CBD Oil is a tincture which is one of the most common and best methods to take CBD. A tincture uses a carrier oil which is then mixed with the CBD oil. This creates a product that is easy to use. It is taken under the tongue, sublingual, so it absorbs quickly into the blood steam via the mucus membrane and blood vessels under the tongue.
CBD is 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. This way you count the drops that is taken, finding the right dosage for you.
If the CBD oil was not mixed with a carrier oil, it would be a thick sticky pasty substance that would stick to your teeth and be harder for most people to consume. Not to mention the taste is unbearable for many people.
Bioavailability, or how readily the body can absorb the oil, is the biggest concern when determining the best carrier oil. 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.
Hemp Seed Oil
It’s worth pointing out that the hemp plant actually produces a super high-quality essential oil from its seeds, that, in addition to being filled with therapeutic CBD, is chock-full of other beneficial health supplements like phytonutrients, hytocannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids.
So you might be wondering, then, why do some manufacturers use a “carrier” oil if the hemp plant itself produces a good oil?
Well, that’s actually a very good question for if you are going to be using a full-spectrum hemp extract, then why not just use the actual hemp seed oil itself as a carrier for the CBD?
Well, as it turns out coconut oil has some specific properties that many doctors and scientists believe aids in overall absorption and metabolism. This fractionated oil is called MCT oil.
Fractionated Coconut Oil (MCT Oil)
There’s a lot of misunderstanding about MCT oil, so we’ll try and be as clear as possible here when describing why it’s used in CBD oil.
Coconut Oil has little to no flavor, which makes it a great choice for making tinctures. Additionally, it is thinner than most oils, making it easy to dispense and measure. Coconut oil has natural anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial properties.
“MCT” itself is actually a natural extract from raw coconut oil, and it stands for medium chain triglycerides. Coconut oil has both “medium chain” and “long chain” triglycerides as part of its natural molecular componentry, but as we just mentioned there have been numerous studies that show MCT to be superior in terms of the efficiency of digestion. As such, a lot of health supplements (medicinal CBD tinctures included) have started infusing their products in MCT oils to try and market them as having “improved absorption,” or something of a similar sort.
But here’s the catch; separating the “MCT’s” from the “LCT’S” is not an easy process. In fact, it’s a very, very , very difficult process that involves highly technical instruments and a massive degree of chemical expertise. It’s assumed, in fact, that a decent majority of products labeled “MCT oil” are simply fractionated coconut oils. This doesn’t necessarily imply a good or a “bad” thing, it just simply just means that you may not be getting exactly what you think you’re getting when you see a label marked “MCT.”
Palm oil can also be used to make MCT oil, just like coconut oil. That is because MCT oil is a somewhat general term which refers to the type of fat molecules in an oil, not the natural source of the oil. This is an important distinction because palm oil’s manufacturing process is often connected to deforestation, animal cruelty, and climate change. For this reason, it is suggested to use MCT oil which originates from coconuts, or other sustainable and eco-friendly sources.
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 and is packed with antioxidants.
Similar to olive oil, avocado oil has high concentrations of oleic acid, however, it is much thicker. Avocado oil has a nutty taste and can be added to CBD oils to increase the viscosity. Avocado oil is often chosen for topical applications due to its slow drying time and abundance of vitamins A, D, & E. One downside of Avocado oil is that it is one of the more expensive oils on this list.
Grape Seed Oil
Grape seed oil is thin and has a wine-like aroma. It is isn’t very greasy, so grape seed oil is often incorporated into skin and hair products. Unfortunately, grape seed oil primarily consists of polyunsaturated fats which doesn’t make it the best carrier oil for CBD.
Grape seed oil is a very inexpensive carrier oil. More than likely, if you run across a CBD oil using grape seed oil as the carrier, the company is charging market price for an inferior product.
You can expect the best CBD oils to be made with one of these carrier oils: Coconut oil, MCT oil (this is just a natural fractionated version of coconut oil), Olive oil, or Raw Hemp Seed oil.
If the product that you’re using has anything else in the ingredients other than these things (and possibly some natural flavoring if you’re using a flavored oil tincture), then it’s advised you shop around for something else, because it’s probably not a truly “pure” cannabis product.
The main thing is that you’re using a quality-grade product that’s been extracted using super critical CO2 methods, and contains no added chemicals, thinning agents, heavy metals, pesticides, or fertilizers.