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

By: T.J. Anania | Updated March 9, 2022

Let me just preface this post by saying that I am biased when it comes to CBD edibles. A good edible may be my favorite way of taking CBD for a number of reasons. 

CBD edibles: 

  • Are more accessible than other ingestion methods
  • Last longer than any other ingestion method
  • When prepared properly, they taste absolutely amazing 

As someone who’s been making and perfecting their own recipes, I wanted to share some tips for making great CBD edibles that I’ve picked up over the years. While not an exhaustive list, hopefully the following list of do’s and don’ts can help you make effective and tasty CBD edibles.

In This Post, We’ll Talk About 

  • What CBD edibles are
  • Decarboxylation
  • Dosing your CBD edibles 
  • Infusing oils with CBD 
  • And more…

What Are CBD Edibles? 

CBD edibles are snacks, gums, sugars, beverages, or any food that’s been infused with CBD. They can be formulated differently depending on what experience the manufacturer is trying to offer. For example, Sunset Lake CBD offers coffee beans infused with CBD meant to curb the morning jitters common with caffeine consumption. We also sell full-spectrum CBD Fudge that’s a great before-bed treat.

CBD edibles are different than your average recreational cannabis edibles. CBD edibles that you can buy online usually won’t contain significant amounts of THC— to be considered compliant with the 2018 Farm Bill, CBD edibles must contain less than 0.3% delta-9 THC on a weighted basis. 

Many CBD edibles don’t contain any THC, meaning they are made with CBD isolate— a form of purified CBD. Our CBD Sour Gummy Bears are one such example.

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

Don’t Fly Blind

So you have some CBD Hemp Flower and want to make some CBD edibles? How much flower should you use for your oil infusion? How much oil should you use? 

Because edible CBD is metabolized differently than when you smoke it or topically apply it, it’s important to be as precise with your CBD dosages as possible. Unless you’re a seasoned CBD edible user, don’t fly blind.

Do Use a Dosing Calculator for Your CBD Edibles

Making accurately dosed CBD edibles takes a bit of math and plugging in numbers. Luckily, the good folks over at Veriheal.com have created this free-to-use edible dosage calculator that can do most of the heavy lifting for us. 

You’ll need a few things: 

Learn more about how to read your COA here 

Using the certificate of analysis, you can figure out your flower’s CBD% and THC% and plug those directly into your edible dosage calculator. You’ll also want to convert the amount of fat (butter, oil, etc.) in your recipe from whatever measurement is given in the recipe to teaspoons, as that’s the unit of measurement our edible calculator uses. 

Once you know how much fat (in teaspoons) is called for in your recipe, the number of servings your recipe will make, and how much CBD per teaspoon your flower yields, it’s up to you to determine how many grams of CBD hemp flower you’ll want to use for infusion.  

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

Don’t Put Hemp Flower Directly into your CBD Edibles

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 shake in some brownies… what could go wrong?“

Throwing ground-up CBD hemp flower directly into your edibles isn’t the worst mistake, but it could cause your edibles to be less potent and have an unpleasant texture.

Do Decarboxylate Your Hemp

The secret to great homemade CBD edibles is the activation of CBDa (cannabidiolic acid) and infusion of CBD into a fat, like unsalted butter or coconut oil.

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.

This is the most important step when making CBD edibles. If we don’t decarb our CBD hemp flower before infusion, our edibles won’t have any effect. 

A chart of cannabinoids and their decarboxylation and boiling points

Decarbing your hemp flower for CBD edibles: step by step. 

  1. Preheat your oven to 230 degrees F
  2. Prepare a clean roasting pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper to make cleanup easier. 
  3. Spread out your CBD flower evenly in the roasting pan. 
  4. Cover the pan with tinfoil (not necessary, but helps cut down on smell and keeps the good terpenes in)
  5. Bake at 230F for one hour. (Warning: this step is quite pungent. Turn on your overhead exhaust— especially if you live in a shared space.)
  6. Don’t uncover the pan until it’s cool. 
  7. Remove your CBD flower from the pan and pulverize it until it is an even brown shake. This can be done with a traditional grinder or a mortar and pestle. 
  8. Your hemp flower is ready for infusion

Do Use High-Quality Fats for CBD Edibles Infusion

Using better ingredients means better food. The same is true for CBD edibles. If you want your  CBD edibles to be effective and taste good, you should use high-quality fats like coconut oil, or butter from grass-fed cows. 

CBD (and most other cannabinoids) are fat-soluble. Not all fats are made the same. Some are better at “latching” onto CBD than others. 

The best fats to infuse with CBD are:

  • Butter – 93% infusion rate
  • Avocado oil- 92% 
  • MCT (Medium-Chain Triglyceride) oil – 91%
  • Coconut oil- 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 by-the-book fat infusion, I tried to use my CBD butter in a recipe that called for baking at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. What a tragic result. 

At temperatures over 356F, CBD boils off causing your CBD edibles to become less effective. 

You’ll want to stick with recipes that call for baking at 350 degrees or lower in order to protect the integrity of your CBD.

Don’t Eat Your CBD Edibles On an Empty Stomach 

You’ll be tempted to dig into your CBD edibles once they’re done. By all means, do, but make sure that you’re eating some non-infused CBD food either before or while you eat your CBD edibles. 

CBD edibles, and cannabis-infused foods in general, work better and are more pleasant when you eat them after a meal.

Do Wait for Your CBD Edibles to Kick In

Because edible CBD is metabolized and digested at a different pace than other ingestion methods, you may not notice them kick in right away. Generally, the average CBD edible consumer will start to feel the effects anywhere between 45-120 minutes. 

CBD edibles 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 pace yourself.

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 CBD hemp flower small buds. At a fraction of the price of our premium jarred flower, the small buds are perfect for bakers and chefs alike who are thinking about making their own CBD edibles.

Image Source: https://www.fortunahemp.com/hemp-decarboxylation-what-it-is-why-its-important