Cooking with CBD
The popularity of CBD has quickly grown, and not only among youth; the popularity of CBD for seniors is also growing.
Seniors tend to be more uncomfortable with vaping or smoking CBD, but are often open to ingesting it orally. Fortunately, you can easily cook with CBD.
What you need to know about cooking with CBD.
How to cook with CBD depends on the product you’re starting with. Are you starting with dry hemp flower? Or are you starting with an already infused hemp oil or butter?
If you’re using CBD oil, then you can go straight to cooking. You
If, however, you’re using dry flower, you’ll need to complete a few steps first, including the most important step: decarboxylation.
What is Decarboxylation?
Decarboxylation is a chemical process that causes the acidic form of a molecule to lose a carboxyl group and become a slightly different molecule. CBDA decarboxylates into CBD. THCA decarboxylates into THC.
Why do We Decarboxylate?
The hemp plant in its natural state, doesn’t actually contain much CBD. Instead, dry hemp flower contains CBDA. When heated, CBDA converts into CBD.
The same is true for CBD’s cannabinoid cousin, THC. Natural cannabis flower actually contains low levels of THC. Some cultivars do however contain high levels of THCA. When heated, the THCA converts into THC.
CBDA and THCA do have some therapeutic value, but when choosing to consume cannabis, most people are looking for CBD or THC.
How To Decarboxylate
Decarboxylation occurs quickly when smoking hemp flower. Decarboxylation is triggered by the heat of the flame. Additionally, because of the high heat, many cannabinoids are lost or destroyed. This makes smoking a very inefficient method of consuming cannabis.
However, when you decarb the cannabis by cooking it, you have better control of temperature. This allows for a more efficient use of the plant, which makes it easier to capture more cannabinoids compared to smoking. Ultimately, cooking cannabis is more efficient than smoking.
Many consumers decarboxylate cannabis in the oven at 240 degrees for 30-40 mins.
The true perfect oven method has not been determined yet. Recommendations for proper decarbing vary wildly.
Unfortunately, oven temperatures are notoriously inaccurate so it’s wise to purchase an oven thermometer. Monitoring the oven temperature while cooking, can help ensure an effective decarb. Alternately, there are devices available that allow consumers to decarboxylate their cannabis perfectly at home.
Infuse the Oil
After decarbing, you’ll need to infuse the carrier ingredient you plan to cook with.
Cannabinoids are fat-soluble, so high-fat oils and butters will infuse the best. But, you can infuse a wide variety of substances, including milks, cheeses, creams, syrup, and even honey. The processes for these infusions vary.
The most common ingredient to infuse is oil. The amount of oil you’ll need varies depending how much cannabis flower you have. I personally like my oil as potent as possible, so I only add enough oil to cover the flower.
There are many ways to infuse oil. You can make cannabis oil in a crockpot, a double broiler, or a mason jar in a boiling pot. There are also a variety of devices on the market specifically designed to infuse oil.
How to Infuse CBD Oil in a Double Broiler
Here’s the process for infusing CBD oil using a double broiler:
- Add oil and decarboxylated cannabis to top pot
- Cook over medium for two hours, stirring frequently
- Strain oil using cheesecloth or a mesh strainer
That’s it! Now you have your very own homemade CBD oil, and are ready to cook.
Challenges of Homemade CBD Oil
There are some challenges of homemade oil. It’s easy to overcook or undercook. Additionally, because there are multiple steps, it’s easy to make a mistake during the course of either process. .
Dosing is also a challenge with homemade CBD oil.
If you know the percentage of CBDA in the flower, then you can estimate how much CBD the end product might contain. However, it’s unlikely that 100% of the CBDA will be decarbed into CBD. It’s also unlikely that 100% of the CBD will be infused into the oil. Additionally, different ingredients infuse at different rates.
With homemade CBD oil, it’s very challenging to determine the exact dose and you have to estimate. If instead you choose to purchase a high-quality CBD oil, you will know the exact dose.
How to Cook with CBD Oil
You can add CBD oil to almost anything, brownies, pasta, smoothies, coffee. The only thing you want to avoid when cooking with CBD, is high-heat. High heat can destroy the CBD and other cannabinoids.
Baking with CBD Oil
CBD’s boiling point is estimated to be between 320 to 356 °F. BUT that doesn’t mean you can’t bake with CBD!
People often ask if baking with cannabis oil will ruin it because of the high heat of the oven. It does not. It’s perfectly acceptable to bake with cannabis oil.
Even though the oven temperature is 350 degrees, the inside of the cake never gets that hot. The internal temperature of a fully cooked cake is 210 degrees.
Other Ways to Cook with CBD Oil
Frying with cannabis oil is not recommended. If you want to add CBD oil to a sauce, it’s recommended to do so after the sauce has finished cooking. Boiling or sauteing CBD oil, can destroy the CBD.
However, it’s great to add after it’s done cooking. CBD oil is a great ingredient to mix into smoothies or drizzle over salads.
How Much to Use
It’s very important to make sure you don’t consume too much CBD oil. Too much CBD oil can cause discomfort. When planning your infused meal, make sure your portion size correlates with the doses of CBD oil you add. As always talk to your doctor before adding CBD to your wellness routine.
You can cook with CBD oil and it’s a fairly easy process. You can use dry hemp flower, or skip a few steps and instead use a high-quality brand of CBD oil. You can add CBD oil to almost anything. Just remember to pay close attention to the levels of heat you use in the cooking process.
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