A bottle of hemp oil next to a jar of coconut oil and half of a coconut

Coconut Oil vs Hemp Seed Oil: Which is a Better Carrier Oil?

 If you’ve been paying close attention to the ingredients in your CBD oil, then chances are you’ve come across coconut oil or MCT oil as carriers for the brand’s extracts. While you may be aware of what these oils are, you may not know all that much about them. Moreover, there may be some additional questions over what hemp seed oil is. In order to dispel any confusion, it’s best to learn the differences between coconut oil, MCT oil, and hemp seed oil, and which one is the best overall. Medium chain triglyceride (MCT) oil, coconut oil, and hemp seed oil are fats that have overlapping characteristics. Despite both oils having many similarities, they are composed of different compounds and have their own set of unique benefits and uses. 

What are Medium Chain Triglycerides?

Medium Chain Triglycerides, or MCT’s, are saturated fats. In fact, many foods and CBD oils contain MCT oils like coconut oil or palm kernel oil. Structurally, triglycerides have three fatty acids and a glycerol molecule. The fatty acids all have carbon atoms that are bound together in chains of varying lengths. There are long chain triglycerides — like olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds, and fish — that contain over 12 carbon atoms, medium chain triglycerides that contain 6-12 carbon atoms, and short chain triglycerides that contain six or less carbon atoms. 

A woman wearing a blue denim shirt is in profile while holding a dropper of CBD oil over her open mouth.


While long chain triglycerides need enzymes or bile acids to help them be absorbed into the body, medium chain triglycerides do not. Because of this, medium chain triglycerides can go directly to the liver where the body will then quickly digest and absorb them to use as either direct energy or ketones. For those who may not know, ketones are compounds that the liver produces when it breaks down an abundance of fat. The body can use ketones for energy instead of glucose. Additionally, medium chain triglycerides are not as likely to be stored as fat. 

MCT Oil vs Coconut Oil vs Hemp Seed Oil: What’s the Difference?

MCT oil is made up of 100 percent pure medium chain triglycerides. Therefore, MCT oil is extremely concentrated. This type of oil is created when coconut oil or palm oil is refined to eliminate other compounds, thus leaving a concentration of medium chain triglycerides in the final product. 

Coconut oil is created from the kernel (or meat) of the coconut. This type of oil has the purest and richest source of medium chain triglycerides. Interestingly, along with medium chain triglycerides, coconut oil also contains long chain triglycerides and unsaturated fats. There is lauric acid in coconut oil that acts very much like a long chain triglyceride in that it slows down digestion and absorption. 

Hemp seed oil is made when the seeds of the cannabis plant are pressed to expel their oils. Hemp seed oil contains large amounts of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, which are unsaturated fats or good fats, as well as about nine types of essential amino acids. The body uses amino acids to make protein. Hemp seed oil also contains calcium, iron, magnesium, B vitamins, and other important minerals and hemp nutrients. 

A glass bottle with a cork holds yellow hemp seed oil, and hemp seeds are scattered on the table next to the jar.

Is Coconut Oil or Hemp Seed Oil Better in CBD Oil?

Experts say that MCT oil is far better in CBD oil products because it is the best at absorbing fats like CBD oil. If a CBD oil is made with MCT oil, it’s considered to be a superior product because the body can use the oil and absorb it better. Therefore, it stands to reason that you’ll be able to get the most out of your CBD oil if it has MCT oil as its carrier oil. Moreover, MCT oil is also easier to use because it remains liquid at room temperature. 

A glass container holds coconut oil and stands next to a broken coconut.

Additionally, coconut oil, which some MCT oils are made from, is one of the only oils that naturally contains large amounts of medium chain triglycerides. In fact, the reason why most CBD oils are crafted with coconut oil, or MCT oil, over hemp seed oil is because coconut oil contains more saturated fat. This simply means that the oil can break down and transport more CBD molecules, which means that it can deliver more cannabinoids, terpenes, and phytonutrients to the body’s cells for absorption. If CBD oil is made without using MCT oil, then a great number of CBD molecules will end up traveling to the liver where they will be seen as a waste product and ultimately excreted out of the body through the urine. Knowing this, you should make it a point to choose a CBD oil that contains MCT oil as its carrier over any other type of oil (like olive oil).

Why Most MCT Oils Come From Coconut Oil

When CBD is ingested in a high fat oil like pure MCT oil or coconut oil, you’ll be able to get the most absorption possible. When this happens, the lipids, or fats, in this case “good” saturated fats, quickly absorb into the walls of the intestines. Because these fats can be absorbed directly into the intestines instead of traveling through the entire digestive system, oils like coconut oil, have the ability to best optimize the absorbability of CBD. This process is known as intestinal lymphatic transport and is important because it allows the CBD to avoid being immediately broken down by the liver. If the CBD does reach the liver, then it will get broken down into smaller components, thus decreasing its efficacy. Lymphatic transport, or liposomal transport allows the CBD to pass directly into the cells through the lining of the gut. 

Why FAB CBD Full-Spectrum Oil Reigns Supreme

Our full-spectrum CBD oil is crafted from Colorado hemp that’s clean and free from dangerous pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and other harmful chemicals. We use the industry-preferred, clean CO2 extraction process to obtain all of our extracts. FAB CBD oils are packed with medium chain triglycerides, have a full-spectrum cannabinoid blend, flavoring from natural sources, and an amazing terpene profile. FAB CBD’s full-spectrum oils come in strengths of 300mg, 600mg, 1200mg, and 2400mg, and in fresh, smooth, invigorating flavors like citrus, vanilla, mint, natural, and berry. Therefore, because we use MCT oil in the creation of our full-spectrum oils, your body will be better able to absorb all of the terpenes, cannabinoids, and phytonutrients that our CBD oil has to offer. 

Three bottles of different flavored CBD oil stand next to each other and a woman selects the citrus flavor.

Closing Thoughts: Coconut Oil vs Hemp Seed Oil

Not all CBD oils are made with coconut oil. There are some brands that use olive oil or hemp seed oils as carrier oils in their CBD products. However, all “good fat” oils, like MCT oil and coconut oil, will allow for maximum absorption of terpenes, cannabinoids, and phytonutrients into the cells by allowing the CBD to travel through the walls of the intestines instead of directly heading into the liver. Many reputable brands, like FAB CBD, use coconut oil or MCT oil in their CBD products because they know that in order for someone to get the most out of the CBD, it has to be effectively and thoroughly absorbed by the body. Therefore, if you’re looking to purchase CBD oil in the near future, you should make it a point to buy oil from brands that have coconut oil or MCT oil listed among their ingredients.