How to Make Hemp Oil at Home DIY Guide
Hemp oil is an umbrella term to describe both hemp seed oil and CBD oil. While these two products share the same source — the hemp plant — they call for using different parts of it.
CBD oil is extracted from hemp flowers, while hemp seed oil uses only the seeds of the plant.
Moreover, both products differ in terms of their nutritional values, cannabinoid content, and the effects they produce.
This article will help you understand how to make hemp oil at home. But before we dive into that, let’s make sure you comprehend the differences between CBD oil and hemp seed oil.
Cannabis Oil vs. CBD Hemp Oil vs. Hemp Seed Oil
Cannabis oil, CBD hemp oil, hemp seed oil — we bet you’ve seen some people using these terms interchangeably, even though they might have had different products in mind.
Once you get a solid grasp of the differences between cannabis oil vs hemp oil vs hemp seed oil, it will help you make well-informed purchase decisions and avoid potential troubles with the law in the future given the complicated status of cannabis in most countries.
Let’s start with cannabis oil.
1. Cannabis Oil
Cannabis sativa is the botanical name of the plant. Both hemp and marijuana are members of this family, so when someone says “cannabis oil” without a further explanation, they could mean either marijuana oil, CBD hemp oil, or even hemp seed oil.
However, most often, people use the term “cannabis oil” to describe high-CBD or high-THC marijuana oils.
Despite being members of the same family, there are a few things that set hemp and marijuana apart.
The biggest difference between the two plants lies in their cannabinoid content.
Unless selectively bred for specific purposes, marijuana plants contain negligible levels of CBD, typically between 0.5% and 3%. However, their THC content is much higher, ranging between 10% and 30%.
Hemp plants, on the other hand, have high levels of CBD (between 10% and 30%) and low concentrations of THC (between 0.2% and 0.3%).
While the legal status of marijuana varies from state to state, hemp is legal on the federal level and hemp-derived products such as CBD hemp oil and hemp seed oil are available without a medical prescription.
2. CBD Hemp Oil (aka Hemp Extract)
CBD oil is an extract with naturally occurring cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other beneficial phytonutrients from hemp. The extraction calls for using the mature flowers and leaves of the hemp plant where the highest concentrations of CBD can be found.
Commercial CBD oil is typically extracted using CO2, which produces a solventless product free from any hazardous substances and unwanted residues. This clean extraction yields a high-quality CBD oil containing a broad spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes.
Although not an FDA-approved medicine, CBD oil has plenty of health benefits and medical applications. People use it most commonly to assist with anxiety, stress, inflammation, pain, sleep deprivation, cognitive function, and virtually anything controlled by the endocannabinoid system.
3. Hemp Seed Oil
As the name suggests, hemp seed oil is obtained through cold-pressing the seeds of the hemp plants. Contrary to flowers and leaves, seeds contain no cannabinoids at all.
In other words, you won’t find any CBD or THC in the seeds.
Hemp seed oil is commonly called a superfood due to the high levels of omega fatty acids, vitamins, trace minerals, and other nutrients. It’s an excellent ingredient of a well-balanced diet and a decent dietary supplement at the same time.
Hemp seed oil can also be used as a carrier oil to make a wide range of beauty products, from lotions and balms to lipsticks and hair conditioners.
Can I Make CBD Hemp Oil and Hemp Seed Oil at Home?
Making CBD hemp oil at home is an easy process and doesn’t call for expensive equipment, unlike the commercial CO2 extraction. You can either use alcohol or coconut oil as the solvent to obtain CBD-infused hemp oil — both products are safe to work with at home.
Up until recently, DIY hemp seed oil was a cost-prohibitive product because of the expensive equipment required to run the extraction. Fortunately, people now have access to manual home presses, which makes the home manufacturing of hemp seed oil accessible and inexpensive. Manual presses are available in several places online and they operate by hand crank just like a pasta machine.
Below we explain how to make your bottle of DIY hemp seed oil in detail.
How to Make Hemp Seed Oil (Using a Manual Press)
It takes less than 20 minutes to prepare the ingredients and equipment; the extraction time may vary based on the press.
- 4 cups of shelled hemp seeds
Why not whole hemp seeds?
Well, while whole hemp seeds can be used in most presses, the shell adds the unnecessary bulk the machine will have to process and separate from the oil. Therefore, using shelled hemp seeds is just easier to manage.
- Manual oil press
- Bottle lamp with a wick
- Lamp fuel
- A lighter
- A collecting dish
- A bowl for expelled seeds
The majority of home oil presses come with the bottle and wicks, so all you need to do is add some fuel; paraffin oil will work best but olive oil should do the job, too.
Here’s how to make hemp seed oil in three simple steps:
1. Prepare the Press
Secure the press to a sturdy table. If there’s anyone around you to help with holding down the press while you crank it, ask them for assistance. Two heads are better than one.
Then, set up the lamp, fuel it with paraffin or olive oil, heat up the device, and wait about ten minutes before starting to press the hemp seeds.
2. Work the Press
Fill the hopper of the press with seeds to about a third of its total capacity.
Begin turning the hand crank at a steady, regular pace. After several turns, you should see drops of oil dripping into the collecting dish.
As the hopper becomes empty, add more hemp seeds, but try not to overload the hopper; otherwise, it may clog and make the cranking difficult.
The end of the press will be filled with the pressed seeds; they look like a dehydrated seed cake, which is now void of nutrition but can be used in organic fertilizers.
You can repeat this process until you run out of seeds — or patience (whichever comes first).
The hemp seed oil you’ve just obtained will be dark and rich, probably more than most of the store-bought versions. Keep in mind that the lighter the oil, the fewer seeds were used to produce it.
3. Clean Up the Mess
Once you’ve spent your hard-earned money on a high-quality oil press, you want it to last a long time and work without any disturbances, so it’s paramount that you clean the device after every session.
This involves taking the used hemp seeds out of the main press body and getting rid of all the leftovers.
If you neglect the cleanup part, the residue will solidify after the heat is removed and clog the press.
Following the above process will help you achieve nutritious oils without commercial additives.
How to Make CBD Hemp Oil at Home
Okay, now you know the theory behind making hemp seed oil at home.
It’s high time you learned how to make the DIY CBD hemp oil.
This section describes the two most common methods of CBD oil extraction; you can either use coconut oil or high-proof alcohol.
Here’s what you need to make CBD hemp oil at home:
- 1 oz of high-CBD cannabis buds (dried and cured)
- 9 oz MCT oil or coconut oil (you can use food-safe high-proof alcohol for this as an alternative solvent)
If you want to go for the MCT/coconut oil extraction, keep in mind it will require decarboxylation prior to infusing the oil with your cannabis buds.
- A stovetop
- A double boiler
- Glass, ceramic, or stainless steel bowls
- Silicone spatulas
For decarbing your weed (the oil method), you will also need an oven or a crockpot.
A) Step-by-Step Guide (Alcohol Extraction)
Also known as the ethanol method, alcohol extraction doesn’t require special skills or expensive equipment, which makes it a perfect choice for beginners trying to make their first batch of CBD hemp oil.
Here’s a quick how-to:
- Place your ground cannabis flowers in a ceramic or glass bowl. Pour alcohol over it until the liquid completely covers the buds. Stir the mixture with a spatula to extract the resin.
- Take another bowl and place a straining bag or sieve on it. This will help you filter the solvent out of the container. Squeeze as much extract as you can and repeat the process until no more liquid comes out of the bag.
- Pour the oily extract into a double boiler. Heat it until bubbles start to form on the surface. Wait for the alcohol to evaporate over low heat. Keep the heat running for 30 minutes until the alcohol evaporates completely. Once it does, mix the oil for the last time with the spatula.
- Bottle up your oil and let it cool to the room temperature. Keep the lid tight to avoid losing its potency. Store the oil in a cool and dark place.
B) Step-by-Step Guide (Coconut Oil Extraction)
With this method, you need to use a carrier oil, such as MCT or coconut oil. This will increase the bioavailability of the active cannabidiol in your extract. It calls for a few more steps than the ethanol method, but the end product justifies the effort.
Here’s how you can make CBD hemp oil through coconut oil extraction:
- Grind up your buds with a weed grinder. Spread them all over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake your cannabis at 320 F for about 90 to 100 minutes.
- Mix the ground weed with coconut oil in a mason jar. You can use less oil and add more weed — or the other way round — depending on how potent you want your CBD hemp oil to be.
- Grab a medium-sized pot. Cover the mason jar with the lid and secure it in place. Place the towel at the bottom of the pot, add the jar to the dish and fill it with water. Bring it to a double boil so that the water reaches at least 200 F You can use a thermometer to check the temperature.
- Let the jar sit in the pot for about three hours over low heat. Check the pot from time to time to make sure the water hasn’t evaporated. Turn off the stove and set it aside for another three hours. Heat it again for the final three hours, turn off the heat, and leave the jar for the entire night.
- The next day, your CBD oil will be ready to store. Strain it through a cheesecloth, squeeze to get the most out of the extract, and bottle it up.
Best Strains to Use for Making CBD Oil at Home
If you live in a legal state, you might want to prepare the so-called cannabis oil, also known as marijuana CBD oil.
In order to succeed, you need to choose the right marijuana strain. This will have a huge impact on the potency and effectiveness of the oil. Certain marijuana strains are selectively bred for higher ratios of CBD to THC.
Some of the Best Marijuana Strains for Making CBD Oil at Home Include:
- ACDC: this sativa-dominant phenotype of the CBD-rich cannabis strain Cannatonic has an unusual CBD:THC ratio of 20:1, meaning this flower has little to no psychoactive effects. With CBD levels as high as 19%, the strain helps patients treat anxiety, epilepsy, inflammation, pain, and the negative effects of chemotherapy.
- Charlotte’s Web: this one is regarded as the most popular high-CBD strain in the world. With the 60% Indica leaning, it also has a CBD content that can be as high as 20%. THC levels are below 1%, so there’s no way you get high after using the flower in your CBD oil.
- Harle-Tsu: praised for its pain-relieving effects, Harle Tsu comes with up to 22% of CBD and less than 1% of THC. On top of alleviating pain, the strain can assist medical marijuana patients with inflammation, autoimmune diseases, and trauma.
- Harlequin: this bud is a 75/25 sativa-dominant strain known for its distinct CBD:THC ratio of 5:2. Given this, you can experience mild psychoactive effects but the CBD effectively keeps the intoxicating properties of THC at bay. In addition, THC and CBD in such proportions amplify the health benefits of one another. As a result, Harlequin effectively curbs anxiety, alleviates pain, and relieves insomnia.
Final Thoughts on How to Make Hemp Oil at Home
Before you approach making hemp oil at home, you must decide what you mean by saying “hemp oil.”
Is it CBD hemp oil or hemp seed oil?
Remember that CBD hemp oil is rich in cannabidiol and other cannabinoids because it’s extracted from the flowers and leaves of the hemp plant. Hemp seed oil contains no CBD or THC, but instead, it comes with many precious nutrients, such as omega fatty acids, vitamins, and trace minerals.
Both oils can be easily made at home and we hope that our DIY guide will help you burnish your skills as a hemp craftsman.
Have you ever made your own hemp oil?
About James Reed
James Reed is the founder and editor-in-chief at iSum. He’s a big advocate of marijuana and spent most of his time writing about these topics, sharing what he learned over the years.