How To Make CBD Oil

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Learn how to make your own CBD oil at home to be used as a supplement, in cannabis-infused recipes, and even self-care products. Find out how you can improve your wellbeing and save some money by making your own CBD oil at home. CBD oil doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. In fact, you can significantly reduce the costs by making it at home. Here we present the most common at-home extractions for CBD oils — and why you should try them out.

Easy Homemade CBD Oil Recipe

Published: Mar 9, 2021 · Modified: Aug 8, 2022 by Emily Kyle · This post may contain affiliate links, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Are you ready to learn how to make your own CBD oil to be used as a supplement, in recipes, or for self-care products? This guide will give you the step-by-step process and show you how easy it is to make the best CBD oil at home.

Features

  • Two natural ingredients: CBD flower & oil
  • No special equipment! You just need a crockpot and mason jars (or an Instant Pot)
  • Versatile and can be made with your favorite strain of CBD flower

Why You Will Love This Recipe

If you are familiar with making homemade cannabis oil, this canna oil recipe follows the same process.

The only difference is the type of cannabis flower you start with and how you decarb that flower.

For this recipe, you need CBD-dominant flowers. CBD is the second most abundant cannabinoid found in cannabis plants, next to THC, and is commonly found in the hemp plant.

CBD does not produce a high or intoxicating effect like THC, which is why it is preferred by many members of my Well With Cannabis Community.

Their anecdotal evidence suggests that this homemade CBD oil can be good for managing joint pain, serious medical conditions, weaning from prescription medications, and as a supplemental dietary product.

This step-by-step guide will show you how easy it is to make your own CBD oil at home with just a few simple steps, notes, and expert tips for how to make your own CBD recipes, and fully answered FAQs.

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Ingredient Notes

  • CBD Flower To make CBD oil at home, you must start with a CBD-dominant flower that has CBDA already present. You can purchase this from my online shop here.
  • Oil There are many options to choose from. Choose a type of oil that fits your personal preferences. Unsure what to pick? Check the options below.
  • Lecithin, optional: If you’re new to working with lecithin, you can learn more about adding lecithin to edibles here. This ingredient is optional.

Carrier Oil Options:

Note: a complete list of ingredients with amounts and printable instructions is located in the recipe card below.

The Step-by-Step Process

Step 1 – The goal is to create a hot water bath at approximately 180-190°F for the infusion process. The printable instructions in the recipe card below are for using a crockpot, but alternative options are outlined in the FAQ section below.

Step 2 – While the water bath is heating in the crockpot, measure and decarb the CBD flower. This is an essential step! Simply break the flower into smaller pieces, put it in a mason jar, and place that in the oven at 240° F for 90 minutes. Alternatively, can learn how to decarb in an Instant Pot.

Step 3 – Add your desired oil to the mason jar with the decarbed cannabis. If you plan to use sunflower lecithin, add it to the mason jar.

Step 4 – Carefully place the jars into the water bath, put the crockpot lid on, and leave it alone to cook for 4 hours. You want to maintain a temperature of around 180-190°F the entire time. If you don’t have a lid, aluminum foil will work. After the 4-hour cooking time, carefully remove the jars from the water bath and allow them to cool enough to handle. You are now done with the crockpot step and can discard the water bath.

Step 5 – Whether it be a paper filter and funnel, cheesecloth, French press, fine mesh strainer, or a simple coffee filter, you will want to set up a straining station to separate the plant material from the oil.

Step 6 – Once cool enough to handle, strain the prepared oil with your method of choice. You can save the plant matter, called leftover cannabis pulp, for use in future recipes.

Step 7 – Return the prepared CBD oil to whatever jar you would like to store it in; I use a small amber tincture dropper bottle.

Step 8 – Store the prepared CBD oil in a cool, dry place. It will last longer if stored in the refrigerator and even longer if stored in the freezer.

Note: complete step-by-step printable instructions are located in the recipe card below.

Storage Instructions

Store the prepared CBD oil in a cool, dry, dark place at room temperature. The shelf life will depend on various factors, including what type of oil you used and how much moisture was in your flower. The CBD hemp oil will last longer if stored in the refrigerator and even longer if stored in the freezer. The lower temperature will help to preserve the potency of your product.

More About CBD Flower

Cannabis comes in a variety of different strains with a variety of different cannabinoids and cannabinoid ratios.

While many people are familiar with traditional, THC-dominant cannabis flowers, there is also CBD-dominant cannabis flower or industrial hemp flower.

Third-party lab tests are the best way to identify what cannabinoids are present in your flower and how much CBD content is present.

CBD-dominant flowers may come with either high or low amounts of THC; it all depends on the strain of the plant.

You can read my full CBD flower guide here if you’re still unclear about CBD flowers.

CBDA to CBD Conversion

Once you have acquired the CBD flower needed to make this CBD oil recipe, the next step is to decarboxylate the CBD flower.

While you may be familiar with the traditional decarboxylation process for making traditional THC cannabis-infused oils, it is slightly different for making CBD-infused oil.

This process converts cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) into cannabidiol (CBD), although both forms remain non-intoxicating in their respective states.

It is important to remember that all cannabinoids decarboxylate at different temperatures, so the temperature and time needed to achieve full activation for CBD will differ from THC.

The most common recommendation for decarboxylating CBDA to CBD is to bake the flower at 240°F for 90 minutes.

Notes & Expert Tips

  • Making your own homemade high-quality CBD oil with the following recipe is one of the best ways to reap the health benefits of CBD and other beneficial compounds
  • Using pure CBD products, like isolates, will not produce a full-spectrum CBD oil because it does not contain a full spectrum of cannabinoids. Therefore, you may not experience the therapeutic effects of CBD
  • Use the flower-to-oil ratio guide if you need help deciding how much to use. It’s a good idea to record how many flowers you used, in grams, so you can calculate your final potency with the edible dosage calculator.
  • Once made, you can use this oil in a variety of recipes from edible recipes to beauty products! Click here to learn how to make your own CBD edibles

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions I receive in my Well With Cannabis Community about making CBD oil at home.

If you want to make this recipe at home using high-quality CBD flowers, I have them available for purchase in my shop. Check with your local laws to ensure full-spectrum oil is a legal option for you.

No, you do not need to use a slow cooker or crockpot, but it is a great way to set it and forget it! You can use a double boiler or a small saucepan on the stove over low heat to create a water bath for infusion.

Yes, if you want a stronger, more potent infusion, you can make CBD oil with full-extract cannabis oil, also known as FECO. This is a different process than what is outlined here and involves making a cannabis tincture with the alcohol extraction method, so be sure to follow my FECO guidelines here.

The answer depends on the cannabis flower you’re using. Some flower can contain high amounts of both CBD and THC, while other flowers, like CBD hemp flower, contains low amounts of THC. If you want to ensure you are not getting high from your final product, you want to opt for a CBD-dominant flower with little to no THC.

Many people feel nothing at all when they use CBD. Using CBD is not about what you feel; it is about what you don’t feel – a lack of unwanted symptoms. Just like all things cannabis, how you feel will be entirely dependent on your own unique tolerance to cannabis.

When it comes to getting drug tested, it is important to know that using a CBD product containing any THC amount can result in a positive drug test result. If you need to be free of THC, you need to ensure the product you are using is labeled as a broad-spectrum CBD or CBD isolate product.

Yes, you can. If you want to make a smaller batch first, to see if homemade CBD oil is right for you, use this cannabis flower-to-oil ratio guide.

You can use this oil as a sublingual tincture or learn to cook with CBD oil and make these delicious CBD oil chocolate chip cookies.

How to Determine The Dosing

Want to get a more accurate guesstimate of the potency of your cannabis infusions and extractions? Try our popular edibles calculator!

Not sure what your perfect dose is? Learn more here.

Want To Make This Easier? Use A Machine!

If the process of decarbing and infusing feels like too much work, an all-in-one countertop device may be a perfect all-in-one solution.

My personal favorites? The LEVO and Ardent FX, but you can review the most popular infusion machines here.

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More Oil Recipes You Will Love

My Edibles Made Easy Online Cooking Course will teach you how to easily make cannabis edibles and topical recipes at home. This step-by-step video course will teach you how to infuse, extract, and create edibles with many different product types – all from the comfort of your own home.

Learn more and enroll today →

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Easy Guide to Make CBD Oil

Are you ready to learn how to make your own CBD oil to be used as a supplement, in recipes, or for self-care products? This guide will give you the step-by-step process and show you how easy it is to make the best CBD oil at home.

Equipment

Ingredients

  • ▢ 7 grams CBD-dominant cannabis flower
  • ▢ 4 ounces oil of choice
  • ▢ ¼ teaspoon lecithin optional

Instructions

Lay a clean tea towel down on the bottom of the crockpot. This will create a buffer between your mason jars and the crockpot, potentially preventing any jar from moving or cracking during cooking.

Fill your crockpot with enough warm to hot water to cover the top of the mason jars you plan on using by an inch to create a water bath.

Place the digital instant-read thermometer into the water. Start the crockpot heat on high. When a temperature of around 180°F is reached, turn the crockpot to low. Note: any temperature range of 180-190 degrees Fahrenheit will work. You may need to adjust to medium heat, depending on your crockpot.

While the water bath is heating in the crockpot, measure decarb the CBD flower. Simply break the flower into smaller pieces, put it in a mason jar, and place that in the oven at 240° F for 90 minutes. Click here, for a full CBD decarboxylation tutorial, if needed. Record how much flower you used, in grams, so you can calculate your final potency at the end.

After decarboxylation, remove the jar from the oven. When it is cool enough to handle, open the lid and put your oil of choice inside. You may need more than one jar if you are making a big batch. If you are using more than one jar, evenly divide the ingredients between the jars for more consistent dosing.

Wipe the rim of the jars with a clean towel, and add the lid. Tighten the metal ring to finger-tip tightness. It should be tight, but not too tight.

Carefully place the jar into the hot water bath, put the crockpot lid on, and leave it alone to cook for 4 hours. You want to maintain a temperature of around 180-190°F the entire time. If you don’t have a lid, aluminum foil will work.

After the 4-hour cooking time, carefully remove the jars from the water bath and allow them to cool enough to handle. You are now done with the crockpot step and can discard the water bath.

Prepare a straining area with new, clean mason jars and a strainer, paper filter, cheesecloth or French Press. Pour the contents of the mason jar through the strainer to separate the plant-matter from the infused oil.

Save the leftover cannabis pulp for use in future recipes. Then return the prepared CBD oil to whatever jar you would like to store it in, like an amber glass jar with a dropper.

Notes

Storage Instructions: Store the prepared CBD oil in a cool, dry, dark place at room temperature. The shelf life will depend on a variety of factors including what type of oil you used and how much moisture was in your flower. The CBD hemp oil will last longer if stored in the refrigerator and even longer if stored in the freezer. The lower temperature will help to preserve the potency of your product.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 teaspoon Calories: 55 kcal Carbohydrates: 1 g Fat: 6 g Saturated Fat: 6 g Fiber: 1 g Sugar: 1 g Calcium: 1 mg Iron: 1 mg

Did you make this recipe or have a question? Join hundreds of members inside private Well With Cannabis Community for help, support, and to share your edible creations!

How to Make CBD Oil at Home

If money is an issue for you, then you might want to consider making your own CBD oil at home. Even though your oil won’t be made with the same high-end equipment that most reputable brands use, homemade CBD oil can still be a lot safer than some of the potentially untested and poorly labeled products sold online through sub-par CBD brands or disreputable brick and mortar stores. If you’ve been wanting to make your own CBD oil at home, the good news is that you’ll basically only need two main ingredients: hemp flower that’s high in CBD, and a carrier oil like hemp seed oil, olive oil, or MCT (medium-chain triglyceride) oil like coconut oil.

What are the Benefits of Making CBD Oil at Home?

CBD products are available today in many different forms, however CBD oil appears to be one of the most frequently bought products. Typically, people purchase oils online or through brick-and-mortar stores. Since CBD’s rapid rise in popularity throughout recent years, there’s been an influx of brands into the market. While it’s exciting to have so many brands and product options to choose from, not all brands and products are created equal. Therefore, it’s always best to buy your CBD from a reputable and trustworthy brand.

Since not all people have the finances to buy CBD oil online or in stores near them, making CBD oil at home might be the next best option. Additionally, it can be overwhelming searching through multiple brands and hundreds of products in an attempt to figure out which ones will be best suited for your health and wellness needs. If regularly purchasing high-quality products for sale online from reputable brands is financially prohibitive for you, then making homemade CBD oil is a viable option.

Courtesy of Bridgette Finn

Things You Will Need for Making CBD Oil

Before you begin making CBD oil at home, you’ll need to figure out which extraction method you’ll use as well as if you can buy high-quality hemp flowers near you. If all else fails, then you can always search online for high-CBD strains, as there are a wealth of companies that ship flowers throughout the United States.

How To Choose the Best CBD Strain

First, you should understand that CBD can be extracted from both the hemp and marijuana plants, which are both strains of the cannabis plant. However, the 2018 Farm Bill only made it legal for hemp-derived CBD products to be sold and bought in the United States. These products must only contain 0.3% or less THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, a cannabinoid in both the hemp and marijuana plants that causes a euphoric “high” when ingested in large quantities. All hemp strains naturally contain less than 0.3% THC, while the marijuana plant contains well over that amount. Because the THC levels are so low in hemp-based CBD oils, there’s no way for anyone to get “high” from using them. If you’re concerned about the legality of making your own CBD oil at home, then it’s probably best to craft your oil from the hemp plant. There are, however, certain states where medicinal and recreational marijuana are legal. Therefore, before making any homemade CBD oil, you should look into your state’s laws regarding CBD.

Activating Your CBD

When making your own CBD oil, you have to make sure that the CBD is transformed from its inactive CBDA form. For those who may not know, CBDA is an acid that contains many benefits but that doesn’t have any of the benefits commonly linked to CBD. In short, there’s no CBD in unprocessed hemp plants. Therefore, if you’re looking to extract CBD from hemp, then you need to activate it by using heat before mixing the plant material with a solvent.

CBD activation takes place through a process called decarboxylation, which is a fancy term for heating. While an oven can be used to activate CBD, others have used slow cookers. Be aware, though, that these two methods are not an efficient way to activate CBD. Proper decarboxylation requires a decarboxylator, or precision cooker. When a precision cooker is used, optimal temperatures are maintained so that full activation of CBD and trace cannabinoids can happen without destroying any beneficial terpenes in the process. If you plan on regularly making your own CBD at home, then it’s worth investing in a precision cooker, as this will enable you to craft CBD oils that are consistently good.

Courtesy of Bridgette Finn

Choosing the Best Carrier Oil

In making homemade CBD oil, you’ll have to decide whether you’ll use food-safe alcohol or carrier oil for your extraction. In alcohol extraction, the hemp must be soaked in alcohol until all of the beneficial compounds are stripped from it. Alcohol extraction takes an abundance of patience because the longer the hemp soaks in the alcohol, the more potent the extract will be. Alcohol-based CBD oils are called tinctures. When compared to oil extraction, the alcohol extraction method tends to be a bit harsher. In oil extraction, natural plant oils are used as carriers because of CBD’s fat solubility. You can use hemp seed oil, olive oil, and coconut oil for this gentle process.

The third method is one that almost all reputable CBD brands use. In the CO2 extraction method, pressurized CO2 is used to extract all of the beneficial cannabinoids, terpenes, and phytonutrients from the hemp plant. This process requires a lot of space, expensive equipment, and the proper scientific know-how in order to perform it correctly. When it comes to extraction methods, this is by far the best process because extracts come out clean, pure, and are free from solvents and other impurities. That’s why the industry’s top CBD brands use this method. But since the CO2 method is so involved and specialized, it should not be performed at home.

Different Ways to Extract Your CBD Oil at Home

You can make CBD oil at home using these two step-by-step methods:

Making a CBD Oil Tincture Using Alcohol

Ingredients

  • Ground hemp flower — 30 Grams
  • Food-grade alcohol — High-proof

Materials

  • Mixing Bowl
  • Parchment Paper
  • Cookie Tray
  • Grinder
  • Catchment Container
  • Double Boiler
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Funnel
  • Spatula
  • Plastic Syringe
  • Fine Strainer

Directions

  1. Heat the plant by grinding it into an even consistency and spreading it on the cookie tray lined with parchment paper. Place the hemp flower in an oven preheated to 224 degrees Fahrenheit and let it bake for 60-minutes.
  2. Place the activated (decarboxylated) flower into a mixing bowl and cover it completely with alcohol. Using the wooden spoon, stir the buds for about 10 minutes. At this time, the alcohol will extract compounds like cannabinoids, terpenes, and phytonutrients. You can speed up the process by stirring the mixture.
  3. Separate the CBD-infused extract from the remaining plant components. Using cheesecloth, strain the liquid into a collection container. The solution may have a dark green color. Repeat this process until the extract looks fairly clear.
  4. Using a double boiler, pour the alcohol tincture into the top of the boiler and add steady heat. Please keep in mind that high-proof alcohol is volatile and evaporates at low temperatures. So you may have to turn the heat off and on. Additionally, make sure that the room you’re working in is properly ventilated because the fumes from the alcohol are extremely flammable.
  5. After all of the alcohol has evaporated, the extract will have a thick, tar-like thickness. While the extract is still warm, draw it up into a large syringe or place it into a dark glass bottle with a glass dropper.
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Making a CBD Oil Using a Carrier Oil

Ingredients

  • High-CBD Hemp Flower — 30 Grams
  • Carrier Oil (Hemp Seed or Coconut Oils) — 450-500 ml

Materials

  • Cookie Tray
  • Parchment Paper
  • Herb Grinder
  • Double Boiler
  • Glass Jar with Lid
  • Cheesecloth

Instructions

  1. Heat the hemp flower using the same method as in the alcohol extraction process above.
  2. Combine the flower and the oil to begin the extraction process. Place the flower and the oil into the top part of the double boiler. Fill the bottom container with some water and bring it to a light simmer. Do not let it come to a rolling boil because the terpenes will evaporate at a temperature of 302 degrees Fahrenheit. Typically, it can take up to 3 hours to simmer the mixture. The final product will appear a touch darker than the unprocessed oil.
  3. Remove the top of the boiler. Next, place cheesecloth over the top of the glass jar and pour the mixture into the jar. Strain as much oil as possible from the hemp plant before discarding the remaining strained flower in the cheesecloth.
  4. Cover the jar and store it in a dry, cool area. Use the final product as needed.

Quick Tips for Making CBD Oil at Home

Some quick tips for making the best homemade CBD oil are as follows:

  • Use only the best hemp flower that’s high in CBD
  • Use a top-quality, healthy carrier oil
  • Use precision in following the recipes
  • Store the oil in the same way that you would any herb-infused oils
  • Mix it up by adding your favorite natural flavorings to the oil in order to make the flavor better

Benefits of Professional CBD Oil Extraction

Even though it may seem easier to make your own CBD oil at home, you might still be wondering if what you’re making is as potent and pure as the top-quality CBD oils that reputable brands craft. First, you should remember that reputable brands use the industry-preferred CO2 extraction process to obtain all of their clean and effective extracts. This process is considered to be the industry’s gold standard because it renders high-quality CBD products. Second, this process is mostly only used by professional brands because it requires a costly triple-chamber machine, huge quantities of flowers, and an experienced professional to watch over the entire process.

Furthermore, using the CO2 extraction process ensures that the resulting products are more potent and pure than homemade oils. Therefore, if you’re looking for superior CBD oils that have the most benefits linked to them, then purchasing CO2 extracted oils from reputable brands will be your best option. If you’re in the hunt for an online CBD oil brand, then one of the first things you should do is to take the time to do some research into the brand, its extraction process, where it sources its hemp from, as well as read any third-party lab reports and verified customer reviews. Along the way, you can also do a deep dive into any other CBD-related topics that you want to learn more about.

Dosing CBD Oil

When it comes to dosing CBD oil, keep in mind that there’s not one set dose that works best for everyone. Since everyone’s body is different, a dose that works great for one person might not work that well for someone else. Finding the right CBD oil dose takes patience, time, and consistency. For example, if you’ve purchased a bottle of 600mg full-spectrum CBD oil, then begin by taking a half dropper-full once a day. This will equal 10mg of CBD oil once a day. Stay with this dose for 7-10 days before increasing. During this time, keep a journal so that you can write down anything you’re experiencing while on the dose, as well as what seems to be improving and what’s not getting any better.

If you feel the need to increase the dose, move up to half a dropper-full twice a day, or 10mg twice a day. This will also equal 20mg of CBD oil a day. Stick with this new dose for another 7-10 days before deciding whether or not you want to increase again. If you feel you need more CBD oil, follow this same pattern until you’ve found the best possible dose for your unique health and wellness needs. Remember, you may also need to increase the strength of the oil or adjust the overall dosage over time.

How to Use CBD Oil

Taking CBD oil is a fairly straightforward process. In order to get the best results from your CBD oil, you should drop it sublingually and hold it there for about 60-seconds. When you do this, the cannabinoids, terpenes, and phytonutrients in the oil can enter your bloodstream through the thin membrane under your tongue. If you’re wanting to increase possible absorption, feel free to also swish the oil around in your mouth before swallowing it so that the CBD can also get into your bloodstream through the membranes of your mouth. Additionally, taking the CBD oil around the same time(s) each and every day will help ensure that you’re clear about the effects because you’ll have more of a reliable baseline.

Courtesy of Bridgette Finn

Final Thoughts

Crafting your own homemade CBD oil is a fantastic option if you’re short on financial resources or are looking to save time and money. But before you set up a CBD workshop in the comfort of your home, you should research the CBD market as well as look at different online brands. You might just be able to get a solid deal on some top-shelf products. In fact, many reputable brands also offer discounts, rewards programs, as well as bundle prices on some of their CBD oils. If you still want to go ahead and make CBD oil at home, at least you’ll have your own bottle of clean, safely crafted oil to use while you’re researching.

Making CBD oil at home can be time- and money-saving, but it’s still recommended that you purchase a high-quality, clean, and potent oil from a reputable brand. Commercial CBD oils are crafted with precision and have all of the product’s ingredients, strength, and variety (full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or CBD isolate) clearly printed on the packaging and the bottle. So, if there’s a specific health issue that you’re trying to address or a wellness goal that you’re trying to achieve, it’s best if you buy a potent and effective CBD oil from a highly reputable brand.

How to Make CBD Oil At Home?

People use CBD oil to boost wellness, deal better with stress, and ease different types of physical discomfort (1). With so many positive effects on the body, as well as the costs involved in professional production, commercially available products can be expensive. This, of course, applies to high-quality CBD oil.

Many new users are wondering if it’s possible to make CBD oil at home, and whether or not it’s a good option to save money on your supplementation. While DIY CBD oils won’t be crafted with the same precision as professionally manufactured extracts, a homemade batch of CBD drops is still safer than a commercial product without a Certificate of Analysis (2).

If you’re considering the idea of making CBD oil at home, we’ll be glad to help. After spending several years in the superfoods and hemp industries, we have gathered our experience and packed it into a concise guide to at-home extractions.

Don’t worry, this isn’t rocket science. In fact, all you need to make CBD oil at home is a high-CBD hemp flower, a solvent, and/or food-grade carrier oil.

Let’s get down to work.

Why You Should Learn How to Make CBD at Home?

Because it’s easy and doesn’t require anything beyond some basic kitchen equipment. The reason why not many people decide to perform their own extractions is the overwhelming abundance of commercially available products; you know how it is, convenience is the name of the game these days.

CBD oil is available both online and in local specialty stores. In fact, CBD has become so popular that you can find it in vape shops, organic food stores, and wellness centers. Local retailers offer limited options, so we always recommend finding a trustworthy online supplier. Online stores offer a broader selection of products, from capsules to vapes and edibles such as CBD gummies and honey sticks.

So, why would you want to make CBD at home with so many products at hand?

Making CBD oil at home is a great way to save money that you’d otherwise spend on browsing hundreds of different brands, comparing the ingredients in their products, the prices, and user reviews.

Once you’ve got the know-how, life becomes easier.

Not only that but making CBD oil at home gives you full control over the quality of the final product. If you can gather high-quality hemp flower and a decent carrier oil, you’re halfway home.

Last but not least, homemade CBD oil is more cost-efficient. Although soaking the plant matter in the solvent requires some time before your infusion gains enough potency, you don’t have to invest in advanced technology and specialized lab workers to get a high-quality full-spectrum extract.

What You Need to Make CBD Oil?

Everything starts from the plant. First, you’ll need to find some high-quality CBD flower — derived from hemp if you want to stay compliant with federal law. There are plenty of great companies that grow craft CBD strains and ship their products to all 50 states.

See also  CBD Oil Botanicals

If you live in a state that has legalized marijuana, you can use a high-CBD hybrid strain obtained through selective breeding. These are available in cannabis dispensaries and are also known for a higher terpene content than their hemp-derived counterparts.

The majority of hemp CBD strains are grown indoors or in greenhouses rather than outdoors, so the bag appeal and the overall quality of the buds is better.

Another important ingredient is the carrier oil. These range from hemp seed oil to olive oil to canola and MCT oil. MCT is considered the best source of fats for CBD, as the cannabinoid shows higher absorption rates in the presence of saturated fatty acids.

Besides, you’ll need some basic kitchen equipment, such as a pot, spatula, fine mesh strainer, glass containers, jar, oven, and a heatproof bowl or pie plate.

How to Prepare CBD (Activating the CBD)?

There is little CBD in fresh hemp plants. Instead, hemp contains high concentrations of CBDA, the inactive precursor of CBD. CBDA offers many health benefits, but it doesn’t have the properties of CBD. In order to transform CBDA into CBD, you need to remove an extra carboxyl group from the compound. In plain English, decarboxylation means adding extra heat to activate CBD and get the most out of its content (3).

If you’re looking for a professional way to decarboxylate your plant material, there are special machines known as decarboxylators available in specialty stores. This equipment ensures that the process is conducted efficiently both on its short and long tail, which have different times and temperatures depending on the desired cannabinoid.

Nevertheless, you may just as well use less expensive methods and still perform efficient decarboxylation. Simply use your oven or a slow cooker. They sacrifice some precision, but then again, not everyone can afford a professional decarboxylator.

Decarboxylating CBD in the Oven

What you’ll need:

  • High-quality CBD hemp flower
  • Oven
  • Baking tray
  • Parchment paper
  • Grinder

Instructions:

  • Grind your CBD buds using the herb grinder. Break them down into smaller pieces instead of grinding them into a fine powder.
  • Lay a baking tray with a sheet of parchment paper. Spread the ground hemp evenly, and preheat the oven to 240 degrees Fahrenheit (115 Celsius).
  • Bake the CBD flowers in the oven for about 45 minutes, up to one hour depending on how dry the buds are. Buds with more moisture may require more time in the oven.
  • Remove the CBD from the oven and transfer it to a glass container. It should have a bit of a brownish color.

How to Make CBD Oil?

If you’ve gathered the necessary supplies and are ready to make CBD oil at home for the first time, you can use two solvents for the job: food-safe alcohol or cooking oil.

Alcohol extraction involves soaking the hemp plant in alcohol until it pulls all the beneficial compounds from it. The infusion gains potency over time; the longer you soak the hemp in alcohol, the stronger your product will get; this is how you make cannabis tinctures. However, since alcohol is highly flammable, you shouldn’t perform it in enclosed places with access to open fire. Gas stovetops are a big no-no for alcohol extractions; electric ones are much safer.

If you’re looking for a more beginner-friendly method, cooking oil extraction will come in handy. This method involves using plant-derived oils as carriers due to CBD’s fat solubility. It’s a slow process for which you can use different types of cooking oils.

These are at-home extraction methods. Professional manufacturers use pressurized CO2 in order to maximize the quality and quantity of their yields. The CO2 extraction technology doesn’t require additional heat or solvents, which makes it both effective and safe. Unfortunately, it also requires a lot of financial resources to purchase and maintain the machinery, not to mention the highly qualified lab workers.

Below we cover all types of homemade extractions in detail.

Make CBD Oil with Alcohol

What you’ll need:

  • 14 grams of ground, decarboxylated hemp flower
  • 500 ml of high-proof food-safe alcohol (Everclear, vodka, or spirit)
  • Mixing bowl
  • Funnel
  • Spatula
  • Double boiler
  • Glass jar
  • Tincture bottle
  • A plastic syringe or glass dropper

Instructions:

  1. Place the decarboxylated CBD in the mixing bowl and cover it completely with alcohol. Stir the decarbed buds for up to 10 minutes using the wooden spoon. During this time, the alcohol should already extract some of the compounds such as cannabinoids and terpenes. Once done, you can pour the liquid into a glass jar. Store it in a cool and dark place for a minimum of 2 weeks up to several months. As mentioned, the longer it sits, the stronger it gets.
  2. Separate the CBD-infused alcohol from the plant material. Strain the liquid through a piece of cheesecloth into a collecting container. At this point, the tincture should have a dark green color.
  3. Set up a double boiler. Pour the alcohol solution to the top of the dish and apply low heat. High-proof volatile will easily evaporate at low temperatures because it’s highly volatile. You can turn the heat on and off if necessary, just make sure you have a good ventilation system, and if not, run the extraction outdoors. The vapor from alcohol is flammable and thus may cause an explosion.
  4. Once you’ve evaporated all the alcohol, the extract will have a tar-like texture. You can draw it up into a syringe or mix it into a carrier oil to increase the volume of your final product.

Make CBD Oil with MCT Oil

If you want to make CBD oil with MCT oil, follow the steps from the alcohol extraction, and once you have a thick extract, suspend it into MCT oil in the desired ratio. MCT oil is derived from coconut and comes with medium-chain triglycerides, which are known to boost the bioavailability of CBD and other cannabinoids. You can find it in health supplement stores.

Make CBD Oil with Coconut Oil

This method is similar to how you make cannabis-infused coconut oil or the famous cannabutter. But this time, we’re working with hemp-derived CBD, not medical-grade cannabis.

What you’ll need:

  • ½ oz of high-CBD hemp flower
  • 500 ml of melted coconut oil
  • Double boiler
  • Glass jar with a lid
  • Cheesecloth
  • Glass collecting dish

Instructions:

  1. Combine the decarboxylated CBD buds with the coconut oil to start the extraction process. Place them in the double boiler, filling the bottom part of the dish with some water, and bring it to a delicate simmer. Do not bring the mixture to a rolling boil because anything over 150 degrees Celcius will destroy most terpenes. The simmering process takes around 3 hours; the end product will look slightly darker than the raw oil.
  2. Remove the top of the boiler, take out your jar, place the cheesecloth over the top of the collecting dish, and pour the mixture into it. You can use a spatula to push the plant material against the strainer so that it squeezes the most out of it.
  3. Transfer the CBD coconut oil to a jar, seal it tightly, and store it in a cool, dry place. You can use it alone or use it as an infusion in your CBD recipes.

Make CBD Oil with Olive Oil

This method follows the same process as making CBD oil at home with coconut oil. If you don’t have any coconut oil at hand, olive oil will make for a great substitute, especially if you’re up for some CBD-infused pesto, guacamole, or drizzling it over a slice of pizza.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Homemade Extractions?

  • Choose high-quality organically grown CBD flower
  • Use healthy carrier fats (coconut oil is the best due to high amounts of saturated fat)
  • Carefully calculate the dosage in your CBD infusion
  • Add natural flavorings to the homemade CBD oil to mask the hempy flavor
  • Store your CBD oil as you would store any other herb-infused oils

Tips for Using Homemade CBD Oil

  • Use CBD oil sublingually (under the tongue) to avoid the first-pass metabolism in the liver and increase its absorption rate.
  • Add CBD oil to your meals or cook with it. However, make sure not to exceed 160 degrees C so that you don’t waste any CBD.
  • Make CBD vape oil at home by using a thinning agent in your CBD oil solution (e.g. vegetable glycerin or propylene glycol).
  • When working with alcohol, let the mixture sit for a few months to maximize its potency.
  • You don’t have to evaporate all the alcohol from your tincture. You can reduce it by half and add it to drinks and cocktails.
  • Add CBD to a fat base and other natural skincare ingredients of your choice to create homemade CBD cream.

Advantages of Professional CBD Oil Extraction

Wondering how CBD oil made at home compares to a product obtained through CO2 extraction?

As we said, CO2 extraction is the golden standard for manufacturers. This method produces safe, premium-quality products, but it requires a piece of expensive triple-chamber equipment, large quantities of hemp biomass, and experienced professionals to oversee the extraction. Using CO2 as a solvent ensures a pure and more potent product than any homemade method. If you’re looking for a top-shelf product, CO2-extracted CBD is still second to none.

Making CBD Oil at Home: Is It Worth A Try?

Of course, especially if you want to kickstart your CBD routine on a low budget. In the meantime, you can browse through different brands online and choose the one that fits the generally accepted quality standards. Many premium companies have reward programs to make their products more affordable for everyone. As you do your research, a bottle of homemade CBD oil will wait for you in your health cabinet.

Still, we recommend buying a professionally extracted CBD oil if you want to maximize the results of your supplementation. Making CBD oil at home is fun and very rewarding, but it still doesn’t give you such a complete cannabinoid profile as CO2 extraction.

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