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  • by Nicola Boulton August 17, 2022 5 min read

    CBD Topical Carrier Oils

    If you've ever used CBD oil, you know 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. They are critical for CBD because they aid in dissolving 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 the user for various reasons. This article explains CBD topicals and how they are combined with carrier oils to be effective.

    What are Carrier Oils?

    Alternatively referred to as base oil, carrier 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. Feng et al. (2021) noted that 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

    The common carrier oils used in cannabis oil and formulations include MCT oil, coconut oil, and hemp seed oil.


    Medium-chain triglycerides, or MCTs, are quickly absorbed and metabolized fats. MCT is frequently derived from coconut or palm kernel oil (sometimes fractionated coconut 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. Learn more about soothe winter stiffness with cbd topicals

    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, for instance, Dermatological health, antioxidant supplement, promotes skin regeneration, and assists in relieving skin irritation. Goula et al. (2017) argued that 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. Learn more about how to find a cbd topical that works?

    Avocado Oil

    Avocado enthusiasts rejoice as it makes an excellent carrier oil. If you're a fan of healthy fats, you're an avocado addict - for a good reason. Avocado oil gives the following benefits: Vitamin A, B, D, and E concentration is high, skincare, and oleic acid-rich – a beneficial fat and lutein-rich.

    Extra Virgin Grape seed Oil

    The antioxidant properties of grapes are well-known. Unsurprisingly, grape seed oil contains a high concentration of these same antioxidants. Compared to avocado oil, the grape seed oil is light and feels silky on the skin. According to Michalak (2018), the grape seed oil is excellent as a foundation for massage oils. In addition, it can reduce wrinkle, which is excellent for dry or inflamed skin and is 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

    The primary reason for using a carrier oil is to enhance the bioavailability, which facilitates the body's absorption of CBD oil. CBD is fat-soluble, which means it dissolves better in oil than water. 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 storing them in fatty tissues and the lymphatic system, a component of the immune system, it distributes them throughout the body. Any surplus is stored for later use in the liver and fatty tissues.

    Easy Dosing

    CBD is a highly powerful molecule, implying that a small amount is required to produce a therapeutic effect. This presents a dilemma 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. 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, incorporate it into your CBD regimen. However, it is questionable whether one or two droppers of carrier oil per day are 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 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.


    Feng, W., Qin, C., Cipolla, E., Lee, J. B., Zgair, A., Chu, Y., ... & Gershkovich, P. (2021). Inclusion Of Medium-Chain Triglyceride In The Lipid-Based Formulation Of Cannabidiol Facilitates Micellar Solubilization In Vitro, But In Vivo Performance Remains Superior With Pure Sesame Oil Vehicle. Pharmaceutics, 13(9), 1349.

    Goula, A. M., Ververi, M., Adamopoulou, A., & Kaderides, K. (2017). Green Ultrasound-Assisted Extraction Of Carotenoids From Pomegranate Wastes Using Vegetable Oils. Ultrasonics Sonochemistry, 34, 821-830.

    Michalak, M. (2018). The Use Of Carrier Oils In Aromatherapy Massage And Their Effect On Skin. Archives Of Physiotherapy & Global Researches, 22(3).

    Osborne, D. W., & Musakhanian, J. (2018). Skin Penetration And Permeation Properties Of Transcutol®—Neat Or Diluted Mixtures. Aaps Pharmscitech, 19(8), 3512-3533.

    Nicola Boulton
    Nicola Boulton

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