Not all cannabis concentrates are created equal. They can vary widely in colour from a pale yellowish hue to deep, dark brown. They can be solid, liquid, or even crystalline. Most concentrates on the Canadian market, however, are made from simple distillates using extraction processes that are purpose-built to quickly and efficiently strip THC from plant matter, but not to create full spectrum extracts with high terpene content. This, though, is exactly what Greybeard’s extraction processes were purpose-built to do. For us at Greybeard, we consider live resin to be the top-tier of craft cannabis concentrates, and for good reason.

What is Live Resin, and why do we love it?

If run-of-the-mill concentrates (like most vape cartridges) are like juices made from canned and frozen concentrates, live resin is like a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice made in your own home. The difference in this analogy is clear: with the latter, you get better flavour (just the right balance of sweet and tart), a brilliant colour, and aromas of not just the juices and pulp, but also originating from the oils in the zest. It looks better, tastes better, and likely better for you, as well.

People often describe the feeling from simple distillate vapes as being quite one-dimensional compared to smoking a joint or vaping dried flower. There’s a good reason for that: most distillate vapes only contain THC and some added flavours (sometimes terpenes, but also sometimes just fruit flavours or worse). The lack of an array of cannabinoids and naturally-occurring terpenes is what makes it seem so different than natural dried flower.

For those seeking a more nuanced high than distillate vape cartridges, you simply can’t compare them to vape cartridges containing live resin. Live resin offers up a full spectrum of cannabinoids, i.e. not just THC or CBD but also more of the minor cannabinoids. And in combination with high terpene levels that were naturally occurring in that particular strain, the entourage effects of those compounds working together is something that can’t easily be emulated by distillates.

Discerning cannabis consumers also love live resin because it much better represents the whole plant – that’s why we call it a whole-plant extract, after all. For those looking for the particular benefits of a very specific strain, distillation erases that uniqueness – it irreparably changes the cannabinoid profile (what was once a number of cannabinoids becomes only THC in most cases) and they often only include terpenes that “come in a jar” from an ingredient supplier. Those types of concentrates ‘simulate’ whole-plant extracts but they are NOT whole-plant extracts in and of themselves and are therefore inferior in almost every way except price.

What makes Greybeard live resin so unique?

Greybeard’s Live Resin is made using a process called hydrocarbon extraction which starts by freezing cannabis immediately after harvest to seal in the cannabinoids and terpenes until they are ready to be extracted. This is no small difference from what other producers do. We have made huge investments in frozen storage and other technologies that make the freezing and storing of almost 20 metric tonnes of plant material a reality. That is the kind of thing you only do if you’re serious about quality.

What results from extracting concentrate matter from those frozen plants in our hydrocarbon system is a hugely aromatic and flavourful end product that retains about twice the terpene content vs what most other licensed producers squeeze out of their dried cannabis plants in (mostly) CO2 and Ethanol extraction facilities. During the drying process much of the terps are lost to the air (that’s why facilities smell so good … if you can smell it in the air, it isn’t in your plant anymore). And those other extraction processes use high temperatures and/or high pressures to maintain very efficient and fast procedures that maximize yields and profits.

To be clear, it’s not like we are doing this for charity. We have investors and lenders and payroll comes every two weeks just like everyone else. But the difference is that we have committed to making our profits by delivering a very different kind of product made in a very different kind of process. And unlike most LPs, we have committed to making our unique products for those who care about these aesthetic and functional differences because they matter to both the enjoyment of cannabis, as well as to its potential health benefits. And it’s for those people (people like us and many more millions across North America and maybe one day the world) that we make Greybeard Live Resin, and hopefully, always will.