A newer form of THC extraction is live resin: an extract made from plant material that hasn’t been dried or cured. Like sugar wax or shatter, live resin is a type of butane hash oil, originating from fresh cannabis plants that are cut and frozen immediately after harvest. The main objective of live resin’s production method is to preserve the unique flavonoids, terpenes, and aromas of the live cannabis plant. The extraction process is complicated, so it requires rigorous attention from cannabis professionals at every phase of development.
Live resin was first developed around 2011 by a small team of farmers in Colorado who used a BHO extractor that was modified to work at lower temperatures. This low-temperature technique of extraction allowed them to extract a significantly higher amount of terpenes from the concentrates compared to other methods.
The secret of live resin’s prized characteristics lie in its drying and curing process. When harvested, the plant endures several phases to ensure the preservation of perfection. The initial drying phase lasts between one to two weeks to remove a majority of the moisture while preserving the plant’s terpene levels. The “curing” process begins in the second phase, in which the buds are removed from the stem and stored in a sealed container; periodic openings are a crucial step to keep the buds moist and fresh—this is a rigorous process that lasts anywhere from two to eight weeks.
The reason live resin maintains so much of its original terpene and THC levels is because the flowers do not go through the decarboxylation process the plant, like many other extracts. The concentrated amounts of terpenes in live resin result in a therapeutic concentrate with powerful psychoactive effects as well as an enhanced flavour, aroma. Often referred to as the “champagne” of concentrates by cannabis enthusiasts, live resin provides a flavourful, euphoric experience like no other. Like any cannabis product, it is important to store your live resin in a child-proof, airtight container. Aficionados recommend keeping the concentrate at lower temperatures to maintain its rich flavour and consistency.