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(ABV) Cannabis Salve

Discussion in 'Cooking with Cannabis' started by hereatlast, Oct 18, 2010.

  1. hereatlast

    hereatlast Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,100
    "Scientifically, cannabinoids are classified as 'lipophilics.' This means that they are absorbed into the cell membrane, so they can be applied topically with some effect," (167; Ed Rosenthal, S. Newhart)

    Did a quick search and didn't find too much information or a dedicated salve/topical thread here. My interest in a canna-salve was sparked when I bought some coconut oil for ABV cooking; someone mentioned to me that you can use canna-coconut oil as a salve. I won't go into the coconut oil as there are several threads that do a good job, I'll just say that its so cool to watch the oil go back and forth from solid to liquid in the jar.



    Anyways, the first part of this will be more generally a canna-coconut oil recipe. In researching salves (with a coconut oil base specifically) I read about a method of infusing herbs that I hadn't encountered on here. I'm just gonna copy and paste what I found and provide the link at the bottom.



    I'll do this tomorrow with coconut oil--and ABV are the herbs in this case--and update with pics. I'm gonna dedicate about 2/3 of the product to the salve and save the rest for cooking. I've done the water+butter+herb in crockpot before but not like this. Seems like a simple and clean way to do it.

    At this point I think you could call it quits, especially with coconut oil...eat some from the jar and rub the same stuff where needed (more on that later). The problem is that its really oily, I've put coconut oil on dry skin before but its greasy. Also, I think further steps allow for better skin absorption, thats what we're after in the end.




    Anyways, continued instructions from the same page.


    I'm not trusting the oil:beeswax ratio so I'm gonna add the wax little by little and test it with a spoonful. I've read some stuff about smoothing agents but I think I'm gonna leave those out.



    Topical Cannabis Uses
    Been doing some research on the medicinal properties of topically applied cannabis. I'm gonna update this part as I post links, lots of great info out there. In my particular case my girlfriend suffers from pretty bad menstrual cramps, MJ is her saving grace but not always appropriate or plausible (the MFLB is pushing the latter ;) ) when vaping. There's a lot of evidence supporting the medicinal value of MF for cramps, my girl's personal experience is enough for me. A topical salve for her to apply is what really spurred the idea. Also, working construction I come home pretty sore sometimes, especially after cement work. Still, a simple and short list of (suspected/anecdotal) uses below:


    -treatment of inflammation (anti-inflammatory)
    -rheumatism
    -eczema
    -psoriasis
    -muscle aches and pains
    -lip balm/chap-stick (on the list of to do's!)



    What else to add

    I've got to do some more research but so far I'm thinking
    -Vitamin E
    -little bit of aloe vera
    -essential oil

    Gotta do some more reading on what will facilitate absorption into the skin, the beeswax and aloe vera should make the mixture a little less greasy and easier to use (I hope).

    Could really use some suggestions from the herbalists on here, or anyone with knowledge of this sort of thing.



    Done for now, I'm gonna edit this post as I go through the process and keep reading. There's a bunch of other links that I didn't reference that I'll have to dig up from my history as well.

    I never asked if anyone had experience with topical application either....? Always looking for suggestions.



    I know that a lot of people wouldn't want to forfeit the pyschoactive properties of their ABV but I've got more than I know what to do with and have only been nibbling on what we cooked up. This seems appropriate in this particular household.







    Links
    Jar Method:
    http://www.nogreaterjoy.org/article.../2010/april/12/i-made-an-herb-girl-out-of-me/


    "Ask Ed: Marijuana Gold: Trash to Stash"----> seems in spirit with vaping! I'm looking to buy!
    http://books.google.com/books?id=H_...v=onepage&q=marijuana topical coconut&f=false


    Beeswax info & recipes:
    http://www.rachelssupply.com/bwax.htm

    Great info and recipes! This one almost deserves its own post, from Cannabis Beer to Arthritis Balm, very cool.
    http://www.oregonmedicalmarijuanaprogram.com/cannabis_recipes


    Meh
    http://www.cannabisculture.com/v2/articles/3405.html

    Short recap of some research.
    http://articles.sfgate.com/2007-06-09/bay-area/17249111_1_cannabinoid-receptors-thc-immune-system

    _______________________________________________________________________________
    EDIT for PICS!


    Supplies (and a clean work area!)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Canna-coconut-oil, beeswax, cocoa butter mixed together and ready to go into jars for long-term storage.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. hereatlast

    hereatlast Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,100
    From this...
    [​IMG]

    to this... (fair amount of ABV)
    [​IMG]


    Into the crockpot for hours.... (yes its a Packers Crock Pot :cool: )
    [​IMG]


    About halfway between 3/4 and a full cup once strained.
    [​IMG]





    Gotta say, this inside-the-jar crock pot method is super-easy and great. No smell at all until you open up the jar, and then :o
     
    NineDelta likes this.
  3. herbgirl

    herbgirl cannabis aromatherapist

    Messages:
    451
    Location:
    the land of pleasant living
    i've done salves of different types before and you definitely have it down. you'll be fine, they are very forgiving and can be remade over and over until you get it just right. ask me how i know this???

    beeswax can be added to the salve until it is a consistency you like, if it gets too hard add more oil and heat again. easy peasy

    you could also add other fatty oils to the salve like sweet almond, apricot kernel, avocado, jojoba vitamin e or olive oil. they all have different properties, but when i do salves i usually do a blend of all of those as my base oil. cocoa butter, shea butter and lanolin all can be incorporated too, as they are just fatty waxes or butters. they add some silkyness to the salve and shea butter is an antiinflammatory and pain reliever.

    don't think aloe vera will work in a salve as it is water based. then you are getting more into the territory of a lotion, if you add it you will need to whip it and add preservatives so it doesn't mold.
    i have seen powdered aloe, but i'm not sure that would work either.

    essential oils should be added at the end of blending so the heat doesn't drive them off as much. lavender, chamomile, rose, marjoram would all be very well suited to soothe menstrual cramps.

    you may also consider adding white willow bark to your initial oil/herb blend as it has pain relieving properties as well.

    remember the longer your salve remains uncontaminated, the longer the shelf life - and they can last for years. so dig in with a well washed hand or a knuckle to avoid contamination. expect the beeswax to get grainy over time, but unless it smells funny or has colors that shouldn't be there it's all good.

    on a side note, i suffered with debilitating menstrual pain all my life and i had to make a few changes to alleviate it. tmi, but it helped me immensely so if it can help another woman....
    stop using disposable feminine products (not as gross as it sounds, there are alternatives) get off the pill and take cramp bark herb when the pain gets real bad. those three changes have pulled my cramps down to almost nothing, at least i can function now.
     
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  4. hereatlast

    hereatlast Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,100
    herbgirl, thanks so much for the info! I was hoping you would chime in.


    Well, scratch the aloe vera, definitely don't wanna mess with the consistency.


    Think I'll go with chamomile and do a little research on that white willow bark. I've been looking for sweet almond oil as well and the shea butter makes sense. Thanks again!



    I passed the womanly advice onto the girl but I can't promise she'll follow. :lol:


    Well I've got the recipe down for the pain-relief salve, think I'll tweak that a little to make some medicated lip balm. Can't wait! Will update the first post as I do this.
     
  5. herbgirl

    herbgirl cannabis aromatherapist

    Messages:
    451
    Location:
    the land of pleasant living
    hereatlast, i look forward to hearing about your progress. salves are easy and fun, and the wow factor is cool too. "Wow, you made that?" probably even more so with ABV added :brow:

    my friends love the 'happy hands' salve i created for my dry momhands last year. i goofed and ended up with a HUGE batch of this stuff - like pints of it. people have come up with all kinds of uses for it - feet, lips, uuuhhhh how shall i say 'swampnuts' diaper rash, bug bites, etc. my 5 year old asks for salve when he gets a booboo. they are very useful for a range of things whether they were intended as such or not. you cramp salve should probably serve quite well as a lip balm in a pinch.

    try a local health food store for the oils, barring that you could actually just use olive oil from the grocery store. mine also carries shea butter and cocoa butter. I usually end up with a brand called NOW.

    if you will be using essential oils, be aware that they are very concentrated and you will be working in drops. they can be dangerous if they are misused, please feel free to ask about safe usage if you need to. also be aware that some oils like lavender are fairly inexpensive, but oils like blue chamomile (matricaria recutica) are outrageously expensive. that being said, blue chamomile is my most powerful anti - inflammatory and i use it frequently because of this, imnsho, one of the most important oils around so it is well worth the 20-30 or so bucks for a wee vial of it.

    make sure you add a good shot of vitamin e oil to the salve before it hardens, it will act as a preservative/antioxidant as well as a moisturizer. as a matter of course, i add it to all of my salves and oil blends. i also always add a few drops of lavandula angustifolia (lavender) essential oil and a few drops of melaleuca alternafolia (tea tree) essential oil to act as antibacterial and anti fungal agents. this will extend you shelf life a bit.

    i get my carrier oils and butters from
    http://www.herbalaccents.com/cgi-bi...creen=CTGY&Store_Code=HA&Category_Code=CAROAB

    i get a lot of my dry herbs from
    http://www.bulkherbstore.com/CFW?s=chamomile

    i get my essential oils locally, but this company has nice stuff.
    http://www.essentialoil.com/
     
  6. hereatlast

    hereatlast Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,100
    Herb girl thanks for the continued advice!

    I'm definitely gonna check out blue-chamomile. So generally, I think the essential oils might be...
    -blue-chamomile
    -lavender
    -tea tree

    I know we gotta be super careful in how much we use but for a relatively small batch of salve, how much should I think about adding?

    My thinking is this, I'll make pretty much a whole jar of canna-coconut oil (however much oil + herb fits in the jar :p ). From that I'll take about 2/3 to 1/2 to make the salve, this will be primarily for testing purposes. If it goes well I'll definitely make another batch.

    With that said, I think I'll continue to refine the salve as I go along with it, thanks for the confidence that I can continue to tweak it! I'm also just learning more and more about canna-salves and the healing and medicinal properties they have!

    Again, I know most won't be willing to part with their ABV for a non-psychoactive use, but I can't help myself. Also, we'll see what kind of effects the lip-balm will have in the future.



    Off to the super-market, gonna start the coco-canna later.
     
  7. herbgirl

    herbgirl cannabis aromatherapist

    Messages:
    451
    Location:
    the land of pleasant living
    glad you are doing this, i'm busy cooking and tincturing my abv!

    good choices of oils, but make sure the botanical names match for the chamomile, you want matricaria recutita NOT anthemis nobilis, German Chamomile, not Roman. lavandula angustifolia or lavandula officinalis will work, french or english lavender, NOT spike lavender. tea tree is always melaleuca alternafolia.

    good stuff here about preserving, sanitation, etc.

    http://www.herbcompanion.com/herbal...and-salves-with-plantain-and-violet-leaf.aspx

    and this one for recipes, i created some of my recipes based on some of these.

    http://www.paganspace.net/profiles/blogs/1342861:BlogPost:676668
     
    Snappo likes this.
  8. hereatlast

    hereatlast Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,100
    Thanks again herbgirl! Went to the market this afternoon and picked up some lavender and tea-tree oils. Couldn't stomach the price-tag of the blue chamomile this time around, you weren't joking!

    Also picked up two beeswax bars. Just gotta grab some Vitamin E then I'll start up.


    So herbgirl do you think two to five drops would be enough for about 1/2 cup of oil as a base (obviously volume will increase with the wax, might add some other oil as well).
     
  9. Mckdenton

    Mckdenton Vaporoni and cheese

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    Location:
    The MItten
  10. herbgirl

    herbgirl cannabis aromatherapist

    Messages:
    451
    Location:
    the land of pleasant living
    yeah chamomile is so pricey, it took me years to actually buy it. i'm so glad i did - nothing works better on kidrashes and crankyness. it also has a good shelf life if stored properly. there just isn't much of it in the plant, hence the expense. sheesh, you should see the price for rose oil!

    five drops of each lavender and tea tree is a good start for 4 oz base oil.

    those oils are very safe unless you are allergic, of course, so a few drops one way or the other won't matter.
    i cannot really give you specifics (because i dont remember), but one of my best reference books "the complete illustrated guide to aromatherapy" by Julia Lawless says this
    "When preparing a body or massage oil the dilution should be in the range of 5 to 30 drops of essential oil in 2 oz base oil" "To calculate how much essential oil to add to a base oil, assess the amount of base oil in fluid ounces and add half the number of drops of essential oil"

    for general massage, 2.5% dilution is appropriate. for physical complaints like aches can go to 3%, sensitive skin gets 1.5%, babies get .5%

    these will apply for a salve as well, but as you can see, it varies widely. for these essential oils 3% would probably work in your salve on a therapeutic level as well as a preservative one. even if you went to 5 or 6% it would work fine because it is a salve designed to be used on smaller areas instead of body wide.

    no matter what the final result ends up being, please patch test first, some people cannot tolerate tea tree (i.e. my son's teacher who i gifted a big ol tin of salve to for xmas last year - talk about a teacher gift fail!!!) but others like me and my family can tolerate both of the oils neat. i use a 50/50 blend of lavender and tea tree like neosporin for booboos. i also add it (or lemon sometimes) to vinegar water for cleaning/disinfecting. lavender can also stop a panic attack in it's tracks. you will find many uses for them besides salve. my home is never without lavender, i get teased about it.

    just always be aware of just how concentrated they are, some oils can burn skin etc. you sound like you are doing your homework so you should be fine.
     
    Snappo likes this.
  11. hereatlast

    hereatlast Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,100
    Mckdenton, thanks for tuning in. I was pretty amazed at the possibilities of this canna-salve too, I'm gonna have to learn to not be apprehensive and try it for everything :p


    herbgirl again coming to my aide! I've got four to five ounces of salve melting together now, decided to go small and test from there. I was a little unsure about the beeswax measurement so I improvised and will have to just keep testing it.


    I went with 4 parts canna-coconut oil, two parts cocoa butter (smells delicious too) and around 1.5 parts wax (for now). Gonna add the vitamin E and oils once I pull it out of the hot water.


    Luckily today I found an amazing resource for all sorts of bee products, every type of honey/pellet/wax you could think of. Also found a pretty good little place to get oils.
     
  12. herbgirl

    herbgirl cannabis aromatherapist

    Messages:
    451
    Location:
    the land of pleasant living
    your ratios sound just about right. tweaking it should not be a problem.

    i forgot, an easy way to test for consistency is to keep a plate in the freezer and drop a bit of salve on the plate. it will cool quickly and give you an idea of the final texture. allow for the vitamin e addition, so you may want to make it just a tiny bit harder than you want the final result to be. either way, it can be loosened or tightened as needed with more wax or oil.

    watch out that if you put the test drop back in the batch you don't have any water/condensation on it. water = contamination = spoiled salve

    since you are using coconut oil, this salve will be very temp sensitive. this is not the stuff to leave in a warm car or even a warm closet - keep it cool.

    i am really looking forward to hearing about the final result!
     
  13. Tuck

    Tuck Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    215
  14. hereatlast

    hereatlast Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,100
    Tuck thanks for the link, interesting stuff. I think her oil blend would be a little greasy for me but I like the different method.


    Well the salve turned out well. I mentioned the ratios above and I think I might add a little beeswax later on...it's a little bit greasy for my liking.


    herbgirl thanks again for the oil tips! The resulting smell is pretty captivating, definitely some deep cocoa and the lavender and tea-tree mix nicely (and some green behind it all of course :brow: ).

    herbgirl are your concerns about the volatility of the coconut oil that it will melt? The girlfriend really wants to make some lip balm to carry around and now I'm a little worried that'll be a problem in her purse. Either way, I think for the lip balm will do mostly beeswax and little cocoa and much less oil.


    I can't really speak on the benefits of the salve yet, I've been so intrigued by it that I've been rubbing it on dry hands a little bit. At some point I'm gonna have to find a better storage, the jar its in is a little too big so I use a clean utensil to get a little out.
     
  15. herbgirl

    herbgirl cannabis aromatherapist

    Messages:
    451
    Location:
    the land of pleasant living
    i don't know if you'd call it volatility, it just has a really low melt point. like don't put it in your pocket because your body heat will melt it low. if you don't have enough beeswax mixed in the salve will just take on that lower melting point.
    when i travel with plain coconut oil, i put it in a tin and then into a zip top bag, roll the bag around and secure with a rubber band. sometimes it leaks, sometimes it doesn't, but either way the mess is contained in the bag.

    there are 2 ways to counteract this low melt point.
    one, change up your ratio and add more beeswax or other ingredients with higher melt points like shea butter. this will result in a harder salve so it may not be exactly what you are looking for, but it will stabilize it somewhat. you could use it in a purse, but don't leave the purse in a hot car.

    two, add carnauba wax or candelilla wax to stiffen the salve and raise the melting point. i have never used these so i am unsure how well they work. they are common ingredients in many cosmetics and they are plant based

    http://www.thesage.com/catalog/products/Carnauba-Wax.html
    http://www.thesage.com/catalog/products/Candelilla-Wax.html


    and here are the tins i use for my salve. i order them in bulk, but these guys sell them in smaller quantities. they are not leak proof, but they do carry some screw top plastic ones that may be. they also have lip balm tubes.

    http://www.herbalaccents.com/cgi-bi...c Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=HA&Category_Code=TIN

    to get a good result, you will have to play around with it.
     
  16. saamsonite

    saamsonite Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1
    What are the risks of making a salve with cannabis that has been exposed to mold?
    Is there any way to sterilize the buds?

    It rained a few days before my Purple Kush harvest and I lost several ounces to mold (newbie mistake:(). I threw away the significantly moldly stuff, and combed through the slightly infected buds under a 30x microscope taking out any visible signs of mold. I don't want to risk smoking or baking it, but don't want the plant I grew especially for its pain relieving properties to go to waste... I'm recovering from a 9-level spinal fusion and ankle reconstruction so I would be using the salve primarily on my upper back and ankle.

    Thank you all for sharing such great information. I'm hoping this salve will make my life a little less painful...
     
  17. herbgirl

    herbgirl cannabis aromatherapist

    Messages:
    451
    Location:
    the land of pleasant living
    i would be hesitant using moldy bud. the oils may just give it something to feed off of, but i'm not sure.

    maybe baking it will sterilize it? i cannot attest to the safety, perhaps you could just do a small trial batch. i think it would work, but i think you might have issues with shelf life.

    *cya disclaimer* if you are immune compromised, i would not recommend it at all because i really have no idea how dangerous it could be - so user beware either way. molds can be pretty nasty.

    i say give it a shot but consider upping the amount of tea tree essential oil as it is a powerful anti fungal and may help counteract any spores that you missed. I wouldn't take it past 6% of the total blend or you may end up with something that will irritate your skin. My family and i can use tea tree directly on our skin with no problems, but we've been doing it for years so ymmv.

    no matter what you do, make sure to do a 24 hour patch test (blob of salve on bandage on inner wrist) to ensure that the salve is safe for you to use.

    you certainly have a dilemma there - i know i HATE to see herb go to waste.
    honestly, as unsure as i am about the result, i would probably go ahead and make the salve just to see.
     
  18. Skunkypete

    Skunkypete Escape Artist

    Messages:
    241
    Location:
    Over the rainbow
    Doing a butane extraction should be able to extract the good stuff from the buds without transferring anything from the mold. From my readings that was the best way to deal with mold. Alcohol would probably be safe as well but the butane extraction would probably mix better with the wax. :2c:
     
  19. hereatlast

    hereatlast Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,100
    Just want to report that the salve has been applied about a dozen times, it smells a little too much to apply liberally and then be in public (I think) but when applied generously I (and my girlfriend) have felt a slight tingling over the area. Definitely more testing to do, thankfully there's more than enough to test with :D
     
  20. herbgirl

    herbgirl cannabis aromatherapist

    Messages:
    451
    Location:
    the land of pleasant living
    great to here it, hereatlast. glad you had some luck with it!
    any other effects besides the slight tingling? analgesic maybe?

    i was thinking it would be great for topical application for pain with some arnica tincture and helichrysm oil mixed in. sprains, strains, bruises, that type of thing.
     
  21. midnight rider

    midnight rider Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    37
    saw you mentioned tea tree and lavender, they are the only two essential oils that CAN be used undiluted. externally of course! Naturally you should do a patch test like herbgirl said and there's always going to be folks just plain intolerant/allergic to certain oils. That being said keep tea tree oil on hand for foot fungus type stuff, but it smells like crazy, kinda like kerosene to me. And lavender is the best thing to use for BURNS, keep it on hand and try it next time you get a minor kitchen type burn. I once burned the shit outta my hand picking up a hot piece of a metal folding stove when camping, had a tiny bottle of lavender and put a couple drops on, bam, pain GONE nearly instantly. if you can ever find evening primrose in your area collect the whole plants right before or as they flower, dry, chop em up, put in your crockpot with olive oil on low for a few hours and then make a salve up, wonderful healing stuff you can use anywhere on your body. could talk essential oils and salves all day. hit me up if you ever need sources for herbs, jars or whatever. will post a pic of evening primrose too if you need or just google it.
    also, powdered vitamin c added to your salve at the end is a good preservative too. grapefruit seed oil also good, helichrysum oil is great too but expensive
     
  22. herbgirl

    herbgirl cannabis aromatherapist

    Messages:
    451
    Location:
    the land of pleasant living
    midnight, you sound like you know your shit. welcome!

    i personally use these oils undiluted and a few others too, but I would never recommend that without a patch test first. plus, with neat use it is more likely that sensitivities could occur, especially with old, oxidized oils, especially tea tree.

    never used EPR oil (will be growing some ep in the garden this spring), but lavender oil is my constant companion. to the point that my friends and family tease me about it. "put lavender on it" is the running joke, but not one will hesitate to use it or my salves if the chance comes up.

    i have healed 2nd degree burns (almost 3rd with the crunchy white edges) with no scarring and no infection with my lavender/blue chamomile/aloe treatment.

    i also use GSE as a preservative in my salves. along with a good portion of jojoba and about 1-2% vitamin E oil, my salves have lasted more than a year.

    it's funny, every time i go visit my supplier i try a new oil. helichrysum was the last one i tried and couldn't afford it, so my supplier gave me a ml or so. it is very nice for muscle healing as well

    essential oils are amazing!

    what are your herb sources? jars?
     
  23. subliminaloser

    subliminaloser Her Highnesty

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    in a cloud of vapor
    Another phenomenal topic here at FC! Been making tinctures for years. Baking for a decade. Just started making candy thanks to Herb Girls posts. Looking forward to making some salves in the near future. Will be following this thread closely to see the progress. Keep up the great work!
     
  24. hereatlast

    hereatlast Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,100
    Thanks, I gotta update a little, mostly to show the finished product and report some quick results.
     
  25. herbgirl

    herbgirl cannabis aromatherapist

    Messages:
    451
    Location:
    the land of pleasant living
    ^^love to hear it^^
    i'm planning on making more happy hands salve in February. Have to plan ahead for the expenditure for the oils and tins and the time to infuse the oils, etc.

    i was thinking this year i should take a small tin of my happy hands salve and make it VERY happy hands :brow: maybe i'll even take pictures :)

    it's a shame my father in law is so uptight, He suffers terribly from arthritis in the winter, this type of ABV salve would be of great benefit to him. :/
     

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