CBD oil has already made it into your medicine cabinet, but as a DIY pro, are you chomping at the bit to make it yourself? Then we have both good and bad news for you. So what’s the good news? Yes, you can make CBD oil yourself. However, you need the buds and leaves of a cannabis plant that contains CBD in order to make it, and German law has yet to embrace cannabis.
We’ll show you what the process of making CBD oil at home could involve and what you should pay attention to regarding German legislation on CBD Important: CBD oil is only approved as a cosmetic in Germany and is used as CBD drops, for example, for oral hygiene or as massage oil. It´s not allowed to be swallowed!.
This is what you need if you want to make CBD oil
One of the easiest methods to make CBD oil uses alcohol as a solvent. For this procedure you will need:
- dried cannabis flowers and leaves
- a grinder
- an oven with a baking tray and baking paper
- two bowls
- a coffee filter
- a water bath (with two pots that nestle into each other)
- a wooden spoon
- vegetable oil (e.g., olive oil)
- high-proof alcohol
If the first item here trips you up a bit, here are a few thoughts on choosing a cannabis plant.
Spoilt for choice: Which plant is the right one?
Before you start making CBD oil, you should first decide on a hemp strain to use. This is easier said than done, as the is as diverse as its applications. Many strains nowadays are bred for high THC and low CBD levels, which isn’t suitable for making your own CBD. So when researching which plant to use, you should choose those with a high CBD content or those with a balanced CBD-THC ratio.
As with getting the right , we recommend experimenting with different plants until you find the right one. Generally, the flowers and upper leaves are the best if you want to make your own CBD oil, as they contain the highest amount of cannabinoids.
Step 1 in making CBD: Decarboxylation
Chemistry textbooks describe decarboxylation as a chemical reaction in which carbon dioxide is expelled from a molecule through heat. And that's exactly what we want, because in order for CBD to work, we need CBD. It’s true, the cannabis plant initially contains only cannabidiolic acid, or CBDA. Through the process of decarboxylation, a carbon dioxide molecule is split off the acid and CBDA becomes CBD.
For your own DIY experiment, simply spread the dried cannabis flowers and leaves out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Put it in the oven at about 115 °C for 30 to 40 minutes. This should give you dry, yellow-brown – but not burnt – flowers.
Step 2: Extracting CBD with alcohol
The next step is to crush the freshly baked flowers – feel free to use a grinder here. Then toss everything into a bowl and soak it in alcohol. Making sure your plant mixture is completely covered, stir for up to 10 minutes with a wooden spoon.
Stirring dissolves the trichomes in the plant, which produce substances like CBD and terpenes. These ingredients should be in your CBD oil and the alcohol helps them get there by first pulling them out of the plant.
Then pour the mixture through a coffee filter into another container, yielding a dark green liquid. It's best to repeat the process with fresh alcohol until the liquid runs more clear, that way you won’t waste any cannabinoids.
Step 3: Separating the CBD from the alcohol
In order to make sure the CBD you’ve extracted delivers its soothing effects without leaving you in a drunken stupor, the active ingredients should be separated from the alcohol solution.
This is where the water bath comes in: Fill the big pot with water and the smaller pot with your CBD liquid. Bring this to a boil and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. The alcohol will evaporate and leave behind a thick fluid. Voilá! You’ve made your own CBD base substance! You can mix it with a vegetable oil or draw it up into syringes for storing.
But be careful – the vapor that this procedure creates is highly flammable, so please don’t try to combine a candlelit dinner or a bonfire with your CBD oil-making experiment.
DIY CBD oil – an alcohol-free alternative
Maceration is another procedure suitable for homemade CBD oil. This process involves dousing plant parts with a vegetable oil and storing them in a closed container for about 3 weeks.
Because cannabinoids are fat soluble, their key components dissolve in the oil. But only half of the desired substances are released from the plant through this method, which results in a weakly concentrated CBD oil.
So what are the legalities to consider?
Yep, there are issues here. CBD oil is legal, that much is certain. However, cannabis and most of its products are still subject to Germany’s Narcotics Act. However, in most cases, cannabis possession is prosecuted only when larger quantities are involved, and this depends on the individual federal state. The German Cannibis Association’s website offers an overview of what constitutes a “small” amount“. You’ll also find a detailed summary about the legality of CBD buds in Germany.