Restaurants, bakeries, and bars all over the nation are now offering CBD-based foods, treats, and drinks. It’s become very common in states where cannabis products are legally distributed, but the online CBD marketplace has made it easier than ever for establishments to share their CBD goods.
Chefs, bakers, and bar tenders find the best CBD oil online, mix it up in their famous cuisine, and serve it to the public. Since CBD sold online must not contain more than 0.3 percent THC, they don’t have to worry about the illegal, psychoactive component of the hemp plant finding its way into their baked goods.
But if you don’t live near one of these establishments, you might want to look into cooking with the ingredient at home. CBD hemp oil makes a great addition to any of your favorite recipes—but you should know a few things about cooking with the ingredient before you get started.
Many amateur CBD chefs have botched their first batches because they didn’t understand the basics of CBD cooking. Use these nine professional tips to set you up for success.
1. Monitor the Temperature
Heat control is one of the trickiest components of CBD cooking, and it’s easy to make mistakes. After your mixture reaches a temperature of about 320 degrees Fahrenheit, the CBD starts to evaporate, meaning you lose some of the precious cannabinoids before you can eat them.
For that reason, most of the CBD recipes you’ll find will recommend cooking at a low heat in the oven or starting with stovetop recipes because you can fully monitor the temperature on the stovetop.
2. Stir a Little More
Proper distribution of CBD is essential for getting the right dosage in each serving of whatever you’re baking or cooking. A light stirring increases the risk that the powder or oil you’re using gets clumped into one portion of the mixture; whoever eats that portion will have way too much CBD, and the others won’t have enough!
Stirring also helps to oxidize your mixture, which increases the potency of the substance. Oxidation lets the CBD breathe and absorb better into the mixture, helping to distribute it properly and work better in your system.
3. Use the Right CBD Carrier
When cooking with CBD, you usually have two choices: powdered isolate CBD or oil-based CBD. Both types of carriers present unique challenges to getting the consistency and flavor of your dish just right.
The powdered CBD can be mixed into many different things, but you’ll want to make sure it fully dissolves to avoid a grainy texture. It will need to be mixed in very well, and you may need to compensate.
Broad-spectrum and full-spectrum CBD is usually suspended in an MCT oil, which is a form of coconut oil. This is typically the best way to incorporate CBD into your recipes because the excess fat helps to activate the CBD and allow it to bind to the other ingredients. (Check out tip 7 for more information on this.)
4. Measure Your Dose and Portions Carefully
Many people don’t realize that cooking involves a great deal of both science and math. The scientific part comes in when understanding how fat binds with the other ingredients and how heat affects your cooking. The math is essential when figuring out the right dosage and portion control.
It’s important to know how much CBD is in each portion and to portion them out carefully, especially if you’re serving it to others. The most accurate way to do this is to weigh the food in its entirety and then split it up into a designated number of sections. Divide the full weight by the sections and you’ll have your dosage per portion.
5. Start Simply
Don’t try to tackle ambitious recipes from the very beginning. You might think that cooking with CBD oil is no different than cooking with other oils, but that’s just not true. CBD oil is unique in texture and flavor, and it’s essential that you mix it well and portion it out appropriately to avoid overdosing.
Select a few beginner recipes to try your hand at CBD cooking and increase your ambition from there. You’ll pick it up quickly, learning from your successes and failures, and before you know it, you’ll be a CBD chef superstar.
6. Experiment with Sweet and Savory Recipes
When thinking about cooking with CBD, most people probably think of brownies. It’s a great place to start, and the rich chocolaty flavor is great for hiding the earthy taste of CBD.
But sweet treats aren’t the only options for the budding CBD chef. There are dozens of amazing savory recipes that you’ll want to try, from guacamole to meatballs.
7. Use Fat for Binding
Fat, like butter, oil, ghee, shortening, or lard, is essential in many culinary processes. For baking, it’s a binding component that allows your breads, cookies, brownies, and other baked goods to set up properly. It’s also an essential component for flavor and texture in cooking.
You’ll need to use plenty of fat in any CBD-infused recipes to be successful. CBD binds very well with fat, helping the recipes to come out just right. Additionally, it increases the bioavailability of CBD. This means that it helps to prevent the CBD from breaking down as much when it goes through your digestive system so that more of the substance can reach your blood stream.
8. Research Foolproof Recipes
Before you start experimenting with your own recipes, it’s best to familiarize yourself with the cooking and baking processes. There are hundreds of great recipes online that you can try. You’ll learn a great deal by copying the processes as printed exactly.
When you’ve mastered some of these recipes, you might want to try making your own or tweaking certain recipes to get a result you like better. When you feel comfortable with the process of CBD cooking, feel free to branch out!
9. Try, Try Again!
Cooking is not a natural talent for most people. The majority of chefs and cooks must spend years perfecting the art to do it truly well. When you throw in a complex ingredient like CBD, it can become a very complicated process!
Don’t worry if you fail a few times as you’re starting out. Even great chefs fail when experimenting with new recipes! Note what you think might have gone wrong and use it as a learning experience—then try again. You’ll pick it up quicker than you might think, giving you the power to whip up delightful CBD-infused dishes, desserts, and drinks whenever you like!