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How to Make CBD Oil at Home – Easy Visual Guide (2020)

Making CBD oil at home is more challenging than you might think. It took me three attempts and a couple hundred dollars worth of hemp flower to finally get the result I wanted. I’m here to share my easy process with you – filled with lessons learned and additional tools and advice.

I’ll show you how to use make full spectrum CBD oil at home using coconut oil (or any other carrier oil). I’ll also show you how to make CBD oil from isolate. You’ll learn how to make CBD oil with a magical butter machine, or by using a double boiler. In my mind these are the two easiest methods.

I decided to make my own CBD oil because I was tired of spending more than one hundred dollars every two months for a new bottle of high potency CBD oil. A lot of people go through one bottle even faster than that.

Plus, making your own CBD oil is like making your own wine. It can be an enjoyable hobby, and since you can make large amounts pretty inexpensively, you can give some away as gifts. 

The best part about this is that I’ll be answering all the questions I originally had in detail so you feel confident along the way. If I missed anything, feel free to reach out in the live chat or at nick@420expertguide.com.

The first section below outlines how to make full spectrum CBD oil using coconut oil (or another carrier oil) and hemp flower, while using a magical butter machine or a double boiler.

The second section outlines how to make CBD oil from isolate. For the record, this guide also works for making THC oil at home. Same process.


Materials Needed:

  • Hemp Flower OR CBD Isolate
  • My CBD Potency Calculator to Determine Flower (or isolate)-to-Oil Ratio
  • Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, or Other Carrier Oil
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Magical Butter Machine OR Two Pots to Make a Double Boiler
  • Oven
  • Pyrex Measuring Cup
  • Strainer
  • Bottles or Container to Store Finished Oil

Method 1 – Make CBD Oil with Coconut Oil (or another carrier oil) + Magical Butter Machine or Double Boiler:

Step 1:

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Buy hemp flower that’ll be used to make your CBD oil. I love Berkshire CBD because they have a high quality flower selection, and you can choose hemp flower based on flavor profile and effects.

Step 2:

Determine how potent you want your CBD oil to be. In other words, how many milligrams of CBD per milliliter of coconut oil? I made a calculator to help you determine exactly that.

You need to know this so that you know how many grams of flower and cups of oil to use.

Step 3: 

Prepare your hemp flower by breaking it into small chunks. If you purchased popcorn size buds, also known as smalls, you don’t need to break them up, they’re small enough.

hemp flower smalls

I advise against grinding the bud because at that small size it becomes very easy to overcook in the oven, which will ruin the oil. If you purchased full sized buds, each bud can be broken into 2-3 pieces and that’s sufficient. Look at the image above to get a good idea of the size.

Step 4:

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Time to decarboxylate (decarb) your hemp flower. Wrap your hemp flower completely in aluminum foil. You can make air slits in the foil if you want, but it’s not necessary. This is how mine looked:

wrap hemp decarb

250 degrees for 30 minutes is all you need to properly decarboxylate (decarb) hemp flower.

There are a lot of websites and videos on the internet that tell you hemp flower should be decarboxylated for 1 to 2 hours. When I was still learning, I followed that advice and ruined my hemp flower. It smelled very bitter and the end product was not edible.

This study suggests 230 to 260 degrees is the right temperature for CBD decarboxylation. Mine went in the oven at 250 for 30 minutes and the finished product is exactly as I would have wanted, so I think you’re fine to ignore all the noise around decarboxylation and stick to 250 for 30 minutes.

decarbed hemp flower

The image above is what my decarboxylated (decarbed) hemp flower looked like after 30 minutes at 250 degrees. I would call it 1-2 shades darker than the original image above. It feels dried out and brittle. I made oil with this flower above and the quality was similar to the high quality oil I used to buy from popular brands.

When you take the flower out of the oven, don’t uncover it. Let it cool for 10 to 15 minutes. If you take the foil off immediately, you may allow terpenes that are still heated to evaporate.

Step 5:

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Magical Butter Machine:

Mix your decarboxylated hemp flower with coconut oil or the carrier oil of your choice. If you’re using a Magical Butter Machine you can pour the contents into the machine and set it to 160 degrees for 4 hours. The Magical Butter Machine will do all the work for you for the next four hours.

cbd oil with magical butter

Double Boiler Method:

When using the double boiler method, you should probably grind up your decarbed CBD buds so they all fit into the oil. It makes things easier. Grind them up then mix them into the carrier oil in your pan. Don’t grind the hemp buds before you decarboxylate them.

I try to make high potency oil, and so there’s always a lot of flower for the amount of oil I need to use to get the right potency. Sometimes I find it unavoidable that I have to add an extra 1/4 cup of carrier oil to get the flower fully soaked and make sure I’m really getting all the CBD out of it.

cbd double boiler

To make a double boiler, you simply need a pot filled with boiling water, and a pan that sits on top of the pot. You put your flower and oil in the pan. Let the oil and flower “cook” for 2 or 3 hours (I did two hours and it was fine). Stir once every 15 or 20 minutes during that time.

Step 6:

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strain cbd oil

Strain your finished CBD oil into a pyrex cup. You can use the strain bag that came with your Magical Butter Machine, or you can use a regular kitchen strainer. The point is to get the plant matter separated from the oil.

Squeeze the strainer bag so that all the oil is squeezed out of the remaining plant material and goes into the pyrex cup. If you’re using a kitchen strainer, simply take a spoon or fork and press down on the plant matter to squeeze the remaining CBD oil from it.

Filtering CBD Oil Sediment:

You’ll notice there will still be sediment in the oil even after straining it with your choice of strainer. You can let it settle, then use a dropper to move the oil from the pyrex to the bottles without sucking up the sediment.

You can also pour the oil from the pyrex until the sediment starts to get close to the spout. At that point you can use a dropper to remove the remaining CBD oil without taking the sediment with it.

I don’t think it’s worth running CBD oil through cheese cloth or coffee filters. You end up loosing a lot of oil in the process for a little bit of nothing, and it can get messy.

The sediment isn’t really anything to worry about, and it’s incredibly fine sediment, it’s not as if there are scooby snacks in your oil. I kind of accept it as part of the full spectrum CBD oil makeup and dont mind having a tiny bit of it in my finished product.

Add Flavoring to Your CBD Oil:

Now is the time to add flavoring to your CBD oil. If you don’t want to add flavoring, skip to step six. Buy some flavored extract and mix it into your oil. Some common extract flavors for CBD oil are Raspberry, Lemon, and Cinnamon.

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Just add the extract into your finished CBD oil. Some people add it with one hour left in the cooking process. I add it at the end and I’m fine with it that way. Just mix it up and you should be good to go.

Step 7:

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Pour the finished CBD oil from the pyrex cup into your storage container of choice. I used 60ml glass bottles that are pretty cheap on Amazon, but if you’re using the oil for cooking you’ll probably want to store it in one large container.


Need High Quality Hemp Flower For Your Homemade Oil? Click Here


 

Method 2: Make CBD Oil From Isolate

cbd isolate

Step 1:

Determine how much isolate and oil you need. That depends on how strong you want to make the CBD oil. You can do this by using my CBD Potency Calculator.

For example, 1 gram of CBD Isolate = 1,000mg of CBD. If you mix 1,000mg into 60ml of oil (1/4 cup), you’ll end up with a CBD potency of 16.67mg per 1ml of oil.

Step 2:

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Take your coconut oil, or other carrier oil, and place it in a Pyrex measuring cup. Measure out the correct amount of CBD isolate and pour it into the oil. Mix for a minute or two, and pour into your storage bottle or container.

Some people heat the oil after mixing in order to facilitate CBD dissolution into the oil. This is not a necessary step, but if you want to use heat, I would suggest pouring your mixed oil into a mason jar, then placing the mason jar into a pot of steaming (not boiling) water. Keep it in there for maybe 20 to 30 minutes and stir it a few times during that period.

That’s all there is to it. Making CBD oil from isolate is very simple and much easier than making CBD oil from hemp flower.


Notes about the finished CBD oil:

My home made full spectrum CBD oil came out great using both the Magical Butter Machine and the double boiler method. The end product had a green color as you would expect.

In comparison to regular hemp flavored oil from a major brand, it still tastes different. I would say it’s less pungent. The difference is likely because major brands make their CBD oil via a CO2 extraction process. With that said, I still found the effects to be the same. 

As I mention in the disadvantages below, it’s hard to make above 40 mg/ml strength CBD oil at home simply due to there being too much flower for the oil to absorb. Other than that I’ve been pretty happy with my results.

What’s the difference between CBD Oil from Isolate and CBD Oil from Hemp Flower?

The difference between the two methods is that CBD oil from isolate is not full spectrum. CBD isolate does not contain other cannabinoids that create a more noticable entourage effect when consumed.

There are a few reasons people prefer making CBD oil from isolate versus full spectrum CBD oil from hemp flower. One reason is that some people are worried the trace amount of THC in full spectrum CBD oil will make them fail a drug test. Another reason people prefer to make CBD oil from isolate is that some people don’t enjoy experiencing the entourage effect that full spectrum CBD oil provides.

Why CBD oil is so expensive

CBD oil is so expensive when you buy it from an online store or a brand because it requires a lot of time, equipment, and processing to make in a safe manner before it reaches the (online) store shelf.

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First, the hemp flower must be grown, dried, and trimmed. Next it has to be packaged and shipped to a processor who turns the hemp flower into oil, usually with a CO2 extraction method. Last, a sample of the finished CBD oil or CBD product needs to be shipped to a laboratory that tests for potency and contaminants.

This is a long and expensive process, which is why making CBD oil at home can save you so much money. A couple ounces of hemp flower and some MCT oil are all you need to end up with several months of high quality homemade CBD oil.

Is it legal to make your own CBD oil?

In the United States, it is legal to purchase hemp flower with a THC concentration below 0.3% or purchase CBD isolate to make your own CBD oil. I can not speak to the law in locations outside the United States.

Advantages of making CBD oil at home:

1. The biggest advantage is cost savings, especially if you’re going through a large amount of CBD (I see people say they take 150mg to 200mg per day). The more you use the more you can save by making CBD oil at home.

2. It’s also nice to make something and consume it yourself. It can be a bit of a hobby if you make CBD oil at home often. Buying flower in bulk, making large amounts, and having extra to give away to family or friends is a nice benefit.

Disadvantages of making CBD oil at home:

1. The taste is somewhat different from the store brand CBD oils. It’s different even when you’re comparing unflavored homemade to unflavored store brand. Some may see that as a negative if you have a favorite flavor or brand.

2. It’s hard to make high potency CBD oil at home because you usually end up needing a lot more flower than oil. The highest potency I’ve been able to get, based on the minimum amount of oil I ended up needing to soak all the flower, is about 40mg/ml. So if you’re used to 50 mg/ml or 65 mg/ml, you ultimately need to consume 1.25 to 1.5ml instead of 1ml.

3. You can’t tell for sure what the exact CBD oil potency will end up being without special equipment. You can do the calculations and get a very good idea, but you’ll never really know for sure if you decarboxylated all the available CBDa or not.

With that said, after using my finished product I’d say it compares very closely to my high potency CBD oil from popular brands.

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Another disadvantage is the smell when decarboxylating. There are other more complicated methods to deal with the smell if it bothers you that much. It doesn’t bother me.

Now that you’ve made your CBD oil, you can keep it stored in a bottle, or check out some great cannabis cooking sites like WakeAndBake.co or LaurieAndMaryJane to learn how to infuse your oil into your favorite recipe.


Need High Quality Hemp Flower For Your Homemade Oil? Click Here


 

Other Ways to Use CBD

Looking for other ways to use CBD? Check out my detailed article about different methods of using CBD

Mix CBG with your CBD Oil

I’ve been familiar with CBG for a while. The main benefit for me is that it takes away a lot of the undesirable effects of CBD, such as drowsiness, foggy head, and laziness. When you get a minute check out my article outlining how I add CBG to my CBD to really elevate the experience.

Grow at Home Too!

Want to grow your own hemp or cannabis at home? Check out my guide that summarizes everything you’ll need. It’s a lot, but it’ll save you a lot of time and questions!

 

How long does it take to make CBD oil at home?

Depending on the method you choose to make CBD oil, it could take anywhere from 10 minutes to 5 hours. The fastest method is making CBD oil from isolate. The slowest method is using a magical butter machine.

How much does it cost to make CBD oil at home?

The total cost of making CBD oil depends which method you choose and how much CBD oil you want to make. Making CBD oil from isolate is the least expensive, and making full spectrum CBD oil from hemp flower is more expensive. Both methods are considerably less expensive than purchasing CBD oil from a store or website.

How long do I decarboxylate (decarb) hemp flower?

Completely wrap hemp in foil and place in the oven at 250 degrees fahrenheit for 30 minutes. There are other recommendations on the internet that range from 90 minutes to two hours, but I find those to be excessive, possibly even ruining your hemp flower. I made very good CBD oil when decarbing at 250 degrees for 30 minutes.

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Can you make THC oil with the same method used to make CBD oil?

Yes, follow the exact same steps in this guide to make THC oil.

Do you need to filter sediment from CBD oil with coffee filters or cheese cloth?

No, you only need to strain the big chunks of flower out of the CBD oil. The sediment can remain in the oil, or be carefully removed with a dropper once it settles.

Does homemade CBD oil taste the same as store bought?

Homemade CBD oil tastes different than store bought CBD oil. One reason is because many large companies use CO2 extraction to make CBD oil, whereas the homemade method is more of a heating and slow cooking method.

Is it legal to make your own CBD oil in the United States?

It is legal to make your own CBD oil in the United States.

How strong is homemade CBD oil?

You can make your homemade CBD oil as weak or strong as you desire by using the right ratio of hemp flower or isolate to carrier oil. You can use my CBD potency calculator mentioned in this article to determine the correct proportions for any desired strength.

Is making CBD oil difficult?

If you don’t have guidance it’s possible to ruin the CBD oil, but once you read the right advice from somebody who has successfully made their own CBD oil, the process is easy. Making homemade CBD oil does not take much effort once you know exactly what to do.

Why are CBD products and CBD oil so expensive?

CBD oil is so expensive when you buy it from an online store or a brand because it requires a lot of time, equipment, and processing to make in a safe manner before it reaches the (online) store shelf.
You can save money on CBD oil by following this guide to make your own CBD oil at home.

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Nick
 

My name is Nick, and I'm a home grower who spends time writing about indoor growing tools and setups. My goal is for 420ExpertGuide to be a one stop shop for indoor growers to find the information they need.