What is a Carrier Oil?

Carrier oils are various oils that may be used to produce CBD oil from CBD isolate or distillate powder. They help create stable, easy-to-use products with some additional health benefits.

One may use CBD isolate or CBD distillate to create CBD products. However, these have a very high concentration of CBD and are unfit for direct consumption. Even if one extracts CBD using CO2 extraction, it will still result in a high concentration product with poor bioavailability and would be difficult to use for health benefits. 

Since CBD is naturally soluble in oils, it is a common practice to dissolve it in some oil to create an end product. These oils in which CBD extract, CBD isolate, or CBD distillate are dissolved are called carrier oils.

Impact of Adding Carrier Oils to CBD

It is worth understanding that CBD distillate or broad-spectrum CBD is also rich in terpenes, polyphenols, essential oils. Many of these compounds are highly volatile, and they tend to degrade quickly, whereas using carrier oil reduces their volatility and enhances stability.

Additionally, carrier oils may also help boost the bioavailability of CBD products. Most often, people would take CBD oil sublingually, and part of CBD would be quickly absorbed. However, another part enters the intestines, where CBD carrier oils may help protect CBD from the harsh effect of gastric juices.

Olive oil is one of the most popular oils used in culinary and also in the CBD industry.

Benefits of CBD Carrier Oils

Improved stability

These oils form the base of the product, to which one may add CBD isolate or distillate to create the end product. It is also common practice to add various terpenes and essential oils to enhance the aroma and health benefits of CBD products. Mixing these various compounds to carrier oils help create much stable product, as carrier oil are not volatile and have an excellent shelf life.

Improved absorption

CBD is naturally soluble in lipids and does not dissolve well in the water (except specifically created water-soluble CBD). Thus, it is natural to use carrier oils as something to dissolve CBD isolate. These carrier oils also help protect CBD from gastric juices and improve CBD’s absorption through the intestine.

Further, dissolving CBD in oils may also help prolong their action. Without carrier oils, whatever CBD will make to the bloodstream would be quickly metabolized by the liver. On the contrary, CBD dissolved in carrier oils takes much longer to metabolize. It may also accumulate in greater amounts in various fatty tissues. 

The unique mechanism of action

Fats are absorbed and metabolized quite differently by the body than carbs, water-soluble nutrients. After digestion, fats are taken up by the lymphatic system. In contrast, water-soluble ingredients go directly to the liver. By bypassing the liver and using lymphatic tissues, fat-soluble substances may have unique health benefits. For example, most lymph is rich in immune cells. Thus, fat-soluble agents may have more significant immune-modulating action.

Easier dosing

Theoretically, one may consume CBD isolate powder. However, since CBD is needed just in a few milligrams a day, dosing CBD isolate or distillate would be almost impossible. On the other hand, dosing CBD oil is much easier, and one can use a few drops of CBD oil a day.

Helps provide unique products

These days it is a common practice to create CBD products for specific needs. It is achieved by adding terpenes from other plants like tea trees, Spanish sage, citrus fruits. Thus, some CBD products may help calm the nerves, while others may help uplift the moods. Therefore, carrier oils help create value-added products. Moreover, not only CBD but most terpenes also dissolve pretty well in oils.

Apart from terpenes, some CBD manufacturers may add essential oils to CBD products like eucalyptus oil and lavender oil. However, essential oils cannot be consumed directly as they may irritate mucus membranes. But, using carrier oil helps create effective and safe products.

Perhaps the most common carrier oil used for CBD drops formulation, offering a true whole plant experience.

Added health benefits of carrier oils for CBD

Carrier oils are not something inert. They may also have their health benefits. Some may be rich in high-quality fatty acids. For example, olive oil is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and may help reduce inflammation. Some oils may be rich in fat-soluble vitamins, minerals, and so on.

Below is the list of carrier oils and their benefits:

Hemp seed oil

It is perhaps the most natural choice. The hemp seed oil contains cannabinoids only in traces, and it may contain other beneficial compounds in small amounts like terpenes. Further, it has an excellent balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.  It means that using it as a carrier oil may help boost the “entourage effect” of the end product. It is especially preferred when creating full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD oil. Thus, it could be regarded as one of the best carrier oils for CBD.

MCT oil

It is usually created from coconut but may be extracted from palm kernel oil. This oil differs from all other types of oil in the way that it has high amounts of saturated fats. It does not contain inflammation-causing omega-6 fatty acids. Saturated fats are good for health in small amounts, and they also appear to improve gut health. Saturated fats also absorb quite well and quickly. It is also among the inexpensive options.  

Olive oil

It is the most well-known healthy oil that is exceptionally high in omega-3 fatty acids. It is also among the lighter oils due to its high content of monounsaturated fats. Moreover, it is one of the most well-studied oils. One of the distinct benefits of using olive oil as carrier oil is that it absorbs pretty well through the skin. Thus, it may be a good choice for creating CBD oil for topical use. In addition, olive oil is thought to boost immunity, reduce inflammation, and help prevent age-related cognitive decline.

MCT oil as a CBD carrier oil
Deemed as the best carrier oil for CBD. MCT oil has improved absorption, a neutral taste, and longer shelf life.

Avocado oil

It is another carrier oil gaining popularity. It is especially good for topical use, as it absorbs readily via skin. However, it is among the thicker oils, and not everyone may like it. It is also among the most expensive carrier oils. Nonetheless, it is worth understanding that many people may love the idea of consuming avocado oil along with CBD due to its numerous perceived health benefits.

Arnica oil

CBD is gaining popularity among physically active people and athletes. These are individuals prone to sprains and strains. Arnica oil may be preferred for topical use for reducing inflammation, muscle soreness. In addition, it possesses some pain-killing properties. However, arnica oil may not be a good choice for oral formulations as it may cause side effects at higher doses.

Manufacturing CBD Products

CBD oils are highly popular for a reason; they are pretty straightforward to produce. Thus, one may buy CBD isolate or CBD distillate (THC free broad-spectrum) in bulk. The next step would be deciding about the carrier oil. Thus, one may dissolve CBD isolate or distillate in a carrier oil in the necessary amount to create the desired concentration, and CBD oil is ready! For added benefit or product differentiation, one may add terpenes to it. Generally, terpenes are added in a very small amount (rarely exceeding 2%). They enhance the aroma and health benefits of the final product.

 

Did we miss any carrier oil that would make it to the top 5 list? Send us your opinion! And when placing an order, do not forget which carrier oil you want to see used in your formulations.