How To Make Cannabis Infused Massage Oil
Cannabis-infused massage oil is super easy to make and delivers a ton of health benefits. Keep reading to learn all about this powerful topical, how it works, and how to make it at home with a few simple ingredients.
Cannabis topicals are the latest rage and infused massage oil has to be one of the most popular weed topicals out there. Unfortunately, however, not everyone has the ability to buy ready-made topicals from a pharmacy or cannabis dispensary.
But don’t fret; in this article, you’ll find a step-by-step recipe to prepare your own cannabis-infused massage oil at home with just a few ingredients. Make sure to give it a shot and read all about its benefits below.
What Are The Benefits of Cannabis-infused Massage Oil?
Cannabis is a really powerful plant that’s been a staple ingredient in human culture, industry, and spiritual practices for thousands of years. Loaded with a whole host of over 400 active compounds, the cannabis plant delivers its myriad of benefits by interacting with the human endocannabinoid system, or ECS.
The ECS is, in many ways, a regulatory system that helps maintain systemic balance (aka homeostasis) across our organism and ensures all our bodily functions work smoothly. Made up of a complex network of endocannabinoids (compounds naturally produced by the body with similar structures and properties to cannabinoids found in cannabis, primary and secondary receptor cells, and enzymes, the ECS has been shown to be involved in managing a whole load of important bodily functions and regulations.
As our understanding of the cannabis plant evolves, we’re constantly developing new and exciting ways to use this ancient plant to benefit both our physical health and mental well-being. Cannabis-infused massage oils and other topicals (such as cannabis balms, creams, and ointments) work by delivering cannabinoids, terpenes, and other cannabis compounds directly to receptors in our skin, where they may act on localised care. Cannabis massage oils are also often used in sports massages to relieve tension, contractures, and soreness due to training or injury.
Unlike smoked cannabis, edibles, or tinctures (all of which deliver cannabis compounds to the bloodstream to be transported around the body), cannabis massage oils and topicals get to work instantly right at the site where they are applied. Best of all, because they don’t enter the bloodstream, cannabis topicals don’t deliver the intoxicating high/euphoria associated with cannabis.
Oh, and did we mention that cannabis massage oils might also help spice things up in the bedroom? THC and other cannabinoids are natural vasodilators, meaning they can help encourage blood flow to all the right places.
CBD vs THC
Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the most well-known compounds in cannabis and, in recent years, have been the main focus of most cannabis research.
Both THC and CBD interact with the human endocannabinoid system, although in very different ways. THC, thanks to its chemical structure (which is very similar to anandamide, a cannabinoid produced by the body) can interact directly with CB1 receptors. To visualise this, it often helps to think of CB1 as a lock, and THC and anandamide as two keys that, upon unlocking these receptors, can trigger a variety of reactions in the body that can mediate pain, inflammation, appetite, memory, mood, sleep, blood flow, and more.
CBD, on the other hand, works much more broadly. While it has little affinity for CB1 and CB2 receptors, research shows that it can act on receptors for serotonin (5HTA), vanilloid (TRPV), orphan receptors (GPR55), and nuclear receptors such as PPARs (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors). When it does, CBD can trigger a wide variety of bodily responses similar to THC, but much more subtle and without the intoxicating effects that THC causes.
Cannabis-infused massage oils can contain both THC and/or CBD, depending on the chemical composition of the cannabis they were infused with. Remember that, because topicals like massage oils do not enter the bloodstream, their effects do not include any high and are limited to the region they are applied to. Nonetheless, cannabis massage oils may still be very effective at providing localised effects.
How To Make Cannabis-infused Massage Oil (With THC)
The following recipe explains how to make massage oil using decarboxylated THC flowers. Note that when making infused cannabis oil, you can use lower-quality buds or even trim as potency isn’t as important here as when smoking, vaping, or cooking with cannabis.
Note that the oil recipe we’ve outlined below just covers how to make a basic infused oil. Under the list of ingredients, you’ll find a list of optional ingredients (such as essential oils and other herbs) that you can use to complement the cannabis in your massage oil for an even better experience.
- 25–30g of dried cannabis flower; ground to a medium consistency
- 350ml of coconut or hemp seed oil
- ½ cup lavender flowers
- ¼ cup chamomile flowers
- ¼ cup fresh rosemary or thyme
- ¼ cup calendula flowers
- ¼ cup fresh mint
- 20 drops of your favourite essential oil (eucalyptus, lemongrass, rosemary, mint/spearmint, citrus, or lavender all work great)
- Heatproof Pyrex bowl
- Ointment jars
- For best results, always decarboxylate your dried flowers in the oven at 110°C for roughly 30–40 minutes (this activates the cannabinoids in the flowers and ensures your recipes are more potent). You’ll know your weed is ready to use when it has taken on a slightly “toasted” hue, and smells nice and fragrant!
- For the water bath, fill the saucepan halfway with water and bring to a gentle simmer. Carefully place the heatproof bowl on top. You’ve now successfully created a bain-marie, also known as double-boiler.
- Combine all your ingredients in the bowl and steep your flowers for 1 hour. Make sure to keep an eye on your saucepan, the water should never actively boil.
- Strain your infused oil through a sieve lined with cheesecloth into your ointment jars. Let it fully cool before closing the jars.
How To Make CBD-Infused Cannabis Massage Oil
So far, we've discussed how to make THC-infused cannabis massage oil. What about CBD? If you live in a country where cannabis is still illegal, or simply wish to harness the soothing, mellow properties offered by CBD, you might prefer using flowers high in cannabidiol as your main ingredients.
To make CBD-infused massage oil, simply follow the steps we have highlighted just above, swapping the THC buds for CBD ones. Ingredients and method are exactly the same, and this oil will also benefit from the wide range of essential oils we're about to discover.
What Essential Oils Can You Use With Cannabis or CBD?
Cannabis is a powerful plant that’s rich in a wide variety of active compounds. And, as is the case with most natural herbs and remedies, cannabis works even better when combined with other natural herbs, flowers, and spices.
For the best results, we recommend enriching your infused massage oil with essential oils. Below is a list of some of our favourites:
Besides its amazing scent, lavender essential oil has been shown to:
- Improve sleep
- Promote relaxation
- Fight skin blemishes and imperfections
- Have antifungal properties
- Reduce pain and inflammation
Citrus essential oils are extremely popular in aromatherapy and massage for their myriad of benefits, including:
- Boosting mood and reducing stress
- Delivering antioxidants to the skin and body
- Eliminating germs and bacteria
- Supporting the immune system
- Boosting energy
Rosemary doesn’t just taste great; it also delivers a wide variety of health benefits that make it a great additive to cannabis massage oil, including:
- Relieving localised pain and inflammation
- Promote blood circulation
- Improve energy levels and boosts mood
- Relieve muscle tension
Eucalyptus oil is commonly found in decongestants and cough medicines, but it can also deliver a wide range of benefits when used topically on the skin. These include:
- Relieving dry skin and related symptoms
- Prevent inflammatory flare-ups (such as acne and eczema)
- Provide localized pain relief and tension
- Disinfect cuts and minor wounds
- Fighting bacteria and fungi
How To Store Cannabis-Infused Massage Oil
When prepared according to our recipe, cannabis massage oil has a very long shelf life. To ensure your oil lasts as long as possible, we recommend storing it in airtight containers (like the plastic tubes mentioned earlier) and keeping them in a cool, dark, and dry place (like your medicine cabinet). When preparing your oil, take extra care to ensure all your equipment is as sterile as possible and, when straining your mixture, take extra care to separate any plant matter from the oil prior to storing it to enhance its shelf life even longer.
There you have it! Now that you know how to make your very own affordable cannabis massage oil, make sure to get in the kitchen, so you can start reaping the countless rewards of this amazing topical!