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 flavour, consistency, and cost may affect their viability as carrier oils.
Coconut oil naturally excels as a carrier oil in a number of categories. Coconut Oil has little to no flavour, which makes it a great choice for making CBD oils. Additionally, it is thinner than most oils, making it easy to dispense and measure. Coconut oil has natural anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties.
However, the best part about coconut oil is its abundance of saturated fats, particularly medium chain triglycerides (MCT). Medium chain triglycerides are smaller fat molecules which are easily absorbed by the body, directly through the liver.
The main difference between MCT oil and coconut oil is their MCT content. Coconut oil is 55% MCTs, while MCT oil is made 100% of MCTs. Furthermore, coconut oil contains all 4 medium-chain fatty acids, including large quantities of lauric acid, the least efficient MCT.
In a nutshell it’s a fraction of the whole Coconut oil, the Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) to be exact; the lauric acid is removed.
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.