The Best CBD Cooking Recipes
Cannabis and food are two things deeply intertwined - historical records of humans cooking with cannabis date back centuries. The ancient Indians knew this best - in 1,000 BC, people mixed ground cannabis flower and milk into bhang, a traditional drink for both spiritual and medicinal purposes, and they also knew how to cook and mix it in with other dishes. In the modern-day, since the latter half of the 20th century, the popularity of cannabis cooking has seen a dramatic rise, and you’re likely familiar with many of the more popular dishes - brownies, gummies, and more besides.
Cooking with CBD oil and CBD-infused foods is a much newer phenomenon, but not an unfounded one. After all, as CBD is a component of cannabis, all cannabis cooking uses CBD in some manner. Increasingly, people are taking to this pastime with enthusiasm, and no wonder - CBD can spice up your cooking experience, give you a range of wellness benefits, and also simply offers an all-natural shake-up to your usual diets.
For this article, we’ve prepared helpful advice and tips for beginner CBD cooks, and an assortment of our favourite savoury and sweet recipes to get you started. So tie your aprons on, roll up your sleeves, and let’s get down to cooking!
CBD: Why Eat It?
You’re probably familiar with CBD by now - cannabidiol, often abbreviated to CBD, is one of the approximately 113 identified cannabinoids, compounds found in and produced by cannabis plants. Traditionally, cannabis plants have been cultivated and utilised by multiple different ancient cultures for a wide range of medicinal, recreational and even practical purposes. Their intoxicating, soothing and therapeutic effects were well-known by these cultures.
In the modern-day, a surge of interest and research have revealed to us the compounds within these plants, and the intricacies of their effects on the human body.
CBD stands out amongst its peers for several reasons. It’s one of the most abundant cannabinoids in cannabis plants, making up as much as 60% of a given plant’s extract, and research has revealed that many of cannabis’ myriad effects can be attributed to CBD. Scientists have found that CBD may be able to mediate pain reception and mood, modulate the immune system and reduce inflammation, affect the digestive system, ease anxiety and epilepsy and more. Consumers have highlighted CBD for its applications, and many use it for a variety of therapeutic and recreational benefits, to manage conditions like anxiety, epilepsy, chronic pain and more.
It’s also non-toxic and non-neurotropic in nature - the latter refers to the fact that CBD doesn’t induce the “high” that one usually gets when you consume cannabis, characterised by euphoria, pleasure and heightened sensory perception. CBD’s sister cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the culprit behind this altered state, and CBD itself only affects the brain and mental faculties as much as, say, caffeine does. It’s also very well-tolerated by the human body, and difficult to overdose on, which makes it safe to consume and removes much of the risk when experimenting to find the correct dosage for an individual. But there are many other ways to take your CBD - so why choose food and drink?
Compared to other methods of taking CBD, oral ingestion has two distinct traits - firstly, the time that it takes for effects to kick in, and the duration for which those effects last. When you eat CBD, it has to pass all the way through your digestive system, and it’s only at the intestines that it is finally absorbed into your bloodstream and can start acting on your cells. However, this slow method also has a more prolonged duration of effects, as the intestines absorb CBD at a slow and steady rate, making sure that your CBD dose lasts you a good while. Other methods, such as sublingual tinctures or vape oils may offer a much faster-acting or potent dose of CBD, but eating your CBD offers the longest-lasting effects - and besides, it just tastes better!
Kitchen Prep: Cooking With CBD Right
Planning and preparation are half the battle when it comes to the kitchen, and this holds just as true for CBD cooking. Here are a couple of essential tips that we hope you take down and keep in mind as you begin your culinary voyage.
First and foremost, your supply. To cook with CBD, you have to find a provider of CBD oil - we always advise that you find a reliable and renowned supplier for your needs.
There are a number of factors that influence the quality of a final CBD oil product that you should keep in mind. Find yourself a company that takes great care in the manufacturing and extraction process, and produces oils with high potency and natural CBD content. Maximising the quality of your CBD oil ensures that when you cook with it, your food will have the best of the benefits offered by CBD.
On another note - you may already have some CBD tinctures or such that you use for more direct applications, and you might think to use these for your cooking. Technically speaking, there’s nothing wrong with that; but there’s no need to use up your precious, pricey CBD tinctures. It’s far more cost-effective to purchase CBD-infused olive oil, so we recommend you save your tinctures and find yourself a bottle, to begin with.
Alternatively, if you’d prefer to try and work in CBD from, say, hemp flower, and use buds for your cooking, that’s also viable - but once again, ensure that you’re sourcing from a quality supplier and getting strains high in CBD content. If you’re working with more raw material, compared to already-prepared CBD-infused oil, you’ll also need to decarboxylate your CBD to get the best results, which we’ll elaborate on in the next section.
Another tip is that CBD is fat-soluble, meaning that checking the contents of a recipe becomes vital to your CBD cooking experience. Recipes that contain either a fat or an oil-based ingredient are usually perfect for your needs since you can mix your CBD in with it. If you want to try a recipe that doesn’t incorporate these things, a small amount of liquor can act as a good carrier for CBD, such as vodka, but you should avoid mixing it with any sort of water-based liquors, as they won’t work.
Next, quantity. As a rule of thumb, you should take only a small quantity of oil when you’re trying out cooking with CBD, and likewise, you should only prepare a small batch of your chosen dish. The key is to start smart and start small - first, you try the food you’ve prepared, and then adjust your dosage from there as necessary. Beginning with a small batch for any given new recipe means that if you make any mistakes or missteps in the trial process, it won’t cost you so much - and you won’t have so much of your botched batch to try and finish!
Another absolutely crucial factor is temperature. Cannabidiol tends to evaporate at temperatures past the range of 160-180 °C, and so if the temperature slips too high in your cooking process, you won’t get any CBD in your final dish. You can’t use CBD as cooking oil for this reason. Thus, it’s imperative you keep a keen eye on your temperature levels, avoid direct heat and cook on lower temperatures wherever you can manage, or simply add CBD oil to already-cooked food, so you can really maximise the essence of CBD infused in your food.
Lastly, you should remember that storage is key to longevity - both of your CBD oil, and your CBD-infused foods. Cannabinoids are notably heat- and light-sensitive, and so exposure to either can change the taste of the food you’ve prepared to a significant degree. If you want to preserve your flavour and your CBD experience, then you should store the food items in a dark and cool place.
CBD and Decarboxylation
Cannabis in its ‘raw’ form needs to be decarboxylated prior to consumption in order for you to reap the full effects. This process is centred around one simple factor - heat. When cannabis is heated up to temperatures above 200 degrees Fahrenheit, the compounds within it that contribute to its effects - namely THC and CBD - are activated.
This is because in their natural form within cannabis plants, these phytocannabinoids don’t exist as their “active” molecular forms, but rather as acids, dubbed THC-A and CBD-A. Decarboxylation is a term that refers on a technical level to a chemical reaction that removes a carboxyl (COOH) group from a compound - namely from the acid forms of these cannabinoids.
By decarboxylating, you convert these compounds into their “active” forms, which can influence neurotransmitters in the body and carry out their stunning array of effects in full. While CBD-A has its own charms in the forms of anti-inflammatory effects, and raw cannabis and hemp can be very nutritious and healthy, if you’re looking to get the therapeutic benefits of CBD proper they won’t be any help.
For this reason, decarboxylation is a requisite chemical reaction that is part of making any sort of cannabis or cannabis-derived product, from edibles to oils and more. This is a process that has to be carried out when you’re dealing with pretty much any sort of “raw” cannabis or hemp material - namely plant matter that has not been dried or cured, which can come in the form of leaves, flowers or buds. Products like CBD oils or gummies have, of course, already been decarbed in the manufacturing process, and can be consumed without fuss.
CBD Infused Cannabutter
Let’s begin with the other half to the proverbial “bread” of CBD cooking - butter! CBD butter is a simple, common and delightfully versatile way to work CBD into your recipes, especially your baking. Butter is a common ingredient for many recipes, and you can easily swamp in your infused butter in place of regular butter, and thus reap the benefits of CBD. Its simplicity and versatility make it a staple ingredient to keep in the pantry for any aspiring CBD cook.
Other CBD cooking staples that you can use in different recipes include CBD-infused coconut oil, CBD-infused honey and CBD-infused chocolate, which we encourage you to try your hand at making if you plan on cooking a lot of CBD foods.
It should be noted that butter has the potential to burn during the decarboxylation process - avoiding this is crucial. We recommend that you use coconut oil or olive oil the first time around you try this recipe to limit your chances of burning up your CBD or use water with the butter to help regulate the temperature.
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cooking Time: 4 hours
- Sheet pan and parchment
- Strainer or cheesecloth
- Bowl or large measuring cup
- Bowl or other container for butter storage
- 1 cup ground cannabis flower (adjust according to preferred dosage)
- 1 cup organic unsalted butter
- 1 cup water (optional)
- Preheat oven to 115°C. Place your cannabis flower on the baking sheet and spread it out evenly, breaking it down by hand into smaller chunks if necessary. Cover with parchment.
- Place it in the oven for 35-45 minutes, taking care to mix or simply shake the pan every 10 minutes or so as it bakes. This is the decarboxylation process.
- Once done, grind the cannabis flower down to medium or fine course. How much of the plant you use for this is up to the individual, but note that when grinding, anything small enough to fit through your strainer will be part of your final product.
- Add your butter and water into a stock pot or saucepan to melt the butter. Simmer it on low until it is completely melted.
- Once the butter is melted, add your coarsely ground cannabis and simmer. Your heat should be maintained at low, above 75ºC and never exceeding 93ºC. This mixture should simmer for 2 to 3 hours, during which you should stir occasionally.
- This is a precarious stage - never allow it to boil or get too hot, as overcooking will destroy the CBD.
- Strain the butter using a funnel lined with cheesecloth, on top of the container of your choice. Once cooled, pour the butter over the funnel and allow it to strain freely.
- Once all your butter has been strained, refrigerate the container. The butter should become solid again after an hour or so. Excess water may form at the bottom of the jar, which can be dealt with by removing the solidified butter with a knife and draining the water out.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
You can’t go wrong with a good, old-fashioned chocolate chip cookie - especially not when there’s CBD in the mix to enhance the experience!
This recipe calls for CBD oil, but if you’ve already made CBD-infused butter, you can omit that and simply swap in your cannabutter to use. Alternatively, if you have CBD-infused chocolate suitable for cooking, you can substitute the chocolate chips with your own.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 10-13 minutes
Total Time: 1 hr 5 mins
- 1 tbsp of CBD oil
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 cups chocolate chips
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- In a large bowl, mix your butter, CBD oil, brown sugar, white sugar and salt all together into a smooth batter with no lumps.
- Add your 2 eggs and beat them into the batter, one at a time.
- Whisk in your vanilla extract.
- Sift in the flour and baking soda, and fold the mixture with a spatula.
- Fold in the chocolate chips into the batter, slowly. Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Prepare a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Portion your cookie batter onto the baking sheet, making sure to spread them evenly. We recommend using an ice-cream scoop to dole out the dough.
- Bake for 10-13 minutes or until edges start to turn golden brown.
- Cool completely before serving. Enjoy!
The evergreen classic of cannabis cooking, the piece de resistance of every cannabis cookbook, it’s the most noble and humble brownie! This is a must-have for any baker looking to spice up their repertoire, or for anyone so long as you have a working oven and a taste for CBD’s delights. Bake up a storm and share with your friends!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
- Baking Dish (9x13)
- Mixing Bowls
- Wire Rack
- 1 cup CBD butter, melted
- 3 cups white sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup of chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 175°C. Lightly grease your baking dish, or line it with aluminium foil to prevent sticking later.
- In a large mixing bowl, add melted CBD butter, sugar and vanilla. Beat in 4 eggs one at a time, thoroughly mixing after each one is added. Your final mixture should be well blended.
- In a separate mixing bowl, take your all-purpose flour, cocoa powder and salt and sift it together. Gradually stir this sifted mixture into the egg mixture until it is blended well.
- Stir in the chocolate chips. Once again, ensure that it’s thoroughly blended.
- Spread your finished batter into the prepared baking dish.
- Place your dish in the oven and bake for 35 minutes.
- To check that your brownies are properly baked, simply stick a toothpick into the centre of it. If, when the toothpick is removed, it comes out clean, the brownies are done.
- Remove the baking dish from the oven and place atop a wire rack or other appropriate place to cool off. Once cool enough, divide it up into the serving sizes of your choice.
Orange Raspberry Salad Dressing
This is a quick and easy recipe for a delightfully tart and sweet salad dressing to give some punch to your leafy greens. You can try your hand at infusing CBD into any other recipes like this as well - thanks to CBD’s fat-soluble properties and mild flavour, it meshes delightfully well with any vinaigrette or salad dressing.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Quantity Served: 4-6
- Medium size bowl
- Whisk, or a spoon
- ½ cup orange juice
- ¼ cup raspberry vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey (or to taste)
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- CBD oil to dose the dressing as desired
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- Mix all ingredients in a bowl with a whisk.
- Serve over your salad of choice as you wish.
Out of the myriad flavourful delights that Mexican cuisine has to offer, no condiment is more ubiquitous or more delicious than the king of dips, guacamole. As its main ingredient is the avocado, which consists mostly of fats, it makes for a perfect base off of which CBD can be infused. It’s also vegan-friendly, and gluten-free!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Medium size bowl
- Fork, or pestle and mortar
- 3 avocados
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp ground cayenne pepper
- ½ medium onion, diced
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 3 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 mL CBD Oil
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- ½ jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
- Peel, pit, and mash the avocados in a bowl. We advise you use a fork, or a pestle and mortar if you have them.
- Using a medium-size bowl, mix together the avocados and lime juice.
- Stir in CBD oil and salt.
- Add in the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
- Cover your bowl or container with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for one hour or until cold.
Get your wok sizzling and whip up a colourful vegetarian delight for your next meal! This stir fry recipe is vegan-friendly and makes for a great dinner served with rice or the carb of your choice.
The vegetables we’ve listed in this recipe can all easily be substituted, depending on seasonality, availability, preference and affordability. Experiment and tweak this recipe as you see fit!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes
- Frying pan or wok
- Knife and cutting board
- 1 cup pumpkin, cubed
- ½ cup Japanese eggplant, cubed
- 1 cup trimmed green beans
- 1 red pepper, deseeded and cubed
- 1 cup extra-firm tofu, cubed
- ½ cup coriander, chopped
- 1 lime
- 1 tbsp garlic, crushed
- 1 tbsp ginger, crushed
- 3 tbsp sweet and dark soy sauce
- 2 tbsp CBD-infused oil
- Hot sauce to taste
- Steam pumpkin cubes for 4 minutes. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a large wok or frying pan, then add in the eggplant and tofu. Fry until crisp, then add in the garlic and ginger and saute until fragrant.
- Add soy sauce, pepper and beans and stir fry. The pepper and beans should be cooked, but still crunchy. Once at this state, add the pumpkin and stir.
- Turn off the heat and add in lime juice by squeezing half a lime. Add in most of the coriander, keeping a pinch aside, and add in your CBD-infused oil.
- Garnish with hot sauce, any remaining lime slices, and coriander.
- Serve hot immediately. We recommend serving with quinoa or wild rice if you prefer.
Lastly, we have a sweet and refreshing fruity beverage for you to wash down your meal! There’s nothing better on a summer’s day or after a long day of work than a delightful ice-cold smoothie.
Once again, the CBD aspect of this recipe can easily be emulated with any other smoothie, and you can easily swap out the different fruits and try different combinations as you wish, depending on your preference and the availability of ingredients.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
- 1 mango, chopped and peeled
- 1 banana, chopped
- ½ cup strawberries, chopped
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 4-5 ice cubes
- 1 tsp honey
- ½ tsp CBD oil
- Purée the banana, mango, almond milk and ice in a blender until smooth.
- Add the honey and CBD oil and continue to blend.
- Once finished, pour into a tall glass. Serve immediately.
Reminders for the dinner table
Making your own CBD-infused foods and edibles at home is a fun, rewarding and delicious way to get your dose of CBD in your system. But as with anything in the kitchen, you have to be flexible and be ready for things not to go as the recipe describes. So, when you first start out CBD cooking, try to keep your cooking to small batches to minimise your use of CBD and your waste if something goes awry. It’ll also take you some time to figure out the dosage of CBD in your food that works for you, and the only way to find your answer is good old-fashioned trial and error, so keep that in mind.
Another point is that CBD is absorbed more slowly through your intestines than say, your sublingual gland or via your lungs. It also has to pass through your digestive system first and be processed, which all adds up to the time. Additionally, passing through the digestive system means that CBD is subjected to what’s called the ‘first-pass effect’, which means that anything digestible has to be subjected to the tender mercies of your gut and your liver first before it reaches your bloodstream, which also affects the potency of your CBD. In general, CBD in food will not be as potent or as fast as other methods, so you have to be patient with the effects of your CBD-infused foods and adjust as you go. On the flip side, though, if you need CBD to release at a slower pace and last you the whole day, CBD edibles are just what you might need.
You should also be mindful of what you consume CBD with - CBD affects liver enzymes that assist in the breakdown of drugs and medications. It can have some wildly varying effects when consumed with alcohol and can affect any prescription medications or supplements you might be taking. While it isn’t necessarily harmful, and it can even be fun to experiment with CBD cocktails, it’s always best to be mindful of your intake, and tell people in advance if you’re serving food with CBD to others. And of course, if you’re going to be consuming CBD with any alcohol, don’t drive!
All in all, though, CBD cooking can be fun, and ultimately incredibly rewarding for anyone interested in CBD or in good food. We hope our advice and recipes have helped you get started on the path down cannabinoid cuisine, or at least helped with your meal plan for the coming week.