A carrier oil is a plant-based oil that is used to “carry” cannabis material into your system. Because of the chemical makeup of some Tinctures, they are absorbed better with the help of a carrier oil, increasing their overall health benefits.
Most Licenced Producers have a variety of carrier oils for purchase, but they are not all the same. Each has different benefits that we will explore in this blog.
What are Cannabis Tinctures?
Primarily used to relieve pain and anxiety, cannabis tinctures are often confused with cannabis oils, but this is a common mistake. In fact, they are an alcoholic extract of cannabis. They are convenient and have a long shelf life. The most common method of consumption is orally, usually by placing them under the tongue. The directions typically state to hold the liquid in your mouth for about 60 to 90 seconds before swallowing. This allows the THC and/or CBD to start absorbing immediately. With the help of a carrier oil, the positive benefits of the Tinctures can be increased.
Hemp Seed Oil:
Hemp is a popular carrier oil for a variety of purposes, and as the name implies, it is derived from the hemp plant. It has a dark-to-clear light-green colour, with a nutty flavour. The darker the colour, the grassier the flavour. Hemp Seed Oil contains a variety of chemical components, including Linoleic Acid, a-Linolenic Acid, Oleic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid, and Linolenic Acid.
Hemp Seed Oil benefits including:
- Reduces muscle tension
- Improves acne
- Pain relief
- Antibacterial agent
- Skin health
Keep in mind Hemp Seed Oil is not the same thing as CBD oil. We’re only talking about using Hemp Seed as a carrier oil. CBD oil contains cannabinoids, while Hemp Seed oil does not which is an important distinction.
Medium Chain Triglyceride MCT Oil (Fractionated Coconut Oil):
This oil, without question, is one of the best and most versatile. The coconut oil itself adds almost no flavour or no smell, making it perfect for tinctures.
The oil is made up of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) which can be absorbed into the body with ease. The oil itself is 90% saturated fat, which makes it a phenomenal CBD carrier. While this may not sound like a benefit, the fact that the oil itself is made of MCTs ensures that the fatty acids are metabolized directly by the liver.
MCTs benefits including:
- Lowers cholesterol
- Lowers blood sugar
- Improving brain function in people with Alzheimer’s.
- Burns Fat
- Reduce hunger
Other chemical components of MCTs include Caproic Acid (C6), Caprylic Acid (C8), and Capric Acid (C10) fatty acids. These are the components that give MCT Oil their various positive benefits.
Avocado oil has high concentrations of oleic acid and is very thick. As a base oil, Avocado oil isn’t as effective as MCT oil, but it has its own unique benefits. It dries slowly and is rich in multiple vitamins, including A, D & E which can improve your skin. Avocado oil also has Palmitic Acid, Palmitoleic Acid, Stearic Acid, Oleic Acid, Linoleic Acid, Alpha-linolenic Acid, Arachidic Acid, and Gadoleic Acid. Avocado oil has a very mild and delicate taste.
Avocado oil provides:
- High Vitamin A, B, D, and E content
- Rich in Oleic acid
- High in Lutein
- strengthens your hair and skin
Avocado Oil’s primary benefits are topical. The relative strength of avocado oil makes it an ideal carrier oil for making a topical agent last longer.
Virgin Olive Oil:
Yes, that kind of Olive Oil. Virgin Olive Oil is a long-chain triglyceride that is rich in Vitamins A, D and E. It is a monosaturated fat which means that it requires more processing, which could reduce the amount of CBD you ultimately are able to get. It has has a small fruity taste.
Benefits of using Olive Oil include:
- Reduce inflammation.
- Rich in antioxidants
- Fights type 2 diabetes and certain cancers.
This type of oil has a lot of vitamins and minerals. It is generally colourless and tasteless. If you’re allergic to coconut (in MCT oil) this can be a good alternative.
Sunflower oil benefits:
- Skin Health
- Antioxidant Booster
- Reduces inflammation
- Lowers cholesterol
Sunflower oil has a mild taste and a variety of health benefits. It’s rich in vitamins, high in good fats, and can even withstand hot temperatures.
Which Carrier Oil is the Best?
There really is no “best” carrier oil because each kind of oil suits specific applications and needs. Some are better for topical treatments or products for skin and hair, like grape seed and avocado oils, and others are better for tinctures. Some oils, like olive oil, can be harder for the body to metabolize, but it has its own health-giving properties to make up for any loss in CBD effectiveness. Depending on your personal needs and preferences, different oils will be best for you and may require some experimentation.