How to Make Cannabis-Infused Topicals for Skin Care
Understanding Cannabis-Infused Topicals
What are Cannabis-Infused Topicals?
Cannabis-infused topicals are products that combine the therapeutic properties of cannabis with the nourishing benefits of skincare. These topicals typically come in the form of creams, lotions, balms, or oils that are applied directly to the skin. They are infused with cannabinoids, such as CBD or THC, which interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system to provide localized relief and promote skin health.
How do Cannabis-Infused Topicals Work?
When applied to the skin, cannabis-infused topicals interact with the cannabinoid receptors present in our body’s peripheral nervous system. The cannabinoids, along with other beneficial compounds in the topicals, are absorbed through the skin and provide targeted relief to the applied area. They can help alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, soothe irritated skin, and promote overall skin wellness.
Benefits of Using Cannabis-Infused Topicals for Skin Care
Natural Pain Relief and Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Cannabis-infused topicals offer a natural alternative for pain relief and reducing inflammation. The cannabinoids in the topicals interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which plays a role in regulating pain and inflammation. Applying cannabis-infused topicals directly to the affected area can provide localized relief without the psychoactive effects often associated with cannabis consumption.
Skin Nourishment and Moisturization
Cannabis-infused topicals are often formulated with moisturizing and nourishing ingredients that promote skin health. They can help hydrate dry skin, improve skin texture, and enhance overall skin appearance. The antioxidants present in cannabis, along with other botanical extracts, contribute to the topicals’ ability to protect the skin from environmental damage and maintain its youthful glow.
Common Types of Cannabis-Infused Topicals
Cannabis-Infused Lotions and Creams
Lotions and creams are popular types of cannabis-infused topicals. They are formulated with a combination of cannabis extracts, carrier oils, and other beneficial ingredients. Lotions are typically lighter in texture and absorb quickly into the skin, making them suitable for daily use. Creams, on the other hand, have a thicker consistency and provide longer-lasting hydration and protection.
Cannabis-Infused Balms and Salves
Balms and salves are thicker formulations that are often used for targeted relief. They are typically made with a combination of cannabis extracts, beeswax, and other soothing ingredients. Balms and salves are ideal for addressing specific areas of discomfort or inflammation. They provide a protective barrier on the skin while delivering the benefits of cannabinoids.
Cannabis-infused oils are versatile and can be used as a standalone product or as an ingredient in other DIY skincare recipes. These oils are made by infusing carrier oils, such as coconut oil or olive oil, with cannabis extracts. They can be used for massages, added to bathwater, or incorporated into homemade skincare products like serums or masks.
Choosing the Right Cannabis Strain for Your Topical
Consider the Cannabinoid Profile
When choosing a cannabis strain for your topical, consider the cannabinoid profile and its potential benefits for your skin concerns. CBD-dominant strains are often preferred for their non-intoxicating properties and potential anti-inflammatory effects. THC-dominant strains may provide more localized relief and relaxation. Experiment with different strains to find the one that works best for you.
Take Note of Terpenes
Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in cannabis that contribute to its unique scent and may have therapeutic properties. Consider the terpene profile of a strain when selecting one for your topical. For example, strains high in limonene may offer uplifting and mood-enhancing effects, while strains high in myrcene may have calming and sedative properties. Tailor your choice based on the desired aroma and potential benefits.
How to Make Cannabis-Infused Oils for Your Topicals
Step 1: Decarboxylate Your Cannabis
Decarboxylation is a crucial step in activating the cannabinoids in your cannabis. Preheat your oven to 240°F (115°C). Break up your cannabis buds into smaller pieces and spread them evenly on a baking sheet. Bake for 40-45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once done, allow the cannabis to cool.
Step 2: Infuse the Cannabis into Carrier Oil
Choose a carrier oil such as coconut oil, olive oil, or jojoba oil to infuse with cannabis. Grind the decarboxylated cannabis into a fine powder. In a double boiler, combine the carrier oil and ground cannabis, ensuring the cannabis is fully submerged in the oil. Simmer on low heat for 2-4 hours, stirring occasionally.
Step 3: Strain and Store the Infused Oil
Once the infusion is complete, strain the oil using a cheesecloth or fine-mesh sieve to remove any plant material. Squeeze out as much oil as possible. Transfer the infused oil into a clean, airtight container for storage. Store it in a cool, dark place to maintain its potency.
Adding Other Beneficial Ingredients to Your Topicals
Enhance the aroma and potential benefits of your cannabis-infused topicals by adding essential oils. Choose oils that complement the effects you desire. For example, lavender essential oil promotes relaxation, while tea tree oil has antibacterial properties. Start with a few drops and adjust according to your preference.
Herbs and Botanicals
Experiment with adding herbs and botanicals to your topicals for additional therapeutic effects. Calendula flowers have soothing properties, while chamomile flowers can help with inflammation. Infuse these ingredients into your carrier oil or incorporate them as powdered extracts into your final product.
Vitamins and Antioxidants
Boost the nourishing properties of your topicals by incorporating vitamins and antioxidants. Vitamin E oil is known for its skin-loving benefits, while aloe vera gel provides hydration and soothing relief. Consider adding these ingredients in appropriate amounts to enhance the overall efficacy of your topicals.
Applying Cannabis-Infused Topicals for Maximum Effect
Step 1: Cleanse and Exfoliate
Before applying cannabis-infused topicals, ensure your skin is clean and free from any dirt or impurities. Gently cleanse your skin using a mild cleanser and exfoliate to remove dead skin cells. This helps the topicals penetrate more effectively.
Step 2: Apply a Thin and Even Layer
Take a small amount of the cannabis-infused topical and apply it to the desired area. Start with a thin layer and massage it into the skin using circular motions. Gradually increase the amount if needed, but remember that a little goes a long way.
Step 3: Massage and Allow Absorption
Massage the topical into your skin for a few minutes to encourage absorption. This helps the cannabinoids and other beneficial ingredients penetrate deeper into the skin. Allow the topical to fully absorb before covering the area or applying additional products.
Step 4: Reapply as Needed
The frequency of reapplication depends on your personal needs and the specific topical product. If you’re using it for pain relief, you may need to reapply every few hours. For general skin care, once or twice a day may be sufficient. Follow the product instructions for guidance.
Things to Keep in Mind When Making and Using Cannabis Topicals
Start with Quality Ingredients
Using high-quality cannabis and carrier oils is essential for creating effective topicals. Ensure that the cannabis you use is properly sourced, and choose organic carrier oils that are suitable for your skin type. Quality ingredients contribute to the overall efficacy of the topicals.
Test for Sensitivity and Allergies
Before applying a cannabis-infused topical to a larger area, perform a patch test on a small portion of your skin. This helps determine if you have any sensitivity or allergies to the product. Wait for 24 hours and observe for any adverse reactions before proceeding with regular use.
Consult with a Professional
If you have any underlying skin conditions or medical concerns, it’s advisable to consult with a dermatologist or healthcare professional before using cannabis-infused topicals. They can provide personalized advice and guidance based on your specific needs and medical history.
Store Properly for Longevity
To maintain the freshness and potency of your cannabis-infused topicals, store them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Follow any specific storage instructions provided with the product. Proper storage helps preserve the integrity of the cannabinoids and extends the shelf life of the topicals.