While your cannabis is in the oven, place your coconut and olive oil in the saucepan or double boiler over low heat and stir continuously.
In order to make your salve into an infused lotion or cream, add:
How to make a basic cannabis salve
Keep in mind that your lotion will still be fairly thick, so we don’t recommend trying to put it in a lotion pump.
Note: Keep the heat very low, especially when using a saucepan and not a double boiler–if the heat gets too high, you’ll scorch the cannabis and burn off the THC, decreasing the oil’s potency. This is especially pertinent if you’re using olive oil in your recipe, as olive oil has a lower smoke point than other oils.
Making your own cannabis-infused topical lotions and salves is not as difficult as you might think. If you’ve ever made cannabis-infused butter or oil, the recipe is remarkably similar and can be used in a variety of ways.
When you smoke cannabis, the cannabinoids enter the bloodstream through your lungs and throat, while edibles are metabolized inside the gut. Topicals work very differently.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, here are some useful tips: When making cannabis salves — or purchasing them at a store — make sure to pay close attention to what goes into them. Don’t use anything that you may be allergic to, and make sure to only use the salve externally, especially if it contains potential irritants like menthol, lavender, or eucalyptus.
Do cannabis topicals work — and can they get you high?
Even though you aren’t going to be smoking or eating the cannabis in your salve, you still want to decarboxylate it in order to “activate” the THC in the herb.
Cannabis salves and balms don’t enter the bloodstream and cannot get you high. In fact, that’s one of the reasons some people are more likely to try topicals — they want certain therapeutic benefits of cannabis but don’t want to get high.
But what exactly are cannabis topicals, and more importantly, do they actually work? That depends on what you want from them.
Store the finished cannabis salve in a cool dark location because light degrades cannabinoids (amber/colbalt glass jars or salve tins will block UV). Keep out of reach from children.
Apply a thin, even layer to the affected area. You should start to feel the results within 5 to 20 minutes, depending on the severity of your issue and strength of your salve. Repeat several times per day as needed.
If you're using solidified cannabis-infused coconut oil that you previously made, I highly suggest mixing everything in a double-boiler once again (since you’ll need to heat it longer and hotter to re-melt your oil). OR, if you just made your cannabis oil and it is still liquified, you can do this step straight in a pot on the stove – keeping the heat as low as possible once the cannabis coconut oil is added.
The cannabis salve will harden as it cools, and then it is ready to use!
Stir until everything looks completely combined. Once it is, quickly remove the liquid salve from the heat and transfer it into your storage containers of choice.