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DIY CBD

November 16th, 2020 by Hannah Laing

Why should you try it yourself?

More than ever, there are great reasons for wanting to manufacture CBD products at home. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are cooped up, on tight budgets, and just plain bored. DIY projects are all the rage right now, from woodworking to sourdough bread. Why not CBD?

First, there is the cost factor. We all know that CBD products aren’t always the cheapest option when it comes to our health, but that shouldn’t stop us from enjoying their amazing benefits! In fact, one of the biggest perks that comes with almost any DIY project is that the cost seems to be a fraction of purchasing it from a store or online. No need to pay shipping costs or the extra price of labor when it’s just you, working in your kitchen!

The second benefit is something that does away with one of the most  constant ailments known to man: boredom! I’ve found myself near-begging for projects some days, as I cannot go out and as my office has migrated temporarily to my living room. Have an afternoon? How about we skip the Netflix this evening and make some fragrant, luscious balms? Or, maybe a fun, moisturizing soap? The possibilities are (near) endless!

This third benefit is something that underpins entire companies: customization. As you likely know, CBD needs are different for everyone, and sometimes it is difficult to find a product that has just what you need. Or, maybe you were able to find the right amount of CBD, but weren’t crazy about the flavor? Making your own CBD products, while taking a little time, allows you to have full control over how much CBD, what flavor or scent, and the medium of conveyance. And if you find that what you’ve made is enjoyable and effective, feel free to share it with friends and family!

Learn the How-To: 

Now that we have gone over some of the best reasons (but surely not all!) for making some CBD products at home, let’s actually learn how to make them! 

I’m going to cover how to make three basic CBD products, which can be endlessly modified to suit your needs. While these don’t comprise the entirety of potential recipes, I think that the knowledge of how to make CBD oil, CBD soap, and CBD gummies are an ideal starting point from which one could explore further, should one be so inclined. Plus, CBD oil is going to be the base for almost every recipe one could come across, so we should probably start with that!

How to make CBD oil:

As this is your base, it is crucial for almost all CBD recipes (unless you use CBD oil that has already been processed). So how do you start to make it?

The first step in the process of making CBD oil is to source high quality hemp flower. It is crucial that it be high quality, and that you are able to find test results for the plant itself. As I’ve mentioned many times before, cannabis is a plant that takes toxins out of the ground and air. If you are using a flower that comes from an untested plant, you will have no idea whether or not your flower contains large amounts of toxins. Not good! 

Hemp flower (that has test results) is very easy to source from online sources, and you can easily order it and have it delivered to your front door! Another thing to keep in mind when ordering is that the higher the level of CBD contained in the hemp flower, the more potent your oil will be. Please note, that the resulting oil will be a full spectrum oil, there will be trace amounts of THC in the oil, but nowhere enough to feel any resulting “high”. Keep in mind, marijuana generally has a THC level of 15-20%, whereas hemp is below 0.3%.

The second step is one of the most simple steps: choose a carrier oil! This can be coconut oil, olive oil, sweet almond oil, or any other oil that you would like to use.

Our third step is the decarboxylation of the hemp. In order to activate the CBD in the hemp and to experience all of its benefits, it needs to be heated through vaporization, cooking, or smoking so that decarboxylation occurs. After the process activates it, CBD is available to be used within the body. You will be using your Instant Pot (or any other brand of pressure cooker) for the “decarbing” process.

  1. Take a mason jar, place a 1/2 ounce of hemp inside and hand tighten the lid. You will need to break up the flower into smaller pieces before putting it in the jar. 
  2. Place two cups of water in the bottom of the Instant Pot and then place the filled jar inside. Secure the lid. 
  3. Use the Pressure Cook button on a normal pressure level and process for 30 minutes. After the time is up, manually release the pressure and open the lid after it has finished releasing. When you remove the jar after the cook time, you will notice a difference in color, the green material that went in will now look more brown. CAUTION: The jar will be hot!
  4. Our next step is to carefully remove the lid from the jar and add 1 cup of your selected carrier oil. Give it a quick stir and make sure that all of the flower is covered by oil. Add a little extra oil to cover the flower if needed. Hand tighten the lid back on the jar and put it back into the same water bath that was used before in the previous step. 
  5. Secure the lid on the Instant Pot and use the Pressure Cook button again, but this time adjust the time to 40 minutes. After the time is complete, manually release the pressure and open the lid. 
  6. Carefully remove your jar from the Instant Pot and remove the lid. Notice the beautiful color of the oil! During this step, you want to carefully strain the mixture through cheesecloth to try to capture all of the little bits of hemp. Use a spatula to get the remaining hemp out of the jar and then gently press on the hemp to push the remaining oil through.

Once you’ve completed all of these steps, you have your very own, homemade CBD oil! This can be used like CBD oil that you would order, or can be used to make other recipes (like the ones I’m going to talk about next). 

 

Homemade CBD Gummies

Edibles are always a popular option for getting an extra boost of CBD throughout the day. I love taking one to help me sleep at night, or sometimes in the afternoon for a little more CBD! Taking into consideration this love of edibles, I am sure that learning how to make your very own CBD gummies will be rewarding (and tasty!). 

You are going to need a few ingredients for these gummies: 

  • 1 pack (or ½ a cup) of gelatin
  • 1 ½ cups of fruit juice in your choice of flavor
  • A bottle of CBD oil tincture (or homemade CBD oil)
  • A tablespoon of sugar or sweetener

You will also need a saucepan, a silicone mold (or something to pour the gummy mixture into for it to solidify), and a whisk. 

  1. pour your fruit juice into the pan and heat it at a moderate heat (you don’t want it to boil). Next, add your sweetener. You can use sugar, honey or other sweeteners such as Splenda.
  2. Stir gently and wait for the mixture to heat up without boiling. Now, slowly add your gelatin and stir it until the gelatin has dissolved completely. After this, add your CBD oil. Usually, around 24 drops should be enough. You’ll need to stir the tincture in fast for it to mix well. Alternatively, you can wait and add a few drops of CBD oil to your gummy molds.
  3. Once everything is mixed together, you can pour the mixture out into your silicone molds. You can buy these in stores or online in many different shapes, such as basic square molds or gummy bear molds. Now, refrigerate your molds and give them time to harden. Once they’ve solidified, your CBD Gummies are ready to enjoy!

 

Homemade CBD Soap

Homemade soaps are always a fun way to introduce unique colors, ingredients, and scents to a bathroom or shower. All of the unique, hand-made soaps that you find at farmer’s markets use a process called “saponification” to create colorful, fragrant, and moisturizing soaps. Saponification (after sapo, Latin for soap) occurs when a solution of lye combines with oils and creates a chemical reaction that breaks the oils down into chains of fatty acids. Heating the lye and oil solution evaporates the water molecules, turning the solution into a solid form, producing bar soap. 

Though CBD is known to evaporate under high heat, you won’t have to worry about this when it comes to making your CBD soap. CBD tends to lose its potency at around 300 degrees, but soaps only need to be heated up to about 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Knowing that the CBD won’t evaporate, we need to gauge how much CBD we should use. One easy way to measure is to determine how much CBD you want in a single bar, and then multiply that by the number of bars that you are planning on making. 

You will need some ingredients at equipment before we begin: 

  • 10 ounces coconut oil
  • 5 ounces cocoa butter
  • 5 ounces shea butter
  • 5 ounces castor oil
  • 5 ounces avocado oil
  • 11.9 ounces filtered water
  • 4.1 ounces lye
  • 1 ounce lavender essential oil (or any essential oil of your choice)
  • Desired amount of CBD oil (ideally water-soluble)

And also equipment: 

  • Soap mold 
  • Stainless steel pot 
  • Stainless steel spoon 
  • Plastic spatula 
  • Hand mixer or stick blender 
  • Old plastic container (for your lye) 
  • Thermometer (a cheap candy thermometer will work just fine) 
  • Towels to incubate your mold 
  • Protection gear like gloves, goggles, and mask

 

Since this recipe incorporates lye, it is VERY IMPORTANT that you use protective gear for your eyes and hands. 

  1. Combine your coconut, cocoa butter, shea butter, castor, avocado, and CBD oils in a large stainless steel pot. Heat them together on low until they are melted. Stir frequently with your stainless steel spoon and make sure they are combined well. Use your thermometer to make sure the mixture reaches 100 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. In your plastic container, add your filtered water and then slowly pour your lye into the water (if you pour the water into the lye, the solution can explode). Stir them together with a stainless steel spoon until well combined. This solution will heat up when you combine them, so set this aside after stirring to get it to cool down between 95 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit (use your thermometer to keep track of this).
  3. When both mixtures—oils and lye water—are around 95 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, pour the lye water into your pot of oils. Blend them together with a hand mixer or stick blender for about two to three minutes or until combined well. 
  4. Add your essential oil to the mixture and stir. 
  5. Using your spatula, pour the mixture into your soap molds.
  6. Using your towels, cover and insulate your molds for 24 hours. 
  7. After 24 hours, remove your soap from the molds, cut them, and let them cure for four to six weeks (turn them occasionally to ensure all sides dry out). 

Note: Be very careful handling and mixing the lye; it’s extremely caustic and can cause severe damage if it stays on your skin. It’s recommended that you do this step outside and wear your goggles, mask, and gloves while doing this. Be sure to hold your breath/avoid breathing in the fumes.

 

If you prefer to make soap without having to worry about using lye (maybe you have kids or pets around and don’t want to risk it), here is a recipe that only uses a few ingredients and tools. You will need:

  • 1 pound of melt-and-pour soap base of your choice (goat milk, aloe, and honey are a few popular choices)
  • A heated or butcher’s knife
  • A microwave
  • Spoon or spatula for mixing
  • Soap molds 

 

Instructions: 

  1. Chop the soap base up into one to two inch cubes.
  2. Heat the soap base cubes in the microwave in short bursts until most of it has melted. Stir them frequently in between the heating sessions. 
  3. When most of the soap has melted, stir in your CBD oil and mix thoroughly. 
  4. Add in your optional fragrances/essential oil, colorants, and herbs. Mix until well combined. 
  5. Pour the solution into your molds, and let them harden completely.

After either of these two processes, you should have some fabulous CBD soap ready to brighten up your bathroom and make that skin look moisturized and healthy!

 

Try it out!

Now you have three great recipe ideas for trying out at home. Maybe these can spice up your CBD use or give you something new to learn while quarantining! Make sure to follow the recipes, stay safe (where applicable), and enjoy your creations. 

As always, feel free to reach out to us on social media, email us, give us a call, or stop in at our new storefront. We would love to hear how your homemade CBD turned out!

About Hannah Laing

Hannah LaingHannah has been working in the hemp industry and at Green Wellness Life for 2 years. She was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in 2017 and received a second Fibromyalgia diagnosis in 2018. The Grand Valley State University student is currently studying health communications and is dedicated to educating and promoting health and wellness.


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