Ultimate Guide To Cooking With CBD

Of all the ways to enjoy CBD, cooking with it makes it enjoyable for your friends and family, too.

People put CBD in everything they can. In 2022 there are hundreds and hundreds of various CBD products–from dog food, to beer, to butter, etc. And as more products develop in the direction of culinary enjoyment, there arises an opportunity for CBD enthusiasts to whip up such creations at home in their own kitchens.

In this article we cover the fundamentals of cooking with CBD. We answer your questions about the science of combining this beloved cannabinoid with various foods and recipes. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be ready to elevate any dish with a dash of CBD magic.

Food and drink and cannabis oil on the dining table.

The Endocannabinoid System

Why should you care about cooking with CBD? Well, the foremost reason is that CBD offers an extensive list of health benefits. So it’s akin to adding a super vitamin to your meal without ruining its taste. Though some individuals really enjoy the addition of hemp flavor elements in certain recipes, CBD can be added through methods that won’t add any flavor at all.

So whether you’re looking to make a healthy meal, or you want to introduce new and interesting flavors, consider adding CBD to your next cooking creation. Few additives offer the health benefits that CBD does, made possible by a phenomenon of the human body known as the endocannabinoid system.

The Endocannabinoid System functions as a part of our nervous system and it is something that all mammals have. This system is made up of a vast network of cannabinoid receptors located throughout our bodies. There is still a lot of research to be done on the endocannabinoid system but researchers do know that it helps maintain homeostasis in the body.

Homeostasis is an important balance that our bodies need to maintain in order to keep us healthy and make us feel well. In short, the endocannabinoid system converts cannabinoids like CBD into certain enzymes depending on what a particular body needs. Because of this, some believe that consistent ingestion of cannabinoids should represent a fundamental aspect of daily nutrition.

The Health Benefits of CBD

The endocannabinoid system helps our bodies use cannabinoids to regulate a broad range of bodily functions like sleep, appetite, pain response, and more. It also affects things like memory, mood, and how we react to stress. Usually, it relies on our naturally occurring cannabinoids, which are called endocannabinoids.

When you introduce something like CBD into your body, your ECS is able to use that to respond to our own endocannabinoids more effectively. It can bind to two different types of receptors; the CB1 receptor and the CB2 receptor.

Our CB1 receptors are found in our brain and throughout our body. CB2 receptors are mostly present in the immune system and the gastrointestinal system.

So, because of the way that our endocannabinoid system plays such a huge role inside us, CBD and other cannabinoids are able to help heal and restore balance in a lot of different ways.

What Type Of CBD To Use In The Kitchen

The range of benefits isn’t the only way that CBD is versatile. CBD can be used in all kinds of different products, even some that are already prepared for consumption like gummies and other candies, beverages, and snacks. Not every CBD product is going to be appropriate for use in the kitchen, though.

Instead, there are just a few kinds of CBD oil that are going to be of suitable use for the culinarily inclined.


This is the most common type of CBD product on the market. CBD oil refers to drops of oil that are meant to be taken orally. Most oils use full-spectrum CBD, which means that they contain all the other cannabinoids that were extracted from the hemp. Taking a combination of cannabinoids is said to produce something called the Entourage Effect, which refers to the way that the cannabinoids are able to bolster the efficacy of one another when taken together.

A lot of these CBD oils are made with other types of oil as part of a blend. Pay close attention to what it is in the specific CBD product that you’re buying. Most of the time, it is combined with coconut oil but you should always make sure to be safe. Some of them may include other ingredients, too. CBD oils come in a whole variety of flavors. There are a lot of unflavored ones on the market. If you’re going to be using your CBD for any cooking, you should stick to one of the unflavored varieties.

This way, you can use it in many different ways instead of being stuck to a single flavor profile. Also, you should always look over the ingredients used for flavorings to make sure you’re cooking your CBD safely. Speaking of flavor, unflavored CBD and flavorless CBD are not one and the same.

Flavorless CBD oil is going to have absolutely no taste to it at all. Unflavored CBD usually contains all of the natural terpenes from the hemp plant. This is going to give the CBD that earthy or sometimes pungent flavor that you probably associate with marijuana. Each one is going to have a different effect on the taste of your final dish.

One of the biggest benefits of using CBD oils in the kitchen is that you have access to an incredible range of doses. There are more variable doses of CBD oil available than any other CBD product. You can find as little as 30 mg per bottle all the way up to 3,000 mg per bottle. This is great because you may need to experiment a little to find out how much CBD you would like to be taking to get the most out of it.

CBD Isolate

CBD isolates are usually sold as powders or crystals of nothing but pure, flavorless CBD. CBD isolate can also be used as the term for CBD oil that is pure CBD with no other cannabinoids present. This type of CBD is made by extracting all of the chemical compounds from the hemp and then separating them to isolate the CBD so it can be sold in its purest form.

Most of the CBD isolates you will find are going to be the ones in crystal form. These are just more popular because they can be consumed like regular hard candy. Using something like this may be a little bit more complicated just because of the texture. You could choose to crush the crystals down into a powder on your own, too.

This would be a great time to break out your blender. Melting the crystals down may also be an effective way to avoid trying to incorporate them whole. You could easily drop a few crystals into a beverage and let them melt down as you drink. If you wanted to try to put some in a savory dish, it would be imperative to make sure you kept the heat down low. If you burn something like this, it’s going to be extremely difficult to clean up. The thing to check for when you’re shopping for crystals is what other additives may have been put in like sweeteners, any flavorings, or even terpenes.

Full Spectrum and CBD Powder

Even though we’re talking about CBD isolates, full-spectrum CBD crystals do exist. Full spectrum crystals will deliver significant hemp flavor though, so make note of that before including this form in your recipes. Much less complicated than the crystals, CBD isolates also come in a powder form.

This is a pure white powder that contains no additives, flavorings, other cannabinoids, or anything. It is typically 99.9% pure CBD. It is a very fine powder that can also be translucent. It has a texture that falls in between that of flour and powdered sugar. Using the powdered form of CBD isolate is going to be the absolute easiest thing that you can do if you want to cook with CBD.

Many people already use CBD isolate as an ingredient in their smoothies. It would be easy to mix this into a beverage without having to worry about taste or texture. On the savory side, you could mix it into sauces or soups. It would also be really easy to add powdered CBD isolate into any cakes, cookies, or other baked goods you made. You could melt it into butter or oil to cook with or just put it directly on top of your food. There is absolutely no taste to CBD powder; the only thing to keep an eye for is the consistency of your batter in case you use a significant amount of the powder in it. CBD isolates don’t typically come in a large variety of doses.

They’re usually high and stay mostly consistent across the board. One way that this is very beneficial for you is that you could add customized amounts of CBD to different things depending on how you like to manage your doses. It is also very easy to be precise when working with this type of product.

CBD Flower

Long before CBD came into the public eye, there was already a rich history of incorporating cannabis into your cooking in the form of marijuana. People use the whole buds in their cooking all the time for the THC and you can do the same thing for CBD. The difference between CBD flower and traditional cannabis is that CBD flower comes from industrial hemp plants that contain less than .3% THC.

The most common way to use CBD flower is to just grind it up as if you were going to smoke it and then mix that into brownie batter before popping them in the oven. There are a few reasons that this age-old method works.

First of all, even though it may seem a little bit unsophisticated, it is extremely easy to do. Cannabinoids like oil, since they’re oils, so using them with something rich like a brownie is a good idea. Finally, that earthy flavor that comes with hemp buds is perfectly tempered by the sweetness of chocolate. They even pair very well. If you want to do something to show a little bit more finesse, though, there are some things you can do.

Tips for Cooking with Hemp Flower

Using CBD flower as a garnish can give dishes a professional flair and give you a little CBD boost with your meal. You can also use the hemp buds to infuse into an oil to cook with or even butter to use in recipes or as a topping. This method is best reserved for savory dishes but it can work in cookies, too! The only reason that some people may not enjoy using CBD flower is the taste or smell.

You have to think, hemp flower is still from a type of cannabis plant. It is going to have the exact taste, texture, appearance, and smell when you use it to cook with or as an ingredient in a dish. It may smell the exact same as marijuana in your house and will have the same flavor. Any time you use CBD, you are going to be getting that Entourage Effect. Not only will you be consuming all of the cannabinoids, but you’ll also get the terpenes and amino acids. It is definitely a very healthy way to go if you think you’ll enjoy the taste.

Most CBD flower just comes sold by weight rather than based on milligrams per container as it is with other products. So, the dose per bud is usually pretty uniform across the board as long as you’re purchasing high-quality products. To change the actual amount of CBD you get by increasing or decreasing the amount of ground-up buds you use accordingly.

Tips For Cooking With CBD

Before you break out the pots and pans, it is important to understand a few key things about cooking with CBD. Any time you introduce a new product into your kitchen, you should always make sure you understand it so that you can use that knowledge to your advantage. Additionally, everyone has a different reaction and experience with CBD; knowing what you’re doing when taking it is going to help you get the best results.

Start With A Low Dose of CBD

CBD is not going to have the same effect on everyone and not everyone is going to need the same amount. Some people are naturally sensitive or resistant to cannabinoids, some people may have more severe symptoms, and factors such as age, weight, and sex are also going to vary. If you have never used CBD before, you should always start with a very low dose. CBD is not known to have any side effects but it can end up making you feel very sleepy if you’re taking too much.

Even if you have experience with CBD but have never taken it orally, you will still want to take the same approach because each delivery method could have a different effect on your body. It may take some experimentation to find the exact dose that is right for you. The important thing is to monitor how the CBD makes you feel in relation to your main goals for taking it in the first place. When you start seeing the results that you are looking for, you will know that you are taking the right dose for you.

Incorporate CBD Slowly

Do you know how you add two or three cloves of garlic when a recipe only calls for one? There’s no reason you shouldn’t do that because you know that you like garlic and you want to pump it up a bit. When you’re using CBD in cooking, this is something you should avoid. You don’t want to be too generous when you’re adding CBD to recipes for the first time.

This will also help you be more precise with your doses! The main reason to be careful when you start incorporating CBD into your cooking is that CBD does have a flavor. You can get CBD products that have no flavor but many full-spectrum products will; CBD flower always will. Until you’re sure how you feel about the taste, you don’t want to go overboard.

Hemp can have a very earthy taste that some people may find very pungent or overpowering. We want your food to make you feel good but we also want it to taste good! The second reason to make sure that you add CBD slowly is that you don’t want it to change the consistency of what you’re cooking too much.

When you use CBD isolate powder in any kind of baked dish, you may find that it dries the batter out a little bit and that isn’t something that you want to find out too late. CBD oil can obviously make dishes more oily, which could pose similar issues if you’re working with a more specific recipe. Going slow will help you watch for any potential problems that may arise.

Avoid Combining Substances

CBD has no side effects, it has no psychoactive effects, and it is completely safe to consume. You don’t really have much to worry about when it comes to introducing CBD into your daily routine, so long as you monitor your dose and pay attention to how it makes you feel. If you’re smart with it; so, it is completely safe. However, CBD does still have effects on your body. It can interact with some types of medication, which means that you may want to avoid bringing CBD into the kitchen until you make sure you’re not on any of those medications.

CBD can make people feel more relaxed or even drowsy, too. Because of the relaxing effects of CBD, you should truly be cautious about combining it with alcohol. There are plenty of recipes out there for cute cannabinoid cocktails or, you might want to have a drink with your CBD-infused meal from time to time.

You don’t have to steer clear of that stuff entirely, but you should take it easy until you know how they affect one another in your system. As an example, mixing CBD and alcohol could cause you to feel much more sleepy or increase the effects of the alcohol.

For the most part however, the risks are very low. And there is no medical evidence of overdoses with CBD. So long as you don’t purposefully set out to test that hypothesis, CBD can be viewed as safe as any other spice or herbal ingredient.

Know That Effects Take Time

Taking CBD orally is a common method but it is a well-known fact that the effects of taking CBD orally generally take longer than the effects associated with other methods of consumption. When you take CBD with a meal, you may notice that it takes even longer. This is because it will take longer for you to digest a whole meal rather than a few drops of oil. When you first start taking CBD, you may take a while to start to understand how it affects you.

This could mean that it takes a little longer for it to kick in or it could take a few days to really start to notice at all. This is another reason why it is important to be patient. You should always wait it out before increasing your dose. For those who have more experience, though, the same is true. When you take CBD with food or cooked into any food, your body will take more time than usual to absorb it.

Don’t go back and double up on your dose until you have given your body the time to digest what you ate and get that CBD in your system.

Use High-Quality CBD

When it comes to any other ingredient, you aren’t going to skimp on something important. You should do the same with CBD. It is important to use high-quality products that way you know exactly what is going to end up on your plate, you know that you’re getting the amount that you need, and you won’t have anything unpredictable go wrong.

High-quality CBD is very important because there can be a lot of differences in how it is grown, extracted, and used in the final product. Almost every reputable CBD company is going to offer up a copy of third-party lab results that certify exactly how much CBD is in their product. It also explains the amounts of other cannabinoids if you’re using a full-spectrum or broad-spectrum product. CBD that is made to be the best possible product for you will be made with you in mind.

They’re usually free of any pesticides, preservatives, and artificial ingredients. There will be no contaminants. When you choose to seek out the best quality of CBD, you can be sure that you’re getting the healthiest and purest form of CBD on the market. Another big reason not to skimp on quality, especially when cooking with CBD, is that you want to know exactly what other kinds of oil are mixed in with the CBD.

Most companies use coconut oil or MCT oil. There may be some kinds of oil that you wouldn’t want to cook with. Getting the best product that fits your budget can help prevent this kind of issue.

Don’t Throw Your Priciest Products in The Pot

Even though you should always go for the good stuff when you’re going to be cooking with CBD, you don’t want to use your most expensive products in your kitchen. The main reason for this is that you should reserve the best products for how you’re already using them. There are a lot of different CBD products that come at less of a premium price point that will be just fine to use in cooking.

You don’t have to stay away from using your most expensive CBD products this way but you should be smart about it. If you have never cooked with CBD before and are just starting to experiment, don’t risk wasting some of your best CBD if the dish doesn’t turn out right the first time. Cooking with new ingredients takes getting used to it.

Start With A Recipe You Know

Using a recipe you feel like you know like the back of your hand is a great way to take CBD on a test drive in the kitchen. The reason we suggest this is that you already know how the dish tastes and you already know how to make it. If you choose a new dessert recipe that you have never tried before and then try to add CBD in, it will be hard to gauge how the CBD is going to change the consistency, if at all.

You wouldn’t want to dry it out with the powder or overwhelm it with oil. It is easier to watch out for problems when you pick a recipe you know for your first time. The next reason that it is a good idea to stick to a dish you know is that you already understand how it tastes.

You know the different flavors that are present on the final product so you will be able to have a good idea of how CBD is going to pair with it. You may also want to try this out to make sure CBD doesn’t change the flavor of your food. It’s just a good way of gauging how to use it in more adventurous dishes later.

Combine CBD With Fat

Whenever you cook with CBD, you should try to incorporate it into a dish where you know that you will be using fat. Cannabinoids are known to bind very well to fats and to oil-based ingredients. This means that using it with fat is going to help your body use the most CBD and do so effectively.

You could infuse some butter with CBD to use on your toast or in a baked dish. You could incorporate CBD into anything that you would use olive oil with. Chocolate, avocado, peanut butter, and coconut milk are all good examples of something kind of fatty that you could mix with CBD.

Be Careful With Heat

CBD should never be cooked over direct heat, you shouldn’t sauté anything with it, and it is not a good frying oil at all. When you apply too much heat to CBD oil, it can take on a very bitter taste that could ruin the flavor of your food. The oil can even end up burning and that would have a very unpleasant impact on the taste as well. Apart from just that, CBD is just like any other cannabinoid, and exposing it to too much heat can cause them to lose their potential efficacy.

This could mean that you’re just not getting the full dose that you intended or it completely destroys all of the active compounds and does nothing. To avoid overheating your CBD, do not cook it with direct heat. Don’t add it directly to a hot pan. Also, cook it slowly. You can slowly bring up the temperature to avoid accidentally burning it or making it turn bitter.

Tip: Try using CBD flower in any baked goods because the heat will decarboxylate it instead of destroying all those active cannabinoids.

Try Adding A Few Drops To Drinks, Dressings, And More

If you’re not sure exactly how you want to incorporate CBD into a full recipe, you can start small. CBD oil is very easy to add to smoothies, coffee, and tea if you want to drink it.

The drops are also perfect for mixing into something like an oil-based salad dressing, your favorite soup, or pasta sauce. Adding a little bit into something already-prepared can take some of the stress off when you’re just curious about bringing CBD into your life or into your kitchen.

Our Favorite CBD Cooking Recipe

Common CBD Questions

What does CBD do when you eat it?

Cannabidiol, or CBD as it’s more widely known, isn’t psychoactive and won’t get you high, much to our dismay. Instead, several people claim it makes them feel calmer, helps them sleep better, and relieves joint pain.

What States Allow CBD In Food ?

Currently, nearly half of the states in the United States, including major states like Florida, Ohio, Texas, and West Virginia, legalize the selling of hemp and CBD food items. California, Hawaii, and Massachusetts are among the states that have introduced legislation to include hemp and CBD in food.

Is CBD Destroyed By Heat ?

When CBD heats up, it starts to evaporate, which can cause the oil’s compounds to break down…. CBD has a boiling point of between 320 and 356 degrees Fahrenheit.