When you examine the ingredients list on a CBD oil tincture bottle, you’ll typically find “Cannabidiol” and “MCT oil” as standard components.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, when initially extracted from hemp, is not immediately ready for consumption as we see in retail products. Post-extraction, CBD takes on a goopy thick form that is not easily absorbed or metabolized. This raw form, known as CBD extract, requires a catalyst to become effective without altering its inherent properties.
CBD, being fat-soluble, does not mix well with water. However, it can seamlessly dissolve in oil, similar to lipids in essential oils. This solubility makes oil an ideal carrier for CBD. Most CBD oil producers opt for MCT oil as their carrier of choice.
What is MCT Oil?
MCT stands for medium-chain triglyceride, a form of medium-length fat chains. These fats are more easily digestible due to their shorter length. MCTs are present in various foods but are predominantly found in coconut oil.
MCT oil is typically derived from coconut oil or palm kernel oil. These medium-chain fats boast several beneficial effects, as supported by research.
Benefits of MCT Oil:
- Instant Energy and Brain Fuel: MCTs are absorbed and metabolized quicker than long-chain triglycerides (LCTs), providing immediate energy. For those on a ketogenic diet, MCTs are converted into ketones in the liver, offering energy to brain cells.
- Antifungal and Antimicrobial Properties: MCT oil contains fatty acids with antifungal and antimicrobial traits, effective against yeast and bacterial growth. This is largely due to the lauric, caprylic, and capric acids in MCTs.
- Blood Sugar Management: MCT oil can help regulate blood sugar levels, particularly beneficial for diabetes management. It promotes fat burning and reduces fat storage, as evidenced by studies showing significant reductions in waist size and improved insulin regulation.
- Weight Loss Support: MCT oil aids in weight loss through various mechanisms, including appetite suppression. Studies suggest that MCT oil intake can reduce calorie consumption at subsequent meals and enhance calorie burning.
- Reduced Lactate for Athletes: MCTs may lower lactate buildup in athletes, enhancing physical performance. Trials indicate lower lactate levels in individuals consuming MCTs compared to those taking LCTs.
While MCT oil is beneficial, it’s not a panacea and should be consumed in moderation.
Potential Side Effects of MCT Oil
MCT oil is generally safe, but excessive use could potentially increase liver fat over the long term. Additionally, in some cases, MCTs might stimulate appetite, particularly in individuals with eating disorders.
Cannabinoids and MCT Oil
The synergy between CBD and MCT oil in tinctures offers the benefits of both substances. MCT oil serves as a necessary carrier for CBD isolates, making them user-friendly. This combination in CBD oil tinctures provides the advantages of CBD along with the health benefits of MCTs, creating an effective and beneficial product.