What’s in a Name? O.pen Craft Reserve is Now Cured Resin

 In CVD, Dispensaries, News, Plant Science

Since 2015, we have been licensing products from O.pen, a pioneering cannabis vape technology company based in Colorado. Early on in our development as a company, we decided to form strategic partnerships with national cannabis brands to accelerate our ability to bring a complete range of consumption methods to Vermont patients. O.pen provides intellectual property, technology and packaging. All of the cannabis that goes into these products is grown, extracted and refined in our Vermont production facilities. We learn together as we grow.

We began with the O.riginal and Reserve formulas and added Craft Reserve in 2017. Since then, it has consistently been one of our best-selling product lines, second only to our Garden Variety Flower. This month, Craft Reserve is undergoing a rebrand, with new packaging and a new name, Cured Resin. Rest assured, there has been no change in the formula, so you can depend on it to deliver the same, consistent symptom relief.

Cured Resin is made with cultivar-specific, activated distillate and terpenes extracted from high quality, cured flower using CO2 as a solvent. That’s a mouthful! Let’s break that down. Most vape formulas are made with a blend of trim or other plant byproducts. Using flower provides the fullest spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes.

First, we extract the cured flower on low temperature/high-pressure settings to preserve and capture the terpenes. Then we decarboxylate the same batch of flower and extract it again on supercritical settings to collect the cannabinoids. This decarboxylation process “activates” the cannabinoids, converting them from their acidic forms to their neutral counterparts, for instance, THCa to ∆9-THC. Both the terpene and cannabinoid extracts are put through numerous refinement procedures (winterization, roto-evaporation, carbon filter polishing and short path distillation) to purify and concentrate.

We then combine the refined extracts back together in a consistent ratio for maximum effect and flavor. To be classified as Cured Resin, the cannabinoid content of the finished product must be at least 75% with less than 5% of the acidic forms. Lastly, we chose CO2 as a solvent because of its safety profile. By using CO2, unlike hydrocarbon solvents like butane, we do not have to be concerned about toxic residual solvents in the formula. Using CO2 also allows for a safer work environment for our staff.

Fun Fact: Due to all of the extraction and refinement steps necessary to produce this potent and flavorful formula, many flowers are needed to create it and keep it in stock. On average, over 10 grams of high-quality flower are required to create a single 1 gram cartridge! That’s right… 10 grams. Ten grams of flower typically costs over $125. At $90, the 1 gram Cured Resin cartridge becomes a great value.

If this popular, effective formula remains the same, why does the name change to Cured Resin? Marketing. It reflects the evolution of industry jargon as the marketplace develops across the country. However, we thought it would be useful to dive a little deeper into the word “resin” and how it relates to the cannabis plant. Put simply; resin refers to the sticky, viscous substance that cannabis creates in the trichomes, which coat the flowers and leaves located next to the flowers.

Close-up of trichomes on a cannabis plant. Photo: Leafly.com

Resins are not specific to cannabis plants, think pine or frankincense trees, but they share some common chemistry in that they are flammable and insoluble in water. For our intent and purposes, the importance of cannabis resin is that it contains all of the active ingredients, cannabinoids, and terpenes responsible for known therapeutic effects. It is the resin that we are looking to collect from the plant to turn into concentrates. This can be done mechanically (solventless) or through the use of solvents. Resin products are also categorized as being “live” vs. “cured.” Live means that the flowers or trim being used are processed fresh or fresh-frozen directly after harvest. Cured means that they have been dried and cured after harvest before being extracted.

To differentiate between Live Resin and Cured Resin even further, Live Resin is generally a cultivar-specific concentrate of acidic cannabinoids and terpenes extracted from fresh-frozen flower using butane as a solvent. The acidic cannabinoids are converted to their neutral forms when heat is applied through vaping or dabbing. Live Resin is purported to contain a complete representation of the terpenes found naturally in the flower because terpenes can be lost during the drying and curing phases (on average 35%). However, live resin is usually less concentrated in terms of cannabinoid content.

Generally, live resin is a more expensive product because of the infrastructure needed to create a safe environment for regulated hydrocarbon extraction. There is also a lower yield in the actual extraction process. O.pen produces a Live Resin formula. We do not currently have the infrastructure to create this product at our Vermont facilities safely. We will consider the product line as rules and regulations are developed for the future Adult Use market, scheduled to begin in May 2022.

The new Cured Resin packaging is arriving at dispensaries beginning Friday, January 8th, 2021. New packaging for the ISH Micro will drop later this winter.

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