Since the 2018 legalization of CBD with the Farm Bill, CBD has become widely available in countless shapes and forms. You can get the pure, edible variety in the form of CBD oil concentrates, oral drops, tinctures, even gummy bears! CBD creams and lotions are becoming quite popular as well, and so are CBD-infused cosmetics such as bath bombs and shampoos.
But sometimes, it’s fun to simply get back to the basics and make your own CBD oil at home, then infuse it into whatever you like. There are plenty of benefits to this, as you can save some cash if you’re growing your cannabis, and you can ensure that the end-product is free of any additives. So, let’s see how to make CBD oil at home.
Find the Right Cannabis Strain
To start making CBD oil at home, you’ll need a good CBD source, which means getting a high-quality cannabis strain.
There are well over 700 different cannabis strains. The ones legal sold outside of medical marijuana dispensaries need to have a THC content of less than 0.3%. However, choosing the strain isn’t simply a matter of legality, but a matter of your own needs and preferences.
Different cannabis strains have unique properties based on their terpenes, and they’ll affect you in various ways when used. Some will be quite an energy-booster, while others will have more of a sedating effect. Some might help you treat pain more quickly and effectively, and others might make you feel nauseated.
You must try out CBD products coming from different cannabis strains to determine the one that works best for you. Only after you’ve figured it out should you get flowers from the preferred strain and start making CBD at home. The effects these plants have on us largely vary from person to person, so some first-hand experience is preferable if you invest yourself in this project.
Making CBD-Infused Carrier Oil
This is an excellent CBD extraction method for beginners as it’s pretty challenging to get it wrong. You’ll only need to follow a few steps.
- If you’re using fresh buds, you’ll need to decarboxylate them. Chop up the buds into small, even pieces (or better yet, grind them), and line them on a baking sheet. Preheat your oven to 230℉ (110℃) and pop your finely chopped buds in for about an hour. They should turn slightly darker in color, almost light brown.
- Choose your carrier oil. Olive or coconut oil are the preferred choices, but you can use any edible plant-based oil you like.
- Get a double boiler (or any two pots, one just slightly larger than the other). Fill the larger bottom pot with water, and set it to simmer. Don’t let the temperature reach over 300℉ (150℃).
- Put your decarboxylated buds into the top pot. Cover them with the oil of your choosing. If you’re using 1 oz (∼28 g) of the flower, about 16 oz (∼ 453 g) of oil will be more than enough. You can adjust the ratio to taste.
- Let the flower and oil mixture simmer for about three hours. Check the pot every half an hour to give it a stir and see if it’s done. You’ll know you’re good once the oil’s turned greenish-brown in color.
- Leave the mixture to rest for a few hours until it’s cool.
- Get a cheesecloth or a fine-mesh sieve and strain the mixture into a jar. Seal it tight, let it sit overnight, and your CBD is ready for use!
Making CBD Oil With Food-Grade Alcohol
The alcohol method of making CBD oil is slightly more challenging, and you do want to be a bit more careful. Don’t use this method if you have a gas stovetop or if you’ll be exposing the ingredients to open fire. Alcohol is highly flammable, and even its vapor can be dangerous!
With this in mind, here’s how the alcohol method goes:
- Decarboxylating your hemp buds is the first step if you’re using fresh flowers. Grind up the buds, line them on a baking sheet, and bake at 230℉ (110℃) for an hour. You’re looking for a light brown color.
- Pour the decarboxylated hemp into a glass or ceramic bowl. Avoid metal bowls and metal tools, as you don’t want to risk causing a spark when there’s alcohol like ethanol around.
- Pour ethanol over the buds so that it just barely covers them.
- Stir the mixture vigorously with a wooden or plastic spoon for about five minutes, until the alcohol becomes green in color.
- Strain the mixture through a cheesecloth or a coffee filter into a separate glass or ceramic bowl. Squeeze all the juices out.
- Fill the bottom pot of your double boiler with water, place it over low heat, and let it start to simmer.
- Put the strained hemp/alcohol liquid into the top pot of the double boiler, and continuously stir until all the alcohol evaporates. It should take no more than half an hour. You’ll be left with a deep brown, viscous liquid.
- Let the CBD oil to cool, and transfer it into a mason jar or bottle or a suitable size. Let sit overnight before use.
The Bottom Line
Making CBD oil at home isn’t all too difficult. As long as you’re using a high-quality strain and follow the steps, you’ll get an excellent CBD oil that’s safe for use.
Give these methods a try, and see which one you prefer!