Live Resin – The Cold Cannabis Concentrate

As the cannabis industry gets bigger, new methods come out to extract compounds better, or create stronger concentrates. This is the case with live resin concentrate, the first concentrate to be made using the benefit of well-below-freezing temperatures.

There are so many ways to consume cannabis products, from live resin concentrate to shatter to delta-8 THC. While the first two are generally high in delta-9 THC, delta-8 THC products provide users with an alternate form of THC which causes less anxiety and paranoia, and gives a clear-headed, energetic high. Some might even say this makes it the superior THC. We’ve got really great delta-8 THC deals for you to try this new version of THC, to see if it’s the better THC for you.

What are concentrates?

Cannabis concentrates are all the rage these days, but what does this actually mean? A concentrate is the final product of an extraction process in which specific parts of the plant are distilled down to a condensed level. Concentrates are made to contain the trichomes of the plant, the part that holds cannabinoids and terpenes, (or just the cannabinoids and terpenes from inside), without the rest of the plant material. There are different kinds of concentrates that can be made from cannabis. Most of them are nearly the same except for small differences in texture, strength, and what solvent/extraction method is used. Examples of concentrates are:

  • Wax – An extract made by rinsing cannabis with a solvent like butane. It can be as high as 90% THC, and usually has at least 70% THC. Much like the name implies, the consistency is gooey, or syrup-like, and the color is opaque.
  • Shatter – Another concentrate made using solvents like butane or another hydrocarbon. (When butane is used, it’s called butane hash oil). The solvent is pushed through a container with the cannabis, where it strips the plant of its compounds like THC and CBD, and then is refined further if necessary. In the end, excess solvent is purged out using a vacuum chamber. The primary difference between shatter and wax, is in the consistency. Shatter is hard and brittle like glass.
live resin cannabis concentrate
  • Hash oil – This term is for oils that are extracted using solvents. This can be done with alcohol, carbon dioxide, or butane – which creates butane hash oil. Depending on the consistency of the final product, and the solvent used, hash oil can fit into other categories of concentrates.

What is live resin?

Most other concentrates besides live resin are made in similar fashions, and sometimes vary from each other in nothing more than consistency. Live resin concentrate is a bit different, however, because the process to create it is not like the other concentrates. Live resin concentrate is made using cryogenic temperatures in a closed-loop system.

A closed-loop system is a system/device/set of devices, that can operate automatically to regulate a process to get to a desired result. It can do so without human interaction, which is the opposite of an open-loop system, which requires human input. It also indicates a loop structure, meaning the process ends at the same place it begins. Many concentrates are made on a closed-loop system, but what sets live resin concentrate apart from other concentrates, is that it is extracted in sub-zero temperatures, using the freezing temperature to help preserve plant constituents. Live resin is also created using a solvent like butane, but because of the low temperature, terpenes and other plant materials, are not ruined by heat.


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Live resin is generally dark yellow in color, with a consistency somewhere in between the more solid waxes, and the less solid oils, though the exact consistency will depend on the product and provider. Live resin, like other concentrates, is very sticky, and requires a dab tool in order to not end up being covered by it.

How is live resin made?

The process for creating live resin goes like this: freshly harvested plants are immediately frozen down to -292 F. This includes the entire plant, with no leaves, stalks, or branches removed. For this reason, it’s considered a ‘full spectrum’ process. Creating live resin is a more difficult and expensive process than creating other concentrates, because of the use of cryogenic temperatures.

To create live resin, butane or propane is cooled to a cryogenic level in one tank, and then pressurized and pushed through another tank which contains the cannabis. As with other extractions, the solvent dissolves the trichomes in order to bond directly with the terpenes and cannabinoids housed inside. It carries this material with it into another tank where it releases other accumulated material like waxes, fats, and lipids. From that tank it goes to another tank where its heated to remove the butane in a ‘purging’ session, which leaves behind a concentrated oil. Remaining solvent is filtered back through a tube to the first tank from which it started, ending the closed-loop cycle.

At this time, the resin has been left in a volatile state, meaning it has a high vapor pressure, with low water solubility. This makes it easy to vaporize. Remaining C02 molecules are vapored out, leaving just live resin at the end. The finished concentrate is often less than 4% of its original weight.

Why cold is beneficial

The idea of using cold to preserve things is hardly new at all. Everyone has a freezer, and we already know that nearly anything can be frozen and then thawed, like meat, veggies, bread, dairy products like ice cream, soups, fruit…and even batteries. (In terms of batteries, this only goes for NiCd and NiMH rechargeable batteries.)

Using freezing temperatures does two different things that are both beneficial for food, as well as cannabis and extracts. The first is that it works to preserve food and the nutrient content therein. Food biodegrades over time, and this process starts right after a plant is harvested (or the animal killed), and can go pretty fast. Think about the short period of time it takes for your bananas to become brown. And then black. Sometimes only days. Freezing essentially stops things in motion, freezing a product into its current state, and allowing it to remain that way. This helps slow down or stop the process of degradation and maintain the nutrients in food.

Freezing also does another thing, it keeps pests and microbes from getting into your food. This is important when considering bacteria like salmonella, and the accompanying food-poison it can cause, or thinking about why bread gets moldy so fast. It’s also why I put honey in the refrigerator, so I don’t find ants crawling up the side of the jar. Freezing creates an unhospitable environment for these life forms, and allows you to keep your food longer without having them in it. It should be remembered that freezing rarely kills microbes, but puts them in a dormant state where they can’t cause harm. When thawed, they can come out and multiply again.

Fresh frozen cannabis

Much like the idea of freezing cannabis to create an extract with less damage to constituent parts, cannabis can actually just be frozen on its own to reap the same general benefits. The term ‘fresh frozen cannabis’ describes cannabis that is harvested, has its leaves, branches and stems removed, and then is put immediately into a freezer set at -38 degrees F. The buds are generally put in vacuum seal bags, and weighed out to a precise amount before storage. The idea is to get the plants in the freezer within an hour of them being cut.

This is very different from a standard harvesting process which includes cutting the plant, taking off stems, leaves, and stalks, and then curing it by hanging it for an extended period of time to dry it out, before storing it in an airtight container. During this process, light, heat, mold, and standard degradation can effect the cannabis, sometimes even ruining the product.

Frozen cannabis

Many producers choose to freeze their harvests right away now. This is beneficial considering that supply often exceeds demand, and producers are left with more product than they can immediately move. Keeping it frozen helps preserve the product until it can be sold, or processed into something else. The freezing process also reduces the amount of time necessary for harvesting, since the whole drying out part is removed.

Live resin brands to try

If you’re excited to try out this new concentrate, you have several options for companies and product types. Live resin can be vaped in a cartridge, with the following top companies offering live resin cartridges: Binske, MPX, AiroPro, Remedy, and Fuze. Then there’s live resin sugar, a delicious way to consume live resin, with companies like Apothecary Farms whipping up fresh frozen extracts in their Ambrosia Line.

Interested users should also check out the 2015 Oregon Dope Cup People’s Choice Award for Live Resin winner Dirty Ant Farm (also the 2016 runner-up in the same category). And for people who like their concentrates to come in gummy form, there’s PotMates, which produces Alien Food Gummies, a sweet live resin concentrate treat.


At this point, there are tons of ways to ingest cannabis, from the plant itself, to any number of extracts that can be gotten out of it. Live resin concentrate represents a new type of processing, and the employment of different technology to make it happen. Live resin and fresh frozen cannabis together illustrate well how cold can be used to create strong, less damaged concentrates, that contain more of the stuff we want from the plant.

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DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a medical professional, I have no formal legal education, and I’ve never been to business school. All information in my articles is sourced from other places which are always mentioned, and all opinions stated are mine, and are made clear to be mine. I am not giving anyone advise of any kind, in any capacity. I am more than happy to discuss topics, but should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a professional in the relevant field for more information.

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Fresh Frozen Cannabis – Using Cold to Boost Flowers and Concentrates

When it comes to the growing cannabis industry, everyone wants the best product. And this means, producers are constantly finding ways to up their game. One of the latest trends in the cannabis world? Fresh frozen cannabis, and using cold to boost cannabis flowers and create concentrates like live resin.

When it comes to cannabis extracts, some of the most popular right now are delta-8 THC and delta-10 THC, two alternate versions of THC that provide users with slightly different benefits. Delta-8 THC actually causes less anxiety, promotes a clear-headed high, and comes with less psychoactive effects than standard delta-9. Interested in trying this alternate version? We’ve got some of the best delta-8 THC deals out there for you to check it out today!

When it comes to new products within a vastly growing industry, rife with massive amounts of competition, it can be expected that different techniques will be developed and used to increase efficacy of products. Sometimes these won’t be more than gimmicks – ways to increase interest from buyers without providing a real benefit. And sometimes, these techniques will truly be beneficial, offering a higher-level product. Such seems to be the case with fresh frozen cannabis.

What is fresh frozen cannabis?

How is a harvest usually done? Ever since cannabis began being planted as a crop, the standard harvesting method has been to air dry the cannabis. The basics involve hanging the plants out after they’ve reached their full potential, and taking off the leaves. Then the plants are put in a dark room, with the right temperature and humidity, for several weeks, or until the plants dry out to a desirable level. Many will then put the plants in a sealable container that can be opened at intervals to let air in and out. As stated, this is a basic process, followed by large-scale farmers, as well as home-cultivators.

If all of that sounds about right, the inclusion of using cold is a slightly different method, that can help boost the overall final product. So, what is it? It’s essentially a different method of harvesting, or rather, a new method to be employed in the harvesting process. In the fresh frozen process, the cannabis plants are cut, and all leaves, branches and stems are removed, but no curing is done.

frozen cannabis

At this point, the buds are put into vacuum sealable bags, often weighed to a specific amount by the harvester. The bags of cannabis are put into a freezer set at about -38 degrees F, and left there until needed, with the cold locking in and preserving all the cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes. Some producers go as far as using dry ice in their freezers to optimize the freezing process.

The bags can be left for however long necessary. When taken out to sell, or to make concentrates, all the chemical constituents will have remained intact, along with other materials of the cannabis plant which will not have degraded because of the cold. Terpenes and cannabinoids are known to degrade over time, and freezing the buds at harvest time, until they are ready to be used, is one of the best ways of preserving these constituents so that users can get the most out of their products.

Freezing food is not new

We’ve been freezing food as a population for quite some time now. Most people have freezers at home chock full of meats, vegetables, dairy products like ice cream, and even bread. Not only do we freeze our food as individuals, but often, the food we buy in restaurants went through a frozen period, before being thawed and cooked for us. Technically, we’re already aware of the idea that cold can preserve things, it just wasn’t necessarily something attached to the idea of cannabis until recently.

Freezing does a couple things that are beneficial for consumers. For one thing, freezing can preserve the food and the nutrient content in it. Food is biodegradable (assuming it’s real food, and not a processed mess), and breaks down over time. Its why bananas turn brown, it’s why flowers whither, it’s why its said that often nutrient content is lost from products like vegetables quickly after they are harvested. Cold slows down this process, freezing a food into its current state.

The other thing freezing does, besides staving off degradation of plant-based, and animal-based products, is to keep microbes from making it home, and growing. Think about how quickly bread or cheese grow mold. Think about the last time you got food poisoning, and the bacteria that passed from your food to your guts. And also think about those tiny little fruit flies that love your fresh produce, they aren’t microbes, but they can infect your food, and aid in the process of degradation.

Freezing keeps all of these things at bay as well, creating an unhospitable climate for microbes to grow, and insects to be attracted to. It should be remembered that freezing does not necessarily kill such microbes, but essentially puts them in a dormitive state. Once thawed, they can then multiply once again if the correct measures are not taken.

frozen foods

Benefits of fresh frozen cannabis

Simply freezing in order to stave off degradation of compounds, and to keep mold at bay, is useful for standard cannabis products, but it helps serve another purpose as well. These days, businesses are national or international, and often products must be shipped long distances to reach their destinations, or to get from one processing site to another. The ability to keep cannabis in a frozen state, allows the transfer of these goods without degradation, just like refrigerated trucks to move meat across the country.

Plus, with the cannabis industry growing at the rate it is, another issue occurs. Often, the supply exceeds the actual demand, party because of it being a competitive market with a lot of new companies producing products. If a company overproduces, and doesn’t want to lose its precious stock – but doesn’t know when it will be able to unload it, freezing provides a way to hold onto it longer, without having to worry about it being ruined over time.

For this reason, many producers are now freezing their entire harvest from the get-go, to ensure that if they don’t need all their stock immediately, that it doesn’t get ruined by heat, sunlight, drying, standard degradation, mold, or any other culprit that can effect the shelf life of cannabis. It also comes with some other benefits, like getting rid of the drying out and curing processes, which are very time consuming. And providing the ability to freeze in the water of the plant, along with cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes.

Live resin

One of the cool things to come out of the freezing cannabis process, is live resin. Live resin is yet another kind of cannabis concentrate, in the same category as hash oil, shatter, and wax. However, live resin concentrate is specifically made through cryogenic freezing. For cryogenic freezing, a newly harvested plant is frozen to -292 degrees F. This is considered a ‘full spectrum’ process since the entire plant is being used including the branches, leaves, and stalks.

Live resin shatter is superior to its non-frozen counterparts in that it has a better-preserved terpene profile. Extractions that use butane hash oil, or C02, without freezing, require a level of heat that can destroy most of the terpenes and other plant constituents. The freezing process to create live resins, bypasses this issue.

Think about the standard after-harvest experience. The cannabis is generally cured in a way to promote it slowly drying out. This can take many weeks of time, time in which the plant is exposed to things like light, heat, oxygen, and physical disruptions. Now consider that most cannabis products are produced by these means, and many won’t really live up to their potential because of it.

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Making live resin

To be clear, creating live resin is not the easiest process, and not the most inexpensive either. Even making something like delta-8 THC is a little more doable for the average person. Creating live resin requires the plants being flash frozen immediately, and for those low temperatures to be maintained through the entire extraction process.

In a closed loop system, butane and propane are cooled to the same cryogenic temperatures. Butane is pressurized, and then pushed from one tank, and through another tank where the cannabis is. As it goes, it dissolves trichomes, while bonding with terpenes and cannabinoids, carrying it all with it into yet another tank.

live resin

After going through the cannabis, it goes into another tank where it releases the waxes, lipids, and fats that it collected. It goes to yet another tank from there where the butane is heated to remove it, leaving behind a concentrated oil. Any solvent remaining, goes through a pipe to end in the tank it started, finishing the closed-loop. At this point the resin is very volatile – meaning more easily vaporizable, and it vaporizes out any remaining C02. At the end of the process, the live resin made, will be less than 4% of its original weight.

Considerations for fresh frozen cannabis

There are a couple important considerations when dealing with fresh frozen cannabis. The first is that cultivators don’t have a huge amount of time to waste in between cutting the plant, and getting it in a freezer. In order for optimal storage, the flowers shouldn’t be left out for over an hour after being cut. In just two hours from being cut, the monoterpenes in a plant will start to degrade. Many terpenes will be lost within the first few hours after a plant is cut.

Another issue to consider when relying on a freezer, is electricity. Power outages are not the most infrequent occurrence in life, but a simple power outage could mean the difference between a freezer full of frozen cannabis, and a freezer full of thawing, and therefore degrading, cannabis. Professional operations will likely have access to a generator to ensure that regardless of power issues, that the electricity doesn’t stop flowing.


As the cannabis industry grows, producers are trying more and more avenues to create better and better products. With this new application of freezing cannabis to preserve it, and using cryogenic temperatures to create concentrates like live resin, customers are getting more intense products. Now, granted, people have been using cannabis for thousands of years without freezing it, and reaping its benefits just fine. But processes like this do open the door to far superior products than have been available previously.

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DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a medical professional, I have no formal legal education, and I’ve never been to business school. All information in my articles is sourced from other places which are always mentioned, and all opinions stated are mine, and are made clear to be mine. I am not giving anyone advise of any kind, in any capacity. I am more than happy to discuss topics, but should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a professional in the relevant field for more information.

The post Fresh Frozen Cannabis – Using Cold to Boost Flowers and Concentrates appeared first on CBD Testers.