CBD topicals carrier oils


What are CBD carrier oils? How are carrier oils used together with CBD topicals? What are some of the carrier oils used together with CBD topicals? What is the purpose of the carrier oil in CBD topicals? This article explains what CBD topicals are and how they are combined with carrier oils to be effective.

If you've ever used CBD oil, you're aware that the product contains more than just cannabidiol (CBD). Manufacturers incorporate a carrier oil as well for a variety of reasons. As the name implies, a carrier oil transports (or conveys) the active compound's contents.

CBD is the compound in this instance. Carrier oils are used to dilute essential oils in cosmetic products because the essential oil may be too potent. Carrier oils are critical for CBD because they aid in the dissolution of the cannabis molecules, allowing them to be absorbed by the body. Base oils aid in the absorption of the plant extracts with which they are combined and provide therapeutic effects on their own. Although many carrier oils are similar, they may have subtle variances that may be significant to you for various reasons.

What are Carrier Oils

Dajic Stevanovic et al. (2020) explained that a carrier oil, alternatively referred to as base oil, is a vegetable oil used to transport essential oils and plant supplements. Base oils are necessary since essential oils are typically very powerful and would cause discomfort in the absence of base oil. Supplements such as CBD absorb more effectively when combined with a carrier oil. Additionally, base oils are utilized to infuse food with plants and chemicals. Carrier oils are fatty vegetable oils generated from a variety of plant sections. These oils are frequently quite light in flavor and essence.

The Most Frequently Used Carrier Oils

Vaughn et al. (2020) stated that the common carrier oils used in cannabis oil and formulations include: MCT oil, Coconut oil, and Hemp Seed oil are all types of oils.


Medium-chain triglycerides, or MCTs, are quickly absorbed and metabolized fats. MCT is frequently derived from coconut oil (sometimes fractionated coconut oil) or palm kernel oil. Other oils contain some MCT, such as olive oil, sesame oil, soybean oil, and avocado oil. MCT oil is frequently utilized for its fat-burning properties.

Cocoa Butter

Coconut oil is often lauded for having the largest range of documented positive uses of any plant oil. It contains a high concentration of medium-chain triglycerides, which makes it beneficial for fat loss and its antibacterial qualities. Osborne & Musakhanian (2018) stated that it readily penetrates the skin and is frequently used topically to promote skin and mouth health.

Oil from Hemp Seeds

Hemp seed oil (HSO) is derived from the seeds of the cannabis sativa plant, which also yields hemp and marijuana. HSO is a beneficial fat high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the proportions that the human body prefers. Because it readily absorbs into the skin, it is also effective for topical applications.

Sunflower Oil

Organic sunflower oil is a powerhouse of beneficial vitamins and minerals. Sunflower oil is affordable and well-suited for any do-it-yourself CBD endeavor. Sunflower oil, like coconut MCT oil, has many benefits of its own:

  • Dermatological Health
  • Antioxidant Supplement
  • Promotes skin regeneration
  • Assists in the relief of skin irritation

Sunflower oil is a nutritious alternative to conventional cooking oils that is also environmentally friendly. This oil is an excellent carrier oil for CBD but blends well with most essential oils.

Avocado Oil

Avocado enthusiasts rejoice as your favorite cuisine makes an excellent carrier oil. If you're a fan of healthy fats, you're an avocado addict - and for a good reason. Avocado oil gives the following benefits:

  • Vitamin A, B, D, and E concentration is high.
  • Skin Care
  • Oleic acid-rich – a beneficial fat
  • Lutein-rich

Extra Virgin Grapeseed Oil

The antioxidant properties of grapes are well-known. Unsurprisingly, grapeseed oil contains a high concentration of these same antioxidants. Compared to Avocado oil, Grapeseed oil is quite light and feels silky on the skin. Grapeseed oil is excellent as a foundation for massage oils.

  • Possibility of wrinkle reduction
  • Excellent for skin that is dry or inflamed
  • Vitamin E-rich

The purpose of CBD Carrier Oils

CBD products contain various carrier oils, some of which are used alone and others in combination. They perform various critical functions:

Absorption Enhancement

Stella et al. (2021) explained that a primary reason for using a carrier oil is to enhance the bioavailability, which means that it facilitates the body's absorption of CBD oil. CBD is fat-soluble, which means it dissolves better in oil than in water. When fat-soluble compounds are digested alongside fat, they are more readily absorbed, even in trace amounts. When digested water-soluble compounds, such as sugar or various vitamins and minerals, they are absorbed straight into the bloodstream by the digestive tract (because blood is a water-based liquid) as this method cannot be used to absorb fat-soluble compounds. Rather than that, your digestive tract stores them in fatty tissues, and the lymphatic system, which is a component of your immune system, distributes them throughout your body. Any surplus is stored for later use in your liver and fatty tissues.

Easy Dosing

Miller & Miller (2017) explained that CBD is a highly powerful molecule, implying that a small amount is required to produce a therapeutic effect. This presents a dilemma, however, when it comes to dosing. To administer precise and consistent doses, a dropperful of CBD-infused oil is easier to quantify than a trace quantity of crystalline isolate (CBD in pure form).

Additional Health Advantages

Carrier oils can occasionally provide health advantages on their own. Motti (2022) stated that olive oil has garnered much attention due to its heart-healthy properties. If there is an oil you wish to incorporate into your diet more frequently, incorporating it into your CBD regimen is one method. (However, it is questionable whether one or two droppers of carrier oil per day is sufficient to have a discernible influence on one's health.)


Carrier oils are critical for CBD because they aid in disintegrating the cannabinoid's molecules, allowing them to be absorbed by the body. While many carrier oils are identical, they may contain significant variances to you for various health reasons. A key reason for using a carrier oil is to enhance the bioavailability, which means that it facilitates the body's absorption of CBD oil. Additionally, it is easier to measure out a dropperful of CBD-infused oil than to measure out a tiny amount of crystalline isolate to administer correct and consistent doses (CBD in pure form).


Dajic Stevanovic, Z., Sieniawska, E., Glowniak, K., Obradovic, N., & Pajic-Lijakovic, I. (2020). Natural macromolecules as carriers for essential oils: From extraction to biomedical application. Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, 8, 563.

Miller, R. J., & Miller, R. E. (2017). Is cannabis an effective treatment for joint pain. Clin Exp Rheumatol, 35(5), 59-67.

Motti, R. (2022). Wild Edible Plants: A challenge for future diet and health. Plants, 11(3), 344.

Osborne, D. W., & Musakhanian, J. (2018). Skin penetration and permeation properties of Transcutol®—neat or diluted mixtures. Aaps Pharmscitech, 19(8), 3512-3533.

Stella, B., Baratta, F., Della Pepa, C., Arpicco, S., Gastaldi, D., & Dosio, F. (2021). Cannabinoid formulations and delivery systems: Current and future options to treat pain. Drugs, 81(13), 1513-1557.

Vaughn, D., Kulpa, J., & Paulionis, L. (2020). Preliminary investigation of the safety of escalating cannabinoid doses in healthy dogs. Frontiers in veterinary science, 51.

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