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Cooking with CBD
What you need to know about cooking with CBD.
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 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.
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
- Add oil and decarboxylated cannabis to top pot
- Cook over medium for two hours, stirring frequently
- Strain oil using cheesecloth or a mesh strainer
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.
How to Cook with CBD Oil
Baking with CBD 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
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.