How to Make a DIY Cannabis Topical Lotion
Cannabis topical lotion is a great way to get the health promoting phyto-chemicals of marijuana directly onto (and into) your skin. Did you know that about 60% of what you put ON your skin, actually ends up in your bloodstream? That is a rough estimate but studies have shown that the skin does absorb what you put on it. Everything goes right into your bloodstream! (1)
The many benefits of the transdermal absorption of cannabis topical lotion on the skin include improved inflammatory response, pH balance, less body hair growth, and more! If you are ready to rub on a little marijuana lotion, it’s time to learn how to brew your own potion.
How Do Cannabis Topical Lotions Work?
Cannabis infused lotions protect the largest organ of your body: your skin. As a good source of some of the best skin protectors, also known as cannabinoids, marijuana makes an ideal skincare ingredient.
You see, your skin already produces chemicals in each skin cell similar to those found in cannabis plants. (2) In your body, they are known as endocannabinoids. However, in the marijuana plant they are known as cannabinoids. These phytochemicals include a group of more than 60 biologically active chemical agents, which have been used in natural medicine for centuries. These include Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol, (CBD) cannabinol (CBN) and cannabigerol (CBG). (3)
Cannabis is one of the only plants on Earth known to provide cannabinoids – health professionals know that this has a significant effect on persistent dry skin. Also known to play a role in regulating inflammation, CBD topical lotion has the ability to ease symptoms of chronic dry skin as well.
Additionally, cannabinoids act as antioxidants to help prevent the signs of premature aging like fine lines and wrinkles caused by exposure to UV (ultra-violet) rays. (4)
One study testing the effects of a cannabidiol (CBD) facial serum found a 100% overall improvement in skin appearance following two weeks of treatment. (5)
One of the best things about adding cannabis oil into your lotions, or making your own DIY cannabis topical lotion is that you will be able to create a pH balanced moisturizer.
Studies also confirmed that cannabinoids encourage the production of sebum – the natural oil made by the sebaceous glands in the skin. (6)
One study suggests that as a key player in cellular growth, the cannabinoid system may therefore help to manage unwanted hair growth. Woo hoo!
How Can I Infuse Cannabis Oil?
Infusing cannabis directly into a carrier oil is a simple process. It is MUCH easier in a slow cooker, but if you do not have one, a small to medium-sized boiler pot will work just fine.
Here is what you need for the extraction:
½ – 1 ounce of cannabis (use trim if possible)
1 cup of Extra Virgin coconut oil or olive oil
Large slow cooker
Cheesecloth (about an 8” x 10” piece)
The extraction process:
• Place all ingredients inside the slow cooker at a medium temperature setting.
• Allow the oil to heat around the plant material for up to 48 hours. Then allow it to cool for up to 24 hours.
• Repeat steps 1 and 2 for up to 3 days. NOTE: Always turn the slow cooker completely OFF when you are asleep.
• Allow the mixture to cool completely and then add all of the marijuana plant material into a cheesecloth, to strain out any oil retained within it. Get it all out! Nothing goes to waste here.
The heat is what works to extract the active phytochemicals from cannabis so that you can add it into your favorite hand or body lotion. So feel free to re-heat the mixture up to 72 hours on a safe, low-temperature setting.
The Cannabis Topical Lotion Recipe:
Once you extract the THC and CBD compounds from the marijuana into a carrier oil such as coconut oil, you can add that oil into any recipe you like!
Here is just one recipe for a hand & body cannabis topical lotion:
• 16oz Cannabis Oil
• ½ cup melted shea butter
• 1-2oz Beeswax pellets
• 2-3 capsules of Vitamin E oil gel caps, or 1 Tbsp. oil out of a dropper vial
NOTE: These measurements can be adjusted to suit your tastes.
• Combine all of the ingredients into your slow cooker over a low heat.
• Once the consistency is liquid, you can add in the Vitamin E oil. However, if you need to thicken the mixture add more beeswax.
• While it is still thin enough to stir, you can add
• essential oils or any other additional healing oils you like.
• Return to container and allow to cool before usefully.
- DERMAL ABSORPTION. Environmental Health Criteria 235. World Health Organization.
- C. Fede,G. Albertin. Expression of the Endocannabinoid Receptors in Human Fascial Tissue. Eur J Histochem. 2016 Apr 11; 60(2): 2643. Published online 2016 Jun 28.
- Kupczyk P, Reich A. Cannabinoid system in the skin – a possible target for future therapies in dermatology. Exp Dermatol. 2009 Aug;18(8):669-79.
- Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants. US 6630507 B1. https://www.google.com/patents/US6630507
- Study Finds CBD-Based Topical Improves Skin Appearance. http://www.medicalmarijuanainc.com/study-finds-cbd-based-topical-improves-skin-appearance/
- Dobrosi N, Tóth BI. Endocannabinoids enhance lipid synthesis and apoptosis of human sebocytes via cannabinoid receptor-2-mediated signaling. FASEB J. 2008 Oct;22(10):3685-95. doi: 10.1096/fj.07-104877. Epub 2008 Jul 2.
- Telek A1, Bíró T. Inhibition of human hair follicle growth by endo- and exocannabinoids. FASEB J. 2007 Nov;21(13):3534-41.