The expanding legalization of recreational cannabis throughout the US has led to exponential growth of the marijuana industry. Experienced and newbie weed enthusiasts are more informed about cannabis now than ever, with many consumers searching for new ways to prepare this magic psychoactive herb. We all know what cannabis is, but what about cannabis resin?
In simple terms, cannabis resin, or reclaim, is a naturally occurring product of the cannabis plant. Tokers may also find it as a byproduct of smoked cannabis inside smoking devices, such as weed pipes and chillums.
Weed buffs can collect marijuana resin to make a range of potent forms of THC concentrate, from kief and wax to hashish. This article provides valuable insights into how you can consume cannabis resin, what to look for when purchasing a resin product, and how to improve resin usage.
What Is Cannabis Resin?
Cannabis resin is the sticky substance naturally produced in the trichomes of the marijuana plant. Trichomes are the tiny, fine hairs or glands that coat cannabis flowers and are the ones responsible for giving various cannabis strains their distinct aroma and flavor profiles.
This natural substance contains many active cannabinoids that the marijuana plant is known for, including cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the compound primarily responsible for the "high" associated with marijuana. In fact, cannabis resin is reported to be the most potent part of the weed plant, as it contains the highest THC concentration. Therefore, smoking resin produces a more potent high.
What To Look For In Cannabis Resin?
Whether you choose to consume cured resin or live resin, you need weed extracts that are potent and pure. There are several types of cannabis resins, and their distinctions come from their physical appearance and characteristics and the extraction process. But what are the critical things to look for when purchasing cannabis resin?
Cannabis resin is available in various colors, including red, black, and golden. The color depends on several factors, including:
- The cannabis strain
- Extraction technique
- Storage conditions
Generally, good cannabis resin has a more golden/amber color.
The potency of your cannabis resin is critical if you want to experience the desired effects. Looking at the color and texture is a practical way of assessing purity and strength. As mentioned above, pure resin appears light gold.
Cannabis trichomes contain compounds known as terpenes, which release an aroma that attracts insects that facilitate pollination. The terpenes give the resin a distinctive aroma and fragrance, characterized by a woody and earthy smell. Cannabis resin also contains flavonoids – which play a role in how we perceive the cannabis plant with our senses due to the color it provides.
4. Mode of use
The two most popular methods of consuming cannabis resin are dabbing and vaping.
- Dabbing – This method allows users to vaporize cannabis resin. It involves heating the resin to a high temperature (about 550°F), allowing it to cool down, and inhaling the vapor using a special bong known as an oil rig. Dabbing is a technique mastered only by experienced tokers because inhaling the vapor at a high temperature can lead to respiratory problems.
- Vaping – Vaping is a lower-risk method of consuming cannabis resin. There are wide-ranging vape pen batteries and vape pen cartridges on consumer markets, and they come in various flavors and THC levels to cater to all types of weed enthusiasts.
5. Check For QR Codes, Lab Tests, and Certificates Of Analysis (COA)
When purchasing cannabis resin, verify that its packaging bears a QR code you can scan to get information about the product. By scanning the code using your smartphone, you can gather insights – in-store or at home - on the strain, the cannabinoids profile, and the effects the resin produces.
Additionally, check for a product's lab test report to get a quick reference to a third-party certificate of analysis (COA) related to your preferred product. Lab tests assess a product's ingredients/compounds, effects, and safety. Test reports and COAs demonstrate a manufacturer's transparency and impartiality and provide a better understanding of a product's potency and purity.
Some manufacturers integrate this information into the QR code, while others avail it on their custom landing page with a unique fact sheet about every product. Regardless of the source of that information, always check for third-party lab reports.
Ways to Improve Your Cannabis Resin Usage
Cannabis resin is usually collected through dry-sifting, either manually or using a three- or four-compartment grinder. Other people collect the resin by hand-rubbing cannabis plants and then brushing it off their hands.
You can extract cannabis resin and make it into various products to improve your consumption of marijuana. The following are some of the fresh and pleasant variations of resin to elevate your smoking experience:
Most cannabis resin products contain low concentrations of terpenes and flavonoids, as most of these compounds get lost during extraction. To preserve them, live resins are made from cannabis resin extracted from marijuana plants that have been flash-frozen immediately after being harvested and made into dabs (also called wax/shatter). The freezing process ensures terpene retention, resulting in a flavorful and aromatic dabbing experience.
When grinding cannabis flowers using an herb grinder, the resinous glands on the trichomes usually fall from the buds and stick to the grinder's internal surfaces. A three-compartment grinder features a kief catcher at the base, which collects the resin over time. Once it has accumulated, you can collect it using a scraper.
Kief has a fine texture and a sticky feel. If you're new to cannabis, you can use it to top off your bowl or add it to your cannabis flower before rolling it into a blunt for an extra kick. Experienced cannabis consumers can also pack kief into a bowl and smoke it on its own.
Hashish (or hash) is a form of cannabis resin originally from central Asia. It's made by compressing the trichomes of cannabis resin into a block or ball. Since hash is made from an already concentrated substance, it produces a more powerful high that induces intensified psychoactive and euphoric effects.
Hash can be smoked in pipes, hookahs, joints, or mixed with other herbs. You can also ingest it as edibles, although you must first decarb the weed (at 230-250°F for 30-90 minutes) lest you consume natural THC, which has no intoxicating effect.
Alternatively, hashish can be made into concentrated hash oil, which delivers similar effects to smoked hash.
Besides hash oil, cannabis resin can also be made into rosin oil. While hash oil is made from any solvent, rosin is extracted from the cannabis plant using heat and pressure, which preserves the terpene profile.
Many people extract rosin by placing a few nugs on parchment paper and flattening it using a hair straightener for quick, hassle-free extraction. The only caveat is that this method may not extract all the oil from the plant. A better option is to use a hydraulic press to squeeze those cannabis buds to the last drop of THC-rich oil. The machine is relatively expensive, but it's worth your investment, especially if you're an avid resin consumer.
You can consume rosin using a vape pen, but after placing it in the refrigerator for a few hours, you can dab the oil using a nectar collector or dab rig.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What's the shelf life of cannabis resin?
For a long shelf life, cannabis resin is stored in a dark, cool place at room temperature. When extracted properly, cannabis resin can be stored for one to two years without compromising its terpenoid and flavonoid profiles.
What's the difference between cannabis resin and cannabis rosin?
While resin is extracted through a hydrocarbon solvent, rosin is made through a solventless process. Like live resin, rosin extraction involves using live plants instead of cured cannabis.
Is resin the same as dab?
A dab is a form of THC concentrate produced using a solvent or heat and pressure. On the other hand, live resin is a type of dab made from cannabis resin extracted from plants that have been flash-frozen immediately after harvesting.