cannabis salve recipes

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Homemade Topical Recipe: How To Make Cannabis Salve

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Forget the edibles! They’re not the only homemade cannabis concoction that’s easy to make. Did you know you can also make homemade cannabis topicals with a few common ingredients?

Cannabis salves can be costly. This is typically because they’re made of high-quality ingredients that are not cheap to source. But many people overlook the possibility of making their own topicals, a process that can both be a money saver and fun.

We’ll show you how to make an easy homemade cannabis salve from the comfort of your own kitchen.

First of all, what is cannabis salve?

There is a bit of debate around what exactly constitutes as a salve. The general consensus is that salves are softer than balms. And unlike creams, salves do not contain any additional water.

Regardless, salves, creams, and lotions, and balms all work to accomplish the same thing: relief to a targeted area. Some products are considered topical, where they are applied to a specific area but never enter the bloodstream. Others are considered transdermal, where they are applied to the skin and slowly absorb into the bloodstream.

Homemade cannabis salve is typically a topical product. The cannabinoids present will not reach the bloodstream and will instead bind to receptors in the skin to offer localized relief. This means that you won’t get high from applying homemade cannabis salve to your skin. You may, however, experience some targeted relief.

Try it on sore muscles or achy joints and see if you notice any improvement!

Homemade cannabis salve recipe

Our cannabis salve recipe starts with cannabis coconut oil. You can purchase an infused coconut oil product or use our homemade cannabis coconut oil recipe to make one yourself. We’ve adapted our cannabis salve recipe from this recipe posted on Homestead and Chill.

Cannabis salve ingredients and supplies:

  • 1 cups infused cannabis coconut oil (recipe here)
  • ½ cup coconut oil (if you have 1 ½ cups of cannabis coconut oil, you can omit the ½ cup of regular coconut oil and use the full 1 ½ cups for this)
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • ⅓ cup beeswax (or for a vegan option use shea or cocoa butter)
  • 4-5 drops your favorite essential oil
  • Saucepan
  • Dark, airtight container for storage

Homemade cannabis salve instructions:

Our recipe assumes you already have cannabis coconut oil on hand. If you don’t, you will need to either purchase some or use our homemade cannabis coconut oil recipe. Keep in mind that making this infused oil is a process that will take a decent amount of time. Be sure to account for the time it’ll take if you plan to make the infused oil and salve on the same day.

Additionally, we have kept this recipe at 1 ½ cups of coconut oil as the original recipe we sourced from used that amount. However, our cannabis coconut oil recipe makes one cup. That’s why we suggest adding one cup of infused oil and ½ cup of regular coconut oil. If you have more infused oil than that, you can feel free to add 1 ½ cups of infused cannabis coconut oil.

If you’re making the cannabis coconut oil for this recipe, feel free to double our cannabis coconut oil recipe. That way you’ll have extra coconut oil to use for foods rather than using it all up for homemade cannabis salve.

  • Step one: Add beeswax or vegan option to saucepan

Bring to medium heat and stir frequently until it has completely melted. Now bring the temperature to low to avoid scalding.

  • Step two: Reheat the cannabis coconut oil

Place one cup of the infused oil along with ½ cup of regular coconut oil into the saucepan. If you have 1 ½ cups of infused oil, feel free to add the full amount to the saucepan. Stir in with the beeswax on low heat until fully melted. Be sure to stir regularly to keep it smooth and mixed well.

  • Step three: Drop in your favorite essential oil

You can add as much as you want to the mix, but 4-5 drops should be enough to create a strong and pleasant smell. This won’t necessarily cover the scent of cannabis, but it will add a pleasant layer to the scent of your product. We love to use rosemary essential oil for this recipe. Stir the essential oil into the mixture until well-combined.

  • Step four: Transfer to storage

Once everything is well-combined, you can carefully transfer the mixture into a container. A tin or glass storage jar will work well, so long as it seals properly and keeps light out. It’s best to opt for a container that is not transparent to protect against light. If you store in a cool, dark place, it should be okay for a long time regardless.

The salve will cool off and harden. Then it will be ready for use! It should last for up to a year if it is stored properly.

How to use homemade cannabis salve

Once the salve has cooled off, you’ve got yourself a powerful solution for many aches and pains. Of course, the potency of the product will depend on how potent you made the cannabis coconut oil, and whether or not you added non-infused oil to the mixture. The more cannabis included in the salve, the more therapeutic effects you can expect.

To use, just apply a thin layer of the cannabis salve to any affected areas. This can be your back or knees, for example. It can even be applied to minor scrapes and other pains on the body. Basically, if you can apply it (within reason), you can use it.

You can use cannabis salve as much as you need. Apply multiple times per day to get maximum relief if necessary!

Final thoughts on homemade cannabis salve

Remember to budget enough time to make the cannabis coconut oil if you don’t already have some on hand. Our recipe makes one cup of coconut oil, so you may need to double the recipe or supplement your salve with an extra ½ cup of coconut oil. Or you can cut our cannabis salve recipe in half if you don’t plan to use 1 ½ cups of salve.

And if you don’t feel like going through the effort of making a homemade cannabis salve, you can stop by our Spokane dispensary or Bellingham weed store to pick up a topical product instead!

Satori MJ is a recreational cannabis shop featuring many dispensary locations ! Check us on out on Yelp , Leafly , Instagram , Facebook , Google and Twitter.

Homemade cannabis salve is typically a topical product. The cannabinoids present will not reach the bloodstream and will instead bind to receptors in the skin…

How to make your own DIY cannabis topicals

The incredible health benefits and seemingly endless uses for cannabis are still being discovered, but one of the most prominent new trends is the emergence of cannabis-infused topicals.

Infused lotions, salves, or balms are a great item to keep on hand as they have been shown to provide immense relief from chronic or acute localized pain. Because topicals are applied directly to the skin, they won’t get you high, which means they’re a great pain reliever to use at work or during the day when you can’t responsibly consume cannabis to relieve painful symptoms.

Making your own cannabis-infused topical lotions and salves is not as difficult as you might think. If you’ve ever made cannabis-infused butter or oil, the recipe is remarkably similar and can be used in a variety of ways.

How to make a basic cannabis salve


  • 7-10 grams of ground, dried cannabis
  • 1 ½ cups of coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup olive oil (optional)
  • 1/3 cup beeswax
  • 1 baking sheet
  • 1 saucepan (or double boiler)
  • 1 jar
  • 1 cheesecloth
  • A few drops of essential oil (your choice)

Preheat your oven to 240 degrees Fahrenheit and spread your dried ground cannabis on a baking sheet. When the oven is preheated, decarboxylate your cannabis in the oven for 25-30 minutes.

While your cannabis is in the oven, place your coconut and olive oil in the saucepan or double boiler over low heat and stir continuously.

Remove your decarboxylated cannabis from the oven and mix it into the coconut oil. Maintain a low heat and continue stirring the cannabis and oil mixture for 20 to 25 minutes.

Note: Keep the heat very low, especially when using a saucepan and not a double boiler–if the heat gets too high, you’ll scorch the cannabis and burn off the THC, decreasing the oil’s potency. This is especially pertinent if you’re using olive oil in your recipe, as olive oil has a lower smoke point than other oils.

After 25 minutes, remove from heat and pour the mixture through a cheesecloth into the jar. Set aside.

In the same saucepan or double boiler, add the beeswax and heat until it is melted. As the beeswax melts, slowly add the infused coconut oil.

You can also add essential oils to your mixture–we recommend lavender, peppermint, or tea tree oils. Just a few drops will do.

Once the beeswax and coconut oils are thoroughly mixed, remove from heat and transfer into containers for your infused salve.

How to make a cannabis-infused lotion or cream

In order to make your salve into an infused lotion or cream, add:

  • 1 cup aloe vera gel
  • 1 teaspoon vitamin E oil
  • 2 tablespoons shea butter or cocoa butter

To increase the fluidity of your cream, increase the amount of olive oil (or any other kind of oil–we recommend vitamin E oil or almond oil) in your mixture.

Keep in mind that your lotion will still be fairly thick, so we don’t recommend trying to put it in a lotion pump.

If you’re not sure what containers to use, many containers used for cannabis flower can also be used for topicals and lotions. Our personal favorite is the classic 4 oz. glass canning jar, easily bought in bulk and useful for a number of purposes.

And there you have it!

Your cannabis salve won’t last forever, but storing it in a cool, dark place will help preserve its longevity. Just rub salve on the affected area, and sit back and relax while the activated THC works magic on your aches and pains.

Other creative ideas:

  • Tinted lip balm: Adding frozen raspberries to your coconut oil and beeswax mixture is a quick and easy way to make your own naturally-tinted lip balm.
  • Flavored lip balm: A teaspoon of honey will add sweetness to your balm, and if you’re feeling adventurous, try a teaspoon of cocoa powder for chocolate-flavored lips.
  • Arthritis relief: If you suffer from arthritis or other aches and pains, consider adding a teaspoon of cayenne pepper for effective pain relief. Be careful, however, and keep any cayenne-infused lotions (or lotion-covered hands) away from your eyes.
  • Headache relief balm: If you suffer from migraines, making a headache relief balm is fairly simple. Just add 15 to 20 drops each of peppermint, lavender, tea tree, and eucalyptus oil to your coconut and beeswax mixture. Apply sparingly to your temple and the nape of your neck for best results.
  • Calming sleep balm: Add dried rose petals and chamomile oil or tea leaves for a calm, relaxing balm. Apply to the soles of your feet before bedtime for a soothing sleepytime aid.

Have you ever created your own cannabis-infused lotion or balm? Share your recipe in the comments!

Learn how to make your own cannabis-infused lotions, salves, and balms, plus some recommendations on adding a few special ingredients to create different flavors and scents. ]]>