With the variety of plants that inhabit our world, it should be no surprise that different plant extracts are known and used far and wide. These extracts – usually categorized as Terpenes – are aromatic and flavorful compounds that are desired for their therapeutic elements. Different plants yield different terpenes, each with its distinct appeal and purpose.
However, the type of compound extracted can be different depending on the extraction method as well as the raw materials’ quality. Of the different types of plant extracts in the market, live resin is known to be of the highest quality. It is highly coveted by Terpene manufacturers and consumers alike for the natural, unadulterated experience it offers.
But what are live resins in the first place, and how are they made? More importantly, how do they stack up against other Terpene products? Read on to find out.
What is Live Resin?
Resin is a substance that plants secrete as part of their defense mechanisms against insects and animals that feed on them. These resins are filled with the oils that are essential to the plant, and when in live resin form, they are absolutely delectable and true to form. Humans react to these substances differently, as many of the Terpenes in the resin can give its distinct aroma. More importantly, most people find their tastes and aromas rather pleasing.
Terpenes are extremely volatile and are sensitive to heat. Unfortunately, the most common types of extraction methods involve heat, which means that a large portion of the Terpenes in the sample are destroyed. This, in turn, reduces the sample’s potency and efficacy.
As opposed to most Terpene products that are either made synthetically or with dried and processed plant material, live resin is made from flowers and that have not been dried or cured. Instead, the plants are flash-frozen to keep them fresh and structurally intact right before processing, or just processed immediately.
Since fresh materials are used, most of the Terpenes in the plants are retained. In effect, live resins are more potent, aromatic, and flavorful – characteristics that Terpene manufacturers and enthusiasts absolutely love.
Live resin terpenes are soft and pliable substances with a clear to yellowish to amber-colored appearance. Many factors determine their consistency, but it is generally accepted that they are amazing. They have a wet texture and are extremely delicious. As such, using live resins usually requires only the finest products, like the ones available at sauce terps at medicalterpenes.com
Medical Terpenes has been placing live resin terpenes at the focal point of our operations for several years now because we (and our customers) appreciate the more natural terpene profile that it preserves and the more complex tastes and aromas they deliver.
How is Live Resin Extracted?
Cured and dried plant materials are the most common materials used to create most Terpene products. Not only is dried plant matter easier to ship and handle, but the drying process also decarboxylates the material. This process activates the raw compounds in the plant material into matter that our bodies can metabolize. It is also a lot easier to extract Terpenes from decarboxylated materials using solvents such as butane. However, a significant amount of Terpenes are lost during the drying process.
Since live resin is made only from choice materials, particular care is exhibited especially during the harvesting process to retain as many terpenes as possible.
The whole live resin extraction process starts as early as the harvesting phase. Once the plant’s flowers and leaves are cut, they are immediately flash-frozen at -321°F (-196°C) by dipping them into a barrel of liquid nitrogen. This procedure stops all of the plant’s metabolic processes and preserves its structure by preventing the formation of large ice crystals that may cause damage to its organic matter. They are also shielded away from light and heat to ensure that only the freshest material will be used in the extraction process.
With that said, particular care should be exercised when handling the flash-frozen plants as the freezing process will make the plant’s trichomes – the glands that excrete resins and terpenes – too brittle, which makes them susceptible to damage.
The frozen plant material then undergoes processing in a closed-loop extraction system. In this process, the frozen plant material is separated and the desired organic materials purified, flushing them out of the host material.
Since the plant material did not undergo any heating or drying processes, most carboxylic acids are still present in the material, which involves using extremely cold temperatures to extract the live resin from the material. This is why it is necessary to chill to store the biomass.
Advantages of Live Resin
Live resin is loved by Terpene manufacturers and enthusiasts alike. Here are some reasons why they do:
More potent than other Terpene products
Since particular care was taken to preserve the Terpenes during processing, live resin has a significantly higher Terpene level than other products. How significant is the difference? Some experts suggest that the Terpene profile is retained best using traditional processes, giving a highly pure live resin terpene.
With this, users can achieve quicker and stronger reactions using smaller doses. This is particularly helpful for people who use Terpenes as part of their treatment for nausea, stress, and anxiety. The high potency of live resin means that it can help alleviate these symptoms quicker.
Its high potency also increases the strength of the entourage effect. The effect is created when all of the different terpenes, cannabinoids, phytonutrients, and other compounds work simultaneously. This amplifies the therapeutic properties of these compounds, creating a reaction greater than the effects of each on its own.
More complex profile
While drying and curing plant matter is crucial in conventional Terpene making processes, they can remove or alter some of the inherent flavor profiles from the base plant material. The result is a Terpene product that lacks depth and breadth in flavor and aroma, which is hardly what nature intended it to be.
In contrast, live resin has more complex flavor and aroma profiles compared to isolated Terpenes as they are a full spectrum terpene product. The plant matter (especially the trichomes) remains largely intact right before the processing, retaining more of the plant’s original flavor profile. This complexity lends an additional depth to the flavors and aromas of live resin that terp connoisseurs enjoy.
Easier to store
Store your live resin as you would any other food-based product: away from light and heat and placed in an airtight container that keeps the moisture away. Doing so will ensure the longevity of your live resin.
The appearance and consistency of live resin evolves over time and is best used fresh. Protect it from the elements to retain as many of its original characteristics as possible. When exposed to air, it can dry out the concentrate and make it harder. Apart from that, any moisture within the container should promptly be removed as this can make for a perfect breeding ground for mold. Mold inhalation can cause serious respiratory illnesses that may require medical attention to treat.
You’re not ingesting smoke
While dabbing – the primary method of consuming live resin – might seem like smoking at first glance, it actually isn’t. Since the substance is already free from fibrous plant materials, the fumes emitted in dabbing do not contain substances present in smoking like tar, nicotine, and other toxins.
Disadvantages of Live Resin
It’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Live resin has some drawbacks that may make it unsuitable for some. Live resin terpenes are more expensive than botanical terpenes, but they are definitely worth the price.
Needs expensive laboratory equipment
Some Terpene products – like rosin – can be made from home cheaply and safely using ordinary kitchen tools and basic procedures. The dried raw materials are also easier to make and to handle for home processing.
Meanwhile, it is not advisable to make live resin on your own as it is too complex for most to achieve. It also requires expensive laboratory equipment. Moreover, these processes require special training and experience to get the most out of extraction. So, we don’t recommend trying this at home, even if you have the resources to do so.
It can get expensive
Live resins are still a new type of product in the market. And as with anything new, technological advances need to be made to make the products more widely available to the market.
Since the whole manufacturing process of live resins requires expensive infrastructure, equipment, and materials, as well as well-trained extractors and material handlers, it should be no surprise that live resin is relatively more costly to manufacture than other Terpene products.
Moreover, the extraction process yields fewer concentrate in grams than more conventional methods, which is why live resin prices cost more per gram than other Terpene products.
It may be too strong for new Terpene users
Live resins contain extremely high levels of Terpenes, which means that results can be felt quicker. Moreover, the effects last longer compared to other Terpene products. High potency is the defining characteristic of live resins – and enthusiasts absolutely love them for it. However, if you are new to the world of Terpenes, you may want to look for a less potent type of concentrate that suits your tolerance level.
When trying out live resin terpenes for the first time, you should start with very small amounts and work your way up. You should be mindful of the potential side effects you may experience, considering how potent it is. Beginners who consume too much too quickly may experience upset stomachs, shakiness, drying of the mouth, as well as anxiety and discomfort – symptoms that are counterproductive to the Terpene experience.
Understanding Live Resin
As with any new technology, live resin products will still need more advancements and innovations before they can be made widely available and accepted in the market. However, with more people becoming aware of the advantages of live resin terpenes, the future seems bright.
With that said, you shouldn’t jump on the fad and start using live resin terpenes straight away. Remember that potency is a double-edged sword, and you should learn how to handle it before moving on to stronger stuff. You should always arm yourself with the right knowledge before deciding on what type of extract to get.
The world without terpenes is a dull one, so let our organically grown Live Resin Terpenes brighten up your world with their delicate aroma found only in the freshest flowers. If you want to experience the benefits of live resin first hand, make sure to visit Medical Terpenes today for a selection of high-quality, live resin extracts.