WHAT IS THE BEST CARRIER OIL FOR CBD?
Why Are Carrier Oils Necessary?
In order to understand what makes the best carrier oil for CBD, you need to understand why companies take the time and effort to infuse CBD into oils in the first place. Why not just sell pure CBD? Pure CBD, also known as CBD isolate, forms a white powder. Not only would it be extremely difficult to measure out a serving of CBD isolate grain by grain, but more importantly, your body would be unlikely to process the majority of the CBD you take in. For this reason, CBD is often infused into oil-based solutions, where it binds with fat molecules your body is already prone to breaking down. Once the CBD is evenly distributed throughout the oil, it is possible to evenly measure consistent amounts of CBD that your body can process.
What Makes An Oil the Best Carrier Oil?
Bioavailability is the biggest concern when determining the best carrier oil. Bioavailability, in this case, refers to the proportion of CBD your body can process compared to what it takes in. CBD’s bioavailability is largely determined by the types of fat molecules contained in the carrier oil. There are many different types of fat, and the way they vary on a molecular level affects how well it can transport CBD into your system. Besides bioavailability, individual differences between oils such as flavor, consistency, and cost may affect their viability as carrier oils. We will do our best cover the pros and cons of the most popular carrier oils in the CBD industry.
CBD + Coconut Oil = The Perfect Combination
As it turns out, coconut oil is pretty much the perfect carrier oil for CBD because of its saturated fat content. The way that cannabinoids work molecularly is, the higher the lipid content of the oil they are in, the better and more efficiently they can dissolve. Conveniently, coconut oil is made up of up to 90% saturated fat, as opposed to olive oil and hemp seed oil which are only made of around 14% and 11% fat content, respectively.
But don’t worry; since the saturated fat content of coconut oil is composed largely of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) instead of long-chain triglycerides (LGTs), you don’t need to be concerned about it clogging up your arteries.
As it goes, in fact, coconut oil is one of the only natural oils that has a high content of MCTs. While this serves as an excellent energy source that is much more easily metabolized than complex carbohydrates or LCTs, it also acts as the perfect carrier for CBD.
So ultimately, this is the reason why most of the best CBD oils are made with coconut oil as opposed to hemp seed oil; since coconut oil has more saturated fat, it can break down and carry more CBD molecules, and ultimately deliver more cannabidiol to our cells for absorption.
Without coconut oil, a large percentage of CBD molecules simply end up making their way to the liver, at which point they’d be treated as waste and simply excreted through urine. This is why you always want to select a CBD tincture that uses coconut oil over olive oil or some other kind of oil.
Olive oil has a light fruity taste, which may be noticeable in some tinctures. Additionally, olive oil tends to be thicker, which may affect the measuring process. Monounsaturated fats are the premier fat molecules in olive oil, generally in the form of oleic acid. These larger fat molecules require more processing which may reduce the amount of CBD your body absorbs. However, oleic acid may help reduce inflammation. Further, olive oil is packed with antioxidants.
Hemp Seed Oil
Although hemp seed oil may seem like it should always be the carrier oil of choice, it is a generally inefficient carrier of CBD on its own. To reach its full potential, it must be mixed with oils with higher bioavailability, such as MCT oil. That is why we add fractionated coconut oil to our full spectrum tinctures.
Another thing to note is that some companies try to pass hemp seed oil as being the same as CBD oil. This is not true, so make sure you are buying a product with verified levels of CBD in it. Any reputable CBD company should clearly display the amount of CBD in their products and preferably have test results to support their claims.