Scoop of live resin on a small brown stick

What Is Live Resin & How Is It Made?

For cannabis connoisseurs that want the full terpene and cannabinoid experience when they consume marijuana, live resin is a must-try. Its rich flavors and aromas combined with its versatility make it one of those cannabis products that just about anyone can enjoy. In this guide, we’re going to talk all about live resin, answering the questions:

  • What is Live Resin?
  • How is Live Resin Made?
  • How Do You Smoke Live Resin?
  • Live Resin vs Cured Resin?
  • Live Resin vs Live Rosin?
  • Live Resin vs Distillate?
  • What Are the Pros of Live Resin?
  • What Are the Cons of Live Resin?
  • FAQs About Live Resin

What is Live Resin?

Live resin is a cannabis concentrate that is made using fresh, flash-frozen marijuana flower.This process allows live resin to preserve its terpenes—the compounds and molecules that contribute to the entourage effect—creating an aromatic and flavorful experience whenever you partake. 

How is Live Resin Made?

Live resin is made using the same solvent-based process as many other concentrates, but the key difference with live resin is that the extraction is performed on flash-frozen marijuana. It is believed that this preserves the plant’s freshness (and the cannabinoids and terpenes).

When it’s time for extraction, the flower is thawed, and the solvent is cooled to -40℃/℉ temperatures. Then, the extraction process is started. When it’s time to purge the solvent, the temperature is again kept low to preserve heat-sensitive terpenes.

How Do You Smoke Live Resin?

Cannabis resin is one of those concentrates that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways, making it friendly to most cannabis enthusiasts. Here are some of the ways you can smoke live resin:

Dab: To dab live resin, you’ll need a dab rig and torch. Heat your nail (not too hot) and place a small amount of product on it. The live resin will be heated into a vapor that you can consume.

Vape: Live resin can be purchased in a cartridge just like CO2 oil. This cartridge is simply attached to a battery, which heats the resin and allows you to inhale the vapor.

Infused Pre-Roll: For cannabis enthusiasts who enjoy pre-rolls, live resin can be added to the end of a pre-roll or along the sides of it, so as the pre-roll is consumed, you get both the effects of the flower and the live resin.

Add to Pipe: There are two ways to enjoy live resin in a pipe. You can add the live resin directly to a bowl and heat it (though this can get messy compared to a dab rig), or you can add a little bit of live resin on your ground flower in a pipe and consume it that way.

What’s the Difference Between Live Resin vs Cured Resin?

There’s one big difference between live resin and cured resin (or just resin)—live resin is made from flash-frozen cannabis and cured resin is made from dried, cured marijuana flower. As we’ve learned more and more about terpene science, there are some cannabis connoisseurs who suggest that both live resin and resin offer unique terpene profiles that can and should be enjoyed. 

For example, live resin preserves monoterpenes within the flower that give the marijuana its unique scent and flavor. Some researchers argue that cured resin does the same—only with a more biodiverse terpene profile. This is because cured resin contains diterpenes, triterpenes, and sesquiterpenes that also have unique properties you won’t be able to appreciate in live resin. 

So what does all that mean? It means if you love terpenes, don’t rule out cured resin in favor of live resin, or live resin in favor of cured resin, because you could miss out on a unique terpene experience.

What’s the Difference Between Live Resin vs Live Rosin?

It can be hard keeping the different resins and rosins straight, but live resin and live rosin are easy to distinguish. Live resin requires solvent-based extraction techniques to be produced, and live rosin is made using solventless extraction.

Learn more about the difference between live resin and rosin with our guide.

What’s the Difference Between Live Resin vs Distillate?

One of the reasons live resin is so loved among cannabis enthusiasts is that it has both terpenes and cannabinoids in it. This ensures a flavorful, scentastic experience. Distillate, however, is typically a concentration of a single cannabinoid—commonly THC. Distillates do not have any flavor or aroma unless terpenes are added back into them.

What Are the Pros of Live Resin?

Whenever a cannabis enthusiast tries a new product, they like to know where the pros stand versus the cons. In this case, the pros of live resin are:

  • Live resin is made in such a way that the flavors and aromas of the cannabis plant are preserved.

  • Live resin tends to have a higher potency, which many people consider a benefit, but some may call that a disadvantage.

What Are the Cons of Live Resin?

Of course, with any cannabis product, the good can sometimes come with the not-so-good. While your perspective on either depends on your preferences as a cannabis enthusiast, this is what we hear most often as the cons of live resin:

  • Live resin can be quite potent, which might not be what some cannabis consumers want from their experience.

  • Because live resin requires expensive equipment and materials to be made, it tends to be more expensive than other concentrates. This means that it might be outside of some cannabis consumers’ budgets.

Answering FAQs About Live Resin

There’s always more to learn when it comes to live resin. Here are a few frequently asked questions we’re regularly answering:

How do you store live resin?
The best way to store live resin is the same way you store your concentrates—keep it out of heat, light, humidity, and open air. This allows your live resin to keep its moist texture while preserving the cannabinoids and terpenes. We recommend using a silicone container because it’s significantly easier to get concentrates out of that versus glass.

Why is live resin usually more expensive?
Making live resin is expensive. It requires solvents, state-of-the-art equipment, and a lot of time. These factors all add up to higher costs for cannabis consumers.

Where did live resin originate from?
A Colorado native, William Fenger, wanted to preserve the rich smells of the marijuana plant that were often lost once the plant was cured. His first experiment involved a flash-frozen leaf and butane hash oil. The result? Live resin.

Try Live Resin

Live resin is one of the many cannabis products you can find at your favorite dispensary. If you’re not sure where to find it, or if you have the right tools to consume it, talk to one of our cannabis experts. They can answer your questions and help you find the right products for your needs.

Recreational cannabis is not available in all states. Cannabis is for medical use only and may only be used by certified patients in Ohio and Pennsylvania. State laws impact what dispensaries can and can’t sell to recreational customers and certified patients. Not every type of product, consumption method, dosage form, or potency mentioned on this blog will be permitted in all locations.