By now, most people have heard about the amazing benefits of cannabidiol (CBD). CBD works by interacting with receptors in our body’s endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system contains two known types of receptors: CB-1, concentrated in our central nervous system, and CB-2, located mainly in our immune system.
Human skin contains an abundance of both types of endocannabinoid receptors. It’s no wonder that the market is flooded with a dizzying array of CBD topicals from transdermal patches to luxury CBD creams. What you may not know—unless you happen to be a real do-it-yourselfer—is that you can make your own CBD cream to customize the way you like or to use in a pinch while you’re waiting for the next shipment of your favorite CBD cream to arrive.
Let’s take a look at how you can make your own CBD cream at home.
Decarbing Hemp Flowers for CBD Topicals
Before you use hemp flowers to make CBD cream, you’ll need to prepare them through a process called decarboxylation. Decarboxylation, or decarbing, hemp flowers converts CBDA to CBD to make it more usable by the human body. Decarbing hemp flowers is a relatively simple procedure. All you need is an oven and a baking pan or tray.
Steps for Decarbing Hemp Flowers:
- Preheat your oven to 240°F (around 155°C)
- Break the hemp flowers into small chunks and place them on a glass baking pan or cookie sheet. Do not grease the pan or you will contaminate and possibly burn your buds. However, you may use parchment paper if desired.
- Bake the hemp flowers for 20 minutes.
- Check the buds. The hemp flowers should turn from green to a brownish color. If they haven’t changed color, bake the flowers for another 5-10 minutes. Be careful not to burn your buds.
- Remove the flowers from the oven and let them cool for 30 minutes before using them.
Basic CBD Salve Recipe
Making CBD creams and lotions usually start with a basic salve. Salves have a thick base and can be used alone or processed further for making thinner CBD topicals. The simplest way to make CBD salve is to begin by infusing a carrier oil with CBD and then mixing the infused oil with your salve ingredients.
Ingredients for CBD Salve
- 10 grams or more of decarbed, ground cannabis flowers
- 2 cups of carrier oil, such as coconut, olive, or almond oil
- ½ cup beeswax, soy wax, or candelilla wax
- A crockpot or double boiler
- Butcher’s string
- Meat thermometer or another probe-style thermometer for food
- Dark glass jars or balm tins for storage
Procedure for Infusing CBD Oil
The most efficient way to infuse oil with CBD is to use an electric crockpot. You can set a crockpot at a low temperature and allow the mixture to infuse for hours. Just make sure to turn off the crockpot if you’re going to leave the house. If you don’t have a crockpot, you can make a double boiler by placing a heat-resistant Mason jar or Pyrex measuring cup inside of a saucepan of water.
- Wrap the decarbed hemp flowers with cheesecloth and secure the bundle with butcher’s string.
- Place the oil in your crockpot or double boiler. You’ll need to use the lowest setting on your crockpot or the lowest flame on your gas stove.
- Add the wrapped hemp flowers to the oil. If you’re using coconut oil, you’ll need to melt it first.
- Place the thermometer in the oil and heat the mixture for at least one hour, stirring occasionally. Try not to let the temperature rise above 150°F, or you’ll risk evaporating terpenes from your mixture.
- After an hour or two, remove the mixture from the heat.
- When the mixture cools enough to handle, remove the hemp flower bundle and gently squeeze out any remaining oil.
- Pour your oil into dark jars or balm tins and store them in a cool, dark place. When stored properly, infused cooking oil will last around three months before it begins to lose potency.
Procedure for Making CBD Salve
Now that you’ve infused your carrier oil, you’re ready to make a basic CBD salve. If you used coconut oil for your infusion, you might need to melt it again before adding the other salve ingredients.
- Place your CBD-infused oil in the crockpot or double boiler once again.
- Add the wax to the liquified oil and melt it slowly, stirring frequently.
- Once the wax and infused-oil are thoroughly combined, remove the mixture from the heat.
- Transfer the mixture into heat-proof storage containers before it solidifies.
- Store containers in a cool, dark place.
Making CBD Cream for Skincare and Body Aches
Once you’ve made your salve, you can use it to make a host of different CBD topicals. Most experts agree that creams absorb better into the skin than salves or lotions.
Making an All-Purpose CBD Cream
Once you’ve made an all-purpose CBD cream, you can modify it with essential oils and other ingredients to use for different purposes.
- 1 cup CBD-infused salve
- ½ cup aloe vera gel
- 1-2 tablespoons cocoa butter or shea butter
- 1-3 teaspoons of olive, almond, or vitamin E oil
- Place a jar of CBD-infused salve in a double boiler or crockpot and heat it on a low setting.
- Once the salve liquifies, remove it from the heat.
- Let the salve cool slightly, and add the aloe vera gel and shea/cocoa butter.
- Once the salve and butter are thoroughly mixed, add oil a teaspoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency.
- Add essential oils if desired.
- Pour the finished all-purpose cream into a glass canning jar and store it in a cool, dark area.
Making Customized CBD Creams
You can add essential oils and other ingredients to customize your CBD cream for different uses. Even if you don’t make your own CBD cream, you can add essential oils to a high-quality CBD cream that you’ve purchased. Here are some of our favorite recipes:
- CBD cream for sore muscles and joint aches and pains: Although CBD alone helps ease aches and pains by reducing inflammation and interacting with CB-1 and CB-2 receptors, you can add other ingredients to increase its effectiveness. We suggest adding 5 drops of peppermint, camphor, and/or eucalyptus oil for every ounce of CBD cream.
- CBD cream to combat stress: Try adding 3 drops of calming lavender and 3 drops of uplifting ylang-ylang oils to each ounce of CBD cream to combat stress and tension. Rub a small portion of cream into each temple and the back of the neck for a stress-busting massage.
- CBD cream to calm red, inflamed skin: Add 5 drops of camomile oil to every ounce of CBD cream and apply to the affected area three times per day.
- CBD cream for minor cuts and scrapes: Add 2 drops of tea tree oil to each ounce of CBD cream. Tea tree oil is potent, so be careful not to add too much.
- CBD cream for glowing skin: Add one teaspoon of vitamin E oil to one cup of CBD cream for a daily antioxidant-rich moisturizer.
Should You Buy CBD Cream or Make it Yourself?
At this point, you may be asking yourself, “Should I buy CBD cream or make it myself?” Although the two approaches aren’t mutually exclusive, you may want to investigate the pros and cons of making CBD cream at home.
Pros of Making Your Own CBD Cream
One of the pros of making your own CBD topicals is that you can customize your ingredients. You can make your own extraction without solvents and use only ingredients that fit with your personal values.
The main reason most people choose to make CBD products at home is to try and save money. If you start with raw hemp flowers and gain some expertise, you may eventually be able to save a few dollars by making your CBD cream at home.
Perhaps the best reason for making homemade CBD topicals at home is to have fun. While you might not get the results you’re looking for or save money, you’ll probably still have a great time trying.
Cons of Making Your Own CBD Cream
Making your own CBD topicals takes time and patience. If you’re on a busy schedule and you don’t particularly like to cook, making your own CBD cream probably won’t be your cup of tea.
Learning how to make CBD topicals takes practice. At first, you may end up using expensive ingredients making sticky goop that you won’t want to get anywhere near your skin.
You might not save money. By the time you buy all of your ingredients and learn from your mistakes, you may not be saving any money at all. You may be better off buying a high-quality CBD cream that fits with your needs and values.
It’s difficult to gauge the potency of homemade topicals. If your topicals don’t have enough CBD content, you could be wasting both your time and your money. High-quality CBD cream manufacturers provide lab reports to tell you exactly how much CBD is in their products.
Homemade CBD topicals have a limited shelf life. Professionally-formulated CBD creams can be stored much longer than do-it-yourself versions.
We hope you enjoy experimenting with DIY topicals. If making homemade topicals isn’t quite for you, check out Prince & Flower’s Universal Topical CBD Cream. Our team of experts has spent years creating the perfect formulation so you can enjoy all the benefits of CBD. We offer a money-back guarantee and free shipping within the U.S. Contact us for more information.