High-quality CBD oil can be expensive.
But what if we told you buying isn’t the only way to get it?
In fact, you can make decent CBD oil at home. While it won’t be crafted with the same precision as professionally manufactured CBD oils, it’s a fun thing to do — and can save you some money if you’re on a lower budget.
Not to mention that homemade CBD oil is safer than most untested and mislabeled products sold locally and online.
If you’re wondering how to make CBD oil at home — you’re at the right place. We’re here to help you out, top to bottom.
Reasons to Make Homemade CBD Oil
CBD comes in many different forms, but oil is one of the most often picked products.
People usually purchase CBD oils through online stores or in dispensaries, but your choice will be dictated by where you live.
Some states make you spoil for choice, whereas others limit the availability of CBD products.
That’s why we always recommend buying CBD oil online — you have greater freedom of choice.
Cutting down to the chase, those with fewer options may want to hop on the idea of making their CBD oil at home to save money and time. If you know how to make CBD oil without the help of professional lab workers and expensive equipment, nothing can go wrong.
If time and money are high on your priority list, then the idea to make CBD oil at home is a good one.
Let’s start with gathering the ingredients first.
What to Keep In Mind Before Making Your Own CBD Oil
To begin with, you need to choose your go-to extraction method and check if any store near you offers some high-quality hemp flowers. If not, you can look for high-quality CBD strains online; there are plenty of great brands shipping their flowers to all 50 states.
Let’s make sure you know how to pick the right strain for making CBD oil at home.
Choose a High-CBD Strain
CBD can be extracted from hemp and marijuana — which determines its phytochemical profile (1).
Marijuana is typically higher in THC, but there are some high-CBD hybrids grown by hybridizing marijuana with hemp. If you can find such strains near you — given that you’re in a state where high-THC cannabis is legal — you can use this type to make CBD oil at home.
However, most high-CBD strains come from hemp; they’re also easily accessible thanks to hemp’s legal status at the federal level.
As mentioned above, if there are no hemp stores near you, look for high-quality CBD flowers online.
Decarboxylate the CBD
If you want to make CBD oil at home, and not CBDA oil, you need to activate it first. Doing so requires heating the plant material so that the acidic precursor CBDA loses its carbon bond and transforms into CBD (2).
That’s right, you won’t find significant amounts of CBD in raw, unprocessed hemp flowers. If you want to pull CBD from hemp, you need to apply heat before combining the flower with the solvent of your choice.
The most popular decarboxylation method for making CBD oil at home is baking the flower in the oven. Some people use slow cookers, which is another inexpensive method to activate CBD.
That being said, these methods are imprecise and may not activate your CBD thoroughly.
The best way to make high-quality CBD oil is to purchase a decarboxylator. This device comes with special features that allow it to fully activate CBD and supportive cannabinoids without doing too much damage to terpenes. It’s another investment, but if you have some free cash at hand, why not step up your game?
Pick a Solvent for the Job
A solvent is essential during the extraction because it’s the thing that strips the valuable compounds from the cannabis plant.
For amateur extraction, we recommend either food-grade alcohol or carrier oil.
Alcohol extraction calls for soaking the hemp flower in alcohol for a few weeks until it captures all the beneficial compounds from the plant material.
The longer you keep the plant in alcohol, the more potent your CBD oil will get.
The second method requires the use of carrier plant oils because CBD is fat-soluble. It’s a slow and gentle process (also the least complicated) for which you can use MCT oil, hemp seed oil, or olive oil.
There’s also a third extraction method, but you’re not going to use it to make CBD oil at home — unless you’re very rich. We’re talking about CO2.
CO2 extraction is the fastest and the most efficient way to extract CBD from hemp (3). However, it requires a lot of space, scientific knowledge, and extremely expensive equipment, so for now, let’s stick to the first two methods.
A Step by Step Guide on How to Make CBD Oil at Home (2 Ways)
Here we’ll shed more light on how to make CBD oil at home using the two solvents mentioned in the previous section:
1. The Alcohol Method
What you’ll need:
- 30 grams of high-CBD hemp buds
- High-proof, food-grade alcohol
- Baking tray
- Parchment paper
- Mixing Bowl
- Catchment container
- Double boiler
- Fine strainer
- Plastic syringe
How to make CBD oil with alcohol:
- Activate your CBD flower by grinding it up into smaller pieces and placing it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 225 F (110 C) and bake for 1 hour.
- Transfer your decarboxylated buds to the mixing bowl and soak them completely in the alcohol. Use a wooden spatula to stir the decarbed buds for a maximum of 10 minutes. During this process, the alcohol will pull the desired compounds from the plant material. Stirring and shaking the mixture speeds up extraction by making more trichomes fall off the plant.
- Strain your alcohol-based CBD extract from the plant material using a piece of cheesecloth. It will come to your attention that the product has a dark green color. Repeat this process until you achieve a clear extract.
- Prepare your double boiler. Pour the alcohol tincture into the top of the device and apply low heat. High-proof alcohol is extremely flammable and will evaporate at very low temperatures. If necessary, turn the heat off, wait for a few minutes, and turn it on again. Make sure that your ventilation system works properly, and if not, perform this extraction outdoors to prevent explosions?
- Once you can’t see any more of the alcohol, the extract will have a thick, tar-like texture. You can suck it up with a syringe while it’s still warm and transfer it to a bottle with a glass dropper.
2. The Cooking Oil Method
What you’ll need:
- 30 grams of high-CBD hemp flowers
- 500 ml carrier oil (use MCT oil or olive oil for the best results)
- Parchment paper
- Baking tray
- Double boiler
- Glass jar with a lid
How to make CBD oil with a cooking oil:
- Decarboxylate your CBD buds using following the same steps as in the alcohol method.
- Mix flowers with the oil to start extraction. Place your mixture in a double boiler, filling the bottom of the saucepan with water.
- Make sure the temperature in your double boiler doesn’t exceed 150 C, or the majority of terpenes will evaporate. This, in turn, will negatively impact the quality of CBD oil. Simmer your CBD oil for up to 3 hours. The end product should have a slightly darker hue than your normal cooking oil.
- Remove the top of the boiler with caution. Wrap the cheesecloth over the top of the device, pouring your mixture into the glass container. Strain as much oil as you can, then get rid of the flower.
- Seal the container and stir your CBD oil in a cool, dry place. You can use it straight from the container, place it in a glass bottle with a dropper, or infuse your food with CBD cooking oil.
Getting the Best Value and Making the Most Out of Your Oil
- Choose high-quality CBD-rich flower
- Use a healthy carrier oil
- Take precise measurements
- Store your CBD oil in a dark bottle, away from moisture, air, sunlight, and sources of heat
- Try adding terpenes or essential fruit oils to improve the flavor
Why Most People Still Buy CBD Oil Instead of Making It at Home
Well, first of all, making CBD oil at home is time-consuming. Meanwhile, buying CBD oil online requires just a few clicks, 2-3 days of waiting time for the delivery — and voila, there you have it.
Professional CO2 extraction is the golden standard in the hemp space for a good reason. As a solvent, CO2 yields safe, high-quality products, making the production also cost-effective on a large scale.
CO2 extraction ensures pure and more potent products than any homemade technique. If you’re looking for top-shelf CBD oils, CO2 is the way to go.
Final Thoughts on How to Make CBD Oil at Home
Making CBD oil at home is a smart idea if you want to start your CBD routine without spending too much money on store-bought products.
In the meantime, you can research different CBD brands on the market and pick the one that offers the best ratio between price and quality.
Many reputable brands offer discounts, coupon codes, subscription purchases, and reward programs that can save you a lot of money.
But as you’re on the way to researching the best CBD oils online, you’ll already have your own bottle of safely produced CBD oil to check how your body responds to this cannabinoid.
Nevertheless, we recommend that you buy a professionally extracted CBD oil if you want to target specific symptoms or attempt to manage a health condition. Commercial CBD oils are both precisely made and have the exact ingredients and strengths presented on the bottle.
- Atakan Z. (2012). Cannabis, a complex plant: Different compounds and different effects on individuals. Therapeutic advances in psychopharmacology, 2(6), 241–254. 
- Wang, M., Wang, Y. H., Avula, B., Radwan, M. M., Wanas, A. S., van Antwerp, J., Parcher, J. F., ElSohly, M. A., & Khan, I. A. (2016). Decarboxylation Study of Acidic Cannabinoids: A Novel Approach Using Ultra-High-Performance Supercritical Fluid Chromatography/Photodiode Array-Mass Spectrometry. Cannabis and cannabinoid research, 1(1), 262–271. 
- Rochfort, S., Isbel, A., Ezernieks, V., Elkins, A., Vincent, D., Deseo, M. A., & Spangenberg, G. C. (2020). Utilization of Design of Experiments Approach to Optimise Supercritical Fluid Extraction of Medicinal Cannabis. Scientific reports, 10(1), 9124.