Your Guide to Cooking with CBD Oil

Curious about trying CBD? We've compiled the ultimate guide to cooking with CBD oil.

If you haven’t jumped on the CBD bandwagon yet, you probably know someone who has. This popular supplement has made its way from the alternative health world to just about everywhere. CBD stands for cannabidiol and is made from a cannabis plant. Unlike marijuana, it does not produce a high and has not been found to be addictive. It’s quickly gaining popularity for its health benefits.

You may have heard of using CBD for pain or chronic health conditions like migraines or anxiety. “The top benefits of CBD include analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-convulsant, anti-spasmodic and neuroprotective properties,” says registered dietitian nutritionist and holistic cannabis practitioner Emily Kyle. While CBD use appears to be generally safe, it’s always a good idea to talk with your doctor before starting a new regimen.

Editor’s note: CBD isn’t legal in every state. Be sure you know local laws before cooking with CBD oil.

Where to Get CBD Oil

CBD can be found online, at your local health supplements store or even in the lattes at your favorite coffee shop. It’s popping up everywhere, and it’s important to do your homework to find a quality product. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate CBD because it’s sold as a supplement. That means that it’s not guaranteed to be safe or effective.

To decide on the best CBD oil for you, stick with organic varieties. Emily created the REAL method to judge a product on four key markers: Raw material, Extraction methods, Additional ingredients and Lab testing. “Ultimately, third-party lab testing is the most important factor, providing proof that what is claimed to be in the product is truly in the product,” Emily says.

What to Make with CBD Oil

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Cooking with CBD is simple, especially if you start with beverages. If you’ve purchased a small CBD tincture, try adding a few drops to your favorite smoothie recipes. It’s an easy way to notice the effects sooner. “My favorite recipes made with CBD are CBD-infused smoothies because they are simple and are a great way to nourish the body,” says Emily. Next, try adding CBD drops to your coffee or afternoon tea.

CBD oil can be added to baked goods as well. Remember that heat can lower its effectiveness, so stick with recipes that bake at 350°F or less. To avoid heating it, try adding CBD to no-bake treats like protein bites or homemade whipped cream. Or stir it into a relaxing pesto sauce or a comforting soup.

“It should be fun and exciting to experiment with different forms of CBD in the kitchen while you discover what option you prefer the most,” Emily says.

Start with These Homemade CBD Recipes

Tips for Cooking with CBD Oil

Once you’ve invested in a quality CBD product, get the most out of it by following a few key guidelines.

  • Never place CBD oil over direct heat. Heat can change its composition and lower its effectiveness. If you’re using CBD in a yummy pan of sauteed vegetables, rather than cooking the veggies in the oil, sprinkle it over them once they’ve been plated.
  • Mix CBD oil with another cooking oil to make it more effective. Why? CBD is fat-soluble; this means that your body is better able to absorb it along with fats such as avocado or coconut oil.
  • Use caution when mixing CBD with alcohol. If you’re enjoying a cocktail with your CBD-infused meal, don’t plan on driving. It’s also a good idea to make sure that none of your regular medications interact with it as well.

How Much CBD Oil to Use

Just like when you’re cooking with potent spices, start with a tiny amount. You can always add more but you can’t go back. “If you’ve never worked with CBD before, the recommendation is always to start low and go slow,” explains Emily. “Start with a small 5 to 10-milligram dose per serving and assess how you feel.” If you don’t notice any of the benefits you’re looking for, such as pain relief or anxiety help, slowly increase your dose by 5 to 10 milligrams until you achieve that result. Always talk with your doctor if you have questions about the product or its side effects.

How to Store CBD Oil

Your CBD oil most likely came in an amber or blue bottle. This is because exposure to light can lead to a loss of cannabinoids. In other words, your product won’t be as effective if it’s sitting in the light. Keep your CBD bottle in a dark, cool, dry place such as the pantry.

Heat can change CBD’s composition too, so avoid storing the bottle in any rooms that become especially warm. Exposure to the air can also change its composition; keep your CBD in an airtight bottle. When kept properly, CBD oil can last for 1 to 2 years.

Find tons more info and expert advice in The Essential Guide to CBD, available to preorder now.

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Carrie Madormo, RN
Now a freelance health and food writer, Carrie worked as a nurse for over a decade. When she isn't hunched over her laptop with a baby in hand, you will find her cooking her grandmother’s recipes, lacing up her running shoes or sipping coffee in the bathroom to hide from her three young children.