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How To Make Your Own Cannabis Salve For Skin Care

4 min
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Cannabinoids are a great treat for your skin and may even benefit those suffering from certain skin conditions. A cannabis salve is fairly easy to make and is a perfect way to use all those trimmings.

Science is only just beginning to understand the many medicinal benefits of cannabis. Aside from using it to help with chronic pain, anxiety, and stress, one recent trend is to use cannabis-infused topicals for localised relief. Salves and creams made from cannabis applied directly to the skin can help with acute pain, and can be effective remedies for inflammation and various skin disorders.

In this post, we will explore all there is to know about cannabis salves—how they work and what benefits they have. We will also go over how you can easily make your own DIY cannabis salve at home.

WHAT IS A CANNABIS SALVE?

WHAT IS A CANNABIS SALVE?

Let us first clear up any confusion surrounding the terms being used: “salve”, “balm”, “cream”, and “ointment” are all essentially the same. According to official medical definitions, they are each a “semisolid preparation for external application to the skin or mucous membranes”, which “consists of medicinal substances incorporated in suitable vehicles”. Or in lay terms, salves and ointments are medicine-infused topicals that are administered directly to the skin. In this case, the medicine in question is predominantly the active ingredient cannabidiol (CBD).

What’s interesting to know is that topical cannabis salves are really not something new. The ancient Egyptians used such infused topicals as a medicine for skin infections, inflammation, pain relief, and as a disinfectant for wounds. As happens all too often, the ancient wisdom surrounding cannabis ointments as a natural remedy was nearly forgotten, and is only now being rediscovered.

topical cannabis salvesView Topical Cannabis salves

HOW DO CANNABIS SALVES WORK?

Cannabis topicals may contain a variety of active compounds, including THC. Most often though, CBD is the cannabinoid in question when it comes to the topicals market. This active ingredient is widely believed to have analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that can benefit the skin on a cellular level.

Essentially, CBD is suspended by lipids in the oil base of whatever salve you’re using; as you apply it to your skin, the cannabinoids encased in these lipids are transported across cell membranes where they can directly heal cells and tissue layers. Where salves are seemingly most beneficial is in the arenas of local relief for muscle and joint pain and even skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and acne.

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HOW TO USE CANNABIS SALVES

HOW TO USE CANNABIS SALVES

Before you apply a cannabis salve, it is recommended that you first wash the specific area of skin with some soap and water. If there is no oil or dirt between the salve and your skin, it can better absorb the healing substances in the salve so they can more efficiently reach their target.

A good way to go about applying a cannabis salve is to gently massage it into the affected region. Allow the salve to absorb into your skin for a few minutes. Then, cover the treated area with bandages so the salve doesn’t rub off. If this is your first time applying a cannabis-infused topical, make sure to watch for any irritation, redness, or rash.

Be patient once you have applied your cannabis salve. Depending on the condition you want to treat, it can take anywhere from 1 to 48 hours until you may observe the desired effect. If you need, you can reapply your salve after a day or two.

HOW MUCH CANNABIS SALVE TO USE?

Most people can apply cannabis salve generously, but make sure that you read the instructions about recommended dosages that come with your particular product. Small children and older people tend to have thinner skin, so they may need less to experience a beneficial effect.

THE BENEFITS OF CANNABIS SALVES

THE BENEFITS OF CANNABIS SALVES

Since you apply topical cannabis salves directly to affected areas on the skin, they are particularly well-suited for all those conditions that require quick and direct relief. You can use them for acute localised joint and muscle pain, and for numerous skin conditions from psoriasis to dermatitis.

One unique benefit of cannabis topicals is that they won’t get you high. The ingredients contained in the salve work efficiently on a cellular level, but do not penetrate the bloodstream. This equates to absolutely no psychoactive effects. Moreover, most topical products don’t even contain THC—just CBD. This way, people can easily access products without worrying about getting in trouble with the law, and can medicate at any time of day without getting high in the process.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CBD SALVES AND CBD OILS

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CBD SALVES AND CBD OILS

Most CBD oils are intended for oral or sublingual consumption. They usually come with a dropper for administering under the tongue (sublingual) or on top of food (oral). Oral consumption of CBD does have its uses, for example if you want to treat nervousness or anxiety. However, if you want to treat localised physical pain, or want a remedy for an inflamed area of skin, a CBD salve can normally provide relief more effectively. When you take CBD orally, it will also take longer for the compound to take effect. Sublingual dosing happens more quickly as the oil is super-efficiently absorbed by mucous membranes under the tongue, but the relief is shorter-lived.

HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN CANNABIS SALVE

HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN CANNABIS SALVE

You can easily make your own cannabis salve in the comfort of your own home! The process is quite similar to that of making cannabutter/oil. Here’s how to do it:

INGREDIENTS

  • 10g of dried, ground cannabis (preferably CBD-rich)

  • 1½ cups coconut oil

  • ⅓ cup beeswax

  • Essential oil for flavouring (optional)

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HARDWARE

  • Baking sheet

  • Saucepan

  • Large jar

  • Fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth

INSTRUCTIONS

Decarbing your cannabis:

  1. Preheat your oven to 116°C.

  2. Spread your ground cannabis evenly on a baking sheet.

  3. When the oven is preheated, “bake” your cannabis for about 30 minutes, giving it a little stir at the halfway point.

The above process is called decarboxylation. The oven heat will activate crucial cannabinoids.

  1. As your cannabis is “baking” in the oven, put the coconut oil in a saucepan on low heat and stir continuously.

  2. Take out your decarboxylated cannabis from the oven and mix it into the oil in the saucepan. Keep the heat in the pan at a very low setting and stir the cannabis oil mix for about 20 minutes. If the heat is too high, it can decrease the potency of your cannabis salve.

  3. Remove the cannabis oil from your stovetop and filter the mixture through a fine sieve or cheesecloth into a jar.

  4. Place the beeswax into the same pan and melt it on low heat. Slowly add your cannabis oil to the molten beeswax. Stir well.

  5. If you want to give an extra aromatic note to your cannabis salve, you can now add a few drops of essential oil. Mint or tea tree oil add a nice refreshing touch.

  6. Give everything one last good stir, then remove the beeswax and cannabis oil mixture from the heat.

  7. Transfer your cannabis salve into suitable containers and store in a cool, dark place.

SOME EXTRA TIPS FOR MAKING CANNABIS SALVE

SOME EXTRA TIPS FOR MAKING CANNABIS SALVE

If you are suffering from headaches or migraines, you can make an effective headache relief balm by adding a few drops each of lavender, peppermint, tea tree, and eucalyptus oil to your coconut oil and beeswax mixture. Apply the salve to your temples and your neck.

For making a relaxing sleep balm, you can add chamomile tea and dried rose petals. This will make for a very soothing and calming cannabis salve. Massage onto your feet before bedtime and you will sleep like a baby!

If you want to make an extra strong cannabis salve for treating joint and muscle pain, you can add a teaspoon of cayenne pepper to your mix. Careful, don’t get it onto your face and into your eyes!

Georg

Written by: Georg
Based in Spain, Georg spends a lot of his time not only geeking out at his computer but in his garden as well. With a burning passion for growing cannabis and researching psychedelics, Georg is well versed in all things psychoactive.

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