How to Incorporate CBD Products in the Kitchen

CBD comes in many forms – whether it’s a tincture, a gummy, a vape, or a pill, CBD can be effective no matter how it’s consumed. That means cooking is also a wonderful option for taking in CBD. That said, cooking with CBD can be tricky if you’re just starting out, and there are a few things you should know prior to starting the process. If you’re looking to incorporate CBD into your kitchen allow us to help you with some of the basics to help get you started. 

Quality is Key 

When consuming CBD it’s important to keep in mind that high quality products typically yield the best results and the same philosophy applies when cooking. If you already possess a high quality CBD product that you intend to cook with (or ingest in any way) do your best to ensure you’re storing it in the optimal conditions in order  to preserve the efficacy of the product. CBD is highly sensitive to both heat and light so it’s best to store your products in a dark, room temperature, and low humidity space. Because CBD is so sensitive to these elements it can become easily altered when cooking. That’s why  sticking with high quality product from the get-go  is step number one to cooking with CBD.

CBD Needs a Carrier 

First and foremost, it’s important to remember that CBD requires a carrier oil when consumed -- and this principal applies to more than just food. Jenny Winchman, Founder of YewYew Shop, adds “CBD always needs a carrier oil, not just [when] cooking. [CBD] needs to be infused into an oil so the body can absorb and metabolize it efficiently. If you were to eat a spoonful of 100% pure CBD extract, you would absorb very little and most would just pass through your body.” For obvious reasons no one wants CBD to simply “pass through” their body as this would be a huge waste of product and money. This means that utilizing oil is an unofficial mandatory step.

When it comes to cooking, oils are abundant and commonly used, which means infusing CBD should be pretty straight-forward . Ghee, coconut oil, olive oil, butter, and vegetable oil are  all great options to increase the bioavailability of CBD within your body and, in turn, increase the effect you can expect to feel. 

Unrefined vs Refined Oil

Depending on what you’re cooking choosing between unrefined and refined oils can make a big difference in the overall taste of the food. Unrefined CBD is far less processed (cold-pressed, to be exact), which is evident in the green color and the nutty, terpene heavy flavors present. Refined oils, on the other hand, are far more processed as its undergone both a bleaching and deodorizing treatment. In turn, refined CBD is both colorless and odorless in nature, and has a longer shelf life than unrefined oil. 

That begs the question, which product should you be using for various situations? It’s best practice to use refined oils when the final product is meant to be sweet; for example baked goods or candy. Using an odorless oil in this setting will help greatly in as it will not detract from the taste of the final product. Unrefined oils do better in recipes where there are other strong herbs present such as oregano, rosemary, or sage. This herbaceous taste, when done properly, can really enhance a dish rather than detract from it. Our advice? It’s better to have one of each on-hand so you can experiment in the kitchen as you please.

Start Small 

When cooking with CBD you generally  don’t want to waste product or ingest too much CBD that you no longer receive the desired effect you were initially searching for. However, if you accidentally overdo the dosage of CBD in your food that’s precisely what can happen… Additionally, adding too much CBD can overwhelm your taste buds with terpenes meaning you won’t be able to taste the masterpiece you’ve created. When it comes to cooking with CBD, less is more when starting , even if you’re a seasoned cannabis veteran. 

It should be made clear that there is no way to actually overdose on CBD as it has no psychoactive properties and has been proven to be non-toxic – therefore the concern with using too much CBD isn’t that you’ll feel strange effects, it’s simply that your food won’t taste good and that you’ll have wasted product. 

Watch the Temperature 

As we mentioned above, CBD is highly sensitive to both heat and light exposure; this applies equally when it comes to cooking. The catch twenty-two is that warming up CBD can actually increase its efficacy but it’s easy to overdo it. Generally, it is not recommended to surpass 200 degrees Fahrenheit when cooking as it will burn the oil and create the potential to carry a  different dosage than anticipated. The other risk is associated with overheating CBD oil is  giving your dish a bitter and unappealing taste. Simply put, overheating CBD oil can cause the product to lose terpenes. It’s the loss of terpenes that causes a decrease in efficacy and produces an absolutely rank taste. 

Because of the difficulty of temperature sensitivity when cooking CBD infusing the product into smoothies and salad dressing recipes may be the easiest place to start seeing as it’s a simple and fool-proof process . Once you become comfortable with starting level infusion, aim higher and start testing your skills with baking recipes such as cookies, brownies, or cakes. 

Remember, It Might Not Be For You 

For seasoned cannabis veterans or for those who use CBD as relief for chronic pain or other conditions cooking with CBD might not be for you. Simply put, when you consume CBD through your food, it’s digested in a way that may take a while to feel any effect (if at all). Jenny of YewYew Shop says, “Personally, I don’t cook with CBD. I prefer taking a subliminal tincture (dropping the oil under your tongue) because more CBD gets [absorbed] into your body and I feel the effects quicker. Eating CBD means processing it through your liver, and you can lose up to 70% of the active cannabinoids that way.”