A Guide to Cooking with CBD Flower

A little hemp flower can add a lot of flavor to your food. It'll also provide a host of health benefits, along with the therapeutic effects that CBD is famous for. Some basic preparation and a few simple recipes are all you need, so that's what we'll look at here as we explain how to cook with CBD flower.

Prepare Your Hemp Flowers

Before you do anything, you'll want to make sure you have some proper ventilation and that you live with understanding people. Hemp flowers contain only trace amounts of THC and they won't make you high, but they'll definitely raise suspicion among your housemates/family. 

It might not contain THC, but it smells like cannabis, so you may have a hard time convincing your peers that you're making healthy hemp dishes and not pot brownies.

Once you've got the excuses prepared, it's time to move onto the flowers. Hemp flowers contain cannabinoids in their acidic form, so if you want to turn CBDa into CBD, you'll need to decarboxylate them.

Decarboxylation is a complicated way of saying "adding heat," so you're basically simulating a process that happens naturally when you smoke or vape the flowers. The easiest way to do this is to cook them in an oven that’s set relatively low.

Preheat your oven to 250° F, place some broken pieces of flower on a baking sheet while ensuring that they are spread evenly, and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. They should become brown and dry and may crumble when you rub them between your fingers. 

The decarbing process is now complete and you're ready to start cooking! You may also want to open a few windows, as this is usually when those suspicious smells reach their peak.

Start Cooking

Now that you have some decarbed hemp flowers, you can add them to dishes. They are 100% edible and delicious, imparting some earthy and skunky aromas to your food. 

Depending on the hemp strain and its terpene profile, you may also detect notes of citrus and fuel, although these will be much harder to distinguish than if you were to simply smoke or vape the flowers.

One of the best ways to use these flowers is to combine them with fat. Not only does fat act as a carrier for cannabidiol (CBD) and other cannabinoids, but it also makes them easier to use.

You can make hemp-infused butter by heating a cup of butter with a cup of water and then adding some ground decarbed flowers once the butter has melted. At this point, let the pan simmer on a low heat for at least an hour, making sure all those healthy compounds are infused into the butter.

Use a cheesecloth or strainer over a mason jar to sieve out the plant material and collect the infused butter. You now have your "cannabutter!"

You can do the same with coconut oil and even extra virgin olive oil. 

Best Foods for Cooking with CBD Hemp Flower

Brownies are the go-to treats for CBD edibles, but what if you want something a little healthier? If you have an infusion of olive oil, you can simply grab some chunky bread and use it as a dip. Alternatively, you can use it as cooking oil, although you're not really getting the best of the olive oil or CBD oil if you do that.

Generally, decarbed hemp flowers work well in many savory dishes, in which case it's doing the same job as oregano and other dried herbs. You can even make a hot butter and rum drink using rum, water, cinnamon, and cannabutter.

The idea is to experiment—see what works and what doesn't. Once you have your decarbed flowers or infused fats, you can start adding them to anything you think will work. Remember to start small and don’t overdo it.

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Disclaimer: According to The American Lung Association, inhaling smoke of any kind is considered harmful to the lungs, regardless if it’s coming from cigarettes, hemp flower or campfire.

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