How to Make DIY Cannabis Topicals for Burns | cannabisMD

How to Make DIY Cannabis Topicals for Your Burn Areas

DIY Cannabis Topicals for Burns

Are you trying to heal your burn areas? This DIY cannabis topical product will help quickly heal your burns. Sizzle is for steaks, not your delicate skin. Burns can be inconvenient, painful and damaging. An estimated 1.25 million Americans get burn injuries every year.

Fire and flame, steam and scald burns, contact burns (touching something hot), sunburn and household chemical burns are the top five causes of household burn injuries. Most burn injuries do not require medical intervention beyond basic first aid. Cool water, something to soothe the pain and encourage healing is all you need.

Cannabis has been used since ancient times to dress wounds and sores. A cannabis cream relieves pain and promotes fast healing. It’s perfect to keep on hand for this common injury. Learn how to DIY a soothing cannabis topical to heal your burn areas. Read on to learn more.

Burns – See a Doctor or Treat Yourself?

All burns can be classified into 1 of 3 categories: first degree, second degree, and third degree.

Third-degree burns are the most serious and require immediate medical attention. Third-degree burns are the destruction of skin and underlying tissue. These burns may involve nerve damage. Chemical, electrical and radioactive burns must be treated by a doctor. Do not treat them at home. The burn can be much deeper than the surface and damage can continue for a very long time. First and second-degree burns are many magnitudes less serious than third-degree burns. You may treat most of these burns yourself.

  • First Degree Burns – Affect only the outer layer of skin (the epidermis)
  • Second Degree Burns – Affect both the epidermis and the underlying skin (the dermis)

You should still see a doctor if the burn areas are larger than three inches in diameter. If your burn areas are on the face, genitals or major joints or are more than 80% of your body, see a doctor. Infection and scarring are possible. If you have a fever, dehydration or danger of infection, see your doctor immediately.

Treat Your Burns

Minor first-degree burns take about a week to completely heal and usually don’t cause scarring. Second-degree burns take a bit longer and must be monitored for infection. DIY burn treatments reduce pain, prevent infections, and heal the skin. The first thing you should do when you get a minor burn is to circulate cool (not ice or freezing cold) water over the burn areas for 20 minutes to stop the damage. After that, wash the burn areas with mild soap and water.

A first-degree burn is painful, red and has minor inflammation. A second-degree burn is red, wet, painful, sore and blistered. See a doctor if the second-degree burn is large or on the face, genitals or major joints (including hands and feet). Apply a clean, wet cloth or cool compress to relieve pain and swelling. Do not use ice water or ice. Apply the compress for 5 to 15-minute intervals.

Do not pop blisters. Your skin is still protecting you from infection. Some blisters may pop naturally and a thick, spongy tissue will cover the wound. You may gently pat the burn areas dry and apply a soothing, sterile ointment to relieve irritation. A light covering of gauze or cling film to protect the burn is all that is necessary. Take an anti-inflammatory pain reliever if necessary and do not expose your burn areas to the sun or to further injury.

Soothe Burn Areas

Salves, ointments, and creams help prevent infections and keep the skin moisturized. DIY or purchased, you want to make sure to use these remedies AFTER cooling and cleaning your burn areas. Known home remedies for minor burns include aloe vera, tea, and honey. Aloe vera is cooling, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and promotes circulation. It is one of the best-known remedies for minor burns.

Plain black tea is soothing when sponged onto minor burn areas, but can also be astringent. Another simple remedy is honey. Honey is naturally antifungal and antibacterial but can be irritating to healing skin, as it attracts moisture. Preparations with healing properties from lavender oil or cloves are often part of home remedies. The active terpenes linalool (lavender) and caryophyllene (clove) are present in CBD oil and whole cannabis.

CBD oil and whole cannabis topical preparations contain all of the healing properties of various burn remedies plus painkilling cannabinoids. You can easily make your salve at home!

Making Topical Cannabis Cream

You can DIY! To soothe burn areas, you want the painkilling properties of THC as well as the healing properties of CBD and other minor terpenes. To extract these compounds from the plant, you will need heat and time. You will then infuse these compounds into a carrier oil and blend a topical cream.

A simple method is to use your oven or slow cooker. A word of warning, however, the strongly scented volatiles in cannabis will burn off quickly and scent your kitchen and home. Some people like the herbal scent, others find it too strong. A more discreet, precise and efficient method is to use a sous vide immersion circulator. The temperature control and sealed cooking will allow full capture of more of the volatiles.

This is a multi-step process, taking several hours. Most of this will not require close watching.

You will need:

  • 1 oz (weight) cannabis clippings/trim or flowers in your preferred strain
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup beeswax
  • 1 tsp vitamin E oil
  • 2 tbsp shea butter
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 cup aloe vera gel

Although this is a recipe for a topical product, use food grade ingredients to avoid contamination problems.

Step 1 – Decarboxylate Your Cannabis

This means to activate the volatile compounds with heat. If you are using the sous vide method, seal up your cannabis in a bag with a vacuum sealer, and submerge underwater at 203 degrees for an hour. If using the oven, wrap your cannabis in foil and bake at 240 degrees for 30 minutes. This step also serves to kill botulism bacteria that could contaminate your cream.

Step 2 – Infuse the Oil

Place the trim and coconut oil in a large canning jar. If using a sous vide, set your water bath for 185 degrees and place jar in the circulating bath for four hours. If using a slow cooker, fill the slow cooker with enough water to gently lower the jar into the water. Cook on low temp for eight hours. Do not let the temperature rise over 260 degrees. If your slow cooker tends to cook at higher temperatures, allow your jar to come to 210 degrees and then switch your slow cooker to warm.

Step 3 – Strain the Oil and Melt the Beeswax

Use a fine mesh strainer or layers of cheesecloth to strain trim from oil. In a small mixing bowl, melt beeswax, vitamin E oil, shea butter and honey by floating the bowl in the hot water from the slow cooker or sous vide bath. You may want to grate the beeswax for more rapid melting.

When the beeswax has melted, place the bowl on the counter and use a stick blender or whisk to blend in the warm infused oil.

If you stop at this point, you will have a waxy salve similar to lip balm. Use it as is or continue to make a cream or lotion.

Step 4 – Blend the Cream

Before the mixture cools, add the aloe vera gel. You may have to float the bowl in hot water to keep the mixture from seizing while you incorporate the aloe vera gel.

This will make a thick cream. Use additional vitamin E oil to thin to your desired consistency. You may wish to scent the cream with a drop or two of a complimentary essential oil such as lavender or tea tree.

Step 5 – Store in a Cool Dark Place

A dark glass jar or tin is an ideal place to store this product. It will tend to melt at high temperatures, so keep in a cool place. Use this cream liberally to soothe and heal minor burns and irritations.

Your cream can be customized with any strain to give you the strength and healing terpenes that you need. Exchange the coconut carrier oil with any other neutral oil that works better for you. If you would like to avoid beeswax, you may increase or substitute cocoa or shea butter.

Learn More About the Burn Healing Properties of Cannabis

There is limited research available on the healing properties of cannabis for burns, but there are multiple ancient references to its use. Many people are using cannabinoids for their unique painkilling and healing properties, not just for skin injuries.

Cannabis cream will make burns less painful and allow healing to begin. Why not take advantage of the full benefit of the plant as a topical preparation? The Do-It-Yourself recipe is fully customizable and the technique is easy.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
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