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How to Make CBD Oil

How to Make CBD Oil

Written By: Emily Spring

CBD is taking over the world. Thanks to its beneficial effects, more and more people are trying products from CBD topicals (like balms and moisturizers) to CBD edibles (like mints and cocktails) in order to improve their mood, soothe discomfort, and get better sleep. 

While you can certainly buy an array of CBD products, if you’re crafty in the kitchen, you might want to try making homemade CBD oil. This versatile ingredient can become part of your skincare routine, an ingredient in your delicious chocolate chip cookies and more. 

Read on to find out how to make CBD oil for topical use or for use in recipes.

Extraction 101

Plant extracts have been a part of human culture for thousands of years. Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine notes that “Herbs are staging a comeback as herbal ‘renaissance’ occurs all over the world.” In fact, plant extracts may already be part of your daily life. Do you use any of the following products?

  • Bitters (for use in mixed drinks)
  • Essential oils
  • Beauty products with natural ingredients like green tea or lavender

If so, you’re using a plant extract. While industrial extracting processes work at scale to steam, atomize, and otherwise extract plants’ beneficial components, there are easy ways to create plant extracts at home. The two most popular methods are oil extraction and alcohol extraction. If you’re wondering how to extract CBD, either of these methods can work.

Both operate on a similar principle: a solvent can extract the best, most beneficial compound of a plant into itself. Let’s take a look at the two methods and review their pros and cons.

Alcohol Extraction Method

Did you know that you can use a high-proof alcohol as a solvent to extract a plant’s properties? Popular choices include grain alcohol, brandy, and vodka. Most plant’s properties can be easily extracted with alcohol. All you need is:

  • A clean glass jar
  • Dried plant matter (leaves, flower, bark, and berries)
  • Alcohol

The extraction method goes as follows: 

  • Finely chop your dried herb and fill up half the jar with alcohol (and the herb) 
  • Close the lid, and leave it in a cool, dry place to extract for six months. 
  • Then, you can strain out the plant matter with cheesecloth or a piece of clean cotton

Alcohol extraction works for everything from CBD to mugwort to chamomile and beyond. While this method is simple, it’s time-intensive.

Oil Extraction Method

Oil extraction uses a carrier oil as the solvent. Depending on whether you want to use your herbal oil topically or as a cooking ingredient, you might choose an oil like jojoba oil, almond oil, olive oil, or coconut oil. Unlike alcohol, oil can be heated to speed up the extraction process. 

However, to use this method to make CBD oil, you’ll need to take a few extra steps.

Finding Hemp Flower

What is CBD oil made of? Oil and hemp flower. To make your own CBD oil, you’ll need to pick your solvent as well as find hemp flower. Hemp flower is also a useful ingredient if you’re making other CBD rich items, such as CBD butter. Where you can find hemp flower depends on where you live. CBD is present in both marijuana and hemp plants, and while hemp is legal at the federal level, state-by-state regulations vary. 

What’s the difference between industrial hemp and marijuana? You may be surprised to learn that they are both varieties of the same cannabis plants. According to federal law, hemp plants are cannabis plants that contain less than 0.3% THC. Finding hemp flower is important because:

  • Pure CBD is present in higher concentration in hemp plants (as opposed to marijuana).
  • CBD oil extracted from industrial hemp contains low levels of THC, and will not get you “high.” This makes the oil more versatile for use throughout the day.
  • You can bring your CBD oil with you without worrying about its legality (depending on your state). 

Check out our guide on the 50 states to see if you can legally purchase raw hemp where you live. Once you’ve purchased your hemp flower, you’re ready to make your CBD oil. 

CBD Oil Recipes

You can use any oil you have on hand - jojoba, coconut, almond, olive - for your CBD extraction, and there are tips below for when to use each type of oil. Here we will show you two different methods of oil extraction. The main thing to keep in mind is that whatever method you choose, you should not heat your hemp over 220°F. Otherwise, you risk degrading the CBD, as well as other beneficial phytochemicals that will give your oil its full spectrum effect.

Mason Jar CBD Oil for Topical Use

If you’re planning on using your CBD oil for skincare or topical use, jojoba oil or almond oil are great choices. Your CBD oil ingredients are:

  • 1 oz/28g CBD
  • 15 oz jojoba oil (or oil of your choice)

You’ll also need:

  • A clean 16 oz mason jar
  • An oven 
  • Baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  • Cheesecloth

The first step is drying out your CBD flower in the oven. Why? Without this step, the CBDA in the CBD flower won’t break down into the pure CBD that your body can easily access and process. Instructions are as follows:

  1. Preheat your oven to 220° F
  2. Finely chop or grind your flower and sprinkle evenly across your parchment-paper-lined baking sheet
  3. Bake for 30 minutes and let cool
  4. When your flower is fully cooled, use a funnel to transfer it to your mason jar
  5. Cover the jar with with a lid
  6. Place the jar in a cool, dry place. Shake daily for at least two weeks
  7. Strain out the hemp flower with a cheesecloth. 

Your oil is now ready to enjoy.

How to use your Topical CBD Oil

Now that you know how to make CBD oil with nourishing jojoba, you’ll find endless ways to use it. 

Here are a few:

  • In Your Skincare Routine – CBD is known for a variety of skin benefits, including its ability to combat blemishes, work against the signs of aging and promote bright, glowing skin. To experience the healing effects of CBD, apply your homemade oil to your skin  after washing, before you apply any other skincare products. Alternately, try adding a few drops to a product you already use.
  • As a Muscle Rub – CBD is known to help relax stiff joints, soothe soreness and help combat post-exercise inflammation. Rub your CBD oil into the tender area in slow, steady circles as needed. .

Fast CBD oil in the Crock pot

If you want to use your homemade CBD oil right away, you can speed up the process even more. Below, we’ll include a recipe for CBD infused olive oil that you can use for cooking and baking. You’ll need:

  • 1oz /28g CBD
  • 15 oz extra virgin olive oil 
  • A clean 16 oz mason jar
  • An oven
  • Baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  • Cheesecloth
  • A crockpot

To begin your CBD infused olive oil, 

  1. Repeat steps 1-4 from the skincare recipe 
  2. Fill your crockpot ¾ with water and heat to 170°F (or use the lowest setting)
  3. Fill the mason jar with CBD and olive oil and close the lid securely
  4. Place the jar in the water bath for 20 minutes
  5. Turn off the crockpot and wait for the water to cool completely
  6. Strain out the hemp flower with the cheesecloth. 

Your CBD oil is now ready to use.

*Recipe adapted from Wine Magazine

Baking and Cooking with CBD

Now that you know how to make DIY CBD oil, it’s easy to bake or cook with to create some CBD rich treats. If you’re wondering how to make CBD gummies, we have a handy guide of our favorite recipes. But you don’t need to be an experienced chef to use CBD oil in your cooking. Try drizzling it over an arugula salad or as a finishing touch on your stir-fry. 

Customizing your Recipe

As you get the hang of making CBD oil, you can customize your recipe. Experiment with oils, add more hemp flower to enhance the dose of CBD or pair your hemp flower with other dried herbs like lavender or rosemary for a more aromatic experience.

Pros and Cons of Making your own CBD Oil

As you can see, making your own CBD oil can be a fun, quick project. Benefits include:

  • Low-cost CBD oil
  • Easy to make at home
  • Flexibility with your carrier oil
  • Customized ingredients

However, there’s a downside to making CBD oil at home, too. While you’re cooking your CBD in the oven, your apartment may take on a strong aroma. Although hemp does not contain THC, it has the same characteristic smell as its cousin, the marijuana plant. In addition, it can be difficult to control the amount of CBD in your oil.

If you’re wondering how to calculate the CBD content in your CBD oil, make sure you buy a hemp flower that advertises the amount of CBD it contains per ounce. Otherwise, it is difficult to know how much CBD your product contains in total, much less on a dose by dose basis.

Plant People CBD

If you don’t want to deal with the uncertainty of making your own CBD oil, check out our array of specially formulated tinctures. Choose a blend depending on whether you’re looking for restful sleep, relief from discomfort, or a simple way to destress.Our products are made from 100% organic, full spectrum Colorado-grown hemp so you can experience CBD’s benefits.


Written by Emily Spring 

Emily Spring is the Director of Marketing at Plant People. A longtime proponent of balanced living, she has enjoyed over 8 years driving growth in the lifestyle, health and wellness sectors with deep experience in functional solutions for optimizing anyone's everyday life.

Reviewed by Gabe Kennedy

 Co-Founder of Plant People, Gabe Kennedy is an acclaimed chef and entrepreneur. Growing up in a house of healers and herbalists, he is passionate about the power of food as a tool for health, and actualized this passion and belief system into his company, Plant People. Named to Forbes 30 under 30 Gabe has shaped menus and cooked his way around the world with his mission to promote a more communal, green and healthy world.

 Gabe is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. You can learn more about his work at his website.


Wine Magazine. CBD Olive Oil Recipe.

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Historical Perspective of Traditional Indigenous Medical Practices: The Current Renaissance and Conservation of Herbal Resources.

Formula Botanica. A Guide To Choosing the Best Oil Solvent.

Hello MD. Do I Need to Decarboxylate CBD Flower?

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