Cooking with CBD is a great way to add the ingredient to your morning, afternoon or evening — depending on what works best for you. In the morning, I love to add it to my lattes. For afternoon I steer towards treats like raw brownie or pistachio tahini bites, and in the evenings, I’ll have it in something savoury like a bowl topped with CBD chimichurri or in a drink of some kind, either a cocktail or a herbal tea.
Does it really work?
CBD can be subtle. With something like pain reduction, I think it has a cumulative effect, but you really notice it, whereas for something like anxiety, the effects can be a bit gentler. I think it can be as simple as realising you just feel generally better or are aware of an absence of symptoms, like the feeling of a knot in your stomach.
What does it taste like?
It tastes like marijuana smells. For those unfamiliar, it’s a strong herbal scent and flavour, which isn’t appealing to a lot of people. That’s why I try to find ways to blend it into recipes so you can enjoy the benefits without noticing the strong taste. That being said, I’ve found some brands to be more floral and naturally pleasant tasting than others. Some oils have flavours added — like mint chocolate — for the same reason.
Does CBD-infused food taste the way it smells?
If you do it right, no. The smell and flavour can be quite strong but keeping the dose on the small side (one dropper-full can go a long way) and finding complementary or bolder flavours to accompany it really help. I love it blended with other herbs (mint, basil, and parsley are favourites) and chocolate.
So, CBD comes from the same plant as weed—does it get you stoned?
No, it definitely doesn’t. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main chemical compound that gets you high or stoned. CBD will contain some trace amounts of THC, which actually help the CBD work more effectively in the body, but the amounts are so small — less than 0.3% — that they have no psychoactive effect.
What should you look for when buying CBD oil to cook with?
I’m seeing more and more health and supplement shops selling it, but online offers the most options. The things I look for are:
- A full-spectrum whole hemp oil, meaning they use the whole plant in the process of making the oil, so you receive the maximum benefits.
- A grower that’s transparent about exactly how many milligrams of CBD there are in each bottle, and their growing practices. The more information they provide, the better.
- Brands that use organic growing practices, although there is no official regulation for this at the moment, so it can be tricky territory. And if you’re cooking with it, don’t buy CBD with any flavourings added.
What’s a good starter recipe to try?
Pick a simple recipe that just serves one or two and seems like something you’d enjoy. A couple of my favourites are the CBD hot cacao and a pineapple and mint smoothie, which are both in my book. If you’re concerned about dosage, start small and see how your body reacts.
Can you overdose on it?
I’ve personally never had that experience, but I have heard from friends who have — which either led to feeling over-tired or having an upset stomach. I try to follow three simple rules when eating CBD food: buy good quality CBD oil, start with a small dosage, and listen to your body.
Keen to give CBD recipes a try? Here are four of our favourites from Leah’s book to try…