Whether you’re buying hemp in bulk or selling your very own, homegrown product, storage will play a big role in the process. Hemp is prone to all sorts of contamination – even after drying and curing – and it helps to make sure you’ve executed the proper storage techniques to prevent all of that magical goodness from fading out.
While lots of buyers might be well-versed in choosing hemp, the art of proper storage is lost in most consumers. And that’s why many people might find their bud lacking flavor and potency just a few months down the line. However, when stored properly, hemp can have an exceedingly impressive shelf life, pushing the two year limit.
What should you store hemp in?
There are certain qualities that make a container viable for hemp storage. These properties won’t only guarantee that hemp is kept safe and sound, but that no outside contaminants will penetrate into the container throughout the duration of the storage period.
As a general rule, experts recommend that users store their hemp in mason jars or mylar bags. These are both airtight and prevent all sorts of contaminants from coming in, as well as preventing the goodness of your hemp from seeping out. Mylar bags are food grade containers that are especially effective at preventing gas molecules from passing through the bag material, making them ideal for transporting hemp. On the other hand, if you’re interested in long-term storage, there’s really no beating the good ol’ mason jar.
The Proper Conditions for Hemp Storage
There’s a whole lot more to storing hemp than simply choosing the right container for the job. On the contrary, the variables surrounding that container of choice will also have an impact on the quality of your bud.
Harmful UV rays that come from direct sun exposure can break down the organic compounds of your hemp. The same goes for beer, which is why beer bottles will typically be a dark brown or green colour. One study conducted in 1970 at the University of London concluded that UV exposure was actually the biggest reason for quality loss across stored cannabis products.
The best way to prevent that would be to make sure you store your stash away from direct sunlight. A dry, neat cupboard would be a great way to conceal your herb and minimize sun exposure. In the same vein, you could also choose to handpick coloured mason jars if you decide to use them for storage. Darker colours like brown and deep green have been found to be most effective against UV rays.
While this one might seem like it’s a little too advanced for the run-of-the-mill hemp head, there are some pretty good reasons why you might want to consider monitoring oxygen exposure. Storing hemp with too little air could impact humidity levels within your containers. If you happened to buy hemp that wasn’t dried or cured long enough, this could impact their quality over time.
On the other hand, exposing your hemp to too much air could lead to degradation of the leaves and other organic matter. Excessive oxygen exposure tends to do that, and may cause your bud to lose flavor, potency, and structural integrity. The best way to combat air condition challenges would simply be to secure the lids on your mason jars and to invest in a suitable vacuum to manage internal oxygen conditions.
Too much humidity is known to cause all sorts of mold and mildew, which can be dangerous to your health. While hemp that’s dried and cured will need some level of humidity, there’s actually a sweet spot that you should aim for if you’re hoping to keep your stash around for a long period of time. According to experts, the perfect relative humidity levels for hemp would be just around 59% to 63%.
Finally, it’s not enough to simply make sure that your hemp is stored in a dry place away from direct sunlight. It’s equally important that you monitor temperature levels as well. When hemp is exposed to less-than ideal temperature conditions, the different cannabinoids will breakdown and change into a variety of other compounds. For instance, too much heat could change THCA to THC and then to CBN, which will ultimately alter the way your hemp behaves when used. And if you’re particular about the affects you want out of your herb, then it’s easy to see why this could be a problem.
To prevent the change and alteration of your plant chemistry, monitor the temperature conditions of your storage space. Hemp should be kept in areas within 77 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Avoid storing your hemp in refrigerators and freezers at all costs as this could irreversibly alter the integrity of the leaves, and thus the properties of the hemp altogether. You should also check out this article on industrial hemp farms where they talk about the challenges of storing hemp flowers and how you should really do it. It’s better to learn this from the people who actually sell hemp flowers and have to store large quantities of it and make sure that it doesn’t go bad. Check them out.
Curbing Your Storage Woes
Don’t have the time or the will to get so detailed with your storage practices? There is a way to curb all of that. Buying hemp that’s just the right amount will relieve the need to go such lengths to maintain the quality of your bud long-term. Whenever you go shopping for raw flower, don’t buy more than you can use over a short period of time. That way, you’d be way done with your stash before any contaminants, mold, or mildew would have had the chance to dampen its quality.
On the other hand, there are some people who just need that much hemp. Whether it’s because you were trying to save up by buying in bulk or if you’re hoping to make a profit off of a wholesale purchase, proper hemp storage can come in handy to guarantee the shelf life of your bud for the long term. And hey, because these practices can extend your hemp’s viability for up to two years, it really does pay you back for the effort you put in.