Live Resin Lies: When Is Live Resin Not Really Live Resin?

Over the past decade, live resin has come to be known as a top-shelf cannabis concentrate distinguished by unmatched aroma, flavor, and potency. Live resin is made from freshly harvested cannabis or hemp plants that are flash-frozen to preserve their cannabinoids and terpenes before being carefully extracted to produce concentrates rich in potency and flavor. Because live resin is made from plants that are harvested at the peak of ripeness instead of plant material that has been dried and cured, products made with it boast superior effects and flavor profiles compared to other cannabis concentrates. Not all live resin is the same, however. Genuine live resin is extracted exclusively from fresh frozen cannabis or CBD hemp. Producing authentic live resin is a particularly exacting and expensive process, leading some uninformed or even unscrupulous manufacturers to offer products labeled as live resin that are not the real thing. For example, some products being sold as live resin are actually other concentrates or distillates mixed with live terpenes. But live terpenes are only a fraction of live resin and they do not offer the full-spectrum experience of the genuine article. As a result, consumers should choose products from a reputable company with a history of integrity and transparency such as The Hemp Collect.

What Is Live Resin?


Live resin is a cannabis concentrate that is known for its superior aroma and flavor. It is made with freshly harvested plants that are quickly frozen instead of dried and cured flower and trim, the source material for most other cannabis concentrates. The fresh plant material is a far superior input for extraction, and live resin produced with it is a better quality cannabis extract that preserves the natural terpenes and the distinctive aroma and flavor they impart. Use of the technique began in the early 2010s when a small group of pioneering cannabis cultivators in Colorado discovered how to preserve the full-spectrum aroma and potency of freshly harvested prime cannabis. From there live resin quickly spread throughout the United States and abroad, and is now known as the premier cannabis concentrate by aficionados around the world. The best live resin starts as prime cannabis or hemp plants harvested at the pinnacle of ripeness and quickly frozen to lock in flavor and aroma. Once the fresh material to be extracted has been frozen, it is mixed with a hydrocarbon such as butane, which acts as a solvent to remove the cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other compounds in the plant material. Less often, other materials such as ethanol or CO₂ are used as the solvent for the extraction process. Generally, manufacturers use only fresh flower and sugar leaves, avoiding the less potent stems and fan leaves for the production of live resin extractions.  After extraction, the resulting product is purged of all solvents to produce aromatic and potent live resin, which is generally a thick, sticky substance somewhat like tree sap or taffy. Alternate processing methods can produce live resin concentrates such as wax; badder, which resembles cake batter or cookie dough; or live resin crumble, a more solid, crystalline form of the potent and aromatic extraction. Live resin can vary in color, ranging from dark yellow or amber to a light cream color or nearly white. Compared to other concentrates, live resin offers a broader spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes, the volatile aromatic compounds that give each strain of hemp and cannabis their unique flavor and aroma profiles. This means live resin contains a broader range of the compounds naturally present in the cannabis plant, which can contribute to a more potent, flavorful, and enjoyable experience. With top-quality full-spectrum live resin, consumers get a complete array of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other beneficial compounds to provide the full benefits of the plant. Psychoactive forms of live resin can have a high percentage of cannabinoids, making them highly potent products that should be used with care.

What Are Live Terpenes?


Terpenes are organic compounds found in various plants, including cannabis. They are responsible for the distinct flavors and aromas associated with different strains of cannabis. Research has shown that terpenes can work in tandem with cannabinoids, including Delta 9, Delta 8, HHC, and CBD, to synergistically enhance the therapeutic effects of cannabis-based products through a phenomenon known as the entourage effect, making the total effect greater than the sum of its parts. Like live resin, live terpenes are also extracted from fresh, frozen cannabis or hemp, but they constitute only a fraction of the beneficial compounds inherent to the plant. Most live resin products on the market are actually live terpenes that are mixed with concentrates or distillates made from dried and cured cannabis. As a result, live terpene extracts can exhibit a minimal spectrum of desirable components and do not contain the full complement of beneficial compounds found in genuine live resin and products made from it, such as gummies or other edibles. Live terpenes are made in a process similar to producing live resin, using a solvent to extract terpenes, the volatile aromatic compounds found in cannabis that give each strain its particular odor and flavor from fresh frozen plant material. Terpenes can also be extracted from dried and cured cannabis, or other botanical sources such as herbs, spices, or fruits. Unfortunately, many cannabis products sold as live resin are actually live terpenes mixed with cannabinoids obtained through other extraction methods. Because of this, they have a narrower spectrum of beneficial compounds than full-spectrum live resin extractions, making live terpene extractions a less desirable option for most consumers.

The Problem With Fake Live Resin


Despite their inferior quality, live terpenes concentrates are often sold as live resin, for various reasons. Some companies that offer live terpenes may be confused by the type of inputs they are using for their products, leading them to believe that they are offering genuine live resin. Unfortunately, many people in the cannabis industry lack the thorough knowledge needed to understand exactly what they are buying and selling. Other companies have more sinister motives and are knowingly providing substandard products, willingly misleading their customers to build false value in their inferior concentrates. They might get you buzzed, but fake live resin products should be avoided by the discerning cannabis consumer. Fake live resin lacks the aroma, flavor, and effect of the genuine article, meaning it offers less value for the dollars spent. Luckily, the knowledgeable consumer can take steps to help ensure they are getting authentic live resin. First and foremost, consumers can protect themselves by making sure they are buying products from a manufacturer with a reputation for quality. Conscientious companies will be transparent in their marketing by providing a complete ingredient list on the packaging or online. Look for products that show live resin, rather than live terpenes, on their ingredient list.  Many products such as disposable vapes or cartridges will not have an ingredient list, but the product’s certificate of analysis (COA) can offer some clues about its true nature. Choose products with relatively high levels of CBDa or other cannabinoids in their acid form, designated by an “a” as the last letter of its abbreviated name (THCa, for example). Products with little or no cannabinoids in the acid form are not authentic live resin. You can also ask transparent companies such as The Hemp Collect for a chain of custody report, which details where the plants used for the live resin extraction were sourced from.

How To Use Live Resin?

Once you have chosen authentic live resin, it can be enjoyed in several different ways. One of the most popular ways is dabbing, a process in which live resin is vaporized on a hot surface such as a nail or a specially designed bowl, sometimes called a banger. Once the dab of live resin has been vaporized, the vapor is inhaled through a special glass pipe called a rig. Live resin can usually be quite sticky, so special dab tools are often used to handle it and load the bowl or nail.  Many seasoned cannabis aficionados prefer dabbing for the pure flavor and nearly instant effects it can impart. Others find the process necessary for dabbing, which includes heating the nail or bowl with a butane torch and steps to clean and maintain the glass rig, can be laborious.  Fortunately, there are other products that simplify the process of vaping live resin other than dabbing. Vape cartridges or pods filled with live resin can be used with a battery to heat the live resin to the proper temperature to produce a flavorful, effective vapor. Consumers who enjoy cannabis flower can enrich their experience with live resin. Adding a bit of live resin to a bong hit or joint can pump up the flavor and potency of even the best bud, giving users the full benefit of cannabis and making for a more enjoyable and flavorful smoke.

Types Of Live Resin Products


  • CBD Live Resin- Hemp plants rich in CBD are harvested fresh and quickly frozen before extraction to produce CBD Live Resin. Because CBD live resin is made from federally legal hemp, consumers in most states can buy and enjoy it for its superior flavor and aroma while getting the full complement of the beneficial compounds found in cannabis. 
  • Delta 8 Live Resin- Delta 8 distillate is combined with live resin to produce Delta 8 live resin. This gives products the benefits of the high effect produced by Delta 8 and the full spectrum of live resin to make a better product that offers superior psychoactive effects, aroma, and flavor.
  • Live Resin Badder- Live resin badder has a thick, gooey, and slightly drippy texture, similar to cookie dough, cake batter, or frosting. It can be produced from hemp to make a product rich in CBD or other cannabinoids, or from cannabis to produce live resin badder with THC.
  • Live resin vapes are available in several different product types. All of them are user-friendly and simple to operate, either by just inhaling or pushing a button as you do so.
    • Disposable vapes are easy-to-use products that combine live resin, a heating chamber, and a battery into one self-contained, portable vaporizer.
    • Vape cartridges are filled with live resin for use with a separate battery that can be recharged and reused. The most popular is the 510 cartridge, which is offered by hundreds of hemp and cannabis companies. Because the battery is reused from cartridge to cartridge, they offer a more economical and environmentally friendly option than disposables. Plus, their popularity means they are available in a nearly endless and ever-changing variety of strains, potencies, and cannabinoid formulations.
    • Live Resin Pods are similar to cartridges but typically feature proprietary connectors, which require a corresponding battery. They are generally not compatible with 510 batteries.
  • Live Resin Edibles- Gummies are the most popular of the live resin edibles, and The Hemp Collect also offers delicious caramels and chocolates with the versatile concentrate, as well. Live resin hard candies and other edibles and ingestables including tinctures are also on the market. 
  • Live Resin Flower- Because live resin is a cannabis or hemp concentrate, live resin flower is a misnomer. Products labeled as live resin flower are buds that have been infused with live resin to boost potency, flavor, and aroma. Live resin flower is also known as Moon Rocks.
  • Live Resin Sauce- Live Resin Sauce is a more liquid type of dab. Products with no cannabinoid listed are most likely CBD live resin sauce, but they could also be made with Delta 8 THC or Delta 9 THC, as well as other cannabinoids.
  • Live Resin Crumble- Live resin that is more powdery or granular is often marketed as live resin crumble. Because it is drier and less sticky than other types of concentrates, live resin crumble can be easier to use than other dabbing extracts.

Conclusion


Live resin is a flavorful and potent cannabis concentrate made from fresh flowers and sugar leaves that are harvested at the pinnacle of ripeness and then quickly frozen to retain the cannabinoids, volatile terpenes, and other desirable compounds. The plant matter is then put through an extraction process that uses a hydrocarbon solvent such as butane to pull these compounds from the frozen plant matter. Because the process does not use dried and cured cannabis, live resin has superior flavor and unsurpassed potency compared to other concentrates. However, some products marketed as live resin are not the real thing. Instead, they use live terpenes, which exhibit a narrower spectrum of beneficial compounds including cannabinoids and terpenes that are found in cannabis. Some of these fake live resin products are the result of confusion or a lack of knowledge of the cannabis industry, but others are knowingly mislabeled to fool consumers and charge them more for an inferior product. As a result, consumers should purchase live resin only from reputable companies such as The Hemp Collect that provide a COA from an independent testing laboratory in order to avoid inferior products. Authentic live resin is available for dabbing in various forms including wax, badder, crumble, and sauce, all of which provide potent effects and unmatched flavor, rich in tasty terpenes. Other options for vaping such as disposables, cartridges, and pods are widely available and can not be beat for discreet and simple use. Additionally, live resin edibles such as gummies, chocolates, caramels, other candies, and tinctures are also available. Whichever their preferred consumption method, there is a live resin product right for all cannabis consumers, from the novice to the most avid connoisseur.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What Is The Difference Between Live Resin And Other Concentrates?

Live resin is a cannabis concentrate that is created using fresh frozen cannabis plants, which are flash-frozen immediately after being harvested at the peak of ripeness. This advanced extraction process preserves the flavors and aromas of the living plant better than other cannabis extractions that rely on dried and cured plant material. Live resins usually have a more complex terpene profile than other concentrates and can deliver a more complex, potent, and enjoyable experience.

How Do I Know If I’m Buying Real Live Resin?

To ensure you’re buying real live resin, it is important to purchase from reputable sources such as licensed dispensaries or trusted manufacturers. Look for products that provide detailed information about their extraction methods and sourcing. Additionally, check for a certificate of analysis (COA) from an independent testing lab to verify the authenticity and quality of the product.

What Are The Benefits Of Live Resin?

Live resin offers several benefits, including potent cannabis compounds in higher concentrations compared to other forms of cannabis. It preserves the original flavor, fragrance, and valuable terpene profile of the cannabis plant. The intense flavors and aromas of live resin can enhance the overall experience for consumers.

How Should Live Resin Be Stored?

Live resin should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place such as a refrigerator or freezer to maintain its freshness and potency. Exposure to heat, light, and oxygen can degrade the quality of live resin over time.

Ashley Dellinger

Ashley Dellinger


Ashley Dellinger is a trailblazer in the cannabis and hemp sectors, serving as the Director of Innovation at The Hemp Collect. With a keen visionary mindset, she not only propels advancements in these industries but also showcases her versatility as a seasoned professional writer based in Oregon. As a collaborative force, Ashley works alongside leading brands, processors, and retailers to elevate industry standards. Ashley Dellinger's work not only sets new benchmarks but also inspires others to pursue excellence. For a closer look into her insights and experiences, connect with Ashley on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook.

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