Considered one of the highest quality cannabis extracts, live resin or live resin sauce is a type of concentrate known for its intense flavor and scent. Live resin differs from distillate concentrates in that it is made from cannabis flower flash frozen right after harvest, rather than dried and cured. This helps maintain cannabinoids and terpenes, yielding stronger taste and aroma when consumed.
Cannabis Terpenes 101
To understand why people are interested in live resin, you must first understand terpenes. Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in cannabis and other plants. They give different strains of cannabis their unique taste and smell. More than 100 terpenes have been identified in cannabis and each provides a different set of benefits when consumed.
In addition to giving cannabis flavor and aroma, terpenes are a key component of the entourage effect. The entourage effect is the theory that terpenes, cannabinoids and other compounds found in cannabis are more effective or yield different results when consumed together.
The unique extraction process behind live resin preserves a greater degree of terpenes than other types methods. The high terpene content is why live resin provides a stronger taste and smell and an overall different experience.
How live resin sauce is made
Cannabis flower grown for smoking and distillate concentrates is dried and cured after harvest. Drying and curing happen over a period of weeks and help to prevent mold and dissipate chlorophyll, preserving some flavors and ensuring smoother smoke when combusted. However, this process can cause heavy loss of terpenes, which degrade over time and when exposed to heat, light and oxygen.
Live resin sauce skips the drying and curing process. Instead, freshly harvested cannabis flowers and their sugar leaves are flash frozen using dry ice or liquid nitrogen, preserving the terpenes, flavors and scent. As with distillate concentrates, cannabinoids and terpenes are extracted from the plant material using solvents but live resin extraction maintains sub-zero temperatures throughout the process.
Choosing the right live resin for you
A variety of cannabis concentrates are made from live resin sauce, including badders, jellies, saps, sugars, vape carts and waxes. Live resins tend to be more liquid than other types of concentrates because of the high terpene content.
Like other concentrates, you can consume live resin in many ways, depending on the form. It can be dabbed, vaped or added to the top of a bowl or joint. Keep in mind live resin is less discrete than some forms of cannabis because of the strong aroma when heated.
The THC content of live resin sauce is typically higher than flower, which usually caps out around 35%, and can be in the same range as distillate concentrates, up to 90% THC. Combined with the rich terpene content, live resin can create an intense experience. As always, the best practice is to start low and go slow.
Start with a small portion of live resin to understand the effects. And when discussing which live resin product to buy with your Union Chill team member, be sure to ask about terpene profile and effect in addition to THC content.
Storing live resin sauce
Because live resins are among the highest quality concentrates, they tend to be more expensive than distillates. On the other hand, a little bit of live resin goes a long way. Coupled with the fact that terpenes continue to degrade over time, some patients and consumers will purchase only a small amount of live resin sauce at a time to ensure they have the freshest, most flavorful product on hand. Whatever quantity you buy, protect your live resin from light, heat and air, storing it in a cool room or refrigerator in a sealed, light-proof container, so you can get the most out of your product.