The cannabis plant’s smells and flavors are created by naturally occurring terpenes. Terpenes are a large group of volatile, unsaturated hydrocarbons found in the essential oils of plants. In the case of cannabis, terpenes contribute to thousands of diverse smells and flavors.
Factors to Consider
Freeze It! Live Resin Makes Better Concentrate
The Basics of Terpenes & Material Preservation
Take Away: As a general rule, freeze the plant upon harvesting and directly extract the frozen material.
There are many facets to creating award winning cannabis concentrates. This article explores the basics of material preservation and its effect on producing high quality extracts.
The retention of terpenes is also a crucial part of any hemp or cannabis extraction process as it contributes to not only flavor and smell, but also its pharmacological effects.
If you can’t immediately begin the extraction process upon freezing, keep in mind that frozen plant material will still result in a better extract than starting from dried leaf. Freezing stops the metabolic process and prevents degradation of the plant material. In the same way you would buy frozen fruit from the grocery store or freeze all types of food for later consumption, the cannabis plant’s “freshness” is preserved for a much greater period of time than at room temperature or in a refrigerator.
Freezing plant material not only contributes to terpene preservation, but also helps to lock out the water soluble components of the plant cellular structure from being extracted. Moisture present in the cannabis buds can impede butane to act as a solvent. This is why, even those processors that run cured or dried material, still opt to freeze it before processing it though an extraction machine.
Live resin extraction involves freezing freshly trimmed cannabis, then immediately processing the frozen material in an extraction machine.