Getting the right answers in your cannabis journey can be tricky. But with The Cannigma’s Ask the Expert, you can find questions from readers like you, answered by a real cannabis pharmacist.
Question: Can I mix THC with Vaseline petroleum jelly to make a salve for my leg pain?
Absolutely! You can make a cannabis topical using Vaseline – as long as you don’t eat it. (Duh, but I have to say it!) Cannabinoids love fat and petroleum jelly is made strictly of hydrocarbons (fat-like molecules). As such, the fat-loving cannabinoids will happily dissolve.
The challenge you may face is getting it mixed evenly, since Vaseline is quite thick. There are also a few adjustments to make depending on what cannabis product you’re using. A distillate, a concentrate like RSO, or an infused oil are probably the best choices. If you only have access to cannabis flower you’ll need to make an infused oil first to avoid pieces of herb stuck in the Vaseline. And if you’re using a firmer cannabis concentrate like hash, shatter or crumble, you’ll probably want to weigh it out, heat it up and dilute it in a little bit of oil (or melted vaseline) first to make it easier to mix through evenly.
Either way, this is the general idea:
- Weigh your petroleum jelly and decide how much cannabis you’re going to be adding. You can skip this step if you don’t care about calculating potency. If you do, The Cannigma calculator can help you crunch the numbers.
You can use flower or any cannabis concentrate, as long as you know the THC/CBD content.
How strong is your cannabis?
- Warm the petroleum jelly to liquid form, avoiding any open flames. A heat plate or immersing a jar of Vaseline in hot water both work well. Remove from heat.
- Add your cannabis extract to the warm, liquid jelly, mixing well to evenly incorporate.
- Add a couple drops of your favorite scents / essential oil (optional). Mix well.
- Allow your topical to cool off and rethicken, then store in a sealed jar in a cool, dry place. Use within 6-12 months.
You can also use shea butter, cocoa butter or coconut oil as your base. Personally I like Vaseline, but only if I specifically need an ointment specifically and don't mind a little grease. Otherwise I generally use other plant-based ingredients like those found in our DIY cannabis salve recipe or our cannabis-infused lip balm.
Thanks for reading! Take care and happy ointment-making.
Codi Peterson, PharmD
Scientific advisor, The Cannigma
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