Even though most of the leading CBD brands have focused on diversifying their product selections, CBD oil remains a popular choice among regular and first-time users. It’s an unassuming product that provides a flexible way to experience the therapeutic benefits of cannabinoids. We can take CBD oil as it is or infuse it with our favorite food or beverages.
Since CBD oil can easily be found while browsing through your local dispensaries or on e-commerce sites, why do some people still prefer preparing their own CBD oil? Is it safer or more powerful than what wellness brands offer? Should you also try making CBD oil by yourself?
In this article, let’s go through all these essential points that you must know before taking the DIY route for your CBD needs.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD oil refers to cannabidiol extract and a carrier oil—for example, coconut oil or MCT (medium–chain triglyceride) oil. While most of the health-enhancing properties of the product come from the CBD component, adding the right fats into the mix increases bioavailability—or the amount of CBD that we can absorb into our system.
The quality of CBD oil depends on the manufacturing process. The top products have undergone CO2 extraction since this method minimizes the risk of residual solvents and other harmful substances.
The majority of big CBD brands have started to make the switch because consumers are now more discerning about what goes into their bodies. However, some companies that cannot afford the expensive equipment required by the CO2 continue to settle for the cheaper solvent extraction method.
In terms of potency, CBD oil varies according to the type of extract used:
- Rich in other natural hemp plant compounds, such as other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids
- Produces more substantial impacts due to the entourage effect
- Contains THC, the cannabinoid responsible for the psychoactive property of cannabis plants
- Its grassy taste and pungent smell can be off-putting for some
- Maintains all the naturally occurring hemp plant compounds, except THC
- May still activate the entourage effect
- The impact tends to be not as strong as the full-spectrum counterparts because of the lack of THC
- Bears the divisive aroma and taste of a hemp-product
- Free from THC
- Tasteless and odorless
- Cannot induce the entourage effect
- Might require you to consume more to get the desired results
Take Note! If you’re going to make CBD oil in your kitchen, you likely won’t have the ability to apply the CO2 extraction method. Moreover, the end-product will consist of full-spectrum CBD because the DIY approach doesn’t include filtering out THC or other hemp plant compounds from the extract.
Things to Consider for DIY CBD Oil
Before heading to the kitchen to prepare CBD oil with your own hands, here are the critical points you need to think about:
Though CBD can be derived from either marijuana or hemp, it’s best to stick with the latter so that your CBD oil will be compliant with the federal law requirements. Look for hemp flowers from strains with high levels of CBD and terpenes content. Be sure to evaluate the appearance and smell of the flower buds since that will determine the overall quality of the end product.
For individuals who live in states where marijuana is legal, we suggest going for hybrid strains rich in CBD. Like with hemp flowers, scrutinize the buds and inquire about the terpenes of the given buds, too.
Raw hemp doesn’t have a lot of CBD in it. That’s why you need to activate it first through slow and gentle heat. Referred to as decarboxylation, this process converts the CBDA (cannabidiol acid) naturally present in the fresh plant into CBD.
CBD manufacturers use special equipment called decarboxylators for precision and efficiency. While you can purchase one for yourself, they might be worth investing in if you don’t intend to make CBD oil regularly. Your kitchen might already be equipped with an oven or slow cooker, which can activate the CBD, but you’d have to spend more time and effort monitoring the temperature.
Since CO2 extraction is practically impossible for home processing, you can choose between solvent or oil extraction.
Solvent extraction requires food-grade alcohol, such as ethanol or butane. To reach your desired potency, you will have to soak the raw hemp plant in the solvent for an extended period. Once strained and heated, the resulting product is a CBD tincture that you can infuse with your preferred oil.
The other extraction method involves plant-derived oils, such as coconut oil, olive oil, or MCT oil. As explained earlier, the CBD extract has to be mixed with a fatty base to enhance its bioavailability.
While you can choose the type of oil that is readily available to you, the most preferred option by CBD brands and users is the MCT oil. Research shows that MCT oil can increase the absorption rate of CBD compared to other carrier oils. Moreover, the consumption of MCT oil leads to other health benefits, such as helping you lose weight, feel more energized, and reduce body inflammations.
If this would be your first time making CBD oil at home, we recommend activating your chosen hemp flower with an oven. Then, go for any natural plant oils you prefer. Refrain from highly refined types, such as vegetable oil or corn oil, because they may cause further inflammations.
Three Steps to Make Your Own CBD Oil
Here are the materials to prepare and the three basic steps to prepare CBD oil in your kitchen. Please note that the optimal timing and temperature depend on the hemp strain and heating equipment you will use.
- 30g hemp flower
- 450ml carrier oil of choice
Equipment and Supplies:
- Baking Tray with Parchment Paper Liner
- Probe Thermometer
- Cheesecloth or Fine Mesh Strainer
- Glass Jar
- Food-safe gloves
Step #1: Activate the Hemp
Preheat the oven to 2250F (1100C). While waiting, grind or tear the hemp flower into tiny but consistently sized pieces. Spread evenly on a lined baking tray.
If you have chosen a CBD-dominant flower strain, place it in the oven for about 60 minutes. However, if it’s a strain with similar amounts of CBD and THC, let it bake for up to 45 minutes. THC-rich strains should be heated for around 30 minutes only because CBD and THC have different activation rates.
Step #2: Extract the CBD
Add 1 cup of water to the bottom portion of the double-boiler. Combine the activated hemp flower and carrier oil into the top part. Bring to a light simmer.
Continue using low heat for 1 to 3 hours while stirring occasionally. Use a probe thermometer to monitor the oil temperature. It should not exceed 2000F to prevent destroying the cannabinoids and terpenes.
Step #3: Strain the Oil Mixture
Place the cheesecloth on top of the glass bowl. Wear your gloves before taking the top portion of the double boiler and pouring its contents slowly into the cheesecloth. Use a spatula to press out as much oil as possible from the mixture. Dispose of the flower remains after this step.
Step 4: Seal and Store Your CBD Oil
Transfer the CBD oil into the glass jar. Seal it tightly to prolong its shelf-life. Ensure that it is stored in a cool, dry place, like inside a kitchen cabinet or cupboard.
Typically, homemade CBD oil can last for six months to 1 year without mold growth. However, expect its original potency to wane after a few months.
Commercial CBD oil offers convenience and variety to consumers. The top-grade products have heavier price tags, but they also provide peace of mind because they come with excellent third-party lab results.
Unfortunately, not everyone has access to these goods. In the US, the federal government allows hemp-derived products to be sold and consumed as long as the THC content does not exceed 0.3% of the dry weight. However, gray areas still consist when you consider the state laws. A few states prohibit all types of cannabis products, while others tend to change the rules quite rapidly.
On the flip side, consumers who have the freedom to explore CBD oils from various wellness companies might feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices. They have to consider which brand to trust, what type of CBD extract will best match their needs, and how much they can comfortably spend on CBD oil.
Homemade CBD oil may be the ideal solution for these issues. You only need to prepare simple ingredients and some readily available kitchen equipment and supplies. Several hemp flower sellers also ship to every US state nowadays.
The process might be a little long for some, but it offers the added benefit of having greater control over what goes into your CBD oil. If you’re willing to splurge, you can also use premium hemp from organic, domestic farms to minimize the risk of pesticides and other toxins.
If you want to learn more about how to use CBD oil in the kitchen, check out our recommended recipes for tasty CBD-infused dishes and beverages.