As CBD grows in popularity and more states legalize its use, experts are beginning to develop strategies for how to use it more effectively and safely in cooking.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a chemical compound that naturally occurs in the cannabis plant. CBD is quickly gaining popularity for its health benefits, and unlike marijuana, it does not produce a high and has not been found to be addictive. CBD can be found popping up everywhere, and even though the supplement is not regulated by The Food and Drug Administration, CBD is considered safe to cook with.
For the best results when cooking with CBD there are a few important things to remember. Always use high-quality CBD oil from a reputable manufacturer. CBD oils made by low-quality manufacturers or ingredients can be unreliable with dosage and purity and could contain traces of pesticides, bacteria, fungi, and other pollutants that should not be ingested. Never place CBD oil over direct heat as it can change its composition and lower its effectiveness. Rather than cooking with CBD oil, it is best to add it to the dish once plated or cooled. Exposure to light and air or storing in a warm room can also reduce the effectiveness of the oil and it should be kept in a dark, cool, and dry place for up to 1 or 2 years.
Mixing CBD oil with other oils or ingredients higher in fat increases the effectiveness. CBD is fat-soluble, meaning it is able to absorb better in the body alongside fats like avocado or coconut oil. Always start with a small amount when cooking with CBD, such as a 5 to 10 milligram dose per serving. More CBD can always be added after assessing its effects, but it is best to start low and go slow. Lastly, use caution when drinking alcohol with a CBD-infused meal and avoid driving.
There is no definitive answer as to whether it is safe to consume CBD and due to the lack of scientific data to support any claims, the FDA does not approve of CBD as a food additive. The FDA’s stance on CBD also means it is illegal to market any food products or dietary supplements with CBD. The only CBD product for oral consumption that is approved by the FDA is a prescription-only drug to treat two rare and serious forms of epilepsy. Though CBD is often well-tolerated, there can be side effects as well as risks when it interacts with other medications.
Even though CBD is a versatile substance that has become highly sought after, it is not legal in every state. Be sure to know any local laws before cooking with CBD. While CBD appears to be generally safe, it is always a good idea to talk to a doctor before enjoying a CBD-infused meal.