Plenty of brands are selling CBD oil these days – each made from a different strain of hemp, mixed in different types of carrier oils, all of them made with different blends, proportions, and formulations.
What they have in common is that they all claim to be the best!
Well, you may never find out the best and the most suitable CBD oil for you unless you try them all out, right?
Although you can check Most Affordable CBD oils which we recommends to our readers.
There’s a way you can ensure you get good quality, potent, safe, and effective CBD oil – that too – at a much cheaper price!
How? Well, by making it at home!
It’s true! Remember the adage: “If you want something done right, do it yourself!”
There’s another reason why making CBD oil at home is a more viable option. That is – the costs involved.
The big brands charge us so heavily mainly because of the huge expenses involved in the complicated processes that hemp goes through to make CBD so potent and pure.
Meanwhile, the “Do-It-Yourself CBD Oil” can actually be quite simple to make, effective, and safe. If you’ve got some good CBD-rich hemp flowers and all the right ingredients and equipment, you’ve got yourself the makings of some excellent homemade CBD oil in no time!
How Does Homemade CBD Oil Differ from Commercial Ones?
It is true, homemade CBD oil won’t be as potent as those professionally made ones sold by the big brands. After all, they subject the cannabis to many complicated processes that are simply impossible to accomplish at home.
But you can still get it done – almost as efficiently – as the big brands do.
The main difference is the extraction process.
Most big brands employ the supercritical CO2 method. This method enables them to completely rid the final product of all phyto-materials, including minute traces of other cannabinoids, including THC. The end product contains nothing more than exactly the cannabinoid content they want, mixed in a carrier oil.
But if you’re making it at home, you won’t have access to fancy ingredients, like supercritical CO2, or the equipment needed to work with that. Besides, the equipment and the actual process needs a lot of space that we can’t afford to have at home. Another critical issue with the CO2 extraction method is the extensive knowledge required to do it right.
But that’s no reason to fret. You still have the age-old tried-and-tested methods to work on.
Methods of Making CBD Oil at Home
If you’re extracting CBD oil at home, you have two options.
- Using food-grade alcohol to extract the cannabinoids from the hemp plants
- Using natural plant oils, like hemp seed oil, olive oil, and fractionated coconut oil, to extract the cannabinoids from hemp
These two methods work best when you’re making CBD oil at home because we are utilizing CBD’s lipid-solubility property in these methods. That is to say, CBD can dissolve in non-polar molecules, like fats, and not water, which is a polar molecule.
In the case of alcohol, which is a near-polar molecule, CBD can dissolve in it owing to alcohol’s ability to bond with nonpolar molecules, unlike water.
The reasons why CBD tinctures mixed in natural, plant-based carrier oils are often preferred over alcohol-based carriers are:
- Using alcohol as a solvent is way more complicated than using natural oils, and can even be potentially dangerous.
- CBD is fat-soluble. So, they mix well in plant oils (as discussed earlier).
- Plant-based natural oils are usually good for health. They are highly nutritious and come with a range of vitamins and minerals.
- Oil does not have the intoxicating effects of alcohol
And, that’s why we’ll stick to this easy and popular carrier. We’ll be going with MCT oil (fractionate coconut oil) as it is good for your health in many ways, including boosting good cholesterol that can help expel bad cholesterol from the body.
Strain Selection is Important
There is a variety of cannabis strains. Some have high levels of CBD, while others are “high” on THC. Several others have both in almost equal proportions, whereas some others simply don’t have any THC.
When you’re making CBD oil at home, you can’t extract any cannabinoid separately. All you can do is extract them altogether. That is why you must choose the strain of hemp carefully. Only that will ensure the desired CBD-content of your final product.
What this means is that if you use the flower buds of a cannabis strain that is high on THC, you will get CBD oil that is high on THC as well. While that can be great for chronic pain and other neuropathic pain and inflammation, it is not exactly legal and will give you a “high”.
You can’t remove the THC from the CBD oil, without the help of some very specialized lab equipment – which is obviously impossible at home!
So, to make sure you get an oil solution that is high on CBD, you must start with a strain of hemp that is high on CBD.
All Cannabis indica strains are high on THC. So, it’s best to stay away from those. You can try the Nebula II CBD, which has a high CBD-content. Many brands that make medicinal marijuana use high-THC strains, like CBD Critical Mass, which have equal CBD:THC ratio. Recently, some strains that are rich in CBD are being developed. One such example is Charlotte’s Web.
How To Make CBD Oil At Home? Step-By-Step Guide
Step #1. Choosing your Ingredients & Equipment
- 24 g hemp flowers: This is the main ingredient, from which you will extract the cannabinoids. Choose your strain carefully (as discussed earlier; Baox Hemp flowers were used in this case). [Recommended: 7 – 14g/cup, we used 12g/cup]
- 2 cups of MCT oil as carrier: A variant of MCT Oil, which has no coconut flavor and no monosaturated fats (unlike olive oil), was used. It’s the best and most effective carrier for CBD and it’s good for health too (most low saturated fats). Other plant-based oils, like olive oil or hempseed oil, can also be used.
- Magical Butter Machine: This can be used to decarb the hemp buds and then extract the CBD oil. This was, however, used only to extract the CBD oil in this case, while the decarbing was done on the oven. (You can also use a double boiler or crockpot to extract the CBD).
- Aluminum Foil: You need this during the decarboxylation process for better heat distribution.
- Utensils: Knife or grinder (to chop up the buds), silicone spatula (to scoop up the plant material), glass beaker (to measure MCT oil and pour the finished product into it, can use ceramic or stainless-steel bowls as well), food-grade plastic bottles for transitioning final product, glass bottles with droppers to store the CBD-infused MCT oil.
- Micron bag or cheesecloth: To filter the finished product
- Silicone gloves: To handle the micron bag, filled with the plant material and extracted oil.
Step #2: Prepping The Buds
Take 24g of the hemp flower buds (weigh it to make sure you’ve got the right amount). Chop them up into tiny pieces with a grinder or a knife. [The smaller the pieces the easier it is to extract the cannabinoids from the herb.]
This finely chopped hemp flowers must then be placed evenly on a piece of aluminum foil, leaving no clumps behind. Cover it with another equally sized piece of aluminum foil and their ends fused. Pierce a few holes into the top foil to allow moisture to escape during the decarboxylation process.
Pour 2 cups of the MCT oil into the glass beaker and set it aside.
Step #3. Decarboxylation
The Magical Butter Machine has its own decarb box, but the oven is good enough when you use aluminum foil.
Preheat the oven at 230°F – 250°F and then place the hemp flowers, covered in aluminum foil, flat on the oven to be decarboxylated for about 20 -30 minutes.
The trick is to keep the heat low and the heating process slow and uniform. This provides an indirect, yet consistent heat to the flowers for optimal effect.
Once your CBD hemp flower is decarboxylated, you will notice the hemp has turned a shade darker. This is nothing to worry about. Looking at this darker-looking hemp material, you should know that the CBD has been activated in the hemp.
Step #4. Extraction
Part A: Steeping the hemp material in oil
Place all of the 24g of decarboxylated hemp material into the Magical Butter Machine’s pot.
Pour the 2 cups of MCT oil (kept aside earlier) into the machine on top of the hemp material.
Close the lid, sealing it tightly in place, and plug in the machine.
If you’re using the Magical Butter Machine, you should be able to see all the LED lights on the machine’s lid blinking. There are corresponding buttons that let you select the temperature and the duration for which you want to keep it.
Set the temperature to 160°F and set the time to 4 hours. Once you make the selections, the blinking will stop and settle on your selections. [Recommendation: Up to 200°F is good enough. Anywhere near 300°F and the cannabinoids and terpenes start to evaporate, leaving you with only MCT oil and burnt plant material.]
As the extraction process on this machine starts, you can see the tiny LED lights around the rim of the lid flashing, letting you know that the process has begun. Since with this machine you do not require any other processor, you don’t have to deal with any of the mess associated with CBD extraction.
Once the set duration is up, the entire rim of the lid illuminates in all the colors that you earlier saw merely flashing in a circular fashion.
Part B: Separating the CBD-infused MCT oil
Now starts the actual extraction process.
It is rather more of a filtration process than what you may think of when you hear extraction. After all, this is homemade CBD oil!
Gently remove the lid from the machine. Use the silicone spatula to slowly scrape the plant material from inside the lid and the sides and into the oil below. Gather the entire plant material towards the bottom where the oil has settled.
This would make it easier for you to get all the oil and plant material together when you pour it into a container.
Now, bring back the glass beaker you used for measuring the MCT oil (or get a fresh, clean one instead) and place the micron bag (or cheesecloth) into the beaker in the right way to make sure you’re filtering it properly.
You may want to be careful when you pour the entire oil and the pasty plant material into the micron bag. Use the spatula to wipe the pot clean of all the material and oil and into the micron bag. At least, get as much of it as you can to ensure there is little wastage.
Now, put on the silicone glove on your dominant hand. Pick up the micron bag and let the oil seep through the filter and into the beaker.
Squeeze the micron bag as best as you can to get all the oil of it the plant material trapped inside the bag. Keep squeezing until the dripping stops – you don’t want to waste this stuff!
Now, you’ve got your CBD-infused MCT oil – all ready to be stored and consumed. It will be dark, muddy green-colored liquid.
Step #5. Storing
This may not seem like much, but this is as important a step as any of the previous ones.
Transfer the oil from the glass beaker to a food-grade plastic bottle that you can fetch from a Walmart or any Dollar Tree store for less than a dollar. This will make it convenient for you to pour the oil into those tiny glass CBD vials with droppers.
Making CBD Oil At Home: Final Thoughts
Making your own CBD oil at home is both a viable and cost-effective option if you need to use CBD oil regularly.
You can use it as a tincture or infused it into gelatin capsules. you can add it to your food or drink as well.
This oil can also be applied directly to your skin or mixed with a skin/body care product for relief from topical pain and inflammation, and even skin protection.
While this homemade CBD oil’s quality may not be at par with those that have undergone CO₂ extraction and its concentration may not be exact – like those big brands, this will still be safe, potent, and of good quality – just like homemade food!
However, if you must adhere to specific doses (per mg), you may want to stick to the big brands that employ the CO2 extraction method. With commercial CBD oils, you would get the exact ingredients and their concentrations (as per what’s printed on the labels). Plus, you can get THC-free CBD oils too!