CBD is the abbreviation for cannabidiol, one of over 100 natural, active compounds found in Cannabis Sativa L plants. Found in industrial hemp and marijuana, CBD does not have the psychoactive effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
The oil has grown in popularity due to its wellness and medicinal benefits. CBD oil in baked goods runs the gamut from brownies to doughnuts, muffins to cakes. It is not yet approved by the FDA for commercial production of food products. 1 Commercially-available forms include:
- Full spectrum crude oil (less refined, contains minor cannabinoids and terpenes)
- Broad spectrum
- Pure CBD crystals and isolates (most refined, does not contain beneficial minor cannabinoids and terpenes)
- Water soluble CBD (generally through nano-emulsion technologies)
Cannabis sativa L plant is considered an ancient crop which was cultivated for medicinal applications in China over 4500 years ago. Its usage declined throughout the years. However, it was revived in the late 20th Century. CBD oil was isolated for the first time in 1940 and characterized structurally in 1963. Its commercialization began in recent years with the prevalence of studies on its potential therapeutic benefits. 2
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized industrial hemp in the United States so long as THC levels remained 0.3% or less. With the worry of any psychoactive high set aside, industrial hemp has become an ideal source for CBD and a host of additional “minor cannabinoids” like CBG, CBN and more. These are rapidly gaining interest in baked goods. However, despite industrial hemp being legal to grow and CBD being legal in topical products, it is not yet approved by the FDA for commercial production of food products. 1
Function and Physicochemical Properties
CBD oil is used in foods, beverages and baked goods as a supplement with potential therapeutic effects. In more natural and less refined full spectrum form, it imparts rich green and robust flavor notes. However, if it’s used at high levels, it tends to distort or mask the flavor of baked goods. 1,3
The oil is fairly unstable and tends to oxidize if treated at temperatures higher than its boiling point, i.e. 160-180°C (320-356°F). Considering the small amounts added to a given formula, CBD should be pre-dissolved in the fat portion of baked products. Isolated CBD crystals are the easiest to dissolve in oils and butter. However, they do lose some of the whole plant benefits often called “entourage effect” when CBD is isolated and not left in full or broad spectrum forms that contain minor cannabinoids and terpenes.
CBD is known for its calming, pain relief and anti-inflammatory properties without the psychoactive effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). 1 THC is the psychoactive component in marijuana that can get you “high,” while CBD found in industrial hemp does not.
The two main components of it are cannabidiol and beta-caryophyllene (BCP) with small quantities of phytocannabinoids and terpenoids. Claimed therapeutic properties range from antiepileptic, antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic, antidepressant and addiction management. 1,3
Bioavailability of CBD oil is best when delivered via a fat based medium and with food, and in newer water soluble formulations made possible with nano-emulsion technology.
Commercial production 4
CBD oil is obtained commercially following these steps:
- Crushing: dried industrial hemp flower is crushed into a fine powder
- Extraction: using supercritical CO2 or ethanol as a solvent
- Winterization: mixing oil extracts with alcohol and freezing
- Filtration: removing of undesirable fractions
- Evaporation: heating the oil-alcohol mixture to remove and recuperate the alcohol.
- Distillation: crude oil is distilled to remove unwanted compounds and retain high oil purity
Few considerations should be kept in mind when formulating bakery products with CBD oil:
- Source: purchase from a reliable source and the purity must be known.
- Fat medium: it is fat soluble and should be mixed with the lipid components of the formula such as oil, butter or ghee. In some recipes, the fat medium may be substituted by a liquor like rum or vodka.
- Temperature: due to its heat sensitivity, this oil may be added after cooking to avoid oxidizing it.
- Serving size: it is important to accurately calculate the serving size and CBD oil dosing.
For successful baking with CBD oil, it is important to start with small doses to see the effect on the consumer. Incremental increases should be small and continuously monitored.
A general guideline for CBD oil dosing in baked goods:
|Baked good||Dosing / Serving||Level|
|Carrot Cake||8-17 mg||Medium|
|Cinnamon Donuts||25-42 mg||High|
CBD oil used as a food additive or supplement is not yet approved by the FDA. Its usage is only approved as a drug for treating epilepsy. 6
CBD Olive Oil Recipe, from The Herb Somm
Creating infused olive oil is an essential ingredient for any at-home chef who wants to make elevated cuisine and this CBD, or cannabidiol, olive oil is useful for a variety of recipes. Here’s how to create a CBD olive oil at home using CBD-rich flower. Remember, your dosage numbers will differ depending on the strain and source that you use, so be sure to calculate the CBD milligrams per serving beforehand. Do your best to make an accurate estimate, always use measuring spoons to dose, and always conservatively sample each batch before serving to others.
For this recipe, you are going to use the stove top method for infusion. Once you master this technique, you can easily infuse other essential pantry items such as butter, coconut oil, avocado oil and more. With these ingredients, you can explore other recipes featured in The Ultimate Guide to CBD: Explore the World of Cannabidiol (Fair Winds Press) which debuts in March 2020.
This recipe will yield 28 milligrams of CBD per tablespoon of oil.
A note about cannabis decarboxylation
In order to unlock the full potential of CBD, you must decarboxylate your dry cannabis flower before integrating it into a recipe. Decarboxylation is a heating process that triggers the chemical reaction that releases the carboxylic acids from CBD. In other words, you are converting CBDA to CBD.
While there are many decarboxylation methods, activation is achieved by exposing dry cannabis to heat between 240–295˚F for 20 to 60 minutes. Heat for a shorter time at higher temperatures or for a longer time at lower temperatures between this range. For example, if you’re using a higher temperature (between 275˚F and 295˚F), bake for 20 minutes max and be careful not to overcook. Overheating can degrade cannabinoids and terpenes.
For the purposes of this recipe, we are going to use a decarboxylation technique from cannabis chef Coreen Carroll, co-founder of the Cannaisseur Series.
- 3½ grams CBD-rich decarboxylated cannabis flower
- 1 cup olive oil
Heat oven to 275˚F. Line baking sheet with tinfoil. Break up dry flower into pea-sized pieces with fingers or scissors and spread cannabis evenly onto baking sheet. Place baking sheet in oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
In sterilized 16-ounce Mason jar, combine cannabis flower and olive oil. Seal tightly.
Fill small saucepan with 3-inches water. Place Mason jar in pan and heat on low. Using candy thermometer, bring to gentle boil at 200˚F for 2½ to 3 hours. Make sure water does not exceed 211°F. Add water to saucepan as needed to compensate for evaporation. When finished, remove Mason jar safely with an oven mitt and let cool.
Place cheese cloth in fine-mesh strainer over clean 8-ounce Mason jar. Pour infused olive oil through cheesecloth into jar. Gently press to extract the oil. Avoid squeezing cheesecloth to minimize unattractive chlorophyll flavors.
Store at room temperature in dark cabinet. Makes ¾ cup infused olive oil.