Being relatively new, the hemp industry may not always provide in-depth information on packing hemp samples for testing. To remedy this, here is a list of essential tips on sample packaging.
Hemp samples must be packaged appropriately to avoid contamination during the shipment, which may affect the lab’s ability to accurately test the sample. There is no one way to pack your sample as each hemp product requires varying methods.
Every sample submitted to us must include a Zera Hemp Labs ID. The Zera ID is a code located under your sample name in the order summary that allows you and labs to identify your sample with us. Our ID is globally unique, meaning it can never be repurposed or reused. This eliminates the possibility of confusion if two farmers submit a sample with the same name.
The most common types of hemp products sent for testing are wet and dry plant materials. Other products include hemp extracts or infused products like edibles, tinctures, gummies, etc.
Below is a comprehensive guide on the types of hemp samples and their most suitable packaging methods:
Dry Hemp Plant Material (Flower)
Dry hemp plant material is a product that has been cured or dried, essentially ready to consume or smoke. The USDA is now requiring testing to be performed on the top 5 to 8 inches of the main stem, terminal bud, or central cola. In order to ensure that your result is as close to what your state requires, we recommend following this guideline.
If you plan on testing a dry hemp plant material, pack the sample in paper wrapping or a mylar bag.
Secure the product within the mylar bag or have it adequately wrapped in a piece of paper. Dry hemp flowers are naturally lower in weight than wet hemp flowers, and because moisture is no longer a factor, dry flowers have flexible options for packaging. Just make sure the product is secure (while also allowing it some room to breathe) to avoid a smashed sample. Lastly, label the container with the type of sample, the sample name, and most importantly, its Zera ID.
Wet Hemp Plant Material (Flower)
Wet hemp plant material, also known as uncured hemp, is a product that has not been dried and still contains its initial moisture content. Like sampling a dry flower, it is optimal to trim the top 5 to 8 inches of the main stem, terminal bud, or central cola.
Wet hemp plant material is usually dried before testing. However, it may also be tested in its original state for potency and moisture content by percentage of dry weight.
Wet plant material should be sent in packaging that allows adequate oxygen to the product. If wet plant material is sent in a package where moisture does not set, you run the risk of the sample growing mold. We strongly suggest packing wet hemp samples in a paper bag. Attach a label on the container indicating the type of sample, the sample name, and its Zera ID.
A hemp concentrate is a product obtained from the extraction of a hemp flower. Hemp concentrates come in many forms: crude oil, distillate, and isolate. Depending on the type of concentrate, you must utilize different packaging methods.
Liquid and crystalline-based concentrate must be packed in a vial or a glass or plastic container. Plastic and glass containers are most suitable for samples with a runny consistency.
Be sure to label the container with the sample name, the sample type, and its Zera ID.
Hemp Oils and Tinctures
Hemp oil is a product obtained from pressing hemp stalks and seeds. Hemp oil is extracted using the whole hemp plant, which contains many terpenes, phytocannabinoids, and flavonoids. Hemp oils and tinctures should be packaged in a vial or a glass bottle with a dropper cap.
Because this is an oil sample, you must pack the product securely to prevent spillage. You may double pack the vial or bottle in bubble wrap for added protection. Include a label on the container indicating the sample name, type, and Zera ID.
Hemp Topicals and Salves
Hemp topicals or salves are products containing hemp that may be applied directly to the skin. Hemp topicals must be packed in either a glass container or a vial. If the topical has a liquid or creamy consistency, you may also use plastic containers. If the topical has a thick consistency, like a salve or balm, use a glass container or a vial, depending on the amount you need for testing.
To prevent the spillage of runny topicals, you may double wrap the package with bubble wrap. Before that, label the container with the sample name, type, and Zera ID.
Hemp beverages are liquids that have been infused with hemp. Hemp beverage testing can be quite complex. Beverages that involve a brewing (coffee or tea) or carbonation process (soda or sparkling water) may receive different results from testing compared to when these products are tested in their original state.
Carbonation affects the potency of the product. Moreover, cannabinoids are not soluble, so the brewing process does not ensure that all the cannabinoids are transferred into hot water. To maintain accuracy, collect a sample of your hemp beverage before it undergoes either procedure.
To securely package a hemp beverage, tightly seal the liquid in a plastic juice bottle or a Boston round bottle, depending on the amount needed for testing. Because you are handling a liquid, package the sample carefully and double wrap it to avoid spillage. Include a label on the bottle indicating the sample name, type of beverage, and its Zera ID.
Hemp edibles are consumables that contain hemp as an ingredient. Hemp edibles include cookies, brownies, chocolates, gummies, butter, and many more.
Because edibles are prepared through cooking, a combination of different ingredients and measurements, a specific portion of the edible may have varying cannabinoid percentages from another area of the same edible. This could lead to inconsistent testing results. To ensure accuracy in edibles testing, Zera grinds the product into smaller particles. Once the product has achieved a powder-like consistency, the testing can be done with a high level of confidence.
Packaging for hemp edibles depends on the type of edible. If the sample is hemp butter or any product that melts, you may keep it in a vial. Solid hemp edibles must be packaged with adequate space and ventilation. Label the container with its sample name, the type of edible, and its Zera ID.
We hope that these instructions are helpful, and for any inquiries or doubts regarding packaging procedures, you may visit our website or contact us at any of our channels.
Now that you know how to pack your hemp sample, the next important step is getting the sample into our hands for proper testing.
You may choose between two options for shipping: using USPS through our platform or shipping the package through your own preferred service.
Mailing through USPS (recommended):
This method entails you dropping off the package at your nearest USPS location. If you choose this method, we can provide a priority shipping label that allows you to skip the line at the post office. If you elect to print the shipping label through our platform, you can track the status of your package through our website. The shipping fee will be calculated during the checkout of your order, and our priority mail service using USPS estimates delivery within 2-3 days.
Mailing through your preferred service:
This method allows you to select another service to mail the package. Shipping fees are determined by the service that you choose. It is acceptable to ship this way, but please be aware that we will be unable to assist in providing tracking for your package. However, we will send you an email once your package has reached the lab.
You must include the following four essentials in your parcel before mailing it to us:
Now that you know the mechanics behind the packaging and shipping procedure, you are ready to pack your parcel with the securely packed hemp sample, your hemp license information, and Zera order summary.
Once your sample has reached the lab, expect a turnaround time of 3 to 5 days to receive the results. From that point on, you will have all the information needed to fully understand your hemp product.