With the rise in popularity of CBD-based products in the health and wellness industry, many of us are eager to find out as much as possible about its benefits and how to make the best out of our CBD oils, tinctures and supplements.
You may have noticed that some premium CBD brands choose to combine their products with MCT oil and wondered why. In this article, we’re going to explain what MCT oil is, what it does, and why it works so well with CBD oil. But first, let’s go over some CBD basics.
What Is CBD?
The Cannabis sativa plant produces over 100 different cannabinoids, the best known among them being THC and CBD. THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is the compound responsible for the psychotropic effects we typically associate with “smoking weed”: profound relaxation, euphoria, increased appetite, or the “munchies,” a certain degree of sedation and sleepiness, as well as an inclination towards introspection and philosophical conversations. THC causes these effects because it can directly bind to the CB1 receptors in the brain.
CBD or cannabidiol, on the other hand, cannot bind directly to cannabinoid receptors, and it produces its effects by stimulating the body to produce endogenous cannabinoids such as anandamide. This way, it promotes homeostasis without any psychotropic effects, so you can rest assured that you won’t get “high” from it. In fact, products such as Pure CBD Oil are extracted from hemp, a strain of the Cannabis plant with less than 0.3% THC.
What Is MCT Oil?
Before we go into the benefits of combining MCT oils with CBD products, we need to get a clear understanding of what MCT oils are. In recent years they have received more attention due to the popularity of the Ketogenic diet, but there still seems to be a lot of confusion as to their role.
MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides, but what does that mean? In simple terms, triglycerides refer to naturally occurring fats found in plants, animals, and our own bodies. What makes MCTs so special is how the body reacts to them compared to LCTs or long-chain triglycerides. The body can break down and metabolize MCTs much faster than LCTs, and they’re less likely to be stored as fat.
MCT is obtained from coconut or palm kernel oils through a process called fractionation. The solid oil is heated until it melts and then allowed to cool down and re-solidify. In the next step, the scentless and tasteless MCT oil can be separated from the solid.
Why Combine MCT With CBD?
MCT helps boost CBD’s efficacy through its bioavailability, meaning the amount of CBD that goes into your bloodstream once you’ve ingested the product. The reason why manufacturers recommend you administer CBD oil sublingually is precisely this: to increase its bioavailability by allowing the mucus membranes to absorb the active ingredients.
If the product has to pass through the digestive system, it decreases its bioavailability. Fortunately, MCT oil works really well as a carrier for CBD, resulting in higher amounts of CBD reaching the bloodstream. This basically means that you’ll need less of the product to get the same effects due to a more efficient absorption.
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