Live Resin vs Shatter Differences Explained

As the years go on, it seems as though more and more forms of cannabis are making their way onto the shelves of dispensaries nationwide. One of the most recent cannabis concentrates to be introduced to the cannabis community is something known as “live resin.”  Similar to shatter, live resin is classified as a type of BHO, which is short for butane hash oil.

Curious what live resin is, how to smoke live resin and whether or not live resin is better than shatter? Keep on reading Top Shelf’s comprehensive guide for more information!

How is Live Resin Made?

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Live resin contains an impressively high number of terpenes, which help retains the plant’s original flavour and aromatics. As a butane hash oil product, live resin is produced with the help of butane as a solvent. Shatter is made in a similar fashion, but we’ll dive into that in a moment. Focusing on live resin, the cannabis concentrate is crafted from live cannabis plants, which sets it apart from the majority of other concentrates.

What does “live” mean? Unlike other cannabis concentrates, live resin uses the flower buds of plants that are still alive. Instead of drying and curing the weed, buds are flash-frozen at the point of harvest and kept frozen throughout the entire manufacturing process.

The drying and curing process removes and damages many of the plant’s beneficial compounds. As a result of this unique, frozen manufacturing process, live resin contains far more terpenes and naturally-occurring cannabinoids than many other forms of cannabis concentrates.

How to Use Live Resin

The most common, and arguably only, way of using live resin is in the form of dabs. Dabbing is one of the most intense ways of consuming a variety of cannabis concentrates, live resin included. If you’re not familiar with dabbing, let us be the ones to introduce you to practice!

Dabs are usually done alongside either a dab rig or a dab straw, a setup

Essentially, to start, you’ll want to take a small swab of the concentrate, so live resin in this case, by taking a stick-like tool called a dabber.

Once you have your concentrate of choice on the tip of the dabber, you then angle the dabber so that the live resin doesn’t touch anything. Then, heat up the nail of your dab rig with a torch until the nail turns bright red.

Once it’s hot enough, take the dabber and, with the live resin facing the nail, twirl the dabber in a circular motion until all of the live resin is vaporized. You’ll be inhaling as deeply as possible to pull the vapor up and out of the water pipe so it enters your system.

Like we said, dabs can be very intense so you’ll want to start out with very small dabs in the beginning. Even experienced weed smokers can be thrown aback by dabs, especially big ones, so don’t feel pressured to take big dab rips right out of the gate.

What is Shatter?

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Now that we’ve talked about live resin, it’s time to head into a conversation that focuses on shatter! Just like live resin, shatter is a cannabis product that falls into the category of concentrates.

Shatter got its name as a result of its glasslike appearance. In fact, you can even crack the concentrate and when you do, it literally shatters, hence the name.

Instead of using flash-frozen cannabis, shatter uses already dried and cured cannabis in its production process. This means that some of the plant’s terpenes, flavour and beneficial compounds undergo some slight degradation and damage.

How is Shatter Made?

The process of extracting the compounds that shatter is made out of is known as a hydrocarbon extraction process. Essentially, this just means that butane, the hydrocarbon, is introduced as the solvent.

The solvent helps to strip the plant of all of its desirable compounds such as its THC, terpenes and flavour. The process begins with submerging the dried and cure bud in butane long enough for everything to be properly extracted.

Once everything desirable from the plant has been extracted, the remaining butane is evaporated over low heat so as to not ignite the butane. This process gradually removes the butane, leaving you with golden, amber coloured butane hash oil.

Many manufacturers opt to conduct an additional vacuum purge process to be certain that all of the remaining butane has been properly removed.

How to Use Shatter

A cannabis concentrate just like live resin, shatter can easily be vaporized in a dab rig or straw of your choosing. If you want to go the extra mile, you could also shatter and sprinkle some of the concentrate down the length of your joint before rolling it up or placing some into a bong pipe or bowl before lighting up.

You can do this with live resin as well but this isn’t recommended due to how difficult and messy smoking/combusting cannabis concentrates can get. You’ll also be wasting a considerate amount of product as it can take quite some time for the heat to reach the proper temperature to actually utilize the concentrates.

Live Resin vs Shatter: Which is Better?

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The unique, frozen processing steps that live resin undergoes makes it a tasty and more “full-spectrum” experience when compared to shatter. Since live resin uses cannabis flower that has been frozen at the point of harvest, the plant’s terpenes and active compounds are preserved much better than shatter.

With that being said, live resin tends to be pricer than shatter due to the extra processing that it requires. Additionally, the non-cured taste of cannabis might deter smokers who are used to the flavour of shatter from enjoying the concentrate.

At the end of the day, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of both live resin and shatter for yourself. Are you looking for a more flavourful, tasty smoking experience or simply a concentrate to get you high?

Ask yourselves these questions when determining if live resin or shatter is better for you!

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