MCT and CBD Oil: The Perfect Pairing
Taking CBD oil is one of the most popular ways to enjoy the benefits of the cannabinoid. However, when reading the ingredients of various CBD products, you will discover that many also contain MCT oil as the carrier oil. CBD and MCT are mixed because MCT oil improves the absorption of CBD in your system. What is MCT oil, and what properties does it have that make it a good pairing with CBD oil?
TLDR: CBD is fat soluble and not water soluble, meaning it must be broken down before the bloodstream can easily absorb it. MCT is water soluble, quickly passes through the digestive system, and goes directly to the liver for processing. MCT oil makes an excellent CBD carrier oil for CBD edibles and capsules because it prevents CBD from breaking down through first-pass metabolism, increasing bioavailability. MCT oil can also increase the efficient absorption of CBD when CBD oil is consumed bilingually.
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What is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is extracted from the industrial hemp plant and is a fat-soluble compound. CBD is a long-chain fatty acid with more carbon atoms than medium-chain triglycerides. This adds complexity to the digestion and absorption process. CBD does not dissolve in water but does dissolve in fat. This is why CBD with high-fat foods is often recommended to increase absorption.
When consuming edibles, CBD goes through the first-pass metabolism process of the digestive system, eventually reaching the liver. CBD is broken down to size (metabolized) in the liver to easily absorb into the bloodstream.
If CBD is taken sublingually, it skips the first pass effect and directly enters the bloodstream through the mucous membranes in the mouth. However, not everyone wants to consume CBD sublingually. They consume CBD orally by swallowing oils, pills or capsules or eating CBD gummies or edibles. You can also purchase CBD capsules made with CBD and MCT oil.
What is MCT Oil?
MCT is the acronym for medium-chain triglycerides, and it is rich in a type of saturated fatty acids that contain 6-10 carbons. Commonly extracted from coconuts, medium-chain triglycerides are not stored in body fat and are quickly metabolized.
Its main benefit compared to other oils is that it can increase the speed with which the body processes certain compounds and food nutrients. Unlike most other plant-based oils, MCT added to food edibles, oils, pills and capsules goes through the digestive system and passes directly to the liver rather than being broken down first. In the liver, MCTs are converted into ketones, which are transported directly to different cells in the body, including in the brain.
MCT oil sublingual absorption is also efficient because MCT does not require digestive enzymes to reach the circulatory system.
The best MCT oil for tinctures is made from coconuts because more than 50 percent of the fatty acids are MCTs. MCT oil differs from coconut oil because coconut oil contains long-chain and medium fatty acids. The manufacturing process for extracting MCT oil involves using fractionation to separate the MCTs from the long-chain triglycerides, leaving only the medium-chain triglycerides.
MCT is excellent at breaking down fat-soluble compounds like CBD for easy absorption and high bioavailability. These are the reasons MCT oil is commonly used as the carrier oil for CBD.
Though coconut oil and palm kernel oils are the most common sources of MCTs because they contain high amounts of MCTs, there are CBD products made with other oils with no or low amounts of MCTs. They include olive oil, sesame oil, soybean oil and avocado oil. Read the ingredient label to know what you are consuming.
What are the MCT and CBD Oil Benefits?
Since long-chain fatty acids take longer to break down nutrients, the recommendation is to consume short or medium-chain triglycerides, like MCT, with long-chain fatty acids. Another way of saying this is that combining the CBD fat-soluble compound with the MCT lipid fatty acids increases the absorption and diffusion of CBD oil.
When you swallow CBD edibles, gummies or oils, MCT carries CBD directly from the gut to the liver, shortens the digestive process, and increases CBD absorption. In a CBD tincture taken sublingually or orally, a combination of CBD and MCT enables MCT oils to act as a carrier for the CBD, so more of the CBD is absorbed directly into the bloodstream.
Some of the benefits of taking MCT and CBD oil include the following.
- Since MCTs do not have to be broken down to enter cells, they are a source of quick energy.
- It increases CBD bioavailability and the speed of CBD absorption.
- MCT is not stored as fat, unlike many other oils.
- CBD and MCT are natural and not synthetic compounds.
- CBD is under rigorous study by medical researchers, and many studies have found that CBD may help reduce feelings of stress and can improve sleep.
- CBD may help reduce feelings of pain, including in cases of chronic pain.
- MCT oil also has science-based benefits that include promoting reduced food intake.
- The research found MCT oil may improve gut health.
During product storage, MCT oil has also been shown to contribute to the stability of the cannabinoid profile, including terpenes in full spectrum CBD oil and broad spectrum CBD oil. Here are some CBD oils and tinctures using MCT oil as a carrier oil.
CBD MCT Side Effects
Are their CBD MCT oil side effects? Most people tolerate CBD very well, but there is a risk of experiencing some side effects. CBD users have reported side effects like drowsiness, diarrhea and dry mouth.
MCT in large amounts and consumed too quickly can lead to side effects like diarrhea, abdominal cramping, or gas. However, much MCT is not consumed with CBD and MCT carrier oil. The best strategy is to start with a low-potency CBD and MCT oil to ensure you do not experience undesirable side effects.
Shopping for CBD and MCT Oil Products
Understanding the difference between MCT vs. CBD can help you shop for the best CBD products as a knowledgeable buyer. There are so many different formulations. It is important to choose products that are high quality and sold by reliable brands that are honest and transparent about the ingredients. Low-quality products may contain filler oils that you may want to avoid unintentionally consuming.