Can You Cook With CBD Oil?

Lots of health benefit claims are made of CBD oil (see Bokh’s post on what non-psychoative, cannabis-derived CBD is). The most popular reason to use the oil is for pain management, a boon to people suffering from arthritis, fibromyalgia and joint pain from trauma. It’s also a popular alternative medicine product said to reduce anxiety and depression, improve sleep quality, and relieve the symptoms of neurological ailments such as epilepsy and movement disorders. In addition, the American Cancer Society supports the claim that CBD oil can slow down the growth of cancer causing cells.

As CBD oil contains a low level of cannabis’s psychoactive compound THC (no more than 0.03% by law) it doesn’t provoke the exhilarating “high” associated with straight cannabis use.

CBD oil is most often taken by mouth, applied on the skin as part of a lotion or inhaled with a vaporizer. There’s some interest in cooking with it. While it’s possible, be aware:  heat, contact with other foods, and exposure to air cause it to degrade, so cooking it loses some of its benefits.

“CBD is regarded as a relatively stable botanical, but it does lose potency over time, as it degrades,” says Dr. Glen Miller, an organic chemist at the University of New Hampshire. “The literature suggests that degradation occurs primarily in three ways, including exposure to acid and exposure to basic/alkaline conditions. But the most likely cause of CBD degradation is oxidation, which occurs upon exposure to oxygen or air, especially at elevated temperatures, but even at room temperature over longer periods of time.”

In other words, you don’t want to mix CBD oil in salad dressing with vinegar or lemon juice, and once you open the bottle, you should refrigerate and use it up soon.

How about baking with CBD oil? Some, especially vendors of CBD-enriched pastries, say that it’s fine to bake it into cookies, which have a shorter cooking time than, say, a cake. But don’t use it to fry anything, as the beneficial cannabinoid elements in it will cook right out.

The truth about CBD oil taste: it’s unpleasant. You may need to hold your nose and close your eyes to swallow it. Are there any alternatives out there? Of course, capsules. And expensive products, like CBD-infused toothpicks, gummy bears or lipstick. You can order them online. But if you suffer from chronic pain, depression, or any of the long list of ailments CBD is said to relieve, your best bet is to buy CBD isolate.

It’s the essence of CBD in powder form. You can dress almost any food with it, as its taste is mild and it dissolves easily. Just use it in foods that don’t need much heat. Some examples: stir it into guacamole; spoon it into a smoothie; mix it into salsa or gravy just before serving. Or you can tincture it into alcohol for efficient, fast relief. Ultimately, CBD isolate saves money, too, as it yields good results using less product.

The Web yields many sites advising how to use CBD oil and isolate, including recipes. Do a quick search, and if you live with chronic pain, physical or mental, you may decide to give CBD a try.

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