Homemade Topical Recipe: How To Make Cannabis Salve

Forget the edibles! They’re not the only homemade cannabis concoction that’s easy to make. Did you know you can also make homemade cannabis topicals with a few common ingredients? 

Homemade Topical Recipe: How To Make Cannabis Salve

July 25, 2020

Cannabis salves can be costly. This is typically because they’re made of high-quality ingredients that are not cheap to source. But many people overlook the possibility of making their own topicals, a process that can both be a money saver and fun. 

We’ll show you how to make an easy homemade cannabis salve from the comfort of your own kitchen. 

First of all, what is cannabis salve? 

There is a bit of debate around what exactly constitutes as a salve. The general consensus is that salves are softer than balms. And unlike creams, salves do not contain any additional water. 

Regardless, salves, creams, and lotions, and balms all work to accomplish the same thing: relief to a targeted area. Some products are considered topical, where they are applied to a specific area but never enter the bloodstream. Others are considered transdermal, where they are applied to the skin and slowly absorb into the bloodstream. 

Homemade cannabis salve is typically a topical product. The cannabinoids present will not reach the bloodstream and will instead bind to receptors in the skin to offer localized relief. This means that you won’t get high from applying homemade cannabis salve to your skin. You may, however, experience some targeted relief. 

Try it on sore muscles or achy joints and see if you notice any improvement!

See Related: How to Make Cannabis-Infused Chocolates

Homemade cannabis salve recipe 

Our cannabis salve recipe starts with cannabis coconut oil. You can purchase an infused coconut oil product or use our homemade cannabis coconut oil recipe to make one yourself. We’ve adapted our cannabis salve recipe from this recipe posted on Homestead and Chill. 

Cannabis salve ingredients and supplies:

  • 1 cups infused cannabis coconut oil (recipe here)
  • ½ cup coconut oil (if you have 1 ½ cups of cannabis coconut oil, you can omit the ½ cup of regular coconut oil and use the full 1 ½ cups for this)
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • ⅓ cup beeswax (or for a vegan option use shea or cocoa butter)
  • 4-5 drops your favorite essential oil 
  • Saucepan 
  • Dark, airtight container for storage

Homemade cannabis salve instructions:

Our recipe assumes you already have cannabis coconut oil on hand. If you don’t, you will need to either purchase some or use our homemade cannabis coconut oil recipe. Keep in mind that making this infused oil is a process that will take a decent amount of time. Be sure to account for the time it’ll take if you plan to make the infused oil and salve on the same day. 

Additionally, we have kept this recipe at 1 ½  cups of coconut oil as the original recipe we sourced from used that amount. However, our cannabis coconut oil recipe makes one cup. That’s why we suggest adding one cup of infused oil and ½ cup of regular coconut oil. If you have more infused oil than that, you can feel free to add 1 ½ cups of infused cannabis coconut oil. 

If you’re making the cannabis coconut oil for this recipe, feel free to double our cannabis coconut oil recipe. That way you’ll have extra coconut oil to use for foods rather than using it all up for homemade cannabis salve. 

  • Step one: Add beeswax or vegan option to saucepan

Bring to medium heat and stir frequently until it has completely melted. Now bring the temperature to low to avoid scalding. 

  • Step two: Reheat the cannabis coconut oil 

Place one cup of the infused oil along with ½ cup of regular coconut oil into the saucepan. If you have 1 ½ cups of infused oil, feel free to add the full amount to the saucepan. Stir in with the beeswax on low heat until fully melted. Be sure to stir regularly to keep it smooth and mixed well.  

  • Step three: Drop in your favorite essential oil 

You can add as much as you want to the mix, but 4-5 drops should be enough to create a strong and pleasant smell. This won’t necessarily cover the scent of cannabis, but it will add a pleasant layer to the scent of your product. We love to use rosemary essential oil for this recipe. Stir the essential oil into the mixture until well-combined. 

  • Step four: Transfer to storage

Once everything is well-combined, you can carefully transfer the mixture into a container. A tin or glass storage jar will work well, so long as it seals properly and keeps light out. It’s best to opt for a container that is not transparent to protect against light. If you store in a cool, dark place, it should be okay for a long time regardless. 

The salve will cool off and harden. Then it will be ready for use! It should last for up to a year if it is stored properly. 

Bonus: How Long Do Cannabis Seeds Last?

How to use homemade cannabis salve 

Once the salve has cooled off, you’ve got yourself a powerful solution for many aches and pains. Of course, the potency of the product will depend on how potent you made the cannabis coconut oil, and whether or not you added non-infused oil to the mixture. The more cannabis included in the salve, the more therapeutic effects you can expect. 

To use, just apply a thin layer of the cannabis salve to any affected areas. This can be your back or knees, for example. It can even be applied to minor scrapes and other pains on the body. Basically, if you can apply it (within reason), you can use it. 

You can use cannabis salve as much as you need. Apply multiple times per day to get maximum relief if necessary!

Final thoughts on homemade cannabis salve 

Remember to budget enough time to make the cannabis coconut oil if you don’t already have some on hand. Our recipe makes one cup of coconut oil, so you may need to double the recipe or supplement your salve with an extra ½ cup of coconut oil. Or you can cut our cannabis salve recipe in half if you don’t plan to use 1 ½ cups of salve. 

And if you don’t feel like going through the effort of making a homemade cannabis salve, you can stop by our Spokane dispensary or Bellingham weed store to pick up a topical product instead! 

Keep Reading: Does Weed Hurt or Help Anxiety? A Closer Look

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