Asia Mayfield

Cannabis plants are rich with aroma. Buds clipped from good strains are frosted with trichomes and laced with powerful terpenes and cannabinoids. The extraction process, however, can brutalize the plant. It’s hard to retain the terpene profile when you’re producing high-quality cannabis extracts.

That’s why consumers are falling in love with live resin. It’s a new form of cannabis concentrate that allows the extract artist to create a product that’s rife with cannabinoids and terpenes.

What is Live Resin?

Live resin is a popular form of cannabis extract that’s created using fresh, uncured plant material. Usually the buds are frozen immediately after harvesting. Far more terpenes are preserved using this method.

The cannabis curing process destroys a lot of the terpenes. When you create cured concentrates, you can achieve a high THC level but it’s impossible to retain the full diversity of the original terpene profile.

“As much of 60 percent of a plant’s terpene content is lost during the drying process,” wrote Kenneth Morrow, author Handbook of Essential Oils.

Once the plant material is frozen in preparation of making live resin, it’s important to never let it heat up. If the material remains frozen, it’ll keep more of its terpenes. The final product will have the dense aroma associated with fresh flowers.

Live Resin vs Other Concentrates

Live resin concentrates can be almost any consistency, from thin and runny like an oil to thick and viscous like a gel. The main factor that differentiates live resin from other cannabis extracts is its rich terpene profile.

The fresh, frozen plant material can also be used to create an extract called live rosin.

“Live” refers to uncured cannabis. Live rosin extraction strives to be a solvent-free process. By contrast, manufacturers creating live resin typically use butane or supercritical CO2 to make the final product.

Live resin extracts smell better than those created by the traditional method. Consumers love the smell and taste of fresh cannabis flowers and the live resin process preserves this in a wonderful way.

The cannabinoids might be more effective as well in live resin extracts. The entourage effect shows that terpenes react with cannabinoids like THC and CBD in a unique way.

“One gram of live resin equals the aroma of ‘a whole bag’ of [cannabis],” Addison Demoura with of Steep Hill Labs said.

Because of the extra work involved, live resin extracts tend to be pricier than other ones.


About the author

Asia Mayfield

Asia Mayfield is a freelance writer who focuses on the cannabis industry. She can be reached at [email protected]