Welcome to the third in a series of answers to queries directly from readers—all of which come in at exactly 420 words (out of respect to your time).
To set the mood, just listen to Cab Calloway tell you how it is…in 1932 (five years before cannabis became illegal in the United States).
— Gooey Rabinski
Today’s cannabis query comes from Michelle Benton, one of Alabama’s leading advocates for cannabis legalization and decriminalization. Michelle asks: “What is the difference between live resin and resin.” Great question.
Resin is the sticky substance produced by the trichomes of the plant’s flowers and sugar leaves. Trichomes are the nearly microscopic secretory glands of the mature female cannabis plant that are the source of all cannabinoids and terpenes and that consist of mostly resin. This gooey substance produced by the trichomes acts as protection for the cannabinoids and terpenes, shielding them from things like UV light or being gobbled by predators.
In fact, terpenes (which are responsible for the sometimes pungent aroma of cannabis) are an evolutionary defense mechanism employed by the plant to prevent predators, like insects and animals, from eating the flowers prior to their reproduction.
In some parts of the North America, resin is the name given to the black tar that builds up in one’s pipe if not cleaned on a regular basis. In actuality, resin is resin is resin, whether it has been combusted with a flame or not.
To learn more about resin, check out this article I wrote for WoahStork.
Live resin is a full-spectrum (also called “full-plant”) concentrated extract involving expensive laboratory equipment. It is a process by which a smokeable or vapable concentrate is produced from a freshly harvested cannabis plant.
But one doesn’t produce live resin using equipment found in their kitchen or garage. Why? Because this process involves cryogenic freezing (at temps below -292 degrees F) of the plant immediately following harvest. Also, live resin production typically involves the entire plant, not just the flowers.
The appeal of live resin is the fact that it supposedly captures a more robust and complete cannabinoid and terpene profile than other, more traditional extraction processes (such as BHO [butane hash oil] and CO2 extraction). Fans of aromatic terpenes gravitate toward live resin.
During the drying process, some experts have estimated that up to 60 percent of a plant’s terpene content is lost! Because live resin involves post-harvest cryogenic freezing of a plant, this loss is prevented.
For more about live resin, check out the piece I wrote for MassRoots.
All text and photos, unless otherwise noted, Copyright © 2003-2017 Gooey Rabinski. All Rights Reserved.
Gooey Rabinski is a technical writer, photographer, and compliance documentation specialist for cannabis businesses who has contributed feature articles to magazines and media outlets such as High Times, CannaBiz Journal, MERRY JANE, Emerald Magazine, Grow Magazine, Herb.co, The Kind, Skunk, Cannabis Culture, Whaxy, Heads, Weed World, Green Flower Media, Cannabis Health Journal, Green Thumb, and Treating Yourself.
He is the author of Understanding Medical Marijuana, available on Amazon Kindle.