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Which one is the Best CBD Carrier MCT vs. Hemp Oil vs. Water Based
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Which one is the Best CBD Carrier: MCT vs. Hemp Oil vs. Water Based?

The Best Carrier for CBD Tinctures

What is the best carrier for CBD Tinctures? MCT vs. Hemp Oil vs. Water-Based CBD. The most important consideration for purchasing CBD is the quality of the product. The second most important consideration is the medium (carrier) of your CBD Tincture & oil.

Unless you are buying CBD Isolate, CBD is not the only ingredient. In fact, when you use CBD oil or tinctures, the majority of the volume you are putting under your tongue is not CBD.

This is because the majority of your CBD Tincture is the carrier that the CBD is in! With this said, the type & quality of the carrier oil is critical when purchasing CBD.

The good news is that Stirling CBD has done research on all the different carriers, and we will show you when it comes to CBD carrier oils; there is a clear choice.

Before we look at what carrier is best for CBD – you must keep your CBD in a cool, dry area and out of direct sunlight.

Technically, Sunlight is the #1 killer of CBD shelf-life. This is because sunlight and high temperatures break down CBD. And fast.

The good news here is that Stirling CBD has solved the light exposure issue with our Dark Brown Bottle, White Label, and reflective logo. Awesome – 1st issue is solved! Just don’t leave it on your dashboard. :)

After exposure to light, the second most crucial factor in CBD’s stability and bio-availability is the type of carrier the CBD is in. Since Stirling solved the #1 issue, let’s focus on how we solve the 2nd issue by choosing the best carrier oil for CBD.

There are many carrier oils available for CBD. Unfortunately, some CBD companies take the easiest / cheapest route.

Therefore, each CBD company will say its CBD carrier is the best. Once again, let’s look at the Science of CBD and see what the University Studies and Medical Papers say.

Which one is the Best CBD Carrier: MCT vs. Hemp Oil vs. Water Based? 0

The Big Three CBD Carrier Options

There are currently three major groups of CBD Carriers.

1.) Plant Seed Oils

These include Hemp oil, Avocado Oil, and Sunflower Oil. These Oils are oil obtained by pressing the seeds of the plant. Hemp Oil comes from Hemp Seeds, and Sunflower Oil comes from Sunflower Seeds, etc.

2.) Water-Based Carriers

The actual CBD is carried in water.

3.) MCT (Medium Chain Triglyceride)

Most commonly extracted from coconut oil.

At 1st glance, many people might logically believe “Hemp Oil sounds better than MCT” or “Water Based seems the safest” because they know about Plant Seed Oils and Water Based Oils.

Let’s look at what the Science of CBD says! So – we know what the options are – now let’s set the rules by which each of the carriers will be judged:

  1. What Are the Most Important Considerations When Researching the Best CBD Carrier?

  1. The Stability of the Carrier Itself
  2. How quickly does the carrier oil break down over time?
  3. How well does the carrier protect the CBD?
  4. Does the CBD carrier protect or break down the CBD?
  5. Subtract this answer from Item #1 and you get Shelf life. Shelf life is subtractive, not additive.
  6. The Bio-availability of the CBD.
  7. Does the carrier increase or decrease the bioavailability of CBD?
  8. Bio-availability is the proportion of CBD your body processed compared to what you consumed.
  9. For example, if you consume 25mg of CBD, and your body only absorbed 15mg, that is only a 60% absorption rate.

Which one is the Best CBD Carrier: MCT vs. Hemp Oil vs. Water Based? 0

  1. Flavor & consistency
  2. How does the CBD taste? Is it easy to use and put under the tongue? Does the carrier get absorbed well by the body?
  3. Health benefits the carrier has on its own
  4. Is the stuff your CBD is healthy?

Why did Stirling Choose MCT vs. Hemp Oil & Water-Based Carriers?

Reviewing all these factors in detail and using the Science of CBD – Stirling chose MCT (Medium Chain Triglycerides ) as the best carrier for CBD because:

  • MCT protects the CBD from the air
  • MCT is water-soluble
  • MCT has no taste
  • MCT has its own health benefits.

These four factors are why we like MCT vs. Plant Oils (Hemp Oil, Hemp Seed Oil, Avocado Oil) and Water Carriers for CBD. Only MCT brings the best of these factors together! Let’s break down the findings and discover why our researchers chose MCT.


MCT Oil consists of medium-chain triglycerides found in coconut oil, palm oil, or palm kernel oil. It is a very stable oil that you can store for years.

MCT is a Water-Soluble Oil – Your body is about 60% water, and about 90% of your body weight is water.

Therefore, a water-soluble CBD carrier is easy for your body to absorb. In addition, MCT has more bio-availability than fat-soluble carriers.

MCT Protects the CBD and other Fatty Oils…it is even used to stabilize baby formula!

MCT Oil has a very stable bonding. Thus, it does not degrade quickly with Oxygen (in the air) and UV rays (sun).4. As a result, MCT – by itself, is healthy– US National Library of Medicine claims, “Studies suggest that MCT consumption may be useful for weight management.”

MCT is colorless and tasteless

The Problems with Hemp Seed Oil/Avocado Oil/Sunflower Oils

Hemp oil, Avocado Oil and Sunflower Oil are oil obtained by pressing the seeds of the plant. These are Monounsaturated Fats.

While better for your body than trans-fats, these oils are not water-soluble. You want water-soluble products as they are better absorbed than oil-based products. Monounsaturated Fats decrease CBD’s bio-availability.

Water and Fat don’t mix well.

These Oils compounds protect the CBD well but will actually decrease the CBD’s absorption due to being fat-soluble.

All these oils have flavor (hemp is earthy) and viscosity issues (avocado has thicker viscosity)

Cold-pressed, unrefined hemp oil is dark to clear light green in color, with a nutty flavor.

These oils are suitable for cooking but not for CBD.

The Problem with Water-Based Carriers


What can possibly be wrong with Water? While gaining in popularity, our research shows Water-Based Carriers for CBD are a poor option.

According to Britannica (and common sense), Water dissolves & breaks down compounds.

Water is one of the most corrosive compounds there is… which is why all life needs it.

You don’t want water to break down the CBD before your body can.

Don’t eat a sandwich after it’s been in water – the water has already started dissolving it. Same with CBD.

You don’t want the water to break down the CBD and dissolve while still in the bottle.

Instead, you want the CBD to be used in the body. Water Carriers have the shortest shelf life.

Which one is the Best CBD Carrier: MCT vs. Hemp Oil vs. Water Based? 0

MCT Has the Best Combination of Shelf-Life, CBD Bio-Availability, Health Benefits, and Taste!

Stirling CBD uses CBD with MCT because MCT has the best combination of shelf-life, CBD bio-availability, health benefits, and taste!

Stirling takes pride in our research and attention to detail. That is why we think Stirling CBD has the best CBD on the market. Don’t forget to test our amazing lineup of Delta 8 THC products also!

Picture of Joe Kryszak
Joe Kryszak
A leader in the Hemp Industry since 2014, Joe has been at the forefront of the Hemp Industry's innovation and growth. He is passionate about creating an atmosphere of collaboration and education in the Hemp Industry through the growth of Stirling Oils. Prior to this, Joe led strategic growth teams and initiatives at HP, Lenovo, and Amazon. With a degree from SDSU and an MBA from Pepperdine, Joe guided numerous businesses beyond the $1b threshold.

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