Whether as a critique of consumer culture, out of economic necessity, or as the marker of a hipsteresque devotion to all things local and artisanal, DIY (Do It Yourself) culture is alive and thriving in the U.S., and CBD is its newly claimed territory. Recipes for products ranging from gummies to facial scrubs and beard wax to candles and personal lubricant jostle for space online. Message boards teem with recommendations, refinements, and cautionary tales for CBD consumers looking to save, or earn, a few extra bucks by taking a walk on the manufacturing side.
A small 30ml bottle of CBD oil can cost up to $300 depending on the quality and strength per dose. Many who find previously unattainable relief with CBD for ailments from the minor to the debilitating but struggle to afford the price tag of the more potent formulations are now buying CBD hemp flower by the gram and crafting their own products at home.
The process in most cases is not overly onerous, although the hemp flower buds must be “decarboxylated” before use, which is an intimidating term that simply refers to the process of putting the hemp buds under low heat (between 225-245 degrees Fahrenheit) for about an hour in order to activate their chemical and pharmacological effects. Afterwards, the hemp buds are ready to be used for teas, cocktails, baking, infused into oil, etc. It sounds pretty straightforward, but there is still room for frustrating and costly user error to occur. Case in point, a month ago I was gifted a gallon bag full of CBD flower (about $500 worth) from friends who lease their land to a local CBD company for hemp cultivation. I was eager to take a stab at DIY CBD oil, and felt confident enough in my herbal training that I would end up with an abundance of potent medicine. My friends had already decarboxylated the buds, so all I needed to do was borrow my parents’ crock pot (mine was far too small), add the buds and some olive oil, and set the whole thing on “low”. Unfortunately, the “low” setting on my parents’ ancient crockpot was sufficient to burn my lovely little buds to brittle black bits. The contents ended up smelling like a Thanksgiving dinner gone horribly wrong- a Thanksgiving dinner made from $500 worth of groceries.
My own plans for consuming and gifting homemade CBD oil might be temporarily on hold, but there are still plenty of would-be makers and entrepreneurs out there eager to get into the CBD game. The abundance of articles like this Business News Daily how-to for starting one’s own online CBD business point to a burgeoning participation in this exploding market. If a recent study cited by Iris Dorbian in Forbes Magazine is accurate and the CBD market could indeed surpass $20 billion dollars by 2024, there is plenty of room for DIYers and entrepreneurs alike to work for CBD, and make CBD work for them.