How to Make CBD Oil at Home in Just 7 Easy Steps
If you want to know how to make CBD oil at home, you’ll be pleased to know it’s a lot easier than you think. Keep in mind. It won’t be the same quality and retention of plant compounds as professionally done by companies such as ourselves.
Sure, you can get it from an outside vendor, yet there’s something about homemade cannabis edibles that makes things fun. We all know there are different ways vendors do it. CO2 extraction is all the rage, but you’ll need a lot of money to buy the equipment and pay the technicians who operate it for you.
You may also have heard of alcohol extraction. While accessible, this isn’t the easiest way to do it. The method we’ll cover today means you probably won’t even have to don your mask and visit the grocery store. Everything you need is either in your cupboard, pantry or fridge. If you’re still missing something, you won’t drop more than a couple of bucks.
So if you:
- a) Own a stove
- b) Are on a budget
- c) Have no clue what you’re doing
…this is your chance to quickly and easily learn how to make CBD oil at home.
How to Make CBD Oil: The Full DIY Guide
Before we get to cooking, it’s important we understand some fundamentals about CBD and CBD oil. We could go on forever with the fine details, but all you need to know right now are the types of CBD products and some easy science.
Types of CBD
If you visit a CBD company’s website, you’ll likely come across the terms “full-spectrum,” “broad-spectrum,” or “CBD isolate.”
These labels refer to cannabinoid and terpene content – if any. Let’s take a quick look at what each product means.
Full-spectrum CBD oil (a.k.a. “whole plant extract”) contains all other cannabinoids and terpenes found in the source plant. Different plants contain different chemical profiles, but full-spectrum products will always contain some traces of THC.
However, THC won’t cause intoxication in such low doses, and even helps the overall potency of your CBD mixture, thanks to the “entourage effect.” This synergistic relationship between cannabinoids and terpenes effectively allows them to complement or improve the potency and effects of your CBD oil.
One complaint people have, though, is that full-spectrum maintains a strong cannabis or “hempy” taste.
Keep in mind, the homemade CBD oil method we cover doesn’t allow you to filter out any compounds, keeping your CBD rich in cannabinoids and terpenes – in other words, full-spectrum.
CBD isolate is a product containing up to 99% CBD, with all other compounds completely gone. It’s colorless, odorless, and flavorless. Some vendors who want their edibles or oils to be unaffected by any plant aroma often choose CBD isolate.
Although it’s almost pure CBD, isolate lacks any of the beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes that work to trigger the entourage effect. Consequently, the therapeutic benefits of CBD isolate are limited compared to other forms.
Broad-spectrum CBD is the middle ground between full-spectrum and CBD isolate. It retains the same compounds as full-spectrum CBD, but with all traces of THC removed.
This is handy if you’re worried about triggering a drug test (which is possible) or if you’re sensitive to THC.
What is Decarboxylation?
Ever wonder why you have to light cannabis on fire or heat it in a vaporizer? The simple answer is “decarboxylation.” It’s an essential step when making your own CBD oil.
Cannabinoids originally sit in an inert acidic form. For example, CBD is originally CBDA (cannabidiolic acid) prior to decarbing. When heated to a certain temperature, the CBDA undergoes a chemical change that turns it into CBD.
The process of decarboxylation of the acidic form of CBD (CBDa) to Cannabidiol (CBD) with heat.
How to Make CBD Oil at Home
Now that we better understand CBD oil, it’s time to dive in on making CBD oil. The method we’ll describe today is the same one people use with any cannabis oil. It involves the use of dried flower from either an industrial hemp variety or “marijuana.”
Today, plenty of vendors offer industrial hemp dry herb in a variety of different strains and strengths – all with less than 0.3% THC. You can also get high CBD, lower THC flower from a dispensary or medical provider, depending on the laws in your state.
The following recipe will net you about 2 cups (500 ml) of CBD oil. The potency depends on how much CBD is in the dry herb, and the type/amount of carrier oil chosen. We recommend coconut oil because it does an excellent job retaining CBD and other cannabinoids.
The amount of dry herb and oil you use isn’t written in stone. The less oil you use, the more cannabinoids get packed into it. The level of CBD in your dry herb also affects potency.
But enough prepping – let’s make some CBD oil.
Things You’ll Need on Making CBD Oil
- 1/2 oz (14 g) industrial hemp flower or another cannabis flower (if legal)
- Baking sheet
- Aluminum foil
- 1 cup (250 ml) coconut oil
- Oven and stove
- Oven thermometer (optional)
- Meat thermometer
- Pot or saucepan
- Paper towel or coffee filter
Calculating Dosage When Making CBD Oil
Got all your ingredients? Great! Now it’s time to figure out how strong your oil will be. This requires some simple math.
Whether it’s industrial hemp or high-CBD “marijuana,” CBD levels vary from strain to strain. So let’s pretend your flower contains 20.0% CBD:
- Take 20.0 and move the decimal to the right, which shows your herb has 200 mg/g of CBD.
- Multiply that 200 by the number of grams you’re using – in this case, 14.
- We see that the total CBD in your batch will equal 2800 mg prior to decarboxylation.
- Now, we need to know the CBD per milliliter (ml), so divide 2800 by the 250 ml of coconut oil we’re using, which comes to 11.2 mg/ml of CBD oil.
If you find this dose is too little or too much, increase/decrease the amount of dry herb as needed. You can also add more oil to dilute the mixture.
To know how much CBD potency the hemp flower has, make sure you have the third-party lab report to get that number.
Here is a visual of a lab report on a cannabis hemp flower rich in CBD. As you can see, this hemp flower has a potency of 16% CBDA (cannabidiolic acid), which CBDA would then be converted to CBD after decarboxylation. Every 1,000mg of oil will contain roughly 160mg of CBD.
7 Steps on How to Make CBD Oil
Step 1: Preheat the Oven
Preheat your oven to 225 o F. This is a solid middle-ground. But remember that oven temperature isn’t likely to reflect the exact number shown on your stove.
It’s handy to have a simple oven thermometer if you want to keep a more precise tab on temperature. Undercooking won’t properly activate the cannabinoids while overcooking evaporates them away.
Step 2: Grind the Flower
Using your grinder , coarsely grind your cannabis flower . A simple metal hand grinder is a great choice, as these tend to give you the consistency you need.
Don’t over-grind it. If the pieces are too small, you’ll burn them before you even start making your own CBD oil.
Step 3: Prepare the Ground Cannabis
Line your baking sheet with aluminum foil . Evenly lay out the ground cannabis flower on your baking sheet. It’s important to keep it in an even, single layer. Otherwise, the flower won’t cook evenly.
Finally, cover the sheet with aluminum foil .
Step 4: Decarboxylate the Hemp Flower
If you have an oven thermometer inside the appliance, check to make sure you have the right temperature. If the difference is more than 20 o F in either direction, adjust the heat as needed.
Bake for 30 minutes, then remove and let the hemp cool for 45 minutes. Once cool, lift the layer of aluminum foil. If everything went well, the herb will have golden brown, toasted color.
Below is an image of grinded cannabis flower on the left prior to decarboxylation, and decarbed flower on the right.
The picture was taken from Madison Cole from Herbal Dispatch.
Step 5: Mix CBD with Coconut Oil to Make Tincture
Turn your pot or saucepan to low heat, and add the coconut oil. DO NOT allow it to simmer or sizzle.
Use the meat thermometer to check the oil temperature. It should hover at around 150 o F. If the mixture exceeds 200 0 F, you could cause some cannabinoids to evaporate during cooking.
You can use an overhead stirrer like this to set it on automatic, and it will mix the CBD extract with coconut oil to make CBD oil tinctures.
Step 6: Complete the Oil Infusion to make CBD Oil Tinctures
Cook the mixture for 30 minutes to 4 hours. The longer you cook, the more cannabinoids get infused into the oil, and the stronger your final product will be.
Step 7: Strain
Place a coffee filter or paper towel above a cup, small pot, or another container. Carefully and slowly pour the oil onto the filter or paper towel to separate and discard the plant matter.
Pro tip: Use two or three paper towels layered together, as a single one could rip while you pour the oil.
CBD Oil Uses
Congratulations on your first batch! Now that you can make your own CBD oil, it’s time to put it to good use. Although oil is typically associated with straight oral ingestion, there are other things you can do with it.
For instance, you can use it in edible recipes to make an endless range of tasty CBD-rich treats, or mix it with moisturizer to create a soothing topical. Some people add it to smoothies or use it as a salad dressing.
Ultimately, there’s almost no limit to what you can do with CBD oil.
How to Make CBD Oil: Final Thoughts and Tips
While making CBD oil, it’s important to consider safety. There are also some tips we want to address that’ll make your CBD cooking experience much better.
Safety when Making CBD Oil
Fortunately, you won’t be working with explosive substances like butane, nor will you need to worry about leaving solvent traces behind (alcohol method). Aside from “don’t burn yourself,” there’s really nothing else to worry about during the cooking process.
CBD itself, however, is another story. The cannabinoid is known to interact with a broad range of medications . Talk to your doctor before adding CBD to your health routine.
How to Make Cannabis Oil at Home
Making your own cannabis oil at home is easy if you know a few tricks. Learn how to make canna oil in your kitchen with our complete recipe and step-by-step guide.
DIY Cannabis Oil: The Basics
Homemade cannabis oil offers a variety of health and wellness benefits. You may choose to mix the canna oil into another edible or beverage recipe, apply the canna oil topically, or place a few drops under your tongue like a cannabis tincture .
Canna oil has recreational uses as well as medicinal purposes. Here are a few therapeutic uses for cannabis oil:
These possible health benefits also depend on whether you use hemp or marijuana in your oil.
Hemp vs. Marijuana: Which Should You Use?
Hemp or CBD oil is a good choice if you live in a state where cannabis is illegal. CBD hemp oil may also be the right option if you want to avoid “getting high” from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Using marijuana with a full spectrum of cannabinoids may offer more potent therapeutic benefits through the entourage effect .
Dosing is one of the most challenging issues with cannabis edibles , including canna oil. Too much THC can give you an unpleasant and lingering high. For this reason, it’s a good idea to consult with a physician who can provide you with proper dosing instructions for your body chemistry and level of cannabis experience.
Best Carrier Oil for Cannabis Oil
Many cannabis users report that coconut oil makes the best carrier oil for cannabis oil. Coconut oil contains beneficial fatty acids that go well in both edibles and topicals. However, alternatives to coconut oil also work well, such as vegetable oil or lecithin.
Lecithin is a type of fat that allows for ingredients to stick and bind together. Adding lecithin to your recipes and/or into your oil can help the canna oil bind together with other ingredients more readily and improve shelf life. Lecithin has the added benefit of increasing the bioavailability of cannabinoids. Sunflower lecithin is best for a range of diets. Eggs are also a source of lecithin and act as a binding ingredient in baking.
Why It’s Important to Decarboxylate Cannabis
Decarboxylating or “decarbing” cannabis refers to a chemical reaction where a carbon atom is removed from a carbon chain, resulting in the release of carbon dioxide (CO2). Key cannabinoids, like THC and CBD, convert from different original forms during the decarbing process.
For example, THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) is non-psychoactive in its raw form but becomes psychoactive as THC after decarboxylation. Likewise, CBDA (cannabidiolic acid) is the acid precursor to CBD and may provide its own health benefits .
To change THCA to THC and CBDA to CBD, the raw cannabis flower must be decarboxylated first. Decarboxylating also makes certain cannabinoids, such as CBD, more bioavailable (i.e., your body can process them more easily).
Cannabis Oil Recipe
The following recipe includes everything you need to make cannabis oil at home.
What You’ll Need
- Rimmed baking tray
- Baking paper
- Crockpot, double boiler, or saucepan
- Cheesecloth or strainer
- Cooking twine to tie the cheesecloth
- 3.5 grams of flower
- 1/2 cup of cooking oil (coconut oil or olive oil)
Break up any cannabis flower or “buds” you have into smaller pieces.
Layer the pieces onto a rimmed baking tray lined with baking paper/parchment. Place the baking tray into the center of a preheated oven set to 240°F-248°F (115°C-120°C) for 30-40 minutes. Stir every 10 minutes.
Allow the cannabis to cool to room temperature. It should appear darker in color – usually, light brown or yellow, and not as green as fresh cannabis.
Once cooled, coarsely grind the cannabis and store it in an airtight container.
Combine the cannabis and coconut oil using one of the following methods:
- In a slow cooker or crockpot on low for about 4-6 hours, stirring occasionally.
- In a double boiler on low for 6-8 hours, stirring occasionally – a simple heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of boiling water will suffice.
- On the stove in a saucepan on low heat for 3 hours, stirring regularly. This method is the fastest but most susceptible to scorching. You can add a small amount of water to the oil to prevent scorching.
Note that the temperature of the oil should never exceed 245°F (118°C).
Strain your canna-oil through a cheesecloth or strainer to get rid of the plant material.
Get Your Delicious Canna Oil Recipe
Alternative Method for Making Canna-Oil
You can also infuse raw cannabis directly in olive or coconut oil by first getting the cannabis-oil mixture to a temperature of between 212°F (100°C) and 230°F (110°C) to decarboxylate it. Then, simmer and double boil it for around 1- 2 hours at a temperature of between 158°F (70°C) and 199°F (93°C).
Double boiling ensures that the oil does not go above 212°F (100°C) after the initial decarboxylation, and means you can decarb the cannabis at a lower temperature over a few hours. However, we recommend decarboxylating the cannabis first rather than decarbing in the oil, which is more efficient.
If you’re double boiling decarbed cannabis, a temperature between 100°F and 120°F (38°C – 49°C) in a double boiler for between 1 and 5 hours is ideal. Use a cheesecloth to hold the raw or decarbed cannabis as you double boil it to avoid straining the oil afterward. Although raw cannabis can be added directly to oil, it is still best to decarb the cannabis first to maximize the shelf life of your oil. You can also use the leftover plant matter to make edibles.
Tips and Tricks for Making Homemade Canna-Oil
Follow these tips and tricks to make the best homemade canna-oil.
Always Cook at Low Temperatures
To retain any acidic cannabinoids, cook at lower temperatures or use the infused oil without cooking it. Once the oil has been infused, you can heat it to a maximum of 350°F (approx 176°C) to keep all the cannabinoids from burning off. We recommend cooking at below 284°F (140°C) or even 248 (120°C).
Extend Shelf-Life with Proper Storage
Cannabinoids do not last forever, and over time and exposure to light, air, and heat, your cannabis-infused oil will decrease potency. Acidic cannabinoids, in particular, are very unstable and do not last very long when exposed to the air.
Any impurities in the cannabis-infused oil will also affect how long a cannabis-infused oil will last. Therefore, properly straining any plant material from the oil is essential to prevent mold and bacteria growth.
Kept in a cool, dark place, cannabis-infused oil should retain its potency for about 1-1.5 years. Room temperature is appropriate if your indoor environment stays below 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Infuse Oil to Retain Terpenes
Much of the flavor and effect of cannabis come from its terpenes and flavonoids . Infusing decarboxylated cannabis into oil will impart the flavor of the cannabis into the oil. While the terpenes and flavonoids may be pleasant when smelled (and even smoked or vaporized), the taste of cannabis when eaten is not usually as pleasant. Many people try to overcome the taste with sugar, hence the huge variety of medicated sweet treats like pot brownies .
Strain to Help Get Rid of Unpleasant Tastes
Straining away the plant material from the oil will reduce the unpleasant taste but not eliminate it. Matching the flavor profile of the cannabis-infused oil to the dish is possible but not easy considering the number of terpenes and terpenoids at play. Other ingredients can mask the flavor, as can infusing the oil with other herbs and spices.
Reach out to one of the qualified physicians at Leafwell to learn more about the health benefits of canna oil and other cannabis products. Our doctors are here to help you quickly apply for a medical marijuana card.
How Can I Legally Buy Cannabis to Make Canna Oil?
Stay informed about the current cannabis laws in your state to know if you can legally buy cannabis to make canna oil.
Is Canna Oil the Same as CBD Oil?
No. The difference between canna oil and CBD oil comes down to THC. Canna oil contains a significant amount of THC, while CBD oil contains only trace amounts of THC, i.e., not enough to have psychoactive effects.
How Long Does It Take to Make Cannabis Oil?
If using a double-boiler, the infusion process to make canna oil takes approximately 6 to 8 hours until you have a final product.