Why Are Carrier Oils Necessary?

In order to understand what makes the best carrier oil for CBD, you need to understand why companies take the time and effort to infuse CBD into oils in the first place. Why not just sell pure CBD? Pure CBD, also known as CBD isolate, forms a white powder. Not only would it be extremely difficult to measure out a serving of CBD isolate grain by grain, but more importantly, your body would be unlikely to process the majority of the CBD you take in. For this reason, CBD is often infused into oil-based solutions, where it binds with fat molecules your body is already prone to breaking down. Once the CBD is evenly distributed throughout the oil, it is possible to evenly measure consistent amounts of CBD that your body can process.


What Makes An Oil the Best Carrier Oil?

Bioavailability is the biggest concern when determining the best carrier oil. Bioavailability, in this case, refers to the proportion of CBD your body can process compared to what it takes in. CBD’s bioavailability is largely determined by the types of fat molecules contained in the carrier oil. There are many different types of fat, and the way they vary on a molecular level affects how well it can transport CBD into your system. Besides bioavailability, individual differences between oils such as flavor, consistency, and cost may affect their viability as carrier oils. We will do our best cover the pros and cons of the most popular carrier oils in the CBD industry.

Fractionated Coconut Oil (MCT Oil)

Coconut oil naturally excels as a carrier oil in a number of categories. Coconut Oil has little to no flavor, which makes it a great choice for making tinctures. Additionally, it is thinner than most oils, making it easy to dispense and measure. Coconut oil has natural antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties.

However, the best part about coconut oil is its abundance of saturated fats, particularly medium chain triglycerides (MCT). Medium chain triglycerides are smaller fat molecules which are easily absorbed by the body, directly through the liver. Fractionated coconut oil is simply just coconut oil which has had the longer fat molecules removed to isolate the medium chain triglycerides. For this reason, fractionated coconut oil is also known as MCT oil which is one of the best carrier oils for CBD.


Palm Oil

Palm oil can also be used to make MCT oil, just like coconut oil. That is because MCT oil is a somewhat general term which refers to the type of fat molecules in an oil, not the natural source of the oil. This is an important distinction because palm oil’s manufacturing process is often connected to deforestation, animal cruelty, and climate change. For this reason, we recommend MCT oil which originates from coconuts, or other sustainable and eco-friendly sources.


Olive Oil

Olive oil has a light fruity taste, which may be noticeable in some tinctures. Additionally, olive oil tends to be thicker, which may affect the measuring process. Monounsaturated fats are the premier fat molecules in olive oil, generally in the form of oleic acid. These larger fat molecules require more processing which may reduce the amount of CBD your body absorbs. However, oleic acid may help reduce inflammation. Further, olive oil is packed with antioxidants.


Avocado Oil

Similar to olive oil, avocado oil has high concentrations of oleic acid, however, it is much thicker. Avocado oil has a nutty taste and can be added to CBD oils to increase the viscosity. Avocado oil is often chosen for topical applications due to its slow drying time and abundance of vitamins A, D, & E. One downside of Avocado oil is that it is one of the more expensive oils on this list.


Hemp Seed Oil

Although hemp seed oil may seem like it should always be the carrier oil of choice, it is a generally inefficient carrier of CBD on its own.  To reach its full potential, it must be mixed with oils with higher bioavailability, such as MCT oil. That is why we add fractionated coconut oil to our full spectrum tinctures.

Another thing to note is that some companies try to pass hemp seed oil as being the same as CBD oil. This is not true, so make sure you are buying a product with verified levels of CBD in it. Any reputable CBD company should clearly display the amount of CBD in their products and preferably have test results to support their claims.


Grape Seed Oil

Grape seed oil is thin and has a wine-like aroma. It is isn’t very greasy, so grapeseed oil is often incorporated into skin and hair products. Unfortunately, grape seed oil primarily consists of polyunsaturated fats which doesn’t make it the best carrier oil for CBD.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Lazarus Naturals shall not be held liable for any direct or indirect damages caused in any way through the use of information, services, or products provided or sold by Etz Hayim Holdings DBA Lazarus Naturals. This disclaimer of liability applies to any damages or injury which may be perceived to be caused by the information or products sold or provided by Etz Hayim Holdings.

20 replies
    • Michael Freund says:

      Although flaxseed oil has its own nutritional benefits, it primarily consists of polyunsaturated fats which are poor carriers for CBD.

  1. Jennifer S. VanDerveer says:

    So I bought the isolate, from my one and only supplier Lazarus Naturals. I am wanting to make my own tincture and have also bought Coconut MCT. Now what? How much isolate to MCT oil?

    • Michael Freund says:

      You can use whatever amount you feel comfortable with. We offer oils with 15mg, 50mg, and 100mg of CBD per milliliter as a general reference.

  2. ljrdo32 says:

    Thanks for a powerhouse product at an affordable price. At 50mg/ml CBD I had to reduce the amount I take which saves even more.

  3. rkfrye says:

    How is the Bioavailability when infusing CBDs with alcohol(say Bourbon/Rum) instead of an oil?
    Is butter a good second choice given its abundance of saturated fats (Coconut being first).
    Is it a drastic difference in Bioavailability between coconut oil and olive oil?

  4. Pattyharper says:

    I am a first time buyer for Lazarus CBD oil for my dog. He weighs 60lbs and stresses when I leave him alone. I am not sure what to order. Can you recommend a place to start? He was already on Nuleaf Naturals .5FL OZ (15ml) / 725mg CBD. That product was very expensive and I wasn’t sure how well it worked.
    Thank you

  5. Ryan says:

    Thank you very much for the article, do you think a 60% MCT and 20% each Olive & Avacado would work well for use on the skin?

  6. Higher Olive says:

    This is a wonderful, informative post! I have often been questioned about whether hemp products I use such as hemp seed oil and hemp milk are safe. I never knew the answer to these questions except to say that they are a different part of the plant that doesn’t contain THC. Now I truly understand the difference! Thank you


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Lazarus Naturals offer a wide variety of products.  They have tinctures, isolates, pet products and balms. They also sell an RSO (Rick Simpson Oil).  All are fully made in the USA, non-GMO source material, THC – free (tested at less than 0.3% as required for US sales). Generally, the CBD extract is dissolved in a carrier oil which is primarily fractionated coconut oil and are vegan and gluten-free.  This is done because the fractionated coconut oil has its own health benefits, and it is lighter and easier to dispense than other similar oils. There is a very nice article describing this on their web site here. […]

  2. […] You can learn more about what carrier oil is best for bioavailability from Sonomechanics (science heavy) or Lazarus (easier read). […]

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