I Took the Boveda Challenge and Here’s What I Learned about Cannabis

Cannabis reporter Rachelle Gordon took the Boveda Challenge to compare if cannabis is better stored with Boveda than without it.

For a cannabis connoisseur like me, keeping my top-shelf bud fresh and in peak condition is super important (whether it’s straight off the dispensary shelf or in my headstash weeks later). After all, we all know that overly dry cannabis can lead to a laundry list of problems such as decreased potency and loss of terpenes. Plus who wants to smoke something that reminds them of the Sahara Desert after each harsh hit?

Not me.

I’ve known for years what salt-based two-way humidity control can do for my bud. But when my friends at Boveda announced the inaugural “Boveda Challenge,” I was intrigued. The opportunity to do a side-by-side comparison of cannabis stored with and without their product for two weeks offered a deeper understanding of how the Boveda works that I could see (and smell) right away.

The “Boveda Challenge” took the cannabis community by storm. Over 400 of my fellow enthusiasts, professionals and medical patients answered the call to action as well. Here’s what went down.

What Exactly Is the Boveda Challenge?

The concept for this challenge is pretty simple:

Divide a sample of cannabis flower into two, placing one portion in an airtight container along with a Boveda and the other in an airtight container on its own. The containers have to stay shut for 14 days (so make sure you have another stash to access during this time!). After the two week period is over, inspect and consume a bit of the cannabis from both containers, noting the overall smell pre- and post-grind and the effects of both.

The team at Boveda said results can be noticed after only one week, but to stay the course and wait the entire 14 days to see (and sniff) the results.

Wedding Cake stored in an airtight jar with Boveda, which coats trichomes in a monolayer of moisture to protect the aroma, flavor and effects of cannabis.

FOCUS ON TRICHOMES. During the Boveda Challenge, I stored samples of Wedding Cake with Boveda and without it in Smokus Focus containers. Each airtight cannabis jar has a magnifying glass right in the lid, so I could examine how Boveda’s terpene shield protected the quality and color of the cultivar’s trichomes.

How Did the Cannabis Smell After?

Upon opening the two containers, the one without the Boveda smelled slightly danker. However, after grinding, the cannabis that had been stored with the Boveda had a stronger, more robust aroma. The cannabis without Boveda? Well it seemed as though the scent had dissipated—where, oh where, had the terps gone?

The cannabis without Boveda…where, oh where, had the terps gone?

I wasn’t the only one who noticed that unprotected cannabis loses its smell right away. The majority of my counterparts reported the same thing. The folks at Boveda explained their product creates a literal shield around the flower’s trichomes, aka the frosty bits on the plant that contain terpenes and cannabinoids. Basically Boveda’s saltwater-based formulation creates a monolayer of water molecules that coats the trichome, preserving it until it is consumed. Without Boveda, the terpenes are released and absorbed by the cannabis container—what a waste!

“Cannabis stored with Boveda smells like it’s been freshly picked,” said Canadian medical patient Courtney McLeod who also took the Boveda Challenge. “You can taste that strain’s distinctive terpene profile and the buds have significant substance to them.”

Canadian cannabis educator, Boveda fan and Challenge participant Jonathan Hirsh agreed.

“I used two different types of cannabis with contrasting flavor profiles for this experiment in order to compare results,” Jonathan said. “And in both cases, I noticed the Boveda samples retained more of their natural bouquets better than the non-Boveda samples.”

How Did the Cannabis Feel?

The difference between the two samples in terms of its consistency was clear as day.

The cannabis stored without Boveda was dry to the touch.

When gently squeezed, it disintegrated. Once in the grinder, it ended up being very fine after a few turns.

The Boveda sample was more dense and springy to the touch, much more like when the challenge began. It was as if time had been standing still. The ground material had a great consistency, making it much easier to manipulate. Rolling a joint of this cannabis was nearly effortless, as opposed to the other sample which was a little more difficult because it was so dusty.

Before grinding, cannabis stored with Boveda smells less intense because the flower's aroma has been protected by Boveda's terpene shield.

SAVE THE TERPS! When I opened the jars, the flower stored with Boveda smelled less robust than the flower stored without Boveda. After grinding, Wedding Cake protected by Boveda had a stronger, earthier aroma than the unprotected flower. Boveda saved terpenes until I was ready for them.

The Most Important Question:  How Did it Smoke?

Ready, aim, fire! It was time for the moment of truth. The non-preserved sample was up first. The flavor was consistent but that’s more than I can say about the way it burned. As often is the case with overly dry cannabis, the joint seemed to go up in smoke far too quickly while at the same time having the dreaded “canoe” effect (when one side is charred while the other seems pristine).

After a walk and a snack, it was time to try sample number two (AKA the Boveda specimen). The joint maintained a slow yet sultry char throughout making for an optimal session. The flower’s aroma and taste was more nuanced than the previous sample, despite being the same cultivar (there’s that terpene shield again!). The effects were also more pronounced, an important distinguishing factor for any consumer.

“As a TBI survivor, having potent and consistent product is critical,” explained Challenger and Boveda-proponent Nikki Lawley, adding her sample stored with the humidity control product was noticeably more effective than the one without.

Survey Says:  Trust Boveda

The results of the Boveda Challenge were overwhelmingly crystal clear: using salt-based humidity control with your cannabis is the only way to truly keep flower fresh. We all assume jars and bags are airtight, but the fact is our bud needs to be in an environment with precise moisture content to prevent over drying (or worse yet, molding!).

The Boveda sample was delicious, easy to manipulate and more potent whereas the other one was just ho-hum. It turns out I’m not the only one who felt this way. In fact, the overwhelming majority of challenge participants said cannabis stored with Boveda was preferred. I always knew this was a tool every cannasseur should deploy, but the experience of the Boveda Challenge solidified my dedication to Save the Terps.

Want to learn more about how Boveda works? Check out the links below!

Boveda. The Original Terpene Shield™.

Rachelle Gordon

By Rachelle Gordon

Rachelle Gordon is a Minneapolis-based freelance writer and educator in the cannabis space. She has dedicated herself to informing others about the powers of plant medicine after witnessing her father’s struggle with epilepsy (and subsequent stroke) in her childhood.

Rachelle’s posts are being provided for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by Boveda of any of the products, services or opinions of Rachelle. Boveda bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of this post  or links to the posts. Contact Rachelle Gordon for answers to questions regarding her content.