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CBD and Food? Tips for Using CBD While Cooking

“I found people to be curious but skeptical—or even scared to use it,” says Leah Vanderveldt about CBD. “So I wanted to clear up any misconceptions and share different ways for people to incorporate it into their routine.”

When wellness expert and recipe developer Vanderveldt sought out CBD oil to manage her anxiety and severe period pain, she found calming, anti-inflammatory relief—and culinary inspiration. The cookbook author devised dozens of ways to make the hemp-derived compound (which, unlike its counterpart THC, has no psychoactive effect) more inviting to those uneasy with its cannabis origins and earthy taste.

“I found CBD, while really popular at the moment, was intimidating for a lot of people when it first started gaining momentum,” Vanderveldt says. “When I talked about using it, I found people to be curious, but skeptical—or even scared to use it. So I wanted to clear up any misconceptions and share different ways for people to incorporate it into their routine. I know that the flavor of CBD is very strong, so finding ways to include it in meals can make it more palatable.”

Now, others seeking relief for everything from stomach issues (hello, CBD Mango & Ginger Smoothie!) to arthritis to depression to headaches can whip up culinary creations from Vanderveldt’s new book The CBD Kitchen: Over 50 Plant-Based Recipes for Tonics, Easy Meals, Treats & Skincare Made with the Goodness Extracted from Hemp).

What is the typical dosage of CBD oil for cooking?

It can vary depending on the concentration of your oil or the serving size, but generally if you’re serving one person, a dropperful—or about ¼ teaspoon—would be a typical dosage.

Any tips on creating a CBD culinary schedule?

Pay attention to how your body and mind are feeling. Really it’s just about figuring out what works best for you with your personal rhythms and needs. I know a lot of people want a prescribed way of doing things, but you’re the expert on your own body and how it feels at any given time. If you find yourself waking up anxious every morning, maybe you want to start with adding CBD to a latte or your breakfast. Or if sleep is a challenge, explore taking something before bed.

What benefits does cacao add to your CBD recipes?

Magnesium is a huge factor in why I think cacao is so great in tandem with CBD. The magnesium in the cacao eases muscle tension, and the CBD works the anti-inflammatory angle—making it great for managing pain or just relaxing. The CBD Hot Cacao is great for cramps and uterine tension. I love the taste of cacao, too, of course. I try to use flavor to my advantage in all these recipes because I do want to try to diminish the strong taste and smell of CBD.

Speaking of flavorful, why is your CBD Turmeric Latte—which includes plant-based milk, coconut butter, and agave syrup—recommended for nighttime?

You could have it anytime, but the double anti-inflammatory action from the CBD and the turmeric (and cinnamon and cardamom too!) can be extra calming in the evening and helpful for prepping your body for rest.

What are some other foods in your recipes that help fight inflammation?

Beetroot/beets, featured in my Beet Berry Smoothie, are great anti-inflammatories and are particularly great post-workout for muscle recovery. And my Leek & Courgette Soup is packed with green vegetables and powerful herbs like kale, parsley, basil, and courgette—so you’re getting a bunch of alkalizing, anti-inflammatory ingredients in one go.

Which summer CBD recipes do you recommend for beginners?

Start with a couple of single-serve recipes to see how you like it. Smoothies are great for this. The CBD Green Strawberry Smoothie is a go-to for me. The Avocado Toast is an easy single-serve recipe too. For something refreshing, I like the CBD Cherry & Kombucha Mocktail. 

I love pomegranate in this, but you can mix this up with your favorite fruit juice.

What is your favorite everyday herbal infusion?

It’s a toss-up between the Green Vitamins & Minerals Infusion or the Anti-Anxiety Infusion. The Green Vitamins & Minerals is so simple and nourishing with nettles and peppermint. And the Anti-Anxiety Infusion is beautifully calming. It includes lemon balm, which is my favorite herb for a gentle soothing of the nerves.

How do you make a CBD anti-inflammatory face mask?

I made mine with honey, cinnamon, and CBD. Cinnamon is an additional anti-inflammatory and acts as a gentle exfoliant. It’s meant to be mixed together right before you apply it. You can combine these ingredients in a small bowl, or I sometimes just do it in the palm of my hand.

Written by Chris Mann for Better Nutrition and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

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