The ultimate guide to cooking with CBD oil
Do you want to learn more about cooking with CBD oil but you’re not sure where to start? This ultimate guide will share everything you need to know about CBD oil and how to use it in your cooking and baking!
I’ve put together this resource on CBD oil to help you learn more about what it is, the benefits it has, and how you can use it in your cooking and baking.
This is everything you need to know about cooking with CBD oil all in one place!
What is CBD oil
CBD stands for cannabidiol. (can·na·bid·i·ol) It is a chemical compound found in the cannabis plant that has been shown to help with stress and anxiety, relieve pain and even possibly help prevent cancer.
There are two main cannabinoids found in the cabanas plant. The first is Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and it is the main psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis, which gives the sensation of feeling “high” when ingested or smoked. This is the cannabinoid that is often associated with marijuana. The second main cannabinoid is CBD. Which unlike THC, is not psychoactive and therefore will not get you high.
CBD oil is also not addictive and is currently legal in Canada and the UK. Hemp-derived CBD is currently legal in all 50 States of the United States, though there are some grey areas. (Watch this video to learn more about the legality of CBD in the United States.)
CBD oil can be consumed my ingesting the oil itself, through a vaporizer, or by eating it used in cooking and baking! (source) It is 100% safe to use, and can even be used for pets with anxiety.
How does CBD oil make you feel?
CBD is shown to have a relaxing effect by repressing the arousal of your nervous system, and can, therefore, help relieve anxiety. You may not notice any immediate change when taking CBD oil since CBD oil is not like taking a psychoactive drug. You may feel more benefits from incorporating CBD oil into your routine over the course of a week.
(Think of like incorporating more green vegetables into your diet. After one day, you may not necessarily feel very different, but after a bit of time, you may start to feel healthier, more energetic and experience less brain fog.)
One sensation you may feel immediately after taking CBD oil is a greater sense of calmness. Many people also enjoy taking CBD oil to help them sleep because of this calming effect.
While taking a CBD oil supplement will affect each individual differently, most people associate CBD oil with words like calm, relaxed, reduced stress and peacefulness. (source)
Health benefits of CBD oil
- Helps with pain relief
- Combats anxiety
- Reduces the risk of diabetes
- Works as a preventative medicine
- Reduces the risk of cancer
- Helps maintain brain health
- Helps with insomnia
- Helps with inflammation in the body
- Alleviates stress
CBD oil possible side effects
Though CBD oil is completely safe to use, keep in mind that everyone’s body reacts differently to different substances. There are some potential side effects when taking CBD oil, though these side effects are generally not common.
- Dry mouth: CBD can in some cases cause your mouth to be dry, so drink plenty of water if this is the case.
- Drowsiness: in high doses, some people report feeling drowsy when taking CBD. (which for some is a benefit, if using CBD to help with sleep.)
- Lightheadedness: CBD can cause a slight drop in blood pressure, which for some may lead to lightheadedness. If this happens to you drink a cup of tea or a small coffee which will help regulate your body.
- Change in appetite: CBD can cause a reduction in appetite for some people. (source)
Tips for cooking with CBD oil
- Use high-quality CBD oil: quality matters, and there is no substitute for high-quality CBD oil. Look for a reputable brand.
- Start small: Don’t overdo it. Start with just a small amount of CBD oil when you’re first starting out using it in your cooking.
- CBD works best in recipes with some sort of fat in them. (oil, butter…etc.)
- Store your CBD in a cool dry place to keep it fresh
- You can add a few drops of CBD oil to your salad dressings, smoothies, coconut oil or butter or baking and in many other ways!
- You can add CBD oil to any of your favourite recipes. I like to add a few drops to my lattes, smoothies and chia puddings!
- Do not heat your CBD oil on direct heat. Heating the oil too high will have a decrease in the oils overall effectiveness.
CBD oil drink recipes
These drinks incorporate CBD oil in them for an easy way to enjoy your CBD oil if you’re feeling anxious in the morning, or need a little help relaxing in the evening.
- CBD Fresh Mint Tea
- Iced Chai With CBD
CBD oil snack recipes
These recipes are perfect for when you need a little afternoon snack or a dessert that will give you the all the benefits CBD oil has to offer!
- CBD Chocolate Pistachio Bark
- CBD Chocolate Fat Bombs
- Raw CBD Chocolate Mousse
- CBD Peanut Butter Cookies
Savoury CBD recipes
Try something different by using CBD oil in some savoury recipes or as a butter to use on toast, or in your cooking
CBD oil resources:
This post contains affiliate links which means I will make a small commission if you purchase through those links. I only recommend products that I know, trust and love!
posted by Jessica Hoffman on May 24, 2019 (updated August 16, 2021)
Beginner’s Guide to Cooking with CBD
Learn how to make medicated meals with CBD by following these basic principles. We’ve included some recipes to get you started.
As the popularity of new CBD products increases, I’ve started to see it added as an ingredient in a variety of CBD foods and beverages such as coffee, chocolates, brownies, and gummy candies.
A recent phase I clinical trial found that when CBD is taken with a high-fat meal, its bioavailability is increased by approximately four or five times .
As a clinical nutritionist, I find this news very exciting, as it means the rate CBD is absorbed in the target tissues is increased considerably when taken with food.
The question is: “how can I incorporate CBD into my cooking?”
Let’s take a look at CBD in more detail and how it can be added to your daily diet to take advantage of its many health benefits.
Table of Contents
First of All, What Is CBD?
The plant Cannabis sativa contains over 80 biologically active chemicals called cannabinoids.
The two most studied cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Both compounds interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS).
Endocannabinoids are created naturally within the human body, and their receptors are found throughout many organs, regulating biological processes such as sleep, appetite, mood, memory, and immune function.
CBD is the main non-psychoactive cannabinoid and is considered safe at high doses. Plus, it does not have the intoxicating psychological side-effects of THC.
The ECS plays an essential role in maintaining homeostasis; basically, its job is to monitor the body’s internal conditions continuously, keeping it in a state of balance.
This system is made up of receptors known as CB1 and CB2 receptors — found throughout the human body — in the organs, brain, connective tissue, glands, and immune cells.
CBD is extracted from the cannabis plant but can also be made synthetically. We use it primarily to treat conditions such as epileptic seizures, pain, anxiety, depression, and insomnia, as well as the debilitating side-effects of cancer treatment.
Cooking With CBD
Cooking with CBD is one of the easiest ways to introduce the compound into your daily health routine.
Here’s how to get started:
1. Add CBD to Oils and Fats
CBD is lipid-soluble, which means it’s easy to add to most recipes when combined with healthy fats — such as olive oil, coconut oil, coconut butter, grass-fed butter, or ghee.
PRO TIP: add CBD to your favorite healthy cooking oil — such as olive oil or coconut oil — and drizzle over your meals. It’s especially good on salads.
Whisk, stir, drizzle, and shake!
Adding garlic or chili will add a warming effect. Just make sure you shake well before using, so the CBD is evenly distributed.
2. Mix CBD into Your Favorite Dishes
You can add CBD to virtually any meal — even if it isn’t high in fat.
However, anything without a high-fat content will involve more whisking to get the CBD to distribute more evenly.
Here are a few examples of meals you can use to sneak some CBD into your diet:
- Scrambled eggs
- Salad dressings
- Pasta sauces
- Mashed potatoes
CBD-Infused Dressing Recipe
Although this makes a great, simple salad dressing, it is equally delicious as a marinade for meat or drizzled over steamed vegetables.
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
In a mason jar or other container with a tight lid, combine all the ingredients. Shake until all ingredients are combined.
3. Adding CBD to Sweet Treats
You can also use CBD in confectionery and baking.
Here are some of the most common sweet treats people are adding CBD to:
- Energy/protein balls
CBD Bliss Balls Recipe
- 2 cups almonds
- 1/4 cup mixed sunflower and pumpkin seeds
- 16 medjool dates pitted
- 2 tbsp raw cacao powder
- 1 tbsp natural vanilla essence
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 30 mg CBD
Process nuts and cacao powder in a high-speed blender or food processor until crumbly. Add vanilla and dates and mix.
Form into balls and roll in coconut, dates, seeds, cacao, crushed nuts, or goji berries…the options are endless!
4. Add CBD to Your Morning Smoothie or Turmeric Lattes
Why not start the day with a simple breakfast smoothie? CBD and a tablespoon of coconut oil, avocado, yogurt or coconut milk — plus fresh berries — will give an anti-inflammatory boost to your day.
A) CBD Smoothie Recipe
- 1 cup almond/coconut milk
- 1 frozen banana
- ½ cup blueberries
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp almond butter
- 30 mg CBD
Blend all ingredients on high speed for 30 seconds.
B) Turmeric Milk Recipe
- 1 cup almond/coconut milk
- ½ tsp organic ground or grated fresh turmeric
- Pinch of organic ground cinnamon
- Pinch of black pepper
- 1/2 tsp natural vanilla essence
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp raw honey (optional)
- 30 mg CBD
- Whiz all the ingredients in a blender (this makes it nice and frothy).
- Pour into a saucepan over low heat, gently stir, and bring to the boil.
- Allow it to cool a little before serving.
Alternatively, whisk all the ingredients in the saucepan over low heat, gently bringing to the boil.
Make sure you read the instructions on the label of your CBD product, considering the dosage for each portion.
Tips For Using CBD in Food
Adding CBD to your meal is simple, but there are some critical points to remember if you want to get the most out of your CBD.
1. Watch the Temperature
Don’t use CBD over direct heat.
Cannabinoids are sensitive to light and heat, so be mindful of cooking at low temperatures. Although warming CBD increases its effectiveness, heating it at high temperatures (above 365 degrees Fahrenheit or 185 degrees Celsius) causes it to lose valuable terpenes, which are diverse organic compounds that work in tandem with the CBD to increase its therapeutic effects.
Adding too much heat can also cause the CBD to break down into smaller, less potent compounds.
2. Pay Attention to the Dose
If you’re a first-time user of CBD, it’s essential to start with a low dose in your recipes until you know how your body responds to it.
Perhaps you can start cooking in smaller batches using conservative amounts of CBD until you find what works for you. This will also avoid wasting your CBD. You can always increase the amount you add over time as you find your optimal personal dose.
As you get used to using CBD in your recipes, you will get an idea of what works for you and your taste preference.
The best option is to use good-quality odorless and flavorless CBD oil. Inferior oils may have artificial additives or low cannabidiol content.
Always consider the potency of the product you’re using before adding it to your food. The potency of a teaspoon of low-strength (10 mg/mL) oil will be very different than a teaspoon of a high-potency oil (33.3 mg/mL).
Below is a chart outlining the recommended dose ranges depending on the strength you’re looking for. Here, we describe how this dose can change depending on the potency of the oil you’re using.
For example, a high-strength dose will require 15 mL of a low-potency oil, but only 5 mL of a high-potency oil.
Ideal Doses per Serving of CBD
|Dose Strength||Dosage Range||300 mg Oil (30 mL Bottle)||600 mg Oil (30 mL Bottle)||1000 mg Oil (30 mL Bottle)|
|Low||10 mg to 30 mg||1 mL to 3 mL||0.5 mL to 1.5 mL||0.25 mL to 1 mL|
|Medium||30 mg to 50 mg||3 mL to 5 mL||1.5 mL to 2.5 mL||1 mL to 1.5 mL|
|High||50 mg to 150 mg||5 mL to 15 mL||2.5 mL to 7.5 mL||1.5 mL to 5 mL|
Taking these doses into account, you can determine how much CBD you should be adding to your food. If you’re making a larger batch of something, such as cookies, you can calculate the number of servings and add enough CBD to be divided into each serving.
For example, if you’re baking enough cookies for eight people, you should add eight doses of CBD at the desired strength.
3. Store Your CBD Correctly
As CBD is sensitive to light, storing your CBD in a dark, cool place will ensure it keeps its taste and quality. It will also reduce waste due to spoilage.
Benefits of CBD and a List of Foods to Make it Even Better
Adding CBD to your cooking is an excellent way to incorporate its healing properties into your daily routine. CBD has been used for centuries for its calming and pain-relieving properties, with excellent benefits shown for:
- Sleep disorders and insomnia
- Anxiety and depression
- Chronic pain
- Patients undergoing cancer treatment
- Improving symptoms of inflammatory conditions and type 2 diabetes
- Reducing high blood pressure
1. CBD for Insomnia and Nightmares
Sleep is essential to maintaining both physical and mental health. For many years, patients have used CBD as a sedative-hypnotic to improve the quality and quantity of sleep .
Clinical trials have shown that people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) sleep better and have significantly reduced flashbacks and nightmares after taking CBD .
Certain foods can help you to fall asleep faster and wake less often during the night. Experiment with foods that contain nutrients such as tryptophan, melatonin, and serotonin that aid in promoting a good night’s sleep.
Foods that Are Useful for Insomnia
- Almonds and other nuts
- Milk and cottage cheese
- Kiwi fruit
2. CBD For Anxiety and Depression
The simple act of taking CBD with your favorite food one hour after exposure to a stressful event can have long-lasting and calming effects, reducing any increases in heart rate and blood pressure, and improving overall stress resilience .
These effects are what makes CBD oil so useful for conditions like anxiety, depression, OCD, and other mood disorders.
In a recent large case study, researchers found CBD rapidly reduced anxiety scores in patients and continued to provide relief with minimal side-effects . The study used only small doses of between 25 mg/day to 175 mg/day, which is an easily achievable addition to your daily routine and diet.
Foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants can help ease symptoms.
Foods That Relieve Anxiety and Depression
- Fatty fish — salmon, mackerel, sardines, and trout
- Brazil nuts and almonds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Probiotic foods — yogurt, sauerkraut, kombucha, and miso
3. CBD For Pain and Inflammation
Cannabinoids are potent anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive agents . CBD has long been used as a natural analgesic to treat chronic pain and inflammation, offering a non-habit-forming alternative to pain medications without their negative side-effects.
Many patients have reported replacing their prescription pain medications with CBD, with evidence that its use can help people to wean off opiates and opioids, particularly in the treatment of headaches, mental health disorders, insomnia, arthritis, and fibromyalgia .
One of the most potent tools for fighting inflammation comes from food. An anti-inflammatory diet consisting of healthy fats such as olive oil, fruits such as berries, green leafy vegetables, and oily fish can help fight inflammation and joint pain.
Foods that Help Relieve Pain and Inflammation
- Fatty fish — salmon, mackerel, sardines, and trout
- Almonds and walnuts
- Olive oil
- Green leafy vegetables
- Berries — strawberries and blueberries
4. CBD For Side-Effects of Cancer Treatment
CBD can help relieve pain in patients who have advanced-stage cancer where opioids have not proven to be effective . Studies have shown CBD offers relief of neuropathic pain, a common side-effect caused by chemotherapy drug treatment .
CBD has a long history of use as a treatment to relieve cancer-related nausea and vomiting, and increase appetite.
Cancer patients often add CBD to snack foods and meals to help ease the debilitating side-effects of cancer treatment. As we have already discussed, CBD can be added to many different foods.
Popular Food and Drinks Cancer Patients Add CBD To:
- Brownies and cookies
- Infused in oil for cooking
- Water, juice, tea, or smoothies
Is CBD Safe?
You can’t overdose when adding CBD to your food.
The World Health Organization (WHO) states that in its pure state, CBD does not cause harm or have the potential for abuse even at high doses .
The side-effects of CBD are usually mild but can include diarrhea, nausea, dry mouth, fatigue, and headaches.
As everyone processes CBD differently, your dose will vary from that of your family and friends.
Whether supplementing or cooking, we recommend starting cooking with a small dose, such as 25 mg per day, and seeing how you react — gradually increasing by 5 mg to 10 mg per day.
Recent studies have looked at high doses of 750 mg or 1500 mg twice a day, and if consistently taken with food, these high doses can maximize treatment outcomes in a host of conditions .
However, you don’t need to take high doses to reap the benefits of CBD.
Of course, if you are going to add CBD to your food, you need to ensure you are using a high-grade, high-quality product.
Final Thoughts: Cooking with CBD
CBD is effective in relieving insomnia, anxiety, depression, pain, and inflammation, as well as improving the many side-effects that can occur during cancer treatment.
As you become more familiar with using CBD, you may find yourself incorporating this powerful natural supplement to many of your favorite healthy recipes.
Most importantly, have fun and experiment with your cooking!