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How to Make Homemade Cannabis Oil (or CBD Oil)

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!

Follow along with these step-by-step instructions to learn how to make homemade cannabis oil. We’ll also briefly discuss the science behind cannabis oil, and what types of cannabis to use to make oil. Finally, we’ll go over various ways to use homemade cannabis oil, including some notes about caution and dosing with edibles.

What is Cannabis-Infused Oil

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.

A wide variety of oils can be used to make cannabis oil. However, coconut oil and olive oil are the most popular and common. Coconut oil and olive oil are both pleasant-tasting and very nourishing for skin, making them versatile options for either medicated edibles or topical applications. Plus, they both have strong natural antifungal and antimicrobial properties. This helps prevent mold and extends the shelf life of your cannabis oil. Coconut oil is higher in saturated fat, which may bind fat-loving cannabinoids even more readily than olive oil.

Hemp Oil, CBD Oil, THC, or…

Your choice! You can make cannabis-infused oil with hemp or marijuana, depending on what is legal and available in your area. Or, what you’re desired end-results are. Hemp oil will only contain CBD (or a very minuscule amount of THC), while marijuana-infused oil will likely contain both THC and CBD. The ratio and concentration of THC and/or CBD depends on the strain of marijuana and particular plant it came from.

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.

I personally like to use strains that are high in both THC and CBD to make oil and salves. To learn more about the differences between strains, CBD and THC, see this article: “Sativa, Indica & Autoflowers, the Differences Explained”.

Why Make Cannabis Oil

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.

Furthermore, making cannabis oil is one of the most reliable ways to create medicated edible cannabis products. Even so, it is extremely difficult to determine the exact potency of homemade edibles or cannabis oil. Because of this, it is suggested to consume with caution in very small doses at first. Cannabis oil can be consumed on its own, or added to other edible cannabis recipes.

On the other hand, simply chopping up weed to add to your brownie mix is not a good idea, for many reasons. As we already explored, cannabinoids are fat-soluble. That means that they not only bind with oils during the infusion process, but also that cannabinoids are more readily absorbed and digested in our bodies when they’re consumed with fat – such as oil. If you add raw cannabis to baked goods, it is less likely that the cannabinoids will bind to fats for a consistent and effective edible experience. Using decarboxylated cannabis to make cannabis oil further increases precision and consistency.

Using Decarboxylated Cannabis for Oil

The cannabinoid compounds found in raw cannabis (THCA and CBDA) are not the same as those found in cannabis that has been heated – such as those inhaled (THC and CBD) when you ignite or vaporize cannabis, or when cooking with cannabis. The process of heating and “activating” cannabis is called decarboxylation. It is what makes cannabis psychoactive, and also more potent for medicinal applications.

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!

Most cannabis oil recipes call for cannabis that has already been properly decarboxylated first. The most common and fuss-free way is to decarb cannabis in the oven, and then add it to oil over a very low heat afterwards – avoiding further decarboxylation. Some folks choose to decarb their raw cannabis on the stovetop simultaneously with the oil infusion process. However, that requires significantly more careful monitoring to hit that time-temperature sweet spot (and not ruin it).

Therefore, our cannabis oil recipe calls for decarboxylated cannabis as well. I provide very brief instructions on how to decarb raw cannabis below, but you can read further information about exactly how and why to decarb cannabis in the oven in this article.

    1 cup of loosely ground decarboxylated cannabis. To be more precise, I suggest to use a kitchen scale to weigh out approximately 7 to 10 grams (a quarter ounce or just over), depending on your tolerance.

1 cup coconut oil or other oil of choice, such as olive oil. We like to use organic coconut oil because it is solid at room temperature (and tastes good), which makes it perfect to eat a tiny spoonful of, spread on bread like butter, or use in a salve. (Note that our salve recipe calls for 1.5 cups coconut oil, so scale up if you intend to make that)

Optional: A few grams of raw cannabis. In addition to decarboxylated cannabis, we like to add a little handful of raw homegrown bud to our oil as well. While the most significant and well-documented health benefits from cannabis are attributed to active THC and CBD (found in decarbed cannabis), there are also emerging studies showing some promising health benefits from their raw forms – THCA and CBDA. Therefore, we like to use a little of each to create a full-spectrum and well-rounded finished product.

A double-boiler, or make-shift double boiler (such as a glass pyrex bowl or stainless steel bowl perched on top of a saucepan with water below) OR a crock pot/slow cooker

Fine mesh strainer

Storage container, such as a mason jar with lid

  • Note: This process will create a fairly strong cannabis odor in your home
  • HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE CANNABIS OIL

    The most important aspect of making cannabis oil is to not overheat it. In fact, some folks choose to add decarbed cannabis to oil and allow it to infuse at room temperature (in the dark) for several weeks, rather than heating it at all.

    The heat applied in this recipe simply helps expedite the cannabinoid extraction process to bind with oil. However, because we are starting with already decarboxylated cannabis, the goal is to avoid heating it over 200 degrees. 120 to 180°F is even better. Maintaining a lower temperature will preserve the already-active THC and CBD content as well as the terpenes. That is, unless you intentionally want to convert THC to CBN to create a very sleepy and sedate final product.

    That is where the double-boiler or slow cooker (with a low temperature setting) come in handy! Even over the lowest flame, heating oil in a pot directly on the stove is much more difficult to prevent overheating, and also creates “hot spots” – destroying our precious cannabinoids.

    I suggest monitoring the oil temperature with a probe thermometer if possible. Because oils have a higher boiling point (or “smoke point”) than water, the oil will not appear to be as hot as it really is! For example, the oil may be well over 212 degrees but not visibly bubble and boil like water would at the same temperature.

      If your cannabis is not yet decarboxylated, grind or tear it up into fairly small pieces. Spread evenly on a baking sheet, and heat it in the oven on 250°F for 25 to 30 minutes.

    Add water to the bottom pan of your double-boiler. Now add 1 cup of coconut oil to the top section of the double-boiler. Heat until it melts. (OR, on the low/warm setting in a crock pot)

    Stir in 7-10 grams of decarboxylated cannabis into the melted oil. Feel free to also include an optional few grams of raw ground cannabis if you desire.

    Continue to heat the cannabis and oil over a low heat for 30 to 60 minutes, stirring occasionally. You can continue this process for several hours if desired, though many recipes call for only 20 to 30 minutes. If available, use a probe thermometer to check the temperature. Adjust the heat as needed to maintain the oil below 200°F. We aim for a target temperature range of around 130 to 150°F and infuse for one hour.

    When the time is up, line a strainer with cheesecloth and position it over a glass bowl. Pour the cannabis and oil mixture through the strainer. Gather the cheesecloth and gently squeeze out the excess oil from the cannabis. Warning: the oil will be hot, and your hands will get greasy! You may want to wear food-grade gloves.

  • Transfer the strained cannabis-infused oil into a storage container. It is best to use a glass storage container with a tight-fitting lid. Store the finished oil in a cool dark location. We keep ours in the refrigerator.
  • Ideally, use your cannabis oil within 6 months to 1 year. As long as it doesn’t mold, the oil doesn’t “go bad” over time – though the potency can decrease as some THC will naturally convert to a more sleepy cannabinoid called CBN.

    How to Use Cannabis Oil

    When it is finished, you can use you cannabis oil any way you’d like!

      Add homemade cannabis oil in any body care recipe that calls for cannabis-infused oil, such as this topical salve recipe. It can help heal sore muscles, joints, inflammation, eczema, psoriasis, and even slow or prevent skin cancer cell growth!

    Use cannabis oil in meals or medicated edible recipes. Try to use as low of heat and cooking time as possible to preserve cannabinoids and terpenes. Look for “no bake” recipes, or ones that you can only lightly heat the oil again in a double-boiler. For example, you could make these chocolates, some no-bake cookies, or add medicated coconut oil to a frosting recipe. Another option is to use the coconut oil like butter on toast, or mix it into already-cooked pasta or sauce. (See the dosing information and caution below!)

    Enjoy a small dose in a cup of hot tea or other warm beverage, perhaps with a dab of honey.

    Consume a small dose of the oil straight on its own. Try holding a small amount of oil in your mouth or below your tongue (sublingually). According to Leafly, “sublingual dosing offers a fast onset, shorter duration, and lower intensity than traditional oral cannabis edibles”.

  • Use the cannabis-infused oil directly on skin
  • Homemade Cannabis Oil Potency: Proceed with Caution

    Homemade cannabis edibles are tricky because it is very difficult to determine their exact potency. Without laboratory testing (which is expensive and not readily available to most people) it is virtually impossible to calculate the THC and CBD content of the finished cannabis oil or medicated edibles that you prepared.

    First of all, if you are using homegrown cannabis like we do, then you likely don’t know the strength of the bud you started the process with. Even if a strain is marketed to have a particular THC and CBD content or ratio, homegrown plants can vary wildly depending on how they were grown, harvested, dried, cured, and stored. Furthermore, there are variations within plants (expressed as phenotypes) that leads them to have differences even among plants of the same strain.

    Say you make oil or edibles with cannabis purchased from a dispensary, and thus has a tested and known THC and CBD content. Even then, the potency of the end product depends on several variables that make it difficult to calculate: How old the pot is, and how you stored it. The time and temperature it was decarboxylated. The process you used to make your oil or edible. Did you cook the the edible further? How old is the edible, and how has it been stored? All of those factors can either increase active THC and CBD content, or decrease it with further heat and time.

    Dosing Homemade Cannabis Oil & Edibles

    Always start out with very small amounts of cannabis edibles or oil (particularly those containing THC) – also known as “micro-dosing”. I don’t consume edibles often, though we regularly vaporize cannabis and make salve. When we do make cannabis coconut oil, I always start out with only 1/4 to 1/2 a teaspoon of straight oil and then scale up next time if needed – but not right away!

    Once you do figure out the perfect personal dose for your homemade oil, you can work your math magic with an edible recipe to determine how much of it to eat. For example, say my perfect dose is 1/2 teaspoon. I want to make this chocolate recipe, which calls for 1/2 a cup of coconut oil. With a quick Google search, I see that there are 24 teaspoons in half a cup. That means there are 48 Deanna-size doses worth of cannabis oil in that batch of chocolate!

    In a perfect world, that recipe yields me 48 individual chocolates, ready to pop in my mouth in the “just right” dose. However, the final yield will depend on the type of chocolate mold I use. Perhaps I will end up with only 24 chocolates. Then, I would need to only eat half a chocolate at a time. Get it? You can apply the same math magic to a cookie recipe, tub of frosting, or whatever else you dream up – assuming you portion them out evenly.

    The Effects of Cannabis In Edibles Versus Smoking or Vaporizing

    Remember, it takes far longer to feel the effects when you consume cannabis as an edible than when you smoke or vaporize it! Rather than instantly crossing the blood-brain barrier via the lungs, ingested cannabis needs to go through your digestive system before you’ll feel anything. That process can take between one to three hours, depending on your metabolism and what else is in your system.

    The most common mistake that people make when consuming cannabis products (aside from eating too much) is getting impatient. They think it isn’t working, and take another dose shortly after the first one. Then when it all hits, that mellow ride can quickly turn into an “oh shit” moment.

    In addition to taking longer to “kick in”, edibles linger in your system. Meaning, you feel the effects for significantly longer. A high from ingested cannabis can last up to 12 hours.

    Furthermore, the effects of edibles are different than those felt when smoking or vaporizing cannabis. The edible experience is often much more intense, potentially disorienting, and provides a stronger “body high”. It can also cause a racing heartbeat and/or nausea if you overdo it, which can be very alarming and uncomfortable.

    Ready to get infusing?

    In closing, take it easy when it comes to edibles, especially if it this is all new to you. The last thing I want is for people to feel sick or have a bad experience. But if you do it right, oils and edibles can be powerful and wonderful healing tools to have at your disposal.

    Finally, please remember that kiddos are especially curious about edible goodies, so keep your stash hidden securely away!

    If you enjoy this article, be sure to check out:

    Please feel free to ask questions, or spread the love by sharing or pinning this post! Thank you for tuning in, and enjoy the ride.

    Come learn how to easily make your own cannabis-infused oil, ready to use in medicated edible recipes, topical salves, or even enjoy straight on its own.

    Cannabis Oil Recipe Guide

    CBD is everywhere. The cannabinoid can be found in anything from beauty products to CBD infused milkshakes and cookies. CBD’s increasing popularity is likely related to volumes of research that demonstrate its many health benefits.

    CBD oil can be consumed on its own, but you can also infuse it into food and drinks. After all, who doesn’t want nachos that fill your belly and promote restful sleep, decrease nervousness, and relieve discomfort? Whether you want to know how to make CBD gummies or how to make a cocktail with CBD, there are hundreds of recipes out there.

    We’ve compiled a few of the best recipes along with some helpful tips and tricks for cooking with cannabis oil. Learn how to use your favorite product in the tasty treats below.

    Benefits of Cooking with CBD Oil

    If you’re on the lookout for CBD recipes, you’re probably well-aware that cannabidiol can have many positive effects when applied topically or ingested orally. Consuming CBD might help with any of the following:

    • Reducing exercise-induced inflammation and discomfort
    • Promoting a healthy appetite
    • Improving mood and feelings of unease

    While you can ingest CBD oil by placing a few drops underneath your tongue, there are many benefits to cooking and baking with CBD as well. CBD edibles have different effects than ingesting the oil on its own. A few of the biggest benefits of using CBD oil in food and drinks include:

    • Long-lasting effects: Although it does take a bit longer to begin feeling the effects of CBD when you consume it though an edible versus taking it sublingually, you will likely feel the effects for longer. Oftentimes, the CBD effects of edibles can last up to two to four hours longer than would other types of CBD products. This is because the CBD is absorbed more slowly when it’s been incorporated into food.
    • Almost anyone can enjoy them: Unlike baked goods that include THC (like “weed brownies”), foods baked with CBD can be enjoyed by just about anyone because there are no psychoactive effects. However, we always encourage telling your friends that CBD is an ingredient before sharing!
    • CBD is easy to cook with: While there are many benefits and uses of CBD oil, one of our favorite ways to incorporate it into our lives is through cooking and baking. Most recipes simply call for a few drops of infused oil. A CBD recipe can be as simple as drizzling oil over your salad, baking it into blondies, or adding a splash to a cocktail or mocktail. Why not vary your routine by blending it into a smoothie?

    Cannabis Oil Recipes for Food

    Cannabis oil can be incorporated into food by baking it into your favorite desserts, incorporating it into marinades and dressings, and even drizzling it on top of your dinner. Let’s take a look at some fail proof recipes for relaxing treats.

    Chocolate Chip CBD Cookies

    Whether you’re having friends over or hoping to stick some extra cookie dough in the freezer, chocolate chips cookies are an easy baking project to tackle. Nothing is better than the smell of a batch of cookies baking in the oven, especially when those cookies contain CBD. This recipe contains ingredients that you likely already have in your kitchen.

    Preheat the oven to 350° F. Assemble the following ingredients and follow the instructions below for foolproof cookies that are sweet, salty, chocolatey, and above all, soothing.

    Mix in one bowl:

    • 3 cups all-purpose white flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 cup white or cane sugar
    • 1 cup packed brown sugar
    • 1 tsp sea salt (or more taste)

    In a second bowl, use a standing mixer to blend:

    • 2 sticks unsalted butter (softened)
    • 200 mg high quality CBD oil
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract

    Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in three batches, mixing on low. When the wet and dry ingredients have combined, stir in a 12 oz bag semisweet chocolate chips (or the equivalent amount of your favorite dark chocolate bar).

    Drop in large spoonfuls on your baking pan and bake for 14 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden-brown.

    CBD Salsa

    CBD isn’t only for sweet foods. You can also add CBD into something salty or savory as well. Salsa is easy to make: if you have tomatoes, onions, lime juice, and fresh herbs on hand, you have the basic ingredients. Add a tablespoon of a quality CBD oil to top it off (or more for a more potent effect). Typical proportions include:

    • 2 medium tomatoes (deseeded and chopped)
    • 1 small white or red onion, chopped
    • 2-3 jalapenos or other chilis, seeded and chopped
    • 10 stalks fresh cilantro, chopped
    • juice of 1 lime
    • 1 serving of CBD oil
    • salt, pepper, and onion powder to taste.

    Mix the ingredients together, and voila! Salsa is a delicious and healthy snack, and it only takes a few minutes to prepare. You can customize the recipe by adding fruits including peach and pineapple, as well as adjust the CBD—and the seasonings—to your taste.

    Healthy CBD Oil Gummies Recipe for Better Sleep Quality

    If you want to learn how to make CBD gummies at home, Real Nutritious Living has the recipe. These particular gummies are specifically designed to help you get quality sleep because they not only include CBD, but they also have tart cherry juice—a natural source of sleep-improving melatonin. We recommend using silicone molds to easily pop the gummies out once they’re ready.

    All you have to do is stir in the ingredients, let them sit, and pop them out for tasty and fun CBD gummies. Enjoy!

    Cannabis Oil Drink Recipes

    Whether you want to try a CBD latte, or you’d prefer to add some CBD to a cocktail, there’s a drink recipe for you. Many drink creations don’t even need a recipe because CBD oil can easily be added to your favorite drinks—try adding a dose to your coffee or tea. However, if you are looking for a CBD infused oil drink that is a bit more creative, check out the recipes below.

    CBD Gin & Tonic

    Gin and CBD are a pairing made in heaven because of gin’s naturally herbaceous, botanical notes. To add a CBD twist to a classic cocktail, try crafting a Spanish style CBD gin and tonic. Combine:

    • 1 ½ oz gin of your choice
    • 3 ½ oz tonic water
    • A splash of lemon juice
    • 20 mg high quality CBD oil
    • Garnish with lemon peel

    This cocktail is the perfect blend of relaxing and uplifting. Not a gin drinker? Try a variation with a classic herbaceous aperitif like amaro. Not a drinker at all? Replace the alcohol with a product like juniper syrup.

    (Recipe adapted from Goop.)

    CBD Smoothies

    If you have a blender and some fruit, you’re ready to make a CBD smoothie. Add your usual ratio of favorite fruits and veggies—from bananas to raspberries to kale and beyond—along with 21mg high-quality CBD oil and you’ll soon have a nourishing and relaxing drink to sip.

    Although you can add CBD to any of your favorite smoothie recipes, this CBD infused mango smoothie from Bon Appetit is especially tasty.

    CBD Matcha Latte

    Are you looking for a drink that sharpens your mind while establishing a sense of mental calmness? Combine:

      1 cup hot water (not boiling, but

    175° F)

  • 1 tsp of your favorite matcha powder
  • ¼ cup whole or coconut milk
  • 1 tsp sweetener of your choice
  • 20mg CBD oil
  • This CBD matcha latte is super simple because all you need to do is blend the ingredients together and enjoy.

    Tips for Infusing with CBD Oil

    If you’re a beginner to using CBD oil, we have a few tips! Always use a high-quality, edible CBD oil when making a new dish or drink. Below are a few things that you can do to make sure that your CBD recipe is effective and delicious. These tips and tricks include:

    • Use high-quality CBD oil. Not all CBD oil is created equal. Some brands may be less or more potent than advertised. To take full advantage of CBD’s health benefits, the most important thing you can do is to ensure that the CBD you purchase is from a reliable and well-vetted CBD oil company.
    • Be careful with heat. It’s important that you are cautious with the amount of heat you use when cooking with CBD. Heating your food above 350° F can cause the CBD to evaporate and lose potency. Luckily, CBD oil can easily be used without being heated at all—try drizzling the oil over your pasta or mixing it into a savory sauce. CBD oil won’t change the taste of your dishes, which is why it’s a versatile ingredient in any recipe.
    • Use oil-based ingredients. Cannabinoids work best when they bind to fatty acids, which is why CBD is often sold in oil form. When making a cannabis oil recipe, it can be a good idea to look for a dish that uses a fat or oil-based ingredient like butter or coconut oil for best results. For example, if you add CBD to your tea, it’s best to make sure you add some milk to the tea so that the CBD oil has something to bind to.
    • Pay attention to the dose. Although CBD is not psychoactive, it’s important to monitor dosages. If you are just starting out with using CBD, you likely don’t need much to feel the effects. Remember, you can always add more.
    • Store your baked goods properly. CBD can lose its potency if it is stored in a place that is too hot or too bright. Keep your baked goods in an airtight container in a cool, dark place such as the pantry.

    You don’t need to be an experienced chef or mixologist to incorporate CBD into a recipe. CBD is not a difficult ingredient to work with. Give a few different recipes a try, and soon you’ll find some new favorite ways to take CBD. For more CBD recipes and information, check out our CBD blog at Plant People today.

    CBD is everywhere. The cannabinoid can be found in anything from beauty products to CBD infused milkshakes and cookies. CBD's increasing popularity is likely related to volumes of research that demonstrate its many health benefits. CBD oil can be consumed on its own, but you can also infuse it into food and drinks. Af