I have recently become a creator of my own homemade cannabis lotion. Cheap, store-bought lotions often have an ingredients list that take up the whole back label and are filled with chemicals that are difficult to pronounce. My concerns arose when I found out about Oxybenzone and Octinoxate which are common ingredients in sunscreens. Theses chemicals cause hormone disruptions and could be circulating through our bodies regularly because our bodies cannot easily rid of the toxin.
Scary facts aside, I started to realize all the benefits of artisanal and organic lotions. They are more hydrating for your skin whereas some chemicals in lotions actually have a drying affect so you have to apply more. The recipe is easy and adaptable to particular desires: zinc for sun protection, tea tree for toning, vitamin-e for healing, or rose-hip for hydration. The most beneficial ingredient I have found by far is, you guessed it, cannabis.
This particular addition to the lotion creates a natural non-psychoactive muscle relaxer and skin-tingling sensation. Though my recipe calls for decarboxylation, to activate the THC, it isn’t strong enough to penetrate the bloodstream so you won’t have to worry about a surprise effect during your day. I like to infuse flowers with coconut oil for the best results because it can withstand high temperatures and is a healthy fat that is absorbed faster by the body. With coconut oil, you can enjoy dual uses for both topical application and edibles.
Why Use a Cannabis Lotion?
Cannabis lotions have wonderful healing affects for itching, soar muscles, headaches, and soothing pain. The greatest effect I recognize when using cannabis lotion is the relaxation. Not only my muscles but my whole body feels like it is disposing of toxic wastes and reducing stress levels – almost like coming out of a sauna.
The simple cannabis lotion recipe calls for only coconut oil, other oils (like olive oil), and beeswax. I like to use shea butter to add a creamy texture. Shea is also great for smoothing and moisturizing skin. My secret ingredient is sunflower lecithin. I have many reasons why I use this in my canna-coco oil, one of which is the higher potency edibles achieve with sunflower lecithin. It also has many benefits for the brain and lowers cholesterol. So I thought, why not use it topical? The results speak for themselves. Lecithin is a natural anti-inflammatory and an intense moisturizer because it penetrates the deep layers of the skin.
What You Will Need
Before making your cannabis lotion you need to infuse you oil. It is quite important to use a crockpot when infusing your flowers so as not to burn them. Though, I understand not everyone has one. If you intend to infuse often, I would suggest investing in one! If not, then using a very low heat on your stove can be sufficient, though you must be watching and stirring it frequently. The best way to cook over the stove is to make a double boiler. Fill the pot with water and fit a bowl on top so that the bottom of the bowl is touching the boiling water at the bottom but the water cannot splash in to the bowl.
Don’t forget about the essential oils. These will give your lotion an extra uniqueness in which you can change up every time you make a new batch. I like to use eucalyptus oil for sore muscles, lavender for relaxation, sandalwood for everyday use, and tea tree oil for a face-toning lotion. If you would rather not use oils, don’t bother! The beeswax smell is very light and neutral so you can add your own scents on top of it.
Last little trick before starting your lotions or edibles is decarboxylation. It’s a big scary word but all it means is that you are activating your bud’s cannabinoids by heating it up.
Now, gather up your ingredients and experiment with your own twist to this simple lotion recipe!
- 1-4g bud (depending on your preference of potency)
- ½ cup Coconut oil
- ¼ cup Beeswax
- ½ cup of oil*
- ½ cup Shea butter (optional)
- 1 ½ tsp. Sunflower lecithin (optional)
- 10-20 drops Essential oils (optional)
*My preference of oils is: 3 tbsp. Olive oil, 1 tbsp. Vitamin E oil, 2 tbsp. rosehip oil, 2 tbsp. jojoba/sandalwood oil. Olive oil tends to be the oiliest and is great for deep conditioning hand lotion. If you want to create a face lotion, I would recommend less olive oil, more rosehip, carrot, or sandalwood oil.
- First you have to infuse your coconut oil with your bud and this takes a while so plan on doing this a day before you make your edibles or lotions. I just turn on my crockpot at night and let it cook while I sleep so I have it ready in the morning. You can do this on a much larger scale so you have more for edibles or you can eat it plane. I love it on toast instead of butter! But for the sake of this lotion recipe I will use only the amount called for in the recipe.
- Take your ½ cup of coconut oil and add it to the crock pot or double boiler. Make sure the heat setting is low. Once the coconut oil has melted (since it is usually a solid in colder temperatures) add your decarboxylated bud. I recommend breaking up the bud, not finely grinding it, that will be harder to strain out at the end. Make sure the oil is completely covering the bud.
- Add 1-1 ½ tsp of sunflower lecithin if you have it. Let it cook for 8-12 hours in the crockpot. Over a stove top you might want to increase the heat temperature and continuously stir it for 2 hours to cut down on gas usage.
- Next, you will melt the beeswax in a separate container. Use a make-shift double boiler or place the lotion container you will use with the wax inside into the boiling water.
- Once the beeswax has melted, strain the bud from the coconut oil and add the oil to the beeswax. Then add the oils and melt down the shea butter (optional).
- Once everything is completely melted, remove the container from the boiling water. While it cools, add the essential oils. You do not want to cook the essential oils over the stove so make sure it is added after you remove your container.
- The last step is to stir. It isn’t necessary as your cannabis lotion will harden up and be readily available to use, but stirring will activate the wax and lecithin which act as emulsifiers and create a creamier texture.
By Anne Loupy
Have you made you own cannabis lotions? Tell us how you made yours in the comments below.