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ALL About Live Resin Cannabis Concentrate

Live resin is the “new kid on the block” of the concentrate world.  Instead of processing dried, harvested buds, Live Resin is made from freshly harvested plants.  This, reportedly, provides fuller terpene profiles, resulting in a better tasting concentrate and increased medical benefits.

Cannabis concentrates are nothing new.  From dry sift and bubble bag hash, to shatter rigs and vapes; the process is basically the same.  Dry and/or cure your buds, and then remove the trichromes from the plant matter.  Live resin is different, because it is made from fresh plant materal, that is flash frozen, right after harvest.

Properly done, live resin tastes and smells amazing.  Often, maintaining the exact terpene profile of the parent plant.  That means your Sour Diesel live resin smells, and tastes just like your Sour Diesel plant.  This makes for an unique extract, and unique translates into more expensive when talking concentrates.  That said, live resin is as fresh as it comes with concentrates.

Freeze in the Flavor

Soon after harvest, the buds are removed from the stems, and placed into industrial freezers capable of intense subzero temperatures.  We’re talking Arctic cold!  Temperatures are usually kept below -38 F.  This flash-freeze, locks in the cultivar’s unique terpene profile responsible for it’s flavor and medicinal attributes.  This also has the added benefit of making the trichrome glands hard and brittle, which makes them easier to separate from the plant material.  

Typical extraction requires a solvent(often butane) to remove and absorb the yummy crystals from a bud.  Then you have to remove the solvent from your solution.  What you’re left with is, a sticky oil/wax that’s LOADED with THCA crystals, just waiting to send you to the moon.

This method is becoming more and more popular with growers, as freeze drying removes the stringent temp/humidity requirements of traditional drying methods.  The harvest of 2019’s outdoor California crop, saw the largest percentage of fresh frozen plants ever.  Some smaller farms decided to freeze their entire harvest, and, one grower in Cali, chose to freeze 8,000lbs!!!

Sub-zero Closed Loop Extraction

Under normal temperatures, butane dissolves into water, making it more difficult to remove the trace of your solvent(Butane). Ask any grower, and they’ll tell you, a cannabis plant is mostly water.  Giant buds dry up to a fraction of their ‘wet’ weight, as buds are often 90% water!!  Well, that’s a lot of water to dissolve your THCA loaded Butane, and you are sure to lose a fair amount of the Goodies.

Fortunately, if we keep the temperatures low, this isn’t an issue.  If butane is chilled to sub-zero temps, it can’t dissolve into water.  This makes for an easier separation, leaving us with a very clean, and very Potent cannabis extract.

The process is fairly basic.  Super-chilled liquid butane is forced into the chamber that holds all the frozen plant material.  This sub-zero, butane absorbs all that goodness, the Terpenes and Cannabinoids, and that solution travels to a different chamber to be de-fatted.  This, basically, means they remove any plant waxes or lipids(fats) from the butane solution.

From there, it’s into the collection chamber, where the butane is vaporized under vacuum, and we are left with delicious Live Resin.  The butane gas is then put back into liquid form, ready for the next extraction


Better Tasting Cannabis Extract

Without going too deep into the science behind Terpenes, it is important to understand their role in all of this.  Terpenes, are responsible for most of the Odor, Taste, and many of the Effects of Cannabis.

It has been said, that THC content is the engine, but the Terpene profile is the steering wheel. There are over 100 known terpene compounds in the various weed strains, and different one’s have their own effects.  

Here’s a few examples:

  •  Myrcene is the most common terpene found in cannabis, and it contributes to the the ‘chill’ effects of certain strains.  Weed high in myrcene, will have a more sedative effect, like a muscle relaxer.  It is commonly found in Hops used in beer making, and smells similar to cloves.
  •  Limonene is found in the citrus fruits, and is mainly responsible for that ‘LEMON’ in your Lemon Haze.  It is known to have anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects.  I personally think strains high in Limonene are great when you have a headache.
  •  A-Pinene, or, Alpha-pinene, has clear anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, and it helps improve memory.  This terpene can be found in Sage and Rosemary, which have been used in medicine for thousands of years.  You know this smell…..think pine tree.

Unfortunately,  up to 60% of your terpenes won’t survive the drying and curing process, meaning less flavor on your buds.  Next to NO terpenes survive the dry/cure AND Extraction processes.  That’s why your vape pen doesn’t really smell like weed.  Although, many companies, are adding synthetic terpenes to their oil cartridges to combat that loss of flavor.

Buds for Live Resin are never cured, and the flash freezing ‘locks’ in their terpene profile.  So, all those limonene/Pinene/etc.  molecules won’t dissipate into the air.  This should lead to better smelling, better tasting, more medicinal extracts as they maintain their natural terpene make up.

Pros and Cons of Live Resin


  • Extremely high concentrations of THC, usually in the 65-95% range
  • Enhanced flavor
  • Live Resin maintains the natural terpene profile
  • Like all cannabis extracts, you only need a small amount- “a dab’ll do ya”


  • Live resin is expensive.  Due to the expensive laboratory equipment, training required, and regulatory hurdles, live resin is much more expensive to make.  Therefore, it’s more expensive to buy.
  • Making live resin can be very dangerous.  Butane is extremely flammable, Sub-zero temperatures can instantly cause frostbite, and high pressure systems could explode. 
  • You can’t do this @ home.  That expensive equipment, the difficulty, and dangers of this extraction will keep this out of the hands of diyer’s and small extractors.
  •  Did I mention it’s more expensive?  Seriously though, I’ve seen Live resin go for double of some other extracts, and that’s if you can get it.  Unless you’re in a state/country with legal cannabis, you probably don’t have access to this yet.
Make Your Own Live Rosin @ Home!! Check here for the Latest Amazon Price.
What's Next for Cannabis Extracts?

Live Resin extract is one of the latest in a long line of cannabis extracts, stretching back thousands of years, and it definitely has it’s merits.

While it is more dangerous and complicated to produce, and much more expensive than hash/shatter/wax, you should try Live resin if you get the chance.  As legal cannabis creeps around the globe, it will become easier to get your hands on this stuff, and the price will drop over time.

The rate of evolution of extracts has gone parabolic as legalization spreads.  There’s always something new.  My current favorite is, Live ROSIN.  It’s easier to make, has the benefits of live resin, and is completely SOLVENT-LESS.  Rosin can be made right at home with a rosin press.  Though, I’m sure someone creative is working on the next big cannabis extract, right now.