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Cannabis salve

Cannabis enthusiasts claim that ointments made from their favorite herb can be used to treat all sorts of skin conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, dermatitis and burns. Properly made cannabis salve has, among many others, painkilling, soothing, anti-inflammatory and regenerative effects. And what is more, various methods of its production have been known to mankind for millennia.

As we understand the complex nature of the endocannabinoid system more and more, we are also starting to see the true importance of endocannabinoids, which are produced by the body. For instance, according to the study conducted by researchers from the University of Bonn in Germany, the skin of mice whose production of endocannabinoids was artificially blocked took much more time to recover from injuries. On the contrary, according to many testimonials, applying the salve accelerates the process of healing skin injuries and allergies.

Nothing Too Complex

Production of cannabis salve is similar to the production of cannabis butter. Shea butter, coconut oil, medical grade vaseline or beeswax can serve as a fatty base, which can be stored at a room temperature without the risk of dissolving or becoming rancid. We then dissolve the dried cannabis flowers or cannabis extract in the base. In case we use edible base, coconut oil for example, we can use the final product to prepare cannabis cookies and other edibles. It is also possible to combine the bases, for instance, we can combine coconut and vaseline to create more solid base, which is less likely to dissolve (compared to the coconut oil on its own).


What is needed: A big pot, heat-resistant plastic bowl to put the ingredients in, a thin cloth to strain the salve through, wooden or plastic spoon for stirring, and small cups or jars to store the final product in.

As a general rule, use 100-500 grams of the dried cannabis flowers or petals per one kilogram of the base. In case you use cannabis extract, 3-4 grams of the extract per one kilogram of the base should be enough. However, these numbers serve only as general guidelines. It always depends on the "quality"—the amount and the ratio of the cannabinoids in the plant used for the production.

Put the fatty base into the plastic bowl and add cannabis. Fill the pot halfway with water and set it on the stove. Before the water reaches the boiling point, lower the temperature so the water starts to simmer. Put the plastic bowl into the pot so the water does not get inside the bowl and heat the pot until the fat dissolves.

Once the fat is dissolved, use a clean plastic or wooden spoon to blend the ingredients together and continue to simmer at a very low temperature while stirring every now and then (in case you use herbal cannabis, the simmering process will take longer).

Afterwards, let the pot cool and place it in a dark, cold place. After one week, heat up the salve using low heat for two hours. Now put the salve away again, but this time for one month. Finally, gently heat it up one last time, so the fat turns into liquid. Take the plastic bowl out of the pot. Now you can put the pot aside. Place the thin cloth over the smaller container, which you will use to store the salve in. Now strain the mixture full of medicinal cannabinoids through the cloth to the container(s).


Let the salve cool before using. The salve should last for two months at least, assuming it is stored properly—optimally in a cold, dark place. Once finished, the salve can be applied on skin. It can also be used to make a special creams, lotions and ointments for treating specific conditions.

In case you use beeswax as a base of a body cream or a lotion, adding thinner oil as well is advised. Even when making a lip balm, the room temperature makes the beeswax very solid and that is why it is a good idea to add a small amount of e.g. coconut oil to make the balm thinner so it is better absorbed by the skin. On the other hand, in case we use coconut oil or Shea butter as a base, which dissolve at a temperature higher than 25 degrees Celsius, we can add aforementioned vaseline or beeswax to make the cream more solid. When adding additional oils or fats, heat up the salve so that the ingredients would blend together properly.


In case you want to reduce the greasiness of the body cream or the lotion, add almond oil or grape seed oil. These oils are easily absorbed by the skin and do not leave any grease. Adding aloe vera gel can be also recommended because it decreases the greasiness of the product and has antibacterial effects. Additionally, the product will feel fresh and soothing.

Another possibility is to mix cannabis salve with cosmetic skin care products, such as hand creams, shampoos or hair conditioners. However, add the salve only in case the products do not contain harmful substances, such as sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), parabens or artificial flavors.

Cannabis salve can always be customized in order to treat specific conditions, or simply to make cosmetic products that preserve the skin much more efficiently and harmlessly than any commercial product ever would.

Using the aforementioned quick and simple procedures, everybody can achieve a healthier, more preserved skin, and save a substantial amount of money by not buying overpriced and possibly harmful cosmetic products.

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