As we move deeper and deeper into the cannabis age, more and more people are becoming interested in what the plant can do for them, especially in terms of their health. And as people become more interested in cannabis products, they also become more interested in what’s actually inside those products.
We should note that the term “resin” is used in different ways by different people—some use it to refer to cannabis tar (i.e., the thick, sticky stuff left at the bottom of your bowl after smoking), while others use it to refer to hashish (a.k.a., hash)—a solid form of pure THC extracted from cannabis using ice water and various other methods.
WHAT IS RESIN?
Cannabis resin is the sticky, waxy substance that can be found on the leaves and flowers of a cannabis plant. It is also known as ‘hash’, ‘hashish’ or just ‘resin’. The color can vary from brown to black to golden, depending on how it’s been processed.
Resin can be smoked, eaten or vaporized. When smoked, it can be inhaled in a blunt or spliff, or in a ‘bong‘ (a type of water pipe). It can also be turned into an oil for use in electronic cigarettes.
The strength of cannabis resin depends on its content of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is the chemical responsible for most of cannabis’s psychological effects.
Hash oil is a resin extracted from the cannabis plant. It is often used by patients undergoing chemotherapy as it can help relieve symptoms like nausea, vomiting and pain.
WHAT IS LIVE RESIN?
Live resin is an extract made from fresh cannabis plants that have not been dried or cured. The plants are harvested at their peak ripeness and immediately put into the extraction process, which preserves more of the terpenes than any other form of cannabis processing.
This unique form of concentrate offers a complex flavor profile with an exceptionally strong high, as well as stronger medical benefits than most other extracts. While live resin can be consumed just like any other concentrate—such as dabbed or vaped—it can also be added to other products such as edibles or pre-rolls for an even more potent experience.
HOW IS LIVE RESIN MADE?
The first step in making cannabis live resin is to “flash freeze” the plant material immediately after it has been harvested. This process involves using liquid nitrogen or a similar cryogenic approach to bring the temperature of the plant matter down as quickly as possible, so that none of the cannabinoids or terpenes are lost or degraded during the extraction process.
This preserves the full flavor and aroma profile of the fresh sativa flower and leads to a final product that is much more flavorful than concentrates made from dried and cured material. Cannabis live resin typically has a higher terpene content than other concentrates because those terpenes are preserved throughout the entire process.
DOES LIVE RESIN DIFFER FROM OTHER CONCENTRATES?
In order to make other concentrates, like shatter or wax, indica flower must first be dried out—meaning its cannabinoids and terpenes have already started to degrade. To make live resin, though, the cannabis is flash-frozen before drying out. Because of this difference in production method, live resin is said to have a more authentic flavor that’s closer to fresh cannabis flowers.
LIVE RESIN VS CURED RESIN
The biggest difference between these two resins is the curing process (or lack thereof). When you cure your resin, you’re allowing it to dry until it becomes hard. Curing has many benefits: it helps prevent mold or fungus from growing on your plants, or on your harvested resins; it increases the longevity of your finished product; it helps develop flavors; and many other reasons. Live resin doesn’t go through this process—it’s kept fresh by being promptly frozen after harvest.
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