Infusing Oil with Herbs for Making CBD Topicals
If you're experimenting with making your own topical CBD products, a new way to spice up your blends is to add carrier oils infused with herbs! Herb-infused oil can be made with a variety of carrier oils (olive oil, coconut oil, MCT oil, hemp oil), and a number of different herbs (calendula, chamomile, creosote, comfrey, rose, to name a few!). You can use different herbs depending on the purpose of your salve. If you want to make a topical that's soothing for the skin, choose herbs like calendula, creosote or green tea. If you want your topical to be geared more towards relieving sore muscles, use herbs like lavender, comfrey, or peppermint. Once you get the hand of the 2 basic ways to make your own herb oils, there are infinite possibilities!
Choosing Your Carrier Oil
Choosing the right carrier oil depends a lot upon what type of topical product you're making. When in doubt, opt for the oil that you enjoy the most. Always look for organic or good quality oil whenever possible. Here are a few different carrier oils you might think about infusing:
Sweet almond oil
Choosing Your Herbs
You can choose herbs based on scent, or on medicinal properties. Some of the most popular herbs to infuse into oils are:
When you first get started, I recommend using one herb at a time. This will allow you to really get a feel (no pun intended) for each herb and how they change your CBD topical. For more information on the properties of various herbs, download a free copy of The Petite Herb Guide eBook by signing up for my newsletter!
Cold Infusion (2-3 weeks)
Cold infusions require less work, but are definitely more time consuming. The general ratio of herbs to oil will be 1oz of herbs to 10oz of oil. This is a generalization.
The calendula (pictured right) is extremely lightweight, and an ounce fills a 32oz mason jar about half way. In this case, I covered the calendula in oil completely then added a couple extra inches. For cold infusions I recommend using a liquid oil (so not coconut oil because it will become solid at room temperature). Olive oil is a great alternative, or you can use MCT oil which is coconut oil that is always liquid.
Take your desired amount of herbs and oil and place them in a sterilized, sealed glass mason jar. Softly shake to combine, and set in a cool dry place for 2-3 weeks. Once the oil is sufficiently infused, strain the plant matter from the oil! Compost your herb matter and blend the oil into your favorite CBD salve recipe.
Hot Infusion (3-4 hours)
Hot infusions are ideal if you don't want to wait 2-3 for a cold infusion. Follow the same process as you would for a cold infusion, but don't seal the oil. Instead, bring a saucepan halfway full of water to a boil. Lower the temperature to a simmer, and gently place the glass mason jar in the water. You can also use a double boiler for this process, but trust me, the mason jar is a LOT less messy. Keep the oil on very low for a few hours, stirring occasionally. You may need to add more water periodically to make sure it doesn't all boil away. Once your oil has been saturating for a few hours, let it cool and strain. You can use cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer, straining the oil into another sterilized mason jar. Seal and store for up to 6 months in a cool, dry place!
Using Your Infused Oil
Once you've made your infused oil, it's time to make your own products and add your CBD isolate. You can use your oil directly on your skin, or you can blend it into a CBD salve.