A batch of concentrates that were produced using cured cannabis nugs as the primary extraction material. This type of concentrate uses the most trichome-rich part of the cannabis plant to produce the most flavorful and potent concentrates possible. The textures produced can be a brittle shatter, liquid, or a creamy, saucelike consistency.
“The nug run extraction process really revealed the full terpene flavors of this flower.”
“The potent aroma from the nug run concentrate trailed into the halls and left a long-lasting fragrance.”
What is Nug Run?
Nug is a synonym for cannabis flowers that have been harvested from a mature cannabis plant. These buds are potent and contain rich terpene flavors making it highly desirable for extracting concentrates. “Nug run” is used to describe the concentrated oil extracted from dried and cured cannabis buds that have been exposed after trimming the fan leaves (also known as water leaves) and sugar leaves. This type of concentrate is rich in trichomes, which contain the plant’s cannabinoids and terpenes.
Different Kinds of Nug Run
Extraction artists have options when it comes to the type of nug used to perform a nug run extraction. More often than not, the type of nug used is determined by the flower available to the extraction technician, commonly referred to as an extraction artist. If you’re not yet familiar with larf and popcorn nugs, know that these terms describe the shape and composition of the dried flowers, not necessarily their quality.
Colas are the largest collection of cannabis buds that grow at the end of stems and are typically the most desired part of the cannabis plant because of the highest concentration of mature and fully developed trichomes. The colas used for extracting concentrates usually have less moisture content than colas that are packaged in whole form for consumer use.
Immature buds that did not completely finish and flourish due to genetic factors or environmental conditions — insufficient nutrients, lighting, or feeding cycles, for example — result in Light, Airy, and Really Fluffy nugs. Larf is the term coined by cultivators to shorten the description of these fluffy nugs. Before you set the entire batch of larf buds ablaze, know that some growers choose to pick cannabis plants early for special concentrate batches because as terpenes start to develop in the early stages of flowering, the aroma from the larf is usually very potent and can result in a terpene-forward concentrate.
Popcorn nugs are dime-to-quarter-size buds that have a similar ratio of trichomes-to-plant material like colas. Popcorn nugs are often excluded from packaging for sale because of their small size. Popcorn flowers can be pressed into rosin, infused into edibles, smoked or vaped.
What is Live Resin Nug Run?
While most nug run uses dried and cured cannabis buds, live resin nug run uses freshly harvested and frozen nugs that were never hung to dry. Processors sometimes opt to remove the small sugar leaves before processing, but will never use large fan leaves. Using the term live resin can imply that whole colas from the female plant were used as the input material in the batch of concentrates.
Live resin nug run uses small, freshly frozen, high-quality cannabis buds that were not dried and cured. The extraction process for live resin nug run retains all the terpenes that can be lost during the drying and curing process, emphasizing the intense flavors and aromas of a live cannabis plant.
Can You Tell the Difference Between Nug Run vs Trim Run?
While the following criteria are useful, they are subjective. Even for the experienced consumer, it’s not always possible to determine whether the extract you’ve purchased comes from nug run or trim run.
A nug run concentrate is rich in aroma. The aroma is often potent and should smell like flower from the same strain, a sign that the concentrate originated from a nug. If the product lacks a strong scent, it could be that the concentrate was made from trim.
Dabbing the concentrate should help identify whether it was made from nugs or trim. Because trim run concentrates are made primarily from the trimmed sugar leaves of the cannabis flower, the flavors are not nearly as potent or rich and can sometimes leave a harsh, peppery feeling in the mouth and throat. Nug run dabs have been described as more flavorful and smoother on the throat and lungs.
Concentrates pressed from nug run are usually a glassy amber-gold. If it is a nug run concentrate, it should be translucent, and there should not be any leftover plant material in the slab. Trim run concentrates tend to be darker in color due to the trim material — leaves and stems — which can result in a product that has a dark green to brown hue.
Price and Packaging
Nug run products can be found packaged in higher-quality containers with an attractive label that lists potency information, but also sells at a higher price. Often, the label will say “nug run.” Trim run products typically come in standard envelopes and can be found for lower prices than nug run products.