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  • by Nicola Boulton September 01, 2022 5 min read

    What Is Carrier Oil? Carrier Oils for CBD and Their Impact

    CBD oil is usually infused with different oils to aid delivery. This article looks into what a carrier oil is. It also looks at the different carrier oils used for CBD and their benefits.

    Users can choose different forms of CBD products from vapes, gummies, and one of the common oils or tinctures. CBD oil users and enthusiasts know the multiple benefits of using the products. CBD oil is not simply CBD. One may assume the oil is the byproduct of extracting CBD from a cannabis plant. CBD oil does not only compose hemp extract. There are other aspects involved in making the oil. Oils known as carrier oils are used in CBD oil for various reasons. This article discusses what a carrier oil is, what they are for CBD oil, and some of its benefits.

    What Is Carrier Oil? Carrier Oils for CBD and Their Impact

    What is Carrier Oil?

    Cannabinoids such as CBD are fat-soluble, meaning they are soluble in oil or fat. A carrier oil or base oil is a solvent that dissolves fat-soluble substances. They carry the CBD and make it easier to administer. It works by absorbing the CBD, making it easily applicable, then redissolves it back when in the body. Various carrier oils are used to make CBD oil.

    Common Carrier Oils used for CBD

    Various carrier oils are used in making CBD oil, such as MCT, hemp, and olive oil. These oils have different components and individual benefits. These oils and others are discussed below:

    MCT Oil

    Carter et al. (2017) explained that these oils are called MCTs, meaning Medium Chain Triglycerides. The name is derived from the molecular structure of the oil. Fat molecules are grouped into long, medium, and short-chained fat. The number of carbon atoms determines the length of the fatty acid it contains. MCT oils contain carbon atoms between 6 and 12. Most oils and fats are classified as Long Chain Triglycerides and contain 14 or more carbon atoms. Due to its molecular structure, MCT oils are easily digested and absorbed in the body, making them the best option to use for CBD. Types of MCT oils are coconut and palm oil. These oils also blend easily in water, making them easily and efficiently into the bloodstream. Short-chained oils are not desirable because they are quickly consumed as food by bacteria in the gut and hence cannot deliver CBD. These are also a good option since they are cheap and easily available.

    Olive Oil

    Olive oil is made by pressing whole olives. Commonly used for cooking, olive oil can be a good carrier for CBD. It is not a good option for high potency CBD. Due to the high nutrient density, it can only carry a little CBD. Olive oil is best for low potency CBD oil.

    Hemp Seed Oil

    Hemp seed oil is extracted from the seeds of the hemp plant. It should not be confused with CBD, derived from the flowers and buds of the same plant. Hemp seed is a good option for making CBD oil since it comes into contact with flower extracts. It can also enhance the entourage feeling when using CBD oil. Hemp oil is, however, a bit more expensive than MCT oils. 

    Sunflower Oil

    Sunflower oil is naturally extracted from the sunflower plant. This oil is colorless, has a mild taste, and contains less lecithin making it easily absorbed into the body. CBD oil with sunflower can be an alternative for people allergic to MCT oil.

    Avocado Oil

    Everyone loves avocados, and they make a good option as a carrier oil. This oil comes with the benefits of having a nutty taste with numerous benefits. Avocado oil, however, is heavier than others and takes a longer time to be digested by the body.

    Benefits of Carrier Oils to CBD

    Enhance Absorption

    One of the main uses of carrier oils is to aid in absorption in the gut. The body has two ways of absorbing compounds: water-soluble and fat-soluble pathways. Water soluble components such as amino acids and sugars are directly absorbed into the gut lining. Nakano et al. (2019) explained that Fat-soluble compounds such as CBD could not be directly absorbed. They must be packaged into micelles, enter the fatty lymph tissue, and then transported through the lymphatic system. CBD infused in oil makes the compound easier to absorb. 

    Make Dosage Easy to Measure

    CBD oil in its raw form can be hard to measure. Being a potent chemical, one needs a little amount to have an effect. Dosage is made easy when CBD has been absorbed in other oils. Knowing the amount of CBD crystalline in the oil can make a person know the approximate amount in a CBD-infused oil dropper.

    Have Additional Health Benefits

    Individual carrier oils come with different health benefits on top of CBD. Carandang (2008) explained that MCT coconut oil is beneficial for antibacterial and antifungal properties and is a good energy source. Covas (2007) stated that Olive oil helps reduce the risk of heart disease. Cerino et al. (2021) explained that hemp oil gives the body antioxidant benefits and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. It also contains numerous vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B, E, potassium, and magnesium.

    What to Consider When Choosing Carrier Oils for CBD

    Absorption rate

    The main use of carrier oil is for CBD absorption. When choosing carrier oils, one needs to choose an oil that is easily and fast absorbed in the body to get the effects of CBD.


    People with food or nut allergies must be extra careful when choosing CBD carrier oils. One needs to consider ones that may not have side effects for them when administered topically or orally. 


    CBD oil is cannabinoids that have been infused in carrier oils. These oils aid absorption because CBD, like other cannabinoids, is fat-soluble. Oils like coconut, palm, hemp, and olive are used in making CBD oil. They vary in rate of absorption and have extra individual health benefits. Carrier oils are essential in absorbing CBD into the body for effect. Choice of carrier oils depends on the individual properties of the oil and preference. The main focus is transporting CBD into the body.


    Carandang, E. V. (2008). Health benefits of virgin coconut oil. INDIAN COCONUT JOURNAL-COCHIN-, 38(9), 8.

    Cater, N. B., Heller, H. J., & Denke, M. A. (1017). Comparison of the effects of medium-chain triacylglycerols, palm oil, and high oleic acid sunflower oil on plasma triacylglycerol fatty acids and lipid and lipoprotein concentrations in humans. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 65(1), 41-45.

    Cerino, P., Buonerba, C., Cannazza, G., D'Auria, J., Ottoni, E., Fulgione, A., ... & Gallo, A. (2021). A review of hemp as food and nutritional supplement. Cannabis and cannabinoid research, 6(1), 19-27.

    Covas, M. I. (2007). Olive oil and the cardiovascular system. Pharmacological Research, 55(3), 175-186.

    Nakano, Y., Tajima, M., Sugiyama, E., Sato, V. H., & Sato, H. (2019). Development of a novel nanoemulsion formulation to improve intestinal absorption of cannabidiol. Medical Cannabis and Cannabinoids, 2(1), 35-42.

    Nicola Boulton
    Nicola Boulton

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