These days, there are a ton of flower concentrates being sold in the market. Thus, it can get a bit confusing when it comes to choosing which one to buy. One particular area of confusion is determining the difference between live resin and cured resin.
Many still don’t fully grasp what differentiates live resin from cured resin. If this is true for you, you’ve come to the right place.
Live Resin vs. Cured Resin: What’s the Difference?
Resin concentrates come in two categories, live resin and cured resin. Here’s how these two variants differ:
Live resin has a runny consistency and a golden yellow color. It has a shimmery and crystalline texture. Cured resin, on the other hand, is stickier, with a slightly sugary appearance. Its color ranges from light golden yellow to amber brown.
These differences in their appearance are in part attributed to their respective modes of production. For instance, cured resin’s solventless extraction preserves most of the plant matter in the final product. Coupled with oxidation, the process produces dark gold cured resin.
2. Flavor profile
Live resin is a by-product of flowers fresh off harvest. This process yields a more elevated, bold flavor and aroma. Hence, it tastes almost exactly like a natural flower, giving the product a “full spectrum” profile.
On the other hand, cured resin is produced from dried plants. This method tends to result in a more subtle flavor. Extractors sometimes add botanical terpenes to enhance the product’s taste, providing more taste selections to users.
3. Starting material
As mentioned, live resin is derived from fresh flowers. Upon harvest, the flowers are chopped and flash-frozen to preserve their freshness. The freezing process requires specialized equipment and very low temperatures.
Meanwhile, cured resin is processed from dried and cured plants. Cultivators leave the plants in a temperature-controlled, dark room for the drying process to get completed.
The nugs, packed in airtight jars, are then stored in a climate-controlled, dark place. The airtight jars are opened a few times for the moisture to dissipate. Once the buds are completely cured, the extraction process begins.
4. Extraction process
Live resin is produced by first freezing the freshly harvested plant material. The frozen plants then undergo a solvent-based extraction process using a solvent such as butane, propane, or hash oil. The plant’s oil is extracted, and the live resin is heated in a vacuum oven.
Throughout the extraction process, the plants are kept below freezing temperatures. The final product is either packaged as is or added to carts for pens.
Meanwhile, the extraction process for cured resin requires more time. The harvested flowers are first dried, which requires humidity levels of 0% to 55% and temperature levels between 65℃ and 75℃. The drying process lasts from days to weeks.
Curing comes next, which can last up to 90 days. This stage is the most critical point in the extraction process of cured resin, affecting the final product’s potency and flavor profile.
The dried and cured resin undergoes either a solvent-based or solventless extraction process. The latter includes rosin pressing, dry sifting, and ice water extraction.
5. Amount of terpenes retained
Generally, live resin has high terpene content owing to the extraction process used to produce it. Such procedure renders a more potent effect and taste.
Cured resin could also be packed with high terpene content, provided the extraction process is done in the most careful manner.
Note that no one variant is better than the other between cured resin vs. live resin in terms of potency. It all comes down to preference. Nevertheless, it’s important to check the resin product’s psychoactive compound percentage to have an idea of its potency level.
6. Consumption methods
Similarly, cured resin is taken in through vaporization or dabbing. It can also be added to a packed bong or pipe bowl and can be mixed with a joint for added potency. It is likewise infused in various products, including tinctures, edibles, topicals, and capsules.
While cured resin’s extraction method is more extensive than live resin’s, the latter is still more expensive. This is primarily due to the complexity of the freezing and extraction processes involved in producing live resin.
In particular, the freezing process requires specialized equipment, pushing up the final product’s price. While it does not require a lot of time and labor, the process itself requires utmost sophistication.
Understanding the Difference between Live Resin vs. Cured Resin
To get the most out of your resin experience, it’s important to be able to make the distinction between cured resin and live resin. Keep in mind, however, that there’s no objective take on which one is better because it’s all just a matter of preference.
Those looking for a fresh aroma and bold, natural flavor may choose live resin. On the other hand, consumers seeking more taste selections are likely to prefer cured resin.