How to Store Hemp Flower
Growers take great care to cure hemp flower properly to ensure optimum freshness and flavor. Storing your buds in the right way will allow you to maintain the quality you expect from well-cured hemp flowers. Consumers have many reasons to store hemp flowers for extended periods, including:
- Keeping a variety of strains around for different purposes.
- Stocking up on favorite hybrids.
- Taking advantage of bulk discounts.
Perhaps you’re someone who always purchases small quantities and uses your hemp flowers soon after you buy them. Unfortunately, under the wrong conditions, hemp flowers can lose potency and flavor in a surprisingly short time—even within a few days! Let’s take a closer look at how you can store your hemp flower so that your buds will stay as fresh as the day you bought them.
Factors that Affect Hemp Flower Potency and Flavor
Several factors affect hemp flower freshness. Controlling these variables is the key to ensuring your buds remain potent and tasty.
Exposing your hemp flowers to light is a surefire way to destroy the potency of your buds. Ultraviolet light causes cannabinoids to degrade. Storing your hemp flower in a dark place will not only keep the CBD and other cannabinoids from losing potency but will also help you control another important factor: heat.
Excessive heat can damage hemp flower in several ways. Exposing your buds to high temperatures can dry them out, making the vapor or smoke harsh and tasteless. Heat also causes the degradation of cannabinoids and terpenes, which lowers the therapeutic value of the hemp.
Most mold and mildew, including dangerous fungal pathogens, reproduce rapidly in temperatures between 77 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit. To keep your hemp flowers fresh, you’ll need to store them in a cool location.
Another major factor in keeping hemp flowers fresh is controlling the relative humidity (RH). If the RH is too high, you’ll risk mold ruining your buds. On the other hand, an RH that is too low can make the flowers dry out, and your buds will lose potency and flavor. An RH between 60-65% is ideal for storing hemp flowers. You can measure the RH in your storage area with a hygrometer.
Having too much or not enough air can both negatively affect your hemp flower’s freshness. Too much air can degrade your buds, while a lack of air can raise the humidity levels, leading to mold growth. You can help control airflow by using a vacuum sealer on your containers.
Common Hemp Flower Storage Methods Compared
Plastic Baggies and Bottles
Gone are the days of storing your stash in a plastic baggie in your sock drawer. Today’s expertly cultivated and cured hemp flowers deserve better treatment. Storing them in plastic jewelry or sandwich bags, even for a short time, will mangle your buds.
Some consumers store buds in prescription medicine bottles. However, keeping hemp flowers in any kind of plastic is a bad idea. Plastic creates a static charge that will pull the CBD and terpene-rich trichomes off the buds. Additionally, harmful chemicals can leach from the plastic, contaminating your hemp flowers.
In the Freezer
Unless you plan to use your hemp flowers to make live resin extracts, you shouldn’t store them in the freezer. Freezing hemp flowers causes the trichomes to become brittle and snap off, leaving you with weaker and less flavorful buds.
Storing flowers in the refrigerator is also a hemp no-no. Moisture and temperature fluctuations in refrigerated environments promote mold growth. If you live in an exceptionally hot climate and must use refrigeration, make sure you remove excess air from your containers with a vacuum sealer.
Air-tight glass jars provide the most efficient way to store hemp flowers. Glass has a neutral charge and won’t change the flavor of your hemp. Mason canning jars are by far the preferred container for storing buds long term. Use violet, brown, or green-colored glass to keep out excess light. Alternatively, you can cover the jars with black construction paper or store them in a dark cabinet or drawer.
For best results, store the jars ¾ full to regulate the amount of air. For extra protection, you may want to add desiccant packs to your jars. Some companies make humidity packs designed specifically for cannabis. You can also buy inexpensive mini-hygrometers to monitor the humidity inside your storage containers.
Stainless steel also makes an excellent choice for hemp flower storage. Make sure you invest in high-quality containers with airtight seals.
Vacuum-sealing can keep your hemp flowers from oxidating. However, using vacuum-seal bags will compress your buds and create a contamination risk from the plastic.
Wooden Stash Boxes
You may be tempted to store your hemp flowers in a decorative stash box, especially if it’s equipped with a handy kief catcher. While stash boxes may keep light out, they aren’t adequate for controlling other environmental factors. Plus, the smell of the wood can alter the flavor of your flowers. If you still want to use a stash box, place your buds in sealed jars before storing them inside the box.
If you choose to invest in a humidor, make sure that you buy one that’s been specifically designed for cannabis. Tobacco humidors are optimized for different conditions, often utilizing cedar and propylene glycol, which can alter the humidity levels and flavor of your hemp flowers.
Additional Hemp Flower Storage Tips
- Store your hemp flowers away from heat-producing appliances and electronics.
- Keep hemp flowers out of the reach of curious children and pets.
- Avoid storing dirty grinders and other tools with your buds. The burnt resin can alter the smell and taste of your hemp flowers.
- Store each strain separately and label them.
- Properly stored hemp flowers can maintain freshness for up to two years without losing potency and flavor.
Here at HerbKing, we carefully cure and package our hemp flowers so they arrive at your door fresh and tasty, every time!