Just when you thought eating couldn't get any more relaxing... 

By Betty Gold
Updated: July 08, 2019

CBD oil is unquestionably the most buzz-worthy ingredient right now. It comes with a laundry list of promising purported health benefits—from reduced anxiety to help with nausea, inflammation, and insomnia—that have everyone wondering whether it’s time to jump on the CBD bandwagon.

But first, what is CBD oil? It’s one of the many naturally-occurring chemical compounds present in the flowers and leaves of cannabis plants, found in both marijuana and industrial hemp. Unlike THC (the psychoactive element of cannabis), CBD cannot get you high, no matter how much you take.

CBD exists in endless creams, balms, and beauty products, but the most popular way to using the product is by consuming the oil itself. Food and drink products galore—from sparkling water to gummy bears to luxury oil droppers called tinctures—exist on the market today, and rest assured that tomorrow will bring at least a dozen more.

Though we still need more comprehensive research on the effectiveness of CBD oil, the World Health Organization has reported that “CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.” And while it’s easy enough to drizzle CBD directly into your mouth or nibble on some sweet treats that contain it, more and more consumers are choosing to incorporate CBD into foods on their own. If you’re in that camp but feel unsure how to start cooking with CBD oil, read these tips from industry expert Eric Hara, the executive chef and co-founder of CBD brand La Vida Verde.

Use fat

Keep in mind that cannabinoids bind well with fat, so CBD needs to be infused into a fat or oil-based ingredient like butter, ghee, or coconut oil in order to increase bio-availability and receive the full benefits of the compound.

Avoid heat

When cooking with CBD, be careful when it comes to applying heat as excessive temperatures can cause it to evaporate and lose potency. This is one reason why many people love using CBD oil as a finishing touch on meals—try drizzling the oil over avocado toast, pizza, eggs, or mixing it into pesto.

Try savory

You'll often find CBD-infused sweets and baked goods because it’s generally easier to cover up the inherent bitterness of lower-quality CBD with sugar or chocolate. However, a high-quality CBD oil is perfect for use in savory dishes. CBD oil works great in salad dressing; you can also add it to soups and pasta sauces.

Control your dose

CBD is the non-psychoactive component of the cannabis plant and will not product any of the "high" associated with THC. However, you should still be careful to dose CBD appropriately so you're getting your desired effect. Start with a low dose to see how you respond. Remember: less is more, especially when you’re starting out.

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