What is CBD coconut oil and what are its skincare benefits?
CBD coconut oil is the skin-saving powerhouse that’s suddenly everywhere. In this post, we’re answering all your questions on what it is and how to use it.
Combined with all the natural goodness and benefits of raw, cold-pressed coconut oil, there’s no wonder that CBD coconut oil is becoming the go-to moisturising skin balm for people who need a calming, natural skin solution without chemicals or toxins that harm the skin.
But it’s still not always clear how and when it should be used. So we’ve put together this guide that includes everything we’ve been asked and what we think you should know about CBD coconut oil before deciding whether it’s the right skin solution for you.
So what is CBD coconut oil?
CBD coconut oil is coconut oil infused with cannabidiol (CBD) derived from hemp plants bred for their nutritional purposes.
Cannabidiol is available in multiple forms, including in MCT oil, isolate and distillate form. CBD coconut oil comes in solid form below room temperature, just like normal coconut oil. Sometimes the CBD presence can alter the scent or colour of the coconut oil, depending on the type and strength of CBD used.
What is CBD coconut oil used for?
First of all, it’s worth noting that although CBD coconut oil is normally eaten, it’s also a powerfully healing, restorative moisturiser for skin. CBD oil alone has been shown in several research studies to have calming, anti-inflammatory and radiance-boosting properties when applied directly to the skin.
But combined with the copious benefits of coconut oil, CBD coconut oil becomes a powerfully potent blend of natural oils that work together to support your skin’s natural healing process – especially if you’re prone to certain skin problems.
What are some of the benefits of using CBD coconut oil?
Coconut oil itself has numerous skin benefits which we won’t go into too much detail about here as we’ve explained them many times before. But when mixed with CBD oil, the benefits are taken to a whole new level.
It encourages skin repair
CBD itself contains several essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fatty acids, to encourage skin health.
It contains vitamins A and D, which are responsible for skin repair, support skin cell growth and inhibit oil production to help keep skin soft and supple.
It contains vitamins C and E, which are antioxidants that protect your skin’s collagen and elastin to guard against damage from the sun and free radicals like UV rays.
It contains B complex vitamins which facilitate the construction process for skin, hair and nails to prevent dermatitis, hair loss, and other skin conditions.
It calms skin conditions
A study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology found that CBD helps to controls how cells are formed in our bodies, indicating it can be used to treat skin conditions like allergies.
These studies show that CBD oil functions as an anti-inflammatory agent, helping to calm skin – especially atopic dermatitis (aka eczema) and acne-prone skin.
And because acne is triggered by skin inflammation, CBD coconut oil could help diminish breakouts or other conditions similar or related to acne reducing redness and decreasing excessive sebum (oil) production.
It gives mature skin a radiance boost
CBD oil also has powerful antioxidant effects, meaning it can help lessen the visible signs of ageing skin.
By counteracting damage from free-radicals such as UV rays, smoke and environmental pollutants, CBD coconut oil can help to prevent wrinkles, fine lines, maintain skin elasticity, reduce skin dullness and even out skin tone.
It can be used on sensitive skin
The substantial skin-calming effects can help minimise issues related to skin sensitivity, including redness.
You don’t necessarily need to have sensitive skin for it to be affected by environmental stressors, so CBD’s soothing mechanism can help support the skin’s natural healing process.
It may provide local pain relief
When you ingest CBD products orally, your body processes it differently to when applied directly to the skin.
If wanting to treat a particular area, ingesting CBD coconut oil may take much longer and have reduced effectiveness for the specific skin ailment you’re trying to treat.
However, applying CBD coconut oil topically allows it to sink deep into your skin to stimulate cannabinoid receptors located throughout the body. This allows them to be absorbed directly into the affected area – so CBD coconut oil is effective for faster and more focused relief, which is especially useful for those with mild muscle or joint pains or during a muscle-relaxing massage.
Many sports physiotherapists are starting to use CBD-enriched balms on athletes during post-sport therapies and massages.
Why is CBD oil blended with coconut oil?
There are a couple of reasons for this.
Firstly, coconut oil is solid at room temperature but turns to liquid easily upon touch. This makes coconut oil easier to work than pure CBD oil with when applying topically e.g. when used for muscle and joint massage.
Secondly, CBD is a fat-soluble cannabinoid, meaning it breaks down and is stored in fat rather than water. Coconut oil happens to contain a very high concentration of fatty acids, with over 80% saturated fat content – in contrast to, say, butter which has around 50%, and olive oil only 20% saturated fat content.
This allows the presence of higher levels of fatty acids in coconut oil to create a stronger binding agent for CBD. What this ultimately means for your skin is that CBD content in coconut oil will be more potent than if blended with other fats and in turn allows for superior absorption of CBD when combined with coconut oil.
Is CBD coconut oil legal, and will it get me high?
Coconut oil is definitely legal. But when it comes to CBD – it depends exactly what the product is, and where you live.
In the UK, CBD is completely legal. However, the confusion around legality begins when THC comes into the picture. This is the psychoactive part of the cannabis plant – the part that gets you high – and is the only phytocannabinoid that appears on the controlled substances list in the UK. In the USA, some products contain both THC and CBD, but these are banned in the UK.
A product containing trace amounts of less than 0.2% THC meets the legal standards in the UK – which all of our topical CBD products at Virginutty do.
How do I make CBD coconut oil at home?
If you want to know how to make CBD coconut oil at home, then a quick YouTube search will tell you exactly what you need to do.
It’s worth noting that the process is generally time-consuming though, and usually requires the use of several different pieces of equipment. It also calls for a carefully monitored process that might be difficult to follow.
Where can I get CBD coconut oil?
If you want to make a multipurpose skin balm and edible product that you know has no chemicals or harmful toxins in it, then the good news is you don’t have to go through the arduous and costly process of making CBD coconut oil yourself.
Our CBD coconut oil products blend cold-pressed, raw coconut oil from sustainable Philippine coconut farms with high-quality CBD to create a potent topical balm that acts as a nourishing moisturiser for your skin. Each product is lovingly blended by hand in North London.
To experience the healing power of CBD coconut oil yourself, check out our online store .
CBD Carrier Oils: Coconut Oil vs. Hemp Seed Oil
If you’ve got a curious mind, as we do, you’ve likely wondered why we take CBD oil rather than just plain CBD by itself. If CBD is the only active therapeutic compound in a CBD product, why can’t we just swallow a spoonful of it and be done with it?
Well, the body doesn’t really work that way, unfortunately. In order to digest things properly and absorb minerals/nutrients for use, compounds must be broken down and absorbed through the intestinal wall.
While we can absorb CBD by itself, it is much more efficient (up to three times more efficient, in fact) when we ingest it along with a carrier oil. Since cannabinoids from the cannabis plant (like CBD and THC) are fat-soluble (meaning they dissolve in oil rather than water), infusing them in a saturated fat enhances their bioavailability drastically.
But why is CBD oil often made with coconut oil? We all know that hemp (where many CBD oils come from) produces a natural oil from its seeds, so why don’t we just use hemp seed oil instead? The answer comes down to lipids and how the human body absorbs them.
CBD + Coconut Oil = The Perfect Combination
Coconut oil is pretty much the perfect carrier oil for CBD because of its saturated fat content. The way that cannabinoids work molecularly is that the higher the lipid content of the oil they are in, the better and more efficiently they can absorb. Conveniently, coconut oil contains up to 90% saturated fat, as opposed to olive oil and hemp seed oil which only contain around 14% and 11% fat content, respectively.
These lipids come in forms of either medium-chained or long-chained triglycerides and the body transports each type differently through biochemical transporters. Medium-chain triglycerides absorb and break down quickly whereas long-chained triglycerides require certain enzymes to help absorption and breakdown.
Since the saturated fat content of coconut oil largely comprises medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) instead of long-chain triglycerides (LGTs), you don’t need to be concerned about it clogging up your arteries.
In fact, coconut oil is one of the only natural oils that has a high content of MCTs. While these serve as an excellent energy source that is much easier to metabolize than complex carbohydrates or LCTs, they also act as an advantageous carrier for CBD.
Ultimately, the reason why most of the best CBD oils are made with coconut oil as opposed to hemp seed oil is because coconut oil has more saturated fat. Therefore, it can break down and carry more CBD molecules, and ultimately deliver more cannabidiol to our cells for absorption.
Without coconut oil, a large percentage of CBD molecules simply end up making their way to the liver, at which point they’d be treated as waste and simply excreted through urine. This is why you want to select a CBD tincture that uses coconut oil over olive oil or some other type of oil.
The Science Behind Coconut Oil and CBD
A few studies exist on why coconut oil acts as the molecular carrier of choice for CBD. While a lot of the scientific language can be pretty complex and confusing, what the research basically says is that when you ingest CBD in a high-fat oil (like coconut or pure MCT oil), you’re getting the maximum possible absorption.
Here’s how it works: lipids (the scientific word for fats) stick to the walls of whatever internal transport system they’re traveling through. Think about our blood vessels, for instance: you’ve heard of clogged arteries and plaque buildup that causes heart disease. Well, this is due in part to high amounts of bad fat in the system. These lipids stick to the artery walls and do not break down easily (metabolize), so they just sit there and accumulate.
Good saturated fats, on the other hand, actually absorb very quickly and easily directly through the intestinal wall. One type of good fat is medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), like those that occur naturally in coconut oil.
Since lipids can absorb directly through the intestinal walls instead of passing through the entire digestive system, a fat-containing substance like coconut oil can maximize the bioavailability of CBD. Scientifically, this is referred to as intestinal lymphatic transport.
Lymphatic transport is crucial when taking certain medications (CBD included). It means these medications avoid the liver breaking them down. If CBD enters the liver, it metabolizes it into smaller components. At this point, it becomes less efficacious in terms of its therapeutic or pain-relieving potential.
On a side note, this is also why liposomal transport is used to deliver certain medications. It allows them to pass directly into cells through the gut lining. Some companies are already experimenting with CBD liposome capsules for maximum absorption.
Final Thoughts on Why CBD Is Made with Coconut Oil
To be clear, not all CBD oils are made with coconut oil. There are plenty out there that are infused in olive oils or natural hemp seed oils, and they do indeed work just fine – depending on how their manufacturers extract and process them.
All fat-containing oils, like coconut oil, provide for the maximum absorption rate of CBD into the body’s cells, by allowing it to pass directly through the intestinal wall instead of entering into the liver.
As you’ll find if you end up using CBD frequently, many of the best CBD oils and tinctures are infused in a quality coconut oil or MCT oil. However, just like with anything else related to your health and body, we encourage you to work with a cannabis-knowledgeable physician or PCP before trying any type of cannabis or CBD product.
CBD Oil and Coconut Oil: The Perfect Combination?
In the health industry both CBD oil and coconut oil are booming. This is because it is not becoming widely accepted that these oils can provide incredible health benefits in many ways. A new concept is pairing the two together to provide even an even more powerful health punch. Before we look at why these two oils make such a great couple. Let’s first look at some of the health benefits of each individual oil.
- Coconut Oil can provide an array of health benefits. Here are some of the most popular:
- Improves Cholesterol
- Antibiotic, Anti-fungal, Anti-viral and Antibacterial Properties
- Reduces Inflammation
- Improves Cognitive Function
- Promotes Healthy Skin
- Improves Digestion
- Provides Energy
- On top of these proposed health benefits, there is also a lot of research suggesting that Coconut oil can aid in the protection against neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Scientist Mary Newport found fascinating results when she used Coconut oil to treat her husband who was suffering from the disease. This has opened the door into the therapeutic potential of coconut oil!
Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is a compound found in cannabis. It does not contain THC so it does not have a psychoactive component. This means that CBD oil does not alter the state of one’s consciousness like marijuana would. CBD oil is just now starting to gain popularity and with good reason. Here are some of the proposed health benefits:
- Improves Anxiety
- Relieves Nausea
- Can Reduce Seizures
- Improves Cardiovascular Health
- Improves Sleep Quality
- In addition to these health benefits, there is also a growing body of research suggesting that CBD oil may possess the ability to battle cancer as well!
CBD and Coconut Oil
With all the health benefits mentioned for each of these oils, the question now is why pair them. To understand this, it is important to understand some of the properties of CBD oil. Compounds found in cannabis, such as CBD oil, are fat soluble. This means that to be broken down they require fat rather than just water. This means that to experience the highest magnitude of the proposed benefits of CBD oil, you must pair it with a fat. This is where Coconut Oil comes in.
Coconut oil is comprised primarily of saturated fats. Additionally, the fats in Coconut oil are known as Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) which are shorter chain fats. This may be a complex concept for some so for now just know that MCTs are more rapidly digested and are superior for nutrient absorption. This means that when CBD oil is combined with Coconut oil, there is a greater chance that the CBD oil will be able to provide its proposed benefits.