If you take a look at the list of ingredients on your bottle of CBD oil, you’ll notice that CBD isn’t the only thing in there. On Happy Garden CBD oil bottles, for example, you’ll see that the first ingredient listed is MCT oil. So just what is it, and why is it in there?
What is MCT oil?
This is where we get a little technical. MCT stands for medium-chain triglyceride, which means that the saturated fatty acids (known as triglycerides) are in chains of medium length. Why does this matter? Well, it’s this structure that makes MCT easier to digest and process than other oils, and are less likely to be stored in the body. This makes them a popular choice for a dietary supplement, and also gives them some added benefits – but more on that below.
The term MCT refers to the way that the oil is structured, and can come from a number of different sources. Some of the most popular MCT oils include coconut oil, palm oil, extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil and sesame oils. At Happy Garden, we use coconut oil as it’s one of the most abundant sources of MCT oil.
Why is MCT used with CBD?
Know that we know a bit more about MCT, what does it have to do with CBD oil? The truth is that CBD oil in its original state is highly concentrated, and can be difficult to measure out into the correct dosage. Secondly, the high concentration means that the raw CBD oil can cause irritation for some people – so the CBD is mixed with a carrier oil to make it both safer and simpler to take. Carrier oils can really be any oil, but there are a couple of reasons why MCT oil is the choice for CBD products.
The CBD is absorbed better
CBD is a fat-soluble compound, which means it is actually more effective when combined with an oil such as MCT. If you take CBD on its own, the CBD has to travel through the gut, then the liver before it can enter the bloodstream, where it can finally take effect. During this digestive process, it’s possible for much of the CBD to be lost. The liver breaks the CBD down into more than 100 different compounds and eliminates anything that it doesn’t see as useful. In this case, less than 80% of the CBD would reach your bloodstream. MCT helps here by allowing the CBD to skip right past the part where it is broken down, and enter the bloodstream at a much higher concentration.
The CBD is absorbed faster
Not only is our body’s digestive process damaging to the integrity of the CBD, but it also takes a long time. The journey from the stomach to the small intestine and through to the liver all needs to be done before the CBD can begin to work its magic. MCT oil is processed very quickly by the body – much faster than other oils – so the CBD that is mixed with it is also processed much more quickly.
Other benefits of MCT oil
You might have seen references to MCT oil outside of its use with CBD. In the last few years, it has become increasingly popular as a dietary supplement, thanks to a long list of benefits it can offer. It’s often added to things like smoothies, salad dressings and bulletproof coffees. While the amount of MCT oil you are consuming with CBD isn’t huge, it’s good to know about the other benefits that it can offer.
Provides an energy boost
As we mentioned earlier, MCT oil is very quickly and easily digested and processed by the body. The liver is where the body decides to either break down fats to be stored for later, or used as an immediate source of energy. MCT can enter the cells without being broken down and therefore provides you with a quick energy boost.
Increases metabolic health
MCT oil is a favourite product for people on the keto diet. This diet relies on a low carb intake that allows you to break down exiting fats in your body to use for energy, producing what’s known as ketones. MCT oil can naturally break down to form ketones, which helps you stay in the fat-burning phase for longer, even with an increased intake of carbohydrates.
Helps with weight loss
Although MCT is indeed an oil, which you would normally associate with weight gain, it has been shown to help with weight loss in a number of ways. A well as aiding your metabolism, which of course will assist with weight loss, consuming MCT oil can help you feel fuller for longer (so you end up eating less) and also slow down the rate at which carbohydrates are converted into fat.