There are many ways that you can take CBD and incorporate it into your daily routine. Some people like to vape, others prefer to take their CBD in drops under the tongue, or others like it in edible form. One of the best things about taking CBD is that you can mix and match delivery methods according to how you feel.
One option that a lot of people overlook is using CBD in their own cooking. Of course, we’ve all heard the legendary stories about someone at school making space cakes and their parents unwittingly eating them, but this is completely different.
Although it comes from the cannabis plant, CBD won’t make you high. Unlike THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) – the compound in the plant that will make you feel stoned, CBD (or Cannabidiol) does not affect your brain in the same way.
CBD is creating a lot of hype in the medical world at the moment. Whilst we have always known that there is something special about the cannabis plant, it is only relatively recently that the science has been able to explain better what it is.
Although at the moment there are only a few medical conditions that doctors are allowed to prescribe cannabis derived products for, medical research is mounting up. For the time being though, there is one thing that we do know – CBD can be taken to improve your general health and well-being. And that is because of its affect on the human Endocannabinoid system.
The Endocannabinoid system is responsible for keeping the body in regulation. It helps to keep everything from pain to the immune system, from mood to the nervous system and inflammation to body temperature in check.
Your body produces endocannabinoids naturally, and these interact with the cannabinoid receptors in the Endocannabinoid system, making it work. CBD, however, is a cannabinoid found naturally in the cannabis plant, which can act in a similar way to the endocannabinoids made by the body. So, when you take CBD, it gives the Endocannabinoid system a boost and can help you feel great.
Cooking with CBD
Cooking with CBD can be an interesting and fun way to get your daily dose of CBD. And it’s easy too!
The process of cooking with CBD changes depending on what you are using as your raw ingredient. If you have CBD oil drops the process is very easy. If you are using raw hemp, it makes it a it more challenging.
For CBD to be properly absorbed into the body, it should be taken with fat. This is because it isn’t water soluble and therefore not easily absorbed on its own. Which makes cooking with CBD an even better idea.
If you are starting from scratch, using raw hemp, it is best to infuse it into butter or oil.
When CBD oil is made, the compounds are extracted from the cannabis plant and heated to a certain temperature to activate them. If this isn’t done, they cannot be effective when they are taken, and this is why if you eat raw hemp, you will get no benefit whatsoever. This process of heating up the extract and activating the compounds is called decarboxylation.
It stands to reason then that if you are going to be cooking with the raw hemp plant, you will first need to decarboxylate your hemp.
To do this, you need to:
Grind up your raw hemp
Spread the ground hemp over a baking tray
Bake it for about an hour at 110°-120°C
Although you might want to grind up your raw hemp into the smallest pieces possible, you might want to think about experimenting with other textures. As with other herbs and spices when you are cooking, the smaller you grind them, the stronger the taste. Some people (well, a lot of people) don’t enjoy the taste of pure hemp, so this is worth bearing in mind.
To make it into butter or oil, next gently heat it and mix in the hemp. Leave it to gently simmer for about 3 hours, at between 160° and 200°C. Make sure that you don’t overheat it, or your butter could burn, or the cannabinoids could be damaged.
You can also add some water to the infusion for a better finish.
Once the infusion has been done, strain the hemp out of the liquid and leave the CBD infused oil or butter to cool.
Cooking with CBD Oil
If you are going to cook with CBD oil which you have ‘ready made’, things are a lot easier. In fact, it is good to go as it is!
Getting your dosage right
One of the most important things to take into consideration when you are going to cook with CBD is to get your dosage right. Even though you cannot overdose on it and there are no adverse, long term side effects from taking CBD, it is important to ensure that you are getting the right amount that you need.
Again, calculating your dosage with CBD oil is easy. Decide what amount of CBD you would like and add that to your food – allowing for how many portions you are making.
So, if you are making a salad dressing just for you, add your dose and you’re ready to go. If you are making tray of CBD millionaires shortbread, you need to think about how many portions you are making and multiply your dosage in.
If, however, you are starting out with raw hemp, there is a bit more maths to do.
To determine how much CBD is in one batch of butter you need to do the following:
If your hemp is 15% CBD, and you have 1000mg, you will have 150mg of CBD (15% of 1000).
If you are going to infuse all of this into 250g of butter, you will have
250g butter = 150mg CBD
If you want to make a batch of 12 brownies, using 100g of butter, you will get
100g butter = 60 mg CBD
This is how much CBD you will have in your entire batch of brownies.
If you are then going to divide your tray into 12 individual brownies, you will get:
60/12 = 5mg of CBD per brownie.
You can adjust the amount of CBD per portion according to this method.
How to Cook with CBD Oil
Whether you have made your own infused CBD butter or oil, or you are just adding drops to your food, there are some things that you should bear in mind.
The taste of CBD is quite strong so you would be better off combining it with stronger rather than delicate flavours.
CBD is more effective when it is warm, so although it is great in salad dressings, it would be even better when used in hot food.
You can use CBD oil or butter in sweet and savoury dishes.
CBD oil or butter is excellent when stirred into sauces.
Make sure you eat it all or you won’t get the right dosage.
Don’t heat up CBD oil over direct heat as it will begin to lose its terpenes and be less effective. That means don’t fry eggs or meat in it!
You can drizzle CBD oil over salads, curries, stews or soups (although cooking with it is better).
If you are stirring in your CBD, stir as much as you can to make sure that it is distributed evenly throughout.
Try using your CBD butter in baking.
Try to use the most refined CBD oil that you can find as it combines best when cooking.
Anything goes with CBD oil, so have fun and try things out!
A note about Hemp Seed Oil
You could be forgiven for thinking that you could substitute your CBD oil in cooking for hemp seed oil. In actual fact, hemp seed oil is made from the seed of the plant, which contains no CBD. So, although it has other nutritional value for you, hemp seed oil won’t give you the health benefits of CBD oil.
If you are taking CBD for the first time, it is important that you speak to you doctor first, especially if you are taking other medication. This is because CBD can affect the digestive enzymes, affecting how you metabolise some medications.
Generally speaking, cooking with CBD oil or butter is a safe, fun and interesting way to get your CBD. As long as you keep an eye on your dosages, you can experiment and adjust your recipes, creating new and exciting food that is also beneficial to your health.