Can you mix cbd oil with coconut oil for pain

How to Make CBD Oil with Coconut Oil

Cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, is among the many cannabinoids present in the cannabis Sativa plant. Unlike Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), another cannabinoid in the cannabis plant, CBD is a non-psychoactive compound and doesn’t result in the ‘high’ associated with THC and marijuana use. As such, CBD products offer a legally-permissible way to enjoy the potential benefits of its use. So, how can you make CBD oil with coconut oil? Read on to find out!

CBD and Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a renowned skin-saving powerhouse that’s been celebrated by the beauty industry for years. Now, as CBD oil makes its way into the beauty space as well, being infused into creams, salves, and lotions, many products combine both elements, using coconut oil as a carrier for CBD. Given the benefits of these two, a CBD oil and coconut-based product is often described as the perfect combination. But you may wonder: why coconut oil and not any other oil? Allow us to explain.

Why Choose Coconut Oil Over Other Oils?

Coconut oil is a great carrier oil for CBD because of its saturated fat content. Molecularly, cannabinoids work best when they are suffused into a high lipid content since they become absorbed more efficiently. As such, coconut oil, with its near 90% saturated fat content, is a better choice for carrier oil than hemp seed or olive oil, with relatively lower concentrations. What’s more, using coconut oil carries minimal health concerns, since its fat content is largely comprised of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are easy to break down and absorb.

What Do You Need to Make CBD Coconut Oil?

Everything begins with the hemp plant. But why hemp? The naturally growing cannabis Sativa plant contains a broad spectrum of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds. That implies that when you extract CBD from cannabis, you will also extract THC, potentially in concentrations higher than the legally permissible 0.3% level. But hemp plants are varieties of cannabis bred for high CBD and low THC content. So, hemp-extract CBD is legal and easy to source from high-quality, organic, non-GMO, domestic plants.

Essential Considerations to Keep in Mind

Extracting CBD from hemp plants is a complex process, even before you try to add it to your coconut oil. Many factors can affect the quality of CBD coconut oil you produce:

Temperature Controls

You have to observe tight temperature control during the CBD extraction process. While heat is necessary to decarboxylate the acids in the hemp plant, turning them into active cannabinoids, unregulated temperatures can also destroy other beneficial hemp compounds, such as terpenes. Temperatures beyond 300 degrees Fahrenheit pose a risk of denaturing essential hemp plant compounds and minimizing your CBD’s efficacy.

The Strain of Cannabis Used

The strain of cannabis used affects the decarboxylation temperature and time recommendations for the extraction process. Given the different ratios and concentrations of cannabinoids and terpenes in each cannabis strain, you will have to find the most suitable temperature and cooking time for your specific plant. To maintain the potency of the CBD oil, ensure that you choose a CBD dominant strain.

Variability of Equipment

To make CBD coconut oil, you can use several different forms of equipment, including a slow cooker, double boiler, crockpot, or an instant pot. But, each of these pots will need to be operated at different temperatures, even when using the same setting. As such, you should always use a digital thermometer throughout the cooking process.

Freshness of Product

When preparing CBD coconut oil, you can use freshly-cut cannabis leaf trimmings or dried and cured flower buds. While both options will get the job done, there will be noticeable differences in the end product.

Ingredients Required for Making CBD Oil with Coconut Oil

Now that you know the various requirements for the process, what ingredients will you need to make CBD coconut oil? Here is what’s necessary:

Ingredients

  • About ½ ounce a high-CBD, low-THC strain.
  • 1 cup of coconut oil (preferably organic).

Materials

  • A double boiler, saucepan, or a slow cooker.
  • A simple grinder (avoid coffee grinders or blenders as they tend to pulverize the hemp plant).
  • Cheesecloth or strainer.

First, grind the hemp plant. You can choose to include the entire plant or just the flower. Just remember that anything tiny will go through the strainer and find its way into the finished product. A good rule of thumb is to avoid grinding the hemp plant into a fine powder.

Next, place the coconut oil on the slow cooker, double-boiler, or saucepan and allow it to melt. Add the ground hemp plant to the oil and leave the mixture to warm on low heat. This allows for the decarboxylation of the cannabinoids without destroying any active ingredients or compounds.

For cooking, you have various options: use a slow cooker on low heat for about 4-6 hours while stirring occasionally. If you choose a double-boiler on low heat, the cooking can last up to 8 hours, with occasional stirring. You can also cook in a regular saucepan on low heat for about 2-3 hours while stirring frequently. In all these cases, you can add a small amount of water to the mixture to avoid burning the contents. Whichever method you choose, ensure that the oil temperature doesn’t exceed 245 degrees Fahrenheit.

Lastly, strain the oil through the cheesecloth and store it, preferably in an open jar to avoid condensation. Also, refrain from squeezing the cheesecloth as this will only add more chlorophyll to the oil. Discard the residuals of hemp plant material or use for the preparation of dishes.

Keep in mind that your CBD-infused coconut oil’s shelf life is about two months, but can be extended with refrigeration.

Uses of CBD Coconut Oil

Both CBD and coconut oils offer benefits when used separately, and an infusion of the two is like a match made in heaven. CBD coconut oil proves to have more potential benefits than any other cannabis-based oil. Here are some of its potential uses.

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CBD Coconut Oil for Skincare

By itself, coconut oil has various skin benefits, and mixing it with CBD oil only makes for a superior product. Here’s why CBD coconut oil is great for skin care.

It Facilitates Skin Repair

CBD is a known source of vitamins, proteins, minerals, and fatty acids that maintain healthy skin. Particularly, it contains vitamins A and D, which support skin repair and skin cell growth while inhibiting the excessive production of surface oils, keeping your skin smooth and supple.

It also contains vitamins C and E, which maintain collagen and elastin production. This protects your skin against elements such as the sun and also prevents skin wrinkling.

The B complex vitamins in it also help in the reconstruction of your skin and hair and may prevent hair loss, dermatitis, and other skin conditions.

Soothing and Calming the Skin

CBD has anti-inflammatory properties, which means it can help soothe skin that is prone to acne and other conditions like eczema. Therefore, CBD coconut oil helps combat these conditions, reducing breakouts and skin redness.

Keeps the Skin Young and Radiant

Besides being an anti-inflammatory agent, CBD also has strong antioxidant effects. By inhibiting the activity of free radicals and minimizing the harmful effects of external factors on the skin, CBD coconut oil may help prevent skin damage and wrinkling. It could also help maintain skin elasticity and prevent overall dullness.

Pain Relief

CBD coconut oil can be applied topically to offer potential relief to a target area. This makes it perfect for dealing with muscle strains and joint pain, especially for athletes.

CBD Coconut Oil in Food

CBD coconut oil can be added to a fruit or veggie smoothie to create a creamy texture and add additional nutrients. The fatty acids in coconut oil make it easy to digest and absorb, unlike other oils.

It can also be used in beverages such as coffee and hot chocolates. Besides boosting the flavor and nutritional value of your hot beverage, it offers a nice flavor change from your ordinary routine.

It can also be used to improve your massage therapy experience as it helps moisturize your skin while potentially addressing your symptoms of chronic pain. Further, you can use it in place of cooking oil to make a range of infused dishes. Or, just put it into capsule form for easy dosing.

Are There Concerns Over Using CBD Coconut Oil?

CBD coconut oil is made from high-CBD strains with minimal THC content. This means that using CBD coconut oil can’t result in the ‘high’ associated with THC. This way, you can use it by applying topically or in foods and drinks without experiencing any psychoactive effects.

Conclusion

Both CBD and coconut oil are powerhouses when it comes to potential health benefits. CBD coconut oil is made by infusing high-CBD strains into coconut oil. Using coconut oil and the CBD strain as the main ingredients, CBD coconut oil can be made by cooking the mixture in low heat using a double boiler, slow cooker, or a saucepan. The oil can be used for skincare, given its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects on the skin. It can also be used in cooking and nourishing beverages as a natural way to boost your diet or mix up your skincare routine.

Carrier Oils for CBD: How to Choose the Best One

Adrienne Dellwo is an experienced journalist who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and has written extensively on the topic.

Verywell Health articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and healthcare professionals. These medical reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more.

Lana Butner, ND, LAc, is a board-certified naturopathic doctor and licensed acupuncturist in New York City.

If you’ve ever used a CBD oil, you’ve gotten more from the product than just cannabidiol (CBD). For multiple reasons, manufacturers include a carrier oil, too.

As its name suggests, a carrier oil delivers (or carries) the contents of the active compound. In this case, it’s CBD. In the realm of beauty products, carrier oils dilute essential oils because the essential oil may be too strong on its own. (For example, a lavender reaction from lavender oil can cause the skin to itch, burn, or break out in blisters.)

Carrier oils are important to CBD because they help dissolve the cannabinoid’s molecules so they can be absorbed by the body. Many carrier oils are similar, but they may have differences that could be important to you for various reasons. For example, most of them are nut-based or plant-based, and you could be allergic to them. Oils that are taken orally may not taste good to you. Reading the label is a smart move—as long as you know what you’re looking for.

This article explains the purpose of carrier oils and the possible side effects. It also describes the six carrier oils you’re likely to see in stores and online, including their advantages and drawbacks.

Marketing Outpaces Science

CBD is an abbreviation for cannabidiol. It’s one of 100-plus chemicals in the cannabis plant that may have health benefits. It’s widely assumed that CBD oil can relieve arthritis pain, chronic pain, and chronic nerve pain as well as reduce inflammation, ease anxiety, and improve sleep. Researchers are actively studying other uses for CBD oil, particularly in terms of slowing cancer cell growth.

Purpose of CBD Carrier Oils

CBD products use different carrier oils, sometimes alone and sometimes in combinations. They serve several important functions:

Better Absorption

One key reason for using a carrier oil is that it improves bioavailability, which means it helps your body absorb CBD oil. CBD is fat-soluble, which means that it dissolves in oil rather than water. Fat-soluble substances are better absorbed when digested along with fat, even in small amounts.

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When you digest water-soluble substances, like sugar or many vitamins and minerals, your digestive tract sends them directly into your bloodstream (because blood is a water-based liquid).

Fat-soluble substances can’t be absorbed this way. Instead, your digestive tract sends them into fatty tissues and they’re distributed through your body by the lymphatic system, which is part of your immune system. Any excess is stored in your liver and fatty tissues for later use.

All carrier oils are fat-soluble, which means CBD dissolves in it. Then the oil carries the CBD into the proper tissues so they’re more accessible by your body.

Know Your Tinctures

CBD products have introduced consumers to a new lexicon. For example, concentrated CBD oil usually taken through a dropper is known as a tincture.

Easier Dosing

CBD is a potent chemical, which means you don’t need much of it for a medicinal effect. However, this poses a problem when it comes to dosing. To deliver accurate and consistent doses, it’s easier to measure out a dropperful of CBD-infused oil than a tiny amount of crystalline isolate (which is CBD in pure form).

Added Health Benefits

Carrier oils sometimes include health benefits all on their own. For example, olive oil has gotten a lot of attention for its heart-healthy benefits.

If there’s an oil you’d like to get more of in your diet, adding it to your CBD regimen is one way to get it. (This said, it remains debatable whether one or two droppers of carrier oil a day is enough to have any tangible effect on your health. This is another CBD-related topic that falls under the category of “more research is required.”)

CBD Products Come From Hemp

CBD products almost always are derived from hemp, which is botanically and legally different from the marijuana plant. By law, CBD products can’t contain more than 0.3% THC (short for delta-9- tetrahydrocannabinol ), which is the chemical in marijuana that creates a high.

Side Effects and Precautions

Most people don’t have side effects from common carrier oils. Some oils, though, may not be right for people with certain illnesses or who take certain medications. Always check with your healthcare provider before adding anything to your dietary regimen—even a “natural” product like CBD in a carrier oil. Natural doesn’t always mean safe.

If you have tree-nut allergies or other food allergies, be especially diligent about selecting CBD products with carrier oils you know are safe for you. All ingredients should be specified on the label.

For topical preparations, know that some carrier oils or other added ingredients may cause an itchy, red rash called allergic contact dermatitis. Others may cause a skin reaction after sun exposure. Be sure you’re familiar with the potential side effects of whatever products you’re using. And play it safe by testing a miniscule amount of topical oil on an obscure patch of skin to see if you develop a reaction.

What About Essential Oils?

Carrier oils aren’t the same thing as essential oils used for aromatherapy. Essential oils are highly concentrated, which is why they have a strong fragrance. Many essential oils can cause poisoning when ingested or absorbed through the skin, even in small amounts. This is true even if the oil comes from something that is normally safe to ingest, such as nutmeg.

Essential oils are often used topically (on the skin) after being diluted by a carrier oil. Essential oils themselves, however, should never be used as a carrier oil. Some topical CBD formulations may include essential oils such as lavender or eucalyptus oils because of their purported health benefits.

Before using these products, be sure you’re familiar with the ingredients and that you’re not allergic to any of them. Watch also for side effects, which can occur soon after using them.

Common Carrier Oils

Some CBD oils may contain one or more carrier oils. Some common carrier oils are:

  • Medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil
  • Hemp seed oil
  • Olive oil
  • Avocado oil

MCT Oil

MCT oil is the most common carrier oil for CBD products. It can be derived from coconut or palm kernel oil, but coconut is the most common source. On labels, it’s sometimes listed as fractionated coconut oil, which means it contains more liquid than solid compared to normal coconut oil, thanks to fatty acids.

Medium-chain triglycerides are a type of fatty acid that your body can quickly absorb because it doesn’t have to break it down via digestion before sending it off to the lymph system. It also absorbs easily through the skin.

Long-chain triglycerides require more digestion time. Short-chain triglycerides are often consumed by gut bacteria before they’ve had time to be absorbed. So MCTs are the most useful.

Pros:

  • Quick absorption due to molecular structure
  • 90% saturated fat, which also aids absorption
  • Light, thin oil
  • Almost flavorless
  • Doesn’t require chemical processing
  • Less expensive than some carrier oils
  • Slow to break down and go rancid

Cons:

  • Temporary digestive side effects (nausea, gas, diarrhea, vomiting) in some people
  • Possible excessive build-up of ketones in the body (dangerous with poorly controlled diabetes)
  • Not recommended for people with liver disease
  • May interact with cholesterol-lowering statin drugs

Additional Health Claims

Some scientific evidence suggests that MCT oil may:

  • Help with weight loss by reducing your appetite, increasing metabolism, and making your body burn calories faster
  • Have benefits for people with autism, epilepsy, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Activate the immune system to fight yeast and bacterial overgrowth

While promising, much of this research is preliminary. More research is needed before MCT oil can be recommended for these uses.

Scrutinize Coconut Oil Labels

If the label of a CBD product says “coconut oil,” it’s likely regular coconut oil and not MCT. While perfectly fine as a carrier oil, regular coconut oil may not have all of the same benefits of an MCT.

Hemp Seed Oil

It may come from the same plant, but hemp seed oil (sometimes called hemp oil) and CBD oil aren’t the same thing. CBD comes from the flower while hemp seed oil comes from the seeds. The seeds contain fewer beneficial chemicals (cannabinoids and terpenes) than the flower and in much lower concentrations. However, they do contain some hemp phytochemicals that aren’t present in the flowers.

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Using hemp seed oil as a carrier oil for CBD may contribute to what’s called the “entourage effect,” which basically means that combining parts of the plant may make each component more effective than it would be alone.

This quality makes hemp seed oil a popular choice for “full-spectrum” products, which contain all of the component chemicals of the hemp plant rather than just CBD.

Pros:

  • Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which may lower inflammation
  • Ideal ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids
  • High antioxidant levels
  • Good source of fiber
  • Contains magnesium, calcium, iron, and zinc
  • Possible entourage effect

Cons:

  • Lower solvency than MCT oil, meaning it can’t hold as much CBD
  • Higher priced than MCT oil
  • Flavor (sometimes described as “sharp” or “herby”) may clash with some palates
  • Side effects may include diarrhea, nausea, throat irritation, slow heart rate, high blood pressure

Buyer Beware

Some companies try to pass off hemp seed oil as CBD oil. Be sure to check the ingredients and amount of CBD a product contains before you buy it. All reputable companies should provide this information on their labels and websites.

Additional Health Claims

Hemp seed has been used medicinally for a wide array of conditions, most of which have not been researched enough to say for sure whether they’re safe and effective. The conditions include:

    , for its anti-inflammatory properties and blood pressure and other conditions involving skin inflammation

Olive Oil

Olive oil is probably the carrier oil you’re most familiar with. It’s certainly the best researched. It’s become one of the most commonly used cooking oils because of its many well-established health benefits:

Pros:

  • High in iron, vitamin K, vitamin E
  • Rich in antioxidants
  • Highly trusted
  • Absorbed by the skin even faster than MCT

Cons:

  • Its long-chain triglycerides are slower to absorb than MCT (but may absorb more efficiently)
  • Lower solvency than MCT, meaning it can’t hold as much CBD
  • Thicker than most other carrier oils, which may be unpleasant
  • Flavor is relatively strong and may be distasteful to some people

Additional Health Claims

Thanks to a significant amount of research, olive oil is known to:

  • Boost immunity
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Increase good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol
  • Prevent blood platelet clumping, which can cause heart attacks
  • Aid in blood clotting
  • Improve gut-bacteria balance
  • Support proper nerve function
  • Prevent cognitive decline
  • Protect bones from thinning (osteoporosis)

Avocado Oil

Avocado oil has become more popular for a variety of uses, including cooking, as researchers have learned about its health benefits. As a CBD carrier oil, it’s used most often in topical products, but you can also find it in products that are meant to be ingested.

Pros:

  • Quickly and easily absorbed by your skin and digestive tract
  • Nutty flavor may be more pleasant than some alternatives
  • Especially good for topical uses
  • Rich in antioxidants
  • High in vitamins A, B, D, and E

Cons:

  • Much thicker than most carrier oils, which may be unpleasant
  • Significantly more expensive than many carrier oils
  • Higher allergy risk than many carrier oils

Additional Health Claims

Most of the research into avocado oil has been performed on animals, not people. Until researchers take this next step, preliminary evidence suggests that avocado oil may:

  • Lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol, which decreases the risk of heart disease
  • Improve glucose tolerance and reduce insulin resistance, providing protection from diabetes
  • Improve metabolic markers

Avocado oil is less likely than many oils to clog your pores, so it’s popular for topical use. Plus, its slow drying time may help it last longer than some topical preparations.

Allergy Warning

Avocado allergies are possible. If you experience itching in your mouth after ingesting avocados or avocado oil, don’t ingest any more before talking with your healthcare provider about it. Some allergies tend to occur together. People with avocado allergies may be especially sensitive to:

  • Bananas
  • Watermelons
  • Cucumbers
  • Kiwis
  • Other fruits and vegetables
  • Latex

If you have an allergic reaction to any of these things, you should be tested for a reaction to the others as well.

Extreme Symptoms Are Possible

Extreme allergy symptoms, such as difficulty breathing or anaphylaxis, are uncommon (but possible) with avocados because digestive enzymes tend to break down the allergen before it’s absorbed into your body. Get emergency medical attention if you experience these symptoms.

Summary

Carrier oils are important to CBD because they help dissolve the cannabinoid’s molecules so they can be absorbed by the body. Many carrier oils are similar, but they may have differences that could be important to you for various health reasons. One key reason for using a carrier oil is that it improves bioavailability, which means it helps your body absorb CBD oil. Besides, to deliver accurate and consistent doses, it’s easier to measure out a dropperful of CBD-infused oil than a tiny amount of crystalline isolate (which is CBD in pure form). Carrier oils also may have health benefits all on their own. Four common carrier oils are medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil, hemp seed oil, olive oil, and avocado oil.

A Word From Verywell

Many people are quick to ask: “Which CBD carrier oil is the best?” Now you know that the answer depends on several factors, including the type and uses of the CBD product, whether you have allergies or certain health conditions, and your personal preferences. So look at it this way: If you try one oil and don’t like it, you can always try a different one. Meanwhile, be sure to ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for advice along the way.