Everything You Need To Know About Baking With CBD

Thanks to the legalization of cannabidiol, also known as CBD, in all 50 states, edibles have taken on new meaning. CBD products have been finding their way onto menus at bars and eateries across the country, but many health departments have recently been cracking down and banning their sale at these establishments.Taria CamerinoTaria Camerino infused…

Thanks to the legalization of cannabidiol, also known as CBD, in all 50 states, edibles have taken on new meaning. CBD products have been finding their way onto menus at bars and eateries across the country, but many health departments have recently been cracking down and banning their sale at these establishments.

Taria Camerino infused CBD into these brioche rolls with tahini and turmeric.

Taria Camerino infused CBD into these brioche rolls with tahini and turmeric.

So if you want to sink your teeth into a treat made with CBD, your best bet may be to make it yourself. Here’s what you need to know about baking with CBD.

It won’t get you high, but it may help relieve symptoms of anxiety and pain.

CBD comes from the same plant as marijuana, but it’s non-psychoactive, meaning it will not get you high. Instead, you may feel relaxed and experience other benefits like reduced inflammation and anxiety. Some studies show that CBD is great as a sleep aid because it relaxes the central nervous system (as opposed to triggering a high), and other studies show it has the potential to help fight anxiety.

That’s why Janelle Lassalle, a Portland, Oregon, cannabis consultant and baker, is such a fan of the supplement. “While its effect may differ from person to person, for me CBD is a source of blissful calm,” she told HuffPost. Besides being fun to bake with, she likes that it helps her stay present while alleviating pains and regulating her moods.

How to get CBD into your baked goods.

CBD needs to be extracted into a fat if you’re going to bake with it. The simplest way to do this is by purchasing a full-spectrum CBD tincture (one that contains other cannabinoids besides CBD) with a coconut oil base (like this one) and dropping it into your recipe of choice. How much you use will depend on your desired dosage per serving. For example, if you’re making a dozen cookies, you’ll want to multiply the recommended dosage by 12 and add it to the recipe.

Even classic treats can get a CBD boost, like this vanilla cheesecake made by Camerino. 

Even classic treats can get a CBD boost, like this vanilla cheesecake made by Camerino. 

You can also get fancy and infuse CBD into butter or oil, either using an isolate in powder form or by making your own extraction. Admittedly, making your own extraction is labor-intensive, but for bakers like Taria Camerino, an Atlanta-based chef and the founder of Alchimique Botanicals, it’s worth it. “I don’t use any isolates at all,” she told HuffPost. “I take [hemp flowers] and do an extraction like in sunflower oil, olive oil or anything like that.” Making your own CBD extract means that the potency will likely be stronger than a store-bought tincture, and by choosing your own hemp flowers (which are easily available online), you can ensure that the infusion is actually high-quality.

Home bakers looking to up their game may want to consider investing in products that help make the process easier. Lassalle likes to use the Ardent Nova to decarboxylate (activate) the hemp and the Magical Butter machine to infuse it into the oil. But buying these products will set you back close to $400, so if you’re not ready to commit to pricy machinery, you may want to try one of the stovetop methods, like this one or this one.

Whether you use a store-bought CBD tincture or make your own extract, know that it will take on a strong, earthy flavor. Andrew LeStourgeon, owner of Monarch and the Milkweed in Burlington, Vermont, has been baking with CBD for nearly a decade. When it comes to the weedy flavor of CBD oils, he suggests embracing the taste and pairing it wisely. “Weedy taste and perfume and aroma [go] well with chocolates, all kinds of chocolate: white, milk, and dark,” he told HuffPost. “It can also be masked with pepperminty, menthol aided flavors, like pine, or peppermint and spearmint, menthol. Anything that has menthol teeth to it will mask the flavor.” If the earthy flavor isn’t for you, using an isolate is the way to go, as it is flavorless.

To make the most out of your CBD baking experience, try to avoid the common beginner’s mistakes. Most importantly: Watch your baking temperature. Lassalle said “the terpenes in cannabis—aromatic molecules that yield distinct types of highs—are really volatile, meaning they burn off at high temperatures. You want to make sure that you bake at temperatures no greater than 340 degrees Fahrenheit. This ensures the terpenes won’t burn off, leaving you with the most potent form of the cannabis possible.” She also warns to be careful about which CBD product you work with. “Products that are full spectrum deliver all of the plant’s beneficial compounds so those are ideal; you also want to look for products that are lab tested and pesticide free.”

You can incorporate CBD into any recipe, but start off with something you know and feel comfortable with, like brownies or cookies. You can swap out the amount of regular butter in a recipe with CBD-infused butter if you’ve made your own.

Once you’ve mastered those, get creative! “My favorite was a dark chocolate cookie I made that I added orange, chili and a hint of cardamom to; you couldn’t taste the cannabis at all,” Lassalle said.

Perhaps the best piece of advice is from LeStourgeon, who said, “Take the time and make sure to scrape the [batter] bowl, and really emphasize that you’re working with something pretty special here. It’s a little bit more important than perhaps salt might be.”

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The Budding U.S. Cannabis Industry Needs Normal Access to Business Banking and Insurance

Financial Services Systemic barriers to basic banking and insurance services are muffling the cannabis boom much more than is generally realized. Image credit: Darren415 | Getty Images June 12, 2019 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The rate of legalization for medicinal and recreational marijuana across the United States can…

Financial ServicesSystemic barriers to basic banking and insurance services are muffling the cannabis boom much more than is generally realized.

The Budding U.S. Cannabis Industry Needs Normal Access to Business Banking and Insurance

Image credit:

Darren415 | Getty Images


5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The rate of legalization for medicinal and recreational marijuana across the United States can feel very slow — and precarious.

Every couple years, several more states pull back restrictions. But at the Federal level, marijuana in all its forms remains a Schedule I drug, alongside the likes of heroin. This misleading categorization persists despite findings from Pew Research that 62 percent of Americans want cannabis legalized, according to an October 2018 study.

Before that number can grow much larger, however, shifts toward widespread acceptance must occur on a corporate level, not just individual. Examples of laggards and early adopters exist even among businesses. In fact, several key industries continue to be reticent to provide services to cannabis-related businesses, even in states like Colorado where marijuana is fully legal and commonplace.

Joy Smith, owner of Joy Organics in Fort Collins, Colorado, launched her CBD business in July 2018. “In the beginning, it took months to get merchant processing,” she said in an interview. In her short time in the business, “We’ve probably had five different merchant processors who have come and gone inside the CBD space for one reason or another. They all have different stories.”

Her latest merchant processor recently pulled the plug, forcing Smith to yet again switch to a new service provider.

Related: U.S. Bank Subsidiary Backs Out of Handling CBD Payment Processing

Joy Smith of Joy Organics

Joy Smith, owner of Joy Organics

Image credit: Joy Organics

All this, despite strong sales and a great reputation Joy Organics has fostered around its CBD products. Smith’s products are differentiated because they don’t contain even the trace amounts of THC that are technically permitted under state laws. According to Jim Tripolone, a risk analyst at Scottish American, the financial and insurance sectors have been a key slowdown for business development in the industry.

With all the hype and funding pouring into the burgeoning U.S. cannabis industry, funding from banks and basic insurance coverage can still be hard for growers, manufacturers and distributors to obtain. “It’s an extremely delicate ecosystem,” Tripolone said in an interview.

“The insurance industry operates almost hand-in-hand with banking. Both industries are staples of uniformed compliance,” Tripolone explained. “In fact, the insurance industry shares a lot of the same financial compliance guidelines that banks follow with regards to insolvency and probability of default. So when the banking institutions take issue with a certain industry (such as cannabis) it causes a trickle effect within the insurance industry.”

The bottleneck can be attributed to two key factors: government restrictions and a lack of industry data.

Related: How Risk Management Can Make Marijuana Businesses Bulletproof

Who offers banking and insurance services to cannabusinesses?

“It’s the smaller specialty insurers who are willing to take on the risk at this point,” said Tripolone. Most large insurance markets wait until the early-adopters have gathered sufficient claim and premium data before they move into a new industry.

Insurance companies rely on actuarial data to determine how high or low their risk may be. As a relatively new industry, “there isn’t enough empirical claim data to determine risk,” Tripolone said.

Tripolone explained that all insurance companies are underwritten by other insurers, called reinsurers — the vast majority of which work very closely with banks. When reinsurers are unwilling to take on risk, then insurance companies likewise refuse coverage. In short, insurance companies have a complex systemic relationships with banks, and banks receive their protection from the government.

That’s at least partially why banking institutions (and therefore insurance companies) have their hands tied. Basic federal protections for banks don’t even exist within states where marijuana is legal. The SAFE Banking Act now working its way through Congress will, if encacted, “provide federal protection for financial institutions that serve state-authorized marijuana and ancillary businesses.” This legislation seems to be gaining traction.

Jim Tripolone

Jim Tripolone and his wife Denise Tripolone

Image credit: Jim Tripolone

Industry specialists in the gray zone

Tripolone finds himself at a strange intersection within the cannabis industry. He is both extremely knowledgeable about cannabis and one of the few insurance brokers who can connect cannabis entrepreneurs to the 3-4 insurance companies in the industry who offer coverage. He knows the business because he is an Oregon-based home grower himself.

“Millions of people grow out of necessity,” says Tripolone, who makes a tincture for his wife Denise to relieve her severe autoimmune inflammation from Lupus Nephritis and Sjögren syndrome. It’s the best relief she’s found for her otherwise debilitating conditions.

“The ultimate goal is to get Main Street America, the insurance carriers, to understand what it is they’re insuring. But they won’t do that until the banks jump on board,” says Tripolone. “I think that once banks get on board with this and lending is not an issue, you’re going to see insurance carriers are going to start opening up a little bit.”

Related: Canada Makes Marijuana Farmers Eligible for Government Agriculture Programs

Both Tripolone and Smith find themselves in a similar place today. “90% of my job is teaching” says Tripolone. Likewise, Smith sees herself as an educator who quells misconceptions while addressing the overwhelmingly positive demand for CBD products.

One of the biggest challenges, aside from the federal laws that continue to hamper the industry, is breaking down the societal fears that have been perpetuated regarding cannabis. Despite increasing trust in cannabis’ medical benefits, many still hold pejorative views of the substance, even in states where it has been legalized.

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A massive CBD emporium just opened in NYC

Standard Dose has opened a one-of-kind self-care hub in the heart of New York City.The three-story cannabis compound doubles as a wellness center designed to offer the super-stressed a time-out. Its 2,400-square-foot space boasts a multi-brand selection of ingestible and topical CBD products to aid in everything from sleep and pain to mood and skin. A group…

Standard Dose has opened a one-of-kind self-care hub in the heart of New York City.

The three-story cannabis compound doubles as a wellness center designed to offer the super-stressed a time-out. Its 2,400-square-foot space boasts a multi-brand selection of ingestible and topical CBD products to aid in everything from sleep and pain to mood and skin. A group gathering room hosts meditation classes alongside a bar that serves CBD-infused Japanese tea. A private treatment spa offers facials, massages, or private tea ritual ceremonies.

Then there’s the chic rooftop where yoga classes take place in the morning, followed by partnership events and educational programming in the evening.

“The retail experience is a full, holistic approach to wellness,” says founder Anthony Saniger. “It’s a sanctuary where you can reset.”

Standard Dose envisions patrons using the space to relax and recharge throughout the day, be it for a quick break or a longer hour class. The store is located at 26th and Broadway, an area with the highest concentration of We Work offices. The company hopes those employees will pop in during their lunch break for a meditation session to “reset their brain for the rest of the day,” says Saniger.

[Photo: courtesy Standard Dose]

Standard Dose intends to be the culmination of what wellness consumers both buy and do. The targeted demographic generally visits several places to engage in their lifestyle: a GNC for supplements; a boutique fitness studio for yoga; an Inscape relaxation clinic for meditation; Whole Foods for turmeric or other healthy ingestibles; and then Sephora for creams and lotions.

“We can help solve the customer’s needs across the board. They can have just one destination to go to for all of their physical and emotional needs,” says Saniger. (It should be noted that the store does not sell the psychoactive cannabinoid THC or more traditional marijuana products.)

There will be only one product on each shelf, so as not to overwhelm customers. (In total, the retailer carries 100 SKUs from 30 different brands). They can taste and test the product, even request a sample to take home. The goal is to initiate consumers into the CBD trend with a focus on ingredients and solutions, versus what one might find at more traditional retailers, which potentially focus more on brand.

Education, stresses Saniger, is the core of the retailer’s mission. The branding and marketing exec previously counted several CBD clients at his former creative agency. He witnessed the increasingly crowded and confusing CBD space that left consumers aching for direction. As he recalls, “no matter how much research I was reading, there was a lot of things that would contradict each other.”

[Photo: courtesy Standard Dose]

He, like many, couldn’t differentiate between “cannabis forward,” hemp oil, CBD, or a number of other labels that referenced everything from marijuana to various terpenes. “There was a lot of misinformation, products were all over the map.”

At Standard Dose, trained educators guide customers, answer their questions, assuage their concerns, and suggest applicable products. All of the available CBD products have undergone third-party testing to ensure product quality, correct dosing labels, and that they’re free of pesticides and heavy metals. The company also employed focus groups to confirm products fulfill their label claims.

In that sense, Standard Dose attempts to become the authority on CBD–a goal shared by numerous competitors looking to capitalize on the $22 billion industry. More recently, Goop alumni launched Fleur Marché, which aims to be the “Sephora of CBD.” There’s also Poplar, which curates an assortment of vetted, independently tested CBD products.

While pursuing credibility within the CBD space, Standard Dose is careful not to make the ingredient its sole focus. Saniger sees the retailer trending more toward holistic plant-based medicine. “That’s really where I think the future is headed,” he says, adding, “I think CBD is just a catalyst.”

The company is already working with nearly 80 wellness influencers and a dozen well-known brands in fitness, media, and health for live events and partnerships. In the coming year, Standard Dose intends to open a second store, most likely in the European market. Moving forward, it might even consider making Standard Dose classes and tea offerings free to the public.

“The store serves as more of a marketing alignment,” explains Saniger. “It’s not looked at as a place that’s necessarily supposed to turn a profit.” The retail experience, he stresses, is more about building the brand around a palpable relaxation experience. That, in turn, will further drive sales.

As such, don’t expect Standard Dose to venture out to California, a territory Saniger believes is rife with confusion over cannabis culture. “I want to stay as far away from that as possible,” says Saniger, noting that Standard Dose is about healing, not getting high. “We are a wellness company first and foremost. We will never be a dispensary.”

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