We consume drugs to ease any ailment without even reading its label or knowing its adverse effects. It's time to change this reality and connect once again with nature to use its healing power in our favor. If you picture yourself growing your plants and making your medicines, be our guest.
Today, we will learn how to benefit from two healing plants: CBD and Arnica, both known for showing promising anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects, supporting muscle stiffness and joint pain while protecting against bacteria. In this blog post, you will learn not only how to make a homemade CBD arnica salve but also discover how it works, its benefits, and its remarkable healing potential.
What is Salve?
This term describes an ointment, cream, or balm with therapeutic properties, used to protect and promote the skin healing process. Salves typically include moisturizing and nurturing oils like coconut oil or olive oil, rich in saturated fat that binds well with cannabinoids.
Another essential ingredient that salves have is wax or butter, which binds all components into a semi-solid, smooth balm. Some prefer using beeswax because it is easy to work with and is usually readily available. Nevertheless, shea butter or Carnauba wax are recommended options if you prefer vegan alternatives.
Now that we are familiar with this term, we can take a step forward in elaborating the CBD Arnica Salve recipe. First, we need to create a cannabis-infused oil to blend it with the ingredients above.
If you have done this oil before, you probably know that you must decarboxylate the flower to infuse any oil with cannabis. However, some sources use raw cannabis instead of decarboxylated when creating this salve.
Using Decarboxylated or Raw Cannabis?
We transform raw cannabinoids from their acid form to a more active and potent version through decarboxylation. For instance, when you heat cannabis at a specific temperature for an ideal period, CBDA and THCA are changed into CBD and THC, respectively.
The most common way that decarboxylation occurs is through smoking or vaping. In the same way, cooking and baking cannabis can also stimulate decarboxylation. On their own, these cannabinoids have great potential. They act in synergy when they get together, along with a vast array of terpenes and other compounds, to boost and enhance their overall effects and health benefits.
This chemical process is known as the Entourage Effect, and it has been studied widely for its capability to manage treatment-resistant depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders. In the same way, several researchers have inspected CBD and THC for their ability to bind with the endocannabinoid receptors distributed all over the human body in different organs and cell types.
This explains how a single cannabinoid can exert so many distinct effects at so many different levels. Both decarboxylated forms possess promising analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and muscle-relaxant effects. Furthermore, some well-documented research has shown that these compounds, rich in antioxidants, encourage the suppression of tumor growth.
Nonetheless, recent studies have discovered that raw cannabis has powerful properties, too. When it comes to treating disease, THCA and CBDA have manifested an ability to balance the endocannabinoid system for overall illness healing.
A 2011 Swedish study concluded that these compounds have significant anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Some other studies algo suggest they may have anti-proliferative action against cancer growth and metastasis and a favorable effect for relieving pain and relaxing muscle stiffness.
What’s even better it’s that both acid-based substances are entirely non-psychoactive. Although this is great news, more research is needed to study the mysterious healing paths of these raw cannabinoids. Hopefully, the restrictions that obstacles cannabis research will fade away, and the investigation of the substances in the natural cannabis plant, like CBD-A and THC-A, will continue to discover their therapeutic potential fully.
Cannabis Salve Benefits
Cannabis salves not only work rapidly to offer targeted relief from chronic pain and inflammation, but they are also excellent for several different skin conditions. We will walk you through some of them.
Psoriasis is an immune system disorder characterized by the rapid production of new skin cells. These quickly reach the skin surface while still being immature, causing red, itchy, raised patches of silvery scales, which can crack and bleed.
Although psoriasis is incurable, cannabis has shown the potential to keep its symptoms at bay. A 2013 study suggests that it may help regulate this speed-up skin production process while improving wound-healing.
Moreover, both preclinical and clinical studies have indicated that cannabis-based treatments may be helpful to reduce the overreacting response and the inflammation severity caused by the body's natural defense system.
Conforming to a small study published in Clinical Therapeutics found that CBD ointment helped clear skin, reduce itch and inflammation in eczema, a chronic condition that makes your skin red and irritated.
Research also suggests that CBD is antimicrobial and prevents flares and other complications. In addition, data has shown that Cannabidiol may effectively fight against Staphylococcus aureus, a bacteria that usually infects the skin of people with atopic dermatitis.
Rashes, itching, or other skin irritation
Pharmacy Times reported that cannabis-based treatments might be beneficial for skin diseases. The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology published a new investigation analyzing the efficacy of medical marijuana in treating skin diseases. According to this study, cannabinoids may modulate the neuronal activity of itch fibers.
Likewise, the senior author of a scoping review and associate professor of dermatology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Robert Dellavalle, MD, claimed that "Perhaps the most promising role for cannabinoids is in the treatment of itch."
Added to this, the moisturizing features of coconut oil and olive oil, plus the nutritional value of hemp-derived CBD oil, make this natural topical medicine a particular remedy to heal dry and irritated skin that may help protect us against free radicals and damage from the sun.
Cannabinoids have been studied for decades for their capacity to downregulate the immune and inflammatory response. Findings suggest that cannabinoids can constitute a potent treatment modality against general inflammation.
Sore Joints and Muscle Aches
The Journal American Medical Association (JAMA) released an article with evidence that suggests that marijuana may be an effective treatment for chronic pain and muscle spasms.
Moreover, a 2006 study published in Current Neuropharmacology concluded that clinical trials seem to indicate that either THC or CBD are promising treatments for painful conditions that do not respond to available therapies.
According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, up to 30% of people with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis, which is a condition that causes painful joint swelling and stiffness. Due to the potential that cannabis has to ease pain and reduce inflammation, this medicinal plant might be more effective for relieving sore joints than opioids.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The carpal tunnel is a thin tube from the elbow to the palm that harbors the median nerve. When your wrist becomes inflamed, the syndrome kicks in with pain, numb and tingling feelings.
Although there’s no specific research on CBD for carpal tunnel syndrome, evidence suggests that CBD, especially when combined with THC, is a potential remedy for inflammation in soft tissues, nerve damage, and joint pain, which are all associated with this syndrome. Since the World Health Organization considers most quality CBD products safe, topical cannabis-based salves may be a safe option worth trying.
Irregular Cell Growth
To develop different medical therapies and effective cancer treatments with lesser side effects, researchers have investigated the effects of cannabinoids on different types of skin cancer, finding promising results.
A 2020 article published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences revealed that cannabinoids, individually or combined, reduced tumor growth. Moreover, these compounds seemed to promote the death of melanoma cells, responsible for one of the most common types of skin cancer.
On the other hand, a previous study released in 2003 concluded that cannabinoid-treated tumors showed an increased number of cell suicide, followed by the impairment of tumor blood vessels and the inhibition of growth factors, avoiding this way the proliferation of irregular cells. These results may support a new therapeutic approach for treating skin tumors.
How Does It Work
We all have a complex system that plays a significant role in regulating a range of functions and processes, such as mood, appetite, immunity response, and pain perception, to name a few. Its name is the endocannabinoid system, and it connects different organ systems through signals emitted by diverse cannabinoid receptors distributed throughout our bodies. These are meant to interact with internal cannabinoids, naturally produced by our bodies, also known as endocannabinoids.
Besides these, these receptors also respond to cannabinoids from external sources, also called exo-cannabinoids, like THC, CBD, and many other compounds from marijuana or hemp. Under our skin, we house a myriad of cannabinoid receptors (CB2) along with our sensory nerve fibers. When we apply a CBD isolate or a full-spectrum cannabis salve, its compounds enter through our pores and penetrate the skin barrier.
Once absorbed, they bind to these localized cannabinoid receptors to directly provide immediate and focused relief to the affected area. Topical salves don't reach the bloodstream, so there's no way you will get "high."
They activate CB2 receptors, which are primarily associated with immune system cells. These peripheral receptors target skeletal muscle, skin, tumors, bone, and other organ systems.
CBD Arnica Salve Recipe
Get ready, get steady because today, you’ll make your own medicine infused with the potential healing and therapeutic properties of CBD and Arnica, a bright yellow flower with the ability to treat inflammation, bruises, muscle tension, and joint pain.
Learn how to customize your salve by choosing different carrier oils and waxes. Add fragrant essential oils and adjust the CBD dose at your convenience. Make your cannabis-infused oil or skip this step by adding a high-quality CBD + Arnica oil to the preparation. The possibilities are endless, and the sky's the limit. Before following this CBD Arnica salve recipe, you’ll need two essential ingredients.
- 1/2 cup loosely packed dried arnica flowers
- 1/4 cup coconut oil melted
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup sweet almond oil
- In a half-pint jar, pour the coconut, olive, and sweet almond oils and combine them with the arnica flowers.
- Once you cover the jar with a lid, shake it to mix well.
- Set aside in a cool, dark place and let the ingredients infuse for 4 to 6 weeks.
After the time has elapsed, check the infused oil’s consistency. If the coconut oil has solidified, heat it gently by placing the jar in a pot of warm water to melt the oil before straining. Now, strain the arnica flowers by using a fine-mesh sieve.
As we mentioned earlier, to transform raw cannabinoids from their acid form into a more active and potent version, we necessarily need the process of decarboxylation. If you already have high-quality CBD oil, you can skip it.
- 1 cup of dried hemp, or high-CBD strain
- Baking Sheet
- With the help of a grinder, break down your high CBD flower coarsely. Check the outstanding CBD flowers Lifter, Sour Lifter, or Sour Space Candy. These flowers have the highest CBD content of all our proudly harvested strains.
- Preheat your oven to 220°F and spread the ground flower evenly on a baking sheet.
- Bake it for 30 to 45 minutes.
Now that we have our Arnica-infused oil and some decarbed Cannabis let’s jump into the recipe in question.
CBD Arnica Salve
Serving size: 60 ml (2 oz) CBD per ounce: 300 mg (using CBD oil) Prep Time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 1 hr 5 minutes Total Time 1 hr 20 minutes Course: DIY products
- Mixing bowl
- Glass jars or salve tins for storage
- Probe thermometer (recommended)
Note: If you don’t have a double-boiler, you can use a make-shift double boiler. Put a glass pyrex bowl or stainless steel bowl perched on top of a saucepan with water below.
- 1/2 cup Arnica infused-oil
- 1 cup Coconut Oil
- One cup loosely ground decarboxylated CBD flowers
- 5 grams of raw cannabis, dried and cured (optional)
- 1/3 cup Olive oil
- 1/3 cup Beeswax or Organic Soy wax, Candelilla wax, or Carnauba wax for vegan options.
- 1 tsp Vitamin E oil, or 1 Tbsp shea butter (optional)
- 4-5 drops Essential oils of choice (optional)
Step by step
Step 1: Arnica Oil Infused with CBD Flowers
- Add water to the bottom pan of your double boiler and place the top section.
- Now, add 1 cup of coconut oil and heat on medium heat until it melts. Measure out ½ cup of the infused Arnica oil and combine it with the coconut oil.
- Stir in 7-10 grams of decarboxylated CBD flowers into the melted oil. You can add a few grams of raw ground cannabis if you desire.
- Continue to heat this preparation low and slow for about 30 to 60 minutes. Stir occasionally and check the temperature from now and then with the help of your probe thermometer.
- Maintain the temperature below 200°F, preferably between 130 to 150°F. Adjust the heat as needed.
- Line a strainer with a cheesecloth and position it over a glass bowl when the time is up. Now, carefully pour the oil mixture through.
- Use some food-grade gloves and gently squeeze out the cheesecloth to get the excess oil out from the cannabis.
Once you finish, set the strained cannabis oil aside and go to the next step. Alternatively, you can skip this step by adding CBD oil to your arnica-infused oil in the next step.
Step 2: Mix Salve Ingredients
- Heat ⅓ cup of the wax of your preference. Once it is completely melted, turn down the heat to low.
- Next, stir in 1.5 cups of the CBD-arnica-coconut oil that you previously strained and add ⅓ cup olive oil.
- If you choose to use CBD oil, pour ½ arnica-infused oil plus 1 cup coconut oil. Ideally, your salve should have a CBD concentration of 100-500 mg per ounce. Calculate the dose that better suits you depending on the potency of the CBD oil you have.
- Optionally, pour vitamin E or shea butter along with a few drops of essential oils like camphor, turmeric, or peppermint, which have been studied for having anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing effects.
Another great option is Copaiba oil for its high-Beta Caryophyllene content. Different researchers have indicated this terpene as the only one that binds directly with CB2 receptors. This unique feature turns BCP into a promising pain-reliever and inflammation-reducer.
Step 3: Cool and Store
- Stir all the ingredients together until it looks homogenous.
- Remove from the heat and transfer it to storage containers while still liquid.
- The CBD arnica salve will harden as it cools. Once cold is ready to use. Apply a thin layer to the affected area and wait a period of 5 to 20 minutes to feel the results.
- Store your CBD arnica salve in a cool, dark place to avoid the degradation of cannabinoids.
- Use amber/cobalt glass jars or salve tint to block UV.
Warning: Arnica is toxic when taken internally, so it should only be used topically. Do not apply to broken skin. Keep out of reach of children and pets.
Now you can make your own CBD Arnica salve from scratch. Although the process is relatively easy, it does take lots of dedication and time. If you want to simplify the process, there are some CBD + Arnica oil options in the market. Feel free to play with textures, consistency, and potency until you find the correct result for you. Follow our blog for easy canna-recipes with an exciting and informative twist.