When you spend your hard-earned cash for high-quality, lab-tested hemp flower, the last thing you’ll want to do is ruin your buds by storing them incorrectly. Most people don’t know that poor storage, even for a short while, can change the potency and flavor of hemp flower.
This article will examine the environmental factors that affect hemp, how to recognize fresh buds, and the best containers for storing CBD hemp flower. We’ll also cover a few of the most frequently asked questions about hemp flower storage.
Why It’s Important to Store Hemp Flower Correctly
Whether you’re building a collection of strains or taking advantage of bulk discounts, you’ll want to keep your CBD hemp flowers as fresh as possible. Correctly storing CBD hemp flower is crucial for preserving active ingredients, such as cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. Proper storage directly translates into better flavor and potency.
How to Judge the Quality and Freshness of Hemp Flower
Fresh hemp flowers display shades ranging from light leafy greens through dark emerald and forest tones, depending on the variety. Some strains may even have yellow, purple, or pink hues. The color you don’t want to see is brown. Brownish tones are a sure sign that the buds haven’t been cured or stored correctly.
You’ll also want to check that the pistils look fresh. Shriveled pistils indicate old or dried-out hemp flowers. Properly cured hemp flowers should be slightly squishy on the inside. Buds that are too dry will be weaker and won’t have a pleasant taste.
In addition to checking the appearance of your hemp flowers, you’ll need to give them a smell test. High-quality hemp buds produce fragrances ranging from citrus, pine, and herbal notes to classic diesel and skunk aromas. Consumers should avoid hemp flowers that smell like mold, hay, or cut grass.
Environmental Factors that Affect CBD Hemp Flower
Several factors influence hemp flower potency and taste, including airflow, humidity, light, heat, chemical exposure, and physical damage.
One of the most common ways consumers mistreat hemp flower is by leaving buds out on a rolling tray. Exposing CBD flowers to the open air will dry them out and cause terpenes and cannabinoids to oxidize.
Excess humidity encourages mold, which will ruin your hemp flowers. Inhaling even a small amount of mold can cause respiratory issues that may become serious. When hemp flowers get moldy, the only recourse is to throw them out.
You’ll need to store your buds in a dry area and take special care to monitor humidity levels, especially if you live in a wet climate. A relative humidity (RH) of between 60 and 65°F is recommended for storing CBD hemp flowers. You can determine the RH by placing a humidity measuring device called a hygrometer in your storage area.
Light is the most significant factor that can reduce the potency of CBD hemp flowers. Exposure to light will quickly cause cannabinoids to degrade. Hemp buds should always be stored in a cool, dark place to preserve freshness and potency.
Heat is another archenemy of fresh hemp flower. Excessive temperatures can damage CBD buds in several ways. First, exposure to high heat will dry them out, making them taste harsh or flavorless. Second, organic matter like hemp oxidizes at high temperatures, causing the degradation of CBD, terpenes, and other beneficial compounds.
The third way heat can ruin CBD hemp flower is by promoting mold and mildew. Most fungi reproduce rapidly in higher temperatures between 77 and 86°F. Store your buds far away from heat sources like sunlight, chimneys, stoves, and other heat-generating appliances.
Exposure to Chemicals
One of the most common mistakes is storing hemp flower in plastic. Plastic contains chemicals like BPA’s that can leach into hemp buds, changing the flavor. Additionally, plastic creates a static charge that, in time, will begin to pull cannabinoids and terpenes out of the trichomes.
Storing your hemp flowers in soft containers like plastic bags leaves them vulnerable to physical damage. It’s easy to accidentally squash your buds or cause the trichomes to break off.
The Best Containers for Storing Hemp Flower
Glass and stainless steel make the best hemp storage containers. Glass canning jars like the ones offered by Mason or Ball are easy to find and relatively inexpensive. Colored glass jars work even better because they keep out some of the light. Whether you choose glass or stainless steel, you’ll be wise to select containers that seal tightly.
Fill your jars around ⅔ full to allow room for gases to accumulate. You’ll enable the gas to escape each time you open the containers. Ideally, you’ll want to place a desiccant pack and a small hygrometer inside your jars to gauge the humidity. Alternatively, you can purchase humidity packs made especially for hemp and cannabis.
Decorative stash boxes are popular for storing hemp flower, but terpenes in the wood can change the flavor of your buds. You can store CBD hemp flowers in a wooden stash box if you place your buds in jars first.
Frequently Asked Questions About Storing CBD Hemp Flower
Can I Store My Hemp Flower in the Refrigerator?
It’s not a good idea to store your hemp flower in the fridge as the extra humidity can cause your buds to grow mold. That said, it’s perfectly fine to keep CBD tinctures, concentrates, vape carts, edibles, and topicals in the refrigerator.
Will Freezing Hemp Flower Make It Last Longer?
Freezing hemp flower is not recommended. When you freeze CBD flower, the trichomes become brittle and break off, leaving you with weaker buds. However, you can freeze CBD edibles like our delicious CBD Chocolate Bar.
Can I Use a Humidor to Store CBD Hemp Flower?
If you decide to invest in a humidor, make sure that it’s been designed specifically for cannabis. The wood used to make tobacco humidors can affect the flavor of hemp flower.
How Long Will My Hemp Flowers Last with Proper Storage?
Correctly-stored CBD hemp flowers will stay fresh for over a year before they begin to lose potency.
Can I Preserve Hemp Flowers with a Vacuum Sealer?
Vacuum sealing is an excellent way to keep your hemp flowers from oxidizing. However, vacuum-seal bags may compress your buds and damage trichomes. If you would like to vacuum seal your CBD hemp flowers, you should use rigid containers.