The Science of Live Resin: Calculated Concentrates for the Cannabis Connoisseur

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There’s nothing quite like Live Resin. From its terpene-rich profile to its full-spectrum potency, Live Resin delivers an experience unlike any of its concentrate counterparts. Experimented with by Kenneth Morrow in the early ‘90s, the technique was perfected and the term officially coined by Colorado hash-pioneer Kind Bill in 2013. Since then, the craze has caught on amongst extractors and connoisseurs alike, but the question remains: What exactly is Live Resin?

The Science of Live Resin: Calculated Concentrates for the Cannabis Connoisseur

The term ‘Live Resin’ refers to a wet plant extraction method, similar to many water-purified hash techniques, with one key difference: the freshly cut, non-cured flower has been flash-frozen. This single component defines the process by preserving the integrity of the living plant the moment it’s cut, ensuring every terpene (naturally occurring plant resin) and cannabinoid (chemical compounds, including THC and CBD) are protected until the moment of extraction.

To discover more about this amazing process, I visited the extract experts at Firebrand to see how they create some of today’s truly amazing Live Resin. “After cutting the flower fresh from the plant, it is literally run to the freezer, where the buds are flash frozen in a Cryobath of Liquid Nitrogen,” explains owner Rudy. Calibrated precisely to a nonabrasive -10° Celsius, the process captures the quality of the plant in its live state, hence ‘Live’ Resin.

The Science of Live Resin: Calculated Concentrates for the Cannabis Connoisseur

Packed and stored in sub-freezing temperatures, the preserved flower awaits BHO (Butane Hash Oil) extraction until it’s once again run from the freezer to the lab, where it’s loaded into an extraction vacuum and saturated with butane and allowed to dewax for three to four hours. Once purged from the solvent tank, “the butane is recovered in a collection vessel,” and “we’ll be left with just the product,” says Chief Extractor Terp.

The Science of Live Resin: Calculated Concentrates for the Cannabis Connoisseur

Yielding a mere two to four percent of its original weight, hence the high price point, the now Live Resin is still too volatile and must self-purge any remaining CO², coming to rest without agitation and allowing natural nucleation to take place. The THC molecules crystalize, separating while remaining suspended in a viscous, pungently aromatic terpene oil that resembles an exquisite raw honey fresh from the comb.

With no room for error, this delicate labor of love requires patience and attention to detail. “The most important part [of] good Live Resin begins with good quality flower,” emphasizes owner Miles. By “freezing it immediately. . . you’re just suspending that plant in time from the moment it was alive.” The result is an unparalleled product. Despite some variations in the process, one thing’s for certain: never settle for less than ‘Live’.

The Science of Live Resin: Calculated Concentrates for the Cannabis Connoisseur

 

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