Depending on their strain, cannabis may contain large or relatively low amounts of CBD. When you make CBD oil, choose a strain with a high CBD content so that you can extract the most beneficial compounds into your homemade oil.
Rather than smoking, you can activate these compounds through other means of heating. Some people bake hemp flowers in a slow oven for about an hour or use a slow cooker. These methods are inexpensive, but they’re also imprecise and may not activate all the CBD.
To make CBD oil you only need two primary ingredients: hemp and a carrier oil. Hemp flowers that are high in CBD will yield the best results, and if you can’t find them locally, you can order them online. After decarboxylating the hemp flowers, you can then use them to make a CBD-infused oil.
What you’ll need to make CBD oil
Where to Find a Decarboxylator. Commercial CBD oil producers use huge decarboxylators capable of activating the cannabinoids in several pounds of cannabis; however, if you’re making it at home, you’ll need a smaller version.
Many people take CBD to help combat inflammation, anxiety, or restless sleep. Some research suggests it helps protect and support nervous system health (1) and may reduce pain (2), while other research suggests it supports gut health and proper immune system function (3).
Many people use CBD oil to reduce inflammation, soothe pain, or improve their body’s response to stress. And it’s super easy to make at home, too. Plus you can use healthy fats and you’ll know exactly what you’re putting into your bottle, avoiding the refined oils and additives that commercial producers sometimes add.
We used the Ardent Flex for making this CBD oil. With multiple settings, you can use it to activate CBD as well as similar compounds. And, you can also use it to make herbal infusions. Save $30 with code NOURISHED.
Generally speaking, THC is psychoactive and CBD is not. But THC does a lot more than change your state of mind! Studies show that THC has even stronger pain and stress-relieving properties than CBD, which is known to help with insomnia, seizures and inflammation. While they each have notable and distinct stand-alone benefits, an oil or salve containing both CBD and THC has the highest potential for a wide array of health benefits (albeit illegal in some places). Known as the “entourage effect”, the synergistic combination of both THC and CBD through whole-plant cannabis consumption and extracts is more powerful than either one on its own.
Yet when it comes to heating cannabis, it is best to do so low, slow, and methodically. There are time and temperature “sweet spots” where raw THCA and CBDA are converted into active THC and CBD. But without a precise process, over-heating or under-heating cannabis can lead to uneven activation of THC and CBD. Even worse, it may even destroy the THC or CBD altogether!
Hemp Oil, CBD Oil, THC, or…
Cannabis oil is the foundation ingredient for ultra-healing homemade topical lotions, ointments, and salves – my favorite way to use it! Both THC and CBD have excellent anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties. Studies have shown that cannabinoids have the ability to reduce acne, fine lines and wrinkles, soothe redness and irritation, and balance natural skin oils. Also, cannabinoids (THC especially) are analgesic – meaning they reduce pain. I regularly use our homemade cannabis salve on my knees, ankles, and other aching or inflamed joints and muscles.
Cannabis oil is made by lightly heating (and thus infusing) cannabis in a “carrier oil”. Cannabinoids like CBD and THC, the most active components in cannabis, are both hydrophobic. That means they don’t like water, and are actually repelled by water molecules. On the flip side, CBD and THC are both fat-soluble. They like to bind with fatty acid molecules – such as those found in oil. When cannabis is steeped in oil, the THC and CBD molecules leave the buds or plant material and become one with the oil instead.
Are you interested in making your own cannabis-infused oil? I don’t blame you! Making homemade cannabis oil is a great way to create a highly healing, concentrated, and versatile cannabis product. It is ready to use in edible recipes, topical salves, or even enjoy straight on its own. Especially if you use organic homegrown cannabis like we do, this is an excellent way to use up any extra or “fluffy” stuff too. It also happens to be very easy to make cannabis oil at home!
For the purposes of this recipe, we are going to use a decarboxylation technique from cannabis chef Coreen Carroll, co-founder of the Cannaisseur Series.
In order to unlock the full potential of CBD, you must decarboxylate your dry cannabis flower before integrating it into a recipe. Decarboxylation is a heating process that triggers the chemical reaction that releases the carboxylic acids from CBD. In other words, you are converting CBDA to CBD.
Creating infused olive oil is an essential ingredient for any at-home chef who wants to make elevated cuisine and this CBD, or cannabidiol, olive oil is useful for a variety of recipes. Here’s how to create a CBD olive oil at home using CBD-rich flower. Remember, your dosage numbers will differ depending on the strain and source that you use, so be sure to calculate the CBD milligrams per serving beforehand. Do your best to make an accurate estimate, always use measuring spoons to dose, and always conservatively sample each batch before serving to others.
A note about cannabis decarboxylation
For this recipe, you are going to use the stove top method for infusion. Once you master this technique, you can easily infuse other essential pantry items such as butter, coconut oil, avocado oil and more. With these ingredients, you can explore other recipes featured in The Ultimate Guide to CBD: Explore the World of Cannabidiol (Fair Winds Press) which debuts in March 2020.
While there are many decarboxylation methods, activation is achieved by exposing dry cannabis to heat between 240–295˚F for 20 to 60 minutes. Heat for a shorter time at higher temperatures or for a longer time at lower temperatures between this range. For example, if you’re using a higher temperature (between 275˚F and 295˚F), bake for 20 minutes max and be careful not to overcook. Overheating can degrade cannabinoids and terpenes.
Place cheese cloth in fine-mesh strainer over clean 8-ounce Mason jar. Pour infused olive oil through cheesecloth into jar. Gently press to extract the oil. Avoid squeezing cheesecloth to minimize unattractive chlorophyll flavors.
In sterilized 16-ounce Mason jar, combine cannabis flower and olive oil. Seal tightly.