What is Live Resin?

Liz Filmer
01 Jan 2024

Of all the types of cannabis concentrates or extractions, live resin is relatively new. It has become popular as it preserves the flavours and aromas of the plant better than other extractions and is cheaper and easier to make. Live resins tend to have a more complex terpene profile and deliver a more layered experience.

What is live resin?

Live resin is a malleable concentrate, existing somewhere between a wax and a sauce and varies from light yellow to white. Like all concentrates, it is very sticky. 

Live resins may differ in consistency, taking the form of saps, sugars, or jellies. The amount of terpenes and the type of terpenes present in the resin can affect viscosity. Variations will also occur due to the extraction processes failing to catch all terpenes. Live sugar, for example, is more crumbly and, as a result, is thought to contain fewer terpenes. Concentrates can also be altered after extraction to create different consistencies.

How is live resin made?

Live resin differentiates itself from other cannabis concentrates because it is created with cannabis plants that are frozen immediately after being harvested. The plants are frozen throughout the extraction process, skipping the drying, curing, and trimming phases.

The drying and curing processes can devastate the terpenes in trichomes, which cover the buds and surrounding foliage, and moisture and chlorophyll leave the plant. 

By freezing the plant directly after harvest, trichomes are conserved in live resin. The plant maintains its valuable terpene profile, authentic flavour, and fragrance throughout the extraction process and into the end product.

The frozen plants are then put through an extraction process using butane, propane, or another solvent. After extraction, the live resin is heated in a vacuum oven and packaged as is or added to vape cartridges.

Dabbing is probably the most popular way to consume live resin.  Live resin can also come in disposable cartridges like vaping distillate. You can also put live resin in a bowl, joint, or blunt for an additional hit.

Keep live resin cool in an air-tight container, preferably in a fridge, to preserve its terpenes and retain its flavour and aroma.

How much does live resin cost?

A few years ago, live resin was a new exclusive product and, as such, was found only in specific connoisseur markets at premium prices of $100 per gram or more. Although live resin is still more premium than other concentrates, prices are now much more affordable,

At the budget end, live resins generally sell for $20-30 a gram, but they can exceed $50 on the high end.

More on this topic from Soft Secrets:

The rise of Dabbing

Water Hash 101

Liz Filmer