Maybe you're a seasoned user of CBD wanting to widen your use of CBD into the cooking realm, or perhaps you want to try out CBD, and you think cooking with CBD is a good introduction.
For both these scenarios and those in between, we are going to explain what you need to know to effectively cook with CBD! Why? Maybe the better question is, why not?!
What Is CBD?
Rookies to CBD keep reading because, in this section, we will break down the seemingly complex world of CBD, the endocannabinoid system, and phytocannabinoids.
When searching the internet or even going to your local grocery store, you're likely to come across more brands and types of CBD products than you even knew existed. Once you start looking for and paying attention, you'll realize that CBD is everywhere! This is because CBD derived from the industrial hemp plant has recently become legal to sell in the US.
How recent? The legalization of Industrial hemp occurred with the 2018 passage of the Farm Bill. Since this time, manufacturers have scrambled to take advantage of this new market, with some manufactures producing higher-quality CBD products than others.
CBD is an abbreviation for cannabidiol, one of more than a hundred phytocannabinoids that can be pulled out of the hemp plant. This compound was discovered before the middle part of the 20th century, yet it remained relatively unknown to the general public until recently. This happened in part due to legal restrictions surrounding the hemp plant and partly due to the lack of knowledge of the body's endocannabinoid system, which wasn't discovered until the 1990s. Although CBD is only one of more than 100 cannabinoids, it accounts for more than 40% of the plant's total cannabinoids.
The endocannabinoid system describes cannabinoid receptors such as CB1 located in the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system, CNS) and CB2 receptors located outside the CNS, as well as the chemicals produced by the human body that interact with these receptors. Certain cannabinoids prefer to attach to specific receptors, which is why some cannabinoids produce different effects than others.
Thus far, the research on cannabidiol is promising. However, there is one thing to keep in mind. While many people claim that CBD products can produce various effects, the reality is that research is just beginning, and definitive claims can't be made right now regarding CBD.
Types of CBD Products
We already talked about how important it is to choose a CBD manufacturer who puts in the extra time and effort to produce a CBD product with high concentrations of cannabinoids and who utilize industry best practice standards, such as Penguin CBD oil, but what about the different kinds of CBD products? We will briefly talk about the three major categories of CBD products and then go into the best CBD products specific for cooking!
There are three primary categories of CBD products commonly encountered, which include CBD isolate, broad-spectrum CBD, and full-spectrum CBD. A CBD isolate product describes a product that contains no other cannabinoids other than cannabidiol (CBD). When looking at a broad-spectrum product, you'll find that this product has CBD, other cannabinoids, and terpenes, minus delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
As you can probably guess, the reference to isolate, broad-spectrum, and full-spectrum describes the cannabinoid content of the product. So, naturally, a full-spectrum CBD product will contain all the phytocannabinoids found in the industrial hemp plant, including THC. However, even in full-spectrum products, the THC content is limited to 0.3% or less by law.
We're taking the time to explain the different CBD categories, because there is a theory that has some research to back it up that describes the ability of cannabinoids to enhance the effects of other cannabinoids, sometimes referred to as the "entourage effect." The entourage effect also describes the property of combined cannabinoids to produce new effects that are not seen when cannabinoids are used in isolation.
With this perspective in mind, THC is not necessarily the bad guy in CBD products, but can be a useful player on the championship cannabinoid team. Taking this analogy a step farther, no member of a unified team can get such a big ego that it loses sight of the other players' strengths, just like taking too large a dose of THC can cause adverse effects.
So assemble the team that is right for your needs. Some prefer to have THC on their team (full-spectrum), while others choose to leave it out while still achieving the desired "entourage effect" (broad-spectrum).
CBD products come in many forms, including CBD tinctures, creams, gummies, cooking oils, and more. Consumers of CBD have the ability to choose a CBD product specific to their desires and goals. Although CBD products come in many forms, not all products use the same extraction, production, or testing methods, which means different grades of CBD products are available.
If you’re just quickly wanting to find a high-quality, transparent CBD company then look no further. Not to toot our own horn too much, but here at Penguin we strive to produce not only the highest quality CBD oil for sale, but also CBD gummies, CBD creams, and other products as well.
There are three primary methods for extracting cannabinoids from the cannabis plant: steam distillation, solvent extraction, and CO2 extraction. While there are pros and cons to all the methods, it’s sufficient to say that CO2 extraction is by far the best method, although it's also the most expensive to the manufacturer. You can read each of these methods in detail in this article!
When selecting a CBD product, you'll also want to make sure that the company's third-party laboratory tests its products to ensure purity and consistent potency. This is especially important for individuals who are drug tested for their job, so they are not consuming enough THC to test positive.
Transparency is a key sign that you're dealing with a CBD company that knows what they are doing. Often you can get your hands on the laboratory report for your specific batch; some companies even put a QR code that is linked to the batch laboratory report.
Selecting a CBD company that utilizes an independent laboratory to test their products should give you a little extra piece of mind, as there the results reported are more likely to be accurate and reflective of the actual dose content of the product.
Tips for Using CBD While Cooking
Now to the main topic of this article, how to cook with CBD oil. There are a few things you're going to need to keep in mind while cooking with CBD oil, which you'll be able to look back on in this section in case you forget.
The first step in cooking with CBD is to select a CBD product. If you're not actually planning on cooking or heating the CBD and food together, such as you may do with making a salad or putting into a smoothie, then using a CBD tincture is acceptable. No need to go purchase a special kind of product for cold applications, but when actually cooking food with CBD, you'll need to look for a product made specifically for this purpose.
Products made specifically for cooking often have an olive oil base, which makes sense when you realize that olive oil is often used as a cooking oil. There are other bases for the CBD when it comes to cooking, such as sesame, but olive is probably the most common you're going to encounter.
Temperature is another extremely important consideration you'll need to think about when cooking with CBD. We don't want either to change the chemical structure of CBD or burn off the CBD, both of which can happen with high cooking temperatures. We generally recommend using a CBD with an olive oil base not to cook food in temperatures above 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Why this specific temperature?
This is the temperature at which olive oil starts to rapidly breakdown and smoke, which can flavor your food in undesirable ways. This point is called the smoke point, and every oil has one, so if you're using a CBD cooking product with a base other than olive oil, you'll need to look up the smoking point.
An alternative method to preserve CBD concentration is to add the CBD-containing product later in the cooking process after the food has been heated. This method may be best if your goal is to get as much CBD into your body as possible while eating your meal. If a salad or potato is part of your meal, you can always add the CBD cooking oil onto these products after being cooked.
You'll also want to remember that CBD and other cannabinoids are fat-soluble, meaning that they like being combined with other fats, and you'll get the best absorption into your system by combining CBD with fat. This generally is not a problem as CBD cooking oils have a base of some kind of fat. We only mention this for those out there who are not looking to purchase a CBD product made explicitly for cooking.
Since you're combining the CBD with food, the effects you expect to feel from the CBD may take longer to become apparent than other ingestion methods, such as dosing CBD under the tongue. This is because CBD combined with food has to pass through your mouth, down your esophagus, into and out of your stomach, and into your small intestines before it's able to be absorbed into your bloodstream.
Conversely, the sublingual administration of CBD can, at least in part, directly enter the bloodstream and simultaneously bypass the 1st round of metabolism by the liver. This means CBD reaches receptors quickly and in high doses.
A Few More Tips
If you're worried about how to know the dose of CBD you're ingesting, the manufacturer typically includes the mg concentration of CBD per ml of CBD cooking product. Remember what we talked about above concerning progressive, gradual increases in dosing. When new to a CBD product, always recommended to “start low and go slow.”
Those who have not used CBD products in the past, or have recently switched from a different strength or brand, would be wise to start at the lowest recommended dose by the manufacturer and slowly increase the dose as needed until the desired effect is reached.
You'll also want to consider the other ingredients that may be combined as part of the CBD product you're using. Some CBD oils use sesame seed oil or olive oil as a carrier base for the CBD, which can be a serious source of concern for those allergic to sesame or olives. So always make you know exactly what you're putting into your body.