Carrier oils are extracted from plants. Their purpose is to dilute essential oils and better administer them to our bodies. This concept applies to many products from CBD to skincare. Their function is comparable to milk in chocolate milk, milk carries the essential cocoa powder ingredient.
Carrier oils are needed to give a moderate and control environment to essential oils. Essential oils are extremely concentrated and may cause damage or reaction when used on their own.
Why use carrier oils with CBD
There are three main reasons why CBD needs to be delivered in a carrier oil. First, carrier oils are very helpful for our bodies to absorb CBD. Because CBD is fat-soluble it can't get to our bloodstream as easily as a water-soluble substance. It must go through our guts first. To process fatty molecules like CBD our bodies need to produce an array of enzymes in our digestive tracks. The duty of carrier oil is to signal our bodies to prepare for the reception of those molecules. This signal boosts our capability of absorption thus permits better CBD retention.
Secondly, carrier oils are also helping determine the dosage of CBD. The difference between 5mg and 50mg of CBD microscopic. When it is diluted in oil we can more easily predict how much CBD is found in a certain amount of milliliters. It allows us to make significantly accurate and consistent doses.
Lastly, most carrier oils add health benefits to the tinctures. Certainly, for those benefits to have a major impact on our health the amount of the carrier would need to be much bigger. A regular dose of CBD is usually around 1 to 10 mg, which is too little for us to feel the benefits of the carrier oil.
How to choose a carrier oil
There are many well know carrier oil like coconut oil, jojoba oil, rosehip oil, etc. Although in the case of CBD we absolutely need something edible. We also want to keep in mind its odor and taste. They need to be in harmony with the natural earthy smell and taste of CBD. Another important thing is its shelf life, some carrier oils have a longer shelf life than others. In the CBD Industry, the four bigger players in terms of carrier oils are MCT oil, Hemp seed oil, Grapeseed oil, and Olive oil.
MCT Oil (Medium-Chain Triglyceride)
MCT stands for medium-chain triglyceride. In nature, fat molecules are normally produced in groups of three. The length of these fatty acids' chains will be determined by the amount of carbon atoms they contain. For example, a short-chain of fatty acids usually contains 2 to 5 carbon atoms, medium-chain or fatty acids, 6 to 12 and a long-chain would contain 13 or more carbon atoms.
The particularity of MCT oil is its shorter structure. This particularity helps CBD to get access to our bloodstream faster.
Therefore, this type of oil is a cheap and very efficient carrier oil. MCT oil is man-made from coconut or palm oil. Those two oils contain naturally a high number of triglycerides made with medium-chain fatty acids. The process is called fractionation. It extracts and isolates the medium-chain triglyceride from the coconut or palm kernel oil.
This oil can also be used as a supplement. Studies showed its diverse benefits such as, increasing overall energy, improving brain functions, reducing cholesterol and bettering weight management.
Hemp seed oil
Hemp seed oil is another popular carrier oil in the CBD industry. It is often mistaken for CBD. Sadly some companies even try to sell it as such. Beware of the amazon marketplace where technically no CBD sales are aloud. Those products are sake oil and contain no trace of CBD at all.
The difference between CBD oil and hemp seed oil is its extraction source. CBD is extracted from the flower and the plant itself as hemp seed oil is extracted from the seeds.
The hemp seed oil has been used mostly in the cosmetics business before because it is a natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. This type of oil also contains a great amount of essential fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6.
Some CBD experts claim that hemp oil would be the best carrier oil for CBD. Because of its provenance and the hemp-produced phytochemicals it holds. Their main argument is that hemp seed oil could promote the entourage effect of the CBD tincture.
Grapeseed oil is also frequently used to make cosmetics, as well as body oils and massage oils, because of its fast absorption characteristic. It is extracted from grape seeds and has a very neutral scent. It contains vitamin E and omega-6 fatty acids. Its popularity amongst beauty products is due to its anti-inflammatory and its anti-oxidants benefits. It is also rich in mineral and phytonutrients.
Although, some controversy surrounds its extraction process. Nearly all the commercial grapeseed oil is produced using a chemical solvent like hexane. Hexane is extracted from petroleum and crude oil. It is considered as air pollutant and neurotoxin.
Cold-pressed grapeseed oil is safe and doesn't use any solvent, but it is more expensive and harder to find.
Olive oil is predominantly used for cooking and is a terrific carrier oil. It is rich in phytonutrients and vitamin K and E and iron as well as antioxidants. Olive oil is also beloved by cosmetologists because it is great at cleansing and moisturizing dry skins. It has been used before to enhance massage oils, facial cleansers, hair care, and soaps.
This fruity oil, unfortunately, contains a large quantity of monounsaturated fat. Those molecules are a healthy fat, but they are categorized as long-chain triglycerides, meaning it takes more time to break them down. Accordingly, it is harder to absorb and it has a smaller bioavailability for CBD.
Finally, the best types of carrier oil for CBD, and the one we are proud to have in our premium CBD tinctures at Diamond democracy, is MCT oil. The shorter structure of its fat molecules helps CBD to get absorbed right away. MCT's beneficial characteristics are also more in line with the benefits of CBD. Lastly, MCT's high solubility can support higher potency for CBD oils.
**These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration and are in no way intended to treat or diagnose any physical ailment or disease. Please consult your Doctor before adding CBD or any supplement to your diet. Most workplace and competitive sports drug screens focus on delta-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and do not screen for Cannabinol (CBD) or other legal and natural hemp-based compounds. Be advised, studies have shown that consuming hemp foods or oils can cause a positive result when screening urine and blood specimens. Therefore, if you are subject to any form of drug testing or screening. We recommended (as does the United States Armed Services) that you DO-NOT ingest CBD or hemp oil before consulting your healthcare practitioner or your drug screening testing company or employer.