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Making Cannabis Oil for Pain Relief

Updated on February 13, 2016
5 stars from 1 rating of Cannabis Oil
Green Fairy Pain Relief Cream
Green Fairy Pain Relief Cream | Source

Why I Make Cannabis Pain Relief Cream

I am fortunate enough to live in a state where not only is medicinal cannabis legal but recreational marijuana is also legal. This means I have the opportunity to legally make my own cannabis pain relief cream as well as making other cannabis oil products that are capable of relieving pain.

When first moving to Oregon I did not believe for a second that I would be working with marijuana for pain or anything else for that matter. Although I have nothing at all against marijuana or those who use it for what ever reason, I can't smoke it as it tends to make me a little nutty.

However, my significant other is a long time smoker and more importantly is a medical marijuana patient, this is the why and how of me making cannacream and other cannabis products.

My boyfriend has Multiple Sclerosis as well as having two herniated discs in his lower back, the MS causes a wide range of symptoms such as numbness and tingling in his extremities, depression, extreme shaking, muscle cramps and many others. The herniated discs cause extreme pain not only in his lower back but because of the constant pain, the muscles in his back tighten causing pain throughout his back and often times his chest.

Perfect for Making Cannabis Oil

Blackberry Kush
Blackberry Kush

Cannabis Oil for Pain

Before moving to Oregon I had already been making a pain cream to help with his back problems and it did work well, however once we relocated to Oregon I was able to begin making cannabis oil and add that to the pain cream. This has of course made a big improvement in the effectiveness on pain that the cream has but it has also helped tremendously with his MS symptoms.

Additionally, being able to legally posses and smoke/eat marijuana has helped with both the pain and the MS symptoms as well. The reason I mention eating cannabis is simply for the fact that cannaoil is of course one of the main ingredients in my pain relieving cannacream. Cannaoil, which in this case is just cannabis extracted using coconut oil, can be used for cooking many, many different cannabis edibles.

It should also be noted that we are talking medical cannabis oil and not CBD oil made from hemp. The cannaoil has both THC and CBD cannabinoids where as CBD oil made from hemp contains no THC. CBD oil is a wonderful medicinal product and better than cannabis for somethings however in the case of pain relieving and many of the symptoms that my boyfriend suffers from, using cannabis is the best choice. In his case, using cannabis, including my cannabis salve, has allowed him to go from taking 3-6 Vicodin a day to taking zero pills since moving to Oregon.

Does Cannabis Oil Get You High?

It should be noted that many folks ask the question “does cannabis oil get you high?”, and to answer that, yes! As already discussed, cannabis oil posses both THC and CBD, THC is the psychoactive ingredient that causes you to “get high”. However please remember that THC does have medicinal qualities and does much more than just produce the high sensation which is one reason that cannabis oil can be more beneficial in many cases than CBD oil.

See below a helpful chart of the various benefits of all the cannabinoids that cannabis possesses.

Medicinal Cannabis Cannabinoid Chart

Viva Labs Organic Coconut Oil

Viva Labs Organic coconut oil is the brand I most often use for making our cannabis oil, as the name says, it is organic and additionally it is GMO free. However, most any brand of organic coconut oil will work, I use this brand mainly because of price.

I use a lot of coconut oil not just for making cannabis oil but for everyday cooking as well so I need to keep our costs down where I can.

Medical Cannabis Oil (Solid State)

Finished Product
Finished Product

How to Make Cannabis Oil

Making cannabis oil is relatively easy and there are several methods that can be used. For this article we will keep is sweet and simple. Additionally this method can be used to make cannabutter as well.

When we make cannabis oil for pain cream we make it extra strong as we are combining it with essential oils and other ingredients, if we use that same oil for cooking we will combine it with other oil to reduce the potency.

Typically for making cannabutter or cannaoil you would use a 2:1 ratio of butter/oil to cannabis. Of course you may want yours stronger or weaker so your best bet is to experiment. Additionally the quality of the cannabis being used can make a difference so you may need to add more or less. In our case we want our oil strong so we use 2 ounces of top quality, high CBD, medicinal marijuana with 2 cups of organic coconut oil, when mixed with other ingredients to make cannacream for pain relief this makes enough to last you several months depending on your use. I tend to make much larger batches at a time but still sticking to the two ounces to two cups ratio.

Time to Cook Your CannaOil

One of the first things you need to understand before starting the oil making process is that cannabis contains THCA which when being used as an edible or topical needs to be activated and changed into THC, the ingredient that makes you "high". This process is called decarboxylation and happens when cannabis is heated to a certain temperature for a certain length of time.

The temperature and length of time are often debated however a large portion of people agree that 240 degrees F for 1 hour is about right so this is the advice I follow. To do this you simply heat your cannabis material in a preheated oven at 240F for 1 hour.

After the decarboxylation process is finished you will need to combine the oil and the material as well as a little water (to keep the oil from burning) into your crock-pot and proceed to slow cook it at 200 degrees F.

How long do you cook it? well the longer the better, you can get a good product by heating it for 2 hours however 5 hours seems to create an even better product.

If you heat it longer than 5 hours will it get even stronger? I couldn't answer that for sure but it is likely possible.

The video above show a wonderful test done to see what the effects of decarboxylation and the length of cooking time are.

Here are the results taken from the video page, please note 2 things, first, he is making cannabutter not oil (process is the same) and second he uses margarine not butter which you should never do (the cannabanoids stick to the fat in butter).

----------------------------------------­----------------------------------------­------------------------------

Starting Material: Sugar leaf from Lowryder Skunk #1 Autoflower.. THCA (mg) 5.7%, THC (mg) 0.2%, THC (max) 5.2%, CBD (max) 0.2%, Total (mg) 5.5%
----------------------------------------­----------------------------------------­------------------------------
2 Hours @ 200F (No Decarboxylation) THCA (mg) 34.5%, THC (mg) 16.0%, THC (max) 46.3%, CBD (max) 1.3%, Total (mg) 47.6%
----------------------------------------­----------------------------------------­------------------------------
1 Hour @ 200F, 1 Hour @ 240F (preheated oven) THCA (mg) 26.0%, THC (mg) 17.6%, THC (max) 40.5%, CBD (max) 0.9%, Total (mg) 41.3%
----------------------------------------­----------------------------------------­------------------------------
3 Hour @ 200F, 1 Hour @ 240F (preheated oven) THCA (mg) 19.1%, THC (mg) 23.2%, THC (max) 40.0%, CBD (max) 1.0%, Total (mg) 41.0%
----------------------------------------­----------------------------------------­------------------------------
5 Hour @ 200F, 1 Hour @ 240F (preheated oven) THCA (mg) 22.3%, THC (mg) 27.5%, THC (max) 47.0%, CBD (max) 1.0%, Total (mg) 48.0%
----------------------------------------­----------------------------------------­------------------------------

Do You Need a Crock-Pot

You do not need to use a crock-pot, you can easily use a double-boiler or even just a pot, one of the main reasons I choose to use a crock-pot is the simple fact that it is easy to set the temperature and keep it consistent.

I use a slightly larger model of crock-pot than the one shown here, however for smaller batches something like this is perfect.

I definitely suggest you use a programmable model as it is much easier to set the temperature exactly where you want it. I also suggest you use a cooking thermometer (digital if possible) to ensure your oil is kept at the right temperature. Plus or minus a couple of degrees is not a disaster however you do want to try and minimize any difference in temperature.


Medical Cannabis Oil (Liquid State)

Almost Done!

Once you are finished cooking your oil it is time to strain it into the container (preferably plastic) you are going to use for the first step of reclaiming your oil. You can use a strainer, coffee filter or my personal favorite, cheese cloth.

The reason for straining is to remove as much as the plant material as possible, this is especially important when making cannabutter and less so when making cannabis oil (unless making oil strictly for cooking). I don't want to eat the plant material but having a little in my pain cream is not a big deal.

Once you have strained the liquid into your container it is time to seal it up and put it in a cool place. One great thing about coconut oil is it becomes solid at 76 degrees F so letting it sit in a cool area will slowly turn your oil into a solid, however if you need it to become solid more quickly you can stick it in your refrigerator.

The last step is to remove the solid oil from the water, to do this, wait until the oil has completely separated to the top of your container and become solid. At this point I like to slide the edge of a knife down the inside of the container while bending the plastic it a bit to allow for the water to be poured out.

Once you have your solid piece out of your container you will notice a slime on the bottom side of it, this is remaining plant material and should be lightly scraped off when making butter/oil for consumption. Again not such a worry in pain salves but it is entirely up to you.

At this point I will usually reheat the oil to a liquid and pour it into a smaller container to get my finished product.

Cook Time

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 5 hours
Ready in: 5 hours 20 min
Yields: Roughly 2 Cups of Oil

Cannabis Coconut Oil Recipe: Ingredients

  • 2 Ounces Cannabis
  • 2 Cups Organic Coconut Oil

Instructions

  1. Decarboxylate cannabis in oven for 1 hour at 240 degrees F
  2. Combine cannabis, cocconut oil and water into crock-pot, cook 2-5 hours at 200 degrees F
  3. Strain material into waiting container
  4. Let oil become solid
  5. Separate oil from water and scrape plant material off of bottom

Cannabis Salve

Just a Part of My Cannabis Salve Herbal Pain Relieving Cream

Of course making cannabis oil is just the first step in creating my cannabis salve herbal pain relieving cream.

However the rest of the ingredients are somewhat of a secret maybe to be shared another day.

Have You Ever Used Cannabis Pain Cream?

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*Disclaimer*


Cannabis is not legal in all 50 states and purchasing or possessing cannabis may be illegal in your area. We are not responsible on how you use this information. Additionally we are not claiming that cannabis pain cream lotion or any cannabis product will cure or heal any condition.

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