By Shona Curley
CBD, or cannabidiol, is an increasingly popular supplement thought to benefit wellness on multiple levels. CBD is widely available in oil or tincture form. CBD oils and tinctures can be taken sublingually — by placing a few drops under the tongue and letting them absorb into the bloodstream.
Many companies add natural flavors or essential oils to their CBD oils and tinctures in an effort to offset the slightly bitter, vegetal taste of the hemp plant. CBD oils and tinctures come in a myriad of flavors, from chocolate mint to orange, and everything in between. But even with added flavoring, the taste of hemp comes through and can be off-putting.
If you (like me) love your CBD but gag at the taste, no matter how disguised, consider blending it into beverages whose flavor is strong enough to cover it up. A little CBD goes a long way — and the taste of a few drops in a blended drink disappears readily. You can even match the flavor of your CBD oil or tincture to your preferred drink for more effective camouflage.
Here are three of my favorite healthy beverages that disguise CBD's distinctive hemp flavor while keeping all the health benefits of the supplement.
Tasty CBD Beverages
1. Warm Turmeric Almond Milk
Turmeric has a host of purported health benefits and its own strong, distinctive flavor. It’s not for everyone, but if you like it, it’s strong enough to disguise the flavor of CBD. Choose an unflavored oil or tincture, or choose oil that complements this drink like almond or coconut.
You can make CBD turmeric milk with almond milk (my favorite) or any other kind of milk that agrees with you. Simply add a small amount of ground turmeric (to your taste) to the milk of your choice, and several drops of CBD oil or tincture. You can use freshly grated turmeric if you have it. I find the taste to be a little more mellow than the ground spice. Simmer the mixture on low for about 10 minutes, adding a little ground cinnamon or freshly grated ginger to the mix if that appeals to you. Sweeten your turmeric milk with honey, maple syrup, or stevia to taste, and blend it for extra creaminess after it’s cooled briefly. You can store any extra in the fridge for several days.
2. Coconut Hot Chocolate
This drink is my favorite coffee replacement in the morning. Raw cacao powder is slightly caffeinated, has a strong enough flavor to disguise CBD, and is full of antioxidants to boot.
Choose an unflavored CBD oil or tincture, or one with chocolate, almond, or coconut flavoring. Add a few drops of CBD to coconut milk (or another milk of your choice). Blend in a few teaspoons of raw cacao powder and your favorite sweetener. Heat the blended mixture on the stove or microwave, and voila! A delicious, healthy morning beverage that won’t give you the jitters.
3. Citrus Smoothie
CBD oils and tinctures often come with citrus flavoring because the tart, sour taste can camouflage almost anything. If you like fruit smoothies, this one is for you.
Choose either a neutral CBD oil or tincture or one with a fruit flavoring. Place a half of a banana and a handful of berries in your blender. Add yogurt (coconut or almond yogurt are great dairy replacements), some orange or pineapple juice, and a few CBD drops. Blend, and enjoy. If you're feeling adventurous, some ground cardamom is a wonderful way to make your smoothies a little more interesting.
Remember to discuss CBD dosage, timing, and any contraindications with your healthcare provider. Many companies are competing in this popular market right now, and not all are created equal. Choose products that are third-party certified for purity, and read the labels carefully to make sure there are no unhealthy additives.
Once you’ve chosen the right CBD supplement, get creative! Don’t let the taste of hemp hold you back from incorporating CBD into your health and wellness routine. With a little creativity, you can mix CBD into almost any beverage, effectively camouflaging its distinctive taste. Remember, the oils will tend to float to the top of your drink. Blending your drinks is the best way to incorporate CBD throughout (and if you store leftovers in the fridge, you may need to blend them a second time). Find the flavors that work best for you, get friendly with your blender, and enjoy.
Shona Curley lives and works in San Francisco. She is co-owner of the studio Hasti Pilates, and creator of the website www.redkitemeditations.com. Shona teaches meditation, bodywork and movement practices for healing Lyme disease, chronic illness and pain.