Many people find the taste of CBD unpalatable, which is why some CBD oils and sprays contain added flavours. In addition, you may also buy CBD oil with added terpenes and flavonoids to replicate the natural hemp plant.
But what we are really interested in exploring in this article is the actual oil, not the CBD oil but the liquid carrier oil. You might assume that the liquid you are taking is an oil derived from the hemp plant. However, most CBD oils consist of additional carrier oils that make it easier for your body to consume your dose of CBD.
What exactly is a carrier oil?
Carrier oils dilute another natural oil or substance, making the latter easier for your body to ingest. However, it is not just CBD that uses carrier oils to make the oil more digestible. Many essential oils require a carrier to ensure a safe application upon the skin. If they were administered without them, they could cause epidermal irritation.
No matter what the use, most carrier oils share common properties. They often have a light flavour or scent. More importantly, though, they don’t interfere with your body’s ability to absorb the substance that’s been mixed into your carrier oil. A good carrier old should make it easier for your body to digest.
We would always recommend that you chose a CBD oil with the purest carrier oil possible. If possible, try and choose an organic or cold-pressed option.
Why does CBD need a carrier oil?
Hemp goes through several extraction processes to separate out the CBD for consumable purposes. As a result, CBD comes in a variety of different colours. For example, CBD isolate forms as a white powder whilst broad-spectrum appears dark green or brown. Broad-spectrum CBD presenting itself in a dark green and brown form makes complete sense, considering it contains more parts of the hemp plant.
There are, of course, differences between broad-spectrum CBD, full-spectrum CBD, and Isolate CBD. However, all will require you to use a carrier oil as a base for three main reasons:
1. It ensures that taking your daily dose is as easy as possible
When CBD is extracted from hemp plants, it has an extremely high concentration of CBD. It is important that you don’t take too much at once, so a carrier oil helps to dilute it. Whether you are using CBD oil drops or CBD spray, it is crucial that you are able to keep track of exactly how much CBD you are taking on a daily basis.
2. Carrier oils boost bioavailability
With the correct carrier oil, hemp has a higher level of bioavailability. Bioavailability just means your body can process a greater amount of CBD when it’s attached to fat molecules.
Our body can process CBD with more ease if it comes mixed with a carrier oil. The hemp-derived compounds bind with the oil’s fatty molecules, allowing for a natural process in our body to take place and break down the fat.
3. More enjoyable experience
Our last carrier oil benefit is pretty basic. There is a reason why no one sells plain old CBD powder — because it really doesn’t taste very nice!
By mixing CBD with a carrier oil, and perhaps a few added natural flavourings or terpenes, it makes taking it that much more of an enjoyable experience. This is especially relevant when taking your CBD oil sublingually— this is the process where you let the CBD oil sit under your tongue for 90 seconds—as you really want it to taste as nice as possible!
The next question - which carrier oil should I use?
Whilst carrier oils make CBD intake easier on your body, not all CBD oils are equal in their benefits. You need to understand the facts and to decide which carrier oil is the best partner for your hemp-based products.
Let’s start by pointing out that there’s no single right answer to this question. In most cases, it’s up to the manufacturer and the customer to decide which carrier oil works best for them…..Everyone is different. But we want to break down what we know about each option so as to let you make the most informed decision.
Option 1: Coconut oil
Coconut oil contains long and medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), which makes it an excellent carrier oil option. However, before you can use it, it must go through a fractionating process. This process skims the larger fat molecules from the oil.
The residue that is left behind is the MCTs, which the body can now easily break down, unlike long-chain versions. The ease with which our bodies can process coconut oil makes it an ideal carrier for CBD.
Another great quality of coconut oil is its sweet flavour, making it an excellent choice to masks the earthy tang of CBD.
Option 2: Hemp seed oil
Another great carrier oil option is hemp seed oil. While hemp seed oil doesn’t contain any additional CBD, it does make a great natural partner.
One of the biggest hemp seed oil benefits comes from what’s called the entourage effect. This theory claims that CBD’s effects get amplified when delivered alongside other hemp compounds.
Some companies try to pass off hemp seed oil as CBD oil. Be sure to check the ingredients and amount of CBD a product contains before you buy it. All reputable companies should provide this information on their labels and websites.
Option 3: Olive oil
Olive oil is a delicious ingredient at the heart of the Mediterranean diet, and it has so many body and mind bettering health benefits. However, flavour and ability as a carrier are two completely separate categories. Olive oil contains a high amount of monounsaturated fats, which the body takes a while to process.
Olive oil can be quite vicious, which makes it tough to dose in small quantities. In our view, it’s not as efficient as coconut oil for these reasons.
Option 4: Palm oil
Palm oil functions very similarly to coconut oil when it comes to carrying CBD into your body. It has MCT, which makes it easy for your body to break it down.
However, palm oil contributes significantly to global deforestation. Acres of rainforest disappear in order to harvest it, and the loss of this habitat has a slew of devastating side effects. The deforestation of our plant’s rainforest is one of the biggest contributors to global warming, not to mention the millions of animals losing their homes each year. So, from an eco-conscious standpoint, avoid palm oil as a carrier.
Option 5: Avocado Oil
Avocado oil has become more popular for a variety of uses, including cooking, as researchers have learned about its health benefits. As a CBD carrier oil, it’s used most often in topical products, but you can also find it in products meant to be ingested, as well. It is high in vitamins A, B, D, and E, is easily and quickly absorbed in the skin and the nutty flavour gives it a pleasant taste when orally ingesting.
It is hard to give a conclusive answer to which CBD carrier oil is the best. There are numerous factors to take into consideration, including the type and uses of the CBD product, whether you have allergies or certain conditions, and your personal preferences.
If you try one you don’t like, you can always try a different one. The most important thing is that you’re making informed choices about what you put in and on your body. We would always recommend that you go with the most natural option possible and to stay clear of products that use palm oil as deforestation is doing devastating things to our plant. However, that is another question entirely though!