DIY Cannabis Topicals – Marijuana Lotion, Cannabis Salve Recipes & More!

What’s all the hype about cannabis topicals, anyhow?

Marijuana salve or lotion provides a different way of medicating with cannabis and experiencing the soothing and pain relieving effects of cannabis while still being able to drive a car, work, and go about activities the same way you would if you had taken an aspirin.

Cannabis creams will not make you feel “high” or intoxicated, typically. The topical medicinal benefits of cannabis have been known for thousands of years in India and China. There are a lot of benefits to this newly rediscovered way to enjoy and obtain benefits from the cannabis plant.

Even in California. we have a limited selection of cannabis lotions and cannabis spa products. This is why I love DIY! I am going to share one of my favorite tip for making cannabis salves and lotions at home:


marijuana lotion

The Basics – Cannabis Oils

Before you start kvetching about getting together a bag of shake and somehow turning it into an extract – check and see if your local dispensary carries RSO or Full Cannabis Extract. If you can find it you are in luck! Because THIS is exactly what you need to start with when making your own marijuana pain relief lotion or salve without a lot of elbow grease or special extractions.

marijuana lotion

Full Cannabis Extract is a thick oil that has been fully decarboxylated – this sets it apart from smokable hash oils and concentrates. Full Cannabis Extract has been heated previously to change the cannabinoids into the form which is active. Cannabinoids must be heated to activate, otherwise they cannot be used by the body. The only downside to Simpson oil is that it will stain your skin green, depending on how much you use. Simpson oil is probably best for recovery and pain lotions and balms, and not everyday moisturizers.

To make a base oil with the Simpson oil:

1. Gently warm 1/8 to 1/4 cup of the base oil of your choice to about 200 degrees–my recommendations are base oils that are high in oleic acids and hypoallergenic such as olive, sunflower, and rice bran oil.

2. Add three grams or more of the Simpson oil to the warmed base oil and gently stir until it fully dissolves.

Keep your concentrated oil refrigerated until adding to your lotion, oil, balm or other topical product. It is decarboxylated now and should be kept cool and dark so as not to degrade further.

Quick Cannabis Lotion Ointment

In my book, I have several recipes for a strong cannabis base oil to use with topical recipes that includes flower, trim, and other concentrates like hashish – check those out if you’d like to use that instead of RSO!

You can make a really quick cannabis lotion ointment using mango seed butter and the concentrated oil base with the essential oils of your choice – try it! This can be shaken and brought to room temp or a little cooler for a shelf-stable lotion that can be squirted from a bottle or refrigerated to create a firm cannabis salve.

1/8 cup of the concentrated oil

1/2 cup mango seed butter

Melt both together gently and add your desired essential oils. Allow this to set up again in the refrigerator and keep it refrigerated for best results!

Another great recipe that is so lush and beautiful is my Cannabis Rose Butter recipe. This too is made with mango seed butter, but the cannabis is infused directly into the butter along with dried roses. It’s great for dry skin and wrinkles!

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