CBD oil is sold all over the world by a variety of different manufacturers, each using their own desired cannabis strains and oil type. With the relentless number of products out there to choose from, some people say there’s no reason to learn how to make it yourself. However, as any good home cook or homebrewer knows, there is a certain pleasure in making things yourself. And as the old saying goes, ‘if you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself.’
| “As any good home cook or homebrewer knows, if you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself. This rings especially true for CBD-infused olive oil.”
Whether it’s the ability to choose exactly what ingredients you’re going to use, the hands-on control of the process, or just because it’s fun working with your hands, some people just enjoy doing things themselves.
Truth be told, you can actually make your own CBD oil at home without needing to worry about the industrial practices of certain manufacturers – you can control the process from start to finish, giving you the final say over the end product. So how do you actually do it?
How to make CBD oil: Tips for the Average Joe
The commercial production of CBD oil is a pretty refined and industrial process, replete with high-tech CO2 extraction equipment and razor-thin profit margins.
None of this is important to you though, because you’re making it from home! It’s okay for things to cost a little extra or for the final product to have the occasional imperfection – what matters is that you made it yourself. However, it’s useful to know how the big guys do it, just so you can understand what you’re trying to emulate when you going the DIY route.
Generally speaking, most CBD oils are produced using an extraction method wherein they remove the CBD from cannabis using superheated CO2. This allows them to fully remove any traces of other cannabinoids from the final product, and then suspend that finished result in an oil solution.
For making CBD oil at home, though, you won’t have access to this fancy supercritical CO2 equipment; you’re going to have to use good old, tried and true methods that work on a small scale. Like, for instance, a frying pan.
| “Making DIY CBD-infused olive oil doesn’t involve fancy machinery or expensive extraction equipment. Rather, we rely on the traditional, tried and true methods: like a hot plate and a frying pan.”
However, before you can start making your CBD oil, you need to choose your oil. As this is a guide for how to make CBD oil with olive oil, let’s go over why you’d want to use olive oil over other oils.
Making CBD-infused olive oil: Why olive?
You can make CBD oil out of basically any oil type you want, but the quality, taste and preservation qualities of the final product will all be different. Olive oil is a great choice because of the inherent flavor of it; most of the time, the distinct flavor of CBD can overpower the senses, sometimes putting people off of taking pure CBD oil.
And of course, olive oil has been a go-to cooking oil for millennia, meaning the final product can be used in all sorts of recipes, something that other CBD oils can’t do as well. (You wouldn’t want to spoil a delicious pasta salad with a dominant coconut oil, now would you?)
So anyway, let’s take a look at the process of how you can make your very own high-quality CBD oil from olive oil.
Step #1 – Preparing Your Bud
In order to infuse a proper homemade CBD oil, you’ll need to make it from actual cannabis buds. If you don’t really care about the total CBD content of the final product, you can use any variety of cannabis. But if you want to ensure that the final product is a CBD oil (rather than a THC oil), it’s important to know what strain you’re using.
Try and buy a high-CBD strain of cannabis such as ACDC or Charlotte’s Web – the famous high-CBD strain used to help treat epilepsy. If there’s little to no THC within the bud, you can avoid getting high or implementing any psychoactive properties in your infusion.
*[Though on a side note, high-CBD flower is really only available in top-end marijuana dispensaries. So unless you live in a state where an assortment of strains are readily available, you may find it difficult to track down the proper starting material].
Anyway, to prepare your bud, you need to do one of two things: you can either decarboxylate it, or you can grind it really, really fine.
The reason you need to do this is that the principle cannabinoids within cannabis have trouble actually being processed by our bodies unless they have been decarboxylated, which just means they’ve been heated to a certain temperature.
When you smoke weed, the combustion inherent in smoking decarboxylates the compounds “automatically.” If you’re using it in cooking – or in making CBD oil – you need to do it yourself.
To “decarb” the bud, simply put it in on a baking sheet in the oven and set it to roughly 250˚F for about 20 to 30 minutes. You’re looking for the buds to just slightly begin to turn brown, as well as slightly crisp. You don’t want to fully cook it or burn it all.
If you want to skip this step, you can just finely grind your bud into a powder; this makes it a lot easier for the cannabinoids to leach out into the hot oil later in the process, allowing you to skip the decarboxylating step.
Once you’ve got your bud prepared, it’s time to cook!
Step #2 – Steeping the Cannabis in Oil
The actual process of making CBD oil is surprisingly simple. First, you need to decide what type of olive oil you want to use.
Extra virgin olive oil will taste the nicest (and be the most expensive), but it has a habit of developing a bitter taste if cooked at too high a temperature. Depending on your stove top, you might find that extra virgin gets burnt during the process of CBD oil production.
Instead, get the highest quality, non-extra virgin (robust) olive oil you can.
Then, you need to make a simple half water/half olive oil mixture in your chosen saucepan. Add your prepared CBD cannabis buds and get comfortable, because you’re going to be here for a while.
Start the heat at quite a low setting, stirring the water and oil mixture constantly to ensure nothing clumps up or gets stuck to the bottom of the pan.
You want to keep increasing the heat slowly, until the water within the mixture starts to approach boiling temperature. You can tell it’s doing this because tiny bubbles will begin floating to the surface in anticipation of it beginning to fully boil. Once you’ve reached this point, dial the heat back a little bit and try and stick to a low boil. Your ideal temperature for infusing CBD into olive oil is in the realm of 200˚F.
| “The key temperature you want to avoid reaching is 300˚F, as is this is where many of the cannabinoids will start to evaporate and dissipate into the air, instead of into your olive oil.”
Once you hit 200˚F, keep stirring and allowing the mixture to gently simmer.
The reason behind combining water and olive oil is two-fold. Firstly, it makes it easier on ourselves to separate out the cannabis from the final product. And secondly, we’re trying to prevent the oil or the cannabis from burning. If you just used olive oil, you’d basically be frying cannabis! It’s great as a garnish for a burger, but not great for making CBD oil.
Anyway, you’ll want to cook your water and olive oil mixture for around 30 minutes, until it looks like most of the water has evaporated away and the cannabis has begun floating to the top. Once you’ve achieved this step, you can move on to the final stage!
Step #3 – Cooling & Separating the CBD-infused olive oil
Once your CBD oil has finished extracting the cannabinoids from the cannabis buds, you need to let the whole thing cool. Wait until it reaches room temperature (so you don’t burn yourself!) and the strain the infusion (using a fine mesh sieve) into a convenient storage receptacle, like a tupperware jar with a lid.
You should be left with a pot of CBD-enriched olive oil and a handful of leftover, still warm cannabis buds.
Most people simply toss these buds out, but you can use them as garnishes or a flavor addition in several recipes (as well as cannabis-infused smoothies!).
Seal the pot containing the liquid mixture and put it in the fridge for 2 hours, or overnight. Once everything is fully cooled, the olive oil will harden and coagulate, forming a layer of dense CBD oil along the top with the water completely separated out along the bottom.
Simply squeeze the receptacle you’ve stored your mixture in to allow the walls of the pot to widen, and then drain away the water and discard it.
That’s it! You’ve made CBD olive oil — easy enough, right!?
Final Thoughts on How to Make CBD Oil with Olive Oil
Despite its complicated appearance and description, CBD olive oil is nothing more than infused olive oil with raw CBD-rich cannabis flower. With nothing more than a few simple kitchen utensils, a bit of heat, and a whole lot of patience, you can very easily make a dispensary-worthy CBD oil.
| Keep your CBD-infused olive oil in a sealed container, ideally in a cool and dark place, as sunlight can degrade cannabinoids (keep it away from windows!).
To consume, simply take a small amount and swallow it, or better yet, apply it under your tongue. And of course, you can cook with the CBD oil in place of any other kind of oil — all your meals will become infused with CBD goodness, as well as CBD taste! In spite of what you might have thought, it really is that easy to make CBD oil with olive oil. Stay healthy!