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Live Concentrates 101

Seed & Smith Live Concentrates Display

Concentrates have taken the cannabis industry by storm in the past few years. Offering a cleaner, smoother, and tastier way to consume cannabis, concentrates have opened the doors to a much wider cannabis audience. 

Many consumers find it less harsh on their lungs compared to smoking flower and they can enjoy the terpenes and flavors of cannabis more. Concentrates also offer an increased level of discretion and potency; many flower strains top out in the 20% or 30% THC range, but concentrates can reach an eye-watering 90%+ as well as a higher level of available terpenes. This makes them ideal for those who use cannabis for medical reasons or those looking for a strong recreational experience.

At our Seed & Smith dispensary in Colorado, we continually innovate and meticulously refine our extraction process to ensure our products are of the highest quality. This includes all of our Live Series concentrates found in our dabbables like live resin, live terpene sugar, and even our Dart pods!

What is Live Resin?

Simply put, live resin is just another form of cannabis concentrate.[1] It is known for its tasty and potent characteristics amongst other types of dabbables. The consistency of live resin is much wetter and crystalline than that of other concentrates, such as shatter or wax, with a granular, gooey texture. Live terpene sugar is a similar concentrate with aformed, butterlike consistency containing the same high level of terpenes. 

You can use live concentrates just as you would with any other concentrate, by dabbing it through one of the many methods currently available. This runnier consistency allows the lab team to collect the “sauce” from our extracts and repurpose it for use in our Seed & Smith DART. With purity and focused flavor, the discretion and portability create a real experience without the stigma of potent and flavorful cannabis.

So, how do we make live resin and terpene sugar?

Our Cannabis Extraction Process

In order to extract live resin from a cannabis plant, it is important to utilize the trichomes and terpenes from the plant when it is still very fresh. This is done by harvesting the cannabis plant and then immediately freezing it in a cryo-chamber with temperature columns in the -30ºF range. This preserves the terpenes and trichomes as much as possible. Other dry concentrates such as shatter, crumble, or wax are extracted from dry trim at room temperature, after the dry cure process. 

Because the plant matter is frozen immediately, the maximum amount of terpenes are preserved from the living biomass of the cannabis plant. This process preserves a higher volume of overall terpenes and a broader spectrum of terpenes, as opposed to dry cure concentrates.

During extraction of live resin, Seed & Smith uses a 70/30 split of butane to propane, which creates a slower purging process due to the heavy nature of butane. This can take anywhere from 5-7 days. This slow extraction process allows for better crystallization, which is where the granular consistency comes from. When extracting for live terpene sugar, we use 100% propane extraction which speeds up the purging process considerably. This process generally takes about 2 days, and results in a goopier, saucy consistency.

This entire process is done in-house at Seed & Smith from growing or cloning the cannabis flower, hand picking the best strains for concentrate yield, harvesting and freezing, and finally to the extraction process. Seed & Smith’s vertically integrated facility is key in allowing us to control and maintain the highest standard of quality for all of our products, with concentrates being no exception!

The Benefits of Live Resin

As mentioned above, live resin and live terpene sugar provide all the benefits of any concentrate. When professionally extracted using only material from the marijuana plant, concentrates are the purest form of cannabis. They provide an experience void of plant material and with amplified tastes and flavors. Even amongst its concentrate peers, live products stand above the rest due to the nature of the extraction process using fresh plant material. 

Live products can get into the mid 80% levels of THC-A, a number much higher than what can be found in dry cannabis flower. Both live resin and live terpene sugar have the added benefit of concentrated levels of terpenes, which plays an important role in the entourage effect. The entourage effect refers to the synergistic effect produced when consuming cannabis between the different cannabinoids and terpenes. Simply put, this higher terpene to THC ratio allows a magnifying effect to take place, making these types of concentrates very potent.

Because of the concentrated levels of terpenes in our live products, they are especially useful for medical patients. There are over 100 identified terpenes across the different varieties of cannabis such as limonene, myrcene, caryophyllene, and terpineol. Almost all of these terpenes provide unique medicinal properties and uses, so someone suffering from anxiety can hone in on a certain strain or terpene profile that works to treat their anxiety. Terpene availability plays a huge role in their medical efficacy of cannabis, and live concentrates provide an excellent avenue to explore the capabilities for specific needs. However, there is little evidence beyond anecdotal that can define how each terpene interacts with each individual’s biochemistry. It is therefore important to understand your own body’s chemistry and how it interacts with different terpene combinations. For more information or questions regarding cannabis use for medicinal or recreational benefits, contact our friends at Leaf411

Live Resin vs. Cured Concentrates

Live resin and live terpene sugar are excellent choices for anyone who is familiar with marijuana concentrates, and even for those new to dabbables. The flavor and potency make live resin a popular choice for many of our customers, and to those around the cannabis industry. While many consumers might say live concentrate products are superior to cured or dry concentrates, this is truly a matter of opinion. Live concentrates do provide a more complete cannabinoid and terpene profile due to the harvesting & freezing process when compared to dry concentrates. However, other variables like texture, consumer preference, and even THC level come into play when deciding which type of concentrate you may enjoy the most.

Live resin was introduced to the scene around 2013, and ever since, it has steadily been growing in popularity. This is no different at Seed & Smith where we are constantly innovating and experimenting in order to produce the highest quality concentrates.



[1] Honest Marijuana – Live Resin: What Is It And Why Is It So Awesome?

July 8, 2020
Cannabis Education
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