Originally Published September 17th, 2015.
When it comes to cannabis extracts, it seems like there is always some sort of hot, new, trending product that every dab-fanatic and concentrate connoisseur is trying to get their hands on. The latest trend in extracts is a form of shatter, or butane hash-oil (BHO), called live resin. (Read: Cannabis Concentrates: What is Shatter?)
While it is still a form of BHO, the main differences between shatter and live resin are the flavor profiles, terpene (the aromatic hydrocarbons found in cannabis) quality, texture, and consistency of the final products. The differences between shatter and live resin stem from how the plant matter is cured before it is put through the extraction process. Live resin uses fresh, frozen flowers that are taken from the grow before they have had the chance to cure and dry. Most other forms of cannabis concentrates such as shatter and wax are made from cannabis flowers that have gone through the normal drying and curing process.
So, what is all the rave about live resin? It’s all about the terpenes. Dabbers and extraction artists agree that live resin has a much fresher flavor profile. According to a study done at the University of Mississippi, fresh cannabis used in live resin has higher amounts of monoterpenes compared to the other terpenes found in the plant. Monoterpenes are light terpenes responsible for the fresh floral aroma of the cannabis plant that also give the live resin its fresh fruity flavor. Comparatively, BHO made from cured flowers contains about 2 percent fewer monoterpenes than live resin.
When it comes to texture and consistency, live resin is very different than any other cannabis extract. As you can see in the photos, live resin has a very bright golden color and a very gooey and granular consistency. This consistency makes the product difficult to handle because of the sticky and oily nature of the resin.
Due to the recent hype surrounding live resin, a gram can cost anywhere from $10-50 more than your average gram of shatter or wax. While the flavor profile may be full of more flavorful terpenes, there isn’t any evidence suggesting that live resin will get you any higher than your typical BHO.