One of the great aspects of growing your own cannabis is the sheer abundance of material one gets after a successful harvest. My original goal as a cannabis grower was to grow enough flowers to last me until the next grow cycle; once I reached that goal my passion switched to building up a 20-year “tincture bank” in case prohibition ever returns. Now that I have enough flowers to last me the year and enough tincture to last me several, my attention is being drawn to topicals.
What is a Topical?
The most common forms of cannabis consumption are internal; we either inhale or digest a cannabis product, the medicine enters the bloodstream, and we get the desired effect. A topical medicine, on the other hand, is applied to the body externally and are typically used to relieve pain, fight fungus and bacteria, and nourish the skin.
As someone who has suffered from tendonitis, carpel-tunnel syndrome, and a pinched ulnar nerve, the idea of creating a cannabis-based salve has always intrigued me. With my fresh batch of cannabis-coconut oil and a few other ingredients ready, here goes my first take at a cannabis salve!
I wanted to keep my first attempt as simple as possible and found this recipe that at minimum calls for cannabis-infused coconut oil (which I made last week) and beeswax, which can be found at most health-food stores. I simplified originalweedrecipes.com‘s even further and came up with this:
- 2 cups of cannabis infused oil
- 1/2 cup of beeswax
- Essential Oils (optional)
- Heat cannabis oil in saucepan to melting point.
- Add a small amount of beeswax and stir it in to melt, repeat until all the wax is melted into oil.
- Add essential oils to cover up cannabis smell. (optional)
- Pour liquid into cupcake molds, about an inch high and let cool.
The original recipe calls for a 5-1, cannabis oil to beeswax ratio; I wanted something a little more thick so I upped the beeswax to a 4-1 ratio. After stirring it at a low heat for around 15 minutes I set aside some of the salve to cool down and was left with a product that had the consistency of toothpaste and while the smell was wonderful, it was obviously cannabis; I wanted something a bit more stealthy and maybe a little thicker.
The Icarus of Indica
I wanted a salve that I could wear in public which means I had to cover up the cannabis smell; this is where the essential oils come in. I added a mixture of orange and lavender essential oils and within a few minutes the kitchen smelled absolutely lovely without a hint of cannabis! I also added some more wax as I wanted a thicker consistency, then I got distracted; the fire ran too hot and all of the essential oils burnt off!
While not entirely ruined, my second attempt at a salve is a major dissapointment; it absolutely reeks of cannabis and it came out so thick that it’s difficult to spread! On a positive note; it has the appearance of a gourmet peanut-butter cups which would be great for marketing if this ever reaches that level.
An Early Review
I was not able to mask the cannabis smell from my salve so I have not been able to try it myself due to my current living situation but I did pass some samples around amongst my friends and loved ones and got some early feedback:
“I LOVE it. I think it helps me with my left hip pain. I think it helps me walk more correctly. I am in less pain” – cannabis salve user
I keep things anonymous for a number of reasons but will say that person who tried the salve is in their late 60’s/early 70’s and suffers from the typical joint discomfort that comes with age. Like so many in the United States, this person takes a number of prescription pain medications on a daily basis in an attempt to live a “normal” life. Tinctures and edibles have not worked for this person and they have all but given up on cannabis as an alternative remedy for their condition; this first attempt at a cannabis salve changed their mind and they are already asking about the next batch. I truly believe cannabis is for everyone and after a rough year of growing and a disastrous day in the kitchen this is the kind of reassurance I need.