What is the purpose of a carrier oil?
Carrier oils provide a practical way of increasing what’s known as the bioavailability of CBD. Bioavailability refers to how much the human body can process of a substance at a time, after which all the benefits are wasted.
Pure CBD, unfortunately, has low bioavailability. CBD, reduced to its purest form, is a white powder. It’s too difficult to isolate single grains of pure CBD to measure out a dose without taking more than the body can absorb at a time. Diluting CBD in a carrier oil makes it easier to measure the dosage and make sure that you get maximum benefit from the product. The CBD bonds with fat molecules in the oil. Each kind of vegetable fat has different benefits for the user.
What are the most common carrier oils?
Many different oils are commonly used, including MCT (fractionated coconut oil), hemp seed, avocado, olive, grape seed, and palm oils. Some add a trace of noticeable flavor, like olive or avocado oil, while others have almost no flavor at all. There are some products on the market that use other oils, like cold-pressed orange oil, to add flavor. Some have health advantages of their own to add to the potency of CBD. Which one is best for you may just come down to what you need or like.
Each kind of carrier oil has a different chemical bonding process between the CBD and the fat molecules. As a result, the bonding process with each oil will have somewhat different effects, and make some oils better suited to topical treatments than to tinctures.
Coconut Oil (MCT)
Fractionated coconut oil is a very effective carrier for CBD because it contains 90% saturated fat. That may sound like it has the potential to clog your arteries, but it’s not because the saturated fats in coconuts are primarily made up of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs).
Fractionated coconut oil is made from regular coconut oil, but in the process, the long chain fatty acids are removed. Medium chain fatty acids work differently on the metabolism. They go directly to the liver, where they can give you an energy boost. Since the fractionated oil has no flavor at all, and no smell, it is considered by many in the industry to be the best carrier oil of all for sublingual use.
Hemp Seed Oil
There is some confusion among consumers about the difference between hemp seed oil and CBD oil. They come from the same plant, but they aren’t the same thing. Even more curious is the fact that hemp seed oil doesn’t improve bioavailability, unless it’s mixed with other oils that do. CBD is fat soluble—it dissolves in fats rather than water—so a saturated fat is more efficient. Hemp seed oil only contains 11% saturated fat.
Hemp seed oil is similar to grape seed oil, and is better when mixed with another carrier oil such as MCT oil to increase the CBD’s bioavailability. Hemp seed oil is one of the best sources for Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. Hemp seed oil actually has the perfect ratio of Omega 3s to 6s. It has 3 times the amount of Omega 6 fatty acids to Omega 3.
We see a large amount of CBD brands and MLM brands use Hemp Seed oil as a carrier oil so that the product can be advertised as being pure hemp. Hemp seed oil does have great benefits, but it is not the best carrier oil for for CBD due to the low bioavailability. Hemp seed oil actually has the lowest amount of bioavailability out of the most common carrier oils.
Much like olive oil, avocado oil is high in vitamins. It has a nutty flavor, and it is more viscous than other oils. Because of its viscosity and slow drying time, avocado oil is better for topical CBD products. Avocado cannot be used in vape and smoke products due to the Vitamin E content. Vitamin E is not recommended to be inhaled and is leading to reports of horrible side effects if inhaled.
Olive oil is known widely for its amazing health benefits and is considered one of the healthiest oils to consume. It’s also known to have anti-inflammatory properties. Research has even shown olive oil to restore the CB-1 receptor in the endocannabinoid system to a normal level.
It is a thicker oil, high in monounsaturated fats, with a strong fruity flavor. Because the larger fat molecules in olive oil take more effort for the body to process, it’s possible that less CBD can be absorbed in an olive oil carrier—but there are the other health benefits to consider.
Grape Seed Oil
Grape Seed oil is the least oily of the oils listed, making it better suited to products for hair or skin. Since grape seed oil primarily consists of polyunsaturated fats, it is not the best carrier oil to be used for CBD alone, as it does not mix well with CBD. However, when used in conjunction with other carrier oils it becomes favorable for its health benefits.
The bioavailability is key in CBD oils. Delivering CBD through something that is fat soluble, helps the body to metabolize it easier and use more of it. So when choosing a CBD oil, look for the products that contain a carrier oil with a high bioavailability.
I personally want my body to absorb as much of the cannabinoids as it possibly can, so I look for the CBD oils that include MCT Coconut oil. MCT Coconut oil as the carrier is the better choice for the masses.
Why pay the high price for CBD oil that contains a low bioavailable carrier oil? Seems like a waste of cannabinoids to me.
At Waco Hemp Farm we focus on providing you products with the highest bioavailability at a fraction of the cost of the larger brands. We are truly a brand you can trust.