What Is MCT In CBD Oil? A Guide To CBD Ingredients – Part 1


What Is MCT In CBD Oil?

You may well have noticed an increasing number of manufacturers making noises about how they are now including MCT in some of their CBD oils.

MCT, or “medium-chain triglycerides” as it’s less trendily known, is the new kid on the block when it comes to carrying agents for CBD.

In the past – in fact, for decades – olive and coconut oils were considered the best way of helping the body absorb the extract while also preventing it from decaying or losing strength.

While they remain the benchmark and still dominate the market of any oils worth buying, MCT is growing its share rapidly.

What Exactly Is MCT?

In the most simple terms possible, MCT is a synthetically produced combination of palm oil and coconut oil.

“Why bother”, you may very reasonably ask? After all, both of these are demonstrated to have too many long-chain triglycerides to be reliable agents for CBD (we’re sure you know that!).

Well, this is where the folks in white coats have been busy. Through combining palm and coconut oil in such a way they’ve managed to isolate and remove the long chain variety of triglycerides from the formula.

MCT has been proven to be far easier for the body to actually absorb and even digest supplementary ingredients. It’s been used in a vast array of beauty products too (e.g. skin lotions and balms).

Previously, LCT (the long chain version of palm or coconut oil) were not suitable for this purpose. They simply ended up being absorbed unhealthily into the body and stored as fats! In some countries, their use was/has been highly restricted due to the health risks potentially involved.

On the other hand, MCT works differently. Instead of being bulbous and lazy like LCT, it’s instead extremely supple and can be metabolised incredibly quickly and efficiently into the body.

The big debate is over how superior it may actually be to olive oil – which has been used historically as the finest way of sublingually dosing CBD. Is it really a game-changer or just a cunning marketing ploy?

Palm Oil & Coconut Oil

MCT is essentially a combination of palm oil and coconut oil.

Lack Of Standardisation Is A Problem

So far it may sound like MCT is indeed finally going to usurp olive oil – but there’s one big problem. It stems from the fact that “laboratory grade” MCT is a research chemical and not used in commercial products intended for retail.

Before writing angry emails to your CBD vendors, be aware that they haven’t necessarily done anything wrong… confused yet?

Chemicals that contain MCT can be found in rather upmarket dispensaries and health shops and may indeed be blended with CBD and a host of other supplements. The problem is that due to the notorious lack of regulation throughout the CBD industry, you never really know how much MCT is within this mysterious compound. Some companies may use a 99% base, others much, much lower.

If something seems fishy just remember that even if “pure” MCT were available for this kind of use, it’s incredibly expensive to manufacture on an industrial scale.

A £20 CBD oil claiming to be based on “pure MCT” is likely not quite the case – but there’s nothing to prevent them claiming it’s “MCT-based”. This will be a perfectly legal claim.

Labelling is also a common issue with all sorts of CBD product, and in this case, it really does matter how much you trust your favourite company.

Those with a decent track record producing quality, organic and genuinely natural oils and e-liquids will be unlikely to try and rip off their customers using badly produced MCT. But be aware of any bottom shelf product claiming to contain it!

What MCT Really Means In The CBD Industry

Moving on, you can be sure that any company offering a product containing MCT can get away with just including a fraction of palm oil and coconut oil.

Technically speaking, that’s accurate – they just won’t mention that it also contains LCT because the mixture has not been properly processed and extracted. It’s a real grey area and one that’s becoming problematic as more and more companies are hopping on the bandwagon.

It’s always sensible to veer towards using companies that offer a transparent and verifiable system of batch testing within their customer services. Sure, there may be no mention of LCT because they don’t technically need to – but companies that offer this service usually are going to be upfront about the contents of their products. If you’re in doubt, the most straightforward way to address any queries would be to contact them directly and to ask.

Companies who do offer legitimate CBD products based on quality MCT will be very proud of that fact. You, the customer, will be expected to pay a lot of money for a small bottle of their extract. In fact, if your bank balance doesn’t take a proper hit – there’s likely something very suspicious going on.

MCT In CBD Asylum Infuse Drops

CBD Asylum use MCT oil in their range of Infuse Drops for example.

So Should I Try MCT Out?

If you can find – and afford – a genuinely high MCT product, then it will perform superbly for helping the body to absorb CBD.

In fact, when combined with a full spectrum variety that already helps this process, it could indeed be a formidable pairing. That being said, there really isn’t anything particularly wrong with the oils that are already being used. If anything, they’re more reliable because you know what you’re buying (most of the time) and people have enjoyed success with quality versions of these products for years.

In purely scientific terms, there’s no reason why a pure MCT CBD oil shouldn’t be the best possible way of getting that compound fully into your system. It’s just a pity that those that come close to delivering this are very few and far between.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this article will have served as a gentle warning to be very careful when it comes to the current buzz about MCT.

The reality is going to 99% of the time be very different to how the labelling suggests, and that’s the case even for the biggest and best reputations on the scene.

It’s never a bad idea to open a dialogue with your vendors anyway, so if this is something that interests you, make inquiries about how they specifically use it within their products.

You can get whatever you’re able to pay for in the CBD world, but it’s never nice being flogged a shoddy product!

What Are Terpenes & Their Roles In CBD Oils

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What Are Terpenes?

A regular question many newcomers to the CBD scene ask is what makes ‘full spectrum CBD’ so bloody fantastic?

We make no qualms in saying that based on personal experience and second-hand anecdotes, these tend to be considerably more ‘effective’.

Quite why is still a topic for the boffins to research, but the indications are that it’s thanks to full spectrum varients being rich in all the cannabinoids that may otherwise be filtered out when producing CBD.

These include masses of terpenes (and no they aren’t a fancy kind of tadpole).

Just like any other plant or fruit, they add flavour and variety. Ever chopped an onion and cried a little? That’s actually a terpene at work!

In better news, it’s also what makes berries taste so good. They interact with our senses to just make things feel better or more interesting. Given that proper CBD extracts are non-psychoactive, why should that make a difference?

Hemp Is Packed Full Of Terpenes

Top quality organic hemp contains over 200 different variants of terpenes. Quite what they all actually do is still a matter of conjecture, but for our purposes, they are thought to help with making CBD extracts more effective.

At the moment, less than a third are being actively researched, but there’s a growing body of evidence suggesting that these terpenes make CBD much more effective.

Why is this the case? Everyone has their own endocannabinoid system. Sometimes it’s great, and other times not so much. Just like any other aspect of our body, it’s about finding a suitable balance – something much easier to do with proper supplementation.

Terpenes are thought to be essential when it comes to helping CBD transit between the dozens of ‘receptors’ across the body. Think of them like a water carrier, an essential yet often overlooked part of any team.

Most scientific research has been focussed on CB1 receptors – those thought to have indigenous pain relieving properties. Terpenes are active there, but even more so in the neglected world of CB2 receptors.

Terpenes In CBD Oils

The Entourage Effect

Many people immediately find themselves looking for the purest CBD extract possible. Fair enough, and whether by oils, liquids, balms or capsules we will always agree that purity is essential. But what is purity?

There are plenty of top quality companies out there offering CBD with just trace elements of cannabinoids and terpenes. For some people, that’s great – but for others, they may prove ineffective regardless of strength.

The “entourage effect” is when your extract is also inclusive of the additional components. As mentioned above, this style of dosage is considered simply to be more efficient.

Think of it like eating a nice slice of cake. It’d be quite uninspiring, and possibly less tasty, without some berries, jam and a cherry on top. It’ll still fill you up, but for proper satisfaction, those extra ingredients make the whole experience so much more enjoyable.

Terpenes In Cannabis Chart

Infographic: These are the most common terpenes found in the cannabis plant.

What Terpenes Should You Look Out For?

You’ll find it tricky to find a producer who lists specific terpenes included in their base product. That isn’t because they’re being tricky – it’s more to do with how they are actually labelled.

As a rule of thumb, full spectrum (terpene heavy) CBD tends to be more ‘hempy’. If you’re using it as an e-liquid or oil, it will look darker and taste a whole lot richer.

While it may not be to everyone’s taste (at times it can really be quite full on), capsules present a perfectly valid bypass. As does adding to a shake, smoothie or even your morning cereal.

The point is to always look for companies vending full spectrum CBD with terpenes who list their batch testing results. Ideally, these will include everything from natural extract – usually about 98% – and a whole list of others.

A recent trend has been adding those active terpenes back into the mix. It may not stem from the same batch of hemp, but if it improves the quality of the product then who are we to argue?

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a decent oil, we’d recommend steering very much towards those that are richer and jam-packed full of terpenes.

Ideally, they will be the most effective supplement going – and of course, they will not make you high.

So if you’re looking for a new CBD oil, consider this as a priority when choosing your next vendor. All the great ones will provide a total breakdown of the detected composition. It really can make a massive difference.