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DIY Guide How to Make CBD Oil at Home

DIY Guide How to Make CBD Oil at Home

Posted by Dr. Leslie Mudd, PharmD on Nov 4th 2021

While CBD oil has become more effective and more affordable than ever before, retail-ready CBD may not be right for everybody.

Why? Two main reasons. One, some people have such high dosing demands that commercially-available CBD oil is still too expensive. Two, some people prefer a DIY approach that’s more customizable.

In both cases, the solution is a simple one: make your own CBD oil, from the comfort of your own home. Making your own CBD oil is simple, affordable, and maybe even a little fun. Just be aware of the laws in your state about possessing raw hemp flower, as these laws differ from state to state.

Here’s how to make your own CBD oil in 5 simple steps.

What is CBD oil? What is it made of?

For something as powerful as it is, CBD oil is a pretty simple product. Most CBD oils have only one active ingredient and only one inactive ingredient. The active ingredient is a CBD-rich hemp extract, and the inactive ingredient is a healthy liquid fat like coconut MCT oil.  

You might be surprised to hear that most CBD oils are only 1 to 3% CBD by weight — but that’s okay! CBD is powerful enough that only micro-level doses of it are enough to activate your body’s endocannabinoid system and promote full-body balance. [1]

How to make CBD oil?

Making CBD oil is pretty straightforward. Since CBD oil only has two ‘parts,’ all you have to do is make part one and then infuse it into part two.You can make CBD oil at home via either of the following methods:

  • Home CBD extraction/distillation
  • Home CBD oil infusion

Keep reading to get step by step instructions for both methods.

How to make CBD oil at home with extraction/distillation

  1. Step: find premium hemp
  2. Step: obtain a quality solvent
  3. Step: extract your hemp flower
  4. Step: dilute your extract
  5. Step: enjoy the final product!

How to make CBD oil, step 1: find premium hemp

Good CBD starts with good hemp. These days it’s surprisingly easy to find good hemp. You can order hemp flower online via either wholesale hemp marketplaces like kush.com or specialized CBD shops. Buy your hemp flower in bulk if you can afford to do so — you’ll save money in the long run that way.

Regardless of where you get your hemp flower from, make sure it meets the following criteria:

  • Verified by third-party lab tests, often referred to as COA’s
  • High in cannabinoids (15-20+% CBD and under 0.3% THC)
  • Grown according to all-natural or certified-organic standards
  • Make sure it’s legal in your state to possess raw hemp flower

Cost of step 1: Aim to spend $300 per pound of hemp or less

How to make CBD oil, step 2: obtain a quality solvent

Got some premium hemp flower? Great! Next up you’ll need to acquire a solvent that can ‘pull’ hemp’s active ingredient out of its biomass.

Retail companies tend to use CO2 as the solvent in their extraction processes, but using CO2 requires access to advanced extraction machines that manipulate pressure to do their work. These machines are way too pricey — and complex — to be used at home. [2]

So, what’s the best extract for making CBD oil at home? Ethanol or another food-grade, high-proof alcohol is ideal.

Cost of step 2: Aim to spend $50 per half-gallon of ethanol or less

How to make CBD oil, step 3: extract your hemp flower

Once you’ve got your hemp and your extract, it’s time to get to work! Place roughly one ounce of hemp flower into a large container made of glass or stainless steel. Then, fill up the rest of your container with ethanol until the flower is completely covered.

Next, seal the jar and place it into a hot water bath for about two or three hours. A good temperature to aim for is 212 degrees F, which is water’s boiling point. During this process, something magical happens: the ‘raw’ CBDa in your hemp flower becomes converted to fully active CBD. Slowly but surely, the cannabinoids and terpenes in this flower will leach into the ethanol and change its color to a nice amber green. [3]

After two to three hours, take your jar out of its water bath, let it cool, and strain out the hemp flower by pouring the mixture through a fine filter like cheesecloth and into a new jar. Dispose of the hemp flower — it doesn’t have any cannabinoids left in it.  

What you’ll be left with is an ultra-concentrated extract that contains CBD, THC, terpenes, and flavonoids. This extract will be truly full spectrum!

How to make CBD oil, step 4: dilute your extract

Next up it’s time to dilute your hemp extract. Let’s crunch the numbers to see how much dilution is needed.

1 ounce of hemp flower = 28 grams of hemp flower

28 grams of hemp that’s 15% CBD = 4 grams of actual

4 grams of pure CBD = 4,000 milligrams of CBD

4,000 milligrams is enough to make four bottles of 1,000mg CBD oil. To make these four bottles, pour one-quarter of your full spectrum extract into four 1oz tincture bottles. Fill up the remaining three quarts of each tincture bottle with a carrier oil.

Once your hemp extract has been distributed into all four bottles, fill up the remaining 3/4 of each bottle with a carrier oil. Coconut oil, olive oil, MCT oil, or other monounsaturated/saturated fats are generally the best carrier oils for making premium CBD oil. Hempseed oil can be a good choice, too. Proceed to shake each bottle well until everything looks nice and homogenized. [4]

How to make CBD oil, step 5: enjoy the finished product!

There’s only one step next: enjoy your finished product! In addition to it being truly full spectrum, you’ll have the joy of knowing that you made everything yourself.

How to make CBD oil at home with an oil infusion

Next, let’s look at the second way to make CBD oil at home. The process here goes exactly like the last one, with a small variance during step 2.

  1. Step: find premium hemp
  2. Step: infuse hemp into oil
  3. Step: strain and filter your oil
  4. Step: dilute your oil
  5. Step: enjoy the final product!

How to make CBD oil, step 1: find premium hemp

Same process as above.

How to make CBD oil, step 2: infuse hemp into oil

While the first process used a solvent to extract, this one uses an oil to infuse. Place your hemp flower into a jar, just like we described above, but then pour a liquid fat over it.

How to make CBD oil, step 3: strain and filter your oil

Same process as above.

How to make CBD oil, step 4: dilute your oil

Same process as above.

How to make CBD oil, step 5: enjoy the final product!

Same process as above. Enjoy your product. You’ve earned it! This infused CBD oil may not be quite as full spectrum as the CBD extract made through ethanol extraction, but it’ll be free from any residual solvents and super tasty.

Other ways to make CBD oil

The above two processes are great — but they’re really just the start. There are several other ways to make CBD oil. Here’s a closer look at some of our top pics.

How to make CBD oil from isolate

Making CBD oil from isolate is a fast and simple process. That’s because it essentially skips right through steps 1-3 and begins with dilution. Here’s how the process works.

  1. Step: obtain high-quality CBD isolate  
  2. Step: measure out 500 milligrams (½ gram) of CBD isolate
  3. Step: measure out 29 milliliters of carrier oil
  4. Step: pour your CBD isolate into a 1oz/30ml tincture bottle
  5. Step: pour your liquid fat into the same tincture bottle
  6. Step: shake your closed tincture bottle well
  7. Step: place your closed tincture bottle into a warm water bath for ~30 minutes
  8. Step: shake your closed tincture bottle again
  9. Step: enjoy!

This process might seem complex, but it’s actually easy and mess-free. Try it for yourself and you’ll see — it’s simple.  

How to make CBD oil from flower

How to make CBD oil from hemp flower? That’s a little more complex than the above. See our earlier instructions for more info on this conversion process. One final way to make CBD oil from flower that we didn’t mention above is by using a Magic Butter machine. Go to that company’s website for more info.

Other ways to make CBD oil

Or maybe you’re wondering how to make CBD oil from weed. Here’s the thing: this process is next-to-impossible unless you have access to a chemistry lab. At the very least, you’ll need a fractional distillation set. [5]

Why is this process so difficult? Because weed only contains small amounts of CBD. To extract enough CBD to make even one bottle of CBD oil, you’ll need to process large volumes of cannabis and have the capability to separate out its cannabinoids. You’ll also be left with a large amount of THC to dispose of (or use for other means). We don’t recommend attempting to make CBD oil from weed unless you’re trained in chemistry.

How to make other types of CBD oil

You can make other types of CBD oil at home, too, including CBD distillate for vaping and CBD topicals for relief from aches and pains. Here are the details that go into making those types of CBD products.

How to make CBD vape oil

CBD vape oil is essentially just a more concentrated form of CBD oil. And that means making follows a very similar process to the ones we’ve mentioned above. The primary difference is dilution: while regular CBD oil is typically only about 1% CBD, CBD vape oil is 10% CBD or more. That means you’ll need to use 10-20 times less carrier oil in your recipe.

If you’re trying to make CBD vape oil at home, be sure to use an ultra-premium carrier oil. Virgin coconut oil is a good choice. Now you know how to make CBD oil for vaping at home! Also, be sure you understand the potential health risks of vaping.

How to make CBD oil for pain

If you’re taking CBD for pain, you’ll want to opt for some combination of topical and ingestible products. We’ve already covered the ingestibles, so let’s look at how to make topical CBD oil next.

  1. Step: find premium hemp
  2. Step: obtain a quality solvent
  3. Step: extract your hemp flower
  4. Step: dilute with olive oil
  5. Step: blend your oil with beeswax or another thickener
  6. Step: mix well, then allow your topical oil to cool down
  7. Step: enjoy the final product

How to make full spectrum CBD oil

Making full spectrum CBD oil at home is easy. In fact, if you follow any of the above guides (minus the CBD isolate instructions), you’ll be making a full spectrum product by default. It might not be quite as rich in terpenes as something you’d buy at a retail store, but it might actually be higher in rare flavinoids and plant waxes that get filtered out during the commercial production process. [6]

How to make CBD oil without THC

Making CBD oil without THC at home can be pretty difficult. You’ll need the same fractional distillation apparatus we mentioned earlier to remove THC from your extract. If you wish to go the easy route, however, simply make your CBD oil from isolate then add in small amounts of food-grade terpenes to the final product.

How to make CBD oil taste better

Most homemade CBD oils taste, well, earthy. Some people like this flavor, while others hate it. If you find yourself in the second group, we’ve got good news — it’s very possible to make your CBD oil taste better. How? There are two primary ways:

    1. Decarb your hemp flower in the oven at low heat between steps 2 and 3 of our initial instructions. This will allow earthy-tasting terpenes to evaporate.

    2. Mask the taste of your CBD oil by adding a very small amount of food-grade mint, cinnamon, or lavender petals to the finished product.

How to make my own CBD oil: summing things up

So, there you have it! There are many ways to make CBD oil at home. You can make a true CBD extract, a CBD-infused oil, or make CBD oil from CBD isolate. All it takes is five simple steps.

If making your own CBD oil at home seems too daunting, no worries. Our team at Cornbread Hemp is more than happy to deliver already-made CBD oil and other premium CBD products straight to you!  

We make our CBD oils with organic hemp grown outdoors in Kentucky. Then, we remove the flowers from the plant and use only the flowers in our extraction process. Then, we extract the cannabinoids with food-grade organic sugarcane ethanol. We then evaporate the ethanol out, and blend our extract with organic coconut MCT oil to make our signature Whole Flower CBD Oil that is USDA certified organic.

About the Author

Dr. Leslie Mudd, PharmD

A board certified oncology pharmacist with 25 years experience at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center in Louisville, Kentucky, Dr. Leslie Mudd now serves as the Cornbread Hemp resident pharmacist and medical expert. Read Dr. Mudd's full author bio here.

References

1. Luigia Cristino - Cannabinoids and the expanded endocannabinoid system in neurological disorders Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31831863/

2. Hemp Gazette - A Guide To CO2 Extraction Of Cannabis Oil Available at: https://hempgazette.com/cannabidiol-cbd/co2-extraction-cannabis/

3. Mei Wang - Decarboxylation Study of Acidic Cannabinoids: A Novel Approach Using Ultra-High-Performance Supercritical Fluid Chromatography/Photodiode Array-Mass Spectrometry Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28861498/

4. Molecules - Quality Traits of “Cannabidiol Oils”: Cannabinoids Content, Terpene Fingerprint and Oxidation Stability of European Commercially Available Preparations Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6100014/

5. Ocolabs - Peak Purity: Supercritical Extraction and Fractional Distillation of Cannabinoids Available at: https://ocolabs.com/peak-purity-supercritical-extraction-fractional-distillation-cannabioids/.

6. M L Barrett - Cannflavin A and B, prenylated flavones from Cannabis sativa L Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3754224/

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