CBD or Cannabidiol, the non-psychoactive chemical compound in the cannabis plant and just one of many – is cropping up everywhere these days – from cookies, brownies and cocktails to water, energy drinks, tea and more.
This is not surprising to know because the ‘miracle’ cannabinoid has gained widespread popularity, particularly among people who want to live and feel better, along with finding relief from everyday stress and anxiety or sleep disorders.
One fantastic way to enjoy the health benefits of CBD is by cooking it and naturally making it a part of your favourite sweet or savoury treats.
Cooking with CBD – It’s easier than you think
CBD cooking is actually very easy once you get the hang of it. In fact, in many cases, CBD oils can be substituted for vegetable or olive oil through a few simple steps. It can also be infused with butter for recipes that call for it, such as cookies.
As with all forms of cannabis consumption, the effects can come on slowly, gradually rise and stay around for a lot longer as well. Therefore, we advise that you slowly work your way up to a dose that provides just the right balance and effects.
Cooking with CBD happens to be one of the simplest and most fun ways of introducing the health-friendly chemical compound into your day-to-day routine. However, before we get started on the cooking aspect, we should briefly understand what CBD is.
What is Cannabidiol?
The Cannabis sativa plant has more than 100 active chemical compounds called cannabinoids. Two of the most commonly studied and extensively researched cannabinoids are THC and CBD – both of which interact with the body’s internal endocannabinoid system (ECS) a little differently.
Endocannabinoids already exist in the human body and occur naturally – their receptors are found in many organs, including the spleen, spine, liver, brain, lungs and more. These receptors regulate specific biological processes such as mood, appetite, sleep, immune function, memory, etc.
CBD happens to be the main non-intoxicating compound that is considered safe to consume, even at higher doses – because unlike THC, it does not exhibit any intoxicating effects.
The ECS plays a very crucial role in that it maintains something called homeostasis; which means its job is to regulate the body’s internal functions and attain a perfect balance in order to keep it healthy.
CBD extracted from the hemp plant is known to treat many conditions, all backed by a number of studies – these include depression, anxiety, pain, epileptic seizers, insomnia and the adverse effects of cancer treatments.
Now – on to the good stuff:
How to Cook with CBD – A few Recipes to try
Here’s how we recommend you get started if this is your first time cooking with CBD:
1. Add CBD to Oils and Fats
CBD is soluble in fat. This means it can easily be added to many recipes when combined with healthy fats like coconut oil and butter, olive oil, ghee or grass-fed butter.
In fact, add CBD to your favourite cooking oil, like coconut or olive oil, and just drizzle it over meals. It’s actually really good on salads.
For a warming effect, add some garlic or chilli if you like. Just shake it all up properly so that the CBD gets evenly distributed.
2. Mix CBD with your favourite foods or dishes
Did you know that CBD can be added to just about any meal, even if it’s low in healthy fats? The only caveat is that dishes with low fat levels will require extra whisking and stirring in order for the CBD to mix properly.
Here are just a dishes you can conveniently mix CBD with:
- Scrambled eggs
- Pasta sauces
- Salad dressings
- Mashed potatoes
Here’s a CBD-infused dressing recipe, for example:
Balsamic Vinaigrette – Even though you can make a superb salad dressing with the following recipe, you can use it just as affectively as a delicious marinade for meat or steamed vegetables with CBD drizzled over.
What you’ll need:
- Three quarter cup balsamic vinegar
- Three quarter cup extra virgin olive oil
- Half teaspoon dried oregano
- Two teaspoon Dijon mustard
- One clove crushed garlic
- A little salt’n’pepper to taste
- Add as much CBD as you like
Combine all the ingredients in a mason jar or any other container that has a tight lid. Shake until all the ingredients have mixed well. That’s it.
3. Add CBD to your favourite sweet treats
CBD can also be added to confectionery and baking. For instance:
- Protein bards
Here’s a CBD bliss balls recipe to try out:
- Quarter cup pumpkin and sunflower seeds
- Two cups almonds or walnuts (both if you like)
- One tablespoon coconut oil
- One tablespoon natural vanilla essence
- Two tablespoon raw cocoa powder
- Two tablespoon chia seeds
- 16 pitted medjool dates
- 30mg CBD
Process the nuts and cocoa powder in a blender until it comes crumbly. Add the dates and vanilla essence, and mix.
Now form the mixture into little balls and roll them around in the cocoa, dates, seeds, coconut, crushed nuts, even goji berries – don’t limit yourself as there are plenty of combinations to experiment with.
4. Add some CBD to your morning smoothie
Starting the day with a simple but delicious smoothie can really put a big smile on your face and your tummy.
A little CBD along with a tablespoon of coconut oil, milk, some yogurt, avocado and fresh berries can provide a good anti-inflammatory dose to energise your day. You’ll need:
- A cup of almond or coconut milk
- Half cup seasonal berries
- One tablespoon almond butter
- One tablespoon coconut butter
- One frozen banana
- 30mg CBD
Just blend all the ingredients at the fastest setting for 20-30 seconds. Down that delicious smoothie and kick off the day!
Tips for using CBD in your food the right way
Even though adding a little CBD in your favourite dishes is easy, there are a few important points to keep in the back of your mind, such as:
Keep an eye on the temperature
Never cook any CBD over direct heat. Cannabinoids are very sensitive to heat and light, so always cook at low temperature settings. If you heat CBD at highly temperatures – for instance, at 185°C or higher – it will lose a lot of its precious terpenes – the diverse organic compounds which work alongside CBD to exert the therapeutic effects.
Watch that dose
If you’re new to CBD or ingesting it with food for the first time, then it’s best to start off with a low dose to see how your body responds.
It’s always best to cook in smaller chunks and initially use conservative amounts of CBD in your salad dressing, brownies, cake, cookies or smoothie.
Once you get used to a certain amount of CBD in your recipes, you’ll have a much better idea of what dose is best for you.
Try sweet and savoury cooking
Most CBD recipes that you might find online tend to focus on sweet and baked goods. Generally speaking, it’s easier to mask the medicinal taste of CBD in a sweet treat. But if you prepare your CBD meal the right way, savoury dishes with CBD infused in them can be just as appetising.
Your CBD oil needs to be stored properly
When you don’t need the CBD oil, store it in a cool, dry and dark place. Since cannabinoids are quite sensitive to heat and light, they can degrade in quality and potency over time. Degraded CBD oil simply doesn’t have the same effect and can even introduce unpleasant tastes in your recipes.
More refined CBD oils are better for cooking
Refined forms of CBD oil like decarboxylated and filtered work better with cooking applications. Less refined oils can leave a nasty aftertaste, particularly if your recipes are herb-heavy.
Less refined CBD oils work better with strong flavours
With that said, less refined CBD oils can be used with recipes that have strong flavours like certain spices or chocolate. Unfiltered CBD oil are higher in amino acids and vitamins as well.
Give it a good stir
From soups to chocolate chip cookies to guacamole, you need to stir the CBD oil in each recipe as much as you can, perhaps more so than you normally would. The CBD must be evenly distributed so that each bite provides an equal level of potency.
CBD cooking is better than drizzling
For the best flavours, we recommend mixing CBD oil with your ingredients. But if you’re short on time, you can always drizzle the oil directly onto your dish. Keep in mind though it may not taste as good, although the desired effects will certainly be felt.
Most important of all, however – just have fun! The more familiar you become with CBD and particularly CBD oil during your cooking escapades, the more you can fine-tune your recipes to create unique dishes that taste fantastic and offer CBD’s therapeutic benefits as well.