Live Resin, What is it?

What is
Live Resin?

“Live Resin” is a term used to describe the cannabis oleoresin that is extracted through a hydrocarbon extraction process.

25 April, 12:00 - Published by Razia Hayden in NEC

The plant material used is from fresh, non-dried cannabis that is immediately frozen, whether used immediately or stored frozen until used. It is used to create a variety of products such as budder, shatter, sugar, liquid, rosin, diamonds and even distillate. Live Resin extractions contain greater terpenes percentages and higher ratios of THCa to THC than their counterparts but that is not necessarily a good thing.

It is important to note is that the higher terpene percentages that are within Live Resin are directly related to only one class of the most basic types of terpenes.

"The importance of cured resin cannot be overlooked. MonoTerpenes like Myrcene, Pinene, and Limonene,
although medically and therapeutically relevant are also flammable and very harsh at high
concentrations." - Dr. Daniel Hayden

"Okay, but, obviously Diamonds and Sauce are very high quality! High Quality starting material and proper extraction technique results in large clear diamonds. For this to happen impurities need to be removed, suggesting it to be of an even higher quality."

— Someone who doesn't know better.

Monoterpenes still make up for a large number of oleoresin percentages in properly dried and cured cannabis, however, they are more balanced with the other molecules and flavors present, because in properly cured cannabis, the excess of monoterpenes is lost in the easily volatilized water vapor and monoterpenes.

Cannabis Genetics and Hashish have been carefully bred and selected for it’s cured oleoresin qualities since the existence of man. The importance of cured resin cannot be overlooked.

MonoTerpenes like Myrcene, Pinene, and Limonene, although medically and therapeutically relevant are also flammable and very harsh at high concentrations.

Limonene and Turpentine are two monoterpenes that possess cleaning and solvent-like properties in high concentrations and are sold as such in abundance making it easy to create Monoterpene Rich products improperly. Dabbing or vaporizing these would be very painful and unpleasant. When cannabis oleoresin is cured, these monoterpenes find balance with the remaining chemistry in the oleoresin. Even though we routinely see concentrations of monoterpenes as high as 10-15% in HTFSE, they always remain pleasant and in balance with the rest of the oleoresin.

More terpenes are good. Plants with more terpenes are better. That being said, more of something is not always better. Potency (cannabinoids) is good too and needs to be in balance with the end extraction.

In cured flower, higher THC percentages are highly valued and desired and though 98% THC Distillate can be purchased, consumers prefer the flavor and complexity of cannabis over purified cannabinoids.

The entourage effect helps to create a better overall feeling, which is created through a balanced extraction.

The same goes for terpenes. 100% terpenes were a popular fad, but smoking 100% terpenes is not desirable, and the market rejected these products. Live Resin does have more terpenes than the previous methods for creating budders, sugars, shatters, etc., but they more basic and easily lost terpenes. So it has more terpenes than standard non Live products. And though these products come off the plant and out of the extraction amazingly fragrant, once placed into individual jars, they quickly lose that powerful shock value and end up tasting very basic.

Distillates and other Derivative Products.

It is true, large THCa crystals (Diamonds) are a result of live resin extractions performed on high quality fresh material. This does not mean the extraction is of a higher quality.

A THCa diamond is simply a large crystal similar to the difference between table salt and sea salt/sugar. Opinion on salt is that small finer crystals are a result of bleaching and manufacturing ‘processing’. The larger crystal in sea salt is formed ‘in nature’ or from a natural process that give the product a more authentic and natural feel. Both products are simply mostly NaCl, i.e. sea salt.

Crystal size will always come down to being compared to crystal size with gems and precious stones. Precious stones that are larger are very rare events of a long geological process.

In cannabis, larger crystals usually are a result of ‘over driving’ of the terpene portion of the oleoresin. When you concentrate oleoresin, the higher percentage molecules usually force out and dilute the smaller percentages of more complex molecules. An extraction containing extremely high amounts of one type of monoterpene will have the ability to form a THCa crystal larger with less inclusions. However, the liquid resin used to create these types of crystals is not stable or desirable to vaporize for a few reasons. First and foremost, large THCa crystals are slightly metallic in taste as well as devoid of complex terpenes and tasty flavonoids. The liquid portion in Live Resin extractions is very low in cannabinoids and very high in monoterpenes, creating again, a harsh and unpleasant experience.

"Lastly large inclusion free crystals of THCa are best grown in a secondary solvent like pentane, heptane, hexane, or acetone. Crystals are often grown free of typical virgin extract workflows and added to live resin monoterpene rich liquids in a later process.
Live Resin’s answer is to add the two together and dilute out the poor performance of them both. in order to create a more palatable product. "

— Dr. Daniel Hayden.

A large THCa crystal is a very poor product to dab. THCa itself when dabbed on a medium heat device is about 50% efficient in decarboxylating during vaporization. So when dabbing crystalline THCa sugar type products, a 50/50 ratio of THC to THCa is ingested. When a large crystal is applied to the nail, this ratio drops dramatically. The melting of the crystalline takes some time and does not provide enough time for efficient decarboxylation. The liquids that cover the diamonds are not complex and tend to be full of wax, so they also don’t provide an effective or even a truly flavorful experience.


Lastly Large inclusion free crystals of THCa are best grown in a secondary solvent like pentane, heptane, hexane, or acetone. Crystals are often grown free of typical virgin extract workflows and added to live resin monoterpene rich liquids in a later process. The answer has been to add the two together and dilute out the poor performance of them both in order to create a more palatable product.

Extractioneering products contain smaller crystals. We find these structures form when a product is cured and matured correctly. Multiple and quick nucleations of THCa until it finds equilibrium in the final extraction is critical to create a complete product. Smaller crystals hold together well when in contact with HTFSE providing a proper balance of liquid HTFSE and small crystalline THCa. When vaporizing this helps completely vaporize the product and decarboxylate the THCa crystals effectively.

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