The Do’s and Don’ts of making CBD Edibles

By: T.J. Anania

Let me just preface this post by saying that I am biased when it comes to CBD edibles. I think they may be my favorite way of ingesting CBD for a number of reasons— edibles are the most accessible CBD ingestion method, their effects last longer than any other method, and when done right they taste absolutely amazing. 

That said, as someone who’s been making and perfecting their own CBD edible recipes for some time, I wanted to share some do’s and don’ts that I’ve learned over time. Hopefully they can help you make effective (and tasty) CBD edibles.

But first….

What Are CBD Edibles? 

CBD edibles are treats, gums, or sugars that are infused with CBD extract. CBD edibles can be formulated in a number of ways depending on what experience the manufacturer is trying to offer. For example, Sunset Lake sells coffee beans infused with CBD and we also sell CBD-infused fudge that’s great just before bed. 

CBD edibles can also be made with or without the trace amounts of THC present in whole-plant extract.

Now, for the tips!

Don’t Fly Blind

So you have some hemp flower or some shake and you want to make CBD edibles? How much should you use? 

Because ingested CBD is metabolized differently than when smoked or topically applied, it’s important to be as precise as possible. Unless you’re a seasoned CBD edible user and have perfected your own batches, don’t fly blind. 

A word of caution: as mentioned, CBD edibles do take longer to kick in. They also don’t stop kicking in for quite some time. So unless you want to end up taking a three-hour nap, it’s important to heed this and the next tip!

Do Use a Dosing Calculator for Your CBD Edibles

This process takes a bit of math and plugging in numbers. You’ll need the certificate of analysis that came with your CBD for the potency and a small kitchen scale. 

Use the certificate of analysis’s potency numbers with this free dosage calculator. After that, choosing the amount of flower to determine the dosage of your CBD edibles is entirely up to you.

Learn more about reading your CoA here

We, at Sunset Lake CBD, always recommend starting with a 25mg dose of CBD. That includes CBD edibles. Play around with the calculator until you find the sweet spot.

Do Decarboxylate Your Hemp

Decarboxylation, or decarb for short, is the process in which CBDa (cannabidiolic acid) loses its carboxyl acid group through heat and becomes CBD. This process is perhaps the most important when making CBD edibles. Without ‘decarbed’ CBD, our edibles won’t have any effect.

Read more about how to decarb your hemp here

Hemp decarb temperature chart
Chart Source:

How to decarb your flower for CBD edibles- a quick and dirty guide:

  • Preheat your oven to 240 degrees F
  • In a clean roasting pan, spread out hemp buds/trim evenly and in a single layer
  • Cover the pan with tinfoil (not necessary, but helps cut down on smell and keeps the good terpenes in)
  • Bake for one hour
    • Warning: this part is quite pungent. Turn on your overhead exhaust— especially if you live in a shared space. 
  • Don’t uncover the pan until cool. 
  • Pulverize, in an herb grinder or mortar and pestle, until your flower is evenly ground up. 
  • Your hemp flower is ready for infusion

Don’t Throw Hemp Directly into Your CBD edibles

Warning: definitely don’t do this unless you want to end up with a less-than-stellar-tasting finished product.

My rookie mistake, I’m not ashamed to admit. One might think that you can treat your hemp flower like any other ingredient during the cooking process. “A little hemp shake in some brownies… what could go wrong?“

As we’ll learn, the secret to good CBD edibles is the infusion of the cannabinoids into a fat, like unsalted butter or raw coconut oil.

Do Use High-Quality Fats for CBD Edibles Infusion

Better ingredients lead to better dishes, right? The same is true for CBD edibles. Using higher-quality fats like coconut oil or butter from grass-fed cows is the way to go. 

Not only will it lead to tastier products, but they will also latch on to the CBD at a better rate than regular old olive oil. This better latching rate will make your CBD edibles stronger.

The best infusion oils are:

  • Butter – 93% infusion rate
  • Avocado – 92% 
  • MCT (Medium-Chain Triglyceride) – 91%
  • Coconut – 82%

Some of the above oils taste better than others in certain dishes. Plan accordingly!

Don’t Burn the CBD

I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve done this before either. After a textbook infusion, I tried to use my CBD butter in a recipe that called for a 400-degree oven. What a tragic result. 

At temperatures this high, CBD and other cannabinoids can boil off and vaporize leaving your CBD edibles ineffective. You’ll want to stick with recipes that call for 350 degrees or lower and protect the integrity of your CBD.

Do Share Your CBD Edibles

Not much of a tip. But definitely do this!

Time to make your own CBD edibles

While you’re here, check out Sunset Lake’s selection of small buds. At a fraction of the price of our premium jarred flower, these buds are perfect for bakers and chefs alike who are thinking about making their own CBD edibles.