What Is MCT in CBD Oil? [Comprehend a Label’s Ingredients]
If you’re OCD health nuts like us, you want to know everything that’s in the CBD oil you’re consuming. For instance, you’ve likely seen something about MCT oil on the ingredients sticker of your favorite hemp oil.
But what is MCT? Is it some strange synthetic carrier oil that came from a mad scientist’s lab? Is it going to make you grow a third eye? What about develop an X-Men like superhuman capability (how sweet would that be, btw?)
In this article, we answer the increasingly common question of “what is MCT oil?” It’s clear that the product is popping up more and more as an ingredient in the best CBD oils . If you have any concern over knowing what’s in the daily tincture you’re taking, read on to find out just what this mystery ingredient is.
CBD Oils Are Increasingly Using It, but What Is MCT Oil?
MCT oil stands for “medium chain triglyceride” oil. But what does this mean? Medium chain triglycerides are the compounds that give health and beauty oils (like coconut oil) many of their beneficial properties.
You’ve likely heard over the years that coconut oil can be a one-stop-fix-all super oil. Some say it’s capable of taking care of everything from inflammation and damaged skin to energy levels and thinning hair.
But guess what? It’s not specifically the coconut, per se, that gives coconut oil all of its wonderful characteristics. In fact, based on studies pure coconut oil isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be in terms of its perceived health benefits.
The reason for this?
Besides its supply of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), coconut oil is also chock-full of long-chain triglycerides, or LCTs. LCTs are much more difficult for the body to digest, metabolize, and ultimately use as an energy source. In fact, rather than becoming immediately available as energy, most natural fats in coconut oil (i.e. LCTs) end up being stored rather than burned. This is not good for cardiovascular health, metabolism, and a range of other things.
On the flip side, the body can quickly and easily metabolize MCTs and use them as energy. They provide an almost immediate source of natural fuel, and guess what? Instead of being stored in tissue as fat, MCTs are readily used by cells and metabolized to provide the body with clean, ultra-efficient energy.
But where does MCT oil come from? Well, it is, in fact, a synthetic oil that is processed only in laboratories using a combination of medium chain triglycerides from both coconut oil and palm oil.
Is CBD Oil with Coconut Oil Bad for You?
Regardless of all this talk about CBD products formulated with MCT oil, you can rest assured that pure coconut (or olive) oil are still not unhealthy carriers for CBD. In fact, like most things there is likely a certain element of marketing buzz that goes along with MCT oil — it’s a hot product right now, so whenever possible manufacturers are going to be chomping at the bit to label their top-shelf CBD oils as ‘MCT-containing.’
Coconut oil and olive oil both have health benefits of their own, so either of those two or MCT oil are fine choices, especially at the small amounts generally taken with each dose of CBD.
A Side Note on the ‘Healthiness’ of Coconut Oil
It goes without saying that there’s an ongoing argument over the healthiness of triglyceride consumption. For generations, the American Heart Association held a specific stance on fat consumption, cholesterol levels, and so on. Today, they still recommend against the consumption of coconut oil on grounds that high levels of saturated fat raise LDL levels.
Additionally, Harvard Health’s stance on the healthiness of coconut oil consumption may surprise you. They argue that many of the health claims in favor of coconut oil stem from research done on oils containing 100% MCTs. This is inconsistent, they say, with coconut oil that you find in grocery stores (which contains mostly lauric acid).
In short, be wary that not all coconut oils you see for sale in supermarkets and health food stores are the same. Check the labels, and know what you’re looking for before you grab a bottle and head to the checkout line.
Final Thoughts on MCT Oil and CBD
If you skipped all the way down to the bottom here and skimmed over the meat of the article, here’s the general gist on MCT oil and CBD: basically, MCT (which stands for medium-chain triglycerides) is a synthetically-produced oil that is a combination of both coconut oil and palm oil.
It’s believed to be superior to the pure versions of each oil, as all of the long-chain triglycerides (which are difficult to metabolize and usually end up as stored fat) have been removed. MCTs , on the other hand, are very efficiently metabolized and are almost immediately available to the body as an energy supply.
That said, be wary of the fact that not all CBD oils with coconut oil are made the same. In fact, you’ll find large variations in quality and ingredients among various products on the current market.
Varying qualities of MCT / CBD oils
Many brands nowadays that use MCTs in their coconut oil use a process called CO2 extraction to pull cannabinoids from plant material. Some consider CO2 extraction to be the “gold standard” of CBD oil production. However, there are other extraction techniques that can produce high-quality products.
Cryogenic ethanol extraction, for example, can produce great results. Since ethanol is an alcohol-based solvent, it works chemically to “strip” the hemp of its CBD, as well as other active compounds. What’s left over is a rich hemp extract with a full spectrum of cannabinoids. Additional processing and filtering can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.
In short, if you’re going to buy CBD oil with MCT, be sure to do your due diligence and research a quality product. Spend some time reading reviews, and don’t settle on the first product you happen to come across.
If you’re like us and are total OCD nut jobs when it comes to reading labels, then this article is for you. Here we explain exactly what MCT is…
8 Reasons CBD in MCT Oil Is Good for You
Note: This post was originally published in June of 2017 and has been updated for clarity and to include current information.
When people say “CBD oil” what they typically mean is CBD + oil, because isolated CBD usually comes in a highly concentrated powdered or crystallized form. It’s only when you add concentrated CBD to an oil (called carrier oils, which we’ll cover in another post) that you get CBD oil a.k.a concentrated CBD mixed evenly in an oil.
One of the most commonly used oils in CBD products is MCT oil, which comes from coconuts or palm plants. These are just a few of the reasons why CBD in MCT oil is good for you.
1. Absorb CBD Better
Like we mentioned earlier, CBD oil actually refers to a product where CBD concentrate is mixed into an oil called a “carrier oil”. This is because our bodies can’t effectively absorb concentrated CBD through the digestive system.
The good news is that CBD dissolves really well in fats such as MCT oil, making it much easier for CBD to work its way into your system.
Benefits of CBD Oil
Cannabidiol, commonly referred to as CBD, belongs to a group of compounds known as cannabinoids. These compounds interact with systems in the body to promote a wide range of benefits. Its effects differ from person to person, but are generally described as providing balance and a sense of well-being. The best way for a person to understand CBD and its benefits is by experiencing it directly.
2. Absorb CBD Faster
MCT oil helps your body absorb CBD, but so do other carrier oils. What’s unique about MCT oil is that its chemical structure is smaller than other oils, which means your body breaks it down and starts using it faster.
What Makes CBD Oil So Special?
CBD is one of the most abundant cannabinoids in the cannabis plant and the number one most abundant cannabinoid in hemp plants. There is still a lot that we’re learning about these plants and the compounds that they produce, but it’s already clear that CBD plays an important role in the way cannabinoids interact with people and animals.
3. Helps Measure CBD Servings
CBD concentrate is highly potent in even tiny amounts. It would require small, unique measuring tools in order to get a person’s ideal serving size. Mixing CBD concentrate evenly into MCT oil makes it easier for the average person to measure out the right amount of CBD.
Does CBD Oil Work?
People who try CBD oil tend to notice it working, especially once they find a serving size that meets their needs. Although, CBD oil may not work for everybody. Learn about the pros and cons of CBD oil here. The best way to know if CBD will work for you is to try it for yourself or ask a medical professional for their advice.
4. Prevents Bacterial Growth
MCT oil has shown to prevent the growth of bacteria which makes it good for protecting the quality and shelf-life of CBD and may even provide other health benefits.
5. MCT Oil Is an Ideal Source of Energy for Your Brain
MCT may help improve your focus, mental clarity, and memory by providing the fuel that your brain needs to function effectively. This is one of the reasons it’s commonly used by “bio-hackers” such as Bulletproof founder Dave Aspry.
Benefits of MCT Oil
Medium-chain triglycerides, commonly referred to as MCTs, are a type of dietary fat with a unique chemical structure. They provide a long list of potential benefits. Compared to longer-chain fats, MCTs are absorbed more easily in the body and are able to provide energy to the brain and body more quickly.
6. MCT Oil Is an Ideal Source of Energy for Your Body
The same fuel source used by your brain is what’s used by many parts of your body. In the same way that MCT breaks down easier and faster, allowing your brain to utilize its energy more quickly, taking MCT oil can also provide rapid energy to your body. MCT oil is popular with many athletes and fitness enthusiasts for this reason.
7. MCT Oil Is Clear and Tasteless
One of MCT oil’s drawbacks might actually be a positive. MCT oil is usually clear and pretty much tasteless. When it’s taken by itself, this could be called a downside to using CBD in MCT oil. But because it’s clear and tasteless it makes it easy to add to smoothies, salads, and other recipes in order to capture the benefits of CBD and MCT oil without having to worry about changing the appearance or taste of a drink or dish.
What Makes MCT Oils So Special?
One of the reasons MCTs are so special is how quickly and easily they are digested and sent to the liver. This allows them to provide fast energy to the body as well as essential nutrients without being stored as fat. Some sources say that medium-chain fats like MCTs can help positively alter a person’s metabolism.
8. MCT Oil Is Keto-Friendly
MCT oil is popular in the keto community and many suspect it may be an effective addition to the keto weight loss approach. MCT is broken down directly into ketones, which might help the body enter the fat-burning state of “ketosis”.
Does MCT Oil Work?
MCT oil has been shown to have numerous health benefits, including improved cognitive function, weight management, and more. These healthy fatty acids are largely missing in the typical Western diet partly because of the misconception that all saturated fats are harmful.
Since any CBD oil product is really a unique blend of plant extracts, CBD being the most abundant or the highlighted ingredient, it’s important to understand what role the other extracts and compounds are playing in your diet. MCT oil is a popular choice for pairing with CBD, and for good reason. We recommend you try it yourself.
Learn why CBD is commonly paired with MCT oil and how this combination provides unique benefits and advantages.