How to Make CBD Cream at Home

CBD jars in front of a CBG plant
The finished product – CBD cream ready to be used on aches & pains!

I wonder if CBD cream is effective?”  I remember asking myself this question years ago when I bought my first jar at a fancy supermarket.  Years later (or rather, a few months ago) when I visited a friend, Anne, in Seattle, she suggested I try a cream she and her husband use often.  The magic of “I wonder” showed up again shortly after: Another friend suggested we go to his friend’s place – because this friend (Dave) offered to show us how to make homemade CBD cream! Before I go on about sharing the how-to and my adventure of making CBD cream with you, let’s look at CBD creams in general.

ingredients listed on CBD cream jars
Take a close look at the ingredient list of what you’re buying…can you figure out everything?

In an earlier post, “What is CBG?” we learned more about the cannabis plant and how hemp is grown to feature a majority of CBD and a minority of THC.  Federal legal limits allow up to .33% of delta THC in CBD plants.  Don’t worry – even if your lotion or cream has THC, you most likely won’t get “that kind of high” as if you ingested it. This is because the cannabinoids can’t breach the bloodstream through the skin.  (Side note: because the FDA has “approved” CBD for a prescription drug, they now consider CBD a drug. They don’t allow drugs in foods and beauty products. Their is a bill being considered in Congress to address this issue.)

The more you know

When investing in CBD creams (or other products), it is important to do your best to learn how much is in the product (the more there is, the more potent and potentially effective) and if possible, the source.  Full spectrum (whole plant hemp) is generally thought of as better for you, because you are getting the benefit of the “entourage effect.”  This means that all parts (all the CBD, CBG, THCs etc) of the hemp plant work better together than when isolated.

Is CBD good for you?

Why use a CBD cream/lotion/salve?  Basically, it’s the latest (yet oldest) natural pain reliever for a range of things like cramps, muscle pain, and arthritis.  It also has anti-inflammatory properties making it useful for skin issues like psoriasis.  You may notice in commercially made products other ingredients that also have pain relieving benefits.  One of the underlying beliefs not often mentioned, is that the cannabinoids work to help balance you through your endocannabinoid receptor system.  When you are aligned, your body works better.  Better body by bud butter? Why not?

Meet Dave

Dave Wills, holding CBD flower
Dave Wills, holding CBD flower

Dave Wills owns Freshops, a company that sells hops and rhizomes to beer makers all over the globe.  He also makes his own brew, Oregon Trail Ales.   

Oregon Trail Ales sign
4 kinds of Freshop rhizomes
Some of the rhizomes getting ready for sale.
two glasses of ale next to a paper bag
With the promise to bring some “mystery beer” for a tasting, Dave offered to teach us how to make CBD cream from scratch.
Dave's hand in a bin of CBD bud that will go into making CBD cream
When I first arrived, he showed me his bin of bud.  Since he deals with farmers all over Oregon for his hops and rhizomes, he has good connections for certified and tested CBD flower.  Using the flower (vs any shake or biomass – meaning the rest of the plant) makes for a higher quality end-product. 
test results of the CBD buds
Tests for hemp has become a big part of the farmer’s life, to make sure a field hasn’t gone “hot” (too much THC). If that happens, they have to burn the entire crop!

The CBD Cream Recipe

2 recipes for Dave's CBD cream

Dave used a recipe he created from his research and from friend’s sharing their knowledge.  Dave believes everyone should be able to make their own CBD cream, and is excited to share this adventure with all you!  This recipe, tripled, filled about 57 four-ounce jelly jars.  While Dave used ingredients such as DMSO, essential oils and vitamin E, feel free to follow your curiosity and inner scientist to include other elements (many like lavender!)

Disclaimer: I only endorse you making infused CBD products at home if recreational or medical marijuana is legal in your state, and you have any required cards and/or licenses to do so!  Additionally, some links are for affiliates, and I may earn revenue through your purchases.

Ingredients

Coconut oil in original bucket and in cook pot.  This will be the base of the CBD cream
Dave has a large bucket of coconut oil, which he warmed up on his wood stove
bottle of MCT oil next to glass measuring cup
The MCT oil is the same stuff people put in their Bullet Coffee. However, this fractionated coconut oil also keeps the CBD cream from getting too hard in the future. Some recipes call for bees wax to make their CDB cream more of a salve or paste.
hemp bud in the glass measuring cup, another key for CBD cream
Dave used the digital scale to make sure he put in exactly equal amounts into each crock pot. If you ask Dave, he may be able to help you purchase hemp. I do know that legal CBD industrial hemp can be sent through the USPS (except to a few certain states).
Dave holding bottle of DMSO which aids the CBD cream to get into your system to go to work
I had never heard of DMSO before, and Dave tells me it’s a byproduct of wood. It used to be used on horses as a type of liniment. While not completely FDA approved, people use it to enhance medicines going through their skin and in some cases as a type of pain relief. Dave says he includes it so the CBD can more effectively reach its target of your pain point. I don’t know much about it, so do your research before deciding for yourself if you want to use it.
3 small bottles of essential oils for this recipe of CBD cream
Dave likes the benefits of each of these oils. Tea Tree is one of those natural remedies that has many uses, including being anti-bacterial. Dave loves the smell of Grand Fir Oil, which makes sense living among all the Christmas trees in Oregon!

Equipment

Set up of equipment for starting the CBD cream

The process to make the CBD cream

Dave putting ingredients into the Ninja processor to break up the hemp for a better quality CBD cream

There are lots of ways to make CBD topicals. One way could be using a cannabutter machine and replacing butter with oil. I’ve been told Levo is a good brand. Another thing to consider is whether you decide to decarboxylate or not. (I had to look this one up! “What is Decarboxylation?”) Or take your dried hemp and grind it up. Dave took his buds and put them in the Ninja blender with the coconut oil.

The next step is putting the heated coconut oil, the MCT and the hemp into the crock pot. Set it at low, and wait for the temperature to reach 240F.

Stacey in marching band hat stirring crock pot of ingredients
While you’re waiting for the crock pots to warm up the CBD mixture, make sure to stir it occasionally! While everyone else proceeded with the “Mystery Beer Tasting” I entertained myself with Dave’s fun collection of hats! The marching band hat was much comfier than I imagined.
digital temp of CBD mixture in crock pot
Letting the hemp slowly heat up gives the CBD time to diffuse into the oil. The timing for cooking could be anywhere from 1 hour – 12 hours. However, Dave said his method normally takes around 4-5 hours. Once it hits 240 degrees (F), let it sit at that temp for about 20 minutes.

While waiting…

outhouse made from old wheel barrel on the mountainside
While waiting, I adventured out to the outhouse. How often do you see one made from an old wheelbarrow? The view was terrific, and the gentle wind made everything smell like green forest.
Wearing one of Dave's cowboy hats
Howdy Pardner! Another one of Dave’s hats. We live in Christmas tree territory! So – maybe I would be a tree wrangler??

Separate the good

cheese cloth in antique lard press
Next comes straining the biomass from the liquid. Cheesecloth works just fine! Dave has an antique lard press that made it easy-peasy to squeeze all the liquid out!
pressed oil dripping into glass measuring cup
With the fresh infused oil in the glass measuring cup, Dave doled out the DMSO into the right ratios to pour into the CBD oil.
hemp cake
Want some cake? This is the leftover spent hemp from the lard press. We wondered if chickens ate some of this, would they feel any effect? (Sure would be a way to get that mean rooster to be nicer!)
dark liquid filling glass measuring cup
The last additions are the drops of essential oils. If you want a clearer liquid, you could strain this again through a coffee filter to get the last of the remnants.

The finished product

Dave pouring hemp oil into jars
Dave was pretty happy with this batch of CBD cream! He assured us that when the mixture cooled, it would become a nice, smooth and light green cream.
3 small jars with green liquid, and their lids
One from each crock pot!
CBD jars in front of a CBG plant
As promised, a nice light green. With all the coconut oil, it has a smooth consistency – not quite a paste and not quite a lotion. The smell is very earthy. The best part? Makes my aches feel so much better!

Are you ready to make your own CBD cream?

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