Skip to main content

From topical pain relievers to medications that can cure seizures, numerous cannabis derivatives can be made at home. Cannabis salve can be quite expensive, so making it at home is a cost-effective way for everyone to enjoy its benefits.

What is Cannabis Salve?

Essentially, a cannabis salve is a marijuana pain relief cream made from cannabis flowers or buds, which contains nourishing and healing ingredients for the skin.

Cannabis salve can be applied topically on the skin to treat insect bites, minor burns, soothe painful irritations, and dissipate the kind of pain that comes from inflammation and arthritis. Salves can be found as balms, creams, and lotions.

Unlike some of these transdermal lotions in nature (can be absorbed into the bloodstream when applied to the skin), cannabis salve only functions topically. It cannot cross the skin or be absorbed into the bloodstream.

Remember that the useful compound in cannabis is THC and CBD. Therefore, these will only bind to the skin's receptors (and provide localized relief from pain) since it cannot enter into the bloodstream.

Essentially, this is one of the ways of consuming cannabis that won't get you high. However, you can be sure of getting relief from pains in the muscles, joints, lower back when you apply cannabis salve to those areas.

cannabis salve. a lot of cannabis salve with a cannabis leaf on it

Homemade Cannabis Salve Recipe

The essential ingredient for making cannabis salve is cannabis-infused coconut oil.

You can buy already made cannabis-infused coconut oil from local dealers, or you can make your cannabis-infused coconut oil.

Here's what you'll need.

  • 1 cup of cannabis-infused coconut oil
  • Half cup of olive oil
  • ⅓ cup beeswax (you can use cocoa or shea butter for a vegan option)
  • 4-5 drops essential oil
  • Saucepan or pot for heating
  • Airtight container for storage

If you have 1 ½ cups of cannabis-infused coconut oil, you may not need to worry about a half cup of coconut oil.


In four simple steps, you can make cannabis salve in your kitchen. Note that if you need to make your cannabis-infused oil yourself, you'll also need to factor in the time required for making the cannabis coconut oil. Typically, the process can take up 8 hours. This is because the process involves decarboxylation of the cannabis and its infusion with coconut oil. 

So, here we go:  

  1. Add beeswax or cocoa butter to the saucepan

Add the beeswax into the saucepan or pot, then place it over the stove. Allow the beeswax to heat to medium temperature. Make sure to stir the melting beeswax frequently to ensure even distribution of heat. Once it has completely melted, bring the temperature to low to avoid scalding it. 

    2.  Reheat your cannabis-infused coconut oil

Measure out one cup of the infused coconut oil and a half cup of plain coconut oil and add both to the beeswax in the saucepan. As mentioned earlier, if you have 1 ½ cups of cannabis-infused coconut oil, you may use it instead. Continue to stir at regular intervals to ensure the wax melts completely and mixes well with the oil.

    3.  Add a fragrance of your choice

At this point, you can add in any essential oil you like. Add as much as you want to the mix until you get the feel and flavor you want. Ideally, 4-5 drops of the oil should give you the desired flavor.

However, do note that the presence of the fragrance will not mask the scent of cannabis. It will only add a pleasant layer to the scent of your homemade cannabis salve. If you do not know which one to settle for, we'd like to recommend rosemary essential oil for this particular recipe. As before, stir the essential oil properly so that it mixes well into the content of the saucepan.

   4.  Turn off the heat and store the final product

Unlike when you're making cannabis-infused coconut oil, you don't have to heat for long. Once everything is well-mixed, you may then turn off the heat and transfer the mixture into a container. This is where the airtight container comes in.

It must be able to seal properly and keep out the light. A good option is an opaque container that's capable of shielding its content from light. Once the mixture cools, transfer it into the container and store it in a cool, dark place. It should last up to a year if well stored and kept away from light. The salve will eventually harden when it cools off.

Your homemade cannabis salve is now ready for use!

What Can I Use Cannabis Salve For?

Cannabis salve is essential because it effectively treats or manages a significant number of body and skin conditions. And this is besides its ability to offer significant relief to body aches and pain. Generally, cannabis salve can be used for any of the following conditions:

  • Arthritis
  • Sore joints
  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • Skin rashes and irritation
  • Inflammation
  • Muscle aches and backaches
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • For checking irregular growth of cells

You can apply a little amount of the salve to your neck muscles, thighs, heels, shoulders, wrists, and other places you see fit on the body.

Cannabis Salve FAQ's

What is cannabis salve?

Cannabis salve is a type of topical ointment or balm that contains cannabinoids, which are derived from the cannabis plant and include THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). It is administered topically to the skin to provide localized relief from various conditions, including pain and inflammation.

What are the potential benefits of using cannabis salve?

Cannabis salve is frequently used to improve skin health, lessen inflammation, and ease pain. It could be beneficial for ailments like psoriasis and eczema as well as ailments like arthritis, muscle discomfort, and skin irritation.

How is cannabis salve made? 

Making an infused oil is the first step towards making cannabis salve. This is accomplished by heating dried cannabis flower or concentrate over low heat for many hours, along with a carrier oil like coconut or olive oil. It is possible to extract the cannabinoids from the oil using this method. To make a salve consistency, the infused oil is combined with beeswax and optional additives such as therapeutic herbs or essential oils.

Can I make cannabis salve at home? 

Certainly, one may create cannabis salve at home. But it's imperative to make sure you're utilizing premium products and adhering to a trustworthy recipe. It's also critical to consume cannabis products safely and to be informed about the legal status of cannabis in your community.

What is the difference between CBD salve and THC salve?

CBD isolation or cannabis strains that are dominant in CBD are used to make CBD salve, which has no psychotropic effects. On the other side, THC salve has higher THC concentrations and, when absorbed via the skin, may have psychedelic effects. The intended effects and personal preferences will determine which CBD or THC ointment is best.

How do I use cannabis salve?

Apply a small amount of cannabis salve to the affected region and gently massage it into the skin to utilize it. The best course of action is to start small and raise it gradually as needed. Additionally, it's critical to thoroughly wash your hands after applying the salve to prevent unintentionally transferring it to other locations.

Are there any side effects associated with using cannabis salve?

When applied topically, cannabis salve is typically regarded as safe and well-tolerated. Nonetheless, a small number of people might have moderate adverse effects such skin irritation or allergic responses. Before applying any new topical product, it's a good idea to do a patch test on a small area of skin.

There are over 300,000 jobs in the cannabis industry. CTU trained me for one of them!

marijuana extraction course - Johanna Rose
Makes $24.50 @ THC +

Can cannabis salve get you high? 

Topically applied cannabis salve is not likely to cause a psychedelic effect or make you feel “high.” This is due to the fact that the salve's cannabinoids are only locally absorbed by the skin and do not significantly enter the bloodstream. However, there is a chance of feeling euphoric effects if the salve is applied in large amounts or on injured skin and contains significant doses of THC.

Where can I buy cannabis salve?

Depending on how legal cannabis is in your area, there are differences in the availability of cannabis salve. Cannabis salve can be purchased via dispensaries, wellness centers, or internet merchants in areas where cannabis use is permitted. To guarantee quality and safety, buying cannabis salve from reliable suppliers is crucial.

How should I store cannabis salve?

Cannabis salve needs to be kept out of direct sunshine and heat in a cool, dry location. The salve's freshness and efficacy can be preserved with proper storage. Additionally, it's critical to keep cannabis salve out of the reach of kids and animals.

To learn more check out the premier cannabis education school, Cannabis Training University.

Karen Getchell, expert cannabis writer
Karen Getchell

Karen gained expertise in developing training programs and technical documentation as a Senior Editor at Cisco Systems. She began her journey in cannabis as a patient, searching for a way to heal herself. When she perfected a method for making cannabis oil, other patients began to seek her out. An early adopter of CBD medicine, she started her CBD-infused-products business in 2014. Over the last two decades, Karen has taught hundreds of patients and caregivers how to select strains, infuse oils, and extract cannabinoids.

When she isn’t teaching cannabis cooking classes, Karen works as a cannabis business consultant, writes for online cannabis publications like Cannabis Training University, Leafly, and Weedmaps, and runs a CBD-infused-product business.

Enroll Now