MCT acts as an effective carrier for CBD and is becoming known as a superfood. We look at how it works, why it’s highly regarded and why it is paired with CBD. You know when you meet someone you’re destined to be friends with, and they just complement you perfectly? They get your jokes, they like going places with you, you get along great…CBD has a friend like that. A strong and unbreakable bond between two best friends. You will find that most CBD products on the shelves are CBD absorption in the body can be enhanced by using a carrier oil such as medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil.
MCT oil & CBD oil – A happy partnership
MCT oil is a commonly used carrier for cannabidiol (CBD). It is a high fat oil which is extracted from either coconut or palm.
For years fats have been viewed as the enemy of health, weight loss and well-being. Now we know better. Fats have many vital roles and are an important part of a healthy diet.
MCT goes a step beyond. It is an oil that is packed with nutritional benefits as well as having a role in enhancing and targeting other ingredients.
Medium chain triglycerides: fast facts
- Medium chain triglyceride (MCT) oil is fat-based and rich in caproic acid, caprylic acid, capric acid and lauric acid.
- MCT oil is used as a carrier for CBD because it helps to increase bioavailability.
- The addition of MCT to CBD as a carrier oil prevents the cannabidiol from being broken down in your digestive tract.
- Consuming MCT oil is linked to good gut health and weight loss.
What is MCT oil?
Medium chain triglycerides (MCT) are fatty acids found in coconut oil and palm oil. It is often reported that they boost energy and support an increase in brain power. It is a clear liquid with no smell and is often added to food or coffee (also called Keto or Bulletproof Coffee) and smoothies.
MCT oil is a general term for several different oils including caproic acid, caprylic acid, capric acid and lauric acid. Each has varying effects and are found in different amounts in MCT oil.
Most MCTs get their reputation and quick effects from by-passing the digestive tract and going straight to the liver to be broken down. They quickly become high-energy ketones and are transported to the bloodstream. This quick action makes them a source of fast energy and a useful delivery method for other substances such as CBD, which can be broken down in the digestive tract.
Benefits of MCT oil
Some studies have observed a link between a diet rich in MCTs and weight loss. They appear to have links to good gut health and can modify the gut microbiota to support metabolic processes. At the same time, they are both antifungal and antimicrobial, which keeps your digestive system healthy. MCTs have considerable potential for gut health, weight loss and provide a quick source of energy that can reach your cells faster than other forms.
Note: The amount of MCT consumed when taking a CBD oil is minimal. A few drops of MCT oil are not going to provide these same health benefits.
MCT oil vs coconut oil
Coconut oil is packed full of beneficial oils, 62% of which are MCTs. However, of that percentage, a large majority is lauric acid. While lauric acid is beneficial it does not behave like other MCTs and can be broken down in your digestive tract instead of the liver.
Coconut oil is a great choice and can work well in many diets. However, if you want the benefits associated with MCT oil it is best not to buy coconut oil.
MCT oil & cannabidiol (CBD)
When adding any food supplement to your diet it is important to consider its bio-availability. Bio-availability refers to the amount of active ingredient that will reach your bloodstream.
CBD is often broken down by your liver before it can be used by your body. If you ingest CBD, only 4% to 20% will reach your bloodstream and this could take up to two hours.
However, this is still a well-used method of consuming CBD. It is still used because:
1. Ingesting CBD is convenient, and it can easily be added to food or drink.
2. The effect of CBD is often longer when it has been ingested.
3. Taking CBD in this way means that you won’t need to carry any other items such as vaporisers.
Because ingestion is the method of choice for many CBD users there has been lots of research into ways of making it more efficient. It has been found that the amount of CBD and other cannabinoids that reach your bloodstream increases when combined with fats. MCT oil is particularly effective at doing this.
CBD is fat-soluble so the MCT acts as a carrier and prevents it from being broken down in the digestive system. This allows a greater amount of CBD to reach your bloodstream than if you were to swallow the CBD.
MCT oil is a source of healthy fats that can build your energy and maintain your gut health. When combined with CBD the key benefit is enhanced bioavailability of CBD.
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Tom Russell writes extensively about CBD oil and other groundbreaking food supplements. He and his wife share their home with two daughters and a lifetime’s collection of books.
Why is MCT Oil Used in CBD Products?
You know when you meet someone you’re destined to be friends with, and they just complement you perfectly? They get your jokes, they like going places with you, you get along great…CBD has a friend like that. A strong and unbreakable bond between two best friends. You will find that most CBD products on the shelves are made with a little someone called “MCT oil.” This is for good reason ━ they are a dynamic duo.
MCT & CBD Oil Is the Perfect Match
Like a good friend, MCT oil has CBD oil’s back.
- MCTs do an impressive job at protecting all of the CBD from being completely broken down by the digestive system before reaching the bloodstream.
- Since CBD is a fat-soluble compound, it is most efficient and best absorbed by your body when taken along with saturated fats, like MCTs.
- MCT oil provides a vehicle for the most CBD possible to be absorbed by the bloodstream.
When discussing how effectively a compound like CBD can travel through the digestive system after consuming and the level to which it can be absorbed by the body, the term is called bioavailability . Of course, most people would hope to have the most effective absorption to get the most out of their product’s benefits. This is precisely where MCT oil shines, and makes it CBD oil’s perfect match.
A fun fact to stash in your brain is that the liver is where you can actually lose CBD that you consume. In a metabolic process called “first-pass,” CBD is broken down into at least one hundred components called metabolites, many of which go to waste and don’t get used by our bodies. When this process essentially eliminates some of the CBD taken, that means the CBD’s bioavailability has been reduced. Fear not. This is where MCT oil comes in as a good friend. MCT oil swoops up the CBD and carries it more directly to the bloodstream, as it helps the CBD almost completely avoid the first-pass metabolism process. To put this simply, MCT oil allow for a greater concentration of CBD to be absorbed into the bloodstream so you can reap benefits most efficiently and quickly.
What Exactly is MCT Oil?
So, what exactly is MCT Oil? MCT is short for medium-chain triglycerides (a little bit of a mouthful, thank you for acronyms!) and is often used as a health supplement. It is typically derived from either coconut oil or palm oil.
Vena uses only the highest quality MCT Coconut Oil in all of our products to effectively deliver our premium 99%+ CBD Isolate through maximum absorption. A top-choice for both beginners and veteran CBD users are Vena’s CBD Tinctures , blended with MCT Coconut Oil and administered sublingually by dropping the oil under the tongue. Tinctures come in strengths suitable for all of your needs, from potency of 500mg to 3000mg of CBD. Some users prefer to not directly consume a tincture and instead opt for a convenient method of taking CBD like Vena CBD Gel Capsules . Perfect for an on-the-go lifestyle, capsules make it incredibly easy to incorporate CBD into your routine.
While all of Vena’s CBD products are crafted with the highest-quality MCT Coconut Oil, it should be noted that there is, in fact, a difference that separates MCT oil and coconut oil. MCT can stand alone, but coconut oil (which is also famous for an array of health benefits) naturally contains MCT. Coconut oil is highly abundant with MCTs, and in fact, more than half of the fat that is found in coconut oil comes from MCTs. Other examples of oils that contain MCTs are avocado, olive, and sesame. Like we know about the healthy fats in avocadoes, it is important to understand that MCT is also what is considered to be “good fat.” MCT molecules are also smaller than the molecules in most fats that are found in food, making them easier for the body to readily use. In more specific terms, they increase the bioavailability of CBD when consumed together.
Besides its popular use in CBD products, MCT oil has attracted attention in the health and wellness world on its own as a supplement. Salad dressings mix great with it, smoothies blend with it, and you may have also heard about bulletproof coffee in the recently trending Ketogenic “Keto” diet. What about MCT oil makes it healthy, besides increasing bioavailability? MCTs provide energy, first and foremost. Naturally, their smaller molecules allow them to break through cells more efficiently without being degraded. They have been shown to enhance metabolic health and boost your immunity, as well, and have played roles in healthy weight maintenance.
CBD and MCT oil are two peas in a pod. They go together like peanut butter and jelly. However, not all products are made equal. Quality matters. That’s why Vena shares all of our certificates of analysis and lab test results on our website. We value transparency and cherish your trust. Our products are legal and shipped to all 50 states and internationally. All of our CBD products are guaranteed to contain 0% THC, and each and every product that leaves the facility is third-party tested to ensure consistency and quality.
The perfect pairing: MCTs and CBD
Medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil may provide functional benefits, and can also be used as a carrier oil to deliver CBD to the body.
Medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil is a flavorless ingredient that acts as a carrier oil while also offering a neutral odor and long shelf life. Widely used for its therapeutic properties 1 and antimicrobial 2 and anti-inflammatory effects, 3 MCT oil may be the ideal ingredient to elevate a brand’s CBD products.
As MCTs have become essential dietary supplement and personal care additives worldwide and consumers learn their benefits, an excellent opportunity exists for manufacturers in the CBD industry to invest in this ingredient. MCTs can be incorporated as a high-quality carrier or emollient in the formulation of natural CBD cosmetics and dietary supplements.
What MCTs are
As health trends have grown across the U.S. and around the world, MCTs have skyrocketed in popularity. Composed of six to 12 carbons that are fatty-acid esters of glycerol, their short length enables the body to absorb the oil efficiently. 4 MCTs passively diffuse from the gastrointestinal (GI) tract into the portal vein without requiring the modification that long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs) or very-LCFAs do. 4
MCTs are produced in the U.S., Malaysia, Singapore and other parts of the world from vegetable oil fatty acids from natural sources. MCT oil is most commonly derived from palm kernel oil and coconut oil. With both sources, the extraction process is called fractionation and it separates MCT oil into a concentrate. The four types of MCTs include the commonly used caprylic acid and capric acid.
How MCTs are used
MCTs have many applications across the personal care, aromatherapy and cosmetic industries. MCT oil may be used as a stand-alone product or added to lotions, creams, foams, topical aerosols, ointments, cleansing oils, bath scrubs, makeup and CBD oil. MCT oil is a go-to carrier oil for CBD products and CBD tinctures, as MCT is absorbed into the bloodstream faster than longer-chain fatty acids. 4 MCTs are also versatile enough to be incorporated into food and beverage products, with the possibility to offer science-backed functionality.
The potential benefits of MCTs
Clinical research around MCT oil surrounds health benefits such as aiding in weight loss, 5 energy 6 and heart health, 7 and potentially playing a role in alleviating inflammation 3 and mitigating other issues. 8
Among MCT oil’s areas of influence, weight loss ranks high on the list because of the extensive amount of research. In clinical trials, MCT oil has been shown to promote the feeling of fullness, to help reduce body weight and waist circumference, to reduce or prevent obesity, and to help the body burn extra calories. 5
Excess body weight can contribute to heart disease, so by aiding weight loss and with the potential to help reduce inflammation, 3 MCT oil may bolster heart health. 7 A clinical trial around MCT oil consumption and metabolic profile suggested MCT oil is a crucial ingredient to help reduce the risk factors for heart disease, with the potential to aid in maintaining healthy blood pressure. 7
Research has also indicated a promising role for MCTs with specific issues, including epilepsy and autism. One study explored the ability of MCTs to offer increased seizure control. 8 Another study showed positive improvements for people with autism who incorporated MCTs into their diet, tracking results over six months. 9 Other studies have assessed MCTs’ ability to influence memory loss and help patients in an Alzheimer’s disease population. 10
Although more clinical research is needed to further prove any links between MCT oil and benefitting inflammation or other adverse indications, 3 it stands to reason that MCT would be a positive addition to the diet. It provides an immediate source of power for the human body through quick absorption, allowing for faster conversion to energy, according to a clinical trial led by researchers Peter Schonfeld and Lech Wojtczak. 11
The perfect pairing
CBD is a chemical compound derived from the hemp plant, one of 113 cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. CBD is growing in popularity in the U.S. and around the world. According to a CBD report from Research and Markets, the global CBD industry is projected to reach US$13.4 billion by 2028.
CBD will not produce an impact unless it is accessible to the human body, which means a carrier oil can be essential for absorption. 12 In addition to helping increase the bioavailability of CBD, carrier oils can improve the stability of a formulation by making it easier to produce nanoemulsions with small droplet sizes. 12
For manufacturers in the food and beverage or personal care industry looking to incorporate CBD into their product line or bolster products they already have, high-quality MCT can be a seamless addition to natural formulations.
To read additional articles on the CBD niche, visit the “ CBD seeks red-hot status ” digital magazine.
Mike Efting has been a senior executive in the chemical distribution industry for more than 35 years and an entrepreneur for well over a decade. He is the current president and founder of Viachem , a specialty chemical food additive and ingredient distributor, and American Pure Products, a wholly owned subsidiary of Viachem that includes premium personal care brands spanning hand sanitizer to CBD.
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2 Khoramnia A et al. “Improvement of Medium Chain Fatty Acid Content and Antimicrobial Activity of Coconut Oil via Solid-State Fermentation Using a Malaysian Geotrichum Candidum.” Biomed Res Int. 2013;954542.
3 Yu S et al. “Medium Chain Triglyceride (MCT) Oil Affects the Immunophenotype via Reprogramming of Mitochondrial Respiration in Murine Macrophages.” Foods. 2019;8(11):553.
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