Pure CBD, also known as CBD isolate, forms a white powder. Not only would it be extremely difficult to measure out a serving of CBD isolate grain by grain, but more importantly, your body would be unlikely to process the majority of the CBD you take in.
For this reason, CBD is often infused into oil-based solutions (carrier oils), where it binds with fat molecules your body is already prone to breaking down. Once the CBD is evenly distributed throughout the oil, it is possible to evenly measure consistent amounts of CBD that your body can process.
Hemp Seed Oil
Hemp is a popular carrier oil for a variety of purposes, and as the name implies, it is derived from the hemp plant. However, please note that it does not contain any properties which will intoxicate you.
Hemp Seed Oil contains a variety of beneficial chemical components, including: Linoleic Acid, a-Linolenic Acid, Oleic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid, and ?-Linolenic Acid. Taken collectively, these fatty acids are said to have a variety of benefits, including:
· Softening, moisturizing and strengthening hair, and allowing hair to grow at a quicker rate
· Serving as an anti-inflammatory agent
· Moisturizing and softening skin
· Helping to clean your skin and hair
Keep in mind that, though Hemp Seed Oil does have its own benefits, it is not the same thing as CBD oil. We’re only talking about using Hemp Seed as a carrier oil; CBD oil contains cannabinoids, while Hemp Seed oil does not. This is an important distinction.
Fractionated Coconut Oil (MCT Oil – Medium Chain Triglycerides)
Coconut oil naturally excels as a carrier oil in a number of categories. Coconut Oil has little to no flavour, which makes it a great choice for making tinctures (drops). Additionally, it is thinner than most oils, making it easy to dispense and measure. Coconut oil has natural antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties.
Fractionated Coconut Oil also contains an abundance of saturated fats, particularly medium chain triglycerides (MCT), which help the body better absorb CBD.
Palm oil can also be used to make MCT oil, just like coconut oil. That is because MCT oil is a somewhat general term which refers to the type of fat molecules in an oil, not the natural source of the oil. This is an important distinction because palm oil’s manufacturing process is often connected to deforestation, animal cruelty, and climate change. For this reason, we personally do not recommend Palm MCT oil.
Olive oil has a light fruity taste, which may be noticeable in some tinctures. Additionally, olive oil tends to be thicker, which may affect the measuring process. Monounsaturated fats are the premier fat molecules in olive oil, generally in the form of oleic acid. These larger fat molecules require more processing which may reduce the amount of CBD your body absorbs. However, oleic acid may help reduce inflammation. Further, olive oil is packed with antioxidants.
Similar to olive oil, avocado oil has high concentrations of oleic acid, however, it is much thicker. Avocado oil has a nutty taste and can be added to CBD oils to increase the viscosity. Avocado oil is often chosen for topical applications due to its slow drying time and abundance of vitamins A, D, & E. One downside of Avocado oil is that it is one of the more expensive oils on this list.
Grape Seed Oil
Grape seed oil is thin and has a wine-like aroma. It isn’t very greasy, so grapeseed oil is often incorporated into skin and hair products. Unfortunately, grape seed oil primarily consists of polyunsaturated fats which doesn’t make it the best carrier oil for CBD.
So, Which Carrier Oil is the Best?
There really is no “best” carrier oil because each kind of oil suits specific applications and needs. Some are better for topical treatments or products for skin and hair, like grape seed and avocado oils, and others are better for tinctures such as MCT or Hemp Seed Oil.
Some oils, like olive oil, may be harder for the body to metabolize, but it has its own health-giving properties to make up for any loss in CBD effectiveness. Depending on your personal needs and preferences, different oils will be best for you and may require some experimentation.
Most CBD oils in the UK tend to use either MCT oil or a vegetable oil such as Hemp Seed oil as the carrier. Both are fine but more importantly than the carrier oil always ensure actual CBD content is as stated and the quality of the product is of a premium standard.