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Cannabis-based salve experiments

Discussion in 'Marijuana Methods' started by stinkyattic, Jul 19, 2008.

  1. stinkyattic

    stinkyattic CultiModerVatorAtor

    Okay... This thread got me thinking:

    I'm aware that people have been making cannabis creams and lotions here and there, but we've seen sadly little of it around these parts! So I wanted to get some discussion going over here in 'methods'.

    The two major applications I am interested in are:
    -Arthritis pain (joint inflammation)
    -Psoriasis and other inflammations of the skin

    I was chatting with daihashi over the pros and cons of a transdermal agent in increasing effectiveness, and I think it would certainly add to the resins' ability to penetrate the skin; however, DMSO is a controlled substance and not available to most of us, so I'm going to try a skin infammation product first, which should not require it. I think for an arthritis treatment it would be far more important.

    So then I was thinking about what I'd like the base of this goop to be. Is it important for it to be vegetable based, or is the addition of lanolin (derived from wool) acceptable? I settled on olive oil, lanolin, beeswax, and essential oils as prospective ingredients, with soy lechitin to bind it all together with whatever water is required. I may, in fact, add mint leaves to the cannabis oil extract for their menthol, although I'd kinda like to try it first with ONLY the cannabis for testing purposes.

    I submit myself as guinea pig. My dry skin is not THAT bad though, so I'm also going to find a friend with a skin condition who will let himself be used and abused in my lab ; )

    I haven't been able to find beeswax at the health food store yet, but got the lanolin and lecithin. I've got extra canna olive oil from a while back, that's too old to trust as food- I never strained out all the leaf bits and fear they may have gone yuck on me.

    Okay... it's off to the kitchen! Wish me luck! :jointsmile:
  2. stinkybudz

    stinkybudz Registered+

    ahh stinky i was waiting for this every since i read your reply in that other thread :D cant wait for the results, will be very helpful, perhaps this would also work as a dermatological *WTF lol* break through for blemishes :eek: :beatdeadhorse:
  3. daihashi

    daihashi Registered+

    Stink here are some skin penetrators that anyone can obtain. No where near the penetration ability of DMSO but these are a good second place for items that are easy for others to obtain:

    a. Organic carriers- aloe vera, while aloe vera gel is effective, the use of pure liquid aloe vera is better and thus recommended. This carrier also hydrates the skin

    b. Menthol either diluted (see oil list below) or in a cream base like Aspercreme (1%menthol) or Bengay (16%menthol) (which may itself have some localized effects- aspirin has been shown to inhibit oxidative phosphoralation) salicylic acid (aspirin is also a penetration enhancer). This category includes peppermint (50% l-menthol), wintergreen(50-70%) and spearmint oils(50-70%)- all of which are excellent carriers and penetration enhancers- if using oils be sure to dilute about 8 parts water or aloe vera to 1 part oil.

    c. Capsicum- contained in several cream products (the more capsicum the better)- will increase absorption

    d. Alcohol- that's right plain alcohol

    e. isopropyl myristate- a widely available, cheap, cosmetic ingredient ...

    I would probably use a combination of peppermint, aloe vera (in place of water) and a touch plain alcohol for my skin penetrator and then thicken it up with some lanolin and a very light oil to hold the cannabinoids in (don't want a heavy oil that will leave you feeling greasy).

    The peppermint should give a good tingling sensation that could be slightly warming. Seems like it would be good for arthritus pain.
  4. daihashi

    daihashi Registered+

    and let's not forget acetone. Although I do not recommend the use of this as a skin penetrator but it is worth mentioning that it is also a very good skin penetrator and is used in many commercial products.
  5. stinkyattic

    stinkyattic CultiModerVatorAtor

    Acetone is the one in Absorbine and I'd consider it for arthritis, but want to avoid it for the moment.
    Salicylic acid is an anti-inflammatory itself and worth consideration; I'd be interested in what forms it's available in as a cosmetics additive.
    Wintergreen grows wild and abundantly in my area and harvesting enough to process for oil would be a cinch. Oh geez, if this means I get to learn to steam-distill essential oils... lol! I love having o-chem glassware at my disposal... :D
  6. Storm Crow

    Storm Crow Registered+

    The very first mention of MMJ....

    That I ran across was about little old ladies in Mexico, soaking bud in tequila and using it as a rub for arthritic hands. Apparently alcohol is an adequate carrier.

    Have you thought about hemp oil- prohibitively expensive? Perhaps as a secondary oil?

    I would think lanolin would be OK, except with the extreme vegans. It is derived from the wool and doesn't hurt the sheep to get it (humiliates them, maybe,-but sheep aren't too smart, they forget soon ;) )

    Personally, I like the smell of wintergreen and its pain-killing properties are a plus. Aloe is good.

    Here's a study with an additional product idea- :)

    Marijuana Might Help Cure Allergic Contact Dermatitis (a.k.a. Poison Ivy)
    Skin Cancer - Marijuana Might Help Cure Allergic Contact Dermatitis (a.k.a. Poison Ivy)

    Other places to find bees wax are sewing stores (sold in tiny cakes), local apiaries - look for local honey at the HF store and farmer's markets and get the #/web site from the jar, and craft stores in the candle section. I'd go for the apiary- you're going to need a steady source.


  7. stinkyattic

    stinkyattic CultiModerVatorAtor

    That's a great idea, Stormy! I live in an apple-producing region and there are a multitude of local beekeepers who really must be considered part of the orchard industry.
    I found this simple base that I think will suit an intensive dry-skin salve:

    Making your own herbal ointments, salves and balms [SN Aromatherapy & Natural Skin Care Handbooks]

    Preparing a skin balm base

    The ingredients in a skin balm are basically two: one or more liquid oils, and some beeswax or vegetable wax (such as macadamia wax). Skin balms, salves, ointments and pomades are relatively soft and easy to spread, and require 4 to 7 parts of liquid oil(s) for each part of beeswax.
    • Measure out the ingredients by weight into your chosen melting pot.
    • Place this container into the double boiler, half-filled with water, and heat until the beeswax is melted.
    • Remove from the heat and let cool for several hours.
    • Once the balm is set, check its consistency and "feel". If the balm is too hard or feels "waxy", add an extra part of liquid oil, and remelt it in the double boiler.
    • Repeat the previous step until your balm reaches the desired consistency. Remember to take notes, which will guide you when you wish to replicate the same recipe.
    • When the desired consistency has been reached, melt down the balm once more if you would like to add any essential oils or Vitamin E.
    • If essential oils or Vitamin E are used, mix well before pouring into individual storage containers.
    Simple enough? Seems it would be anyway!
  8. grumio

    grumio Registered+

    Tincture? The way I'm making it these days, it's an alcoholic tincture of cannabis, cardamom & peppermint.

    From the previous posts, it seems like you could either apply the stuff directly to the skin, or whip it into a wax/oil balm.

    I made some tincture for a friend who is specifically interested in the anti-inflammatory properties of mj (achilles tendon). I'll have him try rubbing some tincture directly on the skin & see if it works.
  9. a420seeker

    a420seeker Registered+

    little bits in the oil.

    I'm a retired Chef and you can safely assume your olive oil is still food grade, Olive oil is a natural preservitive when the added herbs are first dried, just as they sell Sun dried Tomatoes packed in Olive oil at the store, the oil is never heated for the purpose of packing the Tomatoes hence it would breakdown and degrade the overall quality of the product, It should be stored in a cool dark place away from extreme heat and light.:cool:
  10. daihashi

    daihashi Registered+

    Stinky, let me know how this works as a topical. Probably in the next week when I get can borrow my friends small distiller I'm going to make my own essential oils and make chapstick like topical as well as a muscular ointment.

    My formula will probably differ quite a bit from yours. I'll post the recipe and the reason for my ingredient selection when I'm finished.
  11. AspenGrow

    AspenGrow Registered+

    I would be very excited to see if these salves or ointments that you make in any way help someone who has a severe reaction to poison ivy, if you need a test subject, let me know!!
  12. stinkyattic

    stinkyattic CultiModerVatorAtor

    Thanks, a420! That's definitely a load off my mind. The only problem is that the herbs were never dried- I made the oil with fresh bud and trim, and processed it with water and oil together. So I'm still looking at it skeptically! :D
    From what I understand, sundried tomatoes are inherently easier to preserve than fresh herbs in oil because of the high acidity- I was scouring the internet for pesto canning instructions and came up with a big zero, lol! However this brings up another thing to think about. The skin has its own pH that needs to be maintained for skin health, so I will check and adjust this in my salve. According to a German skin care company's website (sebamed) that is 5.5.
  13. RobPA

    RobPA Registered+

    Now this is somthing I can DEFFENITELY help you guys with. One of My familys companies actually bulk manufactures skincare lotions, pain relief creams containing capsicum, lotions, sun screams. I used to make batches of skincreams on a dail basis. All thats needed is basically a big soup kettle (like the kinds used at cafeterias worldwide). Remember you will always need somthing to mix oil and water efficiently so that you dont get a seperated product. I would also suggest having an Homogenizer so no lumps or seperation can be seen (this must also be done while the product is still hot). Salicylic Acid is used in a lot of acne products, its actually Topical aspirin. Dont forget your carbomer (mixes oil and water) Glycerine. We specialize is making products from Emu Oil (not exactly vegan for you PETA folks). But have many differant formulations availible. IF any of you would like a recipe and instructions to make a hand lotion in which you can add your own THC "Tincture" that can be absorbed by the skin just let me know and I can help you out with this. I no longer work there but did for 8 years and learned everything there is to know about the Skincare product trade (although most of our products are only to be distributed by doctors).
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2008
  14. a420seeker

    a420seeker Registered+

    Well with any food grade oil it will have a slightly off odor if it is spent so you could do a smell comparison with some of the same oil used from a fresh bottle. GL;)
  15. killerweed420

    killerweed420 Registered+

    This is an excellent post. I'm really interested too with my arthritis. Stinky how are you going to prepare the cannabis to use in the cream. Honey oil?
  16. stinkyattic

    stinkyattic CultiModerVatorAtor

    The same as for edibles actually- an extraction into olive oil. It's detailed in my washed cannabutter tutorial, except the olive oil doesn't 'set' as firm in the fridge.
  17. rhizome

    rhizome Registered+

  18. daihashi

    daihashi Registered+

    Thanks for the link rhizome... I'll be sure to check that out. You've probably just saved me a ton of hassle. Although I admit making your own formula is half the fun :thumbsup:
  19. stinkyattic

    stinkyattic CultiModerVatorAtor

    Okay, I sourced the rest of my ingredients for the wax-based balm:
    Egyptian Geranium oil, Health food store, $36/fl oz.
    East African Myrrh oil, HFS, $42/ fl. oz.
    White pure beeswax, crap supply store, candlemaking section, $8/lb
    2 oz lidded tins for packaging, $20/30 tins, crap store, wedding crap section.

    According to the leaflets at the health food store, Myrrh is recommended for dry, dull or aged skin, and Geranium is 'skin balancing'. Combined, their aromas are fairly exotic without being perfumey- definitely enough to mask any hint of cannabis terpenes, lol.
  20. stinkyattic

    stinkyattic CultiModerVatorAtor

    Okay, here goes!! =)

    Product #1: Medicated salve and non-medicated placebo salve.
    Texture is that of a tinned lip balm- it's quite stiff.

    Ingredients, by weight:
    28g beeswax
    56g olive oil (use plain oil for placebo and canna-oil at 1g bud/14g oil)
    5g lanolin

    Weigh out all of the above and place in a suitable melting vessel. Mine is a ~12floz. capacity Turkish coffee pot with a very long handle. It came from a flea market but I've seen them at imported handcrafts shops for a reasonable price.
    Place in a saucepot with 2-3" of water in it, on very low heat. The ingredients will melt at ~170'F so you don't need to boil the water. Agitate constantly.

    When the beeswax has melted fully, take the mixture off the ehat and pour it out into a tempered-glass or ceramic dish. Put this in the refrigerator for about a half hour to set and then test the 'feel' of the surface. If it is too stiff for your liking, you'll add about 5-10g additional oil at the next step.
    Scrape back out into melting vesselt and re-melt. If you liked the feel of the balm, add no more oil.
    Once you have added any additional oil that you felt it needed, turn off the heat but keep the melting pot in the water bath.

    10 drops geranium oil
    5 drops myrrh oil
    ~1000 IU equivalent Vitamin E oil from piercing the gelcaps it is commonly sold in

    Swirl very well to mix and then pour into tins.


    1- Separating out all the water from the olive oil extraction using the proper glassware lol (sold as 'waterfall' at head shops).
    2- Weighing out the wax and oil
    3- Weighing out the lanolin- do this onto waxed paper- it's gooey
    4- Melt over low heat
    5- Pour into tempered-glass dish to test consistency

    Attached Files:

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