How to Make CBD Oil as a Complete Beginner

One way to ensure that you’re getting a potent and premium product without questionable ingredients or fillers: make your own!

CBD oil bottles Source: iStock

Using CBD has become one of the hottest wellness trends in recent history, and it’s easy to see why. Users are reporting better sleep, more relaxed moods, better workout recovery, and other beneficial effects with regular CBD use.

The CBD industry is still largely unregulated, so it can be difficult to tell whether the product you’re purchasing is high-quality. Many CBD products are not accurately labeled or even adequately lab-tested. 

One way to ensure that you’re getting a potent and premium product without questionable ingredients or fillers: make your own! We’ll show you how to make CBD oil with this easy DIY recipe.

How to Make CBD Oil

Supplies

  • Weed grinder/pair of scissors
  • Parchment paper/aluminum foil
  • Glass or metal baking dish
  • Saucepan, crockpot, or double boiler
  • Cheesecloth
  • Mason jar with airtight lid
  • Optional: Amber-colored dropper bottle

Ingredients

  • ¼ oz. cannabis flower(or desired amount)
  • 1 cup carrier oil
  • Optional: Dried or fresh herbs, to taste.

Step 1: Start with hemp flower

There are over 100 distinct cannabinoids that can be found in cannabis. Two of the most widely-known are THC and CBD. THC is, of course, the psychoactive component of cannabis plants that we all know and love. CBD, on the other hand, is non-psychoactive but offers numerous wellness-promoting benefits. 

According to the 2018 Farm Bill, which removed hemp from the list of Schedule 1 controlled substances, federally legal cannabis plants must contain less than 0.3% THC by dry weight. While low in THC, hemp flowers can be high in CBD and thus perfect for making CBD oil.

Some popular high-CBD/low-THC strains include Charlotte’s Web and ACDC. These strains vary in their CBD:THC ratio. If you want to make CBD oil that is federally legal and non-psychoactive, make sure the cannabis flower you purchase is Farm Bill compliant.

Select your carrier oil and flavors

Now it’s time to get creative! You’ll need a carrier oil to infuse your CBD into. The oil you select largely depends on your personal preference and what you plan to use your CBD oil for. 

  • If you’re making CBD-infused skincare, consider using high-quality shea butter as your carrier oil. 
  • If you want to make delicious CBD-infused brownies or cake, you may want to use vegetable oil or shortening, such as Crisco, to make your CBD oil. 
  • If you plan to take your CBD directly under the tongue, or you’re using it in a savory recipe like homemade CBD hummus, organic olive oil may be your best option.
  • Coconut oil makes a great all-purpose carrier oil to use for cooking, baking, and beauty.

You can also infuse your CBD with fresh or dried herbs and spices for additional flavor or aroma. Consider dried lavender for making bath products, fresh rosemary for savory recipes, or flavors like mint or citrus peels to complement the earthy tasting notes of cannabis.

Decarb your CBD flower

Once you have chosen your flower, your carrier oil, and any optional flavorings or scents, it’s time to get cooking! Start by decarboxylating your CBD flower. This process converts the acidic cannabinoid precursor CBDa into active CBD. Activating the cannabinoid allows it to interact more effectively with the human body. 

Preheat your oven to 240°F/115°C. Use your grinder or a pair of scissors to break up your cannabis. Try not to overgrind—you want little chunks, not powder. Line your baking dish with parchment paper or aluminum foil and add your cannabis in one even layer.

Decarb your cannabis in the oven for 30-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so. Your flower should look and feel slightly toasted, but not burnt. Remove from the oven and allow your cannabis to cool completely before handling.

Infuse the oil

The next step is to infuse the CBD into your carrier oil. There are a few different options for this step.

  • Crockpot method: If you’re the set it and forget it type, a small crockpot may be the best investment you’ll ever make. Add about a cup of water, your decarbed cannabis, your carrier oil, and the optional aromatics. Stir to combine, and set the crockpot to LOW for 3 hours. Simply give your mixture a stir every so often during this process.
  • Double boiler method: If you have a double boiler set or a saucepan and a glass bowl, fill the bottom pan with water and bring to a simmer. Ideally, you want to maintain a temperature of 200°F/93°C, just below boiling, for the entire cooking time. You can use a digital thermometer to check. 

Fit the top pan or large glass bowl on top and add your cannabis, carrier oil and aromatics on top. Continue to simmer and stir the oil occasionally for 3 hours. Check the bottom pan throughout to make sure that the water has not boiled off, and add more as needed. 

  • Mason Jar Method: You can use a saucepan or crockpot for this. Add your cannabis, oil, and any other flavors into the jar and close the lid tightly. Fill your saucepan or crockpot with water and place a cotton washcloth or kitchen towel in the bottom. This will prevent the jar from making direct contact with the heating element, which could damage the cannabinoids. Place the jar into the pan/crockpot on top of the towel and maintain a simmer(approximately 200°F/93°C) for 3 hours.

Separate the plant matter

After your CBD oil mixture has heat-infused for three hours, remove from the heat and allow it to reach room temperature before handling. The next step is to strain out the plant material so you are left with only the infused CBD oil.

Place a cheesecloth or fine mesh sieve over a Mason jar and strain out the cannabis and any other herbs. You can toss this plant material, or incorporate it into a pesto sauce, pasta dish, or any other recipe.

If you used the Crockpot method, close the jar tightly and place your strained oil/water mixture in the fridge until the oil floats to the top and hardens. After a few hours in the fridge, use a knife or skewer to poke a hole in the top layer and pour out the water.

Store properly

Storing CBD oil is similar to storing weed properly. To preserve the integrity of your cannabis oil, you’ll want to store it in an airtight jar in a cool and dark location, like your pantry or cupboard. To protect your CBD oil from UV light, you may also want to store it in an amber-colored glass container, like those used in cannabis tinctures.

Remember, high-CBD cannabis may still contain small amounts of THC. Go slow when dosing. If you are sensitive to THC, make sure to source only Farm Bill compliant hemp flower.

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