Retains Terpenoid Profile
Cannabinoids not decarboxylated into their bioactive form
Live resin is a concentrate that is goes through a physical separation from the plant and is the concentrate that is most representative of the plant’s cannabinoid and terpene profile. Live Resin takes into account harvesting the plant while it is still alive, harvesting the flowers/buds, and then putting them in a vacuum sealed bag. This bag is then frozen at around -10°C to -40°C and this process is analogous to harvesting at peek “ripeness” so that you have the maximum quantity of cannabinoids, terpenes, etc. Once this material is frozen, hydrocarbons are used because it is a very gentle process that will take out the cannabinoids and terpenes, while leaving other components of the plant matrix. Due to the low temperatures is this extraction process, the carboxylic acid cannabinoids, such as THCa, do not become decarboxyclated and remain in their non-bioactive form until they are heated or smoked. Consumers are often focused on the “freshness” of live resin and how this cannabis retains the natural terpene profiles while simultaneously avoiding oxidation and degradation of plant material.
Also Retains Terpenoid Profile
Also does not decarboxylate cannabinoids into bioactive form
Manufacturers of shatter seek to make a glass-like finish in the separation of cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant’s biomass. The name shatter comes from this glass like finish and its ability to break or shatter. To get the intended consistency, hydrocarbon extractions are performed on plant material dried very well (typically below 5% water content) within cold temperature parameters to avoid the lipid and wax profiles in the final product. This resulting concentrate then undergoes vacuum oven purging, where the sample is spread out on vacuum over trays and exposed to a very deep vacuum with a temperature between 75°F and 100°F. The high vacuum applied purges out the residual solvents and has the side effect of driving off some, but not all, of the more volatile terpenes. The final product is a glass like consistency or a warm, malleable hard candy consistency. There is a little bit of degradation, little bit of oxidation, and there is some loss of terpenes, but the overall product is a high quality product of concentrated non-decarboxylated cannabinoids and terpenes.
Crude Cannabis Oil
Decarbs the cannabinoids into bioactive, although process might not go to completion
Some of the terpenes are preserved in this product
Typically this refers to low quality dried cannabis biomass, such as non-flower trim, or just any biomass that can be purchased for cheap that can be refined to something of higher value. Essentially, it is generally composed of cannabis that cannot be made into a higher quality product. This is done with hydrocarbons or ethanol as the extraction solvent, although ethanol is most often used in the process. The extraction of cannabinoids is maximized through the use of a warmer solvent, either hydrocarbon or ethanol, although ethanol is typically more efficient. All of the plant biomass is saturated with ethanol for a specific amount of time and the ethanol is evaporated off. The resulting concentrate contains cannabinoids, terpenes, chlorophyll, waxes, and lipids which need a variety of refinement.
Carboxylic acid Cannabinoids (THCa, CBDa, CBGa, etc…) are fully decarbed through the high heat process
No terpenes remain in this process, unless manually added back into the product
Distillate is produced by a refinement of crude cannabis oil which crude cannabis oil is heated at a high temperature to the point at which the cannabinoids are vaporized. The vaporized cannabinoids are then cooled and collected into a process that is analogous to the distillation of ethanol or petroleum oil products. Before the process begins, the crude cannabis oil needs to be refined to remove the waxes, lipids, and chlorophylls that might inhibit the distillation process. The way that it is refined is through winterization processes (freezing out the lipids in solvent), fine filtration, or adsorbents such as diatomaceous earth or activated carbon. Finally, the product goes through its final step of fractional distillation to separate out the cannabinoids. Manufacturers may occasionally add terpenes back into distillate destined for vape pens.