CBD oil is used by many people to relieve inflammation, reduce pain, and improve their bodies’ response to stress. It’s also very easy to make at home. An added benefit of making it yourself is that you can use healthy fats so you know exactly what you are putting into your infusion. This makes it easy to avoid additives and refined oils that many commercial producers add.
Making your own CBD-infused oil is very easy, all you need is two ingredients: hemp and a carrier oil. Olive oil makes for a wonderful and healing infusion, but you can use any oil you prefer. The end result is a vibrantly herbaceous oil infusion with medicinal and anti-inflammatory properties.
How To Make Your Own CBD Oil: What Is CBD Oil?
CBD oil comes in many different forms. It is most commonly in the form of a tincture which is usually made using a more intensive extraction method than the DIY method we will be using today. CBD is non-intoxicating and has numerous health benefits. Since its federal legalization via the 2018 Farm Bill, tons of research has been conducted and new health benefits are being discovered every day.
Furthermore, CBD oil is a non-psychoactive medicinal herbal remedy. It is usually made from hemp flower. Another common at-home DIY infusion is cannabis honey. CBD oil is rich in cannabidiol, the full name for the abbreviation, CBD. Cannabidiol is a compound found in the cannabis plant, also called a cannabinoid. It is known to have healing anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety properties, and assist in overall well-being.
How Does CBD Work?
One of the main advantages of using CBD is that it has all the beneficial properties of the cannabis plant without the psychoactive effects of THC. CBD is its own separate cannabinoid that binds to a different receptor in our bodies than THC.
CBD binds to the CB2 receptor in our endocannabinoid system (ECS). The CB2 receptor is different from the CB1 receptor which is also known as the psychoactive receptor.
The ECS maintains homeostasis within our bodies.
This is done through a series of signalers and receptors across many different bodily systems. Among these systems are the central nervous system (CNS), PNS (peripheral nervous system), and immune system.
These receptors control the signals that are sent between and within connected bodily systems which allows CBD to produce many different effects.
CBD is used by many people to combat anxiety, inflammation, restlessness, and stress. Some research has shown that CBD can protect and support the nervous systems (1), as well as reduce pain (2). Other research suggests that CBD can support gut health and proper immune function (3).
Let’s Get Started
As we mentioned earlier, making CBD oil at home is pretty straightforward.
There are two main steps to making a CBD oil at home: decarboxylation and infusion.
It may sound more complex than it actually is. While decarboxylation sounds like quite the process, it is actually very simple. Decarboxylation is a simple process that heats up the cannabis to activate the beneficial compounds and properties.
Infusion, the second step, releases and infuses those properties into the carrier oil.
Infused oils are great to have around and very versatile. They can be taken as is or added to other foods to make your own CBD edibles!
Also, using oil makes these cannabis compounds easier for your body to absorb. Cannabis is fat-soluble, or lipophilic, which means it needs to bind to fats in order to be bioavailable in our bodies.
How To Make Your Own CBD Oil: Activating the CBD
As we mentioned earlier, in order to make CBD oil, you have to extract the CBD from the hemp flower first. So put on your chemist hat!
Just kidding, it’s really simple.
The beneficial compounds in cannabis are not bioavailable until they go through the process of decarboxylation, as we mentioned earlier. To activate the beneficial compounds in your hemp flower, you need to apply heat. This is also why cannabis flower is usually smoked. If you eat raw flower, it won’t be bioavailable because it didn’t go through decarboxylation (a heating process).
Instead of smoking, you can activate these compounds by using other kinds of heating methods. Some people bake hemp flowers for approximately an hour in a slow oven or use slow cookers. These methods are cost-effective, however, it is hard to be sure of the total cannabinoids present in the end product.
To have more precision and consistency in your extraction (if this is really important to you) it helps to have a precision heater (also known as a Decarboxylator). It can maintain the precise temperatures necessary for adequate activation of the cannabinoids. If you take CBD regularly and want to save money making your own, it would be wise to purchase a precision heater. They extract a higher percentage of beneficial plant compounds using cruder methods and makes for a consistent and high cannabinoid product. It can save you money because you are not paying for all the manufacturing that goes into buying a store-bought and mass-produced product.
Commercial CBD manufacturers use huge decarboxylators made to process pounds of cannabis at a time, for our purposes, you need a much smaller one.
However, it is not necessary to purchase a decarboxylater, keep reading for an even more DIY method! We get into this later.
Where To Find High-CBD Hemp Flower
CBD flower is federally legal thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill as we mentioned earlier. As long as it has less than 0.3% THC by weight, it is federally legal. Depending on the state you are in, it may be fairly easy or pretty difficult to access high-quality CBD flower. States have differing legislation when it comes to cannabinoids so some states may have CBD flower more commercially available than others.
That being said, you can purchase hemp flower online. At Chronic Guru we grow all of our own CBD flower on our sustainable hemp farm in Apopka, Florida!
All of our hemp flower is grown organically and zero waste. We pride ourselves on our powerful medicinal buds that are grown free from pesticides and toxic chemicals.
When you are making an oil infusion, it is essential to make sure that you are sourcing organic and good-quality hemp flower.
Using flower that is heavily sprayed with chemicals is dangerous because hemp absorbs heavy metals through a process called bioremediation. Your oil infusion could be contaminated with heavy metals if you are not careful.
How To Make Your Own CBD Oil: Choosing The Right Carrier Oil
A carrier oil is an oil you can use to make herbal infusions. Olive oil and coconut or MCT oil are some of the most widely used cannabis carrier oils when it comes to infusions. MCT oil is a coconut oil derivative, short for medium-chain triglycerides. It is best to avoid inflammatory and highly refined oils like grapeseed oil, corn oil, soybean oil, or vegetable oil.
What You’ll Need
As we mentioned earlier, you only really need two ingredients to make CBD oil. A carrier oil and hemp flower. If you have access to hemp flower high in CBD that will yield even better results. If you are having trouble finding high CBD flower locally, you can order it online. After going through the process of decarboxylation, you can use the flower to make your oil.
The most important part of making your own CBD oil is to not overheat it.
As we mentioned above this can degrade the cannabinoids and reduce the overall healing potency of your infusion. To avoid overheating some people add decarbed (heated) cannabis to oil and allow it to infuse at room temperature for several weeks rather than heating it at all.
How To Make Your Own CBD Oil Without a Decarboxylator
If you do not have access to a decarboxylator, no worries. Your oven or stovetop will work just fine and many people use this method and yield great results.
You can also use a crockpot and combine the flower and oil together for a few hours or even overnight to extract the most cannabinoids. A crockpot makes it easy to control the temperature and not let the cannabis overheat. However, it is very important to remember that It needs to be kept at a steady and low temperature for best results. If you are using a crockpot, make sure it is on a simmer setting so the heat never exceeds higher than around 250 degrees.
Supplies Needed for Making Your Own CBD Oil
- Decarbed flower or raw flower (either using a decarboxylator or the DIY method we share with you later on)
- Carrier Oil – Olive oil and coconut oil are the most optimal options, but you can use any carrier oil of your choice.
- Optional: you can add some additional raw ground flower. We like to add a little handful of raw organic hemp flower to our oils as well for an additional load of cannabinoids. The most significant and well-documented health benefits from cannabis are attributed to using activated (decarbed) THC and CBD. However; some emerging studies are showing promising benefits from using cannabis in its raw form. Raw cannabis has a different cannabinoid profile than when it is heated. When it is raw, it contains THCA and CBDA, which have numerous health benefits as well.
- A double boiler, or simply a saucepan, or crockpot/slow-cooker. You can also make a make-shift double boiler by using a stainless steel or pyrex bowl on top of a saucepan with water.
- Cheesecloth or fine strainer
- Storage container
- Note – This process will create a strong cannabis odor in your home.
For a crockpot or stovetop:
Combine carrier oil (or butter to make cannabudder) in a saucepan with cannabis flower. Simmer on low for 45 minutes, the longer you let it simmer without ever getting too hot- the better.
Many report that they leave the flower and oil combining in the crockpot overnight and it yields a very potent product.
Some people decarb their flower before adding it to the crockpot with oil, and others don’t, it is really up to you. The flower gets decarbed as it is infusing with the oil in the crockpot or saucepan, but if you want to play it safe you can decarb the flower beforehand.
Just make sure not to overheat it!
This why some people just combine the flower with the oil and allow them to decarb and infuse simultaneously.
Remember* if the cannabis flower exceeds 200-degrees, the cannabinoids will begin to degrade and convert, leaving you with a much less potent product.
If you are starting with already decarboxylated flower, it is even more important to not overheat. Keeping the infusion at a steady and low temperature will preserve all the cannabinoids as well as the terpenes and other phytonutrients.
To use your oven:
Layer your cannabis buds onto a baking tray with a rim. Or if you have a small oven you can use parchment paper, it’s really up to you. The tray should be placed in the oven at around 180-200 degrees F for 30-40 minutes.
After the flower is decarbed, you can combine it with your oil of choice. Whether you combine it using a decarboxylator or using the stovetop or a double boiler, doesn’t really matter. All of these methods work well and yield excellent results when done with caution and care.
In essence, the process includes combining hemp flower with a carrier oil in either a sauce pan or double boiler at a low temperature (preferably 120-180 degrees F) for at least an hour or longer. Maintaining a steady temperature is essential to preserve the cannabinoids and create a potent product.
Then, strain the product using a mesh strainer or a cheesecloth and let cool. There you have it, your very own full-spectrum CBD infusion!
If you plan on taking it straight up, you can either add vanilla or mint as a flavoring agent. If you plan on using it for cooking or making other infusions, then skip the flavoring.
Closing: Tips To Keep In Mind
- Pick a high-quality and high-CBD strain to ensure that your homemade oil is rich in cannabinoids and other beneficial compounds. In other words, your oil is only as potent and high quality as the ingredients you use to make it.
- Choose a high-quality and healthy fat. Organic extra virgin olive oil is a great option, but as we mentioned above you can use MCT, coconut oil, ghee, or butter. (Just make sure whatever you are using is high quality.)
- Keeping a steady and low heat as well as a watchful eye is important to ensure that your cannabinoids are preserved and don’t overheat.
- Store your CBD infusion as you would store any other oil herbal infusion. A dark cupboard away from small children and sunlight is best.
You now have a potent CBD infusion that can be used in healing topical lotions, salves, and ointments. CBD has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties. Topically, studies show that it can reduce acne, fine lines, and wrinkles, and soothe redness and irritation.
CBD is also an analgesic, so it can be used to aid in aching and inflamed joints and muscles.
Your CBD oil can also be used in cooking, making your own edible infusions, baking, and more! Proceed with caution when you use it because it is hard to know the exact potency of homemade cannabis infusions without getting them tested.
We hope you enjoyed this super easy, DIY method of making your own infused CBD oil.
Have you ever made an herbal infusion? Let us know! We would love to hear from you!
- Campos, A. et al. (2016) Cannabidiol, neuroprotection and neuropsychiatric disorders. Pharmacological Research.
- Fine, P. et al. (2013) The Endocannabinoid System, Cannabinoids, and Pain. Rambam Maimonides Medical Journal.
- Martinez, V. et al. (2020) Cannabidiol and Other Non-Psychoactive Cannabinoids for Prevention and Treatment of Gastrointestinal Disorders: Useful Nutraceuticals? International Journal of Molecular Sciences.