By John MacNeil, Zenabis Corporate Red Seal Chef
THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, has had the spotlight for many years in the cannabis space for producing the effects that are commonly associated with cannabis use. However, it’s counterpart, CBD, or cannabidiol, is another of many effective cannabinoids commonly found in cannabis strains available today. CBD is helping break the stigma of cannabis use and is becoming a household name.
Dosing with CBD edibles is different for everyone, as with all cannabinoids, it reacts to everyone’s body chemistry differently. A microdose or starting dose of a CBD product can be higher than for a THC infused product. Take the time to research which strains are right for you.
Cooking with CBD strains is very similar to cooking with THC strains. I find that many CBD strains have very fruity and berry aromas, often producing large, semi-dense, and resinous flowers that are marvellous to look at under a microscope or magnifying viewer.
I like to hand grind cannabis to preserve the trichomes and use a mesh sieve to catch any falling trichomes that I could use at a later date. Once the cannabis is ground, it’s time to decarboxylate. CBD decarboxylation occurs at a slightly higher temperature compared to THC, but I still like to decarboxylate at the 200-220 °F temperature mark so that I don’t lose too many of the terpenes. Depending on the moisture content of the cannabis, I then gently roast for 20-45 min.
Once the decarboxylation is complete you can infuse the CBD-rich cannabis in whichever fat medium you would like to use for your recipe. I chose to use high quality coconut based MCT oil. Along with the MCT oil and decarboxylated cannabis, I will also add goji berries (also known as the wolf berry in many markets and ranked high on the natural super food list). The fruity aroma of the berries serves as an excellent complement to high-CBD strains that already have a subtle berry aroma.
After the infusion is strained, reserve the remaining oil in a bottle with a label including the contents of the bottle, the date it was made, and the strain used. The strained oil will remain liquid at room temperature and can be easily dropped onto food or into an existing fat medium in a new recipe.
For the recipe below I made a strawberry tres leches cake, with rhubarb confit and CBD MCT oil. I absolutely love this cake: it’s soft and light, and has a richness that blends well with the fruity undertones of the infused CBD oil.
Strawberry Tres Leches Cake – Makes 4 pieces of infused cake with 10mg CBD and 2.5mg THC in each*
For the rhubarb confit you will need:
1 tsp infused MCT oil with 40mg CBD and 10mg THC*
3-4 stalks of rhubarb
½ cup sugar
Pinch of salt
Wash rhubarb and slice into ¼ in pieces, toss with sugar and place in pan on medium to low heat. You want the rhubarb to gently cook while the juices start to come out. Cook until they’re the consistency of maple syrup. Mix 1 tsp infused MCT oil at least 2 min before taking it off the heat.
For the strawberry cream you will need:
1 cup chopped strawberries
¾ cup heavy cream
4 tbsp condensed milk
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ cup skim milk
Place the heavy cream, condensed milk, skim milk, and strawberries in a blender and blend on high speed for 10 seconds or until all strawberries are puréed.
For the cake you will need:
3 eggs separated
½ cup white sugar
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
*Cannabis doses vary based on personal preference. This dose is not a recommendation on behalf of Zenabis. For more information on dosing, remember to “start low and go slow” and reference Health Canada for guidance.