Applied Technology

Live Resin Extraction

Petar Petrov
Written by Petar Petrov

Live resin has experienced a massive surge in popularity in the cannabis concentrates scene because of its freshness and multi-dimensional properties which stem from the preservation of the source material’s terpene profile.

What is Live Resin?

Live resin is the concentrate that results from the extraction of frozen, freshly harvested cannabis. The main point is to avoid the drying and curing of the starting material, along with all the metabolic processes which occur during the stages that need to take place beforehand, which all damage the terpene profile. With live resin, the cannabinoids and terpenes remain as fresh and intact as possible for the consumer to feel and enjoy.

Origin of Live Resin

Live resin is considered to date back to sometime between 2011 and 2013 in Colorado, where two extractors, William Fenger, a.k.a “Kind Bill,” and “Giddy Up,” founder of EmoTek Labs, a company for extraction equipment, came up with the idea of using freshly frozen material as a source and subsequently breaking it down with a special BHO extractor.

The game has further evolved, with companies like Apeks Supercritical illustrating that sub- and supercritical CO2can also be used to make live resin, which avoids employing toxic, flammable solvents.

Extraction of Live Resin

The extraction of live resin is similar to traditional BHO or CO2 extraction, with a few additional factors and tricky parts to take into account.

First and foremost, you need freshly frozen cannabis material which should have been stored in a deep freezer at -50°C or below right up until extraction. The flower needs to be kept at freezing temperatures throughout the actual extraction phase as well.

Second, you need chilled solvent and extraction equipment, specifically designed to maintain such low temperatures. Some labs like Precision Extraction Solutions use a special extractor with four chambers. The first one is for chilling the butane, which is then inserted into the second chamber where the frozen cannabis buds stay. The third chamber is where the purification of the concentrate occurs. The fourth chamber is for the moderate heating of the concentrate with some water in order to boil away any remaining butane.

Making live resin with butane is best left to the professionals as this solvent is very dangerous. Since highly specialized and expensive extraction equipment is required, regardless of which solvent is used, it’s hard to imagine that creating live resin would be attempted by DIY enthusiasts.

Whichever the route, the result is not only a highly potent and pure concentrate that is replete with flavor and aroma, but also one that captures the magic of the entourage effect and the medical and psychoactive benefits that define it.

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Petar Petrov

Petar Petrov

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