Activism Blog Full Medical

Making a Cannabis Salve

1. Salve Tutorial

(Watch the Video Tutorial)

Making a basic salve is just one step beyond preparing a topical massage oil. By stirring melted beeswax into an infused vegetable oil you can produce a semi-solid medicinal salve to rub into your skin. Combining the active ingredients in the infused oil with bees wax allows the preparation to remain on the surface of the skin longer, reducing the mess sometimes associated with massage oils. Salves are often used to localize medicinal effects to the area of need, such as skin lesions or joint pain.

As i discussed in the article on topical cannabis oil, Cannabinoids bind to CB1 and CB2 receptor sites in the nerve fibres, sweat glands and a number of cells present in our skin. Topical application provides a way for the cannabinoids to activate these receptors without entering the bloodstream and travelling to the brain, important if you don’t want to feel ‘high’. Topical application may provide sufficient relief in itself, or act in addition to eating or inhaling cannabis.

Dispensaries often offer cannabis massage oils and salves extolling their anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and localized health benefits. They are most commonly used by patients with arthritis who find that applying topical cannabis to their joints allows them to loosen up enough to perform daily tasks. Other members have found cannabis salve helps other skin conditions including eczema, psoriasis, and atopic dermatitis.

Elaborations on the basic recipe can be made by adding essential oils or using vegetable oils infused with other herbs. The V-CBC have created several different salves to combine the effects of cannabis with other herbs suited for specific conditions. A combination with arnica infusion is commonly used for circulation and stiff joints; aloe is added for skin conditions and burns; and essential oils are combined to create a ‘tiger balm’ style preparation for deep muscle pain. Using a very similar technique, the V-CBC make a Lip Balm using regular massage oil, organic shea butter, organic beeswax, and crystalized vitamin C.

Different herbs come with their own warnings such as Arnica, which should not be used on open skin or by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding (more). Some dispensaries have started using DMSO in their topical medications. DMSO is predominantly used as a vehicle for anti-fungal medications, enabling them to penetrate, not just skin, but also toe and fingernails. Extra caution is required when using DMSO, infections may occur where special care isn’t paid to ensure sanitary conditions.

Regular-Salve-e1413756011874 copy

(Image: V-CBC)

Regular Salve


  • Cannabis leaf infused olive oil
  • Vitamin E (to help with absorption)
  • Organic beeswax

Watch the Video Tutorial

If possible use a double boiler to keep a low heat, if not, you can use a spare 1L. glass Peanut Butter jar in a pot of water.

Melt 1 1/3 Cups of organic beeswax (shaved if possible)
Warm 2 Cups of infused Massage Oil
Add 25 ml. Vitamin E. Oil to the massage Oil
Stir well
Add Melted Beeswax
Stir very Well
allow to cool slightly
carefully pour into jars
We make approx. 16 4 oz. Jars

Label and Refrigerate out of reach of children and pets.

(previously appeared at LiftCannabis)

Owen Smith
Owen has been writing for the Cannabis Digest since 2009, covering a wide range of topics related to medical cannabis. Owen’s articles are closely related to his constitutional challenge to legalized cannabis edibles extracts and oils. He is the founder of Ethical Growth Consulting

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