How to Make Your Own CBD Pain Relief Balm

CBD balms, also called CBD salves, have become popular supplemental treatments for muscle pain, inflammation, and skin conditions. Read this article to learn how to make your own CBD balm
Written by 
Zora Degrandpre, MS, ND.
|Last Updated:
How to Make Your Own CBD Pain Relief Balm

One of the great things about CBD is its versatility—you can benefit from oral use—as an oil, a tincture, a capsule, a vape or a gummy and you can benefit from using it topically to relieve muscle pain, itching, sore joints, inflammation and potentially to help treat skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema, acne, and many rashes.

Another great thing about CBD is that you can tailor your CBD to your specific needs. How? One way is by making your own topicals containing the “right” amount of CBD for you!

The Difference between Creams, Ointments, Lotions, Salves and Balms

It can be confusing—and many people use all these terms interchangeably, but there are some differences!

  •  “Ointment” is the most generic term and can include salves, balms, lotions and creams. All three are semi-solid fatty mixtures that contain beeswax and/or oils but little if any water. In general, ointments tend to be the softest.
  • Salves tend to be softer (or oilier) than balms but a bit “harder” or less liquidy than ointments. Salves also tend to be more completely absorbed by the skin, leaving a light oily trace.
  • Balms are the least liquid of the ointments and tend to absorb much more slowly and incompletely, leaving the skin protected for longer periods of time.
  • Creams are thicker than lotions because they contain more oils and fats while lotions are thinner because they contain more water rather than oils or fats. Lotions tend to be better absorbed than creams, which take a bit longer to be absorbed.

Making Your Own CBD Balm

What You Need

  • Double boiler or a heat-resistant glass jar and a saucepan
  • Coconut or other carrier oil (1.5 cups)
    • Oils other than coconut oil will result in thinner topicals—more like salves than balms
  • Decarboxylated cannabis or a CBD oil.
  • Kitchen scale (in grams)
  • Kitchen thermometer
  • Cheesecloth for straining
  • Containers to store the balm.
    • These can be small glass jars (amber or blue to protect against UV damage) or tins.

First, you will need either some decarboxylated high-CBD hemp or CBD oil. The CBD infused oil is useful especially if you want to or need to know exactly how much CBD you are using. To decarboxylate cannabis, tear or mince the cannabis leaf or bud into small pieces, spread evenly onto a paper-covered baking tray or dish and heat at 250o F for 30 minutes. (the paper makes it easier to collect all the decarboxylated plant product)

To make a CBD oil, use or make a double boiler. (To make a double boiler, just have the carrier oil in a glass, temperature-resistant jar and heat the jar in about 2-3 inches of water.) Keep the temperature of the oil at about 150o F and don’t let it get hotter than 200o F—higher temperatures will increase the breakdown of the CBD and terpenes. Be careful! Even at these relatively low temperatures, the oil can burn or hurt your skin. Place 1.5 cups of coconut oil into the top of the double boiler or in the glass jar in water and start the heating process. Stir in ~10 grams of the decarboxylated hemp. Monitor the temperature to ensure it is <200o F, preferably around 150o F. Heat for 60 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain the mixture into a glass bowl.

  • If you are starting with a CBD oil, add your CBD oil to the 1.5 cups of coconut oil and heat at 150oF for 60 minutes, stirring occasionally. No straining is necessary.

Keeping either the strained mixture (coconut oil + hemp) or the CBD oil/coconut oil mixture warm (liquid), heat 1/3 cup of beeswax in either a double boiler or a glass jar in water. Use low heat and stir every once in a while. When the beeswax has completely melted add your strained mixture of the CBD oil/coconut oil mixture to the melted beeswax. Stir well and remove from heat.

Immediately pour the melted balm into your storage container and let it cool. After cooling, your new CBD balm is ready to use!

Optional Additions

If you don’t much like the hemp odor (or just prefer another aroma) add a few drops of your favorite essential oil while the CBD balm is still a liquid (before you add it to your container). Some options for essential oils (especially useful for pain relief) are:

  • Lavender
  • Menthol
  • Eucalyptus

You can also add 1-2 tablespoons of shea butter—this will slightly “thin” the balm and may make it easier to apply.

As an additional tip, using a CBD oil will dilute the CBD somewhat, so it may be useful to start with as high a potency of CBD oil as you can. Also, you can just add CBD isolate (about 4-5 grams) to the mixture instead of the oil.

Keep these away from children under the age of 16 unless under the advice of a healthcare professional.

Dr. Zora DeGrandpre practices naturopathic medicine (home visits) in rural Washington and is a professional medical and scientific writer and editor, specializing in naturopathic, functional, botanical and integrative medicine. Dr. DeGrandpre has degrees in drug design, immunology and natural medicine and has extensive research experience in cancer and molecular immunology. In her practice, Dr DeGrandpre has found the use of CBD with elderly patients and others to be safe and clinically effective. She brings to all her writing a straightforward approach that is accurate, clear and authentic.

Read More

Important Disclaimer
All contents of the LeafReport Site, such as text, graphics, images, and other material contained on the LeafReport Site are for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the LeafReport Site!