This article is about how to make two kinds of cannabis oil at home: medical marijuana oil (sometimes called CBD oil) and cannabis oil for edibles. We won’t cover how to make BHO, which is butane hash oil. That’s very dangerous to try making at home. We’re not Breaking Bad here. So whether you’re in it for fun or for health, read on and learn how to make cannabis oil safely in your own home…
The first kind of cannabis oil is simple to make and is an essential ingredient for brownies and other edibles. It’s specifically for cooking, not for applying on your skin or smoking.
We discussed how to cook it up with weed from your vaporizer when we reviewed the best portable vaporizers for weed. Let’s review that recipe right here:
How to make cannabis cooking oil or cannabis butter with already-vaped weed
Use the weed you just vaporized to make a base ingredient for treats to maintain a longer high. You’ll need the following ingredients and tools:
- ½-ounce weed from your vaporizer
- ½-cup of oil (olive, coconut, or canola) or ½-cup of unsalted butter
- Medium-size sauce pan
- Wooden spoon or spatula
- Cheesecloth for straining, or a coffee filter
- Container for storing what you’ve made
Make a sort of tea bag with the weed inside the cheesecloth or coffee filter. Put the oil or butter in the sauce pan with the bag.
Heat this mixture on low until it starts to simmer, or bubble just a little bit. Keep it going while you stir it off and on for 20 minutes.
Let it cool a bit and squeeze all the oil or butter out of the bag. Pour your new special oil into a container.
Now, go make brownies or cookies or whatever you like, using your new cannabis oil to add a zing to your meal.
Besides this quick and easy recipe, here’s another variation:
Cannabis cooking oil version 2: with fresh weed
For this recipe use weed that has not been vaped. You’ll want to grind it up.
Once it’s ground, here’s how to make cannabis oil with it:
Select an oil to use: coconut and canola are great for desserts while olive oil is good for salads and sautéing veggies. Canola tolerates high heat better than the other two oils.
Measure out a ratio of two parts oil to one part cannabis.
Heat the mixture on low to activate the THC without destroying it. You can heat it in one of three different ways—in a saucepan for at least three hours while stirring frequently, in a double-boiler for six to eight hours, or in a crockpot on low for six hours or up to three days.
Once you’re done cooking it, strain the oil with a coffee filter, cheesecloth, or even just a strainer if it wasn’t ground too small. Then store it in an odor-free container. It will keep fresh up to two months, or longer in the refrigerator.
That concludes our section on how to make cannabis oil for cooking. Now we’re about to explore making essential oil with cannabis. It’s a powerful cure for cancer among other things.
Medical Marijuana Oil vs. Cannabis Oil
The CBD (Cannabidiol) oil sold in medical marijuana dispensaries doesn’t get you high like THC does. It’s useful for calming anxiety and it’s being tested as an anti-psychotic drug for conditions like schizophrenia. CBD can be derived from hemp, too.
But to fight cancer, you also want THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) in your oil. THC interacts with cancer cells and causes them to make more ceramide. The cancer cell ends up destroying itself.
When you make your own cannabis oil, you can reap the benefits of both CBD and THC. Plus, you can take higher doses than you could by smoking or vaporizing.
When you choose weed for your oil, consider the following things:
- Grow your own marijuana or buy from a source that grows organically. You do not want concentrated chemical fertilizers poisoning your oil.
- Besides organically grown, you want pot that was raised on pure water, not city water that’s full of chlorine and fluoride.
- When you choose a strain, pick Indica over Sativa if you want your oil to help you sleep.
- Finally, choose a strain that is high in THC.
How to make cannabis oil for medical purposes
Making your own essential oil from cannabis isn’t the same as making Butane Hash Oil (BHO) because you’ll be using alcohol instead of a more dangerous solvent. Still, be careful. Make it in a well-ventilated area and don’t exceed the recommended cooking temperatures.
Tools and ingredients needed
- 1 ounce of marijuana, preferably a strain high in THC (Alternatively, you can use two to three ounces of medical marijuana trim)
- 1 gallon of Everclear or 99% pure ETHYL/ETHANOL alcohol
*************DO NOT USE rubbing alcohol or something you can’t drink!***********
- Stock pot or food safe container large enough to hold the gallon of alcohol and marijuana
- Wooden spoon for stirring
- Bubble hash bags for straining, specifically a 73 micron bag
- A double boiler makes the boiling process a lot easier than using a single pot or pan, but do not use one with a Teflon coating because it leeches chemicals
- Containers or syringes to store the oil when you’re done
Make the oil
You can make your own medical cannabis oil in a weekend.
Start by putting alcohol in the pot, then submerging the marijuana in the alcohol. Put that in the freezer overnight. The alcohol won’t freeze but the cold will help extract the resin.
The next morning, take the pot out of the freezer. Use the wooden spoon to gently stir without smashing the flowers.
Strain the mixture through the bubble hash bag (the 73-micron weave). Repeat the rinse with fresh alcohol.
Now place the alcohol with cannabis essence into the double boiler. Let the double boiler boil off all the alcohol. Be careful because the alcohol fumes will be VERY strong. It’s best to do this outdoors if at all possible. At the least, turn on a fan and open windows. While boiling, check the temperature to make sure it stays at least 212 degrees F (100 C) and below 290 degrees F (140 C) for 75 minutes. That way the THC is activated but not ruined. Tip: use a reliable thermometer.
When you’re done boiling off the alcohol, you’ll see an oily substance at the bottom of the pan. Pour that into a glass container or into syringes if you like. Store it in a cool, dark place. If it gets hard, gently warm it up with warm water.
Why make your own cannabis oil for medical purposes?
Have you ever heard of the Canadian guy named Rick Simpson? He was diagnosed with skin cancer but healed himself in a matter of days with cannabis oil. He believed in the stuff so much that he made it and gave it away for free.
This of course resulted in raids by the Canadian Mounted Police. Rick and his family moved to Europe to a place where he can enjoy marijuana without prosecution.
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People have benefited from using cannabis oil to treat conditions like cancer, chronic pain, epilepsy, and PTSD. They may consume between one to three drops a day or they place the oil directly on their skin, depending on the situation.
Another person who seems to have cured his own cancer with cannabis oil is a retired man from Great Britain. He had a liver transplant to ward off cancer, but then the cancer attacked his new organ.
He found a video online that inspired him to try cannabis oil. Within three days his pain was gone. His biopsy found no cancer in his new liver.
We can’t guarantee that cannabis oil works for everyone, but the evidence is growing in its favor.
Cannabis oil for cancer
There are medical studies that show that cannabis has a positive effect on people dealing with chemotherapy. It helps them feel less nausea and gives them appetite.
There’s also evidence that shows cannabis is effective at slowing down or preventing tumor growth. This information is available to read on the official cancer.gov site. The same page that talks about cannabis inhibiting tumor growth (even benign tumors) also states that it helps anxiety and gives pain relief. All of these effects are excellent for persons dealing with cancer and the harsh side effects of chemo and radiation.
A Hollywood stuntman also says he cured his stage-4 colon cancer with cannabis. He had a bad reaction and freaked out until the hospital gave him a sedative. Then he figured out the right dose and was able to wean off all the painkillers he was taking. He recovered from the cancer and has returned to stuntwork.
Cannabis oil in suppositories
Yes, you can apply cannabis oil topically, ingest it, and also insert it up your anus in a suppository. It sounds a little gross, but it worked wonders for a woman with lung cancer. The suppositories allowed her to take the appropriate dose without feeling so sleepy.
Cannabis oil also treats these health conditions
Cannabis oil does more than help cancer sufferers. It can also help these health conditions:
- Chronic pain
- Glaucoma (check out Whoopi Goldberg’s story) and macular degeneration
- Heart disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Anxiety and stress
- Inflammation like arthritis
To learn more about medical uses for cannabis oil, check out this documentary from CNN.
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Little known uses for cannabis oil
Besides the big diseases, cannabis oil is also good for simple things like sunburn. For reals, the next time you catch too many rays, try this experiment. Treat a part of your sunburned skin with cannabis oil and treat (or don’t treat) another part with your usual stuff, like aloe. Take a peek the next morning and see if the cannabis-coated part isn’t already all better. Crazy, huh?
Cannabis oil also stops acne breakouts. It extends the life of mice infected with mad cow disease. It helps people with Crohn’s Disease. It raises testosterone levels (in mice). And it can help sick animals like dogs and cats with their health problems, too.
Famous medical marijuana users
These folks have all publicly revealed that they have used marijuana for medical reasons:
- Whoopi Goldberg, for glaucoma
- Lady Gaga, for pain of an injured leg while on tour
- Tommy Chong, for prostrate cancer
- Melissa Etheridge, for breast cancer
- Oliver Stone, for mental trauma during wartime
- Morgan Freeman, for chronic pain after a car accident
- Montel Williams, for Multiple Sclerosis
- Sam Simon, creator of the Simpsons, for cancer
Children who take cannabis oil
Yes, there are almost two hundred children in Colorado who are taking cannabis for seizures and other problems. Their special strain of medical marijuana is called “Charlotte’s Web.”
The marijuana is refined into oil and put into capsules for the children to swallow. The treatments have been so successful that there are over a hundred children on a waiting list to join the program. Families have moved to Colorado from all across the US to take part.
One child who was successfully treated for epilepsy in California has recently become the first person ever to be prescribed medical marijuana in the UK. There’s now a line of CBD oil products named for him, too.
Even the Mormons in Utah are petitioning to get their children medical marijuana treatment. Now that’s amazing in a state where you can barely buy liquor and the main church university doesn’t even have caffeinated soda for sale on campus.
If you want to learn more about the Charlotte’s Web program for children, click here.
The history of medical marijuana
Marijuana’s medicinal powers have been documented since about 1,000 B.C. In the 1840s, a British surgeon who was based in India discovered that cannabis could help all sorts of medical problems because of its sedative, anti-spasmodic, and pain-killing properties.
Before World War II, in America there was a one dollar tax per ounce for medical purposes and a 100 dollar tax for recreational use. But in the middle of WWII, the US Government took it off the approved list of pharmaceuticals.
By the start of the 1950s, US law declared marijuana as a narcotic. Then in 1970, it was classified as a Schedule 1 drug, making it illegal to use for medical treatments. This rule stayed in effect although some people could get a “compassionate” dole-out of pot to help their chronic health condition. It wasn’t until California legalized medical marijuana in 1996 that more people could legitimately use it for treating illness.
As of 2015, cannabis is legal for medical use in 25 out of 50 US states.
Check out our interactive map for the current US cannabis laws.
Where is cannabis oil legal?
Israel is the center of marijuana research on planet Earth. Who knew that such a tiny country would be so dedicated to the cause of advancing medical treatments with cannabis?
It was back in the 1960s when an Israeli doctor first starting investigating the helpful properties of pot. The hospitals there now legally use marijuana to treat Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, Tourette’s, cancer and other health conditions.
Are you sitting down? EVEN NURSING HOMES in Israel treat their patients with weed. Now I know where I want to grow old.
If I use cannabis oil, will I fail a drug test?
Yes, if you use cannabis oil, you will fail a drug test. But if you have a medical card, you’re probably off the hook.
Baby soap can also make you fail a drug test. No joke. A few soaps formulated especially for newborns can cause a false positive on a drug test. Hospitals that run urine checks on babies saw results that made them believe the mother had been using.
It’s not known for sure how long cannabis oil stays in your system, but it may be comparable to smoking weed. In that case, it may take from four to ten days to clear out your body before a urine test.
Hemp oil vs. cannabis oil
Hemp oil is legal where cannabis oil is not. Why is that? After all, hemp comes from cannabis sativa. But hemp only has a tiny amount of THC.
Hemp oil has medical benefits, too. Here are some of them:
- Hemp heals psoriasis, eczema, and other skin problems
- It’s a great moisturizer for skin
- It’s healthy to eat because it’s rich in omega acids as well as oleic acids, gamma linoleic acids, stearidonic acids, saturated oils, antioxidants, carotene, phytosterols, phospholipids, chlorophyll, and minerals like iron, zinc, calcium, and magnesium
- Helps control blood sugar levels
- Prevents heart disease, arthritis, osteoporosis, and depression
- Lessons the suffering of PMS and rheumatoid arthritis
Notice that some of the effects of hemp oil are the same as cannabis oil. Interesting, no?
How to make hemp oil
We won’t cover how to make your own hemp oil here, but typically it’s made by cold-pressing the seeds to produce it.
If you choose to buy it, select from known sellers with good reputations who grow it organically, or who source from organic growers only.
Side effects of both cannabis and hemp oil
If you’ve never smoked or used weed, cannabis oil can be a shock to your system at first. Start with small doses and work your way up gradually. The most common unpleasant side effects of these two oils are diarrhea, cramps, hallucinations, anxiety, and drowsiness.
Also watch out for euphoria. This is not necessarily a normal high, but an overwhelming sense of well-being or delirium that can lead to stupid choices and risky behavior.
Like we said, start slow. Stay home after your first few doses and see how you react. If you can have a friend or family member with you, that’s great.
Withdrawals after stopping use of cannabis oil
If you stop using cannabis oil after taking it for a long period of time, you will notice withdrawal symptoms. These could include crabbiness, inability to sleep well, nervousness, cravings, and weird dreams. Fortunately, it only takes about a week to get over the worst of it, with a lot of people feeling better after the fourth day of non-use.
You can reduce your suffering by tapering down your use of the oil gradually over a week or two. For example, if you used three drops a day, drop it down to two drops for three days, then down to one drop a day for a week, then cut it off.
If you have access to someone with experience or a medical doctor to help you, get help from them.
Grow your own cannabis for high-quality oil
If you want to ensure that you have the very best weed to make cannabis oil, why not grow your own? Of course, that may or may not be legal where you live. (We’re not judging.)
Many indoor growers choose to raise Indica strains because they don’t grow as tall as Sativa. Remember to select seeds or clones according to what you want in your oil and the effects you want it to have on you.
Choose seeds from a reputable grower with experience. One famous name is Robert Bergman whose site makes it obvious that he loves growing marijuana.
Finally, on the subject of growing, if you’re getting serious about growing your own, Ryan Riley’s Growing Elite Marijuana is about as comprehensive a guide as you’ll find.
Buy cannabis oil
Let’s say you want to just buy cannabis oil instead of making it yourself. It’s possible to do this, but depending on where you live, it could be illegal. You also need to consider that there are shady dealers out there who don’t care about the purity or quality of their oil.
If you choose to buy oil instead of making it, please consider the following. Some sites are set up by law enforcement to catch people daring to buy drugs online. Some sites will take your money and never send you anything. Some “manufacturers” have filthy conditions for growing weed and processing their cannabis oil, or they dilute with all kinds of crap.
Feeling discouraged? Doesn’t making your own oil in a weekend sound a lot better now? It’s cheaper than packing up and moving to another state, too.
Give the gift of cannabis oil
If it’s legal to do so, of course. In the meantime, look here for fun gifts that your favorite stoner (which may be you, yourself) will enjoy this year.
You might also like this recipe for homemade cannabis ointment.