Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural component extracted from the leaves, flowers, and stalks of hemp plants. It’s believed to have many health benefits, although research is still ongoing. CBD should, however, not be confused with marijuana, because it doesn’t have the psychoactive ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is responsible for giving users that ‘high’ feeling. CBD is used in food and drinks, as well as and beauty products. The products are usually in the form of oil, though they can also be in the form of an extract or vaporized liquid.
CBD is very strong and your body will only need a very small amount for it to experience the effects of the compound. But, first, it has to be dissolved into a fatty oil (carrier oil) for the body to easily and properly absorb it, as well as for the compound to reach the bloodstream.
MCT (medium-chain triglycerides) oil and CBD oil are two oils that are frequently mentioned together, more so in the recent past as CBD products have continued to gain popularity. The difference between MCT oil vs CBD oil is that the former is one of the carrier oils mixed with CBD extract to form CBD oil.
Here are some tips to help you choose the best CBD carrier oil for your needs:
- Check The Freshness
CBD products are expensive; therefore, you won’t want to waste good money by throwing away a half-used bottle of your product into the trash can because it’s gone stale. When choosing a carrier oil for CBD, go for a fresh oil that’ll preserve the compound for a long time, specifically a carrier oil that’ll prevent your product from going rancid fast.
Cannabinoids degenerate with time when exposed to oxygen, but a good carrier oil can give them a longer shelf life.
- Check The Potency
As you now know, CBD should be dissolved in a carrier oil for it to be effective. It should have the ability to infuse the precise dosage of CBD. Therefore, it goes without saying that the carrier oil of your choice should have a light consistency and a high solvency capacity for your body to get maximum benefits from CBD. If the carrier oil doesn’t have the capacity to dissolve a good percentage of the CBD, most of it will just be washed off your system, which means you’ll have very little gain.
- Consider Your Taste Preference
Taste is an important factor for anything that goes into your mouth. Consuming oil has never been pleasant, and more so oil that’s been infused with CBD, which can have an unpleasant taste and smell.
All carrier oils have distinct tastes—some have strong smells and flavors, others have nutty or fruity flavors, while others are neutral, almost odorless. So, when choosing a carrier oil, go for one that apart from being pleasant to your taste preference, is also able to mask the unpleasant taste of CBD when infused into it.
- Check For Possible Allergic Reactions
Most carrier oils are plant-, seed-, or nut-based. Be sure that the carrier oil you’ll go for doesn’t contain anything that you’re allergic to. Read the CBD product labels properly and inquire, if possible, if the oils have been made in environments that could’ve exposed them to things you may be allergic to. If the product is to be topically applied, do a patch test first.
CBD Carrier Oils
Here’s a list of some of the popular CBD carrier oils:
- MCT Oil
MCT oil is the most preferred carrier oil for CBD products. The MCT oil commonly used is extracted from coconut or palm kernel oil, with coconut being the most preferred. This oil isn’t only popular due to its ability to infuse the precise dose of CBD, but also because of its neutral smell and taste that are able to mask the unpleasant taste of CBD.
- Hemp Seed Oil
Hemp seed oil as a CBD carrier oil has been known to enrich the benefits of the compound and make it more effective. It, however, has a low solvency ability; therefore, it can’t hold much CBD. It also has a sharp earthy taste that may not be too appealing.
- Olive Oil
Olive oil is used as a carrier oil for CBD, and it contains monosaturated fats that your body may process slowly, therefore, slowing down the much-needed effect of pain relief. Its thick consistency also makes it hard to dose and can leave you with a nauseating effect when ingested. It’s, however, absorbed faster than MCT when applied topically.
- Avocado Oil
Because of its thick consistency, avocado oil is mostly used as a carrier oil in CBD products that are applied topically. It’s quickly absorbed by the skin, and also has a pleasant flavor. It, however, has a higher allergy risk compared to other oils.
- Grapeseed Oil
Grapeseed oil is light in consistency, but lacks the saturated fats that are needed for CBD to be effective. It’s highly soluble, has a fruity flavor, and is quickly absorbed. It contains vitamins and antioxidants beneficial to the skin; therefore, it’s mostly used in topical CBD products.
You’re now in a better position to choose the right carrier oil for CBD. You should, however, note that some carrier oils are better used in products that are ingested while others are better suited for those that are topically applied. You can, however, try CBD products with different carrier oils before settling on one to know what works best for you.