Cannabis oil will range from a golden light brown, to a dark thick and black glob. Extraction methods and temperatures will define what your oil ends up looking like.
Making cannabis oil at home using the Rick Simpson method is something that can be done by just about anyone. It all starts with a few simple ingredients:
Cannabis oil, much like it’s leafy green mother, goes by a variety of names. Hash oil, honey oil, or canna oil for starters. Whatever you want to call this lovely stuff is up to you, but essentially the defining factor of cannabis oil is how it’s made. Canna oil is a semi-liquid or solid state oil that is extracted from the marijuana plant. How it’s extracted determines what the final product looks like. All cannabis oil contains both CBD and THC, as well as a few other cannabinoids.
Hemp Oil vs. Cannabis Oil
And now the process:
Maybe we should take a quick step back. Cannabinoids are any of the chemical compounds that interact with a humans’ endocannabinoid system. This system is comprised of a bunch of little receptors that we have throughout our bodies. When we ingest a cannabinoid (like THC or CBD), they interact directly with these receptors and release specific neurotransmitters that then carry out different tasks in the body.
Another product that is making waves in the green market is CBD oil, or hemp oil. While CBD oil does have a bunch of really great benefits, it lacks the THC of cannabis oil, which reduces the amount of benefits. Taking CBD from a plant that has far fewer cannabinoids, or creating it in a lab, will further reduce its effectiveness. In order for cannabis oil to be an effective anti-cancer treatment, it must contain THC. The balance of THC to CBD will vary depending on the desired effects, but it does need both to work. Also, CBD oil is now being mass produced using harsh chemicals and subpar plants, if not synthetically created in its entirety. So it’s important that you know where your oils come from. Which is why homemade is generally best.
*Try and make sure that any supplies you use are stainless steel or food grade. This way protective coatings or plastics won’t leach any chemicals into your oil.
Most cannabis oil recipes call for cannabis that has already been properly decarboxylated first. The most common and fuss-free way is to decarb cannabis in the oven, and then add it to oil over a very low heat afterwards – avoiding further decarboxylation. Some folks choose to decarb their raw cannabis on the stovetop simultaneously with the oil infusion process. However, that requires significantly more careful monitoring to hit that time-temperature sweet spot (and not ruin it).
Generally speaking, THC is psychoactive and CBD is not. But THC does a lot more than change your state of mind! Studies show that THC has even stronger pain and stress-relieving properties than CBD, which is known to help with insomnia, seizures and inflammation. While they each have notable and distinct stand-alone benefits, an oil or salve containing both CBD and THC has the highest potential for a wide array of health benefits (albeit illegal in some places). Known as the “entourage effect”, the synergistic combination of both THC and CBD through whole-plant cannabis consumption and extracts is more powerful than either one on its own.
Your choice! You can make cannabis-infused oil with hemp or marijuana, depending on what is legal and available in your area. Or, what you’re desired end-results are. Hemp oil will only contain CBD (or a very minuscule amount of THC), while marijuana-infused oil will likely contain both THC and CBD. The ratio and concentration of THC and/or CBD depends on the strain of marijuana and particular plant it came from.
Why Make Cannabis Oil
I personally like to use strains that are high in both THC and CBD to make oil and salves. To learn more about the differences between strains, CBD and THC, see this article: “Sativa, Indica & Autoflowers, the Differences Explained”.
Cannabis oil is the foundation ingredient for ultra-healing homemade topical lotions, ointments, and salves – my favorite way to use it! Both THC and CBD have excellent anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties. Studies have shown that cannabinoids have the ability to reduce acne, fine lines and wrinkles, soothe redness and irritation, and balance natural skin oils. Also, cannabinoids (THC especially) are analgesic – meaning they reduce pain. I regularly use our homemade cannabis salve on my knees, ankles, and other aching or inflamed joints and muscles.
Cannabis oil is made by lightly heating (and thus infusing) cannabis in a “carrier oil”. Cannabinoids like CBD and THC, the most active components in cannabis, are both hydrophobic. That means they don’t like water, and are actually repelled by water molecules. On the flip side, CBD and THC are both fat-soluble. They like to bind with fatty acid molecules – such as those found in oil. When cannabis is steeped in oil, the THC and CBD molecules leave the buds or plant material and become one with the oil instead.
Follow along with these step-by-step instructions to learn how to make homemade cannabis oil. We’ll also briefly discuss the science behind cannabis oil, and what types of cannabis to use to make oil. Finally, we’ll go over various ways to use homemade cannabis oil, including some notes about caution and dosing with edibles.