Disclaimer. ReviewMoose encourages safe consumption of CBD. This piece is for educational purposes only. We strongly suggest that you consider purchasing CBD oil products that have been manufactured following the best practices and stringent criteria.
Wondering how to make CBD oil is totally legit. We can‘t blame you for a second. Many people use it for all kinds of things — to soothe pain, fight inflammation, stress, etc.
What‘s CBD Oil?
Before we start discussing the ins and outs of making your own CBD oil, we should first talk about what it is — refined hemp extract combined with a carrier oil.
Hemp is a type of cannabis plant (mostly grown for its fibre) with significantly reduced levels of the compound that produces the well-known “high” — THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).
Since hemp is high in beneficial cannabidiol (CBD) and low in THC (less than 0.3%), it‘s commonly used for making cannabis oil.
Today, the CBD oil industry is huge and covers a large diversity of products, including CBD-infused foods, drinks, and supplements, as the compound has been shown to handle different issues quite well, especially with anxiety, depression, pain, acne, and sleeping problems.
Making Cannabis Oil — The Types
There‘s one more thing you should know before you start making CBD oil. There are three main types, and they include:
- CBD isolate: Often only called CBD, or even true CBD, because it only contains cannabidiol, with no added terpenes, other cannabinoids, or fatty acids from the plant. Isolates come in powder, crystal, or oil form. It‘s often used for vaping, and it‘s cheaper than full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD.
- Full-spectrum CBD: Before getting into how to make full-spectrum CBD oil, you should know that it‘s quite different from CBD isolate. Full-spectrum variants usually have other cannabinoids as well (even THC), naturally occurring fatty acids, and terpenes from the plant. Full-spectrum CBD is best known for its healing properties.
- Broad-spectrum CBD oil: This is the middle ground between full-spectrum and isolate. It has all the other compounds as full-spectrum, except for THC.
How to Make CBD Oil — Things You‘ll Need
Before setting out on your oil-making journey, you‘ll first have to decide on the ingredients.
Making DIY CBD oil starts with a vital step — strain selection.
You can extract CBD both from hemp and marijuana, but the latter is usually higher in THC. On the other hand, hemp strains specially grown for CBD oils contain higher doses of the stuff you‘re after. That being said, going with high-CBD hemp flowers is your best option.
Alcohol or Carrier Oil?
Another question you need to ask yourself when looking into how to make CBD is whether you want to use a carrier oil or food-safe alcohol for your brew.
If you choose alcohol extraction, you‘ll need to soak the plant in alcohol for an extended period to soak all the compounds you need from it. The longer you let the hemp sit in the alcohol, the more potent your CBD will get.
On the other hand, the CBD extraction process can also be performed with natural plant oils due to CBD‘s fat-soluble nature. Therefore, you can use coconut oil, olive oil, and even hemp seed oil.
Decarboxylation and CBD Activation
Once you‘ve decided on your hemp strains and alcohol or carrier oil, you need to make sure that CBD converts from the inactive CBDA form.
This may sound a bit weird, but you won‘t find CBD in raw, unprocessed hemp. You need to activate it through heating before combining hemp with oil or alcohol.
The most popular decarboxylation methods are the oven and the slow cooker method. Both are simple yet a bit imprecise and may not be efficient enough. And the last thing you want is to end up with a solution that‘s not potent enough.
So, if you want to know how to make CBD extract the proper way first hand, your best bet is to get a decarboxylator or a precision cooker. It‘ll maintain optimal temperatures for full activation without overheating and destroying the terpenes.
This might look like an unnecessary investment at first, but it‘ll definitely help you get the best results. That being said, nearly all expert guides will recommend getting a precision cooker, especially if you want to make the oil at home regularly.
How to Make CBD Oil from Hemp — A Step By Step Guide
- Around 30 g of high-CBD hemp flowers
- 450–500 ml carrier oil (coconut or hemp seed oil)
The equipment you‘ll need:
- Baking tray
- Parchment paper
- Herb grinder
- Double boiler
- Glass jar with lid
Step 1 — Get Hemp
As we mentioned above, you should try to get high-CBD hemp strains. You can probably browse for great deals online, or you can also get some from expert hemp farmers.
Step 2 — Prepare the Oil
CBD oils can contain one or more carrier oils. People commonly opt to make CBD oil with coconut oil, MCT oil, avocado oil, hemp seed oil, or olive oil. These are some of the most popular carrier oils.
MCT, olive, and avocado oil are praised for their quick absorbability. On the other hand, hemp seed oil is known for providing the entourage effect.
Step 3 — Decarboxylate the Hemp Flower
Most expert guides recommend using a precision cooker when explaining how to make CBD at home. They‘re relatively inexpensive and do a splendid job.
If you‘re just curious and feel like experimenting, you can also try the oven method or use a slow cooker. However, for the best results, a precision cooker is almost mandatory.
Step 4 — The Extraction Process
This is where things get interesting. But don‘t fret — extracting CBD from cannabis is simple. You just need to combine the oil and the flowers to get started.
First, place both ingredients in the double boiler. Then, fill the bottom container with water, and heat it until it starts lightly simmering.
Avoid overheating the water because if the mixture gets hotter than 150°C, you‘ll lose most terpenes. The simmering should take around 3 hours, and the end product should look a bit darker than the unprocessed oil.
Step 5 — Transferring the Extract Into a Container
Remove the top of your boiler, grab a jar and place a cheesecloth over it. Pour your mixture into it, and make sure to strain as much oil as possible. Then, dispose of the plant residue.
Step 6 — Storing the Oil
Lastly, seal the container and keep it in a dry and cool place until it‘s ready to use.
Making CBD Oil With Alcohol
You can also make CBD oil using alcohol instead of carrier oil. The ingredients include alcohol and hemp flowers. And, as far as equipment goes, you‘ll have to stretch things out a bit.
- A mixing bowl
- A grinder
- A baking tray
- Parchment paper
- A double boiler
- A catchment container
- A wooden spoon
- A plastic syringe
- A funnel
- A spatula
- A fine strainer
When making your own CBD oil with alcohol, you first need to decarboxylate the plant. To do so, grind it up and place it on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Place the tray in a preheated oven (110°C), and bake it for an hour.
The Mixing Bowl
The next step in making CBD oil at home is to take the decarboxylated hemp flowers and completely submerge them into the alcohol in the mixing bowl. Then, take a wooden spoon and stir the mixture for around 10 minutes.
This way, the alcohol will extract the necessary materials (like the terpenes and cannabinoids) from hemp.
Next, you should remove the CBD-infused extract from the plant matter. Then, strain the liquid through a piece of cheesecloth into a container the way you‘d do with oil. You‘ll get a dark green solution which you should strain until it becomes clearer.
How to make CBD oil from here? Set up your double boiler and pour the alcohol into the top part while applying heat. If you‘re using high-proof alcohol, please note that it‘ll evaporate at low temperatures.
If you need to, it‘s okay to turn the heat off and on. Also, if you can, do this outdoors as the alcohol vapour is highly flammable and may pose an explosion risk.
Once the alcohol has evaporated, you‘ll be left with a tar-like viscous extract. You can use a large syringe and draw it up or just store it in a bottle with a glass dropper.
Tips and Tricks
If you want to immerse yourself in the whole CBD oil production process and make it more successful, here are some things you should bear in mind:
- Make sure to use high-CBD plants and high-quality carrier solutions.
- Be precise and keep an eye out, especially with alcohol. The alcohol vapour is highly flammable, so it’s best to perform the entire process outdoors to be on the safe side.
- Store your oil correctly. You don‘t want it to go rancid.
How to Make CBD Oil With Isolate
In this case, getting some good grade isolate is crucial. And don‘t forget about the oil.
Step 1 — Decide the Concentration
You want your oil to be the right concentration. Some experts recommend using 1,000 mg of CBD isolate to 20 ml of MCT oil to get an end product with a concentration of 50 mg per ml.
If you want to go lower, you can use the 1,000 mg to 30 ml ration, which will result in a concentration of 33 mg of CBD per ml.
Step 2 — Transferring the Isolate
Use a lab scoop, small measuring spoon, or a funnel to transfer the isolate powder to your preferred container.
Step 3 — Adding the Oil
Mastering how to add the oil is crucial in learning how to make CBD oil from the isolate. You should carefully pour the oil into the container after measuring it. Consider using a 5 ml syringe with a blunt filling needle for the best results.
Step 4 — Mixing
Your preferred container should have a cap that you can screw on top of it to secure your mixture. Shake it for at least 30 seconds or until the powder dissolves.
How to Make Topical CBD Oil
Making topical CBD oil is pretty simple. Just heat some beeswax in a saucepan until it melts, and add your cannabis-infused oil to it.
If you want more bang for your buck, you can add essential oils to the mixture. Just a few drops of lavender, tea tree, or peppermint oil are enough and will go a long way.
Pros and Cons of the DIY Approach
As you can see, learning how to make CBD oil isn‘t necessarily like mastering quantum physics. Still, like all other things, DIY CBD oil has its benefits, as well as shortcomings.
Catering to your own needs: You can choose the hemp strain and buy the flower with the profile you like the most. Since you‘re in control of the ingredients and the extraction process, you get a chance to enjoy the entourage effect of your liking.
Saving money: If you get a sweet deal on your ingredients, you can potentially save a few bucks on your custom oil.
Full-spectrum only: What some guides won’t tell you when teaching you how to make CBD oil is that almost all DIY strategies produce full-spectrum solutions. This means that your oil will contain everything from terpenes and THC to CBD, CBN, and CBG.
This isn‘t necessarily bad since most people will benefit from the entourage effect. However, DIY CBD oils aren‘t the best fit for people looking for options with no THC.
You require equipment for broad-spectrum: For the most part, you won‘t be able to make THC-less broad-spectrum solutions at home without pro-grade specialized equipment.
Calibrating potency: Another thing you probably encountered while researching how to make your own CBD oil is the fact that it‘s incredibly challenging to precisely calculate the strength of DIY solutions.
Final Thoughts on Homemade CBD Oils
As you can see, brewing up some CBD oil on your own isn‘t necessarily that hard, but it demands precision and attention. Getting into the routine of regularly making it at home can save you time and money. It‘ll also enable you to use your preferred profile of hemp flower.
On the other hand, if you’re not really into making cannabis oil or feel you don‘t have the time for it, you can always browse CBD products online. For instance, our editorial team has prepared a neat selection of the CBD oils you can pamper your dogs with.
How to make CBD oil from leaves and stems?
Besides leaves and stems, you‘ll need an alcohol solution to make CBD tincture from trims. The alcohol will preserve cannabinoids and, at the same time, strip away the vegetable content.
So, simply place the stem and leave trims onto a jar with high-grade, food-safe alcohol, store it in a dark place for at least a week until it reaches the desired flavour and potency.
How to make CBD oil from the flower?
Choose the flowers with the right profile, decarboxylate them, then extract the CBD with the help of a double boiler and oil. Lastly, put the extract in a jar and store it in a dry and cool place until it‘s ready to use.
How is CBD made?
There are various CBD extraction methods, the most popular being CO2 extraction. This technique is safe and efficient, and it guarantees a potent product.
It uses a closed-loop extractor and consists of the following steps:
- Hemp and CO2 are placed in the same chamber.
- CO2 turns into liquid and soaks up hemp‘s flavours and oils.
- The liquid is then transferred to another chamber where CO2 is turned into gas, leaving us with pure CBD.
However, CBD extraction isn’t always alcohol-free. Sometimes, alcohol is used to refine CBD extracted with CO2 further.
How do you extract CBD oil with ethanol?
Alcohol extraction is one of the simplest CBD extraction methods that retains hemp‘s natural chemical properties. Using high-proof alcohol is advised to avoid damaging the cannabinoids. So, you can use isopropyl alcohol, butane, or ethanol as a liquid solvent.
Here‘s how to make CBD oil using ethanol — the traditional way:
- Soak the hemp in ethanol
- Separate solids from liquids
- Use falling film or rotary evaporation to eliminate the solvent
However, evaporation doesn’t always remove all solvent residue. Additionally, chlorophyll may get extracted along with CBD, giving the tincture an unpleasant taste.