What Is Live Resin?

What is live resin and why is it growing to be the new best concentrate?

Written by

Mell Green

Mell is a cannabis connoisseur who has been published in nearly 50 online publications surrounding cannabis, including Cannabis Industry Association, Analytical Cannabis, Terpenes and Testing Magazine, Plant People, Byrdie, and...

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Ask anybody what their ideal form of cannabis is and you’ll get a million different answers. Some prefer the classic method of smoking, while others lean toward the ease of edibles. But, now more than ever, the cannabis community is seeing an increase in popularity surrounding concentrates–specifically, live resin. 

As the popularity around live resin seems to explode, that leaves many with one burning question: why? Out of all the concentrates on the market, why does it seem as though live resin is outshining the rest?

We’re wondering the same thing ourselves. Below, we’ve taken a deep dive into the world live resin and its apparent growth in popularity.


  • Live resin is a form of cannabis concentrate that is quickly gaining popularity due to its strength and customization of cannabinoids
  • This concentrate is made using a flash-freeze method: instead of being dried and cured, the plant material is frozen prior to and during extraction
  • This method results in the preservation of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other phytochemicals
  • Live resin can be consumed in a variety of ways, including smoking, vaping and dabbing
  • The result is a potent, aromatic concentrate (Terpenes) unlike any other
  • With evidence of the entourage effect combined with delicious flavors, the comprehensive potency is likely why live resin’s popularity is growing daily

What is Live Resin?

With so many different cannabis concentrates available for you to choose from, distinguishing exactly what live resin is is crucial. 

Most concentrates like shatters, budder, or sugar wax are extracted from dried and cured cannabis plants; with live resin, however, this is not the case. Live resin is made without the plant being cured or dried first, but instead, the flowers and leaves frozen prior to extraction. 

Live resin concentrate with dabbing tool

This flash-freeze process helps to totally preserve the plant’s compounds, more than just the typical cannabinoids. The freezing temperatures help to protect the plant’s terpenes and flavonoids, too, creating some of the most aromatic and flavorful concentrates on the market. 

Live resin can appear in a myriad of different ways, though it is typically characterized by its middle ground texture of not too saucy but not too viscous, either. This wax tends to be much more malleable than shatter, sometimes resembling that of budder. However, the appearance of your live resin will directly depend on the manufacturing techniques, so not all live resin will look the same. 

What Makes Live Resin Different from Other Concentrates?

As we mentioned, the biggest difference between live resin and other concentrates is that way that the plant materials are handled prior to and during extraction. 

During traditional extraction processes, the drying and curing of buds actually negatively impact the other phytochemicals within the plant. This process may expose buds to harsh lighting, too high of temperatures, and too much physical touch, all of which can lead to terpene degradation. Terpene degradation is just as it sounds: your favorite aromatic compounds are destroyed. 

Freezing the Plant First

By first freezing the plant and keeping it at sub-zero temperatures before and during the extraction process, these other phytochemicals like terpenes and flavonoids are not exposed to such intense conditions. Instead, they’re frozen in place and left undisturbed until the final product is created. 

Thus, live resin produces distinct flavor profiles and aromas that are almost impossible to find within other concentrates. 

Terpenes, Flavonoids, and Cannabinoids 

Because of its rich terpene profile, live resin has the potential to bring out fuller, stronger effects than other concentrates, as they are stripped of these phytochemicals completely.

In order for certain concentrates, like shatter, to get the composition they’re known for, they have to go through extremely rigorous extraction processes.

While the purification process is more than necessary during the production of concentrates, it’s often the reason why other phytochemicals are removed.

Without these phytochemicals–such as terpenes and flavonoids–the product just doesn’t have the full flavors or tastes that cannabis is known for.

Live resin’s properties, however, are undisturbed and completely celebrated through the flash-frozen technique. 

Live Resin’s Benefits vs. Other Concentrates

With the high terpene profile comes increased synergy between the chemical compounds in cannabis. This increased synergy is said to lead to enhanced effects, creating stronger therapeutic benefits than what you’d find in other popular cannabis concentrates

Cannabinoids on their own are potent, of course, but when paired with other plant compounds, effects are even more notable. Though the delicious flavors and smells are appealing enough to cannabis connoisseurs, many turn to live resin for its intensified benefits. Everything that you love about cannabis is essentially amplified through this special form of extract due to its all-encompassing profiles. 

Research suggests cannabis concentrates (such as Live Resin) have these benefits:

  • Sleep
  • Pain
  • Anxiety
  • Stress

Best Way to Consume Live Resin: Dabbing or Vaping

So, how do you go about consuming live resin? With this versatile golden wax, dabbing is a great option when it comes to consumption. Here’s how to dab live resin:

Dabbing live resin concentrate in a dab rig
Dabbing live resin using a dab rig. Photo: Medcarefarms
  1. One of the most popular ways of enjoying live resin is dabbing. When you dab, the extremely high temperatures necessary allow for a full enjoyment of the terpene-rich profiles.
  2. To dab, you’re going to need a dab rig, a torch, a dab tool, and a carb cap. (We know, these terms all sound confusing, but in essence they’re just small tools you can get from any smoke shop.)
  3. Once you have your tools, using your dab tool, scoop up a small dab of live resin and put it aside.
  4. Then, using your torch, heat up the banger (otherwise known as a “nail”) until it is red hot.
  5. After it has been heated, let the banger cool down just a bit. An ideal temperature for your live resin to burn at is around 550°F, and you can check this using something called an e-Nail. 
  6. Then, place the tool into the banger and move it around until all the live resin has come off and is slightly bubbling at the bottom of the nail.
  7. Start inhaling and then cover the banger with your carb cap–you can think of this like covering the carb on your pipe.
  8. Take another big inhale, exhale, and you’ve just got a nice dab of delicious live resin.

If all of this sounds a bit too complicated for you, don’t worry. You can also choose to vape live resin by purchasing premade live resin cartridges. When buying these, always ensure that the cartridge is legitimate by checking third-party lab-test results. (Our favorite reliable live resin carts comes from K.I.N.D. Concentrates.) To enjoy these, all you have to do is screw the cartridge onto your vape pen and inhale. Simple as that. 

What You Should Look For in Live Resin

When it comes to buying live resin, there are a few things you should be on the lookout for. Unfortunately, poor-quality live resin is more popular than we’d like. High-quality live resin is going to be much more pungent and flavorful than poorly made live resin, and you’ll likely see clear sugar crystals and terpene sauce. 

To the naked eye, you shouldn’t be able to see any contaminants within your live resin. Third-party lab-test results demonstrate any impurities that may be found within extracts, so checking these with every product you buy is crucial. 

1. High Terpene Count

The best live resin is going to contain high levels of terpenes as well as other cannabinoids to provide the best experience possible. While you can find pure CBD live resin, this doesn’t always produce the full benefits that full-spectrum or even broad-spectrum live resin provides. 

We always suggest looking for companies that embrace the full profiles of cannabis–terpenes, flavonoids, and all. Two Washington state brands, Lazy Bee Gardens and Bodhi High, both produce live resin products that do just that and a whole lot more. 

2. The Entourage Effect

While these added terpenes and flavonoids don’t directly influence the concentrates’ cannabinoid percentages, it does influence potency.

Recently, cannabis researchers have become aware of a phenomenon they dubbed “the entourage effect.” The entourage effect is the idea that cannabis’ properties and phytochemicals are designed to work synergistically. 

This means that, rather than enjoying just CBD on its own for its medicinal properties, enjoying the cannabinoid paired alongside other cannabinoids and terpenes will create a much more comprehensive, and, thus, potent experience. 

With live resin containing higher terpene levels than practically any other concentrate, the entourage effect strongly comes into play here. 

Its Growing Popularity

So, when considering live resin’s deliciously distinct profiles and all-encompassing highs, it’s easy to see why the concentrate appears to be exploding in popularity. 

Not only do you get to experience the unique smells and tastes of your favorite strain of cannabis, but the experience that comes with it is full-bodied and meant to deliver. While more research is still needed on the legitimacy of the entourage effect, with a few dabs of live resin, you’ll likely see for yourself why so many believe in this phenomenon. 

The future of live resin is an uncertain but bright one. Right now, live resin is a product that so many are flocking to, but the lack of research surrounding it is all too prominent. We can expect to see popularity continue to rise, and with this, both product sales and product quality skyrocketing, as well. 

While it may be a bit difficult to find live resin at your local dispensary, there’s a big chance that will change in the next couple of months or so. As the market continues to fluctuate and meet the needs of the concentrates that are popular at the time, we will see the diversification of extracts like live resin. Soon, unique indicas, hybrids, and sativa strains won’t be tough to find in this pungent form of concentrate. 

From the Experts

More than just quality, even the product of live resin is appealing for manufacturers. Nick Tennant, the CTO at Precision Extraction Solutions, discusses exactly why live resin is so popular for both consumers and producers:

It’s much easier to harvest an entire flower room for live resin production than it is to harvest the room for traditional dry flower. This reduces labor and operational expenses as well as offering a faster turnaround time between cultivation cycles.

He also makes the point that technology has become so advanced, producing high-quality product with little effort “advances the industry as a whole”.

Final Thoughts

When it comes down to it, live resin is definitely getting more popular within the cannabis community. More and more every day, we’re seeing cannabis connoisseurs boast about the delicacy that is live resin and the powerful highs they bring. Often, it’s an experience most of us smokers haven’t felt in years. 

Take the time to see if your own dispensaries keep some of this dab-able gold on hand, and try it for yourself. After just one glob of this special wax, you’ll understand immediately why this extract is quickly gaining the number one spot in the world of cannabis concentrates.