CBD topicals: carrier oils


These are plant or nut-based oils that aid in the absorption and processing of CBD. They transport and deliver CBD to body tissues, thus speeding up the process of absorption. Carrier oils contain mild smells and scents, while some are more potent. They have abroad applications other than being used to make CBD products. Essential oils are concentrated and mixed with a carrier oil before applying to the skin. CBD carrier oils function similarly, allowing one to safely and quickly dose the product by diluting the pure CBD extract. CBD is a cannabinoid found majorly in Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica; together with tetrahydrocannabinol, they make up almost forty percent of the plant extract. Cannabinoids have long been known to interact with the body through the endocannabinoids system, interconnected neurons that work with the central nervous system to control body functions.

An Overview of Carrier Oils

Because all carrier oils contain fat, the CBD diffuses easily into the carrier oils due to open lipid structures in the CBD. In addition, carrier oils make CBD extract more bioavailable to body cells and structures. Bioavailability refers to how much CBD you get from a product and how quickly it enters your system. Carrier oils increase the rate of CBD absorption by body tissues.

Types of CBD Carrier Oils

Medium-chain triglycerides, MCT, oil

MCT, or medium-chain triglycerides, is a lipid easily digestible and absorbed by the body. It's derived from coconut and is sometimes referred to as fractionated coconut oil. Coconut oil with the longer fat molecules removed to isolate the smaller fat molecules like MCTs is fractionated coconut oil. Saturated fats, particularly medium-chain triglycerides, are plentiful in coconut oil. It is popular because it has minimal to no flavor, making it ideal for CBD oil tinctures. It also has a thinner texture than other oils, making it simple to measure and distribute. MCT oils have numerous advantages on their own. Antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, better cognition, improved skin health, and necessary fatty acid availability are just a few of the claimed benefits.

Grape Seed Oil

This is a product made from the seeds found in grapes. It has a pleasant fruity flavor and high unsaturated fat content. It's an excellent option with high solubility and a rapid absorption rate. Linoleic acid, tocopherol, oleic acid, carotenoids, and various short, medium, and long-chain triglycerides are among the chemical. Due to the presence of these compounds, grape seed oil has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, which complement those found in full-spectrum CBD extracts.

Olive Oil

Oleic acid, a potent antioxidant, is found in many olive seeds. In addition, it also contains other compounds such as iron, vitamin K, vitamin E, and other antioxidants. Better heart health, anti-inflammatory characteristics, improved immune function, and many more benefits are found in olive oil. It has a pleasant taste, and it has a heavy texture full of saturated fats, making it suitable for dissolving CBD isolates.

Hemp Seed Oil

CBD and hemp seed oil are both derived from the same plant, hemp. They are, however, two quite different entities. CBD is mainly extracted from hemp's flowers, stalks, leaves, and roots, whereas hemp seed oil is extracted from dried hemp seeds. In addition, hemp seed oils have fewer cannabinoids and terpenes than CBD extracts from flowers, stems, and roots. On the other hand, the seeds are full of nutritious organic compounds that can be used to fortify CBD extracts naturally. Hemp seed oil is used for CBD oil because it promotes the entourage effect. This entourage effect implies that combining multiple plant parts is more beneficial than employing one part. It also applies to combining multiple hemp cannabinoids rather than relying just on CBD.

Benefits of Using Carrier Oils

According to research, the following are the benefits of using carrier oils.

Quick Delivery of CBD

A carrier oil helps the body quickly metabolize CBD. CBD interacts easily with fat molecules because it is highly lipophilic (scientific jargon for "loves fat"), which aids in the substance's absorption by the body.

Maintaining Freshness and Extending the Shelf-life

Carrier oils must keep CBD extracts stable and potent for long periods. Some vegetable oils quickly degrade, losing their strength and effectiveness over time. Olive oil, coconut oil, and hemp seed oil, on the other hand, oxidize at a slower pace, preserving the freshness of the chemicals therein and extending the shelf life of CBD.

Nutritional Benefits

Some carrier oils may have nutritional health benefits; olive oil has received much attention for its mood-improving and heart-healthy qualities. So, it's debatable whether three drops of CBD oil per day are sufficient to provide any real nutritional health benefits. Furthermore, olive oil isn't the ideal CBD carrier compounding this argument further.

Precautions and Adverse Reactions

Some oils may not be suitable for those suffering from certain conditions or using particular medications. Always consult your healthcare practitioner before introducing anything new into your diet, even if it's a "natural" substance like CBD in a carrier oil.


Carrier oils are primarily used to dissolve, transport, and assist the body in metabolizing cannabidiol extracts. Many carrier oils, such as avocado oil, hemp seed oil, grape seed oil, and medium-chain triglycerides, vary in strength and usefulness. Furthermore, these carrier oils have other advantages, such as strengthening CBD, providing flavor and color, and increasing the shelf-life of CBD.


Walker, R. M., Gumus, C. E., Decker, E. A., & McClements, D. J. (2017). Improve the formation and stability of fish oil-in-water nanoemulsions using carrier oils: MCT, thyme oil, & lemon oil. Journal of Food Engineering, 211, 60-68.

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