The list of cannabis concentrates on the market seems to continue growing over time, which is great for consumers but can often make for a challenging and daunting market to navigate, especially for those who are new to cannabis extracts.
Many concentrates also have similar names, like cured resin and live resin, though that is not to say that they are the same. There are key distinctions to note between the two.
Before you take a guess during your next dispensary trip about what selection is best for you, it is helpful to learn exactly how cured resin and live resin differ, and that’s exactly what we’re here to discuss!
- All cannabis has resin, but it can be extracted in a number of different ways, resulting in a plethora of unique cannabis concentrates.
- The main distinction between cured resin and live resin lies in what occurs immediately after harvest: Cured resin is cured, or dried, before extraction while live resin is fresh-frozen before extraction.
- While the two concentrates hold distinct differences, they also share a number of similarities, and each may hold more appeal depending on the specific consumer and their needs.
What is Cannabis Resin?
All cannabis produces resin, even though it can be extracted and altered to varying degrees during extraction.
Resin refers to trichomes, the small, resinous outgrowths found on flower buds producing the sought-after active compounds we know and love — think cannabinoids like THC and CBD and terpenes, which are responsible for cannabis aroma and flavor and offer a number of specific effects on their own, among others.
Cannabis plants are typically harvested once trichomes reach maturity, ensuring buds have the greatest number of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other valuable compounds. After harvest, flower may then undergo an extraction process to concentrate these compounds into products like shatter, wax, budder, cured resin, live resin, and more.
What is Cured Resin?
Cured resin is a concentrate derived from cannabis that has been cured, which allows time for moisture levels to dissipate while simultaneously looking in cannabis compounds like cannabinoids and terpenes. Once the cannabis flower is fully cured, processors use a variety of methods such as heat, solvents, or pressure, effectively separating the resinous trichomes from buds, which results in cured resin!
What is Live Resin?
The main distinction between cured resin and live resin is that, instead of curing the flower, plants are flash-frozen, which helps to retain the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other cannabis compounds that can otherwise be lost. That fresh-frozen cannabis then undergoes a solvent-based extraction, with materials like propane and butane.
The end result is often thought to retain most of the original cannabis plant’s true essence, holding onto the maximum amount of flavor compounds and cannabinoids like THC, CBD, and more, offering a highly potent and well-rounded experience for consumers.
Comparing Cured Resin and Live Resin
The main distinction between cured resin and live resin is that cured resin goes through a drying and curing process, while live resin is immediately flash frozen. Though that is admittedly just the start of the conversation, as there are a number of other key similarities and differences between the two extracts.
The two concentrates tend to vary when it comes to consistency. Live resin often takes a thick, waxy consistency, and it’s overall a smoother product. Cured resin often appears more sugary or crystallized.
Both cured and live resin tend to be fairly high in potency, featuring plenty of major and minor cannabinoids. Live resin is considered to be a bit more potent, simply due to the flash-freezing process that retains more cannabinoids, terpenes, and other cannabis compounds that work together synergistically to enhance the overall effects.
This is not a fixed rule, so it’s best to confirm the potency of products by checking test results before buying.
Both cured and live resin tend to have fairly powerful flavor profiles as a whole, though consumers may find they prefer one over the other. Live resin’s flavor is often very bold, like the flower it came from, once again due to the flash-frozen extraction process. Cured resin still packs a tasty punch but tends to blend the flavors a bit more, resulting in an overall more subtle taste.
While you will surely find some exceptions, live resin, like live rosin, has a higher price tag simply because of the intricate and complex process a fresh-frozen extraction entail.
Diving into the world of cannabis, and concentrates specifically, can feel daunting, but a look at cured resin vs. live resin shows that these products often involve one or two key differences in the extraction process. These small but crucial distinctions result in the wide array of extracts available to concentrate consumers today. While broader education is steadily improving, staying informed is a key part of figuring out what products are the optimal fit.
Both cured and live resin are great options for cannabis consumers, so go forth with this knowledge and embrace the option that works best for you!