Can You Really Freeze Cannabis?
Freezing cannabis might sound like a strange idea, but it’s becoming an increasingly common practice amongst ordinary decent home growers and large commercial growers. Sure, there are some risks. There are also dank rewards. Here’s what you need to know about chilled stash.
WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO FREEZE YOUR WEED?
It’s probably not that surprising to hear that lots of growers freeze their cannabis post-harvest. Perhaps you’ve dabbled yourself. It’s a pretty common practice to store dry sugar leaves in a Pyrex lunchbox in the freezer for hash-making at a later date. But some will go a step further and freeze the flowers. Outdoor growers that cultivate cannabis seasonally or even biannually are the grand masters of stash preservation.
If your aim is to remain self-sufficient rather than cashing in on a bumper harvest, the typical go-to glass jars might not keep your stash fresh for long enough. Most growers will agree that a good old-fashioned Kilner jar stored in a cool, dark place will keep your buds dank for about 18 months. However, if you’ve harvested a few 1kg monster plants and don’t want any weed going to waste, you need a method that can extend the shelf life even longer. You don’t have to invest in cryogenic preservation, but freezing that weed could be the best option.
FREEZE FLOWERS FOR A LONGER SHELF LIFE
The cannabis harvest standard operating procedure to trim and slowly dry flowers first must be followed. A vacuum jar is probably the best choice, or really any storage box without a static charge like plastic can work. Pack with buds and make sure it’s tightly sealed. Now you can safely place your stash in the freezer for long-term storage.
A year or two later when you need the stash, simply take it out of the freezer and let it thaw. Keep your hands off it while it’s still frozen, as the trichomes will be very fragile. Also, don’t be tempted to do anything silly like defrosting your frozen flowers in the microwave.
Typically, the top layer of frozen weed will be less than perfect as air and water may have degraded it to some degree. Overall, a frozen stash is still a quality product and comparable to buds stored in the usual manner. If you can avoid breaking the seal and dipping into the buds, you have every chance of succeeding.
MAKE HASH IN A FLASH WITH DRY ICE
We can’t take the credit for this cool **hash-making method. In fact, it was the National Geographic TV series “American Weed” that turned us on to making hash in a flash. Simply toss your sweet leaf trimmings into a bucket and add a few lumps of dry ice. And for the love of god, remember to wear gloves or you will need to rush to the nearest A&E to try and save your fingers from falling off.
Once the trim and dry ice are safely in the bucket, all you need to do is agitate it with a bit of a shake and a swirl. The dry ice draws out the trichomes through the process of sublimation. Finish by sieving the contents, and you’ll be left with beautiful blonde hash powder. From start to finish, the whole process takes minutes rather than hours.
Bubble hash has always been a favourite solvent-free hash of ours. Nothing compares to full-melt ice hash. For best results and a variety of grades of hash, a multi-bag kit is essential. Although, you will probably need a handheld whisk to agitate a bucket full of material and manually wash the trichomes off. As they fall off, the various micron screen bags will catch the hash.
Alternatively, if you want to expedite the process and not have to clean a real mess afterwards, a Bubbleator B-Quick can make the hash for you automatically. All you need to do is add ice water and sticky green. Deliciously efficient.
Freezing fresh flowers is best left to the professionals with the expertise and equipment to do the job right. In the US, extract artists really are cryogenically freezing freshly harvested buds. Then, various BHO extraction methods are used to create a live resin concentrate.
Live rosin is another sub-zero cool concentrate. Now, this really dials the dankness up to 11. Freshly frozen flowers are converted into bubble hash. This is then scooped up and placed in an industrial freeze dryer for 24 hours. Finally, a pro rosin press is loaded with the dry bubble hash and squished into live rosin.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON FREEZING CANNABIS
There are plenty of misinformed naysayers that would have you believe freezing cannabis is a bad idea. We strongly disagree, because our research and personal experience suggests otherwise. Freezing cannabis to keep it fresh for longer is a real option for home-growers. Similarly, bubble hash is not too difficult to make. But if you want to enjoy the flavoursome, more exotic dank delights like live resin and live rosin, be prepared to pay a premium price at your local dispensary or coffeeshop.
There is much confusion about freezing cannabis. In this blog, we explore the benefits and the potential pitfalls associated with the process.