One of the best things about CBD is that there are so many ways that it can be taken. Whether you prefer to vape, take capsules or use it under the tongue, there are many options for those who want to take advantage of the numerous health benefits of CBD.
Some people, however, cannot or would not prefer not to consume their CBD through these methods. And for this reason, there are edibles. Although many people would consider buying CBD edibles – and there are many to buy from – something that is often over-looked is making your own CBD rich food.
CBD is actually very flexible when it comes to cooking with it and there are many ways that it can be used in food.
What is CBD and why use it?
CBD or cannabidiol is one of the natural compounds that are found in the cannabis plant. There are over 100 of these compounds, of which the most commonly understood are CBD and THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol).
Whilst we know that some people have been using cannabis for medicinal purposes over the past thousands of years, it is only relatively recently that science has started to catch up with things, and we are beginning to understand the potential that cannabis derived products can have for us.
The endocannabinoid system in the human body is responsible for keeping the body in a state of homeostasis or balanced and regulated. It helps us to keep everything not too much, not too little – or in what’s known as the Goldilocks zone.
The human body naturally produces endocannabinoids, which interact with the receptors in the endocannabinoid system. It is thought that when there is a deficiency in these endocannabinoids, the body can run into problems.
The cannabinoids from the cannabis plant are able to interact with the cannabinoid receptors in a similar way to the endocannabinoids and give the endocannabinoid system a boost.
Some of the aspects that the endocannabinoid system regulates include:
The nervous system
The immune system
This means that by taking in CBD, THC and other cannabinoids, and strengthening the endocannabinoid system, you can encourage your body to regulate these aspects better.
Using CBD oil in cooking
The easiest way to incorporate CBD into your cooking is by using CBD oil. CBD oil is made from an extract from the cannabis (usually hemp) plant.
You will usually be able to get CBD in three types:
CBD Distillate – The purest CBD oil that is available. This is when only CBD is extracted from the plant and is ideal for people who ONLY want to ingest CBD.
Full-spectrum CBD oil – This is a whole plant hemp extract, where not only the CBD is extracted, but also the other cannabinoids, flavonoids and terpenes (other compounds in the plant). Instead of making the CBD less effective, however, these other compounds actually make the oil more effective – in what’s known as the entourage effect.
Broad-spectrum CBD oil – This is somewhere between full-spectrum CBD oil and CBD isolate. It contains most of the compounds but will not have some of the compounds (such as THC – the compound which makes you high) in it.
The hemp extract is usually mixed with a carrier oil – usually coconut, hemp or olive oil as it is not water soluble. It therefore needs to be mixed with a fat for it to be easily absorbed into the human body.
Most good CBD oils come in a bottle with drops, giving you details of the exact amount of CBD which is present in each drop. This makes it easy to accurately dose your edibles so that you can work out exactly how much to put in.
Making your CBD edibles
The unfortunate truth is that most people don’t really like the taste of CBD oil. It is, after all, a plant extract, so a lot of people describe it as tasting ‘grassy’ or ‘earthy’.
This means that it is best to use your CBD oil with strong flavours to cover the taste.
It is also important to remember that the compounds can change when they are exposed to different temperatures. Heating it to over 180°C, will destroy the CBD and it won’t be as effective. It is therefore vital that you don’t cook anything at over 180°C, or apply the CBD to direct heat (so, for example, don’t fry an egg in it).
Some ideas of how you can use CBD in your food include:
Adding some drops to your baking – cakes, biscuits and savouries are all good examples. Make sure that you mix it in well to get an even distribution and calculate your dosage according to how much you want per portion and not for the whole batch.
Adding a few drops to sauces as you are cooking them. Again, make sure that you mix it in well and calculate the number of portions that you are making.
Use the oil in salad dressings – although for the nicest taste, make sure that you use other stronger flavours in the dressing.
Stir your CBD into pasta along with the pasta sauce.
Use it in curries to hide the strong taste of the CBD at the end when the curry is a little cooler.
Add your CBD oil to a smoothie in the morning for a healthy start to the day.
Try mixing some of your CBD oil into your drinks – either alcoholic or non-alcoholic, whichever takes your fancy.
Although there are many edibles which are available to buy, the good thing about making your own is that you are able to have complete control over how much CBD you add to your food.
No THC, no high
When it comes to cannabis, many people are worried about getting ‘high’. The cannabinoid, CBD does not have this kind of effect on the brain – unlike THC – so as long as you are cooking with CBD oil that has low or no levels of THC, you won’t get high. Although you might feel a general calmness, CBD is not psychoactive in the same way as THC is.
Of course, everybody is different, so everybody needs different doses of CBD to get the effects that they want. It is therefore recommended that you check out our CBD dosage guide. Make sure that you start off with small doses and gradually increase them until you find the most effective for you.
If you are thinking about trying CBD it is important that you talk it through with your doctor if you are on any medication. This is because CBD can affect the way that certain medicines are metabolised in the body, meaning that in some cases it can change how quickly the medication works, as well as how effective it is (often making it more effective).
Making your own edibles with CBD is a great way to incorporate it into your diet in a fun, discreet and effective way. It is flexible and can be added to most foods. So why not try it out, experiment with your food create some great edibles and give your well-being a lift whilst you’re at it?