Learn how to make your own healing cannabis salve, using marijuana or hemp. It helps reduce inflammation, skin irritation, joint pain, psoriasis, & more! If your the DIY yourself type and want to make your own CBD pain cream. Read our blog and instructions on step by step how to make your own cbd cream. Life can be a pain in the neck. This CBD balm is meant to penetrate into deeper tissues with help from natural permeability enhancers, to help relax muscles dedicated to holding onto life’s stressors.
How to Make Homemade Cannabis Salve (CBD or THC)
To grow and make your own medicine… that is the stuff that dreams are made of, am I right?! We like to use our organic homegrown cannabis in a variety of ways, but making topical cannabis salve is on the top of the list. Cannabis salve can help to reduce inflammation, soothe skin irritation, joint pain, and more! It also happens to be quite simple to make your own cannabis salve, and easy to customize it to suit your needs.
Read along to learn how to make cannabis salve in 4 simple steps. With this recipe, you can use marijuana, hemp, high CBD, high THC, raw cannabis, decarbed cannabis, or any combination thereof! (Depending on what is legal and available in your area of course.) Let’s talk about benefits of each of those, how cannabis salve works, and what awesome healing potential it has.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links to products for your convenience, such as items on Amazon. Homestead and Chill gains a small commission from purchases made through those links, but at no additional cost to you.
What is Cannabis Salve
Maybe we need to step back a moment. How about, “what is a salve?”. A salve is simply the term for a healing solution that you put on your skin, including creams, ointments, or balms. Generally, salves are fairly thick, shelf-stable, and include nourishing oils such as coconut oil, olive oil, sweet almond oil, or others.
In our cannabis salve recipe, we prefer to use mostly coconut oil, because it is full of saturated fat that binds well with cannabinoids. It is also ultra-moisturizing. We also add a dash of olive oil to increase absorption and smoothness. To learn more about various carrier oils, check out our homemade calendula oil article – where I discuss the pros and cons of a dozen different oil options!
Salves also typically contain waxes or butters to bind the ingredients and make them semi-solid at room temperature. Beeswax is a popular option because it is readily available, easy to work with (especially when purchased in pastilles), and creates perfectly smooth results. See the ingredient list below for recommended vegan substitutions.
When cannabis is added to salve as an ingredient… voila! You’ve got yourself a cannabis salve. The most common way to add cannabis to a salve recipe is to create a cannabis-infused oil first, and then combine the oil with the other salve ingredients.
Therefore, that is exactly what we’re going to do in this recipe: make cannabis oil, and then the salve. But first: “what kind of cannabis should I use in my oil or salve?”
Using Decarboxylated or Raw Cannabis in Salve
How about a little bit of both?
If you aren’t familiar with the term, decarboxylation is the process of heating cannabis at an ideal time and temperature to transform raw cannabinoid compounds from their “acid” form to more active and potent versions. For example, CBDA and THCA are changed into CBD and THC respectively. Decarboxylation naturally occurs when cannabis is smoked or vaporized, but it needs to be accomplished by other means when using cannabis in oil or salves – such as by heating it in the oven. (Read more about decarboxylation here)
The medicinal benefits of decarboxylated THC and CBD are well-documented. Both are anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, high in antioxidants, relieve pain, relax muscles, and suppress tumor growth. This is especially true when they’re used and work together, known as the “entourage effect“. THC is a particularly powerful analgesic (pain-reliever). CBD has even more expansive healing applications, and can help relieve seizures, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriasis. That said, we definitely want to reap those benefits and use decarbed cannabis in this salve recipe!
On the other hand, emerging studies are revealing that raw THCA and CBDA have some pretty groovy perks too. THCA is showing a promising ability to reduce inflammation, muscle spasms, arthritis, and cancer. CBDA also fights inflammation and tumor growth.
Cannabinoids are converted from their raw acid form to their arguably more potent “decarbed” form through heat, and the subsequent removal of a carboxyl group from their molecular compound. Image via VeriHeal
Beyond CBD and THC, there are dozens of other compounds found in cannabis that may produce individual, interactive, or synergistic benefits, including phytocannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes. It should be noted that THC is psychoactive and CBD is not, though that doesn’t matter all that much when making a cannabis salve intended for topical use only.
Considering all of this, we like to use both decarbed and raw organic cannabis (containing both THC and CBD) to create a full-spectrum, well-rounded, ultra-healing finished product.
What Can Cannabis Salve Be Used For?
Cannabis salve is stellar at relieving many ailments! First of all, coconut oil and olive oil are extremely nourishing on their own – so you’re going to get plenty of moisture from your salve to heal dry, cracked, or otherwise irritated skin. If you add a few drops of essential oils to your salve, you’ll also get the benefit of aromatherapy.
The healing properties of your homemade cannabis salve may vary slightly depending on what type of cannabis you use. In general, cannabis salve can be used to treat or relieve the following :
- Rashes, itching, or other skin irritation
- General inflammation
- Sore joints
- Muscle aches
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Irregular cell growth (e.g. skin cancer cells)
Personally, I like to rub a little cannabis salve on my tight and sore neck muscles, shoulders, wrists, knees, elbows, ankles, bottom of my feet, and behind my ears. Hey, all this gardening (and sitting to blog) does a number on my body!
How Does It Work?
Did you know we all have an Endocannabinoid System? Yep. Just like we have an endocrine system, immune system, digestive system, and so on. Our bodies have natural receptors, literally made to interact with cannabinoid compounds. This includes both internal, naturally-synthesized cannabinoids and those from external sources – like those from marijuana or hemp. Neat, huh?
When cannabis salve or medicated topicals are applied to our skin, the THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids present in the solution penetrate the skin to bind and activate our localized endocannabinoid receptors. They won’t enter the bloodstream however, so topically-applied salve will not get you “high”.
HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE CANNABIS SALVE
- 7-10 grams of decarboxylated cannabis (ground or torn to fairy small pieces). If your cannabis is not yet decarbed, see Step 1 in the instructions below.
- 1 ½ cups of coconut oil OR, 1 ½ cups of already-infused cannabis coconut oil (*see notes about using different types of oil below)
- Optional: 5 grams raw cannabis, dried and cured.
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup beeswax pastilles (vegan option: replace with the same amount of organic soy wax, candelilla wax, or carnauba wax)
- Optional: Essential oils of choice. I like using this certified organic lavender oil. Tea tree, peppermint, rosemary, lemon, or eucalyptus are also great choices!
- Optional: 1 tablespoon of shea butter or 1 teaspoon of vitamin E oil for additional antioxidants and moisture
- 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 (if your cannabis oil is not already made)
- Mixing bowl
- Glass jars or salve tins, for storage
- Recommended: probe thermometer
Makes: Approximately 2 cups (16 ounces) of finished salve
*Notes: If you want to scale this recipe up or down: the general rule of thumb for salve is to use about 1 part of beeswax to 4 or 5 parts oil, including both coconut and olive oil. Since we use virgin coconut oil that is solid at room temperature, we can get away with lesser beeswax and the salve will still set up well. If you use a different carrier oil that is liquid at room temperature, either omit the extra 1/3 cup olive oil mentioned above, or increase the amount of beeswax pastilles to 1/2 cup.
Step 1) Decarboxylate Your Cannabis
If you haven’t done so already, the first step is to decarboxylate the cannabis you intend to use in this salve recipe. Or at least some of it, if you want to also use some raw material.
Grind or tear up the cannabis into fairly small pieces. Spread it evenly on a baking sheet, and heat it in the oven on 250°F for 25-30 minutes for THC-dominant strains. CBD requires about double the time to fully convert from CBDA to CBD, so heat hemp flower at the same temperature for 50-60 minutes instead. Or, meet in the middle at 45 minutes for balanced THC/CBD strains.
Step 2) Create & Strain Cannabis-Infused Oil
If you tuned into our “How to Make Cannabis Oil” tutorial, you will recognize these steps. The process is virtually the same, except we are going to use slightly more coconut oil here. If you’re interested in making medicated edibles, check out that article!
When making cannabis oil, it is important to not overheat it. Because we are starting with already-decarboxylated cannabis, maintaining a lower temperature will preserve the already-active THC and CBD content as well as the terpenes. Avoid heating it over 200 degrees F. 120 to 180°F is even better.
That is where a double-boiler comes in handy! Even over the lowest flame, heating oil in a pot directly on the stove is much more difficult to prevent overheating, and can create “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.
Steps to Make Cannabis-Infused Oil:
- Add water to the bottom pan of your double-boiler. Now add 1.5 cups of coconut oil to the top section of the double-boiler. Heat until it melts.
Step 3) Mix the Salve Ingredients
Just like the last step, we want to avoid excessively heating the cannabis oil in order to preserve cannabinoids. If you happen to be using solidified cannabis-infused coconut oil that you previously made, I highly suggest mixing everything in a double-boiler once again (since you’ll need to heat it longer and hotter to re-melt your oil).
On the other hand, if you just made your cannabis oil and it is still liquified, you can do this step straight in a pot on the stove – keeping the heat as low as possible once the cannabis coconut oil is added.
In either a pot or double-boiler, add ⅓ cup of beeswax. Heat until it is completely melted. Now turn down the heat to low. Next, stir in 1.5 cups of strained cannabis coconut oil and ⅓ cup olive oil. Now is the time to add the optional vitamin E plus a few drops of optional essential oils as well. Stir until everything looks completely combined. Once it is, quickly remove the liquid salve from the heat and transfer it into your storage containers of choice.
Step 4) Cool & Store
When it is ready, I pour the liquid salve straight into these 2 ounce glass jars, or these 4 ounce glass jars. You can also use these shallow wide aluminum salve tins. The cannabis salve will harden as it cools, and then it is ready to use!
It is best to store your finished cannabis salve in a cool dark location because light degrades cannabinoids. The amber and cobalt jars we use block UV light, which protects the salve if I leave it out.
Note: Sometimes, the surface of the salve may crack just a little bit as it cools. See the photos below. I have found that salve in our 2-ounce glass containers don’t crack, but larger volumes may. This is really only an aesthetic “issue” if you care. Personally, I don’t mind. It disappears as soon as you begin to dig in and use it!
However, some folks may not like the appearance of the cracks – particularly if the cannabis salve is going to be sold or given as a gift. To avoid settling cracks, put the cannabis salve in a mixing bowl before transferring it into a storage container. Allow it to only partially cool and solidify, whip and mix it up, and then pack into your containers.
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Step 5) Feel Good
Lather up! Apply a thin, even layer to the affected area. You should start to feel the results within 5 to 20 minutes, depending on the severity of your issue and strength of your salve. Repeat several times per day as needed.
Will this make me smell like weed?
Just slightly! I find our salve to have a mild cannabis odor, but nothing overpowering. The coconut aroma also stands out. If you add essential oils to your recipe, that can also help to mask the smell. I often apply salve after showering (including before going to work) and don’t think there is much of a noticeable odor after a half an hour or so. No one has ever said anything to me at least!
How long does cannabis salve last?
When stored in ideal cool and dark conditions, homemade cannabis salve should last up to a year. The potency will only slightly decrease during this time. I try to use clean hands when I dig into my salve jars, to avoid introducing any contamination that could make it potentially mold or spoil faster. You could also use a salve spoon.
Ready to make your own medicine?
I hope you found this tutorial to be useful, interesting, and informative! I also hope that it helps you soothe your trouble spots, whatever those may be. Finally, please remember to heed caution depending on your local laws, and always be careful with your cannabis products around curious kiddos or pets.
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.
How to Make CBD Cream for Pain
While CBD edibles, tinctures and vapes have drawn much attention for their fast-acting, full-body effects, CBD cream is nothing to overlook when it comes to pain.
Not only is a hemp lotion, CBD cream, balm or ointment a convenient way to get some steady CBD on the go, but it can be used to target specific points of pain. And what’s more is that CBD pain cream is surprisingly easy to make.
In this blog, we’re going to show you how to make your very own simple, yet very effective DIY CBD cream for pain relief, as well as where to find CBD pain cream.
But first, let’s take a closer look at CBD’s benefits!
Dr Natalia Alvarado
Reviewed: May 10, 2022
Benefits of CBD Cream
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a compound found in marajuana plants. However, it won’t give the user the rush of euphoria or “high” that its cousin, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC is known for. And yet, it holds the same powerful effects on inflammation, anxiety and insomnia which THC-rich cannabis is known for.
As a result, most CBD products contain less than 0.3% of THC to abide by regulations, and among CBD hemp oil for pain products, CBD cream has become a popular pain reliever for numerous individuals.
How Does CBD Cream Help Pain?
Because of CBD’s ability to penetrate the dermal and subdermal layers of skin, a CBD balm or cream may offer alleviation for muscle aches that may go beyond skin deep.
CBD functions by triggering the endocannabinoid system, or ECS, which plays a critical role in in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
However, when CBD is topically applied, a unit process occurs: rather than enter the bloodstream, topical CBD interacts with CB1 receptors and enzymatic factors (which regulate inflammation), along with other local receptor groups. Through this unique process, CBD may help minor aches and inflammation.
What are the Benefits of Topical CBD?
Despite the fact that we’re still at the dawn of CBD research, the results so far are promising.
According to a 2016 study done on rats, it was shown that topical CBD can help with inflammation caused by arthritis, while a 2017 study in the “Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology,” CBD may also help with inflammatory conditions found on the skin’s surface.
The evidence stacks in the favor of CBD cream for pain on a comprehensive level, as well. One 2018 review examined studies that had been between 1975 and 2018 which assessed multiple forms of pain.
Applying a CBD cream for minor aches, for instance, can help with inflammation in both the skin and muscle tissue, which indicates that it has an affinity for soothing both sore, irritated acne as well as aching joints. And what’s more is that this anti-inflammatory ability doesn’t just extend to soothing arthritis. You can also use CBD pain cream for general muscle tension, stress-induced and other inflammatory conditions.
And if this wasn’t something to consider already, 2020 may be the year to finally try CBD pain cream.
With many individuals still adopting a work-from-home schedule, and with the stress many of us are feeling due to this period of change, it’s little wonder that cases of neck and shoulder pain have skyrocketed.
While it should be clarified that chronic or extreme cases of pain should always be examined by a medical professional, many individuals find tremendous relief in the use of alternating heat and cold, and an especially easy way to capture this sensation is through the use of a menthol pain cream.
Adding CBD and menthol to your pain cream, salve or ointment, though, can be a game changer. And we’re going to show you how to make one from the comfort of your own home!
Why Make Your Own CBD Pain Cream?
While buying a high quality hemp pain relief cream product is often the most convenient way to obtain relief for conditions such as arthritis, not all CBD pain creams are made equal.
As a result, you may not always know the quality of the hemp or CBD isolate used in the production of the CBD pain cream, and you may not even be able to guarantee that the hemp was used without any pesticides or contaminants.
Best Ingredients for CBD Pain Cream
Here is a starting list for ingredients you can use in your hemp pain cream; these are all natural, easy to find, and hold evidence as effective components.
In the past decade, coconut oil has soared as a multipurpose household ingredient. In addition to
its emollient properties, which make it an excellent moisturizer, extra virgin coconut oil is also known to have both antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Shea butter is a fatty substance extracted from tree nuts, and thanks to its emollient and anti-inflammatory benefits, it makes a fantastic ingredient in topical creams for both acne and muscle soreness.
Magnesium Chloride or Magnesium Oil
Magnesium is a naturally-occuring nutrient that all of our bodies need, and while we don’t always get enough of it in our diet, it can actually enter the bloodstream transdermally, and and in addition to its uses in regulating nerve and muscle function, it may also work well as a delivery system.
While magnesium is often produced as an oil, you can also purchase magnesium chloride, which comes in the form of soluble flakes.
Of course, you can’t make a CBD cream without CBD, so make sure that you choose a high-quality tincture.
JustCBD’s tinctures are made with only pure, organic hemp that’s been triple-tested by third party labs, and offer tinctures in 50mg, 100mg, 250mg, 550mg, 1000mg, and 1500mg tinctures.
While menthol isn’t an essential ingredient in your pain cream, it can add a serious boost to the pain-relieving properties of CBD.
Menthol is a naturally occurring compound found especially in mint, and its cooling sensation can be used to help bring down swelling while creating a cooling effect.
How to Make Your Own CBD Cream for Pain
Now that we’ve seen the ways in which CBD infused cream can help alleviate pain in our neck muscles, let’s go over how you can get your own.
And if CBD is legal in your state, buying a high-quality CBD balm or cream can be highly doable, and we’re excited to recommend some of our favorites.
However, we also realize that the need for indoor activities is real right now, so why not start with a simple DIY CBD pain cream?
While this is by no means the only viable recipe for a good DIY pain cream with CBD, its use of moisturizing agents, magnesium oil, and menthol makes it a simple, yet potent formula.
- 4oz coconut oil
- 4 oz shea butter
- 4 tbsp. magnesium oil
- 10 drops camphor essential oil
- 10 drops peppermint essential oil
- 15-25 mg CBD
In a double boiler or heat-proof bowl on a saucepan filled with simmering water, combine coconut oil and shea butter and turn off the heat. Add magnesium oil and allow mixture to cool before adding essential oils and CBD. Store in a container and apply as needed.
Where to Find CBD Pain Cream
As CBD has become more widespread, it’s easier than ever to find the pain relief you’re looking for, but keep in mind that there are still no federal regulations in place to referee companies, and some brands aren’t what they seem to be.
Luckily, this can be avoided by sticking with reputable brands. You’ll know you’re looking at a reliable company when they offer comprehensive lab results, verified reviews on and off their site, and reliable customer service.
So we can’t help but JustCBD’s Roll-On Freeze Pain Cream, which creates that soothing, cooling sensation your tired muscles crave. Formulated with CBD and natural menthol, this dynamic formula tackles pain by interacting with CB1 and CB2 receptors, all with the assistance of a list of over 90% organic ingredients.
And if you’re seeking pain relief without the sensation of menthol, we also recommend the best-selling pain cream, which lists CBD as the very first ingredient. On top of that, this cream is also formulated with hydrating coconut oil and aloe vera juice, along with vitamin E, rose water and witch hazel.
To get the very most out of your CBD balm or cream, all you really need to do is apply as needed, any time of day with clean, dry hands. And while you should be careful with the more sensitive parts of your body and face, such as your eyes, you can apply your pain cream anywhere that needs tension or inflammation relief.
Author David Baker
A freelance writer in Hemp, Health and Beauty Space, David Baker has written several books on the CBD industry, including CBD gummies 101, which is sold on Amazon.
Recipe for CBD Pain Relief Balm
Life can sometimes be a pain in the neck. Fortunately there are many plant allies that can help soothe sore muscles and joints. This CBD -rich balm is meant to penetrate into deeper tissues– with help from natural plant-based permeability enhancers– to help ease pain.
- Kitchen scale
- Spice/coffee grinder
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Double boiler and/or crockpot
- Fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth
- One medium and several small glass jars for finished oil and topicals, preferably amber or other dark colors for the smaller jars
- I/2 cup CBD topical base oil
- 1 tablespoon shea butter
- 2-3 tablespoons beeswax pellets, or clean beeswax, chopped fine
- 1 tablespoon menthol crystals (to enhance absorption and effect)
- 6 drops eucalyptus essential oil
- 6 drops camphor oil
- Make CBD topical base oil.
- Warm CBD topical oil in a double boiler until just warm.
- Add shea butter, beeswax and menthol crystals and stir until dissolved.
- Remove from heat and let cool until lukewarm.
- Add essential oils and stir until thoroughly mixed.
- Pour into small glass jars, label, date and store in a cool, dark place.
Apply liberally to affected areas and rub in until completely absorbed. Use as needed. Discontinue if irritation or allergic reaction occurs.
Other Home Remedy Recipes
Melinda Misuraca is a Project CBD contributing writer with a past life as an old-school cannabis farmer specializing in CBD -rich cultivars. Her articles have appeared in High Times, Alternet, and several other publications.
Copyright, Project CBD . May not be reprinted without permission.