LAS VEGAS — The 2014 Farm Bill may have legalized hemp, a type of cannabis plant where CBD comes from, but it wasn’t until 2018 that there was a clear understanding of what could be done with it.

Today, as the food industry awaits FDA approval on CBD for national food sales, many artisan bakers are entertaining how to incorporate cannabis into their baked goods.

At the International Artisan Bakery Expo, held Aug. 17-19 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Glenn Cybulski of Glenn Cybulski Restaurant Consulting outlined what the growing cannabis industry means for the baking industry, especially as more states legalize THC, the psychoactive element found in cannabinoids.

Cybulski indicated that in 2020, the global CBD market clocked in at $2.8 billion, and it’s trending to close 2021 at around $4 billion.

“We’re all here to capitalize on an opportunity, and the dollars and cents are real,” he said.

In California, CBD isolate costs $6 per gram, which means a milligram is ranging at about half a cent.

“A year and a half ago, it was about 5¢ per milligram,” Cybulski said. “This is a commodity. And big companies are dumping millions of dollars into companies like Constellation Brands that are starting to grow.”

It’s created a flooded market for CBD distillate, which needs an end-product to be sold. Enter edibles.

“The opportunities around using cannabis are endless,” Cybulski said. “And you can demystify cannabis and use it as an ingredient.”

Baking lends itself well to cannabis use because it requires such precision.



“The opportunities around using cannabis are endless,” Cybulski said. “And you can demystify cannabis and use it as an ingredient.”


“In baking, if you’re not precise, it doesn’t work. For bakers, using CBD is a natural step,” he said. “You have to do the math.”

How CBD is used in a baked good’s formula is also critical in the oven as well.

“At certain flash points, you’ll start to degrade the potency of the CBD,” Cybulski said, noting that 320° to about 350° is the maximum bake temp for maximum potency.

“If you go any hotter than that, you’ll start to break down the component, and the CBD will not be as effective,” he said. The internal temperature is not as critical for something like a pastry filling or topping that may not be included in the bake.

When CBD distillate works best with fats as its vehicle, so Cybulski suggested baking with CBD-infused fats.

“CBD seeks out the fat and attaches itself, similar to how yeast propagates and spreads throughout the dough when it begins to eat the sugars and creating gases,” he said.

Additionally, he noted, by attaching itself to a lipid, the bioavailability of CBD is increased.

Because CBD is not federally approved for use in food, many bakers have not yet started including it in their formulas. But Cybulski encouraged artisan bakers to start formulating and testing now so they can be ready when that approval comes. Transparency is equally important, so he urged that obtaining certificates of authenticity (COA) for CBD ingredients is critical.

“It’s important to do this right,” he said. “We want to know what’s in our food and where our ingredients are coming from. If you have a product, you want to get it tested and have those COAs, whether it’s legally required or not.”

As the cannabis and baking industries await that federal approval, planning is key.

“When you go out to start your business, you want to ask yourself, ‘When is it proper for me to be able to do this?’” Cybulski suggested.

“Just like with any other ingredient in a formula, you need to know how much you need to include, and a COA will help you understand that,” he said. Additionally, he encouraged attendees to get the proper licensing, especially if working with a co-manufacturer in legal states.

Cybulski recently worked with a new cannabis cooking show Chopped 420, streaming on Discovery+.