We get the questions all the time. “What is MCT oil?” “What are the benefits of using MCT oil as a CBD carrier oil?” And, “Why use a carrier oil at all?” The internet is an infinite source of misinformation, especially in the unregulated CBD industry. If it’s cool with you, we’d like to start by debunking some of the BS we’ve heard about carrier oils first.
Why use a carrier oil?
Here’s the deal guys. CBD comes in two raw forms: Isolate and Full Spectrum. Raw isolate is a crystallized material similar to salt. Raw full spectrum has a thick, beeswax-y consistency. In both cases, the raw material is less than ideal for dose specific ingestion and physiological absorption. The crystal material of raw CBD isolate, specifically, makes for poor digestion. Most of the raw material might not even be processed by the body if ingested without a carrier oil. In addition to this, both full spectrum and isolate raw material are so concentrated, that measuring a proper serving size (and doing so consistently) would be next to impossible and, quite honestly, inefficient and wasteful.
The human body digests and absorbs CBD more efficiently when it is infused with an oil
CBD is fat soluble. This means that when CBD is combined with a fat (oil), the CBD dissolves and attaches to the fat molecules (in the oil). Essentially, the oil helps break the CBD down further which makes it much easier for your body to digest, absorb and use.
MCT oil as a CBD carrier oil
Let’s get into carrier oil options and how MCT oil measures up. At the end of the day, any oil can be used as a carrier oil since all oils are fats and CBD (once again) is fat soluble. That being said…
Not all oils are created equal!
Take olive oil or avocado oil, for example. These oils have distinguishable smells and tastes. Not exactly ideal for a CBD tincture. You don’t want some funky aftertaste distracting from your favorite delicious Illuminent tincture flavor! At the molecular level, oils like olive oil and avocado oil have larger fat molecules, requiring more work to metabolize. In addition, this molecular makeup creates a thicker substance. The thickness of the oil can become challenging when attempting to measure specific dropper amounts for ideal dosing.
What is MCT oil?
MCT oil is short for Medium Chain Triglyceride (MCT) oil. Medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) are a specific fat molecule found in oils, such as coconut and palm oil. (In an effort to be more environmentally conscious and sustainable, Illuminent uses MCT oil derived from coconuts.) MCTs are extracted from the oil in order to obtain pure MCT oil. Compared to larger fat molecules found in other oils (ie. olive and avocado oil), MCTs can be broken down and metabolized by the body quickly and more efficiently due to their smaller size. This small molecular size results in a low viscosity substance, making for a thin oil, ideal for even distribution and dosing. In addition, MCT oil is virtually odorless and flavorless. As such, it works great as a carrier oil in maintaining the integrity of product flavor.
6 Health Benefits of MCT Oil
- Weight loss/maintenance
- Appetite suppressant
- Easy to digest/absorb
- Energy and Brain Power
- Supports healthy gut
- Boosts workouts
Weight loss and management
Due to their molecular makeup, MCTs are digested more easily by the body and therefore less likely to be stored as fat. More specifically, studies have demonstrated that MCTs have a thermogenic (heating) effect during digestion which helps to utilize fat as energy more efficiently. This is especially beneficial for those on a low carb, ketogenic diet, as this process produces ketones and supports the body’s ability to reach a heightened metabolic state known as ketosis (the ultimate goal of any keto dieter).
MCT oil may keep you full longer. This healthy fat supports satiety by potentially raising ketones. Ketones, in turn, suppress hunger hormones and increase hormones that make you feel full. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should chug MCT oil all day, as all fats are nutrient dense and calorie rich. However, when added to a diet in moderation, MCT oil can offer appetite support and lasting energy.
Easy to digest/absorb
As stated above, MCTs are easy for the body to digest. The smaller size of the fat molecule allows for direct delivery to the liver and fast absorption. A smaller molecule means there is less to break down! It makes sense, right? Their size also allows them to permeate cell membranes easily and be used by the body without additional help from enzymes.
Energy and Brain Power
The brain is chalk full of fatty acids. Its basically made of them… and by basically, we mean it IS. In order to get that baby up and running smoothly every day, its super important to have a consistent supply of fatty acids in your diet! Thanks to their fast absorption, MCTs are a great source of these bad boys, offering almost immediate energy and brain power when consumed. In addition, MCT oil supports gut health which (as a matter of fact) plays a huge role in mental functioning. We’ll get into that next.
Supports a Healthy Gut
MCT oil is known to help balance gut bacteria, promoting a healthy microbiome. Consequently, digestive health improves, as does the bodies ability to absorb nutrients from food and utilize energy efficiently. In addition, MCTs can help rid the body of viruses and bad bacteria. As a result, digestive issues like candida, diarrhea, stomach issues, constipation etc. tend to improve.
The increase in energy availability after consuming MCT oil supports the body’s ability to workout with less of a need for carbohydrates as fuel. At the same time, the fat burning properties of MCT oil may give you a little extra bang for your workout buck!
Got a sec?
Stoked on MCT oil, but still curious about what your Illuminent CBD dosage should be?
Wondering how Illuminent CBD measures up in a saturated market?
Check out our article on CBD quality control in a booming industry. Learn how to identify the good from the bad and the ugly.
We want to hear from you!
Got questions? Feel like sharing your CBD journey? Connect with us in the comments below!