Cooking with Hemp Extracts
Phytocannabinoids are naturally-occurring compounds found in plants of the Cannabis genus, including hemp. Research suggests that phytocannabinoids have the potential to offer numerous health and wellness benefits. Given its potential benefits, it’s no surprise that people are looking for ways to holistically incorporate hemp extracts into their lives.
One simple way many choose to do this is by including it in their meals. If you’re interested in adding phytocannabinoid-rich hemp extracts to your diet, we’d like to offer the following tips on how to effectively “mix” phytocannabinoids into your life.
Things to Consider when Cooking with Hemp Extracts
Forest Remedies™ hemp extract products are stable, meaning essential elements are retained for a long time. However, when purchasing hemp extracts it’s important to think about the quality and the type of the oil. Full spectrum hemp extracts contain a wider profile of plant molecules than broad spectrum hemp extracts and Forest Remedies™ products are always third-party tested to maintain the highest quality and consistent concentration. When cooking with hemp extracts we recommend you use a high-quality, naturally flavored, full spectrum oil like our Forest RemediesTM Full Spectrum Hemp Extract. We also recommend you follow these general guidelines.
- Proper storage is important! The most common culprits of degradation are oxidation, which occurs when molecules in the extract combine with oxygen, as well as heat and light so be sure to close the bottle and store it in a cool, dark place. We suggest simply using the container your extract originally came in. At Forest Remedies™, our specially formulated bottles are tinted with an airtight cap.
- Avoid acidic dishes. Exposure to acid may accelerate oxidation, so avoid using hemp extract in recipes that call for large amounts of citrus but a little (e.g. for flavor) is fine. For example, while we love fresh-squeezed lemonade, we don’t recommend adding hemp extract to it!
- Keep it cool. Exposure to high heat causes hemp extracts to lose active compounds. Try to avoid recipes that require direct high heat, such as frying or sautéing. For some recipes, it may be best to add your hemp extract after the meal has cooked. And baking should be done at or below 350 degrees.
How to Get Started?
First and foremost, you want to be sure your hemp extract comes from a trusted source. Importantly, the concentration of hemp extracts can wildly vary, even. At Forest Remedies™, all our hemp extracts are third-party tested to ensure the highest quality control and consistent concentration.
- When starting out, less is more. If you’ve never used hemp extracts before, it’s best to start small. Try adding 0.5 mL or less of full spectrum oil to your recipe to start. As with any new “spice,” be sure not to overpower the dish! (Though, if you’re like us, you very well may discover you wish to showcase the flavor!)
- Don’t Stick to Sweets. Some say hemp extracts have a strong or distinct flavor, particularly if the oil is less refined (which offers a wider spectrum of plant molecules than a more refined oil would). There are plenty of folks out there who like the flavor, but if you don’t, sweets, such as chocolate can be an easy way to start without too strong a taste. However, sweets are not the only way to work with the natural flavor of hemp extracts and you may find that it compliments many savory dishes.
- Mix with fats. Another option is to infuse the hemp extract into another fat or oil, and use this ingredient as you normally would. Herbed rosemary butter is one of our favorites.
The Sweet and the Savory
Hemp extract makes a great addition to beverages and dishes that are served cold.
- Enhance your veggies. Try it on a salad with olive oil and herbs de Provence. If you have a favorite guacamole recipe, add hemp extract along with your salt and lime juice to pre-mashed avocado. (Remember, not too much of any citrus if you want to preserve all of the compounds in the extract)
- Spice Up Your Smoothies. Go ahead and make your smoothie as normal - yogurt, berries, bananas, your pick - blend it all together, then stir in some hemp extract.
- Coffee & Tea: Day or night, hemp extracts can go directly into your tea or coffee for added flavor.
If you’d like to start incorporating hemp extract into your cooking here’s a great hemp extract CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE recipe you should try. Just make sure to follow these tips and let us know how it goes!
- Don’t exceed oven temperatures of 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Add the hemp extract directly to your wet ingredients, i.e. butter, eggs, etc.
- Stir a lot…then stir again! Doing so will help make sure the hemp extract is evenly distributed, which will go a long way towards a better-tasting baked good.
- Be sure not to burn it! Again, we don’t want that internal temperature getting too high. Start checking your treat much earlier than you normally would, then perhaps every 2 minutes until it’s done.
Our favorite hemp extract CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE recipe:
- 1 tbsp. Forest Remedies™ 500mg Full Spectrum Hemp Extract (natural flavor)
- 3 cups of flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ tsp. salt
- 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup softened butter
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp. hot water
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Mix the white and brown sugar, softened butter, and hemp extract until velvety. Beat in the eggs and stir in the vanilla extract.
- Slowly add flour to the batter while stirring until fully mixed. Dissolve the baking soda in the hot water, then stir into the batter. Add salt.
- Fold in the chocolate chips
- Spoon batter onto a greased baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between each dollop.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cookies turn golden brown.
- Yields 3 dozen cookies
 Ligresti, De Petrocelis & Di Marzo (2016). From Phytocannabinoids to Cannabinoid Receptors and Endocannabinoids: Pleiotropic Physiological and Pathological Roles Through Complex Pharmacology. Physiol Rev. 96: 1593-1659.