Wellness can be a better pill to swallow–literally. Managing chronic pain or PMS, calming your anxiety, or dealing with stress is hard enough without having to drink nasty tablets or syrups.
CBD is the power cannabinoid that’s pushing rapidly into the holistic health scene. The compound has been linked to a myriad of positive health benefits both mental and physical including soothing anxiety, reducing insomnia, and treating chronic pain.
Now, people are discovering another way to unlock the effects of CBD while bypassing any unpleasant tastes or riskier ingestion methods such as vaping: baking. It turns out that with CBD, you can have your cake and eat it too.
What Type of CBD Can Be Used for Baking?
Cannabidiol is fat soluble. That means it binds well with fatty substances such as oil, ghee, or butter. Binding to these ingredients helps keep the CBD intact as it passes through your digestive system, thus increasing the amount that actually makes it to your bloodstream. A recent study suggests that eating CBD with fatty foods can increase bioavailability by four to five times.
While you can technically create your own butter or oil-based CBD from the plant itself, it’s much easier to just buy full spectrum CBD oils off the shelf. Some are already well fit for the purpose of baking, such as infused olive or coconut oil.
You can also pick up a bottle of CBD isolate, which is the compound distilled to its purest form. Isolate can be used to create your own CBD-infused fat bases if nothing on store shelves appeals to your palate, without the complexity of distilling it yourself.
What Does CBD Go With?
What you can bake with your CBD will depend on the form of cannabidiol you’re cooking with.
Concentrated CBD oil can have quite the aftertaste, described as strong and earthy.
The flavour can work well with certain pairings, such as chocolate. It can also be masked with stronger tastes like peppermint, or you could use flavoured CBD oil.
A careful eye is needed when adding it to anything that’s delicate, such as vanilla frosting, lest the grassy notes of CBD completely overpower it. Bakers looking to eliminate the taste entirely will need to create flavourless CBD isolate–a complicated and often expensive process when done from scratch.
Bakers looking to add another layer of zest to their lemon tarts of drizzles are out of luck, too. CBD degrades under acidic conditions. That means that mixing the compound with ingredients such as citrus fruits will affect its potency.
What Shouldn’t I Do When Baking with CBD?
Baking is a precise art–too little or too much of anything easily ruins a recipe. Although CBD is a relatively simple ingredient to cook with, there are still some things that can quickly erode or contaminate the compound’s potency. Below are things you shouldn’t do when baking with cannabidiol:
Cook with High Heat
One of those is heat. CBD is especially susceptible to heat. High temperatures will cause the cannabinoid to start evaporating, which may degrade the compounds that give it its health-giving effects “If exposed to overheating, the effects will burn off,” says the Ultimate Guide to CBD author Jamie Evans. CBD starts evaporating at 320°F, so it’s advisable to stay below that to preserve as much of the substance’s efficacy as possible.
Alternatively, you can forego heat altogether. CBD can still work well with no-bake treats such as freezer cookies or cheesecakes.
Mix CBD with Other Substances
Another thing to avoid is consuming other substances along with CBD-infused food. Baking with CBD is fairly new, so the body of research on interactions of the compound with other ingredients is small. However, we do know that CBD may amplify the sedative effects of alcohol, and that cannabinoids can conflict with certain medications like antidepressants. We recommend staying mindful of the other items on your plate before biting into that CBD cookie.
Put Too Much CBD
Dosing is a unique consideration when cooking with cannabinoids. Too much butter or salt can ruin the taste or mouthfeel of your pastries. Adding too much CBD can have more serious side effects than a greasy crust. While there haven’t been any recorded fatal overdoses on CBD, eating overly large amounts of the compound can still mess up your system. One study has found that excessive amounts of CBD may lead to diarrhoea, vomiting, or fatigue.
The right dose can vary from person to person. It’s best to start small as you can always add more CBD, but you can’t remove it. If you’re new to cannabidiol, 25mg a day is a good place to start. Increase the amount by 5mg to 10mg increments if you don’t notice any effects.
Store Goods Out In The Open
You take your baking pan out of the oven, and the cookies are nice and chewy. Muffins are golden brown, or your cake is nice and moist. If you’ve infused any of these with CBD, then your work isn’t quite done yet. Aside from heat, CBD is also sensitive to light. To preserve their potency, you’re going to want to store your baked goods somewhere cool and dark.
Cannabidiol is a powerful compound that delivers many of the therapeutic effects of the cannabis plant, sans the psychoactive side effects. Baking CBD into your favourite muffin or cookies is a great way to enjoy all of those benefits, if candy or dropping concentrated oils straight to your tongue isn’t your thing.
Baking and experimenting with CBD is all great fun. However, note that this guide aims to help you cook the compound properly, and is not meant to provide any sort of medical advice. We recommend consulting with your healthcare provider before you put on that apron.