For millennia, people have been producing their own CBD oil. Therefore, it’s no surprise that many want to do the same in their own home. As long as you have access to high-quality Hemp and carrier oil, you can make your own cannabis-infused oil. You can consume a few drops as a tincture, add it to your salads, cook with it, or use it as a topical salve.
Follow the instructions below to make your own CBD oil at home.
What Is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is a generic term used to describe a non-intoxicating herbal infusion made from Industrial Hemp. It is rich in CBD, or cannabidiol, a cannabinoid that is under research for its potential benefits. Research, clinical studies, and trials suggest that CBD has potential anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic, mood-supporting, and pain-relieving properties.
However, not all kinds of CBD oil are the same. At Synchronicity, we produce Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil—a potent infusion that contains all 540 phytochemicals of Hemp, including precious cannabinoids such as CBC, CBN, CBG, CBDV, CBDA, THCV, and more. It also has hundreds of terpenes—the aromatic essential oils of Hemp—such as humulene and myrcene. Additionally, CBD contains all of Hemp’s flavonoids, known for their antioxidant properties, as well as minerals and vitamins.
By following our instructions, you, too, can manufacture an infusion that carries not just CBD but also all of Hemp’s precious phytonutrients.
What Do I Need to Make CBD Oil?
Making CBD oil at home involves following a four-step process:
- Get the Hemp. You can find Industrial Hemp as a dry herb in a variety of different strains and strengths—all containing THC under the federal legal level of 0.3%.
- Decarboxylation. Decarboxylation is the process of activating beneficial compounds in Hemp. This is achieved through precision heating.
- Infusion. As the name suggests, the next step is to infuse the activated compounds into a carrier oil.
- Strain. Once you have infused the oil with your Hemp, all you need to do is strain it to separate the plant matter from the CBD oil.
1. Getting the Hemp
To maximize the benefits, shop online for some high CBD, low THC Hemp, or buy it from a dispensary or medical provider, depending on the laws in your state. This will ensure a high-potency CBD infusion. Some people use only Hemp flowers but this will miss out on many of Hemp’s phytonutrients.
2. Decarboxylation: Activating the Cannabinoids
Many of the compounds in Hemp, including most cannabinoids, are not active or bioavailable—i.e. ready to be absorbed by the body—on their own. This means you can’t simply soak Hemp in oil for a few hours and produce CBD oil. For example, Hemp flowers contain CBDA or cannabidiolic acid—CBD’s acidic precursor. CBDA needs to be oxidized—that is, it needs to interact with oxygen—to transform into CBD. This is a slow process that occurs naturally by exposing the flowers to sunlight.
Thankfully, we can speed things up by gently heating up our Hemp:
- Start by chopping up your Hemp and Hemp flowers. Don’t grind them into a powder or you risk burning out the cannabinoids.
- Preheat your oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line your tray or baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spread the chopped Hemp onto the tray and cover it with aluminum foil. Make sure it is laid out on a single, uniform layer so that it heats up evenly.
- Bake for 30 minutes. After that time, remove the tray and let it cool for 45 minutes. Once cool, lift the aluminum foil. The herb should have a nice, golden brown, toasted color.
3. Infuse into the Carrier Oil
CBD is lipophilic, which means that it can’t get dissolved in water. Instead, it needs to be in an oil to make it easier to take—and easier for your body to absorb. A carrier oil is the oil that you will use for your herbal infusion.
Avoid highly refined, inflammatory oils such as vegetable oil, soybean oil, grape seed oil, and corn oil. Here at Synchronicity, we use coconut oil or MCT oil (which is derived from coconut) because they are great at retaining CBD and other cannabinoids. Also, they have a light flavor that doesn’t affect the end product. Other good carrier oils are extra virgin olive oil, hemp seed oil, and avocado oil.
Take 7-10 grams of decarboxylated Hemp and add it to one cup of coconut oil. You can use a crock-pot or saucepan to mix the activated Hemp with the carrier oil. Use low heat and check the oil temperature regularly with a thermometer. It should hover at around 130-150 degrees Fahrenheit. If the mixture exceeds 200 degrees Fahrenheit, some cannabinoids will start to evaporate. That’s why it is crucial that you don’t allow it to simmer or sizzle.
Cook the mixture for anywhere between 30 minutes and 1 hour, stirring as often as you can. As a rule, the longer you cook, the more cannabinoids get infused into the oil, and the stronger your final product will be. However, the potency also depends on a number of other factors, including the type and amount of carrier oil chosen: the more carrier oil you use, the lower the potency.
4. Strain the Infusion
When you are finished, all that’s left to do is strain the infusion. You can use a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth for this. You may also place a couple of coffee filters or paper towels above a pot and pour the infusion carefully. Leave it as long as it takes for all the oil to separate from the plant matter, which you can discard, spread on your salads, or use as fertilizer.
If you use cheesecloth, you can gently squeeze the oil from the Hemp. However, keep in mind that the oil will be hot and your hands will get very greasy, so you may want to wear food-grade gloves.
Pour the strained infusion into a container. The ideal container is a tinted glass one, as sunlight will degrade the CBD oil faster. Your CBD oil can be stored as any other herb-infused oil, for example in a dark cupboard away from heat—and small children. You can refrigerate it or store it at room temperature. Either way, you can keep it for months. As long as it doesn’t mold, the oil doesn’t go bad over time, although the potency may decrease.
Tips to Keep in Mind
Here are some tips to help you with making your own CBD oil:
- Your oil is only as good as the ingredients you put in. So, choose high-CBD strains to make your homemade oil rich in Hemp’s beneficial compounds. Also, use a high-quality carrier oil for the infusion.
- If you plan to take your CBD oil on its own and you don’t like Hemp’s earthy flavor, you can add flavors toward the end of the infusion stage. Flavors that work well include mint, vanilla, and citrus extract. You can skip the flavorings if you plan to use the oil in your salad or cooking.
- Make your CBD oil in a well-ventilated kitchen and keep your windows open, as Hemp has an overpowering and distinctive odor when you bake it.
How to Take Your CBD Oil
You can use your homemade CBD oil the same way as any other cooking oil: in your salad in place of your regular oil. You can also cook with it to create edibles.
The second way to take your CBD oil is sublingually as a supplement. Place a few drops under your tongue and leave it there for up to a minute before swallowing. This will lead the oil straight into your bloodstream, bypassing the digestive system. The result is increased bioavailability and a faster effect.
Be sure to start low, go slow. It’s next to impossible to determine the CBD content in homemade CBD oil without testing it at a lab, so you have to experiment. Start with as little as a single drop and increase the dosage over the course of a few weeks until you feel the desired effect.
Finally, you can use your CBD coconut oil topically as a salve or lotion by applying it to your skin to moisturize it and protect it. Thanks to CBD’s potential anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, you can also use it on minor cuts and burns to soothe your skin.
Risks of Making Your Own CBD Oil
The main problem with making your own CBD oil is ensuring its potency without any testing. Laboratory testing is expensive and not readily available to most people. Unfortunately, it’s virtually impossible to calculate the THC and CBD content of the finished infusion or edibles that you prepared without it.
The problem is exacerbated if you are using homegrown Hemp, in which case you probably don’t know the strength of the Hemp you used, to begin with. The THC and CBD content or ratio reported can vary wildly from one homegrown plant to the next, depending on how they were grown, harvested, dried, cured, and stored. Furthermore, random variations within plants (expressed as phenotypes) lead to big differences even among plants of the same strain.
Even if you are using Hemp purchased from a dispensary, which should have a tested THC and CBD content, the potency of the end product depends on several variables that make it almost impossible to calculate accurately. From how old the pots you used are and how you stored your CBD oil to the time and temperature you decarboxylated your Hemp, several factors can either increase or decrease the active THC and CBD content.
The graph below shows how even small differences in the temperature and decarboxylation time can have a huge difference in the THC content of the CBD oil:
As a result, making your own CBD oil is hard to perfect. The compounds in Hemp are so sensitive to heat that it’s pretty easy to accidentally overheat the buds during the decarboxylation process and render them useless.
That’s why it’s almost impossible to craft homemade CBD oil with the same precision as professionally infused Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil.
Synchronicity overcomes these problems by growing our own Hemp strain, CBDRx18, chosen for its high content in CBD as well as its richness in other Hemp phytonutrients: CBDRx18 consistently produces 400% more cannabinoids and 500% more terpenes than any other Hemp Oil company’s plants.
We test repeatedly throughout LipidTrans™, our patented infusion method, to ensure the right potency. That lets us produce CBD Oil products that are not only precisely crafted but also have the exact ingredients and potencies listed on the bottle. You can check online the Certificate of Analysis for all of Synchronicity’s products using nothing but the Lot Number.