CBD carrier oils

What is a carrier oil?

Carrier oils are used in all sorts of botanical medicines, cosmetics and many pharmaceutical medications. In terms of CBD oil education it is the carrier oil’s job to “carry” the active constituent – in this case CBD – into your body to be absorbed.

There is a wide range of carrier oils used in CBD products, each with their own positive and negative attributes. CBD carrier oils include avocado, sesame, palm or grapeseed, yet you will find it is MCT, hemp and olive oils that are used the most.

CBD products such as oils or capsules will contain a carrier oil that should be labelled on the bottle. Different carrier oils have health benefits in their own right, as well as potentially increasing the bioavailability of CBD.

What CBD carrier oils are there?

Carrier oils allow for easeful dosing and extend the shelf life of cannabinoids by reducing their oxidation. Here are the top three:

MCT oil

Increasingly, you will find medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oils as the main carrier oil for CBD and other medical cannabis formulations. MCT oil is unique in that it doesn’t need to be metabolised in the liver to be utilised by the body.

This means more of the active constituent, CBD, is delivered through the bloodstream to where it is needed most. For extra benefits, MCT oil has been shown to extract a greater amount of terpenes than some other kinds of carrier oils.

Research into MCT oil and its availability as a food supplement has grown substantially in recent years. It’s been shown to have benefits for people with Alzheimer’s, diabetes and epilepsy.

MCT oil can be derived from palm kernel oil or coconut oil. Most manufacturers choose coconut oil due to the negative environmental impact associated with palm plantations, but it’s always a good idea to check in with your prescriber to ensure your CBD oil doesn’t contain ecologically dubious palm products.

CBD olive oil

Your go-to kitchen oil, olive oil has been widely used as a carrier oil for CBD. Olive oil has well-documented health benefits in humans, specifically in relation to heart and vascular health in large part due to its rich omega fat content. 

Antioxidants and other plant compounds such as in olive oil have potent anti-inflammatory effects that may be beneficial in instances of metabolic syndrome, neurological disorders and immune conditions.

Interesting preliminary research suggests that olive oil can support the body’s endocannabinoid system pointing to immune modulation and reduced cancer risk. However olive oil is used as a CBD carrier oil less frequently in recent times due to its viscosity and other oils having more benefits in terms of bioavailability.

Hemp oil and CBD

Hemp oil is also known as hemp seed oil, as the oil is extracted from the pressed seeds. Similarly to olive oil, hemp oil is rich in essential fatty acids, omega 3 and 9.

Hemp oil also contains a little known fatty acid called gamma-linoleic acid, omega 6. Which has been researched for its anti-inflammatory effects in conditions like arthritis.

In having these incredibly nutritious and therapeutic omega fats, hemp seed oil can support immune, skin and heart health through its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

The benefits of CBD oil

The wide-ranging health benefits of CBD are being continuously researched. Well-known for its effects in reducing childhood epilepsy, there is also research supporting the use of CBD oil for 

CBD, being a fat-soluble compound, is better absorbed when eaten with food, particularly fat-containing foods. This can vary depending on individual circumstances so follow the advice of your CBD oil prescriber.

Accessing low dose CBD oil

In 2021 low dose CBD was rescheduled from a prescription-only medicine to a pharmacist only medicine. This means CBD oil, in doses lower than 150mg per day, are legal for short term or mild to moderate conditions under the guidance of a pharmacist.

CA Connect offers CBD oil via our online pharmacy, and offers a choice of carrier oil: either MCT, olive oil or hemp oil.

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