Baking with CBD
Thanks to the opening of the green floodgates that the 2018 Farm Bill provided, hemp-derived cannabidiol or CBD has captured mainstream attention. Offering the myriad benefits of the cannabis sativa plant but without the psychoactive and debilitating impact of excess tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), legal CBD products have converted many curious onlookers.
One of the many exciting components of cannabidiol-infused solutions is their product diversity. Ranging from topicals to edibles to vaping products, enthusiasts of the botanical arts have no shortage of delivery options. It’s also easier to evangelize the advantages of legal cannabis when you’re offering a CBD-infused gummy bear as opposed to a joint.
Furthermore, CBD offers creative uses beyond traditional (or stereotypical) methodologies. As cannabis-infused products have risen in popularity, so too have their utility. Increasingly, for instance, many enthusiasts have taken to baking with CBD. A favorite activity among American families, preparing confections with cannabidiol adds a new element to this old practice.
Indeed, baking with CBD carries with it several advantages. First and foremost, cannabidiol provides general health benefits like pain relief and an overall relaxing quality. Second, legal CBD is non-psychoactive, so you won’t have to worry about debilitating side effects. Further, certain CBD products are non-impacting on scent and flavors, allowing seamless integration into your favorite recipes.
With that, here are some tips on baking with CBD, beginning with the preferred cannabidiol format:
Product Type and Carrier Oils
Before we begin, it’s important to realize that not all CBD product categories are conducive for cooking. Most obviously, you wouldn’t want to cook with cannabidiol e-liquids designed for vaporizer usage! However, other consumable products are not necessarily desirable.
Therefore, before you start experimenting with cannabidiol, we recommend that you start baking with CBD oil, otherwise known as tinctures. These are potent cannabidiol extracts infused with a carrier oil. As a liquified product, you can easily mix CBD oil with your ingredients, facilitating effortless concoctions.
That said, not all CBD oils are to everyone’s liking due to different scents or textures. Among CBD oils, the most common carrier oils are:
- Hemp oil – typical among full spectrum CBD (or CBD with all cannabinoids and terpenes) oils, hemp oil carriers are ideal for those seeking holistic health benefits. However, they are very earthy, contributing to that typical “weed” smell.
- Olive oil – a common household carrier oil, olive oil provides its own health benefits but without the pungent weed smell associated with hemp oil. Still, olive oil does give off a strong fragrance.
- MCT oil – otherwise known as coconut oil extract, MCT is a very common carrier oil among CBD-infused products. If anything, MCT emits a light, sweet scent.
If you want to cook for a broader guest list or are tiptoeing into the botanical realm, we recommend using MCT oil. It doesn’t smell like cannabis and it almost always adds a naturally sourced sweeting element to your choice recipes.
Full Spectrum or Isolate?
Briefly, we discussed the concept of CBD spectrums, but it’s worth a lengthier discussion. For those unfamiliar with cannabidiol, products infused with this organic compound are typically offered in three categories, which are:
- Full Spectrum CBD – cannabidiol in its “natural” state, featuring CBD, other cannabinoids, and terpenes (or the cannabis plant’s essential oils).
- CBD Isolate – a pure CBD extract, or CBD and nothing but CBD. Isolate products have no other cannabinoids and terpenes, thus negating the opportunity of the “entourage effect.”
- Broad Spectrum CBD – similar to full spectrum CBD, broad spectrum has one key difference: it does not contain any amount of THC.
At first glance, it appears that full spectrum CBD (or broad spectrum) are the most desirable platforms. And if you’re seeking holistic benefits, these two categories are indeed ideal. Primarily, they facilitate the entourage effect – the symbiotic partnership between CBD and other cannabinoids and terpenes to produce a comprehensive health impact.
However, when it comes to baking with CBD, both full and broad spectrum materials give off the signature “weed” smell. Some might like it but others might not. It may also impart a flavor impact on the baked good, which may be unideal.
Thus, depending on the target audience, you may want to elect CBD isolate. With this particular format, no one will know that the magic ingredient in your recipe is good ol’ cannabis!
Using CBD Oil to Bake
Despite the novelty of the concept, baking with CBD is incredibly easy. All that’s required is to mix your CBD oil into your batter. This is another reason why we recommend baking with CBD isolate products: because this format doesn’t impose strong scents or flavors, it has an “innocuous” effect on your overall recipe.
However, the most important consideration for baking with CBD is to watch the temperature. The boiling point of cannabidiol is somewhere between 320°F and 356°F. Anything higher than this range risks burning out the CBD, making the whole point of baking with it moot.
Moreover, it’s critical to note that CBD is extremely sensitive to light and heat. Before you start baking with it, make sure to store your cannabidiol oil in a cool, dark place for best texture, flavor and potency.