Are you wondering how to use your surplus cannabis? Perhaps you have some shake, trim, or crumbly buds that aren’t quite up to par. You might not want to smoke this low-quality herb, but you won’t want to waste it either.
Luckily, there is plenty that you can do with your leftover marijuana. That’s why we’ve put together these three great recipes for cannabis-infused natural remedies. They’re effective, easy to make, and use up every last crumb of weed. Here’s all you need to know.
Benefits of Cannabis-Based Natural Remedies
People are steadily becoming aware of the medicinal benefits of cannabis and its components.
For a long time, researchers focused on THC, the intoxicating compound in marijuana. They found that as well as getting users high, it had various other effects too. For example, it can alleviate stress, soothe pain, relax the muscles, and relieve nausea.
More recently, the spotlight has fallen on CBD, the non-intoxicating cannabinoid. Research has shown that this compound has powerful anti-inflammatory effects. It may also be useful for conditions like seizures and epilepsy.
However, cannabis is much more than just THC and CBD. It contains a wealth of other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, all of which have unique benefits. Furthermore, cannabis is an entirely natural remedy. Although it does, of course, come with a list of cautions and side effects, it is safer than many pharmaceutical drugs.
This is why an increasing number of states are introducing medical marijuana programs. These initiatives allow residents with specific qualifying conditions to benefit from cannabis without the fear of arrest.
So, what information do you need before making your own cannabis natural remedies?
The Best Cannabis Strains for Making Natural Remedies
It is best to choose a strain with the medicinal properties that you desire to make an effective cannabis natural remedy. For example, some strains are laden with THC, while others have a higher CBD content.
Choosing the best strain for making medicinal products really comes down to personal preference. Whether the consumer wants to get high or not, and what ailments they hope to relieve are both important considerations.
Finding the perfect strain can sometimes be a matter of trial and error. However, we suggest the following as a good starting point:
High THC Strains:
High CBD Strains:
You might also think about if you wish to use a sativa strain, an indica, or a hybrid. Most people consider sativas to have more cerebral, energizing properties, while indicas tend to be more relaxing. Hybrids offer the best of both worlds, especially those that have evenly balanced genetics.
To Decarb or Not to Decarb?
Once you have chosen a cannabis strain, you must decide whether to decarboxylate your cannabis or not.
Raw cannabis contains cannabinoids in their acidic state, for example, THCA and CBDA. To convert the cannabinoids into their active forms, it is necessary to expose them to heat. This process is called decarboxylation. It turns THCA into THC, CBDA into CBD, and so on.
Although many people consider the decarboxylation process crucial, the acidic forms of the cannabinoids also have some potential benefits. You could decarboxylate half of the marijuana and leave the other half raw to make use of the full range of medicinal compounds.
How to Make Cannabis-Based Natural Remedies
Now that we have discussed the best strains for making natural remedies and the issue of decarboxylation, let’s get down to business.
Here are three of the easiest and most effective ways to make natural remedies with marijuana.
1. Cannabis Tincture
Tinctures are a time-honored and traditional way to take herbal remedies. They are a highly concentrated plant extract, usually suspended in high-proof alcohol.
There are many different ways to make a cannabis tincture. However, the easiest is the following technique:
What You Will Need:
- Ground cannabis buds, shake, or trim
- High-proof, food-grade alcohol e.g., Everclear
- A glass jar or bottle for infusing the tincture
- Dropper bottles for storage and administration
- Coffee filters
- A small funnel
- Decide how potent you want your tincture to be. As a general guideline, using 10g of cannabis per 100 ml of alcohol will make a strong tincture. Alternatively, using 10g per 200–300 ml will create a milder version.
- Place the ground cannabis in the clean jar or bottle and cover it with the alcohol. Ensure the herb is fully submerged, adding a little more alcohol if necessary.
- Screw the lid on tightly and shake really well.
- Store in a cool, dark place for approximately three months, shaking at regular intervals.
- Line the funnel with a coffee filter before straining the tincture into clean dropper bottles.
- Label the containers, store in a cool, dark place, and use it as necessary. Start with a minimal dose and increase gradually as cannabis tinctures can be potent.
If you don’t want to wait for three months, some sources suggest you can get a similar effect by shaking the cannabis-alcohol mixture vigorously for one hour. However, we recommend the tried and trusted method above for more reliable results.
2. Cannabis Vape Juice
For those that prefer vaping, it is possible to create homemade cannabis vape juice using a similar process to the one above. Simply replace the alcohol with food-grade vegetable glycerine and get shaking.
For more details and alternative methods, see our article: How to Make THC Oil for E-Cigs
3. Cannabis Skin Salve
Cannabis topicals are becoming popular as a way to relieve skin conditions and pain. Cannabinoids absorb into the top layer of skin for targeted relief rather than traveling through the digestive system.
Making your own cannabis skin salve at home is easy with a little time and patience. As well as using up that surplus weed, you can customize your balm with essential oils of your choice. For that reason, this is one of our favorite cannabis-based natural remedies of all time.
To make your skin salve, first, you will need to infuse your cannabis into some oil. You can use any oil, but we prefer coconut due to its skin-nourishing properties. Follow the link for our in-depth guide on how to make cannabis-infused coconut oil.
Here’s What You’ll Need:
- ¾ cup cannabis-infused oil
- ½ cup natural beeswax (pellets or shredded from a block)
- Essential oils of your choice (optional)
- A double boiler or a bowl and pan
- Clean jars for storage
- Place some water in the bottom layer of the double boiler or pan, ensuring it does not touch the top layer/bowl. Simmer on a gentle heat.
- Add the cannabis oil and beeswax to the top layer/bowl and stir until melted.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add a few drops of essential oil to the melted cannabis-beeswax blend.
- Pour the liquid into clean jars and allow to set.
- Label the jars then store in a cool, dark place.
- Apply as necessary.
Some of our favorite essential oil blends for making this topical cannabis salve include:
- Lavender and peppermint (perfect for applying to the temples for headaches)
- Ginger and frankincense (known for their warming, anti-inflammatory properties)
- Tea tree and lemongrass (antimicrobial, antiseptic, and skin-soothing effects)
Remember to test your salve on a small area of skin first to ensure it does not cause any irritation. You should also research your chosen essential oils to make sure they are safe for you, especially if you have a chronic condition.
Final Thoughts on Making Cannabis-Based Natural Remedies
Making these natural remedies is a great way to use up your surplus cannabis. However, it is essential to remember that marijuana is a powerful herb that deserves respect. This is especially true of remedies like tinctures, which can be extremely potent.
Always start with the lowest dose possible and only increase it if necessary. It is also critical to consult with a doctor to ensure cannabis is a suitable treatment for you. Having fun in the kitchen with cannabis is an enjoyable pastime, but it is also essential to stay safe.
What’s your favorite way to use surplus cannabis? Let us know in the comments.