The skin is the human body’s largest organ. Among other structures it contains pain receptors, CB1 and CB2 receptors.
The CB1 and CB2 receptors also respond directly to the cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, when they are applied in a topical form, …not just when they are ingested.
The role of these receptors in the skin is still being studied but what is known is that they play a role in immunity, pain modulation and in the growth and death cycles of skin cells.
As a result, many people report achieving great pain-relief, from applying cannabis topically to inflamed joints and sore muscles. (Myself included.)
Hardly anyone I know has found a beneficial use for their previously vaped bud material. It often is simply discarded because it is considered to be spent and nothing more than waste.
This is not the case. If it’s been properly decarboxylated, it will still contain approximately 48% of it’s active medicinal qualities.
I never throw mine out. I simply save it in a glass jar with an air-tight lid until I have about 30 grams or 1 ounce saved up.
The glass container on the right-hand side, with the “green happy face” is previously vaped ground cannabis. The liniment that I will be making with it, also contains calendula, comfrey, and St. John’s Wort.
From left to right: Calendula, Previously vaped Cannabis, Comfrey and St. John’s Wort.
All of these herbs are known for their skin soothing, wound healing, pain-relieving characteristics. All of them can be grown in your garden, harvested and dried for long term storage and later use.
There are 6 components to making a topical liniment. They are:
- essential oils;
- an emulsifier;
- a thickener
- and a preservative.
The herbs I used are:
- 30 grams of previously vaped Cannabis
- 20 grams of St. John’s Wort
- 10 grams of Comfrey
- 5 grams of Calendula
The oils I used are:
- 1 cup of Olive butter
- 1 cup of Aloe butter
- 1 cup of Cocao butter
The essential oils I used are:
- 15 ml of Rosmary
- 15 ml of Orange
- 5 ml of Clove
The emulsifier I used is:
- 1 tbsp of Sunflower Lecithin
The preservative that I used is:
- 1/2 tsp of Vitamin E
The thickener I used is:
- 1 1/2 cups of Arrowroot powder
The tools that I used are:
- a 1/2 tsp measuring spoon;
- a 1 cup measuring cup;
- a large mixing spoon;
- a large mixing bowl;
- a fine mesh strainer;
- a muffin tin and paper liners or any container to store your liniment in;
- and a Magical Butter Machine.
If you’ve never seen a Magical Butter Machine before, you can watch the short video, I made in a previous post here:
- Place all the oils in the Magical Butter Machine.
(All of the oils are a solid at room temperature. I turned the machine on for 30 minutes and let it heat to 120 degrees F to make it easier on the machine to infused the herbs and oils.)
- Add the herbs, followed by the sunflower lecithin, vitamin E and essential oils to the machine.
- Put the lid on it, set the temperature to 160 degrees F and select the 2 hour cycle.
- After 2 hours, strain the mixture over a medium-size bowl with a fine mesh strainer to catch the herbal pulp.
( I recommend straining the mixture when it is still warm. As the oil cools it will start to solidify and that makes it tricky to strain properly. Throw the strained pulp into your composter or trash bin. We are finished with it now.)
( You can see that the liniment is quite dark.)
- Stir 1 1/2 cups of arrowroot powder into the liniment mixture, with a large spoon. This will lighten the colour and it will thicken the mixture. Arrowroot powder is very finely ground and resembles corn-starch in consistency. Stir really well to make sure the final mixture is smooth and lump-free.
- Prepare your containers for filling.
( I used 4, 50 gram applicator containers for ease of application and storage. I also made 8, 50 gram “muffin-base size” pieces that can be put into other containers and easily cut into small pieces. You could also put it into small 125 ml glass sealer jars.)
Notice that the liniment is still a liquid at this point. The mixture is easy to pour, because it’s still warm.
- Let the mixture cool and it will solidify. If you put it in the refrigerator, this process will speed up substantially.
Muffin-tin size liniment tarts.
As there are a lot of oils and herbs in the liniment, I tend to keep it in the refrigerator and dispense it as I or anyone in my family requires it.
It’s excellent to treat sore aching muscles and relieve pain topically. All the herbs can be grown in your garden and the base recipe can be modified with any herbs you might want to try.
I specifically chose the herbs and essential oils that I used because they are all known for creating similar effects on the skin. Making your own liniment is especially rewarding when you can use herbs that you have grown and harvested from your own garden or from a friend’s garden. A lot of love goes into the final product that way and I think it lends towards the healing potency of the ointment. If you don’t have access to herbs, they can be purchased at better Health Food stores and are sold by weight, in their dried form.