Learn to Prolong the Freshness of Your Herbal Collection
We regularly receive comments on our products raving about the incredible and luscious freshness of our hemp flower strains when customers receive their order in the mail. It always warms our hearts to receive such grateful adulations from appreciating and discerning consumers but we know that once those sealed bags are broken open and exposed to air, heat, and light those plant materials will begin to degrade.
Granted, such degradation occurs slowly over time. For the first week or so after exposure to the elements, freshness is retained quite well. You will find that each time you select a bud, you can squeeze it (it smells so fabulous when given a little “love pinch”) and it will gently but firmly return back to its original shape. Even when carefully spreading the buds away from the central stem, it will revert to its harvested form, with flowers once again tightly hugging the stem. Finally, when grinding it up, it converts to a beautiful and fluffy mound of plant materials just perfect for smoking or vaping.
However, after a week or so, you will notice that the same plant material is beginning to dry out. It still will emit a wonderful fragrance when sniffed but it now requires gentler handling. If squeezed, you will likely feel a little crunch that indicates it is indeed beginning to dry out. It also no longer returns to its original shape and is more likely to break into smaller pieces and/or powder when handled too roughly.
This is not to say the hemp flower is no longer good for consumption but we can say with certainty that the compounds contained within the plant materials are slowly losing their potency. In some cases, like the Delta 9 THC contained in cannabis plants, as it ages the THC begins converting into CBN, another valuable cannabinoid, but one that lacks psychotropic properties – typically the reason a person consumes cannabis.
Let’s Be and Stay Fresh!
What can you do to prolong the freshness of the delicious and beneficial hemp flower strains you regularly enjoy from Fern Valley Farms? Actually, there are a few habits you can develop that can keep your herbal collection fresh from start to finish!
First, let’s take a closer look at the elements that can devastate the freshness of your products sooner than you want. With this knowledge and a little practice, you can become an expert not only at consuming quality hemp flower strains but also at protecting those precious plant materials from mean old Mother Nature once the plant leaves the soil!
It’s easy to grasp the necessity of fresh air, proper heat levels, sufficient light volumes, and water for a successful round of growing quality hemp flower strains. Unfortunately, once the plant is harvested, those friendly natural elements become the worst enemies of harvested hemp flowers. Let’s review those elements and see what damage they can cause.
We humans have a love/hate relationship with air. We need air to survive, but continued exposure to oxygen damages our skin. One reason people love CBD is the antioxidant properties found within it. It combats oxidation that occurs through prolonged exposure to natural elements, especially air.
So while air is a necessity, it also is the source of oxidation. How do humans show the effects of oxidation? The most noticeable is dehydration of the skin that leads to wrinkles.
For hemp flower strains, it had its fair share of air when it was growing up. Now that same air will lead to faster dehydration of those precious compounds.
There is nothing a hemp plant loves more when it is in the ground growing than the glowing warmth of sunshine. Well, perhaps it loves its moisture just as much, but you get the picture.
Heat is the indicator that lets plants know the season is right for growing. As the ground gets warmer and stays that way longer each day, the innate intelligence of the hemp seed gets the message that the time is ripe for coming alive by germinating.
After that hemp plant has been harvested, that same heat is now damaging instead of nurturing! Heat is a process in thermodynamics where energy moves between two objects if one of those objects has a higher temperature than the other. In such a situation, an “equalizing” action is performed to bring both things to a similar heat level.
Heat is also famous for triggering or accelerating evaporation. This means heat can dry things out very efficiently, which may be great for clothes coming out of the wash but is awful for your fresh hemp collection.
If you look up the scientific definition of “light” you will find it is a form of electromagnetic radiation. Visible light (the light spectrum lying between infrared and ultraviolet) is electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths between 400 and 700 nanometres.
While it helps us to see, it also carries energy through its momentum. (Usually, energy is measured by mass but because light has no mass, all of its energy is derived from momentum.) That being said, we shouldn’t be surprised to learn that the radiant energy from too much light can be damaging. That’s why paper becomes more brittle, wood cracks and buckles, and hemp fades in color, flavor, and effects when exposed to excessive light.
The name of the game is retaining an ideal level of moisture in your hemp flower strains after the harvest long enough to consume it all while still relatively fresh. The opponents in this important game are the above players we just highlighted: air, heat, and light, all of which score points by taking moisture away from these therapeutic buds.
Fortunately, this is a game you can win. You just need to know the rules for keeping your hemp collection fresh and potent. Now that you know how certain elements can detract from the freshness of your hemp flower strains, all you need are the best strategies for thwarting those elements and protecting the valuable compounds contained within them.
As you already know, we do our utmost to deliver the most delicious and potent hemp flower strains available on the market today. Unfortunately, our efforts end when you receive our products and open the packages. As you are now aware, exposing a sealed package to the elements initiates the aging and staling process, albeit very slowly thanks to the perfectly balanced moisture levels contained in our carefully cured hemp flower strains (and the inclusion of a Boveda humidity control pack).
We also know what we need to protect against – namely air, heat, and light. So let’s list our lines of defense in this game of retaining freshness as long as your supply lasts (which should be your optimal goal).
You will always find a Boveda humidity control pack in every hemp flower package you purchase at Fern Valley Farms. This gives you the ideal jumpstart in meeting your goal of freshness from the first to the last bowl or joint.
Remember, these packs cannot do it all but they go far in retaining the moisture levels of your hemp flower strains. Each time you pull out a bud or two, check your pack to make sure it is still soft and malleable. If you feel any hard spots, it is drying out and should be replaced immediately as humidity levels will begin to waver. If you wait until it is completely stiff and crackling, it is fully dried out and can no longer control humidity levels.
If you own a variety of hemp flower strains to suit your varying moods, you should have a Boveda pack for each container. Most importantly, don’t leave containers open as you are preparing your selected buds. You should make it a habit to always close the lid of your container as soon as possible, to avoid extra exposure to air, light, and varying temperatures.
Boveda packs also make it easier to buy larger quantities at a time. If you end up with a larger than expected supply of one of your favorite strains, just add one or two extra Boveda packs. Under ideal conditions (i.e., minimal exposure to damaging external elements), a Boveda pack will normally last two months before losing moisture. Add a second pack and you double that freshness period to a full four months! And because you shouldn’t need to open your backup supplies, when you do finally crack them open you will be pleasantly surprised by its robust freshness.
When your hemp flower strains from Fern Valley Farms arrive, they are in a plastic bag that is sealed airtight. Because of the ziplock mechanism included in each bag, your products can be sealed airtight each time you pull out a bud and zip it shut again. However, plastic bags with ziplock seals are not optimal containers for retaining freshness once they have been opened. They will work in a pinch and a particularly attentive and careful consumer can take care to minimize the times when the bag is opened, which will go far in prolonging freshness but there are better solutions. Most especially, continued use of plastic bags will wear them out, and if a tear appears, they can no longer protect your hemp flower strain from the elements.
With online research using “airtight stash jars” as your search term, chances are you will find a good number of containers that will do the job better than plastic bags. Some airtight containers simply use a tight seal on their lid that makes sure air cannot find its way in. Other containers can create a new vacuum seal each time the lid is placed back on, which is more desirable.
Simply stated, the less air sharing space with your hemp flower strains, the better.
To make your containers more effective, they should also be tinted or opaque enough so light can’t shine through and onto your hemp flower strains. As we already learned, light exposure can be as damaging as air exposure.
Stainless steel containers are highly popular because they block out all the light once the lid is on. Plus, some of them have the ability to create vacuum seals. While stainless steel resists heat better than other metals, as a metal it can get too hot to handle if exposed to a heat source. This of course is not at all good if it is filled with quality hemp flower strains so extra diligence must be taken to avoid such a catastrophe.
Plastic containers also offer the ability to create vacuum seals each time the lid is closed and can be opaque so no light can enter, but some people do not want their precious herbs sitting in plastic containers. You also have a similar concern with exposure to heat, as plastic can also absorb heat or even melt.
There is also the glass option. Even though you cannot create a vacuum seal, you can find glass containers with airtight lids. If taking that route, you are strongly advised to find tinted glass containers to shield your herbal collection from direct light. Even glass can pull in the heat, so you can see that controlling the temperature in the space where you keep your herbal collection is paramount.
However, where you keep your containers can also help block out direct light and control the ambient temperature, so let’s explore storage spaces for that final layer of protection for your herbal collection.
Think of this as your master container for your individual containers of hemp flower strains. For most people, it is a drawer or a place in a cabinet. Some devotees of cannabinoid consumption will get a mini-fridge to hold their goodies, keeping them cool and dark.
The truly dedicated may commit an entire room to the preservation of their hemp flower strains. Basements are perfect spaces since they tend to be dark and cool. You just need to make sure there isn’t moisture accumulating in the basement or any other space you choose for storing your containers of cannabinoids.
Starting Your Freshness Program
As you can see, there are really only three strategies you need to deploy to keep your hemp flower strains as fresh as the day they arrive in your mailbox.
Always Use Boveda Humidity Control Packs
We help you with the first strategy by including a Boveda humidity control pack in each package of hemp flower strains you purchase. That alone gives you a great leap in implementing your freshness strategy.
If you like to take advantage of the excellent price breaks offered by Fern Valley Farms by purchasing larger quantities, you can purchase more Boveda humidity control packs for hemp direct from the manufacturer. You will find a variety of sizes, meaning you can even break those larger purchases into smaller units and place a Boveda humidity pack in each container.
Here is a quick breakdown of the Boveda humidity control packs for hemp, sorted by size from small to large (each offers 58% or 62% RH):
- Size 1 – perfect for ⅛ ounces, single joints, or daily doses of hemp (20-count packages)
- Size 4 – ideal for as much as ½ ounce of hemp (10-count packages)
- Size 8 – just right for full ounces of buds (10-count packages)
- Size 67 – can protect as much as a pound of hemp (1-, 4-, 12-, or 20-count packages)
- Size 320 – for transporting up to five pounds of hemp (single packages only)
As you might expect, Boveda knows how to store its own packages of Boveda humidity control packs to preserve its ability to manage humidity levels in containers. The multi-count packages of Boveda humidity control packs are sealed so well they will stay fresh for up to 2 years unopened.
Invest in Containers
We spent a lot of time and money investigating and testing various packages to come up with our current solution of sealed plastic bags with a convenient ziplock to keep hemp flower strains fresh after the package has been opened. While we feel our solution is great for delivering fresh products to your doorstep, we still urge you to invest in a set of containers for long-term storage.
Transferring your newly purchased hemp flower strains (with the Boveda humidity control pack included inside each package) to more permanent containers will easily double the freshness period of your herbal collection, if not longer.
Conveniently, the Boveda company happens to sell high-quality, stainless steel storage containers cleverly named CVault. Of course, there is a metal pocket affixed to the inside top of the lid where you can slip in your Boveda humidity control pack, making this a sure-fire solution for protecting and prolonging the freshness of your hemp flower strains, keeping them as fresh as the day you first opened the pack for several months with proper care and handling.
Just as convenient are the four sizes of CVault storage containers from which you can select:
- Small – perfect for preserving as much as ½ ounce of your hemp flower strains, this handy container uses a special airtight twist cap to retain freshness
- Medium – easily accommodates 1 ounce of your favorite hemp flower strains; the lid is secured by three metal clamps
- Large – this doubles the medium size, allowing 2 ounces of hemp flower strains; the lid is secured by three metal clamps
- Two Liter – you can store a ¼ pound in this container, making larger, highly discounted hemp purchases viable; also secured by three clamps
An appropriately-sized Boveda humidity control pack is included with each CVault purchase but dedicated hemp consumers are wise to purchase backup packages. The CVault storage containers are stackable, making it easier to store multiple hemp flower strains.
Keeping track of which strains are in which containers is no problem either; we have you covered with removable labels! Just peel off the label from the hemp flower strain package you purchased from Fern Valley Farms and slap it on the outside of the CVault storage container. Yep, it’s that simple!
Store Your Containers
A final layer of protection never hurts, particularly if you wish to keep your herbal collection out of the prying eyes of minors, roommates, or other curious types.
Another benefit that accrues from labeling your containers and dedicating a space for all of them is you will be better organized. Rather than pawing through a drawer and pulling out each package to find the hemp flower strain you feel like enjoying, you can scan your nicely stacked and ordered containers. You might even want to sort them by type so that the more relaxing hemp flower strains are grouped together as are the energizing hemp flower strains. This way, when you already know what mood you want, you can head to the right section without delay.
It’s not uncommon for dedicated hemp consumers to consider the spot where they store their herbal collection as their wellness center. Typically, all of their gear is in the same area. For many, just being in that space primes their mind, body, and feelings for what is soon coming.
And when it has been thoughtfully laid out and then tweaked as it is regularly visited and used, this wellness center will evolve into a sort of special sanctuary for healing and reordering our often scattered lives.
Best of all, you can rest assured knowing that you now have the inside track on what it takes to preserve the integrity of the beautiful quality hemp flower strains from Fern Valley Farms that you love so much!
As we like to say, Happy Hemping… which is much happier when your hemp remains fresh to the last bud!
(We also invite you on a virtual tour of our growing and harvesting process so you can learn the part we perform in assuring you receive the freshest and most potent CBD hemp flower strains possible! Check out our “Come Grow with Us” article and gain a greater appreciation of the miraculous hemp plant!)