How to make CBD oil at home
Last updated November 11-2020 Published January 21-2020
TABLE OF CONTENT
- 1. The benefits of CBD oil
- 2. What options are there for making CBD at home?
- 3. A note on strain selection
- 4. Making CBD oil with alcohol
- 5. Making CBD oil with carrier oils
- 6. Advantages of professional CBD oil production
- 7. Making CBD oil at home: the bottom line
Making DIY CBD oil at home is pretty easy if you have the right ingredients. It will by no means be as powerful or as potent as professionally extracted and produced CBD oil (which is actually quite an in-depth and complicated process), but with a few easy steps, you can still harness some of the power hemp has to offer.
THE BENEFITS OF MAKING CBD OIL AT HOME
CBD is enjoyed in many forms, but oil is one of the most common ways to take it. People usually buy their CBD oil at health shops or dispensaries, and, depending on where you live, you may be spoilt for choice. However, for those with far fewer options, or those looking to avoid the expense of certain store-bought products, making CBD oil at home is a viable solution. Yes, you read correctly. With some hemp flowers, the right equipment, and a few simple ingredients, you’ll have a great homemade CBD oil in no time.
WHAT OPTIONS ARE THERE FOR MAKING CBD OIL AT HOME?
If you’re ready to get to it, you’ll first have to decide which method you want to go with. There are two options for amateurs, and choosing one over the other won’t make an extreme difference. However, there is a difference, and both options have their pros and cons.
The first requires using food-safe alcohol to extract CBD from hemp plant material. The second, which has become popular due to the gentle process involved, utilises natural plant oils to extract CBD. Hemp seed, olive, and coconut oils are popular choices here and are fairly effective solvents.
You might be wondering about a third extraction method using CO₂. It’s true, this has become the industry standard for quality CBD oils due to its “clean” nature. CO₂ extraction provides the most potent, controlled and verifiable extraction currently possible, but it requires extremely expensive equipment, a lot of space, and extensive knowledge to perform properly. For that reason, we’ll stick to discussing the first two.
A NOTE ON STRAIN SELECTION
Before we get into that, though, you’ll want to make sure you pick the right strain. As many strains nowadays are bred to have high THC and low CBD levels, you’ll need to pay attention to what you select. If you’d like our suggestion, though, we have a couple in mind. Strains such as Nebula II CBD, for instance, are CBD-dominant, while others, like CBD Critical Mass, have a 1:1 ratio of CBD:THC. Both are suitable options; it just depends on your preference. There are even some strains now with CBD heavy ratios, containing next to no THC at all.
MAKING CBD OIL WITH ALCOHOL
• Around 30g ground buds or 60–100g ground dried shake or trim
• High-proof, food-safe grain alcohol
• Mixing bowl
• Baking tray
• Parchment paper
• Fine strainer such as a piece of cheesecloth or a sieve
• Catchment container
• Double boiler (a set of two fitted saucepans/pots stacked together with space between them)
• Wooden spoon
• Plastic syringe
To begin, you need to ensure your plant matter is decarboxylated. To do so, grind it up until it has a fine even consistency, and place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Place it in a preheated oven at 110ºC (225ºF) and allow to cook for one hour.
Place your decarbed buds or trim into the mixing bowl and pour in enough alcohol to completely submerge the plant matter. Use the wooden spoon to stir the material for 5–10 minutes. During this time, the alcohol will pull out the desired constituents such as CBD and terpenes. Stirring will help to accelerate the process and dislodge the trichomes that produce these substances.
Next, you’ll need to separate the CBD-rich alcohol extract from the plant matter. Strain the solution through a piece of cheesecloth or a fine sieve into a bowl below. You’ll notice that the alcohol has a dark green colour to it. Repeat the process above with fresh alcohol a few more times to get the most out of your buds or trim. Eventually, the extract will start appearing more clear in colour, a sign that the material is now spent.
Now it’s time to set up the double boiler. If you don’t have a setup like this already, an easy makeshift option is to fill the bottom of a saucepan with water, then place a stainless steel bowl into the saucepan that fits snugly, but doesn’t touch the bottom of the pan.
Pour the alcohol extract into the stainless steel bowl/top of the double boiler and apply gentle heat. High-proof alcohol is highly volatile and will evaporate at a low temperature. Keep the heat down and turn the heat on and off where necessary. It’s important to carry out this process away from any naked flames and ideally under an extractor fan or outdoors. The vapour produced when the alcohol evaporates is highly flammable and poses a real fire hazard.
Keep stirring the extract for 15–20 minutes while the alcohol evaporates. The mixture should turn extremely viscous.
After all the alcohol is removed, the extract should display a thick, tar-like consistency. Whilst it’s still warm, draw it up into a large syringe or multiple smaller ones. This makes it easy to store and administer.
CBD oil offers users a wide range of possibilities, with researchers and public figures alike swearing by it. The best part? You can make it yourself at home!
How to make CBD oil
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- What is CBD oil?
- History of CBD oil laws
- Making CBD oil
- Choosing an oil
- Dosing CBD oil
- Bottom line
What is CBD oil?
CBD oil is a refined hemp extract that has been added to a carrier oil. Hemp is a variety of cannabis that produces only trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the cannabis component that can produce a psychoactive “high.” In fact, hemp is defined as having less than 0.3 % THC. Instead of producing THC, hemp plants contain mainly cannabidiol (CBD). Hemp has a long history of use for making fiber for textiles and rope, and has been bred to be tall and skinny with very small flowers, or buds.
CBD oil is a refined hemp extract that has been added to a carrier oil. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
The explosive popularity of non-intoxicating cannabis products containing CBD has led to the development of a booming $1 billion industry. Those who seek CBD’s medical benefits can consume a diversity of CBD-infused foods, supplements, and drinks. CBD oil has been used to treat wide-ranging symptoms, such as pain, anxiety, depression, and acne.
CBD additives come in many forms, but all fall into three major categories: CBD oil, CBD-rich cannabis oil, and CBD isolate. While “CBD oil” and “CBD-rich cannabis oil” may seem like two words for the same product, they differ significantly, mainly due to the fact that two distinct kinds of cannabis are used to make each.
History of CBD oil laws
The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 made all cannabis varieties, including hemp, completely illegal, but the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill legalized the cultivation of hemp for fiber, while also legalizing the extraction of CBD from hemp if the hemp was grown in accordance with the law. This bill led to the rapid expansion of CBD products including oils, balms, creams, and gummies.. Interstate commerce of these products lies in a legal gray area because CBD and cannabis extracts are still considered a Schedule 1 narcotic, but the United States Drug Enforcement Agency has not enforced this regulation on businesses that sell CBD oil.
Making CBD oil
On a large scale, CBD oil is made by extracting entire hemp plants creating a crude paste, which is then refined in several ways and added to a carrier oil. Other minor cannabis components with some medical benefits, (such as cannabigerol (CBG), cannabichromene (CBC), and cannabidivarin (CBDV), are extracted alongside with CBD. Terpenes, the components responsible for the smell of cannabis and other flowers and plants, are sometimes reintroduced to harness additional medical benefits. Because CBD oil contains other components, it may be referred to as broad spectrum CBD oil, which reportedly has greater benefits than if CBD is taken on its own.
CBD oil is made by extracting entire hemp plants creating a crude paste, which is then refined in several ways and added to a carrier oil. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Making CBD-rich cannabis oil
This type of CBD product generally refers to a cannabis extract high in CBD that has not necessarily been added to a carrier oil. Instead of using hemp plants, this product is produced using drug-type cannabis plants bred to make mostly CBD, and little THC. Drug-type cannabis differs from hemp in that it has been bred for generations to make large buds coated in THC-rich cannabis resin that are prime for smoking and making into edibles and topical salves. While drug-type cannabis typically produces high levels of THC, interest in the medical benefits of CBD has motivated people to breed high-CBD plants. High-CBD drug-type cannabis produces much more CBD per plant than hemp does, but because of their lineage, they are not legal to grow under the 2018 Farm Bill. These CBD plants are, however, legal to grow in certain states with medical and recreational cannabis laws, and cannabis extracts made using these plants may be purchased in those states.
Making CBD isolate
CBD isolate is, in short, pure CBD. Isolate is made by refining CBD oil or CBD-rich cannabis oil. Due to the low cost of growing hemp versus high-CBD drug-type plants, CBD oil is often a cheaper source than CBD-rich cannabis oil for the production of CBD isolate. CBD isolate is a white, slightly sticky powder.
CBD isolate is a crystalline solid or powder that contains pure CBD. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
How to make CBD oil at home
To fully harness the medical benefits of CBD, customizing the consistency, potency, and carrier liquid of your of CBD oil for your needs is essential. The most straightforward and efficient way to make your own CBD oil is to start with CBD isolate, which is readily available in dispensaries and online from reputable sources. Another easy way to administer CBD oil is by dissolving it in alcohol, to make what is known as a tincture.
Tools for making CBD oil
Many of the tools needed for the home production of CBD oils or tinctures are likely to be things you already have in your kitchen or medicine cabinet. A jeweler’s scale that can measure grams two places past the decimal point is a must to accurately measure your CBD isolate and can be purchased fairly cheaply online. A spoon or small scoop will be needed to transfer the measured CBD isolate to a storage container. Additionally, you will need either oil or alcohol. The exact type will be your preference, but some properties of each need to be considered before making a purchase. The simplest way to dose the CBD oil or tincture precisely is by using a dropper bottle that indicates how much it delivers; these typically measure out 1 milliliter for the whole dropper. Measuring the oil or alcohol is most easily done with an oral syringe.
Choosing an oil
As CBD isolate is neutral in taste, the oil in which it is dissolved will dictate the flavor of the final product. An unflavored oil, such as medium chain triglyceride oil, commonly known as MCT oil, will make for a neutral tasting product. Strong-tasting oils, such as coconut and olive, may be used as well if desired. Coconut oil is often solid at room temperature as it has a high content of saturated fat, so it will need to be heated carefully for making CBD oil. If you’re making a tincture instead of an oil, a high grain alcohol is key. Liquor is diluted with water to an alcohol content of 40 -50 %, which is not suitable for dissolving CBD because of the high water content (CBD is not soluble in water). High-grain alcohol (90 % or greater) is needed for full incorporation.
As CBD isolate is neutral in taste, the oil in which it is dissolved will dictate the flavor of the final product. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Dosing CBD oil
The first crucial step in the process of making CBD oil or tinctures is deciding the desired potency. Assuming you want to administer your oil or tincture with a dropper bottle, it is necessary to know milligrams of CBD delivered per milliliter of oil/tincture. Most dropper bottles hold 1 fluid ounce (1 fluid ounce
30 milliliters). Dissolving 600 milligrams of CBD in 30 milliliters of liquid will make an oil/tincture that delivers 20 milligrams of CBD per milliliter (600 mg ÷ 30 mL = 20 mg/mL). To make a higher potency oil/tincture, dissolve more CBD in the same volume; the total milligrams of CBD you add, divided by the total volume of the oil/alcohol you add, will give you the potency in milligrams per milliliter (mg/mL).
The first crucial step in the process of making CBD oil or tinctures is deciding the desired potency. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
If you’re using any oil except for coconut, weigh the desired amount of CBD isolate on a notecard on your scale. Fold one edge of the notecard, place the folded angle into the edge of the dropper bottle, and carefully tap the notecard until the CBD falls into the bottle (do this over a clean tray to gather anything that may have fallen during the process). Pour your measured amount of oil or alcohol into the dropper bottle (30 milliliters or 1 fluid ounce if you follow the guide above). Shake and swirl; the heat from your hand will help dissolve the CBD, but it may take a few minutes. The final product is shelf-stable and ready to administer orally, into topicals, or into foods and drinks.
Due to its higher saturated fat content, coconut oil is mostly solid at room temperature (unless you’re in a very hot climate) and therefore cannot be administered with a dropper bottle. The coconut oil must be heated until liquid before dissolving the CBD. You can simply heat a measured amount of oil for your desired dose in a small pot or saucepan at a very low temperature. It is important to monitor the oil for signs of overheating and adjust the temperature accordingly. Alternatively, a double boiler can be used in place of a saucepan.
If you prefer to make a tincture but are concerned with the high alcohol content needed, glycerine can be used to dilute alcohol-based tinctures. CBD is not particularly soluble in glycerine on its own; however, CBD already dissolved in alcohol can be fully incorporated with glycerine to dilute or sweeten the tincture. Dosing will need to be adjusted with the addition of a larger volume of fluid. This can easily be done by making the initial tincture more potent and diluting it down with glycerine to your desired concentration.
You can channel the potential health benefits of CBD oil at home, but you should consult your physician before beginning a regimen and verify any applicable state or local laws.
How to make CBD oil Copy article link to clipboard. Link copied to clipboard. Contents What is CBD oil? History of CBD oil laws Making CBD oil Choosing an oil