So, after endless hunting and searching, you’ve finally found the perfect hemp that offers exactly the flavor and effects you’ve been pining for, and you’ve decided to stock up – a smart decision. But as you go home with that overflowing bag of CBD goodness, you’re struck with a very important consideration – how in the heck are you going to keep all of this loot?
You’ve probably found yourself buying hemp in bulk before, hoping you could keep a premium strain within reach whenever you felt the need to toke. But as the days rolled on, you might have noticed that hemp to have lost some of its original flavor and potency. What happened? Well, that’s the reality of hemp – the way you keep it in storage can contribute to its degradation.
Before you head to the store to buy that next big hemp haul, take some time to consider proper storage. With the right practices, you might just be able to keep that hemp for longer without having to sacrifice its taste and effects.
Whether you’ve purchased flower or oil, there are elements that threaten to degrade these products’ quality. For the most part, you should be particularly wary of temperature, humidity, and UV light. Without proper protection from these dangers, you risk losing flavor and potency, also limiting the supposed shelf-life of your prized purchases.
So, whether or not you grew the hemp on your own or purchased from your trusted vendor, it’s important that you take the time to consider proper storage techniques to prevent the product from going bad before they’re fully consumed.
If you weren’t already aware, the process of preparing hemp after harvest involves a series of drying and curing to evaporate excess moisture and maintain the ideal ‘crispiness’ of the leaf. These processes also help limit the development of mold and mildew which can turn any ripe harvest into a heap of absolute trash.
Although lots of us might think that the drying and curing process ends once the farm releases the hemp for retail or wholesale, that’s not actually the case. The way that you choose to store your hemp will have significant impact on its quality, potentially having an impact on the moisture of the product.
If you’re storing hemp flower, it’s best to maintain mild storage conditions that don’t play it too close to the extremes. As a general rule, temperatures between 77° and 86° F should work just fine to maintain the quality of your hemp and prevent any negative changes in the level of moisture deep within the leaves.
For oil, the ideal temperatures are slightly different. While a bottle of CBD oil should hold up just fine in room temperature conditions, you can extend its 1-year shelf life twice over by sticking it into a refrigerator. The cooler conditions inside a fridge can help keep chemicals in your CBD oil stagnant, preventing reactions that would otherwise change its chemical composition.
Keeping your jars of hemp sitting pretty on a windowsill might add a touch of aesthetic appeal to your kitchen, but there can be major repercussions for the sake of decorative appeal. Placing your hemp flower or oil under the glare of harsh light can cause chemical changes and reactions that degrade the quality of the product.
For hemp flower, that means a loss of trichomes, terpenes, and cannabinoid content leading to reduced flower quality. With oil, exposure to light can change the profile all together and even speed up the process of rotting. For you, that means a change in the entire experience, with reduced effects and watered down flavor.
So ultimately, the best place to store hemp and oil would be in dark spaces away from sunlight and other sources of harsh light. Cupboards, cabinets, and in the case of oil, refrigerators, can all be viable places for storage. But aside from keeping your hemp and oil from light, it also helps to used colored containers. Jars tinted with either dark green or brown can be especially effective at reducing the penetration of light into the containers, adding a layer of protection for your beloved hemp.
Here’s one that most people fall short of. Hollywood films and TV shows often depict hemp stored in Ziplock bags, and that trend seems to have caught on with most of those who use and enjoy hemp for either recreational or medicinal use. But experts warn against the dangers of storing hemp in plastic bags because they offer very little protection against the elements.
Whether you’re curing hemp or simply storing it away, it’s always recommended that you invest in Mason jars that are known for their airtight seal. These jars provide excellent protection against seeping moisture and bacteria, giving your hemp an added barrier of protection against the elements that might contaminate the product. Plus, because Mason jars are especially effective at keeping its contents secure inside, you can expect that satisfying scent to be magnified ten-fold after a few days of Mason jar storage.
So, how exactly can you tell if your hemp flower or CBD oil has gone bad? There are a few markers. For hemp flower, you can inspect the buds. Have they lost color? Are there patches of dark discoloration bordered by fuzzy white outlines? Is the scent altogether different and unappealing? Hemp flower that’s been exposed to moisture and other contaminants will develop mold and mildew which can be particularly dangerous to your health.
While it might seem practical to pick and toss out the leaves that have been affected by the unwanted growth, there’s no way to tell whether particles of the mold have been left behind on leaves that seem unaffected. So, to be on the safe side, always dispose the entire nug or batch if you suspect mold or mildew growth.
For oil, it can be a little easier to determine whether or not is has spoiled. Experts recommend that you open the container the moment you purchase it, since different oils tend to have varied fragrances. For the most part however, CBD oil should smell herbal and aromatic, sometimes giving off the scent of wood.
When CBD oil has gone bad, that smell should completely change. In most cases, CBD oil can smell particularly rotten and offensive when it reaches the point of expiration, making it especially easy to determine whether or not your bottle contains a viable liquid or not.
Not all hemp is top shelf, but finding a proper place on a shelf for your hemp can keep it top quality, for sure. While most shops that sell hemp and CBD oil are careful to provide their buyers with the best products they can offer, the way you store your purchases can have significant impact on their quality over time.
So, before you go blaming a retailer for the nasty hemp you’re currently toking, take a minute to ask yourself – have I stored this stuff properly? Understanding the role you play in the quality of your hemp can help you extend its life and keep it flavorful and effective much longer than any hemp you’ve bought before.