How to Make CBD Oil
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.
If you’re looking to make cbd oil, you’ll need just two ingredients: hemp and a carrier oil like olive oil. The result is a vibrantly herbaceous infused oil with soothing anti-inflammatory properties.
What is CBD oil?
CBD oil is a non-intoxicating herbal remedy made from hemp flower. It is rich in cannabidiol, a type of compound found in cannabis that has strong anti-inflammatory properties. One of CBD’s benefits is that it conveys the beneficial properties of cannabis without the high since it contains little to no THC.
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).
To make CBD oil at home, you’ll need to follow a simple two-step process: decarboxylation and infusion. While it sounds complex, decarboxylation is a simple process of precision heating that activates beneficial compounds in cannabis. The second step, infusion, releases those compounds into a carrier oil. Infused oils are easy to take, and oil makes these compounds easier for your body to absorb, too.
Activating the CBD
In order to make CBD oil, you need to extract cannabidiol from hemp first. Further, you need to activate through a process called decarboxylation. The compounds in cannabis plants aren’t active or bioavailable on their own; rather, they’re activated through heat which is why the plant is traditionally smoked.
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 activate CBD efficiently and to get the most from your plant material, you’ll need a precision cooker (also known as a decarboxylator) which can maintain exact temperatures needed for the full activation of CBD and other cannabinoids. With precision heating, decarboxylators extract a higher percentage of beneficial plant compounds than cruder methods and are a worthwhile investment for anyone who takes CBD oil regularly or wants to make a consistently good product.
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.
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.
What you’ll need to make CBD oil
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.
High-CBD hemp flower
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.
Where to Find High-CBD hemp flower. Since hemp flower is non-intoxicating with negligible to no-detectable THC content, it is legal on a federal level. You may be able to find it locally; however, your best bet is to purchase it online.
Sacred Smoke Herbals sells high-CBD hemp flower that’s organically grown, lab-tested, and available in all 50 states. Use coupon code NOURISHED15 for 15% off.
Finding the right carrier oil
A carrier oil is an oil that you use for herbal infusions. Coconut oil and MCT oil (which is derived from coconut) are popular carrier oils both in commercial and homemade CBD products.
I recommend trying extra virgin olive oil because it has good flavor and high antioxidant levels. Even more, research by ardent shows that olive oil is more successful at extracting the plants’ beneficial compounds.
Making CBD oil at home is easy, and you need only a few ingredients. It's a two-step process that involves heating and then infusion into a carrier oil.
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!