What's for Dinner? The Dos and Don'ts of CBD Cooking
Would you like to cook with CBD, but aren't quite sure where to begin? Then you have come to the right place! The CBD cannabinoid has become extremely popular in recent years when it comes to cooking, with many restaurants and cafes now using it as an ingredient in their food and drink! This has piqued the interest of people desiring to learn more about using CBD oil in the kitchen. While it's easy once you get the hang of it, it's not quite as straightforward as it seems. With this in mind, we have a list of dos and don'ts for you to refer to. Let's get cooking!
What is CBD?
Let's kick off the cooking class by answering this key question: 'what is CBD?' After all, you must know what your new star ingredient is! You can find CBD (cannabidiol) in the leaves and flowers of hemp plants, and the substance is touted for its potential wellbeing benefits. While CBD comes from nature, you don't even have to break a sweat if you're planning to cook with it, as it's available in ready-to-use products. CBD manufacturers use a range of extraction methods, but here at PP Health, we favour CO2 extraction.
Fun fact: The CO2 method is actually the most expensive form of CBD extraction! It doesn't use solvents or heat; rather, different pressures are applied to the carbon dioxide. This process allows it to mimic a fluid state, and scientists can then manipulate this liquid CO2 to extract the CBD from the plant. This is arguably the best extraction method as the cannabinoids are not heated in any way, meaning that all of the naturally occurring vitamins and enzymes can remain intact.
The Different Types of CBD Oil
When it comes to experimenting with CBD oil, you have a choice between three different types (or 'spectrums'). It's wise to educate yourself on these different types of CBD before you make a selection.
Let us introduce you to our speciality here at PP Health – full-spectrum CBD oil! After all, you can't beat CBD when it's primarily left in its most natural state, right? This type of CBD oil will feature other cannabinoids and naturally occurring compounds, such as vitamins, flavonoids, and terpenes. For example, in our Classic CBD Oil, you will also find the cannabinoids CBG, CBV, CBC, CBDA, and CBN, alongside the essential fatty acids omega-6 and omega-3. The formula also contains natural amino acids and minerals, which help create a potentially potent product.
Full-spectrum CBD may allow a theory known as the ‘entourage effect’ to come into play. This is where the cannabinoids in the hemp plant may work together synergistically and influence the overall chemistry. This possibility might improve any potential outcomes associated with the use of CBD oil. There's no need to worry, as although the THC cannabinoid is present, it remains at a legally permissible amount to be sold (0.2% or less). This means that you won't feel intoxicated when you use full-spectrum CBD from a reputable brand.
Broad-spectrum CBD is the bridge between full-spectrum and CBD isolate. This type is similar to full-spectrum, with one crucial ingredient (or should we say cannabinoid) missing. You guessed it: we're talking about THC (though some products may still contain trace amounts). Broad-spectrum CBD may be an opportunity to reap the potential benefits of the entourage effect. However, if synergy is extremely important to you, then we would advise that you opt for full-spectrum as the presence of THC potentially helps the hemp compounds to interact with each other.
Finally, we have CBD isolate - 'pure' and highly processed CBD in its crystallised form (roughly 99% CBD). Due to its lack of chemical diversity, there is no possibility of experiencing the entourage effect with CBD isolate. It's arguably the most altered (and unnatural) form of the cannabinoid. However, some CBD newbies prefer to begin with this form of CBD and work their way up to the other types as they gain more confidence.
The Dos of Cooking with CBD
So, what are the dos of cooking with CBD? Keep reading to find out!
Be Cautious with the Heat
This is our first tip when it comes to CBD cooking. You see, you should never heat your CBD oil over 356 degrees Fahrenheit (that’s 180 degrees Celsius) as it will negatively impact its chemistry. It can change the potential potency of the CBD and alter the delicate vitamins and enzymes present in the oil. The good news is that it's straightforward to manage the temperature if you're using an oven. However, the task may get a little more complicated if you're cooking on a stove. You could use a cooking thermometer to ensure that your CBD doesn't overheat. Of course, if you're whipping up a healthy smoothie or ice pop, then heat won't be an issue.
Use High-Quality CBD Oil
This should go without saying, but you should always use high-quality CBD oil for your CBD cooking. A low-quality oil can be chemically unstable, meaning that any potential effects associated with it may be inconsistent or disappointing. In the worst-case scenario, it might even be contaminated with hazardous ingredients. Finding high-quality CBD oil isn't as tricky as you might think. Check out the reviews of the product, as this is a great way of discovering what the public has to say - whether good or bad. You should also check that the company you're purchasing from is reputable and has all its licenses and certificates up to date. Finally, look for third-party lab test results, as this form of unbiased testing will clarify the genuine chemistry of the ingredients contained in a cannabinoid product.
Store Your CBD Oil Correctly
Consider your CBD oil as a gourmet cooking ingredient. You wouldn't leave your butter or milk out of the fridge, would you? CBD oil ought to be treated with even more care than your kitchen basics. If you store it correctly, you will be more likely to get the most out of your supplement routine (and your money). It's best to put your CBD oil in a dry and cool place that's shielded from direct sunlight. You may want to store your CBD oil in locations like:
- Kitchen cupboards (out of the reach of children)
- Your pantry
- The fridge (along with any other food supplements you may have)
You should also make sure that you don't use the oil after its use-by date, just like any other ingredient.
Work Out Your Dosage
This is a vital step in your CBD cooking process, and one that should ideally be figured out before you begin cooking up a storm. Of course, sometimes it will be a process of trial and error - in which case we suggest that you begin with a small amount of CBD oil at a lower concentration. Also, remember that you need to work out the amount of CBD you will receive per portion. A calculator can be very helpful during this step!
Make Use of Fatty Ingredients
Fats can make a wonderful addition to your CBD recipes, as cannabinoids work well with fatty ingredients, and the inclusion of them could potentially help to bind the mixture together. So, consider using butter, coconut oil, or ghee in your creations!
Sure, it's tempting to stick with a tried-and-tested recipe once you find one, but we encourage you to branch out! You could mix things up between sweet and savoury recipes and discover your new favourite CBD-infused food. You could make CBD cookies, brownies, cakes, or even protein bars. Great savoury options are pasta, salads, and meatballs.
The Don’ts of Cooking with CBD
Before you rush off to prepare a delicious meal or snack, let’s move onto the don’ts of cooking with CBD oil.>
Don’t Use CBD Tinctures
You should always opt for CBD oils over tinctures. CBD tinctures generally include a lower CBD concentration than oils, and they use solvents rather than carrier oils. Typically, distilled alcohol or vegetable glycerine is used as a preservative. This means that tinctures are likely to be less suitable for cooking.
Try Not To Make Too Much
If you know that you're going to eat everything (as you've done your CBD calculations), then go for it! However, when it comes to homemade edibles, they can sadly go off within a couple of days. By making a moderate batch, you'll be saving yourself a few pennies as well, so it's a win-win!
Don’t Expect to Feel Instant Effects
Edible forms of CBD may take the most time to present any potential effects. This is in comparison to consuming CBD oil and tinctures sublingually (under your tongue), using topicals (CBD-infused skincare) and vaping. You may need to allow between thirty minutes to one hour to identify any potential effects associated with edible CBD. This is for one simple reason; edibles need to be digested before they can make contact with your bloodstream. However, this method of CBD consumption might just have more longevity than other hemp-themed products. Some anecdotes suggest that your body may possibly process edible CBD for a maximum of ten hours. Of course, factors such as your height, weight, the concentration of CBD used, and your metabolism will also be worth some consideration.
Don’t Offer People CBD-Infused Food Without an Explanation
Arguably this should apply to all food. After all, everyone deserves to know what they are putting into their bodies - especially in light of any personal preferences, allergies or intolerances they may have. The same applies to CBD. Although it's generally believed to be a relatively safe and well-tolerated substance, not everyone will wish to add it to their lifestyle. So, think before you serve!
Avoid CBD Products That Use Inedible Ingredients
Some CBD oils aren’t designed to be consumed via the digestive system, so keep an eye out for these. Use a CBD oil that has utilised an ingestible carrier oil – like us here at PP Health. We make use of olive oil and coconut oil in our products.
Don’t Give Up!
Cooking with CBD is just like cooking anything new, so don’t expect your first attempt to taste perfect. This also applies to dosage – you may not feel you’ve got the recipe right on your first go. Just make sure that you persevere and try again. After all, practice makes perfect!
Why Cook with CBD?
Why add CBD to your food and drink in the first place? As it turns out, there are plenty of reasons!
Cooking With CBD Gives You Ownership Over Your Food
If you want to add CBD to food, then there's no better way than doing it yourself! It gives you ownership over your own food, as you're deciding what ingredients to put in your body. What's more, you're in full control of the amount of CBD that you use. You can tailor the amount to your exact preferences rather than spending a large amount of time scouring the shelves for a product that contains the concentration you're looking for.
You Can Add CBD Oil to Recipes That Suit Your Diet
There are countless CBD edibles on the market today. While CBD oil is usually vegan or vegetarian, you can't be so sure when it comes to ready-made edibles. For example, protein bars, cookies, brownies, and other sweet treats could contain dairy. Similarly, gummies could contain gelatine, which is an animal extract. Making CBD edibles yourself will give you the peace of mind that what you're creating will be completely suited to your dietary preferences - whether you're vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, or diabetic.
CBD Oil May Potentially Impact Some Signs of Pain and Inflammation
You would be hard-pressed to find anybody who hasn't experienced physical pain in their life. Pain can range from catching your finger in a door to dealing with unrelenting symptoms of chronic pain. CBD is anecdotally referred to as a potential anti-inflammatory agent. More recently, some scientific studies have suggested that CBD may possibly influence some symptoms of pain.
For example, one 2018 review examined studies that were published between 1975 and 2018. These studies all explored how CBD may affect some symptoms of chronic pain. This kind of pain remains present despite treatments prescribed by doctors. The authors of the review reported that CBD demonstrated its potential ability to impact some signs of fibromyalgia and neuropathic pain. They also highlighted that no negative effects were caused by the CBD (according to the studies in the sample).
People often wonder how CBD might affect the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the body. Current theories suggest that it may possibly interact with some of the natural receptors in the immune system and brain. Some researchers indicate that cannabidiol may be able to help these receptors receive and respond to signals in a way that might affect some signs of pain and inflammation. As we wait for further details to be discovered, these early possibilities are worth reading about, and the future of research in this area is exciting.
Everyone's individual pain levels and thresholds are different because our bodies are unique. Likewise, you should consider CBD dosing a highly personalised task that's worth paying attention to - particularly when you are cooking.
CBD Oil Might Help You Sleep
A growing body of research indicates that CBD may possibly help to improve your sleep, which, let's face it, is welcome news for people who struggle to get their eight hours per night! Poor sleep can hit you for many reasons. The blame could lie in an uncomfortable mattress, feelings of stress, pain, too much blue light – the list goes on! Sleeping pills aren't always the best solution to the problem, as they can cause side effects like dizziness, sickness, drowsiness during the day, and even balance issues.
CBD is an all-natural substance that’s generally well-tolerated, and the interesting news is that it may have some potential when it comes to sleep. For example, one study published in 2014 indicates that CBD may possibly influence some of the symptoms of REM sleep behaviour disorder (RBD). This disorder can cause individuals to cry and shout in their sleep, act out their nightmares and dreams, and sleep poorly. The small study cited above provided four patients with CBD, and the researchers suggested that it may have helped the participants to manage their symptoms.
One review of CBD for sleep (published in 2017) made similar suggestions by indicating that CBD may have demonstrated potential in affecting some signs of RBD. Furthermore, this review questioned whether CBD might be relevant to some symptoms of excessive daytime sleepiness. These feelings of drowsiness can occur for a range of reasons; however, the main cause is often a sleepless night. Finally, another review of sleep highlighted that CBD might possibly impact the grogginess that follows insomnia. While CBD may impact your personal sense of wakefulness, more research is needed to clarify the extent to which certain doses of cannabidiol may influence how alert or relaxed you feel.
When it comes to CBD, cooking and sleep, it’s important to remember that some patience is required. After all, the hemp compounds have to be absorbed into the bloodstream via digestion before any potential effects may appear. Therefore, don’t be tempted to eat more CBD-infused food in an attempt to ‘speed the process along’, as this is unlikely to be helpful or necessary.
It May Be Worth Looking Into CBD for Anxiety Symptoms
We’ve all felt anxious or nervous at some point in our lives. Think about your last job interview or your first date with someone new. These types of nerves are perfectly normal. However, when you begin to feel anxious a large portion of the time, it can negatively impact your everyday life. Some people are in search of a natural solution to this issue, as some medications and counselling services can come with substantial challenges. While CBD isn’t regarded as a treatment for mood disorders, it may have the potential to supplement some of the symptoms of anxiety.
For example, a recent study examined the potential effects of CBD on 397 adults. The people participating in this study were given a clinical dose of CBD. They were all suffering from a range of symptoms related to pain, mental health, and neurological issues. Following three weeks of CBD use, all of the participants stated that they saw self-perceived improvements in their quality of life. This was particularly notable in the people who had symptoms of anxiety and depression, as they reported that they felt able to complete their everyday tasks with much more ease. In the context of this study, 70% of the participants stated that they were satisfied with their CBD use, either categorising it as 'excellent' or 'good.'
Furthermore, one review published in 2020 examined eight studies into CBD for anxiety symptoms. The authors indicated that CBD might have potential as a stand-alone or complementary self-care option for some signs of social anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and generalised anxiety disorder. However, it's important to note that there was no standardised dosage used, as the studies covered 6mg-400mg per dose. You should also keep in mind that we currently don't have enough evidence to draw any solid conclusions.
The possibilities of CBD for anxiety seem to hold intriguing potential. However, we recommend that you begin with low doses in your recipes, regardless of the factors that may motivate you. Then you can personally assess whether the CBD affects your symptoms and adjust your dose if you need to. What's more, the act of cooking can be therapeutic for some. All in all, it’s a great chance to revel in some peaceful me-time while you cook to your heart’s content.
And that completes our guide to CBD cooking! We hope that you've found our list of dos and don'ts helpful and that it enables you to create some truly fantastic recipes! We recommend beginning small and maybe sticking to smoothies and salads. Once you feel comfortable with your dosage, you can move on to pasta, brownies, and gummies. Remember to purchase a high-quality oil for your cooking – our full-spectrum CBD oils here at PP Health are ideal, as they come in a range of concentrations, and they are infused with edible carrier oils (meaning they are good to go)!
Finally, remember not to overheat your CBD oil. Otherwise, you'll be getting rid of all of the natural hemp properties. Happy cooking!