Article by Jennifer Jenka, Cannabis Life Network
With so many different types of cannabis concentrates, it can sometimes be hard to figure out the differences between them all. Here is an introduction to what live resin is and how to use it.
Live resin in a nutshell
Live resin is a high-quality concentrate often consumed by cannabis smokers using a dab rig, nectar collector, or vape pen. It is packed with natural flavours and cannabinoids and is considered the best form of concentrate available.
Live resin appears almost like a sugary paste and is typically a light-yellow colour to dark orange. It is often more expensive than other concentrates, but due to the high quality and high THC content (usually 80-90%), you need less live resin to achieve the same effects as you would with shatter, wax, or budder.
How is live resin made?
Live resin is extracted from cannabis plant matter that is flash-frozen after harvest. It is created from cannabis material that was not dried or cured. This method allows the natural terpenes to remain intact.
What are terpenes?
Terpenes are the aromatic oils that give cannabis its distinct flavours, such as pine, cheese, citrus, or berry. They are secreted by the same glands on the marijuana plant as the cannabinoids THC and CBD are, and so far, over 100 terpenes have been identified.
The closed loop extraction process
The live resin extraction process was developed during 2012-2013 by a team of growers from Colorado. After the plant matter is frozen, they keep it in that state until the extraction process begins. They do this to better preserve the active compounds by submerging the plant matter in liquid nitrogen or using dry ice.
The plant material then goes through a closed-loop extraction process using hydrocarbon solvents like butane or propane. During the closed-loop extraction process, the raw flower is sprayed with a pressurized solvent that separates the cannabinoids and trichomes from the plant matter.
In a closed-loop process, the solvent never comes in contact with air. Instead, they are contained in a chamber, and then the solvent is sucked back up by a vacuum pump and re-enters into the solvent tank where it can be reused.
After the extraction process, you are left with approximately 95% of cannabis oil, which needs to go through a 72-hour purge. With live resin, this can be done at room temperature inside a vacuum oven. This produces an end product with a THC content of 98%, which can then be ingested through various methods.
How to smoke live resin
There are many a few ways you can ingest live resin. One of the most common methods is by doing dabs. But vaporizing or using a nectar collector are also popular methods of consumption.
What is dabbing?
Dabbing has quickly become a favourite method of consuming marijuana concentrates like budder, sauce, live resin, rosin and oils. Dabbing uses highly concentrated cannabinoids and terpenes and often produces a delicious experience.
To dab, you use a glass rig, which can be purchased at most smoke shops. It looks quite similar to a bong but instead holds a titanium, quartz, ceramic bowl or glass nail called a banger. You then heat the banger with a torch or use an e-nail, which will heat on its own. You place your desired amount of live resin on a spoon-shaped dabbing tool and then begin the heating process.
Once you reached the desired temperature, you place a small dab (a small piece of live resin) into the banger and then inhale. NOTE: Do not try to pull out the banger with your hands. With a dab rig, you do not have to remove a bowl to inhale. It can lead to severe burns if not handled properly.
It may take some getting used to, as you have to determine how much live resin you should use and how hot you should heat your banger. If you overheat it, you will burn through your product. Or, if you don’t heat it enough, you will not activate the cannabinoids and terpenes. The optimum range is between 157 to 204 degrees Celsius, but try to aim for the lowest temperature first. Start with small dabs and work your way up to what size and temperature you feel work best.
Check out what you should know before purchasing dab rigs here.
What is vaporizing?
Whether using a tabletop vaporizer or a vape pen, vaporizing live resin produces excellent results in achieving a stellar high. It is also the most covert way to use concentrates as it produces no smoke, just vapour. Here too, you should only use a bit of live resin at a time.
If you are using a tabletop vaporizer, be wary of overheating the product and use the temperature control features at a medium to a medium-low setting. If it seems like you are not getting much when you take a hit, slowly raise the temperature by increments.
Vape pens are swiftly becoming more commonplace because they serve as an excellent means to use live resin discretely and while on the go. Most models look similar to their nicotine vaping counterparts.
First, open your vape’s chamber and place a small dab on the coil or the ceramic piece surrounding the coil, depending on your device. Put the top back on the chamber and haul on it. You can use a little more live resin than in a dab rig or vaporizer, but don’t go overboard, or you will not get the high you want.
What is a nectar collector?
A nectar collector is a long silicone or glass tube that can be heated at the tip with a torch, and then, sucking on the non-heated end, you lightly touch the hot side of the tube to a piece of live resin and inhale. Along with a vape pen, many people find that this method is the easiest on the lungs. A nectar collector is cheaper than a dab rig or vaporizer, and all you need is the tube, a dabbing tool, a torch and a jar of live resin.
Most people recommend using a glass tube because you can determine how much you ingest by sight, whereas with silicone collectors, you can’t see how much of a hit you are getting. Amazon has some nectar collectors. Be sure to check them out!