CBD oil has been all the rage over the last few years. It’s an effective natural therapy that can be used to treat a wide variety of ailments. If you’ve ever been on the CBD trend, then you probably have heard of the term “carrier oil” before.
Carrier oils for CBD dilute the product and come with some impressive benefits. And depending on which kind of carrier oil you use, you can get a pretty unique cannabis experience.
If you use CBD for therapeutic purposes or to improve your general health, you must know how carrier oils work with CBD. So what is CBD carrier oil, and why does it matter so much? We will answer these questions below!
What are carrier oils?
A carrier oil (sometimes called vegetable oil) is a plant-derived fatty oil often used as a base for blends such as tinctures, topicals, and more. They’re commonly used to dilute essential oils to make them less harsh. In the cannabis industry, they’re found in many hemp-derived products.
Unlike essential oils, they are milder and less harsh — making them perfect for consumption. These oils can be used independently or in conjunction with other oils, but they are used primarily alongside CBD or THC extracts.
The most common CBD carrier oils include:
- MCT oil
- Coconut Oil
- Olive Oil
- Hemp seed Oil
Carrier oils have been found to have medicinal properties that can be used to treat a wide range of conditions. In addition, they have been shown to increase the bioavailability and effectiveness of CBD oil when taken together.
How are carrier oils extracted?
The extraction method used for carrier oils will vary depending on the type of oil. Some standard techniques include cold pressing, distillation, and solvent extraction.
- Cold pressing is a popular extraction method for carrier oils because it uses pressure to squeeze the oil from the plant. This method is often used for nuts and seeds. It’s also used to create MCT oil from palm kernel oil.
- Distillation is another common extraction method that uses heat to separate the oil from the plant. This method is often used for essential oils, such as lavender oil.
- Solvent extraction is a chemical process that uses a solvent to extract the oil from the plant. This method is often used for more complex oils, such as cannabis oil.
How do carrier oils work?
In general, carrier oils help dilute CBD oils’ potency to make them less harsh overall. However, they also come with the added benefit of improving the CBD experience you get.
Active CBD compounds are naturally potent — a little goes a long way for the drug. Carrier oils like hemp seed oil make CBD much easier to take by making each dose consistent and appropriate.
The carrier oil can also make dosing easier by masking the otherwise robust taste of pure CBD. Most oils are thin and come with a neutral flavour. Other options like coconut oil and avocado oil have intense flavours that mask hemp and add a pleasant taste to the product.
Bioavailability refers to how much a substance is absorbed orally, through the lungs, or injected. Individuals can get more of the desired effect when using CBD products by increasing this property.
Carrier oils have these effects because they are composed of many fatty acids, which can bind with fat-soluble compounds (i.e., the cannabinoids you get from the cannabis plant). In addition, some essential oils contain glycerol or esters that can dissolve into fat, which means they can be combined with carrier oils to dilute the oil.
By consuming CBD with a fatty oil, your body will more easily absorb the substance. CBD oils take advantage of this synergy in treating mood disorders like anxiety and depression. High bioavailability also reduces the risk of further discomfort because not all of the substance will be immediately broken down.
Added health benefits
Many of these fatty acids also provide health benefits of their own. When combined with CBD, these oils can offer tangible results to your overall health.
Here are some popular carrier oils and the benefits they provide:
- Coconut Oil – This popular option contains medium-chain triglycerides that have been shown to improve brain function and increase energy.
- Olive Oil – This oil is high in monounsaturated fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.
- Sesame Oil is high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, including omega-six and omega-nine essential fatty acids. These fatty acids are essential for brain function and cardiovascular health.
- Almond Oil – This oil contains vitamin E, which has antioxidant properties that protect against free radicals in the body.
- Hazelnut Oil – This oil is made up of fatty acids similar to olive oil, making it beneficial for heart health!
The Best CBD Carrier Oils To Choose
When choosing plant-based oils, it’s essential to know how they affect your wellbeing. In truth, there isn’t a single best carrier oil to use. Instead, each selection can be advantageous depending on what kind of benefit you’re seeking.
Medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil is perhaps the most familiar carrier oil (and rightfully so). Common carrier oils — and rightfully so. Most MCT oils come from fractionated coconut oil, but some are coconut or palm oil.
MCT oil comprises medium-chain triglycerides, a type of saturated fat that is metabolized differently than other types of fat. This fatty plant-based oil can help CBD absorption and provide a significant energy boost. MCT oils have also improved mental clarity, increased energy levels, and promoted weight loss.
Another great thing about MCT oil is that it pairs perfectly with other types of oils. For example, the Golden Monkey Extracts – THC Tincture – 1:1 CBD 500mg contains MCT oil and Grapeseed Oil. Not only do you get increased absorption from MCT with this product, but you’ll also get the full omega-3 benefits of grapeseed!
- Thin and flavour-neutral
- Quick to absorb
- Least expensive option
- Can cause digestive issues
- It might cause a build-up of ketones in the body
- Could affect cholesterol levels
Olive oil is one of the more popular carrier oils out there since you see it everywhere, not just with CBD. Unlike MCT oil, extra virgin olive oil is high in monounsaturated fats.
These fatty acids can improve heart health and reduce the risks of cardiovascular diseases. Olive oil is also a natural antioxidant that can help to protect the body against free radical damage.
- Rich in vitamins A and K,
- Naturally contains iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium
- Great for topical CBD products
- May affect the taste of the product
- Slower absorption due to the presence of long-chain triglycerides
- Thicker than many carrier oils
Hemp seed oil
Hemp seed oil is extracted from hemp seeds. Unlike hemp extract, it contains zero cannabinoids.
Hemp oil is high in omega fatty acids, which are essential fatty acids that the body requires but cannot produce on its own. They have been found to improve heart health and reduce inflammation throughout the whole body.
You’ll commonly find this type of oil with full-spectrum hemp extract. When used this way, hemp oil contributes significantly to the entourage effect.
- Naturally contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
- Rich in antioxidants
- It comes with magnesium, calcium, and other minerals
- Lower CBD absorption compared to MCT oil
- More robust flavour than most familiar carrier oils
- Typically more expensive
Coconut oil is rich in healthy lauric acid, caprylic acid, and other fatty acids that have been found to have a beneficial effect on heart health. As a natural moisturizer, this oil helps hydrate and nourish the skin. It also has many anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, perfect for treating acne or other skin conditions.
Coconut oil can be an effective carrier for CBD oil because it is safe to use and has no side effects, making it a great choice if you are new to using CBD regularly. In addition, coconut oil can help improve cognitive function and reduce inflammation in the gut.
- Packed with antioxidants and nutrients
- Exceptional when used for topical CBD products
- Rich in beneficial fatty acids like lauric acid, caprylic acid, and more
- Strong flavour compared to most carrier oils
- Higher CBD absorption than olive oil but lower than MCT oil
- Can significantly increase cholesterol levels
Avocado oil is also a great choice if you are looking for an oil that will help to improve your hair health. It’s naturally high in good fats like oleic acid can help make your hair shiny, soft, and healthy.
It’s also great for those looking to improve their cardiovascular health. It can help lower harmful cholesterol levels while increasing good cholesterol levels. This oil is also high in antioxidants that can help protect the body from free radical damage.
- Great for topical use
- Rich in antioxidants
- It contains vitamins A, B, D, and E
- Tastes good compared to most other oils
- Thicker than other carrier oils
- An expensive option
Other carrier oils used in CBD products
If you aren’t a fan of the oils listed above, worry not! There are many other types of carrier oils out there — and each comes with a set of unique benefits!
Sunflower oil is a light and flavourless oil that is perfect for those who don’t like the taste of CBD products. It is also an excellent choice for those new to using CBD, as it is safe to use and has no side effects. Sunflower oil is high in vitamin E, which can help to protect the body against free radical damage.
Grapeseed oil is a light carrier oil popular for its lack of flavour. It is made up of omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids, which can help to improve overall health. Grapeseed oil also helps the skin retain moisture and promotes an even complexion.
If you’re looking for a CBD tincture with grape seed oil, we highly recommend Diamond CBD Tincture – 1000mg. This potent CBD solution is composed of 50% grapeseed and 50% MCT oils to maximize the potential of each oil.
This oil is high in ricinoleic acid, a compound that has been shown to improve the health of the scalp and hair. Castor oil is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties and can treat conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
Rosehip oil is known for its ability to heal scars and wounds. It speeds up the skin cell renewal process, which allows it to make old scars disappear faster. In addition, rosehip oil has anti-inflammatory properties that can help with acne or other inflammatory conditions on the skin.
Although jojoba is not technically an essential oil because it does not have any therapeutic benefits, it is a perfect carrier oil for CBD. Jojoba oil has an incredibly long shelf life and does not go rancid quickly like other oils. It is also non-toxic and non-irritating, making it ideal for people with sensitive skin.
Frankincense oil is also known for reducing stress and promoting relaxation. It has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiseptic properties, perfect for treating skin conditions like acne or eczema.
Black cumin seed oil
Black cumin seed oil is also commonly known as black seed oil. This carrier oil has many benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties, antibacterial and antimicrobial effects, wound healing abilities, liver protection qualities, and the list goes on and on!
What are the qualities of good carrier oil for CBD?
When buying CBD-infused oils, it helps to know what factors make for a great carrier oil. After all, the base for the products you’ll use can define the effectiveness of CBD.
Good carrier oils make CBD more bioavailable.
Carrier oils, or essential oils, are especially beneficial for CBD oil. To get the most benefits from CBD, it needs to be adequately absorbed into the bloodstream. To do this, carrier oil is necessary because it will help the CBD to permeate the skin and go into the bloodstream more quickly.
With high-quality carrier oil, you’ll find that your CBD product will be more effective in treating many conditions. These can include sleep issues, anxiety, inflammation in joints and muscles, pain in various body parts, depression, and more.
Good carrier oils stay fresh longer.
Another essential quality of good carrier oil is that it stays fresh for a long time. The oil’s shelf life is significant, as it determines how long you will be able to use the oil before it goes bad.
Some oils, like coconut oil, have a very long shelf life and can be stored for up to two years without going bad. Others, like avocado oil, have a shorter shelf life and should be used within six months to a year. It is essential to find an oil with a good shelf life to use regularly without worrying that it doesn’t go well.
It improves taste, or it tastes neutral.
Many people choose to use carrier oils with CBD because it improves the taste of the oil. Pure CBD oil can be pretty bitter, so adding a carrier oil can help to enhance the flavour. In addition, carrier oils can make the CBD more palatable if used in food or drinks.
Some people also choose to use carrier oils because they have a neutral flavour and will not affect the taste of whatever CBD product you are using. This is an excellent option for people who do not like the taste of CBD oil and want to mask it with another flavour.
It provides therapeutic benefits of its own
Not only do carrier oils help to improve the absorption and taste of CBD oil, but they also have their own set of therapeutic benefits. Some oils, like coconut oil, are great for skin health and can treat acne or other skin conditions. In addition, coconut oil can help to improve your metabolism and help you lose weight.
Other oils, like rosehip oil, have anti-inflammatory properties that can help with conditions like acne or eczema. Rosehip oil is also known for reducing the appearance of scars.
When you use a CBD product that includes a high-quality carrier oil, you will get the full benefits of all of these oils without having to worry about trying to mix CBD oil with your other products.
It has no side effects.
Finally, good carrier oil for CBD should have zero side effects. All oils have some risk of irritating the skin or causing an allergic reaction in sensitive people to certain types of plant-based material. Some carriers even go bad quickly and can irritate when they spoil.
To find a suitable carrier oil for CBD that won’t irritate your skin or cause allergies, look for one that contains minor additives. Also, look for CBD products that have been lab-tested to know you’re getting a safe and potent oil.
What are the potential risks of carrier oils?
While most carrier oils are considered safe to use and have few side effects, there is always the potential to go wrong. In some cases, people may be allergic to the ingredients in carrier oils. In addition, certain oils may cause skin irritation if they are not used correctly.
Other possible side effects may include:
Carrier oils can be a great way to improve your CBD experience, but it is essential to remember that they come with some risks. It is essential to do your research before choosing a carrier oil and start with a small amount to test for any potential reactions.
By choosing a high-quality carrier oil and following the instructions carefully, you can minimize those risks and enjoy all the benefits that CBD has to offer. If you experience any adverse effects after using a carrier oil, discontinue use immediately and consult your doctor.
Which CBD products contain carrier oils?
Aside from oils, many other hemp-derived products make use of carrier oils. Here are the most common examples:
- CBD Capsules: Some CBD products, like capsules, come with a carrier oil already included. The common carrier oils in these products are an MCT flavour and hemp seed flavour.
- CBD Extracts: All CBD extracts include carrier oils, such as full-spectrum or broad-spectrum extract. The most commonly used carrier oils in these extracts are coconut or olive oil.
- CBD Balms and Lotions: For those who prefer lotions or balms that can be applied topically, it is essential to look for one that includes a carrier oil. Carrier oils may help improve the absorption of the product and may also moisturize your skin after application.
- CBD Edibles: Many edibles, especially homemade ones, contain CBD-infused oils. Since edibles are meant for consumption, the most popular career choices include avocado oil and coconut oil in the form of cannabutter.
The great thing about carrier oils is that they come in many different forms that you can easily incorporate into your daily life. For example, you might want to use a balm or lotion that includes a carrier oil, or you might want to add a few drops of CBD oil to your favourite food or drink. With so many options available, it is easy to find a way to use carrier oils in your everyday life.
Whether it is helping you sleep better at night, improving inflamed joints in your body, or alleviating pain from various conditions caused by inflammation, a high-quality carrier oil can make all the difference. So it helps to know why it matters so much in the CBD industry.
A final word: it’s impossible to choose the “best” CBD oil. It depends on multiple factors, and of course, your personal preference.
So, which carrier oil do you prefer? Do you like oils that deliver maximum absorption like MCT oil, or do you choose those that deliver excellent health benefits? Let us know what you think by commenting below!