Cannabis resin is the light to dark brown sticky substance found on the trichomes of a cannabis plant. This sap-like plant byproduct is considered the most valuable part of the plant and delivers the prime majority of the psychoactive compound THC. Products containing resin are called concentrates. There are several ways that resins can be harvested to produce concentrates, such as butane hash oil, live resin, and rosin.
What is cannabis resin?
Cannabis resin is a substance that’s naturally produced in the trichomes of the cannabis plant.
This natural substance contains many of the active compounds that cannabis is known for, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive component of the cannabis plant.
The resin found in cannabis plants appears as either a sticky secretion or a powdery substance and can present in a variety of colors.
Cannabis resin can be extracted directly from the plant or from the tools used to smoke the cannabis plant. This resin has different names depending on how it’s extracted.
Some of the most common cannabis resin preparations include:
- Hashish. Also called hash, this is cannabis resin that’s extracted from the plant and dried into a pressed powder.
- Rosin. This is cannabis resin that’s extracted from the plant using heat and pressure.
- Resin or reclaim. Also called weed tar, this is cannabis resin extracted from tools, like a pipe or dab rig, after smoking.
Types of cannabis resin
When discussing cannabis resin, it helps to understand the distinction between the various types of resin, what they’re called, and how they’re used.
Hash and rosin
Hash and rosin aren’t usually called “resin” because they’re extracted directly from the plant.
Preparations like these are a popular choice for people who are looking to smoke or vape something more concentrated than dried cannabis leaves.
Hash and rosin are often stronger and have a longer-lasting high than traditional preparations.
Leftover resin or reclaim
Leftover resin, or reclaim, is often simply called “resin.” People usually only smoke it to avoid wasting any cannabis that may be left over in the pipe.
In fact, most people dispose of the reclaimed resin when cleaning out their tools rather than smoke it.
What does live resin look like?
Live resin is typically a dark yellow color. It is a more malleable concentrate, sitting somewhere between a sauce and a wax—not too wet and not quite like taffy.
Like all cannabis concentrates it is extremely sticky, so you’ll need a dab tool to handle it. Depending on the producer, some live resins may have a runny consistency and some may be more solid or waxy.
How To Smoke Resin
There are many ways to use resin — some good, some bad, some just plain stupid. In this section, we’ll describe some of the best methods of how to smoke resin.
1) Dry Pipe
The simplest way to use up all the resin in your pipe or bong is to apply heat to the outer surface until the resin vaporizes, and then toke away.
If you choose to try this method, keep in mind that everything is going to be very hot. You’ll definitely need a potholder, oven mitt, or tongs of some kind so you don’t burn your fingers.
And be careful when you put the pipe or bong to your lips. The mouthpiece may be warm (or even hot).
If hitting the pipe dry isn’t your thing, try these alternative methods that require removing the resin first.
For the rest of the methods in this section, you’ll need to remove the resin from your pipe or bong first.
To do that, find a bobby pin or paperclip and a small plate or bowl.
Run a lighter or torch over the surface of the pipe or bong to warm up the resin (so it doesn’t stick to the inside surface as hard). Then start scraping with the bobby pin or paperclip.
Collect all the resin on the plate or in the bowl.
When you’ve removed all the resin that you want, roll it into a ball and pack it in the bowl of your bong. Apply heat per usual and smoke away.
In this case, it’s best to use a bong with fresh water in the bottom to help filter out as much of the foulness as possible.
3) Dab Rig
You can also try smoking your resin with a dab rig. Clean the resin out of your pipe or bong (as described above), roll it into lumps, and then dab yourself silly.
Be sure to put fresh water in the bottom of your rig so the taste and harshness of the resin don’t overwhelm you.
4) Hot Knives
Like the dry pipe method mentioned above, the hot knives method is going to be very harsh and will most definitely stink up the area where you choose to smoke.
Here’s how the hot knives method works:
- Two metal knives (the wider the blades the easier it will be)
- Stove, fire, or torch (something with which to heat the knives)
- Oven mitts or potholders
- Funnel (optional)
- Scrape the resin out of your pipe or bong.
- Form it into small lumps (sometimes called “spots” or “dots”).
- Heat the knives. We find that the burner on a stove is the easiest solution, but you could also stick the knives in a campfire or heat both of them at the same time with a torch.
- Don one oven mitt.
- Place the lump of resin on the blade of one of the hot knives.
- Place the other hot blade on top of the first blade and gently squeeze.
- Inhale the resulting smoke through your nose or mouth (remember, it’s going to be harsh).
To make sure all the smoke goes where it’s supposed to go — into your lungs — you can hold a small funnel in your mouth, maneuver it over the hot knives when you put them together, and inhale from there.
If you don’t have a funnel, you can make your own out of whatever materials are on hand. The easiest DIY solution is to cut the top off a plastic water bottle and use that as a funnel.
This is also known as a spottle, bowser, hooter, or toker.