If the first thing prehistoric humans did when they discovered some bud was rolling it into some other leaves and smoking it, they probably followed it up by trying to cook with them soon after. Edibles are an age-old concept and their modern equivalents need no introduction. Hash and weed brownies, chocolates and other desserts are a hallmark of stoner culture, and in many states you can find readymade versions of these in marijuana dispensaries.

But what if you’re looking for something more specific than just blanket hash or weed. What if you don’t want all the different cannabinoids contained in the whole plant, and just want to try out an individual cannabinoid to see how it feels. THC, the best known of the cannabinoids, and the one that gets you high, has commonly been utilized in oils and tinctures to add a little pep in your step. CBD, its younger, non-intoxicating brother, is not one to fall behind, and has earned itself quite the following, especially in recent years. Known for their miraculous healing properties and potential for therapeutic use, CBD oils and tinctureshave rapidly proliferated the market.

But the question still stands. Can you infuse CBD into your drinks and meals? If so, then what can you make? Let’s dive right in and take a look.

How it works

To start off, yes, you can easily add CBD to food and drinks. As for how, well that depends on what you’re adding it to, and what form it’s in.

CBD Breakfast

Let’s start off with the simplest example first. Let’s say you want to add CBD to something that doesn’t involve any heat in its preparation, like butter and toast, or something else along those lines. All you have to do is prepare your regular breakfast and drop a few droplets of your oil or tincture onto your toast once you’ve applied the butter. You could even add in jam later but we wouldn’t recommend adding it before. This has to do with a certain property that applies to drugs, known as bioavailability. Bioavailability determines how much of a particular dose is available to the body for use, and how quickly it becomes available. When ingested high-fat substances like butter or sunflower oil, the bioavailability of CBD increases by several times. What this means is, if you take your CBD with your butter, not only will you experience your dose quicker, but your dose will actually be more potent.

CBD Smoothies and cocktails

Now let’s get to something cold. CBD is a great addition to your smoothies, cocktails and desserts. Depending on the form in which it’s added to your drink, CBD may either float or dissolve in your alcohol-based drink. CBD tinctures will react with the alcohol in your drink and add to the taste, while CBD oil from a dropper will just float around and be otherwise separable from your drink. Other than alcohol, CBD works very well with cold-brews and helps with the adverse effects of caffeination. If you’re sensitive to stimulants (like caffeine) you should definitely try mixing in some CBD; you’ll find yourself relaxed and jitter-free, but energized all the same.

CBD Brownies and Cookies

But what if you want to do something a little more typical, and get to making some brownies or cookies. Before you go adding some oil to your batter, hold up. Whereas this would be a perfectly fine way to make edibles with a plant, chemical extracts don’t work that way. If you added CBD oil to your batter before you baked it, all of the oil would evaporate during the baking process, and you’d find yourself eating just regular old brownies. CBD oil evaporates at around 150°C, so you’d probably be best off only adding it to dishes that will stay well below that. Instead of adding them at the beginning, you’re better off adding it right at the end, perhaps as part of your frosting, or just as a plain drizzle over your dish. Sure it’s not too elegant, but it’ll get the job done.

CBD Tea and Coffee

You can also infuse CBD into your tea or coffee. Remember what we said about the boiling point of CBD? Well, if you remember your middle school science classes, you’ll know that it’s distinguishably higher than the boiling point of water. What this means is that you can prepare your CBD tea without concern for wasting your precious cannabis extract. We wouldn’t recommend using CBD oil because it isn’t soluble with water, and will just float in your tea or coffee – not much of an infusion. Instead try some water-soluble CBD. If you add in some high-fat milk, you can even boost bioavailability, and get more out of your dose.

That’s only a few ways to infuse CBD into your dishes, and we’d encourage you to try out your own recipes and share them as you learn. As with all other forms of cooking, you’re only slightly limited by science, and mostly limited only by your imagination. We can’t wait to see what you’ll come up with. Enjoy your meal!

LA Weekly