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As an outdoor sports enthusiast, I’ve found using topicals infused with CBD to be very helpful in treating my aching muscles and joint pain following an intense day hiking, cycling, kayaking or fly-fishing.  

Katie Stem, CEO of Peak Extracts, points to how CBD topicals can help balance one’s mind and body:

Since the endocannabinoid system is pervasive throughout the body, CBD topicals are a promising way to treat inflammatory conditions close to the surface. For instance, `joint pain, muscle soreness, sprains, neuropathy and skin issues can be treated with a smaller, more targeted dose than would be used orally. The time of onset is much faster and the chance of drug interactions is practically eliminated.

Making my own CBD cream from seed to salve empowers me. I know I’m making a product with my own hands that has therapeutic benefits. In particular, growing my own medicine during the pandemic has proved to be meditative and has connected me to the earth while calming and clearing my mind.

While you can grow hemp plants indoors, I’ve found added benefits to growing these plants using sunlight. Natural sunlight produces an organic medicinal plant filled with natural goodness. East Fork Cultivars, an Oregon-based USDA Organic Certified hemp, Sun+Earth Certified cannabis, and hemp farm with a compressive educational component offers a comprehensive 12-step guide to growing hemp outdoors.

Initially, I tried growing hemp from seeds. But after a few disastrous attempts, I switched to purchasing clones, which are more predictable and easier to grow. By planting my clones by mid-May, I’m able to harvest by October. Check the growing season for your region to ensure you are planting and harvesting your plants at the most optimal times. 

In selecting hemp seeds or clones, look for a reputable buyer like East Fork Cultivars whose products have high reviews, detailed flavor notes, and growing instructions. Now that hemp is legal across the United States (with restrictions, know the law), these seeds can be shipped to most places with no limit on how many plants one chooses to grow.  

After my plants are harvested and dried, I proceed to make my own CBD cream. In addition to the flower, the leaves and branches of the hemp plant can also be used in making topicals.


Laurel Howard, mother of East Fork Cultivars founders Nathan and Aaron, offers this recipe for making your own CBD cream.


  • 2 cups/28 grams hemp flower (ground into a fine powder)
  • 2 cups coconut oil
  • 2 Ounces (approximately 46 grams) beeswax
  • 1 oven dish or baking sheet
  • 1 saucepan or double boiler 
  • 1 jar
  • 1 cheesecloth
  • Fragrant oil of your choice (try lavender oil)


First, decarboxylate the hemp.  Place the shredded bud on a baking sheet for 15 minutes in an oven preheated to 120°C (approx. 250°F).

Meanwhile, place the coconut oil in the saucepan or double boiler over low heat and stir continuously.

After 15 minutes, remove the hemp CBD from the oven and fold it into the warming oil. Continue to stir the entire mixture for the next 20-25 minutes. Keep the heat low, as it’s possible to burn up the cannabis if the oil is too hot.

After 25 minutes, remove the mixture from the heat and pour the infused oil through the cheesecloth filter into the jar. Make sure to squeeze the cheesecloth thoroughly to collect all excess oil into the jar. (I tend to infuse my CBD cream for 1.5 hours which seems to give it extra potency.) 

Now melt the beeswax in the double boiler. Once melted, add 5 parts coconut-infused oil to one-part beeswax, mixing slowly and thoroughly.

Once you have combined all of the coconut oil with the melted beeswax, remove the saucepan from the heat and add the fragrant oil of choice to the mixture. (The amount of fragrant oil added is contingent on how strong of a scent desired.)

Pour back into the jar and let sit until hardened.

Then put your homemade CBD topical on sore joints and muscles, as well as any skin issues.

After I finish making my CBD topical cream, I take the hemp mixture and use it to make a moisturizing CBD infused oil. I put the hemp mixture in a saucepan or double boiler. Then, I add a 16-ounce bottle of MCT oil and cook over low heat for an hour and a half. After the oil cools down, I add it back into the bottle and then apply liberally to my skin. 

CBD Resources

ProjectCBD.orgis an accessible, credible evidence-based resource on the health benefits of CBD. Also, check out the videos from the Eminent Course Library and East Fork Cultivars’ Cannabis Class.

An earlier version of this article was originally posted at Spirituality & Health.

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As a freelance writer with dual MDiv/MSW degree from Yale Divinity School/Columbia University, I focus on the rise of secular spirituality, religious satire, spiritual health & wellness, faith &...