What is “Fresh Frozen” Cannabis and Why Is It So Popular?
The fresh-frozen buzz is growing in popularity among cannabis consumers as the demand for high-potency extracts soars. What once was an outlandish concept is now considered standard for a portion of a cultivator’s crop, some farmers choosing to freeze the crop entirety. As we move forward with the evolution of the industry, our techniques and practices evolve as well, aiming to match our end goal with our customer’s desires. While we will always cultivate under our organic and sustainable standard, we have added new traditions to our harvest procedure, offering both fresh-frozen products and air-cured flowers to our clients.
The standard air-drying method has been around since the legacy farmers planted the first cannabis seeds in Mendocino County ground. While all dry/cure methods will vary from farmer to farmer, the general idea involves hanging the harvested cannabis plant, stripping it of the larger leaves, allowing it to dry in a dark room under optimal temperature and humidity settings for up to a few weeks, then bucking it down to finish the cure in a closable container that can be burped regularly. The fresh-frozen method, on the other hand, takes the harvested cannabis plant and removes all the leaves, branches, and stems. A farmer then takes these fresh buds and vacuum seals them in a plastic sleeve, usually weighing one to four pounds each. These sealed bud bags then get placed into an industrial freezer set at -38 degrees Fahrenheit, locking in all the delicious terpenes and cannabinoids until it’s ready for use at a later date. In an effort to produce the best fresh-frozen material on the market, we personally take this procedure a step further by placing dry ice in our freezers at the time we first add in the harvested cannabis, keeping those buds in pristine condition. We then additionally apply layers of dry ice across all of the freezers to balance out the drying process.
With fresh frozen, the bag appeal of the flower isn’t what a buyer is typically interested in – they’re instead intrigued by a diverse terpene and cannabinoid make-up sourced from plants that were grown cleanly and flushed entirely. When the fresh-frozen product is sent through the extraction process, not only will the terpenes and cannabinoids be extracted, but the residual components will, too. Because of this, buyers must seek out farmers that cultivate organically and without the use of chemical pesticides to protect against failed lab tests and maintain safety for the consumer.
Sourcing from a farm that has experience with fresh-frozen harvests will also ensure the harvesting procedure is done correctly and efficiently. Through all of the trials and tribulations, these farmers have learned the risks and challenges associated with this method, and they know how to counteract them. When last year’s week-long power outage hit Mendocino County, our farm felt the darkness. With fresh-frozen material in our freezers, we learned the importance of having solar generators as a backup power source.
But why should a buyer be interested in purchasing fresh-frozen buds? Well, for one, to keep up with the demand for extracts. Fresh frozen is a go-to product for creating live resin , an extract category that is popular among all levels of the cannabis consumer market. Live resin cannabis oil can be used in pens, vaporizer cartridges, and dab rigs, remaining flexible to the user’s preference. But fresh frozen cannabis is being used beyond just live resin as it’s seen in the manufactured-goods market as well. From candies to topicals to tinctures and drinks, these frozen buds can be turned into distillate and used in edible recipes.
Another reason is the difference in shelf life and preservation of our precious terpenes and cannabinoids. Degradation is much less of a worry for products that are immediately frozen after harvest. When traditionally dried and cured, the buds will start to lose their terpene value to oxidization, eventually drying out to a dusty texture, and, in time, becoming overall less desirable to smoke. When frozen, all of those delectable compounds stay preserved, and the freshness lasts longer than it would otherwise. Both cultivators and extractors enjoy this benefit as they don’t have to anticipate loss to aging products.
A farmer that has experience with the fresh-frozen harvest method will understand the importance of cultivating cleanly, executing the harvest properly, and preparing for unforeseen challenges. These are the cultivators that promote your success by providing you with exceptional products every time. If you are a buyer interested in expertly prepared fresh-frozen material, Giving Tree Farms has got you covered. We offer traditionally dried and cured buds as well, so whatever your customers are demanding, we can help you fill the inventory. Please submit a Wholesale Account form on our website, and we will reach out to you with more information right away!
The fresh-frozen buzz is growing in popularity among cannabis consumers as the demand for high-potency extracts soars. What once was an outlandish concept is now considered standard for a portion of a cultivator’s crop, some farmers choosing to freeze the crop entirety. As we move forward with the evolution of the industry, our techniques and practices evolve as well, aiming to match our end…
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.