Cooking with calm: using CBD oil in the kitchen

Cooking with calm: using CBD oil in the kitchen
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Colorado Hemp Honey varieties for sale at Gold Care in Greeley. (Emily Kemme)

Josh and Miranda Gutierrez opened their CBD business in early 2017, becoming the first store to sell commercially produced CBD products in Greeley. In 2018, their business, Gold Care, 2015 9th St. in Greeley, started manufacturing hemp CBD products.

Josh got into the business after discovering that CBD helped take away his frequent migraines. But the expense of purchasing the product from a dispensary made him evaluate what other options were available in Colorado.

The state legalized industrial hemp production in 2014 when it legalized recreational marijuana. The hemp plant is marijuana’s non-psychoactive cannabis relative.

With a hemp foods bill signed in May 2018 by Governor John Hickenlooper, Colorado became one of the few states recognizing hemp as a food, food additive or herb for human use or consumption.

Thanks to Colorado’s recognition that hemp is a food, in addition to being used as a dietary supplement, the product can be used to cook with. Shown is a bundle of fresh hemp.

According to GrowHempColorado, Colorado law requires that a product containing “any part of the hemp plant, including naturally occurring cannabinoids, compounds, concentrates, extracts, isolates, resins or derivatives” must contain no more than a .3% concentration of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC, the property of marijuana that creates the high.

And last December, the federal government passed the 2018 Hemp Bill, formally removing industrial hemp from the list of controlled substances under the 1970 Controlled Substances Act. Until then, industrial hemp had been illegal to grow since 1939. It is now legalized at the federal level, although state laws vary on legality of CBD.

Thanks to Colorado’s recognition that hemp is a food, in addition to being used as a dietary supplement, the product can be used to cook with.

The Gutierrez’ commercial kitchen at Gold Care is licensed and certified by the Colorado Department of Public Health. And while you can purchase a honey stick containing 15 mg of full spectrum hemp extract for $1.50, or a jar of Colorado Hemp Honey for $30, Gold Care can cook up a customized product with a higher concentration made from isolates in powder form from hemp grown on a Colorado farm.

Gold Care’s licensed commercial kitchen enables the Gutierrez’s to manufacture custom hemp CBD products, including these zero-THC gummy bears. (Emily Kemme)

Gold Care also makes their own CBD gummies with approximately 10 mg each of CBD isolate. Containing no THC, the low dose gummies are ideal for reducing anxiety or inducing sleep. The couple experimented to create the perfect consistency, making sure it wasn’t too chewy. The gummy bears are tender, a bit like Knox Blox, with flavors ranging from grape to lime to strawberry. It takes from 5 to 30 minutes to take effect. Gold Care sells a bottle of 30 gummy bears for $30.

“There is no THC so you’re not getting high,” Gutierrez said. “A lot of people don’t want to get high. They get paranoid, which is common. Pot isn’t bad, but it triggers different receptors in the brain and affects everyone differently. The only side effect you’re likely to experience after eating a CBD gummy is you feel calm.”

Gutierrez has tested the product for cooking, but noticed the CBD compound starts to break down after heating it past 200 degrees Fahrenheit. You can still bake cookies or brownies, and the cannabinoids would be there, but he recommends doubling the amount of CBD oil used. For example, if you add 100 mg to a batch of brownies, you’ll be left with 50 mg in the baked product. It’s still enough for a relaxed effect.

Gold Care sells CBD oil and commercially produced CBD products in Greeley. (Emily Kemme)

Another method of cooking with CBD is to mash the oil into softened butter to make a butter pat to top a grilled steak. Fresh hemp can be tossed into a salad, steeped in tea and the oil can be drizzled as a garnish onto soup or prepared as a salad dressing. Gutierrez recommended using a scale to weigh .25 grams of CBD oil to emulsify with coconut oil. This helps liquefy CBD’s viscosity. Gold Care’s CBD oil has less than .3% of THC, the amount required by law. Experiment with the dosage, but Gutierrez said 5 to 10 mg per serving two times a day should be sufficient.

The aroma of fresh hemp is a bit like fresh hay; it doesn’t have the pungent quality of marijuana. “If it smells good to you, your body might be experiencing a systemic endocannabinoid deficiency,” Gutierrez said.

In addition to reducing migraine pain, adding Cannabidiol to your diet can enhance already existing cannabinoids in the human body, complementing natural body processes to modulate pain, improve memory and appetite, and enhance the immune system. CBD can also reduce inflammation, promote bone growth and inhibit cancer cell growth, according to literature provided by Gold Care. As with any product, it’s recommended that you consult your physician before use. There is also a possibility of a trace amount of THC showing up on a drug test.

Cooking is a great way to relax at the end of the day. The addition of CBD oil might make it all that more mellow.

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