Long subject to unfair and ill-informed legislation and policing—and thus massively underserved regarding clinical research studies—cannabis seems more poised than ever to see widespread legalization and proper acknowledgement of its medicinal and recreational value. An increasingly crowded marketplace sees new brands and products introduced daily; some focus on specific effects (inspiration, arousal, relaxation, etc) while others offer new form factors, delicious flavors or prolonged potency. Live Resin Project, helmed by cannabis expert Ry Prichard, focuses on a proprietary process of extraction, which, when completed, yields a proprietary product.
The brand works to distill the cannabis flower down to its purest essence: cannabis concentrate. In this state, the specific strain’s full spectrum of flavor, aroma and character surfaces (similar, but superior, to the way wine conveys the complexity of grapes or barrels). Live Resin Project harvests cannabis plants at their freshest, when the aromatic qualities of the plant reach their peak. Scientific product development and careful consideration for user experience are the foundations of Live Resin Project. We first met Prichard at the Gusto Green event at Summit LA 19, and followed up ahead of Live Resin’s launch in select California retailers this month.
Can you explain what the Live Resin extraction method is?
Live Resin is both a product and a process; live resin is a cannabis concentrate which is produced by extracting fresh frozen cannabis plants, harvested at their absolute peak essential oil content. The final product can take many familiar concentrate forms—such as shatter, budder, sauce, crystalline—but what this means for the consumer is that unlike traditional extracts that are made from dead, dry plant material, live resin expresses the aromatic and flavor qualities of the living cannabis plant. I don’t know if you’ve ever smelled a living cannabis plant versus a bag of dried weed, but to say that it’s “different” would be an understatement.
Around 90% of the essential oil content of a living cannabis plant is wasted when it is dried because it literally goes into the air. With live resin, we capture all of that to give a truly incredible, nuanced flavor experience to the consumer. In addition, capturing these aromatic compounds also contributes to the effect; we are increasingly discovering that terpenes and other aromatic compounds are the source of the different “strain specific” effects of cannabis along with differing cannabinoids. So it follows that a more aromatic, flavorful, terpene-rich concentrate would also exhibit more “strain specific” and nuanced effects.
What’s the goal of the Live Resin Project, beyond offering a new product?
Live Resin Project will change the way that people, in general, think about flavor. The aromatic and flavor properties of live resin are so far beyond what we see in most food and beverages; it feels like an entirely new quest to show people what is possible. We want to take cannabis concentrates from a niche product only consumed by the most ardent of cannabis consumers and flip it into a product for anyone who appreciates flavor—and that’s exactly what we created with Live Resin Project. Anyone who shops at a certain grocery store to find the products they like, anyone who has a favorite craft beer, wine, or liquor, anyone who goes an extra step or two to make a buying decision—these are the exact people waiting to have a live resin experience.
We want to remain authentic to the cannabis plant and the people that spend their lives producing it; Live Resin Project is our way to do so.
Is Live Resin Project a way to authenticate a new era in cannabis? You’re able to cultivate and extract without loss or contamination and bring forth flavors that might otherwise not have been found or feasibly traced—it’s a stark contrast to dealing and brownie-production of the past.
We think of ourselves as stewards of the plant itself. This organism shows incredible diversity, both in appearance as well as aroma, flavor, and effect—to be able to share this natural plant magic in its top form with as many people as possible is an honor. Since live resin’s creation and popularization starting with our group in Colorado back in 2013, it has categorically changed the cannabis industry: first with cultivators and extractors who saw the merits from a production standpoint, but also from the consumer perspective of shifting preferences—instead of focusing solely on THC percentages and potency, the modern cannabis consumer looks for specific terpenes as well as overall essential oil content (THC + terpenes). We created live resin with the intent of sharing the experience in the grow room, but it has blossomed into something far beyond that, where the way that consumers think about cannabis in general has shifted.
Do you feel that resin is the future state of cannabis? Flower might always be the most recognizable form, but is resin the most practical and useful? Is it easier to regulate?
Concentrates in general are the fastest-growing segment of the cannabis industry because they can be used in so many downstream products. However, live resin offers a particularly interesting proposition because it not only can be used in downstream products such as edibles and topicals, but it also can translate to other industries such as fragrance and food flavoring. We are just barely scratching the surface of what is possible with this extraction method and also in terms of targeting cultivation—of cannabis as well as other plants—specifically for extraction of essential oils.
What are the benefits of using and consuming in this state? Flavor? Impact? More precise dosing? The fact that it can be broken down to other forms—sauce, sugar, budder, diamonds, shatter, etc?
Live resin offers the most profound flavor experience you’ve ever had. And that goes for anything—not just cannabis. Unlike wine or beer or anything else we consume, live resin literally vaporizes and soaks into every one of your senses, changing in your mouth and sinuses as you consume it, and changing effects as it goes from initial to main to residual effect.
As far as practicality and usefulness, I think it’s helpful to think of cannabis concentrates, and live resin in particular, as “more of everything” regarding cannabis as a product. As a daily cannabis user, it is much easier for me to pop outside and take a single dab than it is for me to roll up and smoke a joint. And by the end, I smell like perfume instead of smoke. Concentrates are truly a more directed, discrete, versatile way to consume cannabis compared to almost any other method.
Does this scientific, all-natural approach purposefully run in opposition to headlines that deem vaping a serious health risk? Are you aiming to bring a seriousness to cannabis otherwise missing in some product categories?
Unlike the vape pens that are being flashed across the headlines, our products are 100% cannabis-derived. The products getting people sick around the country have been reported to contain additives and non-cannabis ingredients. We focus on expressing the cannabis plant in its purest, least-adulterated format, which is all of its essential oils captured at their peak and vaporized at low temperature. We want to remain authentic to the cannabis plant and the people that spend their lives producing it; Live Resin Project is our way to do so.
Images courtesy of Live Resin Project