Cannabis Pain Salve Experimentation


Hello. I’ve been a long time lurker, I’m a member of another forum that I’m off and on highly active in but it has a different average age and average mindset over there. Certain topics I get excited about no one cares at all. So Im hoping to put together a pretty comprehensive thread here, piece by piece as I have time, and hopefully end up used to tbe site and a few members by then, know how to post pictures and and all that and maybe I’ll be a regular. I’m a big experimenter so at the very least I can help some people out I would think, but I’m hoping to find Inout as well. I hope this medicinal uses category isn’t an unpopular area of the site.

Pain salves. Has anyone actually tried making them? I did some searches before posting and from what I’ve seen several people ask about them, one or two people put up a general recipe and everything dies down. No feedback, no pics.

I’ve made three batches now. Learned a lot of dos and don’ts. I have a few pictures. I also have some questions and would like to continue building on my experiments as : my dad has relief from Parkinson’s nerve twitches for an hour after application, a friend has relief of arthritic hands after a days work, and the female in my life gets relief from hip pain (joint inflammation?).

I’ve used it a few times to effect, though my need for it is low now it will only increase.

Does the community have need of making concentrated salves / medicated ointments?

Making my own vape juice
Best way to prepare for 85 YO Mom

I have experimented with them. :grinning: I kinda cheat, though. I’ll usually take a big blob of RSO & mix it with about an 1/8 cup of emu oil lotion (amazing antiinflammatory properties, as well as other insane skin healing benefits). I actually used to trade a vial of that mixture for a bag of weed; my old weed man is 79.


I have been wanting to make some for a while. I saved some roots from my last grow and wanted to incorporate those too. The recipe I want to try uses infused coconut oil,bees wax and some essential oils.


This is UBER intriguing. Sweet idea @blackthumbbetty… my mother coukd use something like that for her wrists… she abhors smoking. But loves lotions. With that does diff strains have diff effects still? Like would a GG based solve have her high? Should we still go cbd high?

Safe to say im watching.


You can buy a product called Blue Emu at most big stores like Walmart, Kroger, Walgreens, etc. Note, it is made with the subcutaneous fat from an emu, so if that goes against you or your mom’s beliefs, you might want to stay clear of it.

I will say it kicks ass! I use it on my wrists & get almost immediate relief. In fact, many people get such relief, they forget they have issues (this is actually a problem, b/c the issue could actually be getting worse, but the emu oil makes you feel so good, you don’t even realize the problem is worse).

Now, add some rso, other hash oil, or tincture to it (your choice, I’ve added them all, and they all work), and you’ve got a crazy blue miracle lotion. It works on inflammation, muscle aches/pains, minor burns, chemo burns, skin rashes, and many other things.


If you don’t decarb first, she won’t get high. If you decarb first…oh, yeah, even just rubbing it on as lotion, it’ll absorb through the skin, and she might feel it.


Do you think ‘non-decarbed’ would have a viable effect?


Oh, absolutely. I never use decarbed goodies in lotions…that stuff’s for edibles. :grinning:


So much I want to say here, will reply as I have time, THCa (non decarbed) is said to have much more anti-inflammatory properties and I’ve been interested in doing a half non decarboxylated and a half decarbed to see if it’s more effective for arthritis.

CBD is another route I want to investigate but it seems much harder to quantify and guarantee that’s in your product for a noob home grower it seems, beyond “this strain had high CBD”.

Black thumbbetty, you use RSO? Isn’t that made with an alcohol solvent?

3 things decarb weed as far as I know, time (a long time by itself will gradually do it), solvents like alcohol, and heat.

So an alcohol cannabis product is partially decarbed at least.

I’m curious if fully non activated THCa would engage the endocannabinoid receptors in our skin - these are the things I don’t know, I think we only need decarbed weed to pass the blood barrier in our brain for psychoactive effects. So for our skin it may not be necessary.


Will post some pics and recipes later today when I have time to sit down and do it. I made a chili powder salve last time for supposed warming sensation (spec for arthritis) and it doesn’t seem to be any different than the peppermint oil (which doesn’t cool but smells good). I’m very interested in achieving a menthol cooling affect. Will eucalyptus oil do that or are all essential oils only aroma pretty much?


Nice! See. I love this forum…


It is made with an alcohol solvent.

I have actually known people who don’t evaporate off the alcohol, then use it as a hand rub. Basically, it’s the beginning of rso w/o cooking off the alcohol.

I also have used tinctures & even dabs inside that emu concoction. I don’t actively attempt to decarb for lotions; if the carrier solution partially decarbs, so be it. I will never ingest anything that was made with 99% rubbing alcohol.

You can use food grade glycerin as a solvent, as well.


So… buy emu… buy a quarter if grade a… n buy something to mask the smell… throw in bottle and shake to perfection?

That simple?


@PurpNGold74 It really is that simple. Strain out the herb, of course. Let the alcohol evaporate off, too ,if you’re adding it to emu oil. You can heat it or just let it sit in a warm spot for several days (heating gets you rso, slowly evaporating gives you iso). Honestly, the emu oil has a very pleasant smell, so you won’t need to add a scent to it.

Here’s what I use.

Here’s a quick day’s supply I just mixed up. After sitting for a bit, the rso will completely dissolve.


But thats with rso. Sorry to be a dunce. With weed. Just mix, strain, apply? Effing awesome


If you put the dried herb in 99% isopropyl alcohol & shake for 30 seconds, then strain it, you could use just the alcohol as a rub.

To mix it with emu oil, you’ll want to let the alcohol evaporate, one way or another.

As for adding the herb directly to the emu oil…hmmmm, never tried that.

Rso is very easy to make. So is iso. It just takes time to evaporate off the solvent.


I have been searching for “alcohol decarboxylating cannabis” and haven’t found anything. Where did you hear or read that? If it’s a fact, I’m very interested in reading more.


Can’t argue with what works. :slight_smile: Right on Betty I’m glad to see other methods. Do you use this for arthritis? I was surprised to see my salve stop my dad’s nightly leg twitches, Parkinson’s makes his left leg fire off like the fourth of July every evening and from what I read our bodies are full of endocannabinoid receptors and the THC gets our skin receptors “stoned” and this alleviates various things, I thought just pain but it helps nerve stuff too.

I’ll post my method here too so we can have a good comprehensive thread. Made some the other day it’s fresh on my mind though I think I’m gonna change a few things.

I decarb for 20min at 240deg in oven. I think I’ll skip in the future with any long extractions - as the longer you expose the marijuana to heat THC converts to CBN (not CBD). I think we want all THC in order to get our skin receptors good and stoned. Unless we maybe swap out a little THC for THCa or CBD for the anti inflammatory effects. There’s a lot to know if one were going to mass produce and market topicals

Anyway I also put my Mason jars of oil blend in a double boiler at this point. At this point I’m worried about extraction so I only put in 2.25cup refined coconut oil and 0.5 cup extra virgin olive oil.

When weed is decarbed I pull it out of oven, pour onto sheet of paper and fold and funnel into jars of oil


From here I boil the jars for 90min then I remove them, let them cool down halfway and strain through a cheesecloth and potato ricer into a clean quart jar.I may never use it for making mashed potatoes but since I’ve gotten heavy into edibles and topicals it’s paid for itself for sure


Now that the infused oil blend is ready I put it back in double boiler and add 0.5 cup beeswax to the oils and let that melt in.

From here is a topical fork in the road.

If I desire a concentrated salve, i add five drops of peppermint oil to it and im done. While hot, pour into 1/2 pint jars (wide mouth if you’re buying them they’re short and fat and dont have to stick your finger in as deep). My pics will show reg mouth half pints. Should make 3-4 jars depending on fill level.

Concentrated peppermint pain salve

Or one time I added 1 tap chili powder to the batch, it negated all other smells and changed color but no warming sensation, I may try a 2tsp batch I remember my mom burned me with a cayenne paste one time on my hand to prove a point so there may be a magic amount for warmth… 946719929-thumb_IMG_20181013_131653105

I see a whole lot of times it’s advertised to add Shea butter or cocoa butter or vitamin E oils and make it a lotion. But I would advise against this.

I purchased one of those huge aloe leaves like two feet long and filleted and it gathered all the clear gel and blended it and put one cup fresh aloe gel in, following a recipe I saw. Multiple issues came about, mainly the dilution of product it became ineffective and my friends/patients who use this quickly dropped the lotions for the salves.

Also consistency issues. Coconut oil is the star player here for it’s ability to be solid at room temp. Chamge your ratios much and you’ll have goop. Effective goop probably, but not quality.

Thirdly is, in the case of aloe at least, you would need to run through a cheesecloth to separate out all plant matter - I didn’t on one batch and it slowly separates out as water and makes unsightly color variations in product.

948909937-thumb_IMG_20180918_233721426 fresh aloe medicated Ointment

948909649-thumb_IMG_20180918_230206588 jars cooling and solidifying


I’ll look for it Betty, it’s not an effective means at all, I’m not saying it is, nor is time for that matter, but all we are really talking about is “what causes the carbon atom to fall off the chain” and make the product decarbed, and time by itself does that and alcohol or other solvents accelerate that.

I think i was way deep into skunk pharm research page or maybe somewhere reading about the science of curing, what all happens after we hang and dry. Someone way more into science than me typed it.

Betty you use ISO? Have you tried using everclear or u said 99% iso huh?


I usually use everclear, but I don’t have any around the house, at the moment, so I used iso, instead.

With everclear, I make tinctures, then I divide the tincture in half and make iso for rubs/edibles/etc, and use the tincture to dose sublingually. I would like to try making a tincture using food grade glycerine, one of these days.