What is Live Resin and Why Should You Try It

With so many new cannabis products emerging, it’s hard to keep up. One innovative form of cannabis concentrates has recently garnished tons of attention, especially among medical cannabis users. Live resin, which is often referred to as the “freshest form” of cannabis concentrate, is different from other concentrate products in many ways. Understanding this unique product, how it’s made, and all the added benefits it may carry will help you see why you should be using this magical stuff for yourself. 

What is Live Resin?

what is live resin why should you try it

Live resin is one of the newest forms of cannabis concentrates and is considered to be a form of Butane Hash Oil (BHO). It differs from other forms of BHO (and most concentrates) in multiple ways that make it more appealing for some users, especially those hoping to reap the many medicinal benefits associated with the cannabis plant. Unlike other concentrates, which are generally processed from dried cannabis flower, this concentrate is made using nearly the entire plant immediately after harvest. Making it requires expensive, high-quality equipment (which need to be operated by professionals), so it isn’t the type of concentrate you can make at home

To make live resin, the stalk, leaves, stems, and flower of freshly harvested cannabis plants are cryogenically frozen, and then blasted with Butane at temperatures below -20 degrees Fahrenheit. The butane-based extraction process removes all of the trichomes from the plant material, which includes the “full spectrum” of the plant’s cannabinoid and terpene profile. 

The collected material is then dried in a vacuum chamber at low temperatures, which allows sensitive terpenes (like Myrcene) to be better preserved. The resulting material is a concentrated, full spectrum cannabis product that contains more terpenes than many other concentrate formulation. Because the product is made from a fresher source (frozen, not dried cannabis) and contains the full spectrum of the plant’s cannabinoids and terpenes, many people consider it to be more “pure” and of higher medicinal value than other products. 

Live Resin Gives a Fresher Experience than Other Concentrates

what is live resin why you should try it terpenes

Though other types of cannabis concentrates are popular, live resin offers a unique sensory experience that is closer to smoking bud. Many concentrate products lose quite a bit of their terpene content during the extraction process. 

Terpenes are responsible for most of the flavor and aroma of the cannabis plant, therefore many concentrates have a “bland” aroma compared to cannabis flower. Live resin, however, maintains most of its original terpene content and is made from fresher plant material. Because of its fresh source, it also contains more water than other cannabis concentrates, making it a bit more viscous. When these characteristics combine, you get a concentrate product that offers the same fresh, skunky aroma and bold cannabis flavor that many smokers love. 

Medical Users Gravitate Towards Live Resin for Boosted Effects

what is live resin why you should try it

Further, many people believe that live resin offers boosted medicinal effects since it offers a cannabinoid and terpene profile that is closer to cannabis in its natural state. The increased terpene and cannabinoid contents are thought to lead to greater synergistic effects. Plus, many terpenes found in cannabis have been linked to their very own therapeutic effects. Though there are no studies yet to prove that this concentrate has any more medical value than other concentrates or cannabis products, it definitely yields some pretty significant psychoactive effects.

There are no arguments that live resin is a much fresher product, since comparing live resin to other BHO products is essentially like comparing flash frozen vegetables to canned. Many people comment on the tailored, detailed “high” they get from these products, too, which may be why it is sometimes considered the “cognac” of cannabis concentrates. 

How to Use Live Resin

what is live resin why you should try it

Though live resin is different from other types of concentrates in many ways, it’s consumed in a similar manner. The most popular way to consume it is with a dab rig (oil rig), and this is often considered the only way to reap the full potential of the concentrated cannabis product. However, dab rigs are not always convenient, since they require some extra tools and aren’t very discreet. The concentrate can also be added to some vaporizer models for reaping its benefits on the go. 

For users who have experience with concentrates, using live resin will feel like second nature. Anyone who hasn’t used cannabis concentrates before should use live resin with caution, starting with small doses until you know how concentrated cannabis will affect you. If you use other cannabis products with no issue, chances are you’ll have no problem with live resin, either. All in all, live resin is a high-quality, concentrated cannabis product that provides a flavorful, therapeutic smoking experience that all cannabis users can love. 

Takeaway

Live resin offers a unique experience compared to other concentrates. Its high content of terpenes, flavonoids, and other beneficial compounds make dabbing closer to smoking flower, but without the harshness often caused by combustion. If you enjoy a rich, flavorful concentrate experience, we recommend dabbing live resin — use lower temperatures to keep the flavor as vibrant as possible.

How to Use BHO Concentrates: Tips for Shatter, Budder, Oil, Wax & Live Resin

Have you ever tried dabbing? We highly recommend it! If you need to buy your first dab rig or dabber check out the Loto Legend for a fully electronic dab rig with the soul of a bong.

In order to get the most from this article, you should have a good grasp of what cannabis concentrates are and how they are made. To briefly summarize, there are two main categories in the concentrate world, solvent, and solventless extractions. Solvent-based extractions utilize potentially hazardous compounds like butane (all the concentrates below are butane-based), propaneCO2, and alcohol; whereas solventless extractions do not introduce foreign substances (except for water).

If you already know what’s going on and your preferences are dialed in, check out our secrets to taking the absolute best tasting dabtwaxing your jointspressing ice water hash and dry sift, or making rosin hash.

BHO has risen in popularity due to its potency, flavor, and variation in consistencies. Nearly all consistencies are possible with butane-based extractions: shatterbuddersapsugarsnap n’ pull, etc – but that does not mean one is better than the other!At the end of the day, the consistency of solvent-based cannabis concentrates varies greatly depending on a range of factors: the particular solvent used, the specific cannabis strain, growing conditions, curing environment, equipment used, purging process, and extraction technique. It is important to note that some of these factors are controllable, while others are not. QUALITY IS RELATIVE!

After copious amounts of trial and error, we’ve discovered some unique tips for how to maximize your butane hash oil (BHO) experience by choosing the right product for your needs. For instance, when dabbing outdoors, it’s easier to handle the budder consistency in a Pebble or other silicone container when loading a vaporizer, as opposed to, say, shatter.

Most of the consistencies listed below can be created with various extraction techniques, but this article will help you find the consistency of BHO that works best for how you like to consume cannabis. Despite the fact that each concentrate is referred to by its consistency, it’s important to understand that they are all the result of the same butane-based extraction technique. Most importantly, no one wants to cough up a lung when smoking or dabbing!

Pro Tip: If you’re going to bother with BHO as opposed to solventless extracts like dry sift and ice water hashlive resin is our recommendation. It’s going to have the best flavor and retain the most enjoyable aroma, making the most of the terpene profile of the cannabis it was extracted from. For tips on how to smoke dabs, click here. If you’re still learning, we recommend purchasing some essential weed accessories and a 420 travel kit in order to improve the experience.

Shatter

As the name suggests, shatter has a hard, smooth, glass-like consistency. This concentrate breaks easily into shards and is often referred to as being ‘stable’. Shatter is typically translucent (for those who place an importance on clarity) and very visually appealing. However, because shatter breaks so easily, it is arguably least forgiving to work with of all consistencies. A simple tap with your dabbermay send shards of concentrate flying across the room!

For this reason, we recommend using shatter in the comfort of your own home, as opposed to on the go, to prevent losing your stash. Many prefer to dab shatter as it can be difficult to load into certain vaporizers, but that’s not to say you can’t vaporize it.

It will be difficult to twax the exterior of a joint or blunt with the brittle concentrate; we suggest putting it inside the joint or blunt during rolling instead. When using shatter for edibles, make sure that you activate the cannabinoids via decarboxylation before combining with oil or butter.

Fun cannabis concentrate fact: shatter concentrates can be converted to budder by simply warming the concentrate on a hot plate, then whipping air into it.

Pro Tip: For easier handling, warm the tip of your dabber before sticking it into the shatter to break off a dab more easily.

  • Best suited for dabbing at home
  • Challenging consistency to handle, not recommended for beginner or outdoor use
  • Shatter shards can be mixed with flower inside joints or blunts before rolling

Budder/Wax

Wax, or budder, refers to cannabis extracts with a creamy, buttery consistency. It is also called crumble or cake batter. The consistency is comparable to soft wax and is much more forgiving to work with than shatter.

Perhaps the only downside to budder is that it is less visually appealing than some other consistencies. Budder can be vapeddabbedtwaxed (inside the joint or blunt), smoked, or used in edibles. Once again, make sure to activate the wax prior to combining with your oil or butter if you’re going to be using it for edibles.

  • Wax is more forgiving and easier to handle while on the go
  • Great consistency for vaporizer pens

Sap

Sap is a term used to describe the soft, viscous, sticky consistency of cannabis concentrates. This consistency is typically pliable, oily, and relatively easy to work with, albeit quite sticky.

We recommend storing sappy concentrates in parchment paper or a non-stick silicone container. Sap maintains the glossy visual appeal of shatter with a more forgiving consistency and is equally suited for use both at home and on the go. It can be dabbed and vaporized with ease, and because sappy extracts are pliable, they are easy to spread around your joints and blunts. Saps can also be incorporated in edibles once decarboxylation has occurred.

  • Sticky, but simple and forgiving consistency
  • Great for twaxing due to its pliability
  • Suitable for indoor and outdoor use

Snap N’ Pull

Snap n’ pull refers to concentrates with a consistency somewhere between shatter and sap (the two extremes).  If you’ve ever made hard candies or taffy at home, you might be familiar with the consistency. It can stretch or snap when pulled based on ambient temperature and amount of force used. More abrupt motions will cause the concentrate to fracture, while gentle movements will cause it to stretch.

This is one of our favorite consistencies to work with, as it is visually appealing, manageable to handle, and not quite as sticky as sap. Because snap n’ pull shares qualities of both shatter and sap, it is one of the most versatile consistencies discussed. It is the best consistency for wrapping clean, visually appealing snakes around joints or blunts when twaxing. It could even be turned into budder/wax if desired. It can be consumed inside or outside, in nearly every fashion: dabbedvaporized, smoked, or used in edibles.

  • The middle ground between shatter and sap
  • A very versatile consistency, and our personal favorite to work with
  • The perfect consistency for wrapping snakes around joints or blunts

Live Resin

The ‘sugar’ consistency of live resin is typically achieved when the starting material has some level of moisture present. This is most commonly the result of processing freshly harvested frozen plant material (as opposed to dried and cured buds/trim).

Live resin captures the aromas and flavors present in the living plant immediately after harvest, many of which would be lost in the curing process. Sugary live resin consistencies are visually appealing, easy to work with, and contain high levels of terpenes. However, due to the specialty nature of extracts derived from fresh frozen plant material, live resin is typically the most expensive form of BHO concentrate.

Note that this consistency can also be achieved using the main buds/colas of the plant as opposed to the trim – this is referred to as nug run. Both the live resin and nug run designations indicate the starting material as opposed to the extraction technique or consistency.

  • Live resin captures the unique flavors and aromas of fresh plants
  • Dabbing will deliver maximum flavor and effect
  • It can also be vaped, smoked, twaxed or used in edibles

Bonus: Propane Hash Oil (PHO)

Rising in popularity is the practice of using propane, or a mix of butane and propane, in an effort to create a less toxic and more terpene-rich extract. You will be hard pressed to find PHO in a consistency other than budder or wax; but assuming you don’t mind, PHO can be dabbed, vaporized, twaxed (inside), smoked, or used for edibles and topicals after activation.

  • An extraction technique with the potential for more flavor
  • Because the consistency is usually budder, PHO is great for vaporizer pens
  • Versatile enough for use in any consumption method

The Easiest Way to Make Shatter

We follow the High Times tried and trued method of #rosintech

Follow their step by step guide by grabbing:

  1. A hair iron, some parchment paper and weed are all you need.
  2. Set the iron to medium-low and put your weed in the parchment paper.
  3. Squeeze very hard for a few seconds.
  4. Collect the squeezed-out resin on your dabber.

Travel & Storage

Regardless of consistency, it’s important to store your BHO properly to preserve potency and terpene content. We like to use an air-tight, non-stick silicone container like the Pebble. It also ensures that your shatter doesn’t auto-budder over time. What do you keep in your 420 travel kit? Check out our 10 Essentials for Savvy Stoners here.

Did you know it’s now legal to take a vape pen on a plane? As long as you adhere to the TSA guidelines you can now bring your vape and all your favorite 420 travel kit essentials when traveling!

CBD Dabs – Isolates

Did you know you can achieve the same fast-acting results with CBD dabs?  CBD concentrates and isolates can be used in any dab rig or dabber to provide high doses of pure CBD for intensive symptom relief in minutes. Derived from organic, non-GMO, sustainably-grown hemp and batch-tested for quality, purity, and potency,  CBD isolate is exceptional and effective.

Shatter, Wax, Resin, and Rosin | What’s the Difference?

When you visit any high-quality dispensary for the first time, the choices are likely to be overwhelming. There are so many different ways to consume cannabis these days, from tinctures to topicals to edibles, and of course, smoking cannabis flower. One cannabis consumption method has a lot of variety on its own and tends to be the most confusing for new users: concentrates.

Cannabis concentrates are incredibly diverse, but are popular because they help users harness the full medical potential of the plant. Plus, concentrates are often a bit more conservative, helping smokers save money in the long run. Still, confusion about different types of concentrates and how they work prevents many people from taking the leap, so we’re going to settle the dust. What’s the difference in shatter, wax, resin, and rosin? Below we’ll cover it all, including how each one is made, the effects it produces, how you can use it, how long it lasts, and more.

Shatter

Shatter is one of the most popular forms of cannabis concentrates made through a butane-based extraction and is considered a form of Butane Hash Oil (BHO). The process involves taking dried cannabis flower and using butane to separate the trichomes (which contain all of the plant’s cannabinoids and terpenes) from the plant material. The trichomes are then processed into shatter, which carries highly concentrated amounts of these cannabinoids (like THC) and terpenes.

The resulting material is hard, but brittle, with a semi-transparent, amber color that gives it an appearance similar to thin peanut brittle. Shatter can be easily broken (hence its name) so that small portions can be used with a dab rig or other vaporizing device, or pieces can be placed inside a joint or blunt when smoking. Shatter provides fast-acting effects that are long-lasting, and many people prefer shatter to some other concentrates because it often contains THC levels at 85% and higher. Concentrates in this form are also well preserved and won’t degrade as quickly as softer concentrates and oils.

Wax

Wax is another form of BHO and is sometimes called Budder, named after its soft, waxy consistency and golden color. This form of concentrate often offers high potencies just like shatter, but degrades more quickly and isn’t considered to be as stable as hard-form concentrates. Therefore, wax needs to be used soon after purchase, as opposed to some concentrates that may hold their potency for months or years.

However, the soft consistency of wax makes it easier to work with for many users, since it can be easily separated into doses as needed (as compared to shatter, which is hard to portion because it breaks into unpredictable pieces). The strong, immediate effects are comparable to shatter and other BHO products.

Resin

Resin is a blanket word referring to several forms of the same thing. The most common way to hear this word used is in reference to the resin found in the bowls of pipes and bongs after smoking. This thick, blackish substance is a concentrated collection of trichomes that evaporate from the bud while smoking.

Technically, the term resin refers to all of the trichomes and sap-like material that covers the flower and sugar leaves of the plant. This resin is responsible for protecting the plant through its flowering phase to help the cannabis plant reach maturity, but it also contains all of the active cannabinoids needed to produce medicinal effects. When resin is collected from dried cannabis flower, it’s called kief.

Fresh resin (aka trichomes) can be used to make solventless concentrates, like dry sift or ice water extraction hash (pictured above). Additionally, resin in the form of kief can be added to bowls, joints, or blunts to boost the potency. Some users even scrape and smoke the resin from their bongs in order to utilize every bit of the THC from their stash.

Rosin

Rosin is one of the only forms of cannabis concentrate that can be safely made at home. Rosin refers to a concentrated cannabis solution that is formed when dry flower is processed with a combination of pressure and heat. Many people press rosin at home with a hair straightener, but some dispensaries offer a rosin pressing station where people can opt to use some of their freshly purchased flower to make rosin. Rosin is a thick, waxy substance that can be used on a dab rig or with some vaporizers.

Which Cannabis Concentrate is Best?

There are many types of cannabis concentrates, though there is no one concentrate that outweighs all the rest. Instead, choosing the best cannabis concentrate product for you depends on several factors, like your personal preference, budget, the materials you have (or would need to buy), your tolerance, and more. Cannabis affects everyone differently, so you’d probably need to try out each type of concentrate to decide for yourself it’s best for you. When trying new concentrates, go slow, as many are 20-100 times stronger than just smoking dry herb. For a little more insight on proper concentrate etiquette, check out these 10 rules for dabbing.

What about CBD Concentrates?

Great question! CBD concentrates like isolate and distillate have become quite popular, especially for those who live in non-legal states (because CBD can be purchase legally online). To make an isolate, the the individual CBD compound is separated from the hemp plant to make an extremely pure form of CBD — typically 99% CBD to be exact. We’re big fans of CBD isolate (pictured above), because it’s effective and can be smoked out of a dab rig, vaporizer, or loaded on bowls or in joints. We really like the 99% CBD isolate from CBDistillery (read our review or just buy it now).