Does CBD Need A Carrier Oil – What’s The Best One?
What Is A Carrier Oil?
A carrier oil is exactly as the name suggests; a base oil that carries other compounds such as essential oils, cannabinoids (such as CBD) and other plant-derived compounds.
Is it essential to use a carrier oil? No, it is not. However, some of the plant-derived essential oils and other compounds are so concentrated and powerful, that they could be abrasive to your skin and digestive system.
Remember, these plant compounds have been extracted and are in much higher concentrations and doses than they are usually found in nature. Therefore, they can cause a bit of discomfort when used undiluted or without a carrier oil.
Then, we have the issue of absorption. Carrier oil can help the body to absorb some supplements, such as CBD. What’s more, carrier oils can also be used to saturate the soil with food and nutrients for plants.
So, What Are Carrier Oils Made From?
Some are made from vegetable oils. These fatty oils are usually pretty mild in taste and aroma, but high in their ability to help the body absorb the cannabinoids, terpenes and other compounds being carried in the oil.
Aside from their practicality as a base oil, carrier oils can offer certain therapeutic benefits as well. Others provide improved bioavailability, and still, others can provide an aid for tired and painful muscles.
Does CBD Need A Carrier Oil?
CBD’s bioavailability is increased when used with certain carrier oils. You will find many products that imbue CBD with carrier oils, and you may also begin seeing that your selection of carrier oils is starting to widen dramatically. So, how do you know which carrier oil to use for your CBD?
When CBD is isolated, extracted and left in its purest form, it is not automatically an oil but a white powder. As you can imagine, ingesting a white powder is not as ‘acceptable’ as an oil.
Besides that, CBD (both isolated and full spectrum) is often extracted by using oils. How does this happen? Well, to simplify it- plants are dipped into another oil, and through a much more complicated process than detailed here, the CBD molecules bonds with the fat molecules present in the carrier oil.
What Is MCT Oil?
MCT oil has been bouncing around the internet for a while now. But what is MCT oil?
MCT oil is fractionated coconut oil. The name ‘MCT’ is simply because it is made up of mostly medium-chain triglycerides. It is one of the most popular and most effective base oil for CBD products.
It is important to remember that MCT oil may come predominantly from coconut oil, but it is, in fact, a blend of palm oil and coconut. The name ‘MCT’ doesn’t necessarily imply the plant source that it comes from, but the fat molecules (medium-chain triglycerides).
However, there are many options that do not use palm oil- and we encourage you to check them out instead.
Can Hemp Seed Oil Be Used As A Carrier?
Before we continue, let’s just clear up on common misconception; hemp seed oil and CBD oil are not the same. CBD oil can be derived from hemp, but they are not the same.
Hemp seed oil can be an effective carrier oil for CBD oil. You may think Hemp seed oil would be the perfect carrier for CBD but this is not always the case.
However, unlike other carrier oils, hemp oil does not improve bioavailability unless it is used in combination with other oils.
Hemp Seed Oil vs. MCT Oil
Both hemp seed and MCT are effective carrier oils. They each have their own set of defining characteristics.
Hemp oil can sometimes have a stronger flavor while MCT oil is characteristically flavorless
For many, hemp oil is a preferred base oil because of its 3:1 ratio of Omega 6 and 3 fatty acids.
CBD With Olive Oil
The combination of CBD and olive oil has recently triggered endocannabinoid enthusiasts. In recent years, scientists have begun to delve into the endocannabinoid system, and their findings suggest that external sources are able to trigger the endocannabinoid system.
Where does Extra Virgin Olive Oil Fit in?
Studies show that extra virgin olive oil can trigger CB-1 receptors. Another study shows how CB-1 expression could be connected to the prevention or even the treatment of specific cancers, like colon cancer.
However, there could be one drawback to using olive oil as your base oil for CBD. The digestive system could have a harder time metabolizing olive oil compared to other carrier oils.
Can I add CBD to my Coconut Oil?
Coconut oil needs no introduction, as it has been popular for several years already. So, it comes as no surprise that CBD infused coconut oil is growing in popularity too.
We don’t need to tell you about the lengthy list of benefits of coconut oil– you probably already know them.
If you are looking to mix your CBD oil with coconut oil, you can simply add the drops to your coconut oil. With regards to dosing, you can simply follow your own dosing schedule or follow this guideline here.
Take a look at this handy video if you want a recipe for making your own infused coconut oil from cannabis flower:
What Other Carrier Oils are There?
– Avocado Oil
Avocado oil has a pleasant, nutty flavor. It is rich in vitamins and oleic acid, and while this makes it a good option, it is a viscous oil that is best left for topical creams and lotions.
– Grape Seed Oil
This oil is well known for being an excellent option for hair and skin because it is not as oily as other oils.
So, What Carrier Oil Is The Best?
Deciding which carrier oil is easier once you know what each oil can offer.
Do you want the best carrier oil for CBD tincture? Then perhaps you should opt for the hemp oil carrier.
There is no one ‘best’ carrier since it will depend on your particular set of needs. Avocado and grape seed oils are great options for topical CBD products while hemp and MCT might more applicable for tinctures.
Jessica Rosslee is a former journalist that has dedicated her writing skills and passion for communication to the cannabis industry. Jessica has spent her life in the field of wellness and communication, committed to allowing people access to accurate health and wellness information.
As a freelance cannabis writer, Jessica is passionate about free-flowing education for the public and the destigmatization of cannabis.