Whether you just harvested your own crop or bought a good quantity of your favorite bud, you should know how to store hemp flower since it can make a big difference in how the buds preserve their terpenes when stored for a long time.
Some factors such as exposure to air, harsh light, and humidity conditions can significantly alter the quality of your buds as time passes. When storing CBD flower for a long time, it is essential to consider all these factors and even choose the proper container to store your buds as some materials under certain conditions can alter the taste and smell of your herb. In this article, we will talk in more detail about the factors that influence hemp flower storage, the best ways to store your weed, and some pros and cons of the most popular hemp containers used today.
- Things to Consider When Storing Hemp Flower
- Light conditions
- Best Hemp Flower Containers
- Glass jars
- Plastic vacuum-sealed jars
- Smell-proof bags
- Regular zip-lock bags
- Dark containers
- How to store cannabis oil
- How to store cannabis wax
- How to store cannabis edibles
- How to store cannabis concentrates
- Tips on freezing concentrates
- Storing Cannabis Tincture
- How to store weed butter
- How to store weed with no smell
- How to store cannabis long term
Things to Consider When Storing Hemp Flower
As we already mentioned, several factors can affect the quality of your buds when they are stored, especially if you have a large amount of weed to store or plan to keep it for a long time. The main factors to consider are:
As you surely know, the buds go through a drying and curing process before they can be consumed or reach the shelves of dispensaries. Keeping the hemp flower at the right temperature will prevent mold or mildew from forming.
Another compelling reason to take care of the temperature at which you store hemp flower is that the cannabinoid content of your buds could degrade depending on the temperature. Some may think that the curing process ends once the hemp gets on the shelf, but it doesn’t work that way.
Very high temperatures could degrade the cannabinoids in your CBD flower and overdry the buds, affecting their quality and, in turn, causing harsher smoking. Most cannabis connoisseurs agree that an ideal temperature for storing your buds is between 77 ° to 86° F, as it will prevent any adverse changes in the humidity level within the bud leaves.
Humidity is also one of the most important factors to consider for long-term storage, as improper humidity conditions can accelerate mold growth. The hemp flower should retain 59 to 62% moisture. A correct humidity level will help your hemp preserve better by creating a small protective layer of moisture or “terpene shield” over the terpenes and cannabinoids in the buds. This thin layer of humidity over the bud results in better preservation of smells, flavors, and effects.
Aware of this, Boveda and Integra developed small humidity packs at 59 and 62% to help maintain an adequate level of humidity within the containers in which people often store hemp. Although these moisture packs are not a mandatory requirement to conserve moisture in your buds, they can go a long way in helping you keep your weed fresh until you are ready to use it.
Some people use digital hygrometers to more constantly monitor stored hemp. Hygrometers are devices that help measure the level of humidity in the air where they are. Some hygrometers can be pretty practical and helpful when checking your hemp containers’ moisture levels. There are even some hygrometers small enough to fit inside some containers along with your buds. So, with so many tools and gadgets available, being aware of the humidity levels in which you keep your buds will mostly depend on you.
As incredible as it may sound to some, the light conditions to which your CBD flower is exposed can significantly influence the quality. Keeping an eye over the light conditions is vital because hemp flower, when exposed to UV rays from sunlight or embracing light sources, undergoes a series of reactions and chemical processes that degrade and dilute the terpene and cannabinoid profile content of the buds. This degradation translates into reduced quality buds and diluted smells and flavors.
Store your hemp flower in cool, dark places like cabinets, cupboards, or drawers. In the case of canna-oil, it is a bit different. Your refrigerator is the perfect place to store cannabis-infused oil since it will help the oil to remain stagnant, avoiding unwanted reactions that could alter the chemical composition of your CBD oil.
Best Hemp Flower Containers
There are endless containers available online made from just about any material you can imagine. However, it is essential to be careful when choosing the container in which you plan to store your hemp flower, especially if it will be long-term storage. Materials such as plastic and some metals can release gases that can compromise or even completely alter the taste of your buds.
Next, we will name some of the most popular containers today, and we will point out some pros and cons of these so that you can make the best decision based on your possibilities.
Glass jars are among the most popular options used by cannabis connoisseurs around the world. Especially mason jars because of the clasp on the top that helps keep the jar airtight.
- Pros: Glass is nonreactive, recyclable, almost infinitely reusable if you don’t break it; it can be sterilized with heat and doesn’t give off noxious fumes.
- Cons: Glass can break easily if you drop it, and if it’s not a mason jar, it will probably not retain a stable moisture level. Translucid glass doesn’t protect the buds from UV light which can cause a quality reduction of your hemp flower.
Plastic vacuum-sealed jars
Plastic vacuum-sealed jars can also be a good option to store hemp flower. Although they may not be the most recommended option for long-term storage, an old vacuum-sealed plastic jar will surely do a good job. Below are some factors that we consider vital to consider when choosing vacuum-sealed plastic jars to store hemp flower.
- Pros: Plastic jars can be practical and get you out of a bind. You could use almost any plastic jar you have available and vacuum-seal it using a vacuum sealer. If the plastic is colored or dark, it will protect the buds from sunlight damage.
- Cons: when exposed to sunlight or temperature changes, plastic can release gases and chemical compounds harmful to health. When you expose your buds to plastic, it can alter the smell and even the final taste of your hemp flower, especially if you expose them to plastic for too long. Moreover, if your plastic jar is not vacuum sealed, it probably won’t retain moisture in it, and if the plastic is translucent, it won’t protect your buds from damage caused by sunlight.
Reusable odor-proof bags can be of great help also at times when you have to store hemp flower. However, plastic bags are in a controversial zone. They are among the most popular and used options worldwide, but any cannabis connoisseur will know that it is not the most reliable option when storing hemp for a long time. Let’s go over the pros and cons of this type of container to get a better view of the big picture.
- Pros: They have a significantly longer shelf life than a regular plastic bag and can be of great help if you’re trying to hide the intense smell that terpenes emanate from your buds. They can be quite practical and manageable and, depending on the material, considerably resistant. Some reusable smell-proof bags are made of non-translucent materials, which will protect the buds from light degradation.
- Cons: As we already mentioned, plastic can release harmful gases when exposed to changes in temperature or humidity. These toxic gases, in turn, can alter the taste or smell of hemp, compromising its quality. Some plastics are more permeable than others, so it is not a good material when it comes to protecting your buds from exterior conditions.
Regular zip-lock bags
Without a doubt, we reached one of the milestones of cannabis containers around the world. Hollywood and pop culture have been widely popularizing this storage method that, despite controversy and expert warnings, people continue to embrace as one of the first options for storing cannabis. Let’s go over the advantages and disadvantages of using regular zip bags to store hemp flower.
- Pros: They are one of the most practical and handy options that you can find. Indeed you will have a Zip bag somewhere in your house. They are easy to carry and you can store them practically wherever you want. Their malleable shape makes them easy to store even in difficult places.
- Cons: plastic bags are easily damaged or torn. Small holes may appear in the bag, allowing outside air to enter, altering the humidity levels inside the bag. A plastic bag, in short, can create a hostile environment for your CBD flower, which is relatively delicate in itself.
A humidor is a closed container, usually made of wood, that carries a humidification system. Initially, humidors were used exclusively for tobacco or cigars. Nonetheless, with the growth of the cannabis industry, especially in recent years, this has changed. Maybe it can be a somewhat elaborate option and not so common, but it can be quite effective. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of a humidor when it comes to storing hemp flower.
- Pros: The humidor uses a hygrometer to measure the humidity level inside, and most humidors already come with a built-in hygrometer. You can store hemp flower almost indefinitely by maintaining a good level of humidity inside the humidor. They can look quite elegant in your living room or bedroom while serving a vital function, preserving your cannabis.
- Cons: Humidors can be somewhat expensive or inaccessible for some users. They can be impractical due to their large size and very little portability. Generally, it will require considerable storage space. Finally, since it is not specifically designed for storing cannabis, storing your buds in a humidor can be disastrous.
Whether made of glass, metal, wood, or plastic, a dark container will always be a good option to store your hemp flower. There are many types of dark materials that you can choose from. Simply use the one closest to you or the one you consider to be the best option depending on how long you plan to store your cannabis. Let’s look at the pros and cons of choosing a dark container to store your hemp flower.
- Pros: Regardless of the material you choose, if it is dark, you have the upper hand as an opaque container will protect your buds from the damage that exposure to hot light sources or sunlight can cause. Besides, a dark container is an excellent option for storing your hemp when you need to be discreet.
- Cons: Although it is an advantage, the fact that you use a dark container does not ensure proper storage of your herb. If your container cannot maintain the correct humidity level or does not protect your buds from the outside air, the fact that your container is dark will be of little or no importance. Another disadvantage of using a dark container is that it will not allow you to see its contents, which can be a bit annoying when checking the conditions of the material inside the container.
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While you’re looking to store your hemp flower, you may also like to try these handy tips for storing other cannabis related products:
How to store cannabis oil
Cannabis and hemp-infused oils are basically cannabis extracts that contain food oils that are meant to be consumed. Usually, the more fat an oil has, the better it can hold cannabinoids and higher concentrations of compounds like CBD or Delta-8. As a result, it is common to have products based on coconut oils.
Cannabis oils in general can be stored in a glass or airtight container in the fridge. You can also keep them in dry spaces if they have preservatives added, but for homemade products, you are probably better off keeping them in the fridge.
And if you plan on cooking with hemp-infused oil, we always recommend using low heat or it can burn the cannabinoid content inside the product away.
How to store cannabis wax
Much like regular concentrates, we recommend using an airtight container to keep wax. While plastic is okay, we recommend going for glass containers with a seal. One user-approved and a research-backed way to keep flavor, potency, and even consistency is to keep your wax in your fridge.
This study from 2019 noted that cannabinoid concentrates, including wax, were better preserved when stored in the freezer. Then kept frozen, in a cool and dark environment, they were better preserved than in the fridge and of course, much better than at room temperature.
How to store cannabis edibles
When talking about infused food and drinks, there are some ground rules. First, if you bought it refrigerated, keep it that way. This is also useful for products that contain perishable ingredients, like eggs, dairy, and nut-based drinks.
For other kinds of edibles, like gummies, you can keep them in the same container you got them in if you’d like to keep them around for a short time. If you have a larger size or portions, we recommend an airtight container to retain the quality and flavor of gummies.
Try to keep your products in a cool environment away from the sun. Sun can easily damage most edibles, but especially gummies as an airtight container with heat and humidity can give a home to bacteria. So to keep bacteria away from your gummies, stick to these recommendations.
How to store cannabis concentrates
Storing cannabis concentrates and extracts can get a little complicated, depending on the quality of extraction, how pure it is, and the method used. The purer it is, meaning fewer additives or other compounds, the longer its shelf life will be.
With that said, not all concentrates can be stored in the same place. While we recommend keeping your extracts in the fridge if you want to keep them for a long time, the airtight container used might vary.
For sauces and liquid-like extracts, small glass containers can make scooping easier. Silicone airtight containers are great for shatter and stickier substances. Crumble can be stored in some parchment paper and then a glass container if you feel like it’s sticking too much.
Tips on freezing concentrates
If you plan on freezing your sauces or extracts, you might feel inclined to just throw them in your old Tupperware container. Well, we recommend first putting some parchment paper and using a glass jar, then vacuum-sealing everything to avoid any humidity.
For the people who don’t have a vacuum sealer, you can also use the parchment or jar inside a sealed bag. Then, put the sealed bag in an airtight container, preferably the kind that you can remove excess air.
Before you use your frozen concentrate, we actually recommend for you wait until the container reaches room temperature. After that, you are free to cut the seal. If you open your jar or bag right after freezing it, it can let moisture condense off the container and contaminate your precious extract with water. You’ll know this happened if you can hear a slight sizzling when you are going for a dab.
Storing Cannabis Tincture
Besides being lowkey and discreet, tinctures are one of the most shelf-stable hemp products. Most tinctures can be stored in a cool, dark place with their original containers. When buying a tincture, just make sure you buy a dropper bottle that has an airtight container to lower the risk of degradation.
Even if you keep these at hand, tinctures take much more light and temperature to degrade and lose potency when compared to other hemp products. A single tincture can usually last several months without external factors affecting its potency, but as a rule of thumb try to keep them away from direct sunlight.
Some cannabis-infused tinctures, like the ones from THC, can lose potency with the sun. This happens as THC breaks down into CBN, which can change the desired effect of your tincture thanks to its natural process.
How to store weed butter
Weed butter, also known as cannabutter, is usually a block of butter or margarine infused with active cannabinoids. These can be made from flower, but people have also used extracts as well to potentiate their cannabis cooking.
Homemade cannabutter can usually last about three weeks in your fridge. We recommend using an airtight container, and if you don’t really use it that often, store it in the freezer. While in the freezer, infused butter can last up to six months without losing flavor, potency, and shelf life.
One of the few tricks we’ve got for this is using an opaque container instead of a transparent one. Next, try wrapping your butter in parchment paper or reusable wax paper to prevent unnecessary light exposure, since it can degrade the cannabinoids inside the butter.
Some people even pour the butter into smaller ice cube trays, wrap each in parchment paper, and put them in resealable bags or containers. This way you only take the dose you need each time while keeping the rest of the block nice and cold.
How to store weed with no smell
When storing weed to keep it potent but without a smell, it all comes down to the kind of storage you use. First, you can opt for dedicated smell-proof containers out there, including jars with airtight lids and even UV protection.
For larger quantities, there are smell-proof bags that can stock larger packs. These also have carbon lining to neutralize all sorts of smells, and even have extra pocket space.
If you want to keep it simple though, an airtight container can do the trick. The best budget-friendly option is mason jars, which have a tight sealing mechanism on their own.
How to store cannabis long term
To keep your bud safe and sound for the long term, our first recommendation is to avoid plastic containers altogether. These are porous and harder to clean, and even if they have an airtight seal, they can still let bacteria grow.
Our budget-friendly option would be going for a glass jar with an airtight sealing system and keeping your bud in a dark and cool place. Some people use the fridge, however, if you want your bud fresh for longer, you could try freezing it after keeping it in the coldest part of your fridge for at least a few weeks.
This is because moisture levels might change if exposed to different temperatures, which could lead to bacteria and fungi. So once your weed has stable levels in its airtight containers, it’s ready to be stored in the freezer.
Growers tend to use two freezer bags and then aluminum foil to preserve the buds, however, there are freezer-safe glass jars that can be used. You can also opt for opaque glass so the light inside your freezer doesn’t degrade cannabinoids and keep the trichomes intact.
Lastly, when you want to use your frozen stash, we recommend you let it thaw naturally in a dry place. Don’t try to expose it to the sun, just let the ice melt at room temperature and handle it very carefully. Buds can get really fragile after being frozen, especially if your nug has trichome crystals.