How To Store Hemp Flowers | How Long Is Hemp Flower Good For?
Ever wonder how to properly store your hemp buds or how long is hemp flower good for? If this thought has ever crossed your mind, you are in the right place. At Dreamland Organics, we consider ourselves hemp curing and storing experts, so allow us to educate you, while dispelling many misconceptions.
Those that buy wholesale hemp flower in bulk, like pounds (lbs) of hemp buds, are not the only ones who should be concerned with proper storage. Even if you are only buying an 8th of CBD flower, it's worth your while to learn how to store those precious buds. When stored properly, you can extend the life of your buds and even increase the amount of terpenes per volume. Let us explain how.
Why Is Storage Important? The drying and curing process of hemp flowers is a delicate process and skipping steps, or not adhering to proper protocols, can ruin a perfectly grown hemp plant.
Environment plays a huge role in the freshness or degradation of hemp flowers. Since hemp is an organic material, it requires careful attention at all stages of its life cycle. Even after harvest, hemp needs to be properly stored, just like any other organic material with carbon molecules.
WHAT AFFECTS THE SHELF LIFE OF CBD FLOWER?
We will touch on the main factors that determine how long your hemp buds will last and what causes them to degrade.
While hemp needs plenty of fresh air while growing, once it has been dried, oxygen, or too much of it, can be a detriment.
If your hemp buds are exposed to too much oxygen, for too long, it may compromise the potency, smell, and taste.
A little air is fine, but leaving your flower out on a table overnight is a good way to dry your buds out and allow the terpenes to evaporate. That's why a glass jar, or BPA free mylar bag are great choices for hemp storage.
Temperature control is vital to keeping your buds tasty and fresh. Terpenes evaporate at temperatures over 75 degrees, so if you live in a hot environment, try to store them in the coolest part of the house, like a dark closet, not the kitchen. You may also opt to keep your hemp buds in the refrigerator, so long as they are not exposed to humidity, allowing mold to grow.
HUMIDITY & MOISTURE
Making sure your hemp nugs are properly dried prior to storage is key to avoiding potential problems with humidity and moisture. So long as your buds are in an airtight container and don't have too much moisture in them, the outside ambient humidity will have little effect. But say your buds are still too wet and you put them in a glass jar, that's a recipe for impending mold issues! So be careful.
The last thing you want is moldy buds, as this can have health consequences. Nobody should be smoking moldy buds, as the spores get into your lungs and are not good for you. Side note, many hemp farms who do not properly dry their hemp flowers often sell moldy hemp buds unbeknownst to the consumer. If the hemp buds you bought online smell like mold, throw them out and try some organic buds from DLO!
UV light, whether it be from the sun or an artificial light, can degrade your hemp flower. Cannabinoid and terpene-rich premium hemp nugs should not be exposed to extended periods of sunlight or artificial light. Ultraviolet light will degrade the cannabinoids and terpenes that give your hemp flower potency, flavors, and therapeutic effects.
The last factor affecting how long your hemp buds stay preserved is the storage container itself. We have advanced past sandwich baggies and there are many suitable options in today's market.
The cannabis community is a culture that believes in health and wellness through the power of plant medicine. If we are going to treat our bodies with respect, we must also respect the things we put in our bodies, like our hemp nugs.
Keeping organic hemp flowers in BPA leaching plastics is like eating grass fed beef off of a styrofoam plate. Let's put some respect on our buds. Plastics have minute holes in them, so over time the buds will dry out and possibly leach BPA into your flower. Old school plastic baggies may also affect the smell of dried hemp or cannabis.
Let's opt for more suitable options like BPA free mylar bags, designed for long term storage, or even better borosilicate glass jars like ones our hemp nugs are available in.
HOW DO YOU STORE HEMP?
There are a few ways to store your hemp. Some decide to keep their flower in the same package it arrived in. This could be a vacuum-sealed bag, a plastic container, or a glass jar, or something else. But, to minimize exposure to the factors mentioned above, we know one way to store your bud that’s superior above the rest.
BEST WAY TO STORE HEMP FLOWER
- Glass jars
Glass is undoubtedly the best option for smaller amounts of premium hemp nugs. At Dreamland Organics we actually store our buds in huge mason jars that can fit a 1/2 lb of hemp buds. Glass jars with foam seals, like the ones we use, keep buds fresh for months, if not years if kept out of the light and not opened too often. Our jars are stored in dark, temperature controlled rooms, which is why our hemp flowers are so tasty and terpene rich long after harvest.
- Mylar Bags
Mylar bags are a great option for long term storage as well. They use this technology for storing foods in space travel, so we are talking about high tech cannabis innovation, not Cheech and Chong stoner stuff. These bags, which are BPA free, also contain a thin layer of aluminum blocking out any UV rays. They have no pores, so they do not let any air in or out as well. Hemp buds placed in these bags can last up to 10 years, if all the air is removed prior to sealing.
- Foodsaver Bags
These bags are also BPA free and meant for storing food products. You have undoubtedly come across them in the frozen section of any supermarket. The great thing about these bags is all the air is removed and they also have no tiny air holes for air to get in. If you have a lot of extra hemp flowers, that you know you may not use for some time, foodsaver bags offer a safe and affordable way to preserve those extra "greens" in your stash. Wink wink.
SHOULD I USE A HUMIDITY PACK?
Short answer, not in our opinion. Humidity packs are a common product sold on cannabis packaging websites, but in our opinion they are a bit of a gimmick. The main issue is not whether or not they regulate humidity, but how. The co2 they use in these packs will keep your hemp buds perfectly moist, but with one caveat, after you expose them to fresh air, they quickly degrade and turn yellow.
No thanks. We learned from old school hippies that a lemon peel, fresh hemp or cannabis leaf, or even a small piece of lettuce left in your weed jar overnight will reinoculate those buds just fine. No need to spend extra money on a humidity pack that lessens the shelf life once the jar is opened.
WHERE TO STORE YOUR HEMP BUDS?
As we mentioned before, opt for a cool, dry, dark place without excessive heat. Next to a radiator, in the kitchen, or in the bathroom are not ideal for your precious stash.
In a backroom that does not receive as much sunlight, in a closet or drawer should be just fine. Even the refrigerator is an option if you have the room and they are in a properly sealed container. You would not want any moisture to seep back in. This could potentially cause mold.
ARE MY HEMP BUDS STILL GOOD TO SMOKE?
First off, hemp does not technically "go bad" per se, but it can dry out, degrade and generally lose its potency, if not stored properly over time.
If your stash has been lying around for a while, you might ask yourself “How long is hemp flower good for”? Good question.
Take a look at your hemp buds and notice the smell. Are the buds dry and crumbly? Is the color faded to yellow or brown? Do they still smell fragrant, or are they losing terpenes?
Many hemp companies will urge you to throw your buds out, if you answered yes to any of these questions. While we don't doubt that old hemp flower, that was not properly stored, may no longer be top shelf, you don't necessarily need to toss them out. So long as there is no mold on your hemp nugs, you may want to choose to make CBD butter out of them for edibles, or roll some extra fat doobies to use up your old stash asap. If they are moldy, or smell "off", then in that case, yes the trash bin is the right place for them. Who wants to smoke a hemp joint with a nasty flavor or mold?
If the only problem is they are too dry, try adding a lemon peel to a glass jar and place your buds on top. Leave the lemon peel in for 12-24 hours and then remove it and discard. Your buds will be reinoculated with moisture and yes will have a bit of a lemon smell. They should be a lot less crumbly and should be able to smoke them as usual, like regular fresh hemp buds.
The reason why many CBD flower companies will tell you to toss your less than perfect hemp nugs is simple. They want you to buy more. They are not actually concerned with your health or safety. They are concerned with their bottom line. Sad, but true. Here at DLO, we like to be transparent and educate on actual facts. We are hemp smokers too!
Let’s clear the air and dispel some misconceptions regarding storing hemp flowers. We get asked questions like this all the time, so hopefully this section will set the record straight and put your mind at ease.
How Long Is Hemp Flower Good For?
Again, we need to reiterate that hemp flower is not perishable, like a food item. It does degrade over time, but shelf life is a term for the food industry and for products that have significant water content. Things like dried hemp flowers, spices or pasta for example, last quite a while without oxidation.
But as to how long your hemp buds stay in a top shelf condition depends on two main factors, how you store them and how good your buds were to begin with.
Many blogs from hemp flower brands online will state that your hemp buds, if purchased from a reputable brand, will only last up to one year if stored properly. While there is a shred of truth to this statement, it is not the gospel.
The truth is, if your hemp buds are sealed in airtight food saver bags they can last years, yes years!
If they are in airtight mylar bags they can last up to 10 years!
If they are in glass jars, out of direct sunlight and you do not open the jar, they can also last several years if they are airtight.
Most of the information online is rehashed from the same original sources, but not based on actual experience. At DLO, we have over 20 years of growing and storing CBD and cannabis flowers under our belt.
When we moved from New York to Oregon, we shipped many packages of premium CBD flower to ourselves in foodsaver bags. One of the pounds of CBD flower, sealed in an airtight foodsaver bag, was misplaced in an old box with miscellaneous items. We found it 4 years later! When we open it up, guess what? It was still fire! All the terps were there, it was not stale and smoked like it was harvested 4 months before, not 4 years.
You see, if you eliminate the factors that cause the hemp buds to deteriorate, or greatly lessen them, you slow down or stop the degradation process. It's just like with us humans. Free Radicals cause our cells to die off more and more rapidly and thus aging ensues. However, if you take antioxidants that kill free radicals, you can slow the aging process.
Don't believe the hype when they say that hemp buds are only good for a year at most and you should usually consume them a lot sooner. We glass jar cure for at least 2 months. We have noticed that curing for even longer (3-6 months), helps to increase the terpene profile. Considering drying and curing time, the earliest you would be smoking DLO's notoriously loud and terpy hemp nugs, is 90 days after harvest.
Other CBD flower companies speed dry their buds and get them to you weeks after harvest. That is why they often taste green like fresh cut grass. It takes time to properly cure hemp flowers and we do not rush the process.
We had a customer who bought an 8th of our Immortal CBD flower (in a glass jar), only to get a job assignment overseas for 9 months. When he came back, he was shocked to find his hemp buds smelled even better! He messaged us to report his findings and agreed that it went against the information he had received concerning older hemp flowers.
DO CBD FLOWERS LOSE POTENCY OVER TIME?
Absolutely, over time you are going to lose some potency. All cannabinoids (CBD, THC, CBN, CBG, etc) and terpenes lose potency over time. But like we mentioned before, it's not so much time, as it is oxidation, excess heat and exposure to UV light. Reduce, or eliminate these conditions and your hemp buds can stay potent a lot longer than you think.
We have to be honest here, we are still selling some of our 2020 harvest, but since the buds are stored properly, you would not know the difference. Check out our reviews and see if you can find anyone remarking about dry, or flavorless, or non potent hemp buds we sell. It's quite the opposite, in fact.
THE BENEFITS OF HEMP FLOWER
Hemp flower is an excellent way to get a full spectrum dose of CBD. Smoking is the fastest and most efficient way to get CBD and other cannabinoids into your system. It's also a lot easier to properly dose CBD when compared with edibles.
If smokable hemp flower is not your cup of tea, you can buy our CBD or CBG flower shake and make your own infused coconut oil. With this infused coconut oil, or butter you can make your own edibles, or just add it to food. Ever try broiled salmon with CBD coconut oil on top? Yum!
You could also use the infused CBD coconut oil as a skin salve, like the one we sell in unflavored or organic mint.
If you don't want to go through all the trouble of making your own CBD oil, you could just try our CBD MCT oil and add a few drops to your favorite beverage. Stress and pain relief simplified from your friends at Dreamland Organics.
IS CBD FLOWER LEGAL TO BUY ONLINE?
Yes, it’s legal to order CBD flowers on the internet if they have less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC.
The 2018 Farm Bill introduced this limitation of the THC percentage.
This makes buying hemp flower online federally legal in all 50 states. We even ship internationally to countries who also allow CBD products and flowers to be sold.
Buying hemp online makes it a lot easier, than having to go to a dispensary or smoke shop for hemp buds. If you shop around and find an organic hemp farm, you can buy better buds directly and save on better quality CBD flowers.
Hopefully you learned some facts about storing your hemp flowers and feel enlightened going forward. We tried to make it as thorough as possible to clear up any confusion.
Properly storing your hemp buds should not cause extra stress and be cheap and efficient. That is why we offer our CBD flower in borosilicate glass jars or mylar bags. We even offer a dual compartment stash jar which stores both flower and concentrates, like our CBD bubble hash.
This way you can be sure your hemp buds stay fresh until you are ready to turn them into white ash, whenever that happens to be. No rush!