CBD carrier oils can vary widely, and each offers its own advantages and disadvantages. Read on for a detailed look at some of the most common CBD carrier oils on the market, including olive oil, MCT oil, hemp seed oil and more.
Something that is difficult for many newcomers to the CBD world to understand is often how different carrier oils affect the quality of CBD oil.
CBD Carrier Oils
Carrier oils play a crucial role in CBD oils; primarily, they help CBD, terpenes and other beneficial compounds in the hemp extract reach our bodies. Some of the most common carrier oils used in making CBD products are:
- Olive oil
- Hemp seed oil
- Coconut oil
- MCT oil
- Black cumin seed oil
To better understand how carrier oils work, it is helpful to start by looking at how CBD oils are made. It all starts with an extraction process that separates cannabidiol and other active compounds from dried hemp flowers.
Then, CBD oil manufacturers take this extract and dilute it with a carrier oil to create the final product. This not only allows them to create products with varying concentrations of CBD, but also to improve the absorption and bioavailability of the compounds in the CBD extract.
Bioavailability of CBD
The bioavailability of CBD (in other words, the amount of CBD that the body is actually able to absorb) changes depending on the carrier oil that has been used in a given product and on its form of administration.
Studies have shown that CBD inhalation through a vaporizer offers the highest bioavailability compared to any other delivery method, ranging from 34-46% (or up to 56% in some cases). On the other hand, sublingual administration of CBD oil comes in second place, with bioavailability ranging from 13-35%. Finally, swallowing CBD oil or ingesting CBD edibles (such as jelly beans, for example) offers the lowest bioavailability (apart from topical absorption), ranging from 6-20%.
Most common CBD carrier oils: advantages and disadvantages
Carrier oils can also have a direct impact on the bioavailability of CBD products, as each oil is absorbed by the body more or less effectively. While MCT is considered the best CBD carrier oil (simply because it is easily digested by the body and has the best bioavailability), other carrier oils (such as olive oil or hemp seed oil) have unique properties that can enhance the overall wellness benefits of your CBD oil.
Olive oil is a staple in many people’s diets. In addition to being an incredibly tasty and versatile cooking oil/condiment, olive oil has been shown to have a wide range of beneficial properties.
First, olive oil is very rich in oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that has been shown to reduce inflammation and, according to some studies, even inhibit tumor cell proliferation. Olive oil is also rich in omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, important compounds in cell membranes and precursors of many vital compounds that help regulate inflammation and blood pressure.
Olive oil is also rich in antioxidants and may help reduce the risk of stroke (due to its high concentration of monounsaturated fats).
At RQS, we use olive oil as the main carrier oil for our standard CBD oils (available in 2.5%, 5%, 10%, 15% and 20% concentrations). While it may not be as easy to digest and break down as MCT oil, we believe its unique health benefits make olive oil one of the best CBD carrier oils.
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