What is Live Cannabis?
Imagine walking through the frozen food aisles in your local supermarket. You have ice cream, frozen pizzas, bread, individual dinners, snacks, and even frozen meats. All these items are kept at these freezing temperatures with the intent of maintaining a long shelf life while still being palatable for customers by preserving the flavors of the food.
Food production companies use a process called cold chain. Simply put, this just means that the food is frozen once produced or processed and then kept frozen until heated or thawed for consumption. This gave cannabis innovators an idea, if this could be done with food, why can’t it be done with cannabis.
Could this allow cultivators to keep harvests fresher for longer periods of time? Could using this method create new types of cannabis products? And if it retains flavonoids in food, could this method help retain volatile terpenes and flavonoids in cannabis, which can be lost in the drying and curing process?
The answer to all these questions they found out is yes!
What Makes Cannabis Live?
The bud you are most familiar that can be purchased at a dispensary are dried and cured after harvest. Drying and curing flower allows the terpenes to become more aromatic, as well as crafting a more pleasant smoking experience - but not all flower is meant for this fate.
Some strains instead and placed into large bags to be immediately frozen at a temperature of –38 degrees. This process preserves the cannabis plant’s living terpene profile, and why we call it “live.” The plant’s living profile is comprised of compounds like flavonoids, terpenes, and cannabinoids. Because some terpenes can degrade with the slightest increase in temperature, it is imperative that this process is done as quickly as possible.
Why Use Live Cannabis?
There are many benefits to using different techniques to create diverse types of cannabis products. I am sure you can guess that one of the benefits of live cannabis is the retention of therapeutic terpenes and cannabinoids. Plus, the retention of flavonoids adds to the flavor profile and all these compounds together assist in creating full spectrum cannabis products.
Full Spectrum Cannabis Products
Full spectrum or “whole plant” cannabis are products that contain the full profile of the cannabis plant. These products are said to have many medicinal components because of the beneficial compounds like flavonoids, terpenes, and cannabinoids. The full spectrum aspect helps patients find relief with pain, assists in better sleep, and inspires creativity. These are just a few of the many effects full spectrum cannabis products can offer.
Experience The Entourage Effect
The most basic and widely used way to explain the entourage effect is the results achieved through the synergistic interaction of flavonoids, terpenes, cannabinoids, and fatty acids found naturally in cannabis. With the abundance of these compounds available in cannabis they can all be manipulated by combining different ones to create desired effects for patients looking to treat specific illnesses. If you want to learn more about the entourage effect, take a look at our post The Cannabis Entourage Effect.
What Extraction Methods Are Used?
There are many extraction methods used to create live cannabis products. At MÜV we use several methods in attempts to create an array of concentrates for our patients. These methods include solvents and solvent-less extraction processes.
Live Rosin is extracted using a solvent-less process called ice water extraction. This method bathes the live cannabis in ice water, soaking the flowers thoroughly then stirring or shaking them. The iced agitation breaks the frozen trichomes away from the plant matter. The remaining product is dried into bubble hash. The hash is then further processed using only heat and pressure. Using only ice water, heat and pressure is what designates this process as solvent-less.
Live Badder and Sugar are extracted using a solvent process called Hydrocarbon Extraction. Hydrocarbons are solvents whose compounds are comprised solely of hydrogen and carbon atoms. Solvents used in the hydrocarbon process include butane, isobutane, and propane, or a combination of these three solvents. Hydrocarbon extraction starts with flash-freezing cannabis. The frozen flower is then washed with the hydrocarbon solvent, and then the residual solvents are removed to create a live extract.
Manipulation of the extract is what causes various textures. Live Badder is crafted by delicately whipping the live extract until it achieves a homogenous, creamy consistency.
Live Sugar is extracted in the same manner as Live Badder, but it is handled differently. Low heat and pressure are applied to the live extract, which causes THCA molecules to conform together. The THCA molecules interlock to form small microcrystals of THCA for a potent dabbing experience.
Frequently Asked Questions About Live Cannabis
Since we know what live cannabis is now, we can get a little more into questions about the products created using live cannabis, the types, what cost differences are in comparison to other cannabis products, and if MÜV has live products available.
What Forms Of Cannabis Products Are Created Using Live Cannabis?
Live cannabis can be used to produce an array of cannabis products. The majority of that array is within two categories, the main category being concentrates and a sub-category of edibles.
Most products made with live cannabis start with an extraction process. This process is determined by what product you are wanting in the end, processes may require solvents while others may not. Solvent-less products like MÜV’s Live Ice Water Extract are created using heat and pressure. Whereas products like MÜV Live Resin Badder are created using extraction processes like Hydrocarbon Extraction.
Are Live Cannabis Products More Expensive Than Non-Live Cannabis Products?
Live cannabis products can be more expensive due to several factors:
First, using whole flowers for concentrates is what the industry calls “nug run.” Nug run concentrates have been known to produce higher quality products because of the whole flower being used rather than the trim which is what typically gets processed for concentrates.
Second, depending on the extraction process, the live cannabis product may use more plant material, thus adding cost due to the increase of product needed to create the same amount of concentrates.
Third, live cannabis products give patients the same full-spectrum, entourage effects as dried and cured flower because of the preserved beneficial compounds, aiding in the medicinal quality of the product.
Are Live Cannabis Products More Potent?
Cannabis products that are not live are made from flower that has been dried and cured. As we discussed, this means these products are made from buds that have lost some of their viable medical properties like terpenes and flavonoids. When live cannabis products are produced, they have been made from flowers that have been flash-frozen, retaining a lot more of those terpenes and flavonoids. This leads to the entourage effect being felt more by patients and adding to the aspect that it is more “potent” because of the full spectrum product giving patients more terpenes and flavonoids to their endocannabinoid system.
Where Can I Buy Live Cannabis In Florida?
It is our goal at MÜV to ensure a variety of products, including live cannabis products, are available across Florida at every MÜV location. Be on the lookout for many new and exciting live cannabis products in MÜV and Verano Reserve strains set to hit the Florida market in 2022. Check your local MÜV Dispensary for live cannabis products near you!
Content Writer for MÜV and Zen Leaf. Britt began exploring cannabis as a recreational user attempting to treat her migraines and depression. Finding success, she began to realize the many benefits of cannabis for a multitude of ailments. Her new-found knowledge prompted a move to Colorado, where she was able to medically treat her son with ADHD and aid her family in becoming healthier and happier. Realizing her passion for cannabis, she turned it into a career. Joining the industry as Medtender and moving into management gave Britt the knowledge needed to become a writer for a local cannabis culture magazine in Oklahoma and a leading voice in cannabis compliance.