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Dry cannabis leaves, cannabis plant and cannabis oil on table

How to Make CBD Oil at Home

So, you have acquired some high CBD cannabis bud and are wondering how to make CBD oil at home. Maybe you even just harvested your own cannabis crop and you are ready to start consuming the fruits (well, flowers really) of your labors. While many people might be content just to grind up some cannabis and smoke it, perhaps the thought of inhaling burning plant material is not your idea of being healthy.

Fortunately, cannabis can be consumed in a variety of ways. Besides inhaling it, you can also ingest it in the form of edibles, tinctures, full extract resins, and infused oils. In this article, we will focus on infused oil only and explain how to make CBD oil at home.

Why Make Your Own CBD Oil?

Many online stores and dispensaries now sell CBD oil. Still, the market is highly unregulated, and a lot of companies don’t provide 3rd party testing results to prove that their products are safe. The problem? Some oils are manufactured with dangerous solvents such as butane, naphtha, or alcohol, or the hemp may have been grown using pesticides and herbicides. Since you’re likely taking CBD oil for health and wellness purposes, why take a risk? Unless you are familiar with and trust the seller and manufacturer, I would advise against purchasing CBD oil. The easiest and safest way to avoid all the unknowns is to learn how to make your own CBD oil.

There are other reasons to consider making your own CBD oil. You will save money since making your own oil will be much less expensive than purchasing it. You will also have complete control over the potency of the final product. Finally, you will have the pleasure of taking the weed you recently grew, all the way from seed to a consumable product.

What You’ll Need:

Making your own CBD oil is easy, safe, reasonably quick and not expensive. You won’t need much in the way of equipment. In fact, you probably already have everything you need in your kitchen.

Let’s get started.

Infused cannabis oil is not difficult to make. You will need the following pieces of equipment:

  • Glass mason jar large enough to hold the amount of weed you will be using
  • Fine metal mesh sieve
  • Slow cooker
  • A glass bowl
  • Paper coffee filter or cheesecloth
  • Cooking (carrier) oil (olive, avocado, or coconut, are best)
  • Some CBD dominant cannabis (which hopefully you grew yourself!) 

How to Make CBD Oil with Coconut Oil

If you choose to make your CBD oil with coconut oil, remember that it will harden as it cools, which makes dosing more challenging. When I make CBD oil using coconut oil, I generally store them in gelcaps, which you can find available online or at any health food store. Regardless of the oil you select, it will not change how you make your CBD oil at home.

While cannabis flowers are best, many growers will use the leftover trim (aka shake) from their harvest to make CBD oil. You can even use some of the smaller twigs. This is a significant advantage for growers since it makes more of the entire plant usable.

The ratio of cannabis to oil will determine the potency of your oil. As a general rule of thumb, you should use between 7-14 grams (¼ to ½ an oz.) of cannabis for each ounce of oil.

How to Make CBD Oil

1. Heat your oven to 220 degrees Fahrenheit (around 110C).

2. Place your cannabis into the mason jar. Put the lid on.

3. Put the mason jar in the oven, set the timer for 30 minutes (this is called decarboxylation).

4. Let the mason jar cool for a little bit until it reaches room temperature and then put it in the freezer for a couple of hours. Be careful not to expose the glass jar to sudden, extreme changes in temperature, or it may shatter.

5. Put the oil in your slow cooker and set it on low.

6. Take the weed out of the freezer and roughly crush it (a disposable glove is a good idea) into the slow cooker.

7. Set a timer for 4 hours.

Note: infusing cannabis can be very aromatic. If you don’t want the entire house to smell like cannabis, then consider doing this step outside.

8. Strain your cannabis oil through the sieve back into a bowl. Try to squeeze as much oil as possible from the saturated cannabis.

9. Discard the contents of the sieve, then line it with the coffee filter or cheesecloth, and strain your oil again.

10. The oil is done. You can keep it refrigerated for six months and use it as needed.

There, that wasn’t so hard, was it? As you can see, making your own CBD oil at home is really not that difficult at all.

Note that if you are making CBD oil with coconut oil, you will want to load your gelcaps up while the oil is still warm, but not so warm as to melt the caps. This is a bit tricky since coconut oil tends to turn into a solid around 85F, and gelcaps tend to dissolve around 98F. I recommend using glycerin-based capsules because they have a slightly higher dissolving point than vegetative gelcaps. I use a 1ml cap (aka Double 0, or 00) size. If you are going this route, you will also need a loading tray (available online or at health food stores) and a syringe. You’ll also need steady hands.

Homemade cannabis oil beside a marijuana plant

What can the CBD oil be used for?

You can use your homemade CBD oil in any recipe where you would use oil. I do not recommend a 1:1 replacement though, more like 75% regular oil to 25% infused oil. However, it is not recommended that you use it for sauté or frying since that will tend to deactivate the cannabinoids. Salad dressings, baking, as a finishing oil on pizza and pasta are all excellent options. You can even add your infused oil to tea or coffee. Personally, I take a teaspoon of it raw, or mixed with a bit of nut butter and spread it on a cracker. Whatever works best for you. As always, “start low, go slow.” Begin with a small dose (no more than 2-3ml, or ½ tsp) to get started. Wait for at least 2-3 hours before taking any more. Later, once you appreciate the potency and effect of your CBD oil, you can alter the dosage to what suits you best.

What Now?

Going forward, there are many ways to improve the quality and quantity of your own CBD oil. Some people add soy lecithin for absorption purposes. Others pre-wash their cannabis before infusing. You can even use a sous vide immersion circulator in the place of a slow cooker! Infused CBD oil is only one way you can convert your raw cannabis flowers into an ingestible product.  Other techniques are available to create tinctures, resins, and of course, cannabutter. However, I recommend first mastering this basic infused CBD oil before moving on to other techniques.

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