What Is Live Resin and Why Does It Matter?

Published on May 1, 2023

man smoking live resin vape

by Dan Ketchum

Sometimes, weed culture crosses the thin green line right into hype culture. And with the tech bros in one ear and the crunchy Birkenstock crew in the other, it can be hard to sort shit out. It’s especially hard when you’ve got one thing called live resin and another called live rosin nestled between 12 other buzzwords – like, who’s branding this stuff?

No worries, though, cause Tough Mama’s here to help you strike a balance between knowing your smoke and just smoking your smoke without straining your brain. Enjoy our slow-burning, smooth-hitting, BS-free breakdown of what live resin is, and why it matters to ganja enthusiasts like you.  

What Is Live Resin?

So what is live resin? Cutting right to the chase, it’s simply a cannabis concentrate, typically produced in oil form. And a cannabis concentrate is just a concentrated (yep) mass of the most active or enjoyed parts of cannabis, like THC or CBD. You’ve heard of concentrates like various oils for your vapes and the resins advertised on pre-rolls – we’ll dive into all of that in a bit.

One of the things that sets live resin apart is how it’s made, and yes, that is a segue.

How Live Resin is Made

Hello, and welcome to the “how it’s made” section we just set up in the last sentence. 

To get that live resin cannabis concentrate, you start with flash-frozen cannabis plants, which are weed plants frozen ASAP after harvesting, typically by way of liquid nitrogen or dry ice, like a sick high school Halloween dance. That plant is kept cool throughout the entire process of extraction, in which all the good parts of cannabis you want to put into a concentrate – psychoactive THC, chill CBD, flavorful terpenes, and such – are separated from the rest of the plant using a solvent like CO2, butane or propane. (Don’t worry, though, modern extraction processes ensure that no traces of solvent are left in the final product.)

Live Resin in Comparison

A lot of the time, concentrates are extracted from dried and cured weed. The main idea behind the flash-freezing method for live resin is to retain more terpenes – the natural chemical compounds that imbue each strain of weed of their distinct aromas and flavors – than those methods, which can sacrifice more terps during the extraction process. 

Here’s how it differs from other concentrates you’ve probably heard of, or seen at the dispensary.  

  • Rosin is an extract that’s made without using any solvents, just forces like heat and pressure.
  • Live rosin, like live resin, is extracted from flash-frozen cannabis.  
  • THC oils can encompass different kinds of concentrates, including live resin. They can be extracted in different ways, but end up as the oils in your tinctures, capsules, and vape carts.
  • Wax and shatter are more solid cannabis concentrates that are often enjoyed by dabbing. While wax can be sticky or sappy, shatter has a glassy, sugar candy-like consistency.
  • Crumble is a potent and affordable alternative to wax and shatter. Like those, it’s usually made with solvents, but has a more honeycomb-like, drier texture.   
  • Budder is another type of terpene-rich, solvent-produced concentrate, this time with a taffy-life feel.  

Live Resin In Your Life

OK, we’ve got all the abstract Google responses to “what is live resin” out of the way. So how does live resin actually factor into your life as a stoner? TBH, it may already be factoring in right now.

How You Use It

Because live resin concentrate has a smooth, saucy consistency (jury’s out on its saucy personality), it’s real common for it to show up in vape cartridges. But that also means it’s easy to micronize and mist onto cannabis flower, which is how you get those “live resin-infused” pre-rolls. Spoilers: we make both of those things and we’re gonna talk about ‘em in a sec.

You don’t have to do anything special, like set up a dab rig or anything, to smoke live resin – if everything’s on the up-and-up, it’ll be labeled loud and clear as a part of the weed you already enjoy, like “live resin vape carts” or “live resin-infused flower.” And after the fact, weed products with live resin don’t really impact the regular storage needs of your zaza.

How It Feels

Ideally, live resin concentrates with all those terps intact offer a fragrant, flavorful experience when you partake, retaining plenty of the original strain’s character. Because those terps are present, products made with live resin may also help facilitate the entourage effect, making for a full-bodied high. 

(P.S.: The entourage effect is the theory that your high is ultimately affected by the sum of weed’s parts, that the interactions between various cannabinoids (like THC and CBD) and other cannabis compounds actually strengthen the high.)

Get Curious

Like Mr. Rogers said, it’s good to be curious. Tough Mama believes that, and we believe in exploring, too. That’s why we’ve got Mini Mofoz pre-rolls and party hardy Yolo Shotz infused with premium Hi-Phi cured resin right alongside Live Resin Infused Hemp Blunts and Live Resin Vape Carts

Get curious, and see if that live resin life is for you – by trying a 1.6g Big Block indica blunt with a brain-smacking 37.42% THC content, a more euphoric, aromatic Mango sativa vape cart, or something entirely in-between. 

Cuz sometimes Tough Mama knows best, and sometimes, it’s your call.

Dan Ketchum splits his time between Dallas and LA as a freelance lifestyle, fashion, health, and food writer with more than a decade of experience. In cannabis, been fortunate enough to collaborate with Cannabis & Tech Today, FOCL, Vitagenne, Reign Together, Mistifi, and more.

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