best carrier oil for mixing with raw cbd oil

All You Need to Know About Carrier Oils for CBD

If you are a savvy shopper who is well in tune with the ins and outs of CBD, chances are you have noticed the term “ carrier oil ” printed on the list of ingredients on the label or box of your CBD oil. But are you familiar with the wide range of carrier oils out there? Let’s dive a little deeper into what a carrier oil is and what you should look out for.

What are carrier oils?

Carrier oil, sometimes referred to as a base- or vegetable oil, is a plant-derived fatty oil that can be used as a carrier for cannabidiol (CBD) and other active ingredients derived from the hemp plant. Carrier oils can also be used to dilute essential oils and “carry” them to your skin. The reason carrier oils are used is because CBD or whatever active ingredient the carrier oil delivers are very potent and strong on their own. Meanwhile, c arrier oils are usually mild in taste, scent and weight.

Can any oil be used as a carrier oil? Not really. We would encourage you to avoid using oils such as butter, jelly, mineral oils or petroleum since these can cause harm to your body.

Perhaps you are familiar with palm-oil which is used in a wide range of products. We would like to drop a note here to make you aware of the fact that the use of palm oil in consumer products leads to clearing of forests in parts of Indonesia to make room for producing the commodity. Consequently, tropical forests, people and species that rely on them are put at risk. For instance, the Sumatran orangutan has been listed as critically endangered as a result. So be aware of what effects your consumption decisions may have on the planet

Characteristics of a good carrier oil

Back to basics! What goes on our skin, goes into our body so make sure you are buying products which contain ingredients that you can trust. Look out for oils that are cold-pressed, 100% pure and free of additives or preservatives. If you are using carrier oils in products you consume orally – it is even more important to find cold-pressed and organic options.

The best carrier oils will ensure delivery, potency and freshness.

What does delivery imply?

When you drop CBD under your tongue and wait a few seconds, your body may not be able to to fully absorb and process it without its dear friend, the carrier oil. The reason you ask? Well, when CBD is combined with a fatty plant based oil, it directly mixes with the fat molecule of the carrier oil that your body can process. This strengthens the ability to absorb the active CBD compound and its bioavailability.

What does potency imply?

When CBD is initially extracted, its concentration is very high and very strong. Put simply, ingesting pure CBD powder isn’t the most pleasant experience, unless you like that super bitter, grassy taste. By using a carrier oil and perhaps even adding flavourings, its a lot yummier! Also, you will find that different CBD oils have different CBD percentage, and by diluting CBD it’s easier to cater to individuals needs and preference. As a reference point, MANTLE’s The Original Oil has 10% CBD (watch this space for new releases!). The best way to take CBD with success is maintaining consistency and figuring out what dose works best for you.

What does freshness imply?

Carrier oils helps maintain freshness. Active CBD compounds can maintain both potency and stability for longer period of time when mixed with a carrier oil. Have you noticed that your olive oil or coconut oil in your cupboard stays fresher longer then your fruit and veggies in your fridge? We have! This is because fats oxidize at a slower rate, the result of their specific chemical structure.

What are the different types of carrier oils?

At MANTLE we use organic MCT coconut oil, we love its yummy taste and benefits! Coconut oil provides easy and fast absorption of the CBD. Our mix of the hemp extract and carrier oil results in a pure, organic oil with an earthy and grassy taste.

Of course, there are many other carrier oils out there, each with their own tastes and benefits. We made the following list which includes popular carrier oils that are commonly used for aromatherapy, massage, skincare and in grocery products.

MCT oil

Our go-to carrier oil! MCT oil, or Medium-Chain-Triglycerides (MCT), is a saturated fat made from coconut pulp. It is considered to be the best carrier oil, of course we agree! Why you wonder? Well, it absorbs better than most other alternatives while providing greater CBD bioavailability. It’s great at masking the strong earthy, grassy flavour of CBD, and its thin consistency makes it easier to proportion and dose the right concentration.

Hemp seed oil

Not to be confused with the hemp oil that is extracted from hemp flowers and used to make full-spectrum hemp extract and CBD isolate. Hemp seed oil comes from the seeds of the hemp plant. Like hemp seeds, hemp seed oil is considered a superfood in part because it is packed with essential fatty acids.

Aside from the fatty acids, hemp seed oil contains a ton of vitamins and minerals. Everything from calcium and vitamin D, B vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. The list goes on.

Grape seed oil

Grape seed oil is made from grape seeds that are left over from wine production. Its taste is very neutral and characterized by its light color and an aroma similar to wine. Grape oil is an excellent source of vitamin E, which has antioxidant properties. It is widely used in salad dressings, mayonnaise and as the base in oil infusions of garlic, rosemary and other herbs and spices. It may also be used in pancakes, waffles and other baked goods.

Olive oil

We guess this one needs no introduction! Olive oil is produced by pressing whole olives. You probably already use it for cooking, dressings and frying. It is rich in phytonutrients, iron, vitamin K, vitamin E and antioxidants. The downside is that it takes longer time for your body to break it down. In other words, it takes a bit longer to feel the effect from the CBD. Additionally, its characteristic and strong taste makes it less relevant to use as a CBD carrier oil.

Sunflower oil

A natural oil derived from the sunflower plant. known, as the happy flower making them the perfect gift to bring joy and a smile to someone’s day. It’s also a great carrier oil! Sunflower oil contains lecithin which is said to help your CBD take effect faster and be more effective. Sunflower oil has a mild taste and variety of health benefits. It’s rich in vitamins, high in good fats, and can even withstand hot temperatures. It’s usually colourless and tasteless. If you’re allergic to coconut (in MCT oil) this can be a good alternative.

Avocado oil

Avocado lovers rejoice! Avocado oil is an edible oil pressed from the fruit of the Persea americana ( avocado). Yes, your favourite fruit makes a great carrier oil as well! It is f ull of healthy fats and known for its numerous advantages. Unlike other common carrier oils, avocado oil has a rich, nutty taste. However, it is much heavier than other base oils used for CBD, which can make it more difficult to digest for the body.

Pomegranate seed oil

Pomegranate oil is a luxurious oil cold-pressed from the seeds of pomegranate fruit . It is one of the most therapeutic carrier oils available as it is packed with vitamins and essential fats. It can be helpful for reducing inflammation and healing wounds which makes it a popular ingredient in skincare. The oil can be used to treat certain skin conditions, including psoriasis and eczema.

Arnica oil

Derived from the arnica flower of the sunflower family, arnica oil helps to reduce inflammatory pain when applied topically. The oil has a light yellow consistency and is renowned for its anti-inflammatory benefits. It can help to alleviate tired muscles, soft tissue injuries and rheumatic pain. This makes it a popular addition to a deep tissue massage oil for treating sore muscles!

Sowhat are the best carrier oils?

As far as we know now there is no one-size-fits-all carrier oil – it comes down to preference, dosage and what ingredient the oil is meant to carry. Try them out and find which one you prefer!

We prefer organic MCT oil at MANTLE which is why we use it in The Original Oil ensuring that our product is organic, vegan, natural, THC- and GMO free. We hope you love it as much as we do!

How to Make CBD Oil – February 2022

CBD or cannabidiol is a promising compound that has potential therapeutic and medical applications. Scientists studying CBD reports that the product can potentially help in reducing pain, treating anxiety, preventing seizures, and more (6 ) .

CBD is obtained from hemp, which is a strain of the Cannabis sativa plant species. Unlike medical marijuana, CBD by itself lacks sufficient amounts of a compound called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to cause a “high.”

In December 2018, the 2018 Farm Bill was signed, which categorically separates hemp and other derivatives of cannabis with low THC from being defined as marijuana (7 ) . This change in its legal status allows hemp production and transport of hemp-derived goods across state lines, although it is heavily regulated (8 ) .

Possessing CBD oil is legal in most states in the U.S., so long as the product’s THC content does not exceed 0.3%. Since it is non-psychoactive, a certificate or recommendation from a doctor is not required to purchase and consume CBD (9 ) .

A study made by High Yield Insights in 2019 showed that 40% of adults in the U.S. ages 21 and above are interested in giving CBD a try (10 ) . Some factors that motivate Americans to try CBD include the availability of research, easy access to its products, and physician recommendations.

The growing interest in CBD has especially fueled intrigue on how it is made.

CBD Oil Manufacturing Process

The process of manufacturing CBD from hemp is complex and made up of various stages, using a unique set of equipment for each step. It can take several months to produce CBD oil successfully, starting from hemp cultivation all the way to its extraction and refinement.

Just like any product, producers can only make top-quality CBD oil when they have a reliable and well-organized supply chain that ensures consistency throughout the entire process.

Here is a summary of the main steps involved in the manufacturing of CBD:

1. Raw Material Testing

The first step upon receiving the raw hemp material is to test it for purity. Besides analyzing the plant, the test is also done on all of the materials involved in the production process.

2. Oil Extraction from Hemp

The second stage is where the hemp flowers are ground and crushed so as to increase its surface area. These are then delivered to an extraction machine which uses a solvent such as CO2 or ethanol to dissolve the needed extracts.

This process takes place at high pressure, and eventually, the solvent transitions to provide the active ingredients to make it ready for the third stage.

3. Dewaxing and Filtration

The extracted oil is once again dissolved using a food-grade solvent and frozen to precipitate wax and other impurities. These contaminants are then filtered to yield a much purer oil, and a processing technician decides whether the solution is suitable or not.

The same technician can then select from wintered filtration, vacuum filtration, pour-through filtration, or gravity filtration for further processing. The third step may be done multiple times until the desired purity level has been achieved.

4. Distillation

The fourth step is critical in the removal of remaining impurities and extracting the purest CBD possible. It requires the utmost care and caution as inexperience here can lead to the loss of precious cannabinoids and terpenes.

Maintaining the right temperature, circulation, and manipulation of vacuum are all essential in drawing out the various cannabis extracts.

5. Isolating the CBD

CBD isolation reaching up to 99.5% or more will require specialized equipment and experienced technicians. To get to this amount of CBD yield, a combination of distillation and chromatography techniques, along with a mixture of solvents, are needed.

The isolation step is repeated as many times as it takes to achieve the desired purity level.

6. Various Formulations

This is the stage where the CBD extracts are mixed in the various food-grade carriers. The different types of CBD products are:

  • Oils
  • Capsules
  • Creams
  • Soft Gels
  • Dropper bottles
  • And more

Technicians also carry out potency tests during this stage to make sure that no CBD potency has been lost.

7. Final Product Testing

When the final product is ready, it is then tested carefully for heavy metals, microbes, pesticides, and other pollutants. The tests performed here are to ensure that the product has achieved the required potency levels and is fit for public consumption.

Conventional Methods of Extracting CBD Oil

The extraction process of CBD oil greatly influences the final taste and quality of the product.

There are two options available for beginners when it comes to making CBD oil at home, while a third one requires more sophisticated equipment and skill. The first method uses food-grade alcohol during the extraction process, while the second involves natural plant oils to draw out CBD.

The third method is the industry standard for mass-producing CBD oils as it utilizes CO2 and is considered the cleanest of the three. CBD extraction using CO2 is also the most controlled and verifiable, thus making its output the most potent (11 ) .

Extracting CBD with Alcohol-Based Solvents

The most common method in extracting CBD oil is by using solvents that are based on alcohol. It is a simple and relatively cheap process, with the equipment being readily available.

Since it is the easiest to perform, the approach does not produce the best nor the safest CBD oil for consumption. The alcohol-based solvents that are mostly used in this extraction technique include rice alcohol, butane, hexane, ethanol, or isopropyl alcohol.

Although inexpensive, there are several reasons as to why this approach is not the most suitable for consumption.

The first reason is that the output will most certainly not result in pure CBD, as it often contains contaminants from the solvent. These residues are what make extracting CBD with alcohol-based solvents unsafe for human beings (12 ) .

Another reason is that using alcohol-based solvents brings with it the risk of explosions. This is especially true when producers lack the experience and knowledge in handling such chemicals.

Since the unhealthy components will be present in the product, most of the therapeutic benefits of CBD will be missing. Other impurities that are present in the cannabis plant are not thoroughly cleansed either.

There is also an undesirable taste in the final output, which is caused by the presence of alcohol and chlorophyll.

Extracting CBD with Carrier Oils

A relatively popular option for homemade CBD oil extraction is by using oil-based carriers. Also known as lipid extraction, this method is considered to be a safer and more organic approach for drawing out CBD.

Hemp seed oil is commonly used, as it can be very healthy due to its Omega acids, but others like olive oil and coconut oil are also viable.

Using oils and fats to extract CBD may be more compatible with the oil-filled trichomes that are found in the cannabis flower buds. Scientists in a 2018 study made olive oil their first choice in extracting CBD, which could mean lipid extraction may be more effective in drawing out cannabinoid resin (13 ) .

The downsides to this method are that producers cannot mass-produce the product while the carrier oils, being edible, have a short shelf life. Although it is ideal for personal use, storing of the CBD oil made from this approach is another concern.

Finally, the product is only practical to be used as sprays or tinctures, and they are not to be smoked or vaped.

Extracting CBD with Super or Sub-Critical CO2

This is the most advanced CBD extraction method as it follows a more scientific approach, with a lot of care taken to provide a suitable environment for cannabinoids.

Technicians apply extremely low or high temperatures in a strictly controlled setting to preserve and isolate as much of the cannabinoids as possible. In this way, the purity and integrity of the cannabinoids are correctly maintained.

The end product does not have traces of the green chlorophyll from the hemp plant, giving a cleaner and purer CBD oil. This CO2 extraction method provides the most potent CBD to date.

However, there are also a few drawbacks to this approach. Using high temperatures in the process can result in the complete loss of terpenes, leading to lower quality aroma and flavor.

Losing these compounds means that the product will not have its unique therapeutic benefits and distinctive taste. Terpenes are especially important since they improve the effects of cannabinoids in CBD oil.

How to Make CBD Oil at Home

From the descriptions of the extraction methods above, using oil-based carriers appears to be the most suitable technique in making homemade CBD oil.

Utilizing oil from hemp seed is common, but MCT oil (fractionated coconut oil) is also an excellent option since it helps improve the absorption of CBD.

Things that are needed:

  • 16 ounces of carrier oil
  • 1 ounce of hemp flower tops (approximately)
  • Baking sheet
  • Herb grinder
  • Crockpot or double boiler
  • Nut milk bag, coffee filter or cheesecloth
  • Glass jar with a lid (for storage)

1st Step: Choosing the Carrier Oil

Any plant-based oil will do, but the best options are either MCT or hemp seed. Olive oil offers a mild taste and is readily available in most kitchens.

2nd Step: Prepare the Hemp Flowers

Choosing an ideal strain of hemp is critical in making sure that the end product is as pure as possible.

With a grinder, start grinding down the hemp flowers sufficiently enough into a fine mass. A knife can also be used so long as the pieces are small and balanced to ensure maximum extraction of CBD.

3rd Step: Decarboxylation of the Crushed Hemp

The decarboxylate step will see the hemp transform its inactive CBD-A into its active form, which is CBD. The larger manufacturers often use advanced CO2 equipment in this part of the process, but the same results can also be achieved at home.

The ground hemp flower parts are then placed on a baking plate and allowed to bake for an hour in 225 degrees Fahrenheit. The resulting baked cannabis should turn out quite crisp and has a light brown coloring.

4th Step: Mixing the Oil and Extracting the CBD

In this stage, the decarboxylated hemp is mixed in a crock pot or double boiler with the carrier oil. It is then placed with water in a large container to be heated.

The temperature during this part should not exceed 300 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid destroying the terpenes. Maintain the low heat to a simmer and continue this extraction process for two to three hours.

Continue stirring and check to see its color every thirty minutes or so. A brownish-green color means that the mixture is now ready for the next step.

5th Step: Straining the Oil

In this stage, the emulsified cannabis in oil is screened using a strainer (preferably cheesecloth) and filtered into a jar or bottle of choice for storage. Thoroughly squeezing the cheesecloth ensures that most of the CBD oil is extracted from the hemp.

The glass container should then be sealed and stored in a cool, dry, and dark place to maximize its shelf life.

In case an open-mouthed jar is used to strain the oil, it is possible to pour the extract into dropper bottles for more convenient use as tinctures. Mixing the oil with a cream or lotion during the preparation step allows for the final product to be applied as a topical.

What Happens After the CBD Oil Extraction Method?

When the extraction process is complete, the resulting output is considered as “full-spectrum” CBD oil. This type of oil means that other cannabinoids apart from CBD are still present in its mixture.

These full-spectrum CBD oils also have other beneficial properties from the hemp plant, such as amino acids and terpenes. Most people choose full-spectrum CBD oil because they believe it benefits the endocannabinoid system (ECS), the part which regulates functions such as the immune system, pain, sleep, and appetite (14 ) .

There are also CBD isolates, which are basically CBD oil without any trace of THC. To make this type of CBD oil, the extract needs to be cooled and purified further into a crystalline form, turning it into a white powder.

Regardless of whether CBD is made as a full spectrum or isolate, the oil can be mixed into other substances to create different products.

  • Producers can make CBD oil tinctures by mixing CBD with a carrier oil based on coconut or hemp seed.
  • CBD gummies are made by combining the extract with natural flavoring, organic corn syrup, and juice.
  • CBD oil is added to various ingredients to create edibles, such as in chocolates or baked goods.
  • Manufacturers make CBD capsules by mixing CBD oil with MCT or use olive oil to create its casing.
  • CBD vape oils are made by combining a mixture of propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin along with natural flavoring.
  • Essential oils, aloe vera, waxes, and shea butter can be combined with CBD oil to create salves, creams, and other topicals.

Selecting the Best Cannabis Strain

Ensuring the quality of the final CBD oil product is essential to have a pleasant experience. Both the extraction process and the quality of the cannabis strain are equally vital to achieving this.

The following are some of the top quality strains available in the market:


ACDC is a cross between Cannatonic and Ruderalis and is known as an evenly balanced hybrid strain. It has remarkably high CBD levels and very low THC.

It has an earthy, sweet smell, with some saying that it brings a hint of fruit as well. ACDC buds are green in color with orange hairs and are fluffy but tight.

Charlotte’s Web

Perhaps the most popular strain of cannabis, Charlotte’s Web is a hemp cultivar that was created by the Stanley Brothers for its low THC and high CBD content. These properties are used by many manufacturers to make a variety of CBD-based health products.

The Charlotte’s Web strain gained worldwide attention when it was featured on CNN for its positive effects on a young girl that had a rare seizure disorder.

Harle Tsu

The Harle Tsu is another high-CBD strain made by the Southern Humboldt Seed Collective. It features high CBD content and is a mix of the Harlequin and Sour Tsunami strains.

Users claim that Harle Tsu can work as an anti-inflammatory and anti-pain product without the psychoactive effects of medical marijuana.


Harlequin is a strain that was popular long before CBD-rich varieties like Charlotte’s Web became known. It is the Sativa dominant product crossbred from various strains such as the Colombian Gold, a Nepali indica, and Swiss and Thai landrace strains.

Cannabinoids and the ECS

Both the chemical compounds CBD and THC are naturally present in the cannabis plant material, and they are known as cannabinoids. Upon ingestion, these cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system.

The ECS is made up of three parts: the endocannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors, and enzymes. These elements all work together to help the human body regulate its various functions.

Specifically, the ECS communicates with the peripheral and central nervous systems of the body to send messages to and from the brain. There are two primary types of cannabinoid receptors that are crucial to this process.

CB1 receptors are the ones that are found in the central nervous system, which include the nerve tissues in both the brain and spine. The CB2 receptors reside in the peripheral nervous system, which includes the immune and digestive systems and the nerve tissues in the body.

The Effects of CBD vs. THC on the Brain and Body

The endocannabinoids produced by the human body are similar to CBD and THC found in the cannabis plant. When either of the two binds with the cannabinoid receptors, the brain’s release of neurotransmitters, the chemicals that send signals between cells in the body, are affected.

Both CBD (15 ) and THC (16 ) possess the same molecular formula “C21H3002”. They are made up of 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms, but they differ in terms of chemical structure.

This dissimilarity is why CBD and THC interact in a different way with cannabinoid receptors and thus have contrasting effects on the human body.

With THC, the chemical compound binds primarily to the CB1 receptors that reside in the brain. This action causes the psychoactive effect from marijuana and other products that have high THC content.

On the other hand, CBD binds to both the CB1 and CB2 receptors found in the body and the brain. Since it attaches to these two, its effects are distributed equally in the body, allowing it to affect conditions like depression, inflammation, and pain (17 ) .

Health Benefits of CBD vs. THC

Since THC and CBD bind to CB1 receptors, they are capable of treating many similar conditions. However, each of them has separate uses due to how they affect different areas of the nervous system.

CBD and THC offer some health benefits to the physical and mental wellbeing of humans. The two cannabinoids engage with the ECS, which prompts the body to initiate various biological responses.

As of now, the most common applications of CBD and THC include addressing inflammation, pain, and anxiety and sleep problems.

Since it is non-psychoactive, CBD is more widely used between the two for its healing properties. People also use THC but more for recreational purposes rather than medicinal.

What Are the Side Effects of CBD and THC Use?

Although not dangerous, there are also some side effects from the use of CBD and THC. Overdose on either of the two cannabinoids is not possible, and there have been no fatalities linked to CBD use thus far (18 ) .

These are the side effects of CBD:

  • Appetite changes
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry Mouth
  • Interactions with medications
  • Changes in blood pressure

Below are the common side effects for THC:

  • Fatigue
  • Red eyes
  • Intoxication
  • Memory impairment
  • Impaired motor skills and reaction time
  • Increased heart rate
  • Anxiety or paranoia
  • Increased hunger
  • Dry mouth

The psychoactive properties of THC are why it has more side effects compared to CBD. Since THC can impair motor skills and reaction time, people are advised not to operate a vehicle after intake.


Cannabidiol has a very high potential in medical applications due to its inherent therapeutic properties. Research has found that CBD may be beneficial in treating a variety of health conditions, including chronic pain, inflammation, and seizures.

A growing number of people in the U.S. are becoming more aware of CBD oil products, especially since the 2018 Farm Bill was signed into law. This bill allows for the cultivation and commercial transport of hemp-based goods under certain restrictions.

Creating CBD oil at home is straightforward, affordable, and safe, so long as the proper guidelines and techniques are followed. Extracting CBD using carrier oils is seen by many as a more organic option since using alcohol-based solvents brings with it several health risks.

When making homemade CBD oil, it is best to set aside at least five hours to complete the entire process. Taking time to prepare everything can significantly improve the odds of producing high-quality CBD oil.

Which is the Best Carrier Oil for Essential Oils?

Wondering what carrier oil to use to dilute essential oils? Here’s a list of all the popular carrier oils, plus our top recommendations.

  • Written by Genevieve Howland
  • Updated on August 06, 2020

Essential oils are great to have in your natural living arsenal, but learning to use them can be a hurdle for new oilers (Hint: Carrier oil will be your friend).

Unlike herbs or essential oils that you buy at most health food stores, pure essential oils are very concentrated. One drop of Peppermint is the equivalent of 26 cups of Peppermint tea! Pure essential oils are very potent and powerful. That’s why it is vital to dilute your essential oils. And that’s where carrier oil comes in!

On this page…

What is carrier oil?

How to dilute essential oils with carrier oil

Good carrier oils

Water as a carrier “oil”

So which is the best carrier oil to use?

Download my free guide on 88 ways to use essential oils!

What is carrier oil?

Carrier oils are vegetable oils used to dilute essential oils so they are safe to apply to the skin (or ingest, in some cases). The best carrier oil is cold-pressed and made from plants. Cold-pressed oils hold onto more of their beneficial properties since they are not subjected to heat. It’s also best to choose unrefined oils that have no additives.

Butter and other animal fats are not good choices for carrier oil because the fatty acid profile doesn’t allow the oil to absorb into the skin. However, there are a few exceptions such as Emu oil. Many people use Emu oil as a carrier oil because it contains no phosphorus, allowing it to absorb well into the skin.

How to dilute essential oils with carrier oil

Here are some are rough guidelines for diluting essential oils in carrier oil. Some people will be more cautious, while some folks will go ahead with a stronger dilution. Do what feels right for you, and if you have questions or concerns, talk with your healthcare provider.

Use a 1-3% solution, higher for acute issues: Dilute 1-2 drops of EO per 1 tsp carrier oil

Use essential oils more sparingly on young children since they don’t need as much wellness support and are more delicate in constitution.

Children: Newborn to 6 months
Use essential oils sparingly and use a .25% solution: dilute 1 drop of essential oil per 1 1/2 TB of carrier oil

Children: 6 months to 2 years
Use a .25-.5% solution: Dilute 1 drop of EO per 1 TB of carrier oil

Children: 2 years to 6 years
Use a .5% solution: Dilute 1 drop of EO per 2 tsps of carrier oil

Children: 6 years to 12 years
Use a .5%-1% solution: Dilute 1 drop of EO per 1 1/2 tsps of carrier oil

Children: 12+
Use a 1% solution: Dilute 1 drop of EO per 1 tsp of carrier oil

Good carrier oils

Vegetable oils are usually high in mono- and polyunsaturated fats, which means they are liquid at room temperature That makes them a great choice for use in spray bottles or roll-ons. Some vegetable oils are high in linoleic acid, which in studies is best for those with oily skin. While vegetable oils like olive oil are high in oleic acid, which is best for dry skin. Combination skin can use a mix of all vegetable oils.

There are some saturated fats that are great as a carrier oil, such as the ever-mighty coconut oil. (What can’t coconut oil do?)

If the percentage of polyunsaturated fat is high, like in borage oil and evening primrose oil, the oil can go rancid quickly, so store those in the fridge and toss after 6-8 months. Other oils should be ok in the fridge for 2 years or in a cool, dark place for at least 1 year. If they smell bad, toss ’em!

Carrier oil #1: Olive

Olive oil is a treasure from the Mediterranean and used for centuries in cooking, medicine and skincare. It’s high in antioxidants and phenols, which can soothe the skin. It does have a stronger aroma, is on the thick side and feels oiler on the skin. Olive oil is frequently adulterated with lower quality oil. Make sure you’re buying the good stuff.

Pros: You’ve probably got it in your kitchen right now. And it’s high in antioxidants and great for dry, mature skin.

Cons: It’s fragrance can interfere with aromatherapy. It’s also thick and oily on the skin.

Where to buy: You can find at grocery stores. Organic is best. I like this brand.

Carrier oil #2: Sweet Almond

Sweet almond oil has been used historically in Ancient Chinese and Ayurvedic Medicine for skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. High in vitamins A, D and E, almond oil is a very nourishing and moisturizing, making it great for dry skin. It can also help other, heavier oils absorb better.

Pros: High in vitamins, moisturizing, and has no odor.

Cons: Can stain clothes/sheets, needs to be refrigerated, and better for dry skin types

Where to buy: The best prices and selection are online. I like this brand.

Carrier oil #3: Apricot

Dating back to 3000 B.C., apricot kernel oil was used in ancient Chinese medicine to treat nephritis. It’s rich in essential fatty acids and vitamins A and C, which make it an excellent rejuvenating oil, especially for oiler skin types. Apricot kernel oil has been used as an anti-aging oil and to smooth and tone the skin. It absorbs well without leaving a greasy feeling.

Pros: Great for oiler skin, absorbs well, and has faint odor.

Cons: It needs to be refrigerated and may sting super dry skin.

Where to buy: The best prices and selection are online. I like this brand.

Carrier oil #4: Avocado

Though avocados have been around for a long time, it was only in 1918 when the British Imperial Institute brought up the possibility of extracting and using avocado oil. High in fatty acids and vitamins, avocado oil is used to increase collagen production for more youthful skin. It is a thick, “oily” oil and best in blended with other carrier oils for dry skin. Great for eczema.

Pros: Very hydrating. Excellent for mature and very dry skin.

Cons: Doesn’t absorb well into skin. Thick and heavy. Not a good choice for oiler or combination skin types.

Where to buy: The best prices and selection are online. I like this brand.

Carrier oil #5: Jojoba

Jojoba oil has only been commercially cultivated for the last century, though researchers don’t know for sure how long Native Americans have used it. This oil’s composition is closest to our sebum, or the body’s natural oils, than any other oil! It is moisturizing without being greasy. However, it can clog pores in some people. It contains vitamins A and E, which are great for healthy skin. Jojoba oil may also help treat acne.

Pros: Absorbs well, great for oily or normal skin types

Cons: Has a slight nutty aroma and may go rancid if not stored properly

Where to buy: The best prices and selection are online. I like this brand.

Carrier oil #6: Argan

Moroccans have been using Argan oil for more than 3500 years as a skin moisturizer, hair conditioner, and to cure skin blemishes and chicken pox scars. Rich in antioxidants and vitamin E, Argan oil is great for all skin types. However, it does have a nutty scent which may interfere with aromatherapy.

Pros: Great for acne or dry skin. Very potent.

Cons: Expensive and has a distinct odor which may interfere with essential oils

Where to buy: The best prices and selection are online. I like this brand.

Carrier oil #7: Sunflower

Indigenous to North America, sunflowers began to be grown for their oil sometime in the mid 19th century in Russia. Sunflower oil is an affordable and versatile oil and is excellent oil for eczema and psoriasis. High in oleic acid and lecithin, sunflower oil is great for dry skin types

Pros: Cheap, faint odor and best for dry skin types

Cons: Could cause breakouts for people with oily skin

Where to buy: The best prices and selection are online. I like this brand.

Carrier oil #8: Coconut oil (unrefined)

The medium chain fatty acids give coconut oil an antimicrobial property, which makes it a great all around oil for skincare (think diaper rash, fungus, and cuts). Because of its high saturated fat content, the oil is thick and creates almost a lather or film to protect the skin. Though coconut oil is solid at room temperature, it melts quickly when applied. It can also be mixed with other oils it can be more fluid.

Pros: Very moisturizing and therapeutic. Good for all skin types. Absorbs relatively well and very stable with almost zero chance of rancidity.

Cons: Strong aroma, solid at room temperature

Where to buy: The best prices and selection are online. I like this brand.

Carrier oil #9: Coconut oil (refined)

Fractionated coconut oil is a good choice since it doesn’t stain clothing and has no scent. It’s much thinner than unrefined coconut oil and is liquid at room temperature. It is more processed, and loses its therapeutic properties. You could use an MCT oil, as an alternative, which is probably cleaner since it’s food grade.

Pros: Works in spray bottles, roll ons, and DOESN’T STAIN CLOTHES

Cons: Processed and not therapeutic

Where to buy: The best prices and selection are online. I like this brand.

Water as a carrier “oil”

Say what?! I thought oil and water don’t mix. Well, that’s true… but… The key is you have to add something to EMULSIFY the water with the EO, as oil and water indeed do not mix without it. A mixture of more water/less oil is a lotion and a mixture of more oil/less water is a cream.

Commercial products use toxic emulsifiers called polyethylene glycol which are derived from petrochemical gasses. These emulsifiers can cause skin irritation and damage and have been associated with kidney damage in animals. Even the CDC admits they are not without risk.

Natural emulsifiers can, however, be used to keep the water and oil from separating in lotions when you don’t want as much of an oily or greasy feel.

Aloe vera gel

Great in sunburn ointments or other products designed to heal skin. Aloe has also been used in Ayurvedic medicine to heal and soothe skin wounds, acne and eczema. It is antiseptic and anti-fungal, which helps lengthen the shelf life of your product.

Where to buy: The prices and selection are best online.

Sea salt

High quality sea salt can help improve circulation, which helps promote healing. It is also used as an exfoliant to remove dead skin cells.

Where to buy: You can find at a local grocery store. I like this brand.

Witch hazel

Antiseptic, antifungal, and antibacterial, witch hazel is a great choice when making cleansers. Witch hazel can also be used as an astringent and may reduce inflammation and redness.

Where to buy: You can find at a local drug store. I like this brand.

Castile soap

Choose Castile soap when you’re making a cleanser or aromatic product. Also great for household cleaners. Just be sure not to add Castile soap to any household cleaner that contains vinegar, lemon juice or other acid. Castile soap is a base; mixed with an acid it turns into a messy glop of oil.

Where to buy: I like this Castile soap best.

So which is the best carrier oil to use?

Of course, the best answer is to try several oils and use the one that you like best! That said, here are some of my go-to oils.

  • When I’m making a roll-on with essential oils, I use apricot or almond oils.
  • When I’m making a spray, like a sitz spray, I use a blend of witch hazel and filtered water.
  • For a massage, I use fractionated coconut oil since it doesn’t stain!
  • With my facial essential oils, I use unrefined coconut oil, rosehip or argan.
  • If I’m in a rush to apply a little EO topically, I’ll just use some olive oil out of the kitchen.

Start with those oils if you like, and experiment with others from there!

Get my free guide on 88 ways to use essential oils!

Want to learn more about essential oils? Download my exclusive guide, 88 Ways to Use Essential Oils!

How about you?

What carrier oils are your favorite?


Read This Next…

  • See 28 Comments
  • Add Comment
About the Author

Genevieve Howland is a childbirth educator and breastfeeding advocate. She is the bestselling author of The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth and creator of the Mama Natural Birth Course. A mother of three, graduate of the University of Colorado, and YouTuber with over 85,000,000 views, she helps mothers and moms-to-be lead healthier and more natural lives.


Rahul Jul 20 at 3:42 am

Please suggest best carrier oil for handmade soap second suggest best carrier oil for spray perfume

vaughn Feb 6 at 5:00 pm

Can I use Coconut oil organic MCT oil as a carrier for EO’s?

Laverne Nov 28 at 9:49 pm

My absolute favorite carrier oil is fractionated Coconut oil, BUT two years ago I discovered Grapeseed oil. But something happens to the scent after a period. ?

Arkansas CBD Aug 17 at 9:05 pm

I specifically like CBD Isolate gummies because they do not contain any THC so I have peace of mind in the case that I have to take a drug test for work, because I am I law enforcement.

Diana Narvaez Jun 1 at 5:59 pm

Nobody answers my ? Maybe u will.
Can i use vitamin E as the “ONLY” carrier oil to dilute an essential, and which essential oils should not contain vitamin E along if any at all.