Get the recipe to make your very own cannabis salve at home with THC or CBD and learn more about the soothing properties of cannabis salves and how they may help to relieve some of your most unwanted symptoms like pain, inflammation, dry skin, and itchiness.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
Cannabis topical products are getting a lot of buzz in my Well With Cannabis Community, and for a good reason!
A salve is an ointment that can be used to promote skin healing, pain relief, or applied as a protective barrier.
A cannabis salve is a salve made with flowers from the cannabis plant, along with other nourishing ingredients, to help moisturize and protect our skin from further damage.
They can be applied directly to the affected area to provide immediate relief from a range of conditions.
In this guide, I will show you how to make a cannabis salve at home in a few simple steps, with multiple infusion options, and show you the many different ways you can customize this recipe to your own personal preferences!
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- Beeswax - I recommend using organic beeswax when possible
- Cacao butter - not to be confused with cocoa butter! You can get cacao butter right online.
- Cannabis oil - you can use homemade cannabis oil, store-bought cannabis oil, or concentrates. See the alternative infusion section below for details.
- Essential oils - Feel free to use any combination you enjoy. Just be sure to use skin safe organic essential oils!
- Optional ingredients - Feel free to add optional vitamin E oil or preservatives like potassium sorbate. You can also add camphor or method for a cooling effect.
Note: a complete list of ingredients with amounts and printable instructions is located in the recipe card below.
- Step 1 - If you haven't already, the first step is to choose your infusion method of choice. You can find many infusion options listed below. If needed, prepare your cannabis oil ahead of time.
- Step 2 - Prepare a double boiler with water in the bottom pan and place it over low heat.
- Step 3 - Once the water is boiling, add the beeswax and cacao butter to the top portion of the double boiler and allow them to melt completely.
- Step 4 - Once they have melted, add in the prepared cannabis oil mixture and essential oils. Stir until all of the ingredients are well combined.
- Step 5 - If you are planning on adding a cannabis concentrate or any other additional ingredient, stir it in now and mix until everything is well combined. Then turn off the heat.
- Step 6 - Carefully transfer the hot liquid salve to a small glass jar or storing vessel of choice. You can use a pipette to make this easy.
- Step 7 - Allow the salve to cool to room temperature and then cover tightly with the lid.
- Step 8 - Store your salve in a cool dark place until ready to use.
Note: complete step-by-step printable instructions are located in the recipe card below.
There are many factors that can affect the shelf-life of natural salves including how you infused the cannabis oil and the additional ingredients that you used. While this may last a long time stored in a glass jar in a cool dark location, its best to use it up within a couple weeks. If you can't use it that fast, you may want to consider freezing it to prevent any mold.
Alternate Cannabis Infusion Options
As with all things cannabis, there are numerous ways to get to the final end result.
For this salve, there are many different infusion options you can choose from to make a product with the best results for you and your needs.
Homemade Cannabis Oil
My salve recipe uses this floral cannabis-infused oil recipe as the base, which allows you to infuse in many other botanical ingredients that contribute to a great final product.
Store-Bought Cannabis Oil
You can easily make this recipe with high quality store-bought cannabis oil like the ones for sale in my shop.
They come in a wide variety of strengths, so it might take a little experimentation to find which product works best for your individual needs.
Having access to raw cannabis flowers is not always possible, which is why I included the option to infuse this salve with cannabis concentrates.
CBD concentrate is legal in most states and can be purchased online, and THC concentrate can be purchased at a dispensary in a legal state.
Concentrates can come in many different forms, including full-extract cannabis oil, also known as FECO.
In a small syringe, you will get anywhere between 500mg-1,000mg of activated CBD or THC in just a small 1mL volume.
This allows you to create a stronger salve without the excess volume of carrier oil.
Benefits of Cannabis Salve
Cannabis topicals have many potential health benefits.
These salves are a great alternative to products containing harsh chemicals or prescription medications, which may have unwanted side effects.
Cannabis salves provide quick, localized relief for pain, soreness, or swelling.
The topical application of cannabis, for external use only, can help:
- Skin disorders like eczema or psoriasis
- Relieve chronic pain from inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis
- To soothe sore muscles, muscle aches, and joint pain
- Soothe menstrual cramps
What Conditions Can it Help?
Homemade cannabis salve may help to relieve some of your most unwanted symptoms like pain, dry skin, itchiness, and more.
Arthritis is caused by inflammation in the joints and often causes pain, swelling, stiffness, and soreness.
Arthritis usually appears in people over the age of 65 and can limit your range of motion, making it difficult to do things you once loved.
Some studies show that topical cannabis can help to relieve these symptoms1.
Cannabis Salve for Skin Conditions
Millions of people in the US are affected by skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.
Though the causes of these conditions are still not well-understood, some medical professionals believe that they are an immune system reaction.
Cannabis is thought to help bolster our immune system, protecting us from disease while at the same time suppressing unnecessary immune reactions present in auto-immune disorders2.
Scrapes, burns, abrasions, and insect bites are an annoying but inevitable part of life.
The itchiness, stinging, and soreness associated with these minor injuries aren't life-threatening, but they can be distracting.
Cannabis is now being studied for its wound-healing properties, which means cannabis salve may help relieve your discomfort from minor injuries3.
Notes and Expert Tips
- If you're making this recipe at home for the first time, feel free to experiment with a non-cannabis infused oil, like calendula oil, to practice the technique. Good luck!
- Before getting started, place the jars you plan on filling onto a baking sheet. This will help prevent them from spilling if you need to move them before they solidify. .
- One of the first things you should do is sanitize all of your equipment, jars, and utensils that you will be working with. This can prevent any mold or spoilage in the future.
Frequently Asked Questions
Making topicals can be brand new to even the most seasoned cannabis consumer, so here are some of the most common FAQs I get asked about the process from my Well With Cannabis Community.
Yes! Making a topical cannabis salve at home isn't for everyone, which is why I am happy to offer my own cannabis salve for sale in my shop. I've included ingredients like peppermint and tea tree oil to help open the pores, arnica, and lemongrass to provide deep relaxation, and beeswax and full-spectrum hemp extract to revive the skin. With all-natural ingredients, this salve offers revival and recovery - even if you can never stop moving!
No. While the THC in cannabis cannabis is an intoxicating substance, these salves will not have any psychoactive effects because they don't penetrate the bloodstream. Instead, the compounds found in cannabis, known as cannabinoids, interact with the cannabinoid receptors in your body's endocannabinoid system.
It is easy to make CBD products at home with CBD flower. This is a good option for those who want all of the benefits of CBD, without the excess THC, which is a good thing for some people.
Yes! Transdermal patches are a popular way to medicate. With this method, the product is held directly onto the skin with small pieces of medical tape. The main difference is how much time the product spends in contact with the skin, increasing the chances that it can be absorbed into the deeper layers of the skin. It is the perfect way to achieve long lasting relief.
How to Determine The Dosing
Want to get a more accurate guesstimate of the potency of your cannabis infusions and extractions? Try our popular edibles calculator!
Not sure what your perfect dose is? Learn more here.
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More Topical Recipes
Learn how to make your own cannabis cream, cannabis lip balm, and more with these recipes:
My Edibles Made Easy Online Cooking Course will teach you how to make cannabis edibles and topical recipes at home with ease. This step-by-step video course will teach you how to infuse, extract, and create edibles with many different product types - all from the comfort of your own home.
Learn more and enroll today →
Cannabis Salve Recipe with THC or CBD
- If you haven't already, the first step is to choose your infusion method of choice. You can find many infusion options listed below. If needed, prepare your cannabis oil ahead of time.
- Prepare a double boiler with water in the bottom pan and place it over low heat.
- Once the water is boiling, add the beeswax and cacao butter to the top portion of the double boiler and allow them to melt completely.
- Once they have melted, add in the prepared cannabis oil mixture and essential oils. Stir until all of the ingredients are well combined.
- If you are planning on adding a cannabis concentrate or any other ingredient, stir it in now and mix until everything is well combined. Then turn off the heat.
- Carefully transfer the hot liquid salve to a small glass jar or storing vessel of choice. You can use a pipette to make this easy.
- Allow the salve to cool to room temperature and then cover tightly with the lid.
- Store your salve in a cool dark place until ready to use.