When creating tinctures and softgels, the carrier oil chosen to use during formulation is important. For the most part, the decision for product manufacturers is to either use MCT oil or hemp seed oil. There is definite curb appeal to hemp seed oil... it targets that niche customer who wants the whole-plant flavor. But here is why MCT oil is best for the end consumer:
In order to use the cannabinoids that we take in when we consume CBD oil, we must first break the oil down into its nutritive components. These components will be either absorbed, or pass through the body. The CBD that is absorbed passes through the lining of the intestinal tract into the blood. The blood carries it to the sites where it will be reassembled and used by the body. If the CBD is not used immediately, it will either be stored for later use, or excreted in the urine. CBD is a lipid (fat) soluble molecule, meaning that it can only be ingested into the body through fats and oils, to then be stored in fat tissue.
Hemp seed oil may seem like the carrier oil of choice, it comes from the exact same plant and there are some people out there that consider it a "super food", however, hemp seed oil is generally an inefficient carrier of CBD on its own. To reach its full potential, it must be mixed with oils that give the CBD higher bioavailability, such as MCT oil, which also allows for a more rapid release into the body.
This is a topic we have done a fair bit of lab testing on. When using hemp seed oil as the carrier in tinctures, we saw an average 11% bodily absorption. But when we used MCT oil as the carrier oil in tinctures, we saw an average of 19% bioavailability to the body.
One might say that 19% still isn't very good, that's why we look at achieving maximum bioavailability as a multi-step process. When using the proper carrier oil (MCT), combined with Nanoemulsion of the CBD molecules through ultrasonication, we can achieve between an 80% - 90% total bioavailability of our CBD product. So, it really takes a two-pronged approach to getting the high CBD absorption rate that consumers deserve, but the first step is definitely choosing the right carrier oil. Look at itthis way, if you have to mix CBD oil with something else, you might as well make it useful.
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