CBD oil is a high-demand product for many good reasons. Known for its therapeutic and medicinal properties, CBD is a chemical compound found in the marijuana plant.
CBD can be extracted for making a plethora of CBD-specific products, such as soothing lotions, delicious gummies, or even in the simple form of tinctures and oils. Infusing CBD into oil has long been a popular choice since it can be a versatile way to reap the many benefits of this super-substance
What Is CBD?
CBD is one of many cannabinoids present in marijuana. Unlike its close relative, THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD is non-psychoactive, so it does not provide any intoxicating or “high” effects. Short for cannabidiol, CBD is used in a plethora of ways and can be incorporated into various products, even ones that may surprise you, such as makeup and socks.
This naturally occurring substance is a phytocannabinoid, meaning it is produced by the marijuana plant’s trichomes, a hair-like growth that covers the plant. Between the two strains of cannabis, Indica and Sativa, Indica dominant strains have more CBD present than Sativa, making it a good choice for CBD products.
Because CBD provides no feelings of being “high”, it can be a great option for those who wish to experience some of the medicinal properties of the marijuana plant without the sometimes intimidating intoxicating effects.
Furthermore, CBD has been proven to be non-addictive and works with our body’s own endocannabinoid system to potentially improve the balance of our natural processes.
Benefits of CBD
Because the legalization of marijuana and marijuana products is fresh in some places, its many chemical components have yet to be fully studied. However, the cannabinoids THC and CBD are the most studied of any marijuana compound and have both shown many promising and some proven medicinal effects.
Cannabinoids, like CBD, are received by our body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system is responsible for several functions throughout our bodies, including:
- Hormone function
- Balance of metabolism
- Muscle stamina
- Regulation of bone mass and regeneration
- Gastrointestinal function and protection
- Helps immune system function
- Brain health
Sometimes, our endocannabinoid system fails or becomes unbalanced, which results in disease and other issues. This is when cannabinoids like CBD can be especially beneficial to our bodies and their functions.
Rich in antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as antioxidants, CBD is believed to have several health benefits and has been known to be incredibly safe for most consumers despite overall marijuana controversy. Here are just some of the several benefits CBD may have:
CBD May Improve Anxiety: It is possible CBD may reduce symptoms of anxiety in both humans and animals. This is because it is believed that CBD interacts with your brain to change the way it reacts to serotonin. Management of anxiety is perhaps one of the most popular uses for CBD.
- CBD Provides Pain Relief: CBD is most known for its pain-relieving potential. Because this chemical compound has anti-inflammatory properties, it usually relieves symptoms of disease that causes inflammation, such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and chronic pain.
CBD Can Help Treat Skin Diseases: It is no secret that CBD is becoming more popular in skincare and makeup products. Due to CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties, it has been shown to improve acne and other inflammatory skin diseases when used as a topical solution.
CBD and Cancer: While CBD can improve symptoms caused by cancer treatment, there is some evidence that it may also hinder the growth of certain types of cancer cells. CBD is also a great choice for managing the pain caused by cancer and cancer treatments.
Neurological Conditions: Though a fairly new study, CBD is currently showing promising results for managing symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. There is also evidence of its use to help with epileptic seizures, and certain psychiatric disorders such as PTSD or ADHD.
- Stomach Issues: CBD can help with inflammation in the stomach and, therefore, may help with stomach issues such as IBS. Furthermore, CBD can help regulate appetite and may help those with a lack of appetite.
How To Make CBD Oil At Home
The good news is, if you’re looking to find relief for any of these ailments you may experience, it is possible to make your own CBD products using a CBD oil recipe at home. While it can be a daunting task, there are several CBD oil-making methods to try out.
Making CBD into an oil solution is a great option as it can be used various ways and is easily customizable to taste. All methods of making CBD oil have two things in common: decarboxylation and infusion. Without the proper professional equipment, you may not yield the best product, so don’t be discouraged by an imperfect process or result.
Choosing the Right Ingredients
First and perhaps most important is choosing your plant. It is impossible to extract CBD exclusively from the plant at home, so inevitably you will have some other cannabinoids in your oil, resulting in a product that is more accurately a “cannabis oil” rather than a CBD-specific oil.
This also means your product may have enough THC in it to have psychoactive effects. If you’re worried about the possible traces of THC or if you have an intolerance, purchasing a high-quality pure CBD tincture may be a better choice for you.
Places that manufacture quality CBD oil on a large level have specialized laboratory equipment to extract the CBD and are able to create broad-spectrum and CBD-isolate products. However, if you insist on a homemade CBD oil, finding the right strains for this project is not impossible.
Since Indica strains have a higher CBD content and lower THC content, this is recommended for those who want more medicinal properties and less “high”. Hemp flower is also a good choice since it contains 0.3 percent or less of THC.
For your next ingredient, you’ll need to find your carrier oil. You can use any sort of fat and it is really up to personal preference. CBD oil extraction using a carrier oil is a relatively favored method for making CBD oil.
Popular choices include coconut oil or even just olive oil, but you can also use MCT oil, hempseed oil, avocado oil, butter, or ghee. The type of oil you choose will have an impact on your product’s flavor, so be sure to keep this in mind.
Decarboxylate Your Product
After you’ve gathered your cannabis flower and oil, you’re ready to begin making your product. The first step in production is decarboxylating, or “decarbing”, the CBD. CBD occurs in the cannabis plant as CBDA, an acidic form which needs to be neutralized for it to provide all its potential medicinal effects.
This is why when marijuana is consumed, it needs to be heated in some fashion. The CBD in oils must be activated prior to consumption so that it is already ready for consumption when added to the oil. This is so your oil can be consumed at any time with no heat-activation required.
In order to activate the CBD at home, you can use an oven or slow cooker/crockpot (no pun intended). However, this is an imprecise method and is not guaranteed to yield all the potential CBD.
If you’re worried about a more accurate decarbing method and expect to consistently produce your own CBD oil, it may be worthwhile to purchase a precision cooker or use this method if you happen to have one already.
- Oven Method: When using an oven, spread the finely grounded product on a baking sheet prepared with parchment paper. Set your oven to around 225 degrees Fahrenheit and cook for an hour. After, allow your product to cool to room temperature.
Slow Cooker/Crockpot Method: This method is obviously slower and less convenient but may yield better results. The best way to do this is to use a heat-safe waterproof container or jar with a lid. Pour water into your slow cooker about halfway and submerge the container or jar filled with your flower into the water. Put the lid on your heat-safe jar or container and set your slow cooker to high. This will take around four hours to complete but be sure to check your flower at least once every hour. For best results, move your flower around to get a more even cook. This can be done carefully with a set of tongs or an oven mitt. Also be sure to monitor the water level and replenish any lost to evaporation.
Precision Cooker/Sous Vide Method: Because ovens and even slow cookers can be imprecise when it comes to keeping an exact temperature, it may be better to use a sous vide machine. For this step, you will also need to have the ability to vacuum seal bags. Place your flower in a vacuum bag and vacuum out the air. Be sure it is tightly sealed to prevent any water ruining your flower. Next, fill your vessel with enough water to cover the bag completely. Then, submerge the bag into the water, securing it to the side of your container with clips, and set your sous vide to around 205 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook for 1.5 hours and carefully remove the bag. Let your flower cool completely before opening the bag.
Remember, attempting to decarb your own product at home is not a precise method. It may take some practice to get right. Furthermore, always be careful when working with heat.
Add The Oil
When your decarboxylated product is cooled to room temperature, next comes the infusion process with the oil. You will need to set up a double boiler for this step, or you can again use a slow cooker. Add the flower to the oil and set to a low temperature level as it is important that your oil is not too hot.
This step takes the longest as you should let the flower soak in the oil for at least a few hours. Give your mixture a stir about every thirty minutes and monitor the color. Once your mixture has darkened to a greenish or brownish color, it is done.
However, if you’re unsure if your oil has fully received the product, there is really no harm in doing this step longer as long as you continue to stir and monitor the heat levels.
Lastly, you’ll need to separate the flower from the oil. This can be done easily with a cheesecloth, but make sure to squeeze the oil from your flower thoroughly for maximum results.
If cheesecloth is not available to you, find a strainer with a fine aluminum mesh. While this is not ideal since you can’t really “milk” the absorbed oil from the flower, a strainer can be used in a pinch. The leftover plant material can be thrown out.
The Alcohol Method
Another method for the CBD extraction process involves alcohol. However, this method takes several weeks. For this version, you’ll need a food-grade high-proof alcohol.
Simply cook your flower as instructed in the “decarbing process”, then place your cooled flower into enough alcohol solvent so that your product is completely submerged.
Be sure to use a jar with a tight seal and place your mixture in a dark and cool place for two to three weeks, shaking the jar once a day. After the two to three weeks, strain your product using the previous separation method and throw away your leftover plant material.
Your final product can be stored in a dropper bottle for ease of use, or just any lidded container, such as a mason jar. Keep your product at room temperature in a safe place.
How to Use Your CBD Oil
CBD oil is amazing for its versatility and can be consumed numerous ways. It may be obvious that you can consume the oil orally by itself. However, you may not know that you can also add it to foods and drinks. This can be especially helpful if your homemade product does not taste great or if you want to consume the product in a discreet manner.
You can also apply the oil to your body as a topical solution or incorporate it into lotions and salves. This may provide a sense of pain relief or can even have a positive effect on your skin health. For dosing, it may be nearly impossible to give yourself an accurate measurement of CBD when using a homemade product.
This is because you are unable to extract the CBD from your cannabis flower properly with laboratory equipment, so your product may contain more or less CBD than you expect and is likely to have other cannabinoids present. The best advice is to use a little at a time and wait at least an hour to two hours between doses.
However, don’t be too worried about overdoing it as CBD is very safe. Even in large doses, CBD is only likely to cause diarrhea and extreme drowsiness. While these symptoms are not life-threatening, they are less than ideal.
Things You Should Know
Though CBD is known to be incredibly safe, as with anything you may ingest, there are some things you should know. Potential adverse side effects are both incredibly mild and unlikely, but here are some things to watch out for:
- Dry mouth
- Changes in appetite
Also, be aware of other medications you are taking and consult a doctor to be sure they can be used in tandem with CBD products. Do not operate a motor vehicle if you’re unsure of how you may react to CBD. This is especially true if you’re using a homemade product since you are unable to know the exact chemical makeup and cannabinoid amounts you’ve been able to achieve.
Furthermore, making CBD oil at home is not a perfect process. If getting a product that is pure CBD is of high importance to you, finding a professionally made tincture online is probably the best route. There is a plethora of great products available to you on the market, several of high-quality with manufacturers who are transparent about their process.
CBD is an amazing and naturally occurring substance with many proven health benefits. Sadly, research done on cannabis as a whole has been minimal and CBD may have many medicinal benefits we have yet to discover.
CBD oil is a great product for seasoned and new cannabis consumers alike, though making it yourself may take some practice. This seemingly easy process may not yield the results or product you desire.
Additionally, you will have no accurate way of knowing the strength of the product you have made, and it will also have cannabinoids other than CBD present. Though it may be fun to try this DIY project, you can skip the hassle altogether by having great-tasting CBD oil delivered right to your door.