Let’s face it, cannabis concentrates are today more popular than any other cannabis products. They have taken the cannabis industry by storm, becoming a favorite treat for people consuming cannabis- either for medicinal or recreational purposes.
Like other marijuana products, concentrates are available in numerous types. Some popular concentrates today include Rosin, Shatter, and Wax. Live resin has in recent times become the most popular concentrate among dabblers. It is a type of BHO (Butane Hash Oil), though having lots of similarity with the connoisseur grade. This grade focuses on maintaining a powerful and authentic flavor profile.
The difference between other concentrates and live resin lies in the types of buds used in the production process. Live resin utilizes fresh, frozen buds. Other concentrates utilize dried and cured buds. Live resin extracts hold the highest concentration of terpenes compared to other cannabis extracts. Terpenes are the naturally occurring chemicals in the cannabis plant.
How is a live resin made?
Every cannabis consumer would be interested in understanding how to produce a live resin. First off, this concentrate is produced just like the regular BHO. Butane is crucial for making this concentrate. It acts like a solvent, whereby it helps with separating terpenes, flavors, and cannabinoids from the plant material.
Production entails heating butane, which is highly flammable thus making it extremely dangerous when heated indoors. Production further requires specialized equipment if done commercially. That notwithstanding, consumers can still make their live resin. Follow these steps below to make this popular cannabis concentrate.
Step 1: Pick the best cannabis strain for the job
Ideally, all cannabis strains are suitable candidates for live resin. But some strains are known to give the best concentrate. Choose the strain that has an extremely high terpene profile if you want something potent. Here are some suitable strains that are known to produce the best live resin for dabblers.
- Royal Gorilla- this strain is exceptionally good for making live resin. Besides being psychoactive high, it blends Sativa with Indica genetics. Its flowers produce 27% THC, inducing a warming high in a single hit. It boasts a powerful terpene profile. Terpene myrcene is the main terpene in this strain. It adds a pleasurable touch of sedation to the concentrate.
- White Window- the strain is well known in the cannabis industry. It has a strong, stimulating effect known for boosting mood and cognitive function. Its flowers have a substantial concentration of THC and other potent terpenes.
- Fruit Spirit- the strain boasts a distinct fruity flavor as its name suggests. Apart from having a high terpene profile, the strain combines sweetness with delicious notes of blueberry. It produces a tasty live resin that enhances alertness and creativity.
Step 2: Get the requisite equipment and materials
Making live resin is a production process that requires equipment and materials at disposal. Although the process doesn’t need the specialized equipment used in the commercial production of cannabis concentrates, you still require the right equipment when making your live resin.
For instance, get a deep freezer for storing the plant material needed for making the concentrate. A decent cannabis extractor is also vital equipment to have. This equipment extracts THC, essential compounds, and terpenes in the fresh frozen cannabis buds.
Apart from equipment, have all the requisite materials at your disposal. For instance, get fresh buds. The buds should have a high concentration of terpene, THC, and flavonoids to make the concentrate potent.
You also need butane, which acts as a hydrocarbon solvent. Extraction isn’t possible without butane. The solvent helps produce a quality concentrate in one extraction without extra refinement. Although flammable, butane preserves the cannabis plant’s aroma, flavonoids, flavor, and terpenes. Below is a list of other equipment and materials needed for live resin production.
- Electric heating pad
- Extraction tube
- Razorblade scraper
- Pyrex dish
- Glass/silicone jar
Step 3: Freeze everything
To preserve the terpenes in the cannabis, keep the fresh buds at freezing temperatures. Maintain these temperatures throughout the extraction process. Use a cannabis extractor to maintain the temperatures. Ideally, the extractor should have 4 chambers.
The first chamber should contain butane, which should be frozen to low temperatures. The second chamber should hold the frozen bud. The third chamber is reserved for purifying the concentrate, while the 4th chamber is preserved for eliminating the remaining solvents in the concentrate.
Step 4: Extract the cannabis
Once you have frozen the buds, pass them over to the second chamber of the cannabis extractor. This is where the extraction of cannabis takes place. Extraction determines the quality of the final concentrate. If extraction is done in a hurry, the overall quality of your concentrate will be poor even if you use the best cannabis strain. Butane should be given ample time to extract all the terpenes and cannabinoids from the buds.
Since you aren’t producing your live resin in a commercial facility, you don’t have to alter temperature and pressure to speed up the extraction process. Extraction has to take place outdoor. The flammable nature of butane can be fatal when the extraction goes wrong. Alternatively, extractions should be performed in closed-loop systems.
Instead of using solvents like butane or propane for extraction, you can use other non-solvent extraction techniques. This is reasonable particularly if you are making live resin in small amounts.
Non-solvent extraction techniques use a combination of pressure and heat. These techniques also rely on water for extraction. Hand rolling is the oldest non-solvent extraction technique. It starts with rolling fresh, frozen cannabis buds with hands. Once the trichomes are off the buds, they get stuck on the hands. The trichomes are scraped off the hands and rolled to form a sticky ball of cannabis.
Step 5: Purging of the butane in the concentrate
After extracting all the terpenes and cannabinoids in the buds, it is now time to purge the butane in the concentrate. This part is crucial for purifying concentrate. Purification takes place in the third chamber of the cannabis extractor.
Heat water on an electric heating pad and add it to the third chamber. Once the concentrate starts heating, you will notice small bubbles on the concentrate. This implies that the butane in the concentrate is being purged of slowly. To speed up this process, burst the bubbles with a pointed object. Add more hot water to the chamber to see whether there are more bubbles in the concentrate. If there no more bubbles, then all the butane has been purged of.
Step 6: Distill the concentrate
The last step takes place in the 4th chamber of the extractor. The step is vital for further purifying the concentrate by eliminating unwanted waxes and fats. This leaves behind a pure, potent concentrate. Furthermore, the step gives the terpenes and cannabinoids in the concentrate their full aroma and flavor, while purging off unwanted elements.
Exert heat and pressure on the chamber to distill the concentrate before allowing it to cool off. After distillation, place the concentrate on a Pyrex trey and scrap it with a razor blade scraper to remove any remaining oils. Transfer the concentrate into a glass/ silicone jar. Keep the jar in a cold, dark place. It helps keep the concentrate hard and ready for use without compromising its terpene profile.
Other ways of making live resin
Live resin can be prepared using procedures other than the one mentioned above. Here is another simple way for dabblers to make live resin at home.
First method: Making live resin without a solvent
This method allows you to prepare live resin without using solvents. The method is safe and inexpensive. It utilizes pressure and heat to get the terpene-rich resin from the cannabis buds.
- Hair straightener
- Cannabis buds
- Unbleached parchment paper
- Collection tool
- Heat-resistant gloves
- Turn on the hair straightest to a low-temperature setting
- Cut a small piece of the parchment paper and fold it in half
- Place the buds between the parchment paper you have folded above. Gently press it with your fingers
- After lining the buds in the paper alongside the hair straightener, exert a firm pressure until a sizzling pressure is produced. That shows the resin has been completely extracted from the buds.
- Upon unfolding the parchment paper, use a collection tool to pick the remaining plant material from the resin
- Fold the resin between the parchment paper. Flatten the paper as you wish.
- Using a cleaning collection tool, pick out all the visible plant particulates. Place the resin on a container before placing the container in the fridge. This helps produce a more stable resin.
Second method: How to make live resin using the extraction method
This is a lesser sophisticated method of making live resin at home using a solvent such as butane. Below is what you need to successfully make your concentrate using this method.
- A can of butane, preferably 10 oz.
- Extraction tube( preferably stainless steel)
- One big-sized Pyrex pot
- Medium-size Pyrex pot
- 1-oz of fresh marijuana
- Electric cooker
- A scraper or razor blade
- A medium-sized container for holding the extract
- A purging system
- In a dish, keep the fresh marijuana in the fridge for at least a day.
- Put the butane in the small Pyrex pot and heat using an electric cooker. Do this when outside owing to butane’s flammable nature
- Blast the pressure tube with butane. Cover the tube while holding it. Preferably with a towel
- Fill the large Pyrex pot with hot water and then insert the smaller pot in it. The heat in the larger container will expel the butane in the smaller one
- Drain the liquid butane over the smaller pot
- Scrape the dish holding the marijuana with a razor. Spread the marijuana on a paper.
- Purge all the butane before adding marijuana
- Place the final product in the fridge for at least two days. This makes the resin feel smoother. Furthermore, it eliminates excess plant material, oil, and waxes.
Preparing live resin doesn’t have to be done in a laboratory. You can easily prepare your concentrate provided you have all the materials needed at your disposal. Whichever method you use to make your live resin, ensure it is safe.
It should also result in quality concentrate. Once the quality is compromised, your concentrate won’t achieve the desired effect. Make your live resin today and save money on expensive cannabis concentrates!