‘Blended’ vapes muddying the waters of true live resin

Published on February 11, 2022 by David Wylie

Photo: Contributed
Bubba Nicholson says true live resin vapes are a class of their own.

By Bubba Nicholson

In a world of legalized cannabis, where a large part of our entire directive has been to ‘eradicate the illicit market’ or ‘divert from the legacy market,’ I feel like we are strongly missing our mark.

We’ve created a space where the government stands in front of its customers and says there are too many ‘me-too’ products, at the same time failing to protect the outliers who present unique craft solutions. Instead, grouping them into the same ‘me-too’ categories they shame us for having.

True live resin vapes are just that, a true class of their own—a product, that for years, has essentially been the heavily sought-after Holy Grail for many a producer in the legacy market. The artisans who have achieved this methodology keep it tight to their chests, and rightfully so, as the processes have taken years of hard work, dedication, and passion to develop.

Live resin vapes are considered a difficult accomplishment because THCA wants to crystallize and fall out of the solution; when unprocessed oil is capped into a cartridge, the solution begins to separate, the THCA crystallizes and will never pass through the aperture of the cart… rendering the cartridge useless.  Many producers will add a diluent to the mixture such as terpenes or distillate to ‘water down’ the live resin and prevent the THCA from crashing out. By doing this, the natural terpenes and cannabinoids are so dilute that they get lost in the sauce and it can no longer be considered a High Terpene Full Spectrum Extract (aka HTFSE).

A few select artisans across North America have figured out the process of converting/activating the THCA to THC, without compromising the fragile terpenes that would otherwise be destroyed and/or oxidized during the decarboxylation process. Once activated, the product remains shelf stable throughout the life of the cart while maintaining a true live resin experience, filled with all the cannabinoids, terpenes, alkyls and esters that make up full spectrum extracts. Allowing products that contain distillate to call themselves a true live resin is akin to crowning someone the winner of a marathon, without them running the first 26 miles — it’s not fair to the other contestants that ran a full race.

Photo: David Wylie/the oz.
Greybeard's SLK Live Resin 510-thread cart.

We firmly believe that we stand on the shoulders of giants, that we would not be where we are today if it were not for the generations before us. The Breeders, The Growers, The Activists, The Scientists; all the people who sacrificed their lives in jail so that we would not have to.  We all sit here today, able to provide for our families on the backs of those people. We need to pay respect and homage to them, as opposed to appropriating them. We need to protect the craft producers and artisans that continue to push forward in this regulated space we have created to become a strong set of shoulders for our next generation.

We stand as true believers in the value of the ‘blended’ carts that are on market. We think that they only help to expand the category of ‘live resin’ as a steppingstone into HTFSE; However, to be true to the categories they need to be identified as just that, a blend. Allowing producers to add a value-priced cutting agent to their live resin forces unrealistic compression to an emerging market that craft producers cannot afford keep up with and does not exist on the legacy market, while muddying the waters of true craft.

Many of the licensed producers who are providing these ‘blended’ cartridges skirt transparency by creating nomenclature on their websites that confuse the consumer and avoid the true ingredients of the product. All of this whilst still abiding by the set out provincial guidelines of the submission process which only require the term ‘cannabis extract’ in the drop down. Simple changes to questions in the product submissions would allow for transparency at both the federal and provincial levels, filtering down to the consumer.

All of this to say, We wake up every morning feeling blessed and grateful to be able to feed our families, doing what we love. We love and appreciate Health Canada, our provincial partners, and will always have their backs, We can only hope our sentiments are reciprocated.

Bubba Nicholson is the Vice President Of Business Development & Ethos at Thrive Cannabis. This was originally posted by Nicholson on Linked In.