The Rise of Live Resin Cartridges

Posted by Dave Kaplan
4 years ago / October 28, 2020

The Rise of Live Resin Cartridges


Move over, distillates. There’s a new player in the cannabis vape industry and it goes by the name of live resin.

What Is Live Resin?

Live resin is a cannabis concentrate made exclusively from fresh plant material. While the process for most extraction types begins once the plant material has been dried or cured, the process for live resin extracts begins directly after harvest when cannabis buds and small sugar leaves are still fresh and teeming with terpenes.

Rather than drying or curing their fresh plant material, which is known to naturally strip cannabis of some of its terpene contents, live resin producers flash freeze it while it’s still wet and then extract it immediately afterward, keeping the plant at subcritical temperatures throughout. This preserves the plant’s abundant terpene profiles, resulting in immensely flavorful, aromatic and potent concentrates that are starting to take the industry by storm.

Does All Live Resin Look the Same?

No. Live resin concentrates vary in appearance and viscosity depending on the cannabinoid-terpene composition of the plant material as well as the extraction process used. The latter point here is of particular importance to note, as live resin concentrates are qualified solely by being flash-frozen immediately after harvest. Not by the type of extraction method utilized. Although they are most commonly extracted once flash-frozen using a combination of BHO and vacuum-oven purging, live resin concentrates can hypothetically be produced using a subcritical CO2 or alcohol-based solvent extraction.

The combination of unique plant material compositions and extraction processes used can create a wide array of live resin concentrates, ranging in viscosities from runnier concentrate types, such as sap, sugar and badder, to thicker concentrates, including budder and sauce.

Can Live Resin Be Vaped?

The short answer to this is that some live resin concentrates can be vaped while others cannot. As we mentioned above, live resin concentrates come in a variety of viscosities, and the most viscous of these varieties—waxes, shatters, et cetera—cannot be vaped efficiently. These live resin concentrate types struggle to saturate vape heating elements, resulting in dry hits and lousy user experiences. Eventually, vape technology will advance to a point where these more viscous live resin concentrates can be vaped properly but for now, your best bet is to use a desktop or portable dab rig.

Live resin concentrate types with lower, more fluid viscosities, on the other hand, can be vaped efficiently. Within this category of vapeable live resin concentrates are two distinct and overarching formulation types: those composed of pure live resin and those made up of live resin blends.

Pure live resin formulations, albeit the less common of the two, are exactly as advertised. These products are 100% live resin, having been flash frozen after harvest and then extracted masterfully to create a vape-conducive consistency that is brimming with terpenes. That’s not to say that live resin blend formulations do not contain live resin. They do, but in much smaller amounts which are then cut with additives and diluents to create formulations with vape-conducive viscosities.

Where Are Live Resin Cartridges Trending?

In California, the sale of live resin cartridges has skyrocketed since the beginning of 2020. A year ago, live resin cartridges accounted for just 12% of total vape units sold in the US’s largest cannabis market. Through the first seven months of 2020, live resin cartridges have vaulted to 29% of Cali’s total vape sales, generating a staggering $136 million in revenue alone!

A similar spike is also underway in Oregon, where live resin cartridges now account for 28% of total vape units sold through the first seven months of 2020. That number is up 9% from a year ago. In Nevada, live resin cartridges went from a blip on the radar in 2019, with less than 1% of the state’s total vape sales, to an encouraging 5% so far in 2020. While in Colorado, the oldest and most mature cannabis market in the US, live resin concentrates have continued to sell steadily at around the 13-14% mark over the last two years, generating approximately $40 million in revenue annually.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of them all, however, is how well live resin cartridges have been selling in Illinois. Despite only coming online in January, Illinois has quickly become the fastest growing cannabis market in the US, and the state’s live resin cartridge sales reflect this trend. Through just seven months, live resin cartridges already account for 11% of Illinois’s total vape unit sales, generating more than $18 million in revenue.

Dab Live Resin On The Go With The GT Torrch

The best portable dab vape

Live resin concentrates deserve respect. Don’t compromise your live resin experience with inadequate hardware. Choose a device that is designed to elicit your extract’s full ranges of tastes, aromas and effects.

The GT Torrch is the industry’s favorite and most affordable handheld dab rig! Built with a direct airflow system and 6-second slow burn technology to deliver unmatched flavor and vapor with every draw. Perfect for a relaxing night in or those who are on the go. Contact us to order yours today.

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