Liquid Diamonds: How is that a thing?
So, you’re interested in understanding more about Pleasantrees’ “Liquid Diamonds” carts? First thing to know is that they’re available at the wonderful Detroit dispensary & East Lansing dispensary. Luckily, you’ve stumbled upon this educational blog post which is guaranteed to learn you up on cannabis resin production, resin diamonds, and, lastly, Liquid Diamonds carts themselves.
Roughly a decade ago, some smart fellows from Colorado figured out how to perform butane extraction on fresh, often frozen, whole cannabis plants instead of plant material that has been decarboxylated (dried and cured). Accordingly, the “live” in live resin is in reference to those live plants. Utilizing “live,” uncured cannabis plants results in a concentrate that more accurately captures the terpene profile of the strain in its truest form. This means deeper aromas, richer flavors, and better medicinal effects. When it first dropped on the cannabis scene, live resin blew people’s minds because of the vivid, fully aromatic, potent experience it offered as compared to other concentrates (i.e., raw distillate).
More Than 80% THC and 5x the Terpenes
Notably, live resin can reach concentrations of 80-90% THC, depending on the strain used and skill of the processor. However, the point of live resins is not THC content. In fact, some live resins might actually be slightly lower in THC than conventionally-produced concentrates. The real purpose of live resin is to preserve the terpenes that are lost through the regular decarboxylation process. Stated otherwise, the magic is in the terpene levels. Live resin can have as much as five times more terps by weight.
How is live resin made you ask? Well, using volatile solvent extraction the same as in normal distillate, except it is done in a very, very cold environment which is necessary to fully liquefy all of the plant’s delicately frozen trichomes (resin glands that contain THC, CBD and other cannabinoids and terpenes). Specifically, closed-loop extractor equipment passes a volatile solvent — most often pressurized butane at cryogenic temperatures between -20℉ to -50℉ — through a tube holding the fresh-frozen plant matter. During that process, the butane bonds with the cannabinoids and terpenes and pulls them from the plant matter. The liquid butane (which now contains all the good stuff from the cannabis plant) then passes into the dewax chamber where the lipids, fats, and waxes are removed. Finally, the solution passes into the collection chamber where heat is used to boil off the butane. When the boiling is complete, you’re left with a concentrated oil full of cannabinoid and terpene ratios very similar to those which existed in the live plant itself.
Live resin is typically a dark yellow color. In its initial, natural state, it is extremely sticky but, depending on the producer, some live resins may have a runny consistency and some may be more solid or waxy. Products labeled as live resin often differ in viscosity, ranging between saps, sugars, jellies, butters, and even more solid shatters. While terpene concentration can affect viscosity, products can also be mechanically altered post-extraction, such as when saps are whipped into butters. Surely at this point you’re thinking, “Ok great, but what about the diamonds?” We know you came for the bling homie; all of this was just the lead up.
Terpenes, which by the way play a crucial role in the entourage effect (the idea that cannabinoids work best in harmony with one another), are liquid at room temperature and regular pressure. On the other hand, the cannabinoids which interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system to produce physiological impacts take solid form under typical conditions. Live resin diamonds are made from THCa, which is the acidic cannabinoid that becomes THC when exposed to heat. If live resin is left to separate under certain conditions for several weeks, THCa crystals begin to form on the bottom of the container leaving a semi-viscous liquid layer on top. Considered one of the most fragrant and potent of all concentrate forms, THCa diamonds are often dabbed with a high-terpene mix (the top of the separated material) drizzled over top, resulting in a potent, aromatic concentrate that is unlike any other.
To some extent, the separation of terpenes and diamonds happens naturally whether or not you want it to happen. This is called resin “sauce,” which is basically just a semi-separated mixture of viscous high-terpene extract and small THCa crystals. Pleasantrees’ Liquid Diamonds are basically sauce carts, except that we employ certain procedures to ensure as little separation as possible. Hence, we created the name “Liquid Diamonds,” which is representative of the fact that our resin carts deliver the normal resin diamond experience, but with a convenient, on-the-go delivery method instead of a complicated, static dab rig.
So, that’s it folks. We’ve covered a lot of ground in a short period of time and you deserve a reward. We suggest you hit the pen, sit back and reflect on your newly acquired cannabis concentrate knowledge. As always, Stay Pleasant.