You probably already know that CBD oil is one of the most popular and convenient ways to take CBD.
But what is MCT CBD oil exactly and how does CBD get into an oil?
We’ve talked in previous posts about how CBD is extracted to form either a refined oil, CBD distillate or isolate. Given that CBD isolate is a crystalline powder and distillate is a thick, honey-like substance, how do these relate to the CBD oil products you see on the shelf?
A key element here is the carrier oil: this is a separate ingredient that can be mixed with concentrated CBD to form what is commonly known as CBD oil. Not only does this make the CBD easier to take and to store, but the carrier oil can deliver benefits of its own.
A carrier oil is a simple plant-based oil that helps to ensure that the active ingredient, the CBD compound, makes its way into your bloodstream and to your body’s tissues and organs.
MCT is one of the most commonly used carrier oils for CBD products. Not only does it help to deliver the CBD compounds to your body, but MCT oil can offer its own health benefits, reinforcing the benefits of taking CBD.
Read on to learn more about the carrier oils used with CBD, their uses, and why MCT oil is the best carrier oil to use.
What is a Carrier Oil?
If you read the label of the packaging carefully, you will realize that CBD products contain more than just hemp extracts. Notably, manufacturers include carrier oils as one of the major ingredients in CBD oil.
Typically these are either a vegetable oil or glycerin, and it is essential for the efficacy and absorption of CBD into the body. Essentially, the carrier oil in CBD products allows your body to process and absorb the CBD.
A carrier oil works because as a fatty plant-based oil, it contains the kind of fat molecules that your body is accustomed to processing. The fat molecules in the carrier oil directly bind to the CBD compound, allowing the body to easily process the CBD. This, in turn, improves the absorption and bioavailability of the CBD.
You can read more about CBD bioavailability in this post.
Why Use Carrier Oil with CBD?
Simply put, carrier oil is used for carrying the essential ingredients and active compounds present in the CBD formula so that it can be absorbed by the body. It works by binding to the cannabinoids and speeding up their delivery to the bloodstream. There is no denying that an effective carrier oil is vital for the efficiency and potency of CBD and other cannabinoids.
Using a solvent to carry the active ingredient to better target a part of the body is not a new concept. Carrier oils have long been used with essential oils, cosmetics and hair care products. Even using soapy water to dissolve and remove grease from your dishes is essentially the same concept.
Here, the main difference between CBD and other products is that CBD can only be dissolved in fats or oils. You can’t use water to dissolve the hemp extracts found in the CBD products. Furthermore, specific types of carrier oils are used as they have particular attributes that makes them ideal to use with CBD.
Let’s take a look at some of the main reasons to use carrier oil with CBD.
1. Improved CBD Absorption
The main reason why manufacturers add a carrier oil to CBD products is to enhance its bioavailability. In other words, the carrier oil can make it easier for the active ingredients, that is CBD and other cannabinoids, to travel to the bloodstream and be absorbed by the body.
It’s important to note that Cannabidiol and other cannabinoids are fat soluble. This means they can only be dissolved in fats or oils. The sooner they break down in your body, the easier it is for your digestive system to absorb the essential ingredients. Let’s look at how this works.
Our bodies can absorb water and fat-soluble compounds. The water-soluble compounds, such as minerals and nutrients, enter your bloodstream through the water-soluble pathway. The process for fat-soluble compounds is a little more complex.
Unlike water-based minerals, fat-soluble compounds like CBD do not enter the bloodstream, and from there travel to your body’s tissues or organs, directly from the gut. They are instead converted into small particles that make their way to the bloodstream through the lymph system.
Our body has to break the CBD down into tiny particles, known as micelles. If you take CBD products together with a fatty substance like vegetable oil, your digestive system dissolves the ingredients quickly. This allows your body to quickly and more completely process and absorb the cannabinoids.
2. Ease and Accuracy in Measuring Dosage
If you were dealing with raw CBD products, such as distillate or crystalline isolate, measuring the correct dosage would be virtually impossible for most consumers, given the tiny quantities and level of precision involved. Imagine trying to measure 8.5 mg of CBD isolate crystals for example!
An accurate dose can, however, be easily measured if you dilute the product with a strong carrier oil and so this is one of the reasons why manufacturers use a carrier oil with CBD products. A CBD oil that contains a known concentration of CBD makes it easy to measure out the correct dosage. This kind of product can be easily measured by counting the number of drops or using a measuring spoon.
Of course, an accurate dosage relies on a quality product that is accurately labeled – read more on the importance of choosing a reliable CBD product in our post on avoiding CBD-related scams and misinformation.
3. Extended Shelf Life
CBD products typically last for one or two years, and carrier oils play an integral part in extending the product’s shelf-life. Carrier oils such as MCT oil can help to preserve the freshness and potency of CBD and other cannabinoids. In fact, one of the main reasons manufacturers add a high-quality carrier oil to CBD products is to allow the products to have a longer shelf life without losing effectiveness or potency.
Of course, the shelf-life CBD products also depend on how they are stored. Storing them properly, generally in a cool, dark place, is essential or ensuring that you get the maximum shelf life out of your CBD oil or other related product.
For these reasons, many premium manufacturers choose to use MCT oil as a carrier oil in their products. So, why MCT oil in particular? Let’s take a look.
What is MCT Oil?
MCT, or medium-chain triglyceride, is rich in fatty acids that are commonly found in dairy products, as well as coconut oil. MCT oil is most commonly extracted from coconuts and is used for a broad range of applications. The main quality that sets the MCT oil apart from other oils is its ability to speed up the how quickly the body processes foods and other compounds. Unlike other vegetable and plant-based oils, MCT travels directly to your liver from the digestive system, and from there they are converted into ketones by the liver.
Long-chain fatty acids can make it difficult for your digestive system to absorb food. The simple reason is that the higher number of carbon atoms in the fatty acids makes the digestion and absorption process more complex. The long-chain fatty acids require a lot of time to break the food down into small particles and can use the nutrients and active compounds in the food for energy. For this reason, experts often recommend the use of short or medium-chain triglyceride (MCT).
Not only do these shorter-chain fatty acids get absorbed easily by your body, but medium-chain triglyceride is most likely to enter your liver from the gut, speeding up the absorption process. The reason that MCTs are generally extracted from coconut oil is that coconut oil contains more than 50% of the fats found in medium-chain triglyceride.
You can consume MCT oil with fat-soluble foods, and it is being increasingly included in food products, as well as being taken separately. Either way, MCT oil does wonders when it comes to breaking down fat-soluble compounds.
You can buy MCT oil separately and it has a shelf life of one to two years. Make sure you store the product in a cool and dry place to preserve its effectiveness. Surprisingly, MCT oil does not convert into a solid state. Even though it is extracted from coconut oil, MCT stays in liquid form even if you store it in the freezer.
Different Kinds of MCT Oil
MCT oils are especially known for their ability to turn fat into energy in a short period of time. This easy absorption and high bioavailability are why manufacturers use MCT oil as a carrier oil for CBD. When you consume it with CBD, MCT oil enters your liver and gets converted into ketones. The ketones then travel to the bloodstream and are transported to different cells and organs of your body, where they deliver important energy to the body and the brain.
Did you know MCT oil is available in a range of forms? Standard MCT oil differs from the C8 MCT oil, for example. The latter contains pure caprylic acid, while standard medium-chain triglyceride is made up of four essential fatty acids. How soon the MCT oil converts into ketones depends on the concentration of different compounds in the MCT formula. The standard MCT oil has C6, C8, C10, and C12.
Before you purchase the MCT oil, have a look at the label of the product to check the concentration of each compound in the formula. Note that MCT oils can have a different concentration of Caproic, Caprylic, Lauric, and Capric acid. An MCT oil that contains a high concentration of Caproic acid can lead to digestion issues, such as nausea and upset stomach.
Nowadays, manufacturers have started to produce MCT oil that is 100% caprylic acid or C8, as these types of MCT are believed to be easier to absorb than the other compounds.
On that note, let’s take a look at the four types of MCTs available on the market:
- Caproic Acid: Also known as C6, Caproic acid is known for its ability to increase ketones. The compound can dissolve in water. Manufacturers derive Caproic acid from plants and animal fats. The oil can have a strong odour.
- Caprylic Acid: The C8 or Caprylic acid is the manufacturer’s favourite compound when it comes to the production of MCT oil. It can boost your energy and some people argue that it can help you to lose weight. Studies suggest that Caprylic acid contains compounds that have antimicrobial properties.
- Lauric Acid: One of the most crucial compounds found in coconut oil is Lauric acid. C12 or Lauric acid is an antimicrobial compound. The only drawback of this carbon atom is that it features a long chain of the carbon atoms, making it less efficient than other compounds. It takes a long time to show results. Lauric acid is hard to break down.
- Capric Acid: Like C8, Capric Acid is known for its antimicrobial property. It may also be helpful with weight loss. Unlike Caprylic acid, C10 is not an ideal option when it comes to Ketones production. Since it has a longer chain of carbon atoms, it is natural for the compound to take longer than other MCTs to turn into Ketones.
Why is MCT Oil the Best Carrier Oil for CBD?
MCT is not only commonly used with CBD, but is also used in a range of fat-soluble products. You’ve probably heard of the amazing properties of coconut oil, with users and fans extolling its many health benefits. From controlling hair thinning to repairing your rough and damaged skin, coconut oil is used as a solution to multiple skin and health problems.
Manufacturers use carrier oils to allow CBD to be effectively absorbed into the human body. MCT is one of the most popular carrier oils as it is highly effective in aiding with CBD absorption, extends shelf life, and has a number of benefits for health and wellness. As already mentioned, the main benefit of MCT oil is its ability to speed up the absorption of CBD and other cannabinoids.
Let’s take a closer look at the role of these fat-soluble oil CBD supplements, and specifically how MCT impacts bioavailability.
MCT Oil and Bioavailability
Oral methods of consumption, such as oils or capsules, are probably the most popular way to take CBD. Many people use drops or tinctures, which are placed underneath your tongue for 30-60 seconds. This is an easy and convenient way to take CBD, but it can also be one of the lowest rates of bioavailability: research suggests that oral CBD has only 4-20 percent of bioavailability.
When taking CBD orally, it has to go through your digestive system and liver before it finally reaches your bloodstream. Using MCT as a carrier oil means that the CBD does not have to go through the metabolism stage and can therefore be absorbed more quickly. As mentioned before, CBD is a fat-soluble compound that works well when taken with fatty oils. By avoiding the metabolism stage, MCT oil makes it possible for the compound to reach your bloodstream more quickly, as well as ensure that a higher percentage of the CBD consumed makes it into your bloodstream.
In other words, medium-chain triglyceride plays an integral part in increasing the bioavailability of CBD. This oil increases the concentration of the oral CBD that enters your bloodstream. In addition to simplifying and therefore speeding up the absorption process, MCT oil helps you get to absorb a good amount of the CBD.
Other Benefits of MCT Oil
In addition to being used in CBD products, MCT oil is commonly used in beverages and foodstuffs. As they contain a medium-chain of triglycerides, they get absorbed by the bloodstream and other organs faster. However, the benefits of this compound are not limited to easy absorption.
Some of the other benefits of MCT oil are:
- MCT oil produces leptin and Peptide YY, which are responsible for regulating your appetite, with several studies indicating that MCT oil can help with weight reduction. Because MCTs are converted into energy almost instantly, they are not stored as fats in our bodies.
- MCT features a shorter chain of triglycerides that’s easier to break down as compared to the longer chain of compounds. Furthermore, MCT oil can get into your liver and bloodstream without being converted into tiny particles and so can be used as an instant source of energy.
- There is some evidence that MCT oil can be beneficial for people suffering from Epilepsy, Autism, and Alzheimer’s disease.
- MCT oils are rich in compounds that have antimicrobial properties, and so they can prevent yeast and bacterial growth.
MCT oil is a powerful oil in its own right, that is increasingly being used by health and fitness enthusiasts for its many benefits.
It is also a highly effective carrier oil that can be used with CBD to increase absorption, extend shelf life, and deliver CBD in a form that is convenient to take in the correct dosage. By using MCT oil with CBD, not only are you ensuring that your body can process the cannabinoids more efficiently and effectively, that you can also enjoy the benefits of MCT oil itself!Don’t forget to browse our blog for more posts on the benefits and usage of CBD, and keep checking back for the latest news and updates!