How to Make a Weed Cream that Actually Works

Over the last few weeks, we’ve spent a lot of time talking about pain. The good news: The majority of research points to cannabis helping with inflammation and many of the negative side effects of chronic pain, like sleep deprivation and mood. So now we get into the what, what products and methods of consuming cannabis help with pain? Some people smoke to deal, some people eat, some people rub weed all over their bodies. 

This post is for the latter. 

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Your body has a bunch of CB1 and CB2 receptors floating around, including in your first layer of skin—the epidermis. CB1 receptors are predominantly found in the brain with CB2 receptors found throughout the body. Both help regulate pain, inflammation, your immune system, etc. The only receptors that get you high are the CB1 receptors found in the brain. In order for active THC (the cannabinoid in weed that gets you high) to get to those specific CB1 receptors, it needs to hitch a ride on your blood cells and pass through the brain’s blood barrier. Topical creams…

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1. ...Don’t hit the bloodstream unless if they have a carrier chemical like magnesium stearate or have a  transdermal technology. So, most products only go through to your epidermis, which is a veritable soup of receptors, nerve endings, glands, and other fun things. 

2. Many topicals don’t use activated or decarboxylated THC. Ever try eating a raw eighth and wonder why you didn’t see dolphins swimming in your apartment? In order for THC to become psychoactive, it needs to be cooked or decarbed at a high enough heat (220 degrees Fahrenheit for 30+ minutes). Before THC is decarbed, it’s THC acid, aka THCA, which has shown immense promise in calming inflammation, one of the main sources of pain. 

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3. Need an active amount of CBD, like with all things, dosing matters! A topical with less than 200-mg/oz needs to have other ingredients like arnica, menthol or camphor in order for it to have any relief. 

4. Finally, they’re a great solution for localized and fast pain relief. Tinctures and smoking hit your whole body and aren’t localized, topicals are. 

In sum, this shea butter topical we’re about to tell you how to make? It won’t fuck up your brain, only your aches.

With that, here’s how you make a topical targeted to pain at home.


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For infused coconut oil:

  • ½ cup coconut oil

  • 3.5 grams weed, we recommend a high CBD strain like Harlequin, Sour Tsunami, ACDC, Canna-Tsu, or Harle-Tsu. Note: 3.5 grams infused into ½ a cup of coconut oil will yield 400–500 grams of  active cannabinoids.

Equipment:

  • LEVO
  • cheesecloth (if you don’t have a LEVO)
  • double boiler
  • Electric mixer (optional)
  • 2 8-oz jar
  • optional to buy and add a carrier chemical like magnesium stearate but we recommend for severe pain to leave it to the professionals like Dr. Caroline Hartridge

To make infused coconut oil:

If you have a LEVO machine, placing your coconut oil and raw weed in the LEVO for 5 hours at 175 degrees Fahrenheit will do the trick. Do not decarb your weed! This happens at higher temperatures so 175 is low enough.

To infuse your oil without a LEVO, put your coconut oil in a double boiler with your raw weed (again, do not decarb or cook!) and simmer at low heat for 4–5 hours, stirring every 60 minutes. Strain oil with cheesecloth.

However you made your infused coconut oil, once it’s ready, put it back into the double boiler and add the shea butter until it melts. Remove from heat and let cool for 30 minutes. Stir in your almond oil (olive oil also works if you’re cool with that scent) and essential oils until fully incorporated. Add additional CBD oil if you so choose.

If you are down with a chunkier cream, just let it cool. If you want a more “whipped” texture. you’re going to need a hand or stand mixer. We don’t want you to injure yourself trying to make this cream; that’s counterintuitive and no one wants to cry over strenuous whisking.

For a fluffy texture, stop chilling the cream when it begins to solidify, and plop the partially hardened mixture into your stand mixer or a large bowl for you hand mixer. Whip until peaks form.

Put in a bougie jar until you’re ready to start rubbing.

If you’re having issues with your recipe, you can let us know here and we’ll troubleshoot.

Thanks for being nice :)