A Beginner’s Guide To CBD

CBD cookies may be delicious—but ingesting them comes with rules.

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an old woman wearing a hat with a long joint in her mouth

Photo, Getty.

As of October, it’s legal for provincial distributors to carry edible cannabis products, but there’s nothing stopping you from adding CBD (or cannabidiol, a non-hallucinogenic chemical compound found in cannabis plants) to your home-baked goodies. According to wellness and medical experts, CBD helps with anxiety, depression, sleeplessness and a host of ailments. If you skip the CBD, we engineered this small-batch, CBD-optional cookie recipe with small doses of natural goodness to fill you with another, wholesome kind of buzz.

A few rules to follow before you begin:

Know the difference between CBD and THC

Cannabidiol, commonly referred to as CBD, is one of the two most abundant chemical compounds found in cannabis plants. While its sister compound, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), provides the impairing “high” associated with cannabis consumption, non-intoxicating CBD is believed to help with relaxation and stress relief.

Know the risks

It’s a good idea to talk to your doctor before using CBD or THC for the first time: Both can interact negatively with medications. Plus, it’s important to keep in mind that many cannabis companies’ claims are unlikely to be supported by scientific evidence. Driving, biking or operating equipment when consuming cannabis is also a stupid idea—don’t do it. And avoid combining cannabis consumption with alcohol or other substances that also cause impairment (including sedatives). They can increase the risk of injury or harm.

Use caution when cooking with cannabis products

Cannabis oils and tinctures come in different potency levels. To properly calculate the dosage needed for the recipe, check your bottle for an indication of how many milligrams of CBD are in each millilitre—this can range from 1 mg to 5 mg, depending on the brand. Cannabis oils from legal licensed producers are required by law to have their CBD and THC levels tested, analyzed and labelled on the package.

Be careful about dosages

Many factors can impact cannabis’ effects on you. They can include, but are not limited to, strain potency; your own physiology, experience and tolerance levels; and even what you’ve eaten in the past hour. For novice users, the best approach is to start with a low dosage and avoid consuming more before the onset of any effects. Increase your dosage slightly the next time (we recommend waiting at least 24 hours between each consumption period), increasing each dose incrementally by 0.5 mg of CBD. This dosing method will allow you to find the amount that works best for you. (This also applies to THC.)

If you’ve opted for THC but you’re feeling too high, keep some CBD handy

CBD oil may counteract the anxiety effects of THC if you think you’ve consumed too much. A good starting point is to take the same amount of CBD as you did THC. Drop the CBD oil under your tongue and hold for 1 to 2 minutes (the longer the better). The oil is absorbed through your sublingual tissue and into your bloodstream.

If you’re ready to give it a whirl, try our Small Batch Anti-Anxiety CBD Cookies (with option to add THC buzz).