The French writer Victor Hugo (perhaps most famous for his novel “Les Misérables”) said that cognac is “the liquor of the gods.” Its lengthy extraction process produces a liquor rich in taste and aroma. For those inclined to cannabis, live resin is the cognac of cannabis.
Just as cognac is produced in the Cognac region of France, (it is protected under its own appellation), so live resin from Humboldt expresses the place, the strain and the extraction process that make it distinctive. If you want to experience the essence of cannabis grown and extracted in Humboldt, follow these steps:
1. Go to a licensed dispensary (CApotcheck.com). There are over a dozen licensed dispensaries in Humboldt County. Products carried in licensed dispensaries in California must have compliance test results, so you know that any product is safe in terms of potency and contaminants.
2. Look at the price. Live resin is a cannabis concentrate and comes in small jars, with the price often an indicator of the THC potency.
3. Ask about the terpenes and choose a flavor that speaks to you. This is where live resin really stands out, as it has a higher terpene profile than other concentrates. Terpenes are oils secreted by the cannabis plant that give each strain its unique flavor. Perhaps you already have a favorite strain, say Ice Cream Cake known for its creamy, sweet flavor, or Lemon Tree as bright and fruitful as lemon zest. Live resin is the authentic, intense expression of the strain.
4. Ask about pesticides. Cannabis cultivation is highly regulated and California’s pesticide regulations for cannabis are considered by most industry watchers to be the strictest in the country. Choose live resin from cannabis cultivated in Humboldt County for a safe product. Unlike traditional agricultural regions impacted by heavy metals in the soil, Humboldt is home to hundreds of craft farms that grow plants with care and attention.
5. Choose a full-spectrum live resin. Research shows that cannabinoids work together with terpenes to create medical benefits. Full spectrum extracts preserve all the beneficial compounds in cannabis while removing the unnecessary ones like waxes, fats, and lipids.
6. Ask about dosage. Live resin is a concentrate, and a little goes a long way. Start with an amount the size of a grain of rice, see how it feels, and adjust.
7. If cognac requires a ‘sifter’ glass that allows the aromas and flavors to blossom inside, giving a powerful experience to the drinker, so live resin is consumed with a dab ‘rig’ that looks like a mad scientist’s tool (not mad at all, mind you!). If you’re new to live resin, or if you prefer a discrete and portable setup, go for a live resin sauce like Ursa Live Diamond Sauce which is essentially a reconstructed live resin with controlled ratios for a distinctive taste modulated by terpenes. Live resin sauce comes in a cartridge that is consumed in a vape pen. Be careful here: you should use a pen with a low-voltage battery (ideally under 2 volts) so that the sauce heats to the optimum temperature, revealing its full aroma.
Nicole Riggs is the founder of Manifesto Synergies and Chief Marketing Officer at Humboldt Community Business Development Center (HCBDC)