The CBD health trend is so popular there are now dozens of CBD Oil Recipes you can make at home. CBD derived from hemp is excellent because it has so many benefits for both the mind and the body.
For those who do not want to inhale CBD or take CBD capsules, which may not always contain the right amount of dosage, cooking with CBD Oil may be the way to go.
You may have noticed an uptick of CBD infused snacks and edibles, coffee drinks, and even CBD focused cafes popping up. But can you, the average individual, cook with CBD oil?
The answer is…yes, you can cook with CBD Oil.
To better explain whether you can or, more specifically, should cook with CBD or not, it’s important first to understand what CBD is, how the body absorbs CBD, and what affects its bioavailability.
Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that occur naturally in mammals and work within your endocannabinoid system or ECS to maintain balance and stability in various systems of the body. Cannabidiol (CBD), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and other cannabinoids contain various receptors that the ECS utilizes to do its job.
The ECS is responsible for things like pain, immunity, sleep, mood, etc. When there is an imbalance of receptors that cannabinoids like CBD and THC contain, the ECS can’t function properly, and disorders like insomnia, chronic pain, depression, and anxiety, among others, can occur.
CBD and THC function in similar ways, but the most notable difference is CBD doesn’t give you that psychosomatic high feeling like THC does. CBD is also concentrated in the hemp plant, a species of cannabis and THC comes from marijuana, a different species of cannabis. This has garnered a new generation of cannabis users — people who believe in the health benefits associated with cannabis but do not desire to get high.
What Is Bioavailability?
Each form of CBD, whether it’s in a liquid meant to be vaped, a tincture, oil, cream, or edible, carries with it different degrees and rates at which the body absorbs and processes the CBD, otherwise known as its bioavailability.
A CBD infused cream applied topically, has a lower bioavailability than CBD in liquid form because it doesn’t quite make it to the bloodstream, yet it is still able to connect with the ECS receptors in the area in which it is applied, making it an effective remedy for localized pain, inflammation or acne.
How Does Cooking Affect Bioavailability?
Another factor that affects bioavailability is the preparation, freezing, or cooking of plant-based foods. When you cut and prepare these foods, the cell structure of the plant is damaged, and some of the nutrients are lost, meaning the bioavailability or rate and ratio the nutrients are absorbed into the body is decreased. The same goes for cooking or freezing.
With that said, some plant compounds are more bioavailable when heated. Lycopene in tomatoes, CBD in hemp, and THC in marijuana are examples of compounds that are activated when heated. The CBD oil that you bought went through a heating process called decarboxylation to extract the CBD from the hemp plant.
When you heat your CBD oil, you are re-processing an already processed plant. So, if the bioavailability of your oral CBD oil is 13-19% (13-19% of the product reaches the bloodstream and has an active effect), cooking it at high temperatures will decrease its bioavailability, rendering it less effective than when you bought it.
CBD also evaporates at temperatures higher than 320° F or 160° C, which you definitely don’t want. The same goes for cooking CBD for an extended amount of time, even if it’s being cooked at a lower temperature. Another thing to note is that overcooking CBD oil can result in a bitter, almost astringent flavor. You don’t want to ruin your food and make that precious CBD oil useless.
CBD is fat-soluble, which means the CBD dissolves and is stored in your body’s fatty tissue and then metabolized accordingly. Taking an oral dose of CBD with fat or after a fatty meal has been shown to increase the CBD bioavailability greatly.
Cooking with CBD Without Losing Its Benefits
Infusing CBD oil in butter, oil, or lard is the best way to cook with CBD because it increases the bioavailability and butter, oil, and lard tend to have lower boiling points.
Treats like cookies and brownies made with CBD infused butter or oil are great since they don’t require long cooking times or high heat. Mixing CBD with some olive oil and making a pesto sauce, drizzling over hummus, or making a CBD salad dressing has yielded some pretty positive results.
If you want to be über trendy, drizzle, some CBD infused MCT oil on your avocado toast and upload to Instagram. Smoothies are a great way to take your morning CBD. Just mix your CBD with some coconut or flaxseed oil first, add a splash of hemp milk, and your favorite fruits and veggies.
When it comes to how much CBD oil should you use in your dishes, it is recommended to start with small serving sizes and gradually increase as you get the hang of it. Use the appropriate dosage that coincides with the serving size, or you run the risk of ruining your dish and wasting oil.
Another suggestion is to combine the CBD oil thoroughly to ensure that it is evenly distributed throughout the dish. So, if you are making cookies or pesto sauce that’s like Grandma’s (but better), stir, stir, stir. That way, every morsel is incorporated with the same amount of CBD goodness, and no one gets jealous.
How about that CBD coffee everyone is talking about? If you pour your dose of CBD in a cup of black coffee, the CBD will float on the top (because oil and water don’t mix), and you will lose some of the CBD oil in the cup. A better way to incorporate CBD in your morning java is mixing it with coconut oil or butter and making “bulletproof” coffee, or buying CBD infused coffee, which the natural oils of the beans are infused with CBD after roasting.
What About CBD Infused Cocktails?
CBD is fat-soluble, but it also dissolves in alcohol because alcohol dissolves lipids. With that said, you can very easily combine your favorite CBD product into a cocktail or spirit.
It is not recommended to mix CBD with beer or wine, however, because they are water-based. And be very careful when mixing CBD with alcohol. CBD reacts differently to different people, and combining the two can be dangerous or yield unexpected effects.
Back To The Question – Can you cook with CBD Oil?
Yes, you can cook with CBD oil, but remember to mix it with a fat first, don’t cook with direct or high heat and mix thoroughly. With a little practice, patience, and creativity, you’ll attain kitchen hero status in no time.
EcoLife Supplements are all-natural, hemp-derived health supplements. We are passionate about helping people experience the natural benefits of our full-spectrum hemp oil extracts. 98% of people report they feel healthier, get better rest, and have more energy throughout the day after using EcoLife daily.