How To Make CBD Hand Sanitizer

jen keehn

Written by Jen Keehn

Published December 14, 2020

Have you used more hand sanitizer in 2020 than you ever have in your life?

You’re definitely not alone.

The global use of hand sanitizer has soared over the past year1 and is projected to grow steadily through 2026. 

Did you know making your own hand sanitizer is really easy to do? Throw a little CBD into the mix and you’ve got a DIY hand sanitizer with its own unique benefits. 

In this article, we’ll discuss how to make CBD hand sanitizer, which will allow you to take your efforts to keep yourself and others safe, literally into your own hands. 

Before we get into how to make CBD hand sanitizer, let’s take a quick look at how hand sanitizer helps keep you protected, how CBD might be of benefit, and why you might want to make your own.   

Why Learn How To Make CBD Hand Sanitizer? The Potential Benefits of Hand Sanitizer with CBD

These days, hand washing and hand sanitizing go hand in hand. 

In order to protect yourself and others, the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC), recommends2 washing your hands often for at least 20 seconds, especially if you’ve been in a public place or after sneezing, coughing, or blowing your nose. 

The CDC also maintains it’s “especially important” to wash:

If soap and water aren’t accessible, the CDC recommends using a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol (ethanol or isopropyl) ensuring to cover all surfaces of the hands and rub them together until they feel dry. 

Alcohol is the main ingredient in hand sanitizers, which is largely what’s responsible for killing any potential bacteria you come in contact with. According to a 2014 review3, alcohol works to kill bacteria and pathogens that can cause disease by breaking cells down into pieces, changing the cell’s metabolism, or breaking apart cell proteins. 

While the alcohol found in hand sanitizer is key to killing germs, it’s also extremely drying and prolonged exposure can wreak havoc on one’s skin. Add this to increased handwashing frequency and dry, cracked hands can become a serious problem. 

What about a hand sanitizer that promotes the health of the skin? Seeing as we’re all using hand sanitizer regularly, why not make the traditional hand sanitizer even better? 

Making your own hand sanitizer is easy, and it’s awesome because you can choose what ingredients go in it.

Like CBD. 

Why Use CBD Hand Sanitizer?

There are a couple of reasons you might want to consider a CBD hand sanitizer.

CBD Contains Antibacterial Properties

CBD and other major cannabinoids contain proven antibacterial properties4. Scientists are even looking towards CBD to help fight superbugs for resistant infections.  

Research regarding the efficacy of CBD as a powerful antibiotic5 was recently presented at the American Society for Microbiology’s (ASM) annual meeting. Scientists found that not only does CBD contain “a very similar potency to that of antibiotics” but that CBD also kills bacteria twice as fast as some of the most common antibiotics, such as vancomycin and daptomycin. 

CBD demonstrated the ability to disrupt the bacteria’s biofilm, a thin layer around bacteria that makes it harder for antibiotics to penetrate and kill the bacteria. According to researchers, the disruption of the biofilm is important because it’s a part of the entire infection process, aiding the bacteria “to attach and survive” to whatever surface or host it comes in contact with. 

While we’re not suggesting you ditch conventional medicine and use CBD as a self-treatment for infections, preliminary research has found that it’s a powerful antibacterial, which we believe makes the perfect addition to a product designed to kill bacteria. 

As you probably know, COVID-19 is not a bacteria but rather a virus, so the research above doesn’t exactly apply to the current pandemic we’re all facing. 

That being said, researchers are looking at the potential of CBD for COVID-196. In November 2020, a group of researchers presented the hypothesis that CBD has the potential to limit the severity and progression of the disease for a few different reasons, including: 

CBD Supports Skin Health

CBD may also help hands from drying out from too much washing and increased hand sanitizer use, all while improving the health of the delicate skin on your hands at the same time.  

In case you weren’t aware, the skin contains its very own endocannabinoid system (ECS). It’s said that the major function of the skin’s ECS is the regulation of the growth, maturation, survival, and death of skin cells. 

CB1 and CB2 receptors are found in various sorts of skin cells. CB2 receptors are found in large concentrations in the skin’s sebaceous glands, small glands responsible for oil production. The body’s naturally occurring endocannabinoids, anandamide (AEA) and 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), are also found in abundance in human skin cells. 

Seeing that human skin is brimming with cannabinoid receptors and naturally occurring endocannabinoids and CBD is known to support ECS function7, it makes sense that when applied topically CBD would relieve dry skin. 

See how CBD might be beneficial when added to hand sanitizer whose primary ingredient is alcohol, a substance known for its drying effect on the skin? 

Our thoughts exactly. 

It makes sense that you might want to learn how to make CBD hand sanitizer. The good news is, making your own CBD hand sanitizer is extremely easy. Following is a simple recipe that’s adapted from the World Health Organization’s (WHO) hand sanitizer formulation 8 for anyone interested in how to make CBD hand sanitizer at home. 

How To Make CBD Hand Sanitizer

CBD Hand Sanitizer Recipe

Things You’ll Need



Yes, that’s it! We told you that learning how to make CBD hand sanitizer was easy. 

What about the other ingredients included in this CBD hand sanitizer recipe?

You’ve learned about the power of alcohol in combatting germs and why CBD might be effective in a hand sanitizer, but what about the addition of witch hazel, glycerin, tea tree oil, and essential oils of your choice? 

As it turns out, the other ingredients used when you make CBD hand sanitizer each plays an important role in the product itself. 

Let’s take a look.

    • Hydrogen Peroxide: According to WHO, low concentrations of hydrogen peroxide are added to hand sanitizer formulations to “help eliminate contaminating spores” in bulk solutions. Basically, the addition of hydrogen peroxide helps kill any bacteria that might make its way into the bottle you use or the hand sanitizer itself as it’s made. 
    • Glycerin/Vitamin E Oil: Glycerin or vitamin E oil are completely optional when making CBD hand sanitizer but do contain moisturizing properties that can help with any dryness caused by excessive use of an alcohol-based product on the skin. Combined with the skin-soothing benefits of CBD, your hand sanitizer will contain increased moisturizing potential. 
    • Tea Tree Essential Oil: Tea tree oil is one of the most popular essential oils that contain powerful antimicrobial and medicinal properties9. It’s a common ingredient in countless natural beauty and household products for the germ-fighting capabilities it contains.
    • Essential Oils Of Your Choice: Essential oils are another optional ingredient when making CBD hand sanitizer. We personally add lavender because it smells amazing and contains several therapeutic properties10 of its own. Essential oils that contain citrus notes (like a lemon, grapefruit, and neroli blend) are also an option that works really well in hand sanitizers. Keep in mind that essential oils are completely optional and aren’t required for your hand sanitizer to work as intended.  

Not only is learning how to make CBD hand sanitizer easy, but it contains its very own list of potential benefits. It’s also a fun DIY project, with a simple list of ingredients you’ve probably got at home. 

Keep in mind that this article is not written as medical advice and that CBD hand sanitizer should not be considered medical treatment for COVID-19.   


1$8.26 Billion Worldwide Hand Sanitizer Industry to 2026 – Outbreak of COVID-19 is Driving the Market 

2Covid-19: How to Protect Yourself & Others (Center for Disease Control)

3Kampf G, Kramer A. Epidemiologic background of hand hygiene and evaluation of the most important agents for scrubs and rubs. Clin Microbiol Rev. 2004;17(4):863-893. doi:10.1128/CMR.17.4.863-893.2004

4Cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa: A Structure−Activity Study
Giovanni Appendino, Simon Gibbons, Anna Giana, Alberto Pagani, Gianpaolo Grassi, Michael Stavri, Eileen Smith, and M. Mukhlesur Rahman, Journal of Natural Products 2008 71 (8), 1427-1430, DOI: 10.1021/np8002673

5Cannabidiol is a Powerful New Antibiotic, American Society for Microbiology, June, 2019

6Esposito G, Pesce M, Seguella L, et al. The potential of cannabidiol in the COVID-19 pandemic. Br J Pharmacol. 2020;177(21):4967-4970. doi:10.1111/bph.15157

7Zou S, Kumar U. Cannabinoid Receptors and the Endocannabinoid System: Signaling and Function in the Central Nervous System. Int J Mol Sci. 2018;19(3):833. Published 2018 Mar 13. doi:10.3390/ijms19030833

8WHO Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care: First Global Patient Safety Challenge Clean Care Is Safer Care. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2009. 12, WHO-recommended handrub formulations. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK144054/

9Carson CF, Hammer KA, Riley TV. Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) oil: a review of antimicrobial and other medicinal properties. Clin Microbiol Rev. 2006;19(1):50-62. doi:10.1128/CMR.19.1.50-62.2006

10Koulivand PH, Khaleghi Ghadiri M, Gorji A. Lavender and the nervous system. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:681304. doi:10.1155/2013/681304

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