Did you know that all commercial CBD oil products contain a lot more than just CBD? Well, yes! CBD oil contains what is known as “carrier oil.” Carrier oils are oils – from a variety of plant-based fats – used to dilute the CBD and improve its absorption rate. Note that the dilution of CBD oil with a carrier oil does not affect its effectiveness or make it less efficient. As a matter of fact, the carrier oil makes CBD even more useful. Depending on what carrier oil is used, you also stand to benefit health-wise.
The reason why carrier oils are used is to increase the bioavailability of CBD. Bioavailability simply refers to the percentage of a substance that can be processed by the body. For example, the body can only process 100% of 200 milligrams of vitamin C and so taking thousands of milligrams of the substance at a go is pretty useless.
When reduced to its purest form, CBD is a white powder. Because single grains of pure CBD cannot be easily isolated to measure out a dose without taking in more than the body can process at any given time, dilution of CBD in carrier oil is more advisable. This gives you the ability to measure the dosage properly, so you know you are reaping the full benefits of the product.
The Most Common Carrier Oils
Different oils can be used as carrier oils for CBD although the most common ones are hemp seed oil, avocado oil, olive oil, grape seed oil and MCT (fractionated coconut oil). While olive and avocado oils add with a trace of flavor, others have no flavor at all. The carrier oil to go in for boils down to preference. Each type of carrier oil has a unique bonding process between CBD and its fat molecules. This bonding process will cause each oil to have a somewhat different effect, making some better suited to topical treatments than others.
Fractionated Coconut Oil (MCT)
This type of carrier oil is very effective when used for CBD as it contains about 90% of saturated fat. Though it might sound ominous hearing 90% saturated fat, it really isn’t. Why? This is because saturated fats in coconuts are majorly made up of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). Fractionated coconut oil is produced from regular coconut oil, but it has its long chain fatty acids removed. The medium chain fatty acids work differently from long chain fatty acids on the metabolism. They can boost energy levels. Fractionated oil possesses no flavor and smell, so it is considered as the best carrier oil for sublingual use.
Hemp Seed Oil
Many people confuse hemp seed oil with CBD oil simply because they come from the same plant. They aren’t the same, however. Surprisingly, hemp seed oil does not improve in bioavailability until it is mixed with other oils. Hemp seed oil possesses only 11% saturated fat, and because CBD is fat soluble, dissolving in lipids rather than water, it is more efficient being mixed with oil that contains more saturated fat.
Avocado oil is just like olive oil – rich in oleic acid and vitamins. The oil is very viscous and a bit pricier than other oils. Due to how viscous it is, taking a long while to dry, avocado oil is more suited for topical CBD products.
Olive oil is one of the healthiest oils you can ever ingest. The oil can provide protection against many health conditions, including stroke, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and certain types of cancer. For those that do not have the oil incorporated into their diets, it is an excellent choice as a CBD carrier oil.
Grape Seed Oil
Grape seed oil possesses a lot of polyunsaturated fats, making it one of the least effective carrier oils for CBD. This is because CBD mixes easily and more effectively with saturated fats.