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DIY CBD extraction, everything you need to know

This short post provides the basics for DIY CBD extraction for tea, salves and tinctures.  CBD salves are everywhere lately.  Do you know what they contain?  There is little to no USDA/FDA regulation as government agencies work to respond to this new market.  You can know exactly what is in your salve with this easy to follow instruction on the basis of DIY CBD extraction.

It is easy and fascinating.  Our Horn Creek family first became intrigued with hemp after experimenting with CBD salves and teas. The palliative and calming properties of CBD are extraordinary.

Whitney is not only our hemp whisperer. She is also a wizard at creating magic in her kitchen. Her salves have a devoted audience of friends and family. They come for pain relief, insomnia and just relaxation.  It is such a joy to hear friends recount stories of true relief from long term chronic pain – with no opioid fog.

What are the benefits of CBD salves?

The results are anecdotal but quite compelling. CBD salves work best for skin and musculo-skeletal aches. Users primarily use it for  joint pain, knee and hip replacements, torn and sore muscles. You can address deep aches and pains by first applying hot wash cloths to the area to bring blood to the surface, then applying the CBD salve. Whitney adds essential oils but the key ingredient is CBD. Our salves test at 8% CBD, which is an incredible 2,240 mg of pure CBD per ounce. Compare that to commercially available CBD salves which range from 50-150 mg per ounce.

You can apply pain CBD salves directly to the affected area.  Users wanting sleep remedies apply the same salve to their necks, wrists and temples. Most effective for insomnia is brewed tea from decarboxylated hemp. Whitney’s tea recipes are delicious and potent. Be close to your bed when you sit down with a cup.

What do you need for your DIY CBD extraction?

All you need is a crock pot, an oven, high-CBD hemp and an MCT oil to bind with the CBD. We generally default to coconut or almond oil.

Decarboxylation/Activation
Your first step is to turn CBD-A into CBD. If you read our COAs, you will see that actual CBD content is around 1% and CBD-A is in the high teens. Heating, or decarboxylating will change CBD-A to CBD. There is some discussion about the benefits of raw CBD-A but we find activated CBD to be most effective for our purposes.

We use a convection oven set to 240F. If we start seeing light smoke we dial back our temp a bit to preserve terpenes. Place 4 oz of high-CBD hemp flower in a baking pan and place in the oven for 60 minutes. We use our kiln-dried flower which tests at 18% raw CBD. There are plenty of decarboxylation time/temp tables online. Some might vary. But we’ve found this schedule to produce consistent results.

If you are making a tea blend, you are almost done.  You can now add other dry ingredients to your activated hemp tea material.  We like Chamomile, Lemon Balm, Milky oat tops, Skull cap and Valerian root.  Chai works very will with milk, and milk fats bind with the CBD.

If you are making a salve, you are ready to add your activated hemp material to an MCT oil for your salve base.

Create your Base

Once the plant material is decarbed and dry, loosely grind the decarbed material between your hands. This increases the surface area of your material to facilitate binding with your oil. Place your decarbed and ground biomass in a crock pot set to low. Steep for 4-6 hours. Stir it occasionally. You don’t want the material to overheat or it will smell scorched and the CBD may be degraded. We like 140-160F. Add your favorite MCT oil. We use coconut oil or almond oil. Coconut oil feels great on your skin but it can be messy. Coconut oil is a solid at room temperature and can be difficult to apply. Almond oil applies easily with a dropper which is nice if the area is very sore.

We generally use 2-3 quarts of oil per batch. Coconut oil is expensive when purchased in small quantities. 5 gallon buckets are much more affordable per ounce.

After your base is done, pour the mixture through a strainer or cheesecloth. The result smells earthy and wonderful. You will also be left with a small bolus of hemp mash. Dispose of this so that no pets can get to it. They love the smell but may not respond well to ingesting it. We have tested the leftover mash and found it to contain roughly .5% CBD and CBD A. This tells us that the CBD-A converted to CBD which then bound to the MCT oil base.

Now you know how to DIY CBD extraction and you have a marvelous CBD-rich base which you can use for salves or potentially an ingestible oil. We exclusively use it for salves, but others use it as a sub lingual drop.

For CBD salves, we then blend our base with essential oils for effect. Juniper, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Turmeric, Cayenne, Arnica and lemon balm are a few on our shelves. Some aid absorption, some pain, and some simply smell wonderful. The benefits of individual oils is an entirely separate and lengthy topic. The base is effective without other additions, but the right oils are like spice to a memorable meal.

CBD home extractions

DIY CBD extracts can be used in tea, salves and balms