You may have seen CBD oil pop up in your Instagram feed, in recipes, on wellness blogs and even in the recent issue of Martha Stewart Living. I’ve noticed CBD touted as an ingredient in beauty products and on fancy cocktail menus. While its popularity is rising, I’ve still been a little confused on what exactly it is.

(Not just me, right?)

I’m wondering, is CBD oil honestly good for you? Does it have psychotropic properties? Is it going to give me the munchies?

Here’s what I learned about CBD oil, cooking, and a few ways to incorporate it into your diet if you want to give it a shot.

Cooking with CBD Oil: Hemp Mint Chocolate Everyday Plus | Charlotte's Web

Charlotte’s Web Hemp Everyday Plus Oil 

CBD Oil: What exactly is it?

• Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the many compounds found in the cannabis plant. It functions very differently from the more well-known psychoactive compound, THC. CBD Oil is derived from both cannabis and hemp.

• When it comes to ingesting CBD, it comes in lots of form including supplements, CBD-infused chocolates like Not Pot (shown above) and flavored cooking oils.

• CBD oil offers the therapeutic benefits of cannabis without getting you wasted because it doesn’t contain THC. (Sorry if that disappoints some of you.) Reported benefits include help with anxiety, depression, stress, inflammation, sore muscles, memory impairment, nausea, and cardiovascular health.

• CBD has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and numerous studies are underway to explore its curative power for conditions like cancer, diabetes, epilepsy, arthritis, fatigue (anyone? anyone?) and more.

• CBD is legal in every state except Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska and South Dakota, but it is not FDA approved – yet.Then again, infant formulas and dietary supplements like probiotics are not FDA approved, while HFCS is. So don’t read into this too much.

Related: A guide to cooking oils: Everything you’ve always wanted to know, but didn’t have time to ask. 


How to cook with CBD oil

Cooking with CBD Oil: Canna-cookie Brownie Bars | Pop Sugar

Canna-cookie Brownie Bars recipe | Pop Sugar

• If you’re considering cooking with CBD oil, or incorporating it into your diet, the simplest way is drop or infuse it into any food that has a fat or liquid. Like salad dressing, pasta sauce, or smoothies. Even your morning tea would work. A drizzle or spoonful may be all it takes, but be sure to read the product label or recipe for exact recommended amount.

• Need a recipe to start with? I’m jonesing for the CBD Canna-Cookie Bars from Jamie Evans of The Herb Somm. Sweet, salty and chocolate-y – I imagine they would be good no matter what you do or don’t add to them.

• For some of the best meal tips, read I Tried Cooking with CBD Oil for a Week at Epicurious. It’s the most real-life account I’ve come across. Joe Sevier describes incorporating CBD oil into everything from smoothies, eggs and salad dressings and his results. Plus, he’s funny and you get to learn from some of his mistakes so you don’t have to repeat them.

4 CBD spiked cocktail recipes from mixologist Maxwell Reis | Goop

TheGuide to CBD Cocktails at Goop is worth a look. I know, cue the eyerolls — but there is some really good info from a LA mixologist Maxwell Reis who is well versed in using CBD oil and offers up four CBD cocktail recipes including variations on a Julep and a Pimms Cup.


CBD Oil: Things to consider

• We are not physicians! If you suffer from chronic pain or other ailments and think CBD oil could help, talk to your doctor first. Also mention if you’re taking other medications should there be any contraindications.

• Adults only, please. While there are many reports of positive effects of CBD oil, almost ALL are reported on adults. Plus, there are some reported side effects like a small (but temporary) drop in blood pressure, lightheadedness, or drowsiness.

• Purchase CBD oil from a reputable source and be sure it’s pure. Some of the concerns surrounding CBD oil aren’t related to health or side effects, but rather its effectiveness.

• If you aren’t sure about cooking with CBD oil, explore pre-made items like chocolate. There are times we are always up for letting someone else do the cooking!