What is Fresh Frozen Cannabis? The Best Way To Make Live Rosin?

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Added 07 February 2023

So far, we’ve been taught that cannabis buds are fragile and need an optimum environment so they can be enjoyed properly. But what if we tell you that one of the best ways of experiencing cannabis requires you to freeze your buds?

But, surely, freezing would destroy the buds, wouldn’t it?

Not really. As long as you do it properly, your buds are safe — safer than they will be out in the open. Essentially, by freezing cannabis buds, you can preserve their terpenoid and cannabinoid profile unlike ever before to create super-potent cannabis extracts. This is called fresh frozen cannabis.

Read on to know all about fresh frozen cannabis and how you can use it to create one of the best cannabis extracts — live rosin — from the comfort of your home. And you won’t have to spend a lot of money, either. 

What is Fresh Frozen Cannabis?

What is Fresh Frozen Cannabis?

In simple terms, fresh frozen cannabis is nothing but freezing freshly harvested buds — once you harvest the buds, you immediately seal them in bags and place them in sub-zero temperatures for some time. 

Yes, this process sounds risky and weird, but this is a process that many pro growers swear by because it offers various benefits that are simply not possible with regular, unfrozen cannabis buds. 

During the fresh frozen process, you harvest the buds when your plant is mature and immediately freeze them. This process saves you a lot of time and labor associated with the curing and drying process of the buds. 

Additionally, it can help you create potent concoctions with your buds. Unfrozen buds lose a lot of terpenes and cannabinoids during the drying and curing process, and more is lost over time as these compounds degrade due to environmental factors. But by freezing fresh buds, you get to preserve the cannabinoid and terpene content. 

You might be wondering, is freezing risky for your buds?

Yes, the process of freezing cannabis is sometimes risky — but only if you don’t know what you are doing. It is crucial to keep in mind that freezing fresh cannabis buds is still in its infancy, but you can do it with the right steps without worrying about the risks. 

Examples of Fresh Frozen Cannabis

Examples of Fresh Frozen Cannabis

Since fresh frozen cannabis is a relatively new process, growers are still experimenting with it. However, so far, it has helped growers produce some of the most potent cannabis extracts out there thanks to the rich terpenoid and cannabinoid profile that would otherwise have been lost. 

The two most popular examples are live resin and live rosin, which you can dab, vape, add to edibles, and even roll a joint if you’re feeling adventurous. They get their names thanks to their freshness and the process growers use to produce them. 

Live resin is created using hydrocarbon solvents like butane and propane, which are later purged from the extract — the residue is live resin. On the other hand, live rosin involves a solventless process that uses low pressure and heat. The latter is an easier process that even a home grower can use with ease. More on this is below. 

What are the Benefits of Fresh Frozen Cannabis?

What are the Benefits of Fresh Frozen Cannabis?

Fresh frozen cannabis offers various benefits to you, two of which were briefly discussed earlier. But now, let’s look at the benefits in detail. Here are the benefits of fresh frozen cannabis.

1. You No Longer Have to Cure or Dry Your Buds

We all know how time-consuming and tedious the curing and drying process is, and let’s not even forget — we have freshly harvested our buds but still have to wait for a few weeks at least.

But thanks to the freezing process, you don’t have to worry about all that. For a grower, especially a commercial one, you can enjoy your cannabis buds a lot faster with fresh frozen since you no longer have to spend the time and labor curing and drying them.

2. Your Buds Retain Most of the Terpenes and Cannabinoids

Terpenes and cannabinoids — the two phytochemicals are the reason we grow cannabis, but they can degrade over time. Here, cannabinoids are more stable, but terpenes tend to degrade a lot faster once you harvest the buds. 

Terpenes are volatile hydrocarbons, sensitive to light, oxygen, and temperature, and they are also quite fragile so you may damage them while handling your buds. During the drying and curing process, where your buds are exposed to the environment, they end up losing a lot of their terpenoid profile. 

Similarly, cannabinoids can also degrade over time. For example, your buds will retain THC for up a year, after which they will start losing most of their THC content. This occurs due to environmental factors like light and heat.

Here, freezing freshly harvested buds minimizes the cannabinoids and terpenes’ exposure to harsh environments, protecting them over time. 

3. You Can Produce High-Quality Products

The curing and drying process is usually a hit or miss because it relies on various environmental factors that may not always be ideal in your region. For example, if you live in a humid region, you have to worry about mold, but in a cold region, you have to worry about frost. 

While you can still produce high-quality products with the right steps, it takes a lot of effort and the quality is generally not consistent. 

In that case, you can simply freeze your buds to save yourself the time and your buds the risk. This allows you to create high-quality products with a consistent quality standard. 

4. You can Store Your Surplus Cannabis for Longer

Have you ever grown more cannabis than you can consume and some of the leftover stock was wasted? If this happens to you, you can freeze your cannabis buds to extend their shelf life. 

For example, one Italian team of researchers studied the degradation of THC over four years in different environments — room temperature with light, room temperature with darkness, refrigeration, and freezing. 

According to the study, the THC of the buds at room temperature had completely degraded in four years whereas the frozen buds had their THC content almost intact. 

Do note that there is a lot of debate on how long the buds should be frozen for storage. According to the research, freezing can preserve your buds for years but don’t wait five years before consuming them. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

How to Create Fresh Frozen Cannabis?

How to Create Fresh Frozen Cannabis?

While not a lot of growers use the fresh frozen technique over traditional curing and drying, you would be surprised to know that the former is actually the easier technique of the two. Let’s take a look at how to create fresh frozen cannabis at home.

1. Gather the Supplies

You first need to ensure you have all the right supplies, but unlike curing and drying, fresh frozen does not require a lot of equipment, to begin with. It is more than likely that you already have all you need for this process. Here are the things you need.

  • Fresh Cannabis Buds

It isn’t called fresh frozen for no reason, so the first thing you need is freshly harvested cannabis buds. Ideally, you need to freeze them as soon as you harvest them, so timing is important here. 

Here, you can use any strain of cannabis, depending on the terpenes and cannabinoids you want to experience in your final extract. However, you should only use buds that are free of mold or pesticide residue to ensure a safe experience. 

  • A Freezer

An important part of the fresh frozen process, a freezer is where you will be storing your freshly harvested cannabis buds. But don’t worry, you don’t need a fancy freezer like a walk-in one in your favorite restaurant. A regular home freezer works just as well. 

As long as your freezer reaches 0°F, you are good to go.

  • Some Plastic Bags

You shouldn’t toss your buds in the freezer. Instead, you need to pack them in plastic bags so they don’t get contaminated by other items in your freezer. An ideal choice here is to choose food-grade plastic bags, like turkey bags since they don’t leech much plastic and are safe for food. 

  • A Vacuum Sealer

If you want to take your fresh frozen cannabis to the next level, you can even invest in a vacuum sealer. But this is optional. You can use this sealer to pack your buds in a vacuum, making the bags smaller and free of oxygen, to avoid terpene degradation. 

2. Harvest the Buds Carefully

Once you have everything ready, you can start harvesting your buds. But be super meticulous during the harvest. Use sharp scissors to snip them off the branches and collect them in a tray.

And when handling your buds, you must be gentle so you don’t accidentally damage the trichomes on the buds. Ideally, you should hold them by their stems while wearing disposable gloves.

3. Trim the Buds

Next, you should trim your buds by cutting off sugar leaves. You can use these to prepare sugar leaf tea or kief.

4. Bag the Buds

Once the buds are manicured, you need to place them in a bag. Do note that you need to go from harvesting to bagging in as little time as possible. And if you are using food-grade plastic bags, fill them up to 75%.

Before sealing them, gently squeeze the bag to get all the extra air out, but don’t squash the flowers. Here is where you can also use a vacuum sealer to get all the air out, but that is optional. 

5. Freeze the Buds

Finally, you can freeze the buds by placing the bags in your freezer. Store the buds under 0°F, but you can go lower too if your freezer allows it. Anything above 0 degrees is not recommended. 

Once you close the freezer, you need to be patient and avoid disturbing it for at least 24 hours — your buds need to be completely frozen, and cracking the freezer open during the first 24 hours may lengthen the freezing time. 

Also, there is no rush to process the buds now since they can last for literally years once they are frozen over. So, use this time to research and perfect the next steps, and then you can start processing your buds. 

What to Keep in Mind When Freezing Cannabis Buds?

What to Keep in Mind When Freezing Cannabis Buds?

When you’re freezing your cannabis buds, you need to keep a few things in mind to ensure safe and optimal freezing. Here are a few tips for the same:

  • When your buds are frozen over, do not shake or drop the bags as that might damage the delicate trichomes.
  • In the same vein, avoid squeezing the frozen cannabis buds as you need them to retain the water for the bubble hash you will prepare later.
  • Do not remove your buds from the freezer unnecessarily — only remove them when you want to use them. Otherwise, the room temperature may start degrading the terpenes and cannabinoids.
  • If you are using a vacuum sealer, ensure there are no holes in the vacuum bag before placing them in the freezer, otherwise, it would defeat the purpose of vacuum sealing them.

What to do With Fresh Frozen Cannabis Buds?

What to do With Fresh Frozen Cannabis Buds?

When it comes to fresh frozen cannabis, you have two ways of extracting all the goodies from the buds — live resin, a hydrocarbon extraction, or live rosin, a solventless extraction. Both have their pros and cons, so let’s take a look at them below.

1. Live Resin or Hydrocarbon Extraction

Live Resin or Hydrocarbon Extraction

The production of live resin uses hydrocarbon extraction, i.e., you have to use hydrocarbon solvents like butane and propane. During this process, the resin is extracted using a closed-loop system, followed by purging to remove the solvent from the extract. 

And depending on your goals, you can dewax or winterize the extracts, too. 

However, this process of using a closed-loop system is relatively young — perfected in 2013 by William “Kind Bill” Fenger. Before him, extractors used an open blast system that produced subpar results. 

For home growers, live resin isn’t the ideal way to go because it requires commercial-grade machinery for closed-loop hydrocarbon extraction, which can be super expensive. Plus, it requires volatile solvents that are usually not safe to use without the right equipment and processes in place. 

2. Live Rosin or Solventless Extraction

Live Rosin or Solventless Extraction

On the other hand, you have the solventless extraction used to produce live rosin. To create live rosin, you first need to create bubble hash or ice water hash — doing so gives your product a better flavor profile and quality. 

And if you know anything about cannabis concentrates, you would know that bubble hash is the best way to extract frozen cannabis since no other method can come close to preserving the phytochemicals as this process does. 

Bubble hash can preserve the phytochemicals efficiently as the plant matter stays frozen during the entire extraction process. During this process, the buds are removed from the freezer and dipped into freezing cold water, which separates the trichomes, which are later filtered and isolated inside a bubble hash machine. The resulting hash is then refined into rosin. 

If you are a commercial grower, this is the way to go as users are willing to spend more on live rosin because of its higher quality and flavor profile. 

Just remember that you ideally shouldn’t produce live rosin without an ice water bath — the result will be a soupy mess, not rich live rosin. This is because the water cells tend to burst easily, leading to a soup. Instead, you want to press dry plant matter to get the rosin out. 

Plus, producing live rosin is a lot easier for most people as it does not require commercial-grade equipment. You can do this with just a hair straightener and parchment paper!

How to Make Live Rosin from Fresh Frozen Cannabis?

How to Make Live Rosin from Fresh Frozen Cannabis?

What makes live rosin so desirable is its almost pure flavor profile, but what makes it an ideal option for home growers is how easy it is to produce at home. All you need is some fresh frozen buds, a hair straightener, and parchment paper. Follow these steps to make live rosin with fresh frozen cannabis at home.

1. Gather the Equipment

Fortunately, to make live rosin at home, you don’t need any fancy equipment. All you need is the following:

  • Fresh frozen cannabis buds 
  • Silk-screen filters or bubble bags (you can find these online) 
  • A large bucket 
  • Ice water 
  • A large spoon

2. Create Bubble Hash

The first step in creating live rosin is to create a bubble hash, and you shouldn’t skip this step if you want your rosin to look like rosin and not soup. This is because cannabis buds are 63% water, which leads to the rosin being more viscous — not desirable. 

Follow these steps to create bubble hash:

  1. Start by layering the bubble bags or filter screens from smallest to largest sizes in the bucket
  2. Once the bags are lined with filter screens, fill the bucket with ice-cold water halfway through 
  3. Then, add your fresh frozen cannabis buds to the bucket, add more ice until the bucket is almost full, and top it off with more ice-cold water if needed
  4. Stir the mixture using the spoon for about 15 minutes, and feel free to add more ice if needed
  5. Strain the liquid from each filter by taking out one bag at a time
  6. Then, turn each filter or bag inside out and collect the resinous trichomes 
  7. You now have to dry your bubble hash. Use a 25-micron screen, scoop the trichomes onto it, and gently press it to remove excess moisture
  8. To dry it, you can either place it in a cold room (40°F to 50°F or 4°C to 10°C) for a week or use a freeze dryer 

There you have it, your homemade bubble hash. 

Remember to not let your cannabis buds thaw when you take them out of the freezer. You need to keep the entire process as cold as possible.

3. Extract Live Rosin

Once your bubble hash is dry, you can now extract rosin from it. For this process, you need parchment paper and a hair straightener. Follow these steps to extract live rosin from the bubble hash:

  1. Scoop some hash on some parchment paper 
  2. Set the hair dryer to 160°F to 220°F (71°C to 104°C) but don’t exceed 220°F as it will destroy the trichomes
  3. Gently press the parchment paper with the hair straightener no longer than 3 seconds — this will take some trial and error, but don’t worry, you’ll get a hang of it
  4. Now, scrape up the oil — your fresh frozen live rosin is ready

You can store it in a cool, dry place. And to use your live rosin, you can add it to your vape cartridge, dab some on your joint, or just dab it. Just remember that this will be potent, so start low and build your way up. It will be worth it.

Summary: What is Fresh Frozen Cannabis? The Best Way To Make Live Rosin?

Fresh frozen cannabis is a relatively new technique that is gaining a lot of popularity nowadays. Yet, not many cannabis users know about it — only growers and sellers know about this process. 

But if you want to consume cannabis in a cheap yet effective way, you should go with fresh frozen cannabis. Not only does it save a lot of time in curing and drying, but it also allows you to consume most of the terpenes and cannabinoids your precious plant produced for you. 

The process is straightforward — freeze your fresh harvest cannabis buds for some time, remove them and dip them in ice water to create bubble hash, and gently squeeze bubble hash using a hair straightener and parchment paper to create live rosin. That’s it. 

Stay tuned to know more about how to produce some of the best cannabis products right from the comfort of your home. 


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The first method, the one with the solvent, is impractical without a laboratory. The solvent should have a temperature of -40℃ and the buds should be frozen with industrial systems that use dry ice or liquid nitrogen. The second one, the one with the Bubble Hash , it makes sense if you have a lot of plants. In the two steps mentioned (transformation into Bubble Hash and extraction with a hair dryer) the loss of material is considerable and even in this case the simple domestic freezer will not give you excellent results. Extraction with the butane or propane are currently the best ones for small growers.