How to

Make Your Own Cannabis Salve at Home

Whip Up Your Own Feel-Good Remedy!

By Penny Barthel

When it comes to growing cannabis, Penny Barthel has got the goods. A certified cannabis horticulturist, trained nutritionist, recipe developer and blogger, she demystifies cannabis for the home gardener and anyone curious about getting their hands dirty, digging in, and learning more about this glorious plant. You can find this recipe and more in Penny's book, The Cannabis Gardener.

This silky-smooth salve made with cannabis concentrate works well to soothe aching muscles and joints. Non-intoxicating and safe for all skin types, it’s an excellent balm for pain, inflammation, and for calming irritations. It is also ideal for treating the symptoms of shingles and osteoarthritis. Any type of coconut oil will work for this recipe, but Penny uses refined virgin coconut oil to keep the coconut scent on the light side. You may scent your salve with essential oil if you enjoy scented salve.


⅔ cup shea butter

⅔ cup coconut oil

42g beeswax (45g for hot climates)

6 vitamin E capsules (180mg/capsule)

2 tablespoons Cannabis Concentrate

Optional: 12 drops essential oil


Fill a medium saucepan with 1 to 2 inches water and heat until simmering.

While the water is heating, combine the shea butter, coconut oil, and beeswax in a 1-quart glass or metal pitcher.

Place the pitcher in the simmering water, making sure that no water gets into the salve mixture and stir until just melted. You will notice that the beeswax takes the longest to melt. When the fats and beeswax have melted and formed a liquid, remove the pitcher from the heat.

Pierce the vitamin E capsules and squeeze the contents into the oil-cannabis mixture; do not include the vitamin E capsule casings. Add the cannabis concentrate and stir the mixture to combine.

Quickly pour the liquid into small wide-mouth glass or metal containers with lids. (The mixture will solidify rather quickly at room temperature.) If the mixture begins to solidify before you’ve finished pouring it into the containers, reheat it over the water bath.

Store in a cool, dark place for up to two years. You may find that the salve gets grainy after several months. This is because the coconut oil is crystalizing, creating tiny clusters in the salve. This will not affect the quality of the salve, but if you prefer a smooth texture you may gently heat the salve over a hot water bath until it remelts. Let cool. The salve will return to its original velvety texture.

Makes 1½ cups.

Reprinted from The Cannabis Gardener. Copyright © 2021 by Penny Barthel. Photographs copyright © 2021 by Erin Scott. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House.


Your guide

Penny Barthel
Founder of Let's Sesh and Author of The Cannabis Gardener

Penny believes that cannabis belongs in the garden. A certified cannabis horticulturist, Penny is the author of The Cannabis Gardener and teaches all things cannabis at Let’s Sesh Workshops. Penny's Bay Area kitchen and garden pursuits flow directly from her nutrition education, love of the table, and constant experimentation with her garden's bounty.


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