Carrying Oils in Tinctures
We hear the terms ‘cannabis oil’ and ‘tinctures’ quite often, but other than cannabis, what else is in there? A carrier oil is a plant-based oil that is used to "carry" the cannabis compounds into your system. Because of the chemical makeup of some tinctures, they are absorbed better with the help of carrier oil, increasing their overall health benefits.
Most Licensed Producers have a variety of carrier oils for purchase, but not all are the same. Each has different benefits, which we will explore in this blog.
What are Cannabis Tinctures?
Primarily used to relieve pain and anxiety, cannabis tinctures are often confused with cannabis oils. In fact, they are an alcoholic extract of the cannabis. Cannabis tinctures are convenient and have a long shelf life. Cannabis tinctures should store them in a cool, dark, and dry environments.
The most common method of consumption is orally, usually by placing the cannabis tincture under the tongue. The directions typically state to hold the liquid in your mouth for about 60 to 90 seconds before swallowing. This allows the THC and/or CBD to start absorbing immediately. With the help of carrier oil, the positive benefits of the tinctures can be increased due to the increased absorption of the cannabinoids and their ability to more easily bind in the body.
Hemp Seed Oil:
Hemp is a popular carrier oil for a variety of purposes, and as the name implies, it is derived from the hemp plant. It has a dark-to-clear light-green colour, with a nutty flavour. The darker the colour, the grassier the flavour. Hemp Seed Oil contains a variety of chemical components, including Linoleic Acid, a-Linolenic Acid, Oleic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid, and Linolenic Acid.
Hemp Seed Oil benefits include:
Keep in mind hemp seed oil is not the same thing as CBD oil. In this blog, we are only talking about using hemp seed as a carrier oil. CBD oil contains cannabinoids, while hemp seed oil does not.
Medium Chain Triglyceride MCT Oil (Fractionated Coconut Oil):
This oil, without question, is one of the most popular and most versatile. The coconut oil itself adds almost no flavour or smell, which makes it perfect for tinctures.
The oil is made up of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) which can be absorbed into the body with ease. The oil itself is 90% saturated fat, which makes it a phenomenal cannabinoid carrier. While this may not sound like a benefit, the fact that the oil itself is made of MCTs ensures that the fatty acids are metabolized directly by the liver.
MCTs benefits include:
Other chemical components of MCTs include Caproic Acid (C6), Caprylic Acid (C8), and Capric Acid (C10) fatty acids. These are the components that give MCT Oil their various positive benefits.
Avocado oil has high concentrations of oleic acid and is very thick. As a base oil, avocado oil isn't as effective as MCT oil, but it has its own unique benefits. Avocado oil dries slowly and is rich in multiple vitamins, including A, D & E, which can improve your skin. Avocado oil also has Palmitic Acid, Palmitoleic Acid, Stearic Acid, Oleic Acid, Linoleic Acid, Alpha-linolenic Acid, Arachidic Acid, and Gadoleic Acid. Avocado oil has a very mild and delicate taste.
Avocado oil provides:
Avocado Oil's primary benefits are for topical use, the avocado oil adds many medical benefits to your cannabis oil for topical skincare. The strength and durability of avocado oil alone makes it a great product to use in skincare, when combined with cannabis it is an ideal candidate.
Virgin Olive Oil:
Yes, that kind of Olive Oil. Virgin Olive Oil is a long-chain triglyceride that is rich in vitamins A, D and E. It is a mono-saturated fat which means that it requires more processing, which could reduce the number of cannabinoids you are ultimately able to get. It has a mild, fruity taste.
Benefits of using Olive Oil include:
This type of oil has a lot of vitamins and minerals. It is generally colourless and tasteless. If you're allergic to coconut (in MCT oil) this can be a good alternative.
Sunflower oil benefits:
Sunflower oil has a mild taste and a variety of health benefits. It’s rich in vitamins, high in good fats, and can even withstand hot temperatures.
Which Carrier Oil is the Best?
There really is no "best" carrier oil because each kind of cannabis carrying oil suits specific applications and needs. Some are better for topical treatments or as products for skin and hair, like avocado oils, and others are better for tinctures. Some oils, like olive oil, maybe harder for the body to metabolize, but it has its own health-giving properties to make up for any loss in cannabinoid effectiveness. Depending on your personal needs and preferences, different oils will be best for you and may require some experimentation.