Author: Autumn Lopez

Long gone are the days when flower reigned supreme. Today’s cannabis comes in a plethora of forms – budder, cartridges, tinctures, elixirs. The sheer volume of products available can make stocking your stash jar overwhelming. So, you may be left scratching your head when it comes to Live Resin products. What is Live Resin? How is it different from regular resin, and is it right for me? We sat down with Cresco, an industry juggernaut in the world of concentrates, to talk about their flagship product, Liquid Live Resin, and what makes it so unique.

First Off, What Are Concentrates?

You may have heard people throw around terms like “dabs,” “oil,” or “wax” – usually referring to some form of an orange/yellow substance. These are some of the many forms of cannabis concentrates.

Concentrates are resinous substances extracted from cannabis flower that contain a highly potent quantity of terpenes and cannabinoids, like THC and CBD. Some concentrates exceed 80% THC, as compared to flower, which tends to range below 35% THC.

Concentrates deliver large doses of THC to the body quickly, an enormous appeal to consumers, especially those with a high tolerance. Concentrates also tend to have a much subtler scent than flower, which makes them ideal for stealthy consumption.

What is Live Resin?

First, let’s break down this term into two parts – “Live” and “Resin.”

The term “Live” refers to a concentrate produced with fresh or fresh-frozen flower, as opposed to flower that has been dried and cured. Why is this important? Well, the terpene and cannabinoid content of flower is at its highest immediately after harvest and degrades naturally over time. So, using fresh bud helps preserve these essential compounds, enhancing the flavor and potency of Live Resin.

As Olivia Thompson, Account Executive at Cresco Labs, explains, “The goal of Liquid Live Resin is to be as close to the original experience of actually smoking flower…so there’s an emphasis on purity…quality, and…portability.”

“Resin” denotes the process of extracting the concentrate from the cannabis flower. There are two main categories of concentrates: rosin and resin. Rosin is made using a solventless extraction method in which heat and pressure expel the concentrate from the cannabis flower. On the other hand, resin is made using a solvent-based extraction method to separate the cannabinoids and terpenes from the whole bud flower. We’ll dive into this more later.

Live Resin comes in various forms, from Budder, Sand, Shatter, Cartridges, and more! A unique feature of Cresco’s Liquid Live Resin, in particular, is that it’s made using a single strain of cannabis.

“[Using] single-source flower is extremely important because of its consistency. The consumer knows what they’re buying. They know what the effects [of the strain] will be… It also goes back to the original goal of the Liquid Live Resin, which is to give as much of the original flower experience as possible,” says Olivia.

Liquid Live Resin: How It's Made

In general, concentrates, including resin and rosin, are made by collecting a cannabis plant’s trichomes – microscopic hair-like compounds surrounding a bud. These trichomes produce and store resin that contains cannabinoids and terpenes, which are the substances that get you high and flavor your cannabis. If you’ve ever seen sugar-like crystals coating your flower, that’s the trichomes!

After separating the trichomes from the rest of the flower, these resinous structures are further processed using various techniques and combined to create a concentrate.

Liquid Live Resin is made using a solvent, in this case, butane, in Cresco’s patented closed-loop extraction process to isolate the trichomes from the other plant matter. Cresco’s team starts by freezing high-quality flower immediately after harvest in a cryogenic freezer to preserve the essence of the live plant and lock in those cannabinoids and terpenes.

Once frozen, the flower is milled or broken down and placed into an extraction container. The flower is washed in a super chilled liquid butane solution to isolate the trichomes from the bud. This trichome-infused solvent is then collected in a separate chamber, and the butane is boiled off and recollected to be used again in future extractions.

The remaining trichomes form a cannabis oil that is further refined to ensure all of the solvent has been removed. As Olivia explains, “Our extraction process does utilize solvents to isolate the cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant. However, the purification steps that follow meticulously remove solvents from the final product to ensure that any residual levels are significantly below the strict safety regulations established by the state. Moreover, every batch of Liquid Live Resin undergoes rigorous third-party testing that evaluates potency and purity and ensures the absence of any solvent residues.”

This oil then undergoes Cresco’s patented activation process, which decarboxylates the oil and prevents it from solidifying into a sugar or wax-like texture. Achieving the hallmark liquid state of Cresco’s Liquid Live Resin is essential to prevent the cartridges from clogging.

Should You Try Live Resin?

Live Resin is an excellent product for those who love the experience of smoking freshly harvested flower with the potency of high-quality concentrates. It balances the sensory experience of consuming flower and the kick and convenience of concentrates. 

As Olivia puts it, “I recommend it to anyone who wants a more convenient way of consuming, but not give up the true essence of the flower…You still want that flower experience. You want to taste what the flower would smell like. You want to have an idea of what that flower would be like if you held it in your hands – that’s the kind of consumer that should try Liquid Live Resin.”

In a world where cannabis options abound, Live Resin is a game-changer, blending the freshness of newly harvested flower with the punch of top-tier concentrates. Liquid Live Resin by Cresco is a great example of the wonderful benefits Live Resin has to offer. With its cutting-edge extraction process, Liquid Live Resin captures the essence of the flower without sacrificing potency and purity.

Check out our menu to discover our collection of Live Resin products, and keep an eye on our social media for in-store pop-ups for your chance to meet directly with Cresco and other vendors about their products! Cresco will be at Gage on March 1st, 2024, to chat all about their Liquid Live Resin cartridges. Stop in on Friday, March 1st, and get 2 for $40 on their 0.5g Liquid Live Resin carts. 

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