How to make your own CBD balm

CBD balms, also called CBD salves, have become popular supplemental treatments for muscle pain, inflammation, and skin conditions. Like some other topical products, CBD balms are absorbed into the skin and can be a safe, non-invasive treatment for joint and muscle pain. 

How to make your own CBD balm
CBD balms, also called CBD salves, have become popular supplemental treatments for muscle pain, inflammation, and skin conditions.
Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

In this step-by-step guide, you'll learn how to make your own CBD balm at home and how to choose the best ingredients for pain relief. 

How do you make your own CBD balm?

Dr. Melanie Bone, board-certified OB-GYN and cannabis specialist, summed up the process this way: “To make your own CBD balm, you need to put a concentrated form of CBD into a carrier oil such as coconut oil or jojoba oil as well as a beeswax base for structure. After melting these together at low heat (such as the top of a double boiler), the secret sauce is the addition of essential oils and other additives to make it more effective.” 

Here are the ingredients you will need to make your own CBD balm:

  • 1 cup coconut or other carrier oil
  • ⅓ cup beeswax
  • Full-spectrum CBD concentrate (consult your medical professional about dosage)
  • 5 drops of the essential oil of your choice
  • Few drops of menthol (optional)

You'll also need the following supplies:

  • Saucepan or double boiler (make one by placing a heat-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water)
  • Glass jar
  • Cheesecloth

The steps for making your own CBD balm are as follows:

  1. Blend the CBD concentrate into the carrier oil
  2. Melt the beeswax and carrier oil mixture in the saucepan or double boiler
  3. Continue to heat on low for approximately 25 minutes
  4. Remove from heat and add essential oil(s) and menthol, if using
  5. Pour mixture through cheesecloth into jar
  6. Seal jar and store in a cool, dark place until ready to use. Do not refrigerate.

When choosing an essential oil for your CBD balm, be aware that different terpenes in essential oils may exert different effects on the body. “For example, using lavender can make the balm more soothing. Adding lemon may help with mood, while peppermint may boost energy,” said Bone. 

Proper storage is essential to maintain your CBD balm. “The balm needs to be stored in a container that will neither interact with the product nor allow heat or light in to degrade it,” Bone stated. 

Keeping the balm sealed tightly in a glass jar in a cool, dark area should help maintain freshness and potency. Do not refrigerate or freeze CBD balms. 

How do you make a pain relief balm?

Making a pain relief balm involves the same exact steps listed above for a basic CBD balm. The only difference is that you can add certain ingredients reputed to have pain-relieving properties. 

cbd balm for pain relief
There are some ingredients you can add to a CBD balm to make it potentially more pain-relieving, especially for general muscle aches and conditions like arthritis.
Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

There are some ingredients you can add to a CBD balm to make it potentially more pain-relieving, especially for general muscle aches and conditions like arthritis. “Adding products such as menthol or emu oil can make a product that is good to use on muscle tenderness,” Bone suggested. 

  • Menthol is an active ingredient in many pain and muscle relief medications. Derived from different types of mint, menthol has an initial cooling effect on the skin followed by a warming sensation, which can soothe achy muscles.
  • Emu oil contains fatty acids, which may have the ability to decrease pain and inflammation. The oil is made from the fat of the emu, a flightless bird native to Australia. 

Other natural ingredients and essential oils may also enhance the pain relief potential of a CBD balm:

  • Ginger is reputed to help with digestive issues. Mixing in some ginger and rubbing on your abdomen could ease stomach cramps.
  • Cloves are frequently used to soothe dental discomfort. You can mix whole cloves or clove essential oil and rub on your jaw if you're experiencing a toothache. 
  • Peppermint may help ease headaches, in addition to boosting energy. Blend in some peppermint oil and apply the balm to your temples to ease a tension headache. (Be careful not to get it too close to your eyes.)

CBD balms custom-made for pain relief may offer skin-soothing benefits for psoriasis and eczema thanks to the moisturizing carrier oils employed in the recipe. 

Bottom line on making your own CBD balm

With the right ingredients, you can make your own CBD balm at home. But you might also like to explore purchasing a reputable CBD salve online or from a cannabis dispensary. “Making a homemade balm is fun, but I fully endorse using a high-quality product that is already vetted in the marketplace and easy to purchase,” Bone said. 

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The information contained in this site is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical or legal advice. This page was last updated on January 25, 2021.