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MCT Oil vs. Coconut Oil: What’s the Difference?

Catherine DeMuro
August 6, 2019

If you are familiar with essential oils, you likely know that most plant oils are diluted with a carrier oil before they can be applied your skin. The carrier oil protects your skin from irritation without disrupting the therapeutic potential of the plant extract.

Tinctures made with hemp-derived CBD are also created with a carrier oil, but for different reasons. CBD is attracted to oil. Suspending your CBD in an oil base helps your body utilize the health and wellness potential. While nearly any edible oil would likely work, some oils can reduce the amount of CBD your body can absorb from your tincture. CBDistillery™ tinctures are crafted with MCT Oil, a natural product that helps your body absorb CBD.

What is MCT Oil?

MCT oil is a clear flavorless, liquid most often derived from coconut oil in a process called fractionation. During fractionation, the long-chain fatty acids are removed leaving an oil primarily composed of medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), referring to the length of the chemical structure. Medium-chain triglycerides are easily utilized by the body.  MCT oil is easily digested and metabolized and has shown considerable therapeutic potential.1

The Four Types of Medium Chain Triglycerides 

Triglycerides are the technical term for fats. All triglycerides have two main purposes, to be burned as energy or stored in your body. The majority of fats in the average diet are long-chain triglycerides, which contain 13-21 carbon atoms.2

Medium-chain triglycerides contain 6-12 carbon atoms. The four main types of medium-chain triglycerides are caproic acid (C6), caprylic acid (C8), capric acid (C10), and lauric acid (C12). Each of these individual fatty acids have their own range of benefits, from reducing inflammation to fighting viruses and bacteria.3

MCT Oil vs. Coconut Oil 

While MCTs can be isolated from numerous types of oil, coconut oil is most commonly used because it contains the highest level of medium-chain triglycerides. Both sources of healthy fats, MCT oil and coconut oil may share similar origins, but they are not the same. Consider the following facts:

  • Coconut Oil

    Coconut oil is extracted from the kernel of the coconut. In its natural state, coconut oil tastes and smells like coconut. More than 50 percent of the fat in coconut oil is in the form of medium-chain triglycerides (MCT). While coconut oil has significant antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antiviral properties, it also has a considerable amount of long-chain triglycerides. Long-chain triglycerides can be stored in the body as fat. Coconut oil is liquid or solid depending on temperature.

  • MCT Oil

    MCT oil is a purified extraction of coconut oil (or palm kernel oil) that is quickly converted to energy in your body. Research shows that MCT oil is sent directly to your liver where it is burned as fuel rather than stored as fat.4 Since MCTs are smaller than long-chain triglycerides, they are easily absorbed in your body. MCT oil remains liquid regardless of temperature.

Combining MCT Oil and CBD: A Perfect Duo

While hemp extract (CBD oil) and MCT oil have significant health and wellness potential on their own, together they could be considered the perfect duo. Combining the CBD in hemp extract with a carrier oil helps the cannabinoid work more efficiently and improves product absorption.5 Since MCT is easily digested and utilized by your body more efficiently than other carrier oils, it’s easy to see why CBD and MCT oil could be the perfect duo. Consider the following points:

  • Quick Absorption

    Medium-chain triglycerides are easily converted to ketones in your body.6 Ketones are substances produced within your body as it breaks down fat and converts that fat to energy. Since MCT is so easily converted to energy, it’s shown to be one of the most efficient means of circulating CBD throughout your body.

  • Natural Substances

    CBD is a natural product (most often) derived from industrial hemp. MCT oil is a natural product (most often) derived from coconut oil using hydrolysis (water) and steam distillation. While the extraction methods used to isolate CBD and MCT are different, both products are safe, natural substances.

CBDistillery™ Proudly Offers CBD Tinctures Formulated with MCT Oil  

CBDistillery™ CBD tinctures are a blend of non-intoxicating hemp-derived extract and MCT oil. It’s the hemp extract that contains the cannabinoid CBD. We selected MCT oil because of the way this product is shown to improve the bioavailability of CBD and enhance the efficiency of product absorption.

When selecting a CBD tincture, it’s important to know that all MCT oils are not the same. Unless the listed ingredients confirm that your tincture is made with fractionated coconut oil, the MCT oil used in your tincture could be made with palm kernel oil or a blend of lesser oils.

MCT Oil May Not Be Right for Everyone

If you have dietary restrictions related to illness, please consult with your healthcare provider before using a tincture made with MCT oil. If your doctor recommends refraining from MCT oil, you may want to consider creating your own CBD tincture using CBDistillery™ 99+% Pure Isolate Powder and a carrier oil of your choice. You also have the option of adding CBDistillery™ CBDelicious Formulation Powder to your favorite recipes. If you are interested in bypassing your digestive system by vaping CBD, it’s important to know that CBD tinctures are not ideal for vaping. CBDistillery™ vape products are made with TEC Temper Oil, a natural carrier oil recognized as a better vaping option than propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, or MCT oil.    

CBDistillery™ CBD Tinctures Are Keto-Friendly

Since CBDistillery™ CBD tinctures are crafted with MCT oil, our tinctures are keto-friendly and will not interfere with your dietary goals. You can easily add CBDistillery™ tinctures to your bulletproof coffee, keto-friendly smoothies, or favorite ketogenic recipes with confidence. When you select a CBD tincture made with MCT oil, the MCT oil in your tincture helps convert fat to energy while enhancing the bioavailability of your CBD.

CBDistillery™ CBD tinctures are crafted from non-GMO hemp grown using natural farming methods and natural fractionated coconut oil (MCT oil). You can verify the potency and purity of our CBD products by viewing the third-party test results on our website or scanning the QR code on your product label.

Additional Sources:

  1. Organic Facts. K Patil. (2019 April 16) Fractionated Coconut Oil – Uses, Preparation & Composition.
  2. Medical News Today. L Burgess. (2017 December 06) What are the possible benefits of MCT Oil?
  3. Healthline. M Brown. (2016 May 21) MCT Oil 101 – A Review of Medium Chain Triglycerides.
  4. Be Well. F Lipman. (2017 January 23) How MCT Oil Helps the Brain and Body Go the Distance.
  5. Chemistry and Biodiversity. M Huestis. (2007 August 04)Human Cannabinoid Pharmacokinetics.
  6. Healthline. S O’brien. (2018 May 14) 7 Science-Based Benefits of MCT Oil.
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