An Introduction to Fresh Frozen Live Resin

This sought-after concentrate is like picking the best bud from a grow and consuming it right then and there.

Elijah Nouvelage/Humboldt Legends

Fresh frozen live resin does what a writer can’t — it takes your olfactory system on a walk through the complex aroma of a grow in Humboldt.

By cryogenically freezing the plant close to harvest or at harvest, we pause the plant’s life cycle to maintain its potency, fragrance and taste. The result is a pungent, tasty amber oil with high concentrations of THC and CBD.

Some of the industry’s most creative minds are drawn to the science of concentrating cannabis. Experimenting with live resin made from fresh frozen flower may be the pinnacle of this homegrown science.

Today, Humboldt Legends is working to bring together creative extraction scientists with knowledgeable sustainable cannabis farmers in Humboldt to create pesticide-free extracts.

We talked to a few of our extract partners and they each had their own variations of how the process works. Research behind concentrating cannabis is extremely limited. As legalization and acceptance grows across the country, legitimacy to this science is growing as well.

The Basic Basics

1.Harvest: We cut the plant at harvest time or just before, when the plant is at its most desirable stage. The gland heads should have a clear or milky consistency, but not a slight brown or starting to get too heavily colored.

2. Handled with care: Trichomes are small resin glands found all over the bud and leaves. It’s where terpenes and cannabinoids (THC and CBD) are housed, the “miracle molecules.”

We clip individual buds off with fiscars to avoid smearing the resin or break up the bud and expose chlorophyl. We remove crispy brown leaves, yellow leaves, cut leaves, and bug eaten leaves. While clipping buds, we have a policy of not letting the buds sit out for longer than 60 minutes to prevent any loss of Mono-Terpene, which could be anywhere from 2 to 4 hours depending on the environment. After the 4-hour mark of a flower being cut, certain terpenes are lost from the plant taking away the live resin taste and authenticity of the flavor and high from the extract.

The plant goes into a freezer at subcritical temperatures. This is where “live” resin gets its name and what makes this process so unique.

Elijah Nouvelage/Humboldt Legends

3. Extraction: Extraction methods vary. We use a closed-loop BHO process to extract THC or CBD to yields of 85 to more than 90 percent. Dried flower usually has a yield of 10 to 25 percent, depending on the strain and the way it’s grown. The closed loop extraction process has been in development since the late 1800s. It’s used to make everyday products like food additives and essential oils.

4. Terpy terpenes: Terpenes are natural compounds found in vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices that provide flavor and scent. It’s commonly thought that terpenes, together with THC give strains distinct highs. For instance, cannabis and lavender contain the terpene linalool, which delivers a relaxing sensation. Many call this the “entourage effect,” though not all scientists are sold on it, the community at large agrees that terpenes effect their high. Unlike other methods of extraction, the flavor profile of the concentrate is authentic.

We only know of hundreds of terpenes and cannabinoids, but with more research into extraction, we’re bound to find even more applications for cannabis.