What is MCT Oil and is it OK in CBD Tinctures? CBD tinctures are quickly gaining popularity with us mature adults. They’re easy to use and store, and are very discreet. Plus, if they are products Learn how to make cannabis-infused MCT oil at home that can be used as a sublingual tincture or a base for many cannabis-infused recipes.
What is MCT Oil and is it OK in CBD Tinctures?
CBD tinctures are quickly gaining popularity with us mature adults. They’re easy to use and store, and are very discreet. Plus, if they are products with no THC (or less than .03%), you can easily find them online without going to a cannabis dispensary. We have several reputable CBD tincture products on our site, so you can visit our CBD tinctures page to learn more about them. When you do, you may notice that most of the tinctures contain MCT oil; but what is MCT oil and is it OK in CBD tinctures? If you’re an adult considering using CBD oil for health and wellness benefits, we thought it might be helpful to provide some information about MCT, and why so many companies use it.
What is MCT?
I bet that most of us do not remember much from our high school chemistry class. Heck, I barely remember high school at all. Putting on our science hats on for a moment, MCT stands for “Medium Chain Triglycerides” or “Medium Chain Fatty Acids.” In the natural world, they come from coconut oil, palm oil, and some dairy products.
For tinctures, our bodies process cannabidiol, aka CBD, much better when it’s combined with a fat-based “carrier oil.” CBD is fat soluble, meaning it breaks down better in oil rather than water. As a result, the CBD is delivered more efficiently in our bodies. For CBD and other tinctures, MCT is becoming quite popular as the main carrier oil to mix with the CBD oil. Medium chain triglycerides have fewer carbohydrates and calories than “long chain triglycerides” (LCT) found in olive oil, nuts, and avocados.
While the medical community considers LCTs as healthy oils, our bodies process MCT oils differently than LCT oils because MCTs travel through our digestive systems and liver more efficiently. Again, this means the body absorbs more CBD molecules because they don’t get stopped in the liver. Getting back to my fondness for gambling, I bet that many readers are thinking “So why not use hemp seed oil as the carrier oil?” It comes down to carbs, calories, and again, the way our bodies process hemp oil. MCT oil also has fewer calories than hemp seed oil which makes MCT a more efficient delivery system. MCT allows for a better ratio of carrier oil to CBD oil, so the tincture can have higher CBD content. This same premise holds true for other LCT oils like olive oil or pure palm oil. They are not bad for you, MCT is simply better for distributing the CBD throughout our bodies.
MCT vs Pure Coconut Oil
The MCT extracted from the coconut oil is in the form of Capric acid and Caprylic acid. That is not a typo. The difference is the number of carbon atoms in each acid. Pure coconut oil also contains “Lauric acid” that many biochemists consider an LCT. Again, as an LCT, our bodies process it differently. There’s nothing wrong with using coconut oil as a carrier oil, and in fact, these tinctures may be cheaper because there is less processing involved. But according to scientists smarter than me, extracting the MCT from the coconut oil or palm oil makes for a more efficient carrier oil because our bodies process it differently.
Straight, No Chaser
MCT on its own is clear, tasteless, and it’s odorless. This means you can put it in your morning coffee, tea, or straight from the eye dropper. Using it in smoothies or salad dressing is also popular. When used in a CBD or THC tincture, the taste may vary with different products. I personally use a CBD/MCT oil tincture a couple of hours prior to bedtime for better sleep. It has no taste and I put it under my tongue letting it soak into my mouth for about 90 seconds before swallowing.
What are the Health Benefits of MCT Oil?
MCT by itself may help our brains for improved memory and brain function. According to the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, MCT may also combat the effects of Alzheimer’s Disease. Without a doubt, additional research is needed about how MCT may improve brain function, and we will pay close attention to these types of studies.
It may also be helpful with weight loss. A 2009 study found that MCT helped reduce women’s body mass index, and it may also help maintain better cholesterol and sugar levels. MCT oil may also help with our digestive system by inducing good bacteria into our stomach lining.
A Ketogenic diet consists of a low-carb, high-fat meal plan. According to Harvard Health News, with a Keto diet, our bodies get fuel from fat “ketones,” not carbohydrates found in other foods. MCT helps burn calories, so this may help someone trying to lose weight on a Keto diet. Going a step further, because MCT oil is a fuel source on its own, the body does not need to store the fat you’re eating at every meal on a Keto diet. The Epilepsy Foundation believes a Keto diet in conjunction with MCT oil may be helpful in providing relief for older children suffering from epileptic seizures. This is mainly because ketones serve as a fuel for the brain as well as the body.
The Health Benefits of MCT and CBD
When you combine MCT with the potential health benefits of CBD, it’s easy to understand why quality-conscious companies prefer it in their products. CBD acts as an anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and relaxation agent without the euphoric feeling caused by its fellow cannabinoid companion, THC. Many people also find it helpful for both chronic and temporary pain relief, and insomnia.
A Low Smoke Point
MCT oil has a low smoke point. No, I am not referring to smoking or vaping MCT oil on its own. A low smoke point means you should never cook with it because it can ignite at low temperatures. Stick with your standard olive, canola, or vegetable oils for cooking. Besides, cooking with MCT oil would be really expensive.
Better Health and Wellness
Together, CBD and MCT make a powerful combination for better overall health and wellness. Each has its own positive attributes, and combining them makes for excellent products. If you’re currently taking other medications, always check with your doctor before starting an MCT/CBD regimen.
Are you currently using a CBD/MCT tincture? How do you use it? In coffee? Straight out of the dropper? We’d love to hear your story.
Philip Rebentish is a writer and the Content Editor for Three Wells.
Easy Cannabis-Infused MCT Oil
Published: Feb 16, 2021 · Modified: Jul 25, 2022 by Emily Kyle · This post may contain affiliate links, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
This easy, step-by-step beginner’s guide will teach you how to make cannabis-infused MCT oil at home. This oil infusion can be used as a sublingual tincture or a base for many cannabis-infused recipes.
- Just 2 simple ingredients needed: cannabis flower & MCT oil.
- No special equipment required! You just need a basic crockpot and some mason jars. (Check out this guide if you want to use an Instant Pot, instead.)
- Dietary Features: vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
Cannabis-infused MCT oil is a popular type of cannabis oil infusion made from 2 simple ingredients: cannabis flowers and MCT oil.
MCT oil is a type of fat extracted from coconuts. They are rapidly digested and absorbed by the body.
MCT oil remains liquid at room temperature, is completely clear, and has no flavor, making it one of the reasons it is so popular in my Well With Cannabis Community.
Many members love this infusion can be used two ways, either sublingually (held under the tongue) and/or in edibles.
In this guide, I will show you my super easy process for infusing MCT oil and talk about some important tips and tricks to help you on your cannabis journey.
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- MCT Oil – a clear, tasteless oil. You can learn more about the benefits and drawbacks of MCT oil below. If needed, you can purchase MCT oil here.
- Cannabis Flowers – You will need your desired amount of cannabis flowers, ranging from 3.5 grams up to 1 ounce. Choose THC, CBD, or CBG dominant flowers. You can purchase them from your local dispensary or purchase hemp flowers from my online shop here.
- Lecithin, optional: If you’re new to working with lecithin, you can learn more about adding lecithin to edibles here. If needed, you can purchase liquid lecithin or powdered lecithin. This ingredient is optional.
Note: a complete list of ingredients with amounts and printable instructions is located in the recipe card below.
The Step-by-Step Process
- Step 1 – The goal is to create a water bath that stays at approximately 180-190° F for the cooking process. The printable instructions in the recipe card below are for using a crockpot to create the water bath.
- Step 2 – While the water bath is heating in the crockpot, measure and decarb the cannabis flower. Learn how to decarb in an oven or decarb in an Instant Pot.
- Step 3 – Evenly divide the decarbed cannabis flower and MCT oil between the mason jars you plan on using. If you plan on using sunflower lecithin, add it to the mason jars now.
- Step 4 – Carefully place the jars into the water bath. Then, place the lid on the crockpot and leave it alone to infuse for 4 hours. After 4 hours, remove the jars from the hot water and allow them to cool.
- Step 5 – Whether it be a paper filter and funnel, cheesecloth, French press, or a simple coffee filter, you will want to set up a straining station to separate the plant matter from the oil.
- Step 6 – Once cool enough to handle, strain the prepared oil with your method of choice. You can save the leftover cannabis pulp for use in future recipes.
- Step 7 – Return the prepared oil to whatever jar you would like to store it in; I use a small amber tincture dropper bottle.
- Step 8 – Store the prepared oil in a cool, dry place. It will last longer if stored in the refrigerator and even longer if stored in the freezer.
Note: complete step-by-step printable instructions are located in the recipe card below.
Store your prepared MCT oil in a cool, dry place. It will last longer if stored in the refrigerator and even longer if stored in the freezer.
Is This MCT Oil A ‘Tincture’?
I’ve seen lots of people, including those inside my cannabis community, fuss over the terminology of a tincture.
Technically a tincture is an alcohol-based preparation, like this Green Drago alcohol tincture or a QWET alcohol tincture. That means this cannabis MCT oil will be considered an infusion.
However, you’ll often see people refer to MCT oil as tinctures simply because they are oftentimes held under the tongue for sublingual application.
This is the difference between holding an oil or tincture under your tongue vs. simply swallowing it. While the difference is small, the different effects can be quite noticeable from other application methods.
Sublingual Use for MCT Oil
Sublingual, meaning under the tongue, involves holding oil or tincture under your tongue to be absorbed by our mucous membranes into the body.
There is a dense concentration of capillaries under the tongue and around the mouth, so products held in the mouth are delivered directly to the bloodstream, making sublingual administration quick and easy (2).
Some people prefer this method due to the quick absorption rate and high bioavailability rate of around ~30%, producing a quicker, more effective absorption into the bloodstream.
For this application method, it is recommended to hold the oil or tincture under your tongue or inside your cheek for as long as possible for the best results and most efficient absorption.
Many people like this method because the typical onset time starts fairly quickly, between 15-30 minutes. The typical duration time lasts for an average of 2-4 hours.
The cannabinoids in the oil or tincture are then absorbed into the bloodstream and circulate throughout the whole body.
This method bypasses digestion and the first-pass metabolism in the liver, unlike cannabis edibles.
Edible Use of MCT Oil
Unlike sublingual absorption, edible consumption is a bit more complicated.
Edibles, also known as oral cannabis consumption, involve eating cannabis that is then processed through the gastrointestinal tract.
You can consume cannabis orally in many forms, including capsules, tinctures, oils, brownies, cookies, coffee, tea, and even spice mixes.
This is because the ingested cannabinoids pass through the digestive system.
Once the cannabis is eaten and digested, the THC is absorbed into the bloodstream and travels to the liver, where it undergoes the hepatic first-pass metabolism.
During this process, enzymes hydroxylate THC (Δ9-THC) to form 11-hydroxytetrahydrocannabinol (11-OH-THC), a potent psychoactive metabolite that readily crosses the blood-brain barrier (3).
This means that eating cannabis can provide stronger, more potent, or intoxicating effects in some individuals.
There are even anecdotal reports of people experiencing hallucinogenic effects when too much THC has been consumed.
This potent intoxicating metabolite, 11-OH-THC, causes potentially unwanted (or wanted) side effects for many unknowing cannabis consumers.
This is why with edibles, it is so important to be careful of accidental excess cannabis intake by overeating.
MCT Oil vs Coconut Oil
It is important to note some differences between MCT oil and coconut oil, primarily when baking or used in recipes.
While both are derived from coconuts, there is a noticeable taste and texture difference.
|Coconut Oil||MCT Oil|
|Derived from Coconut||Derived from Coconut|
|Solid at room temperature||Liquid at room temperature|
|Opaque when solid||Remains clear|
|Refined has no flavor, unrefined has a slight coconut flavor||Has no flavor|
|Easy to substitute in baked goods||Not as easy to substitute in baked goods|
|Not great for sublingual application||Great for sublingual applications|
|May cause digestive distress in large amounts||May cause digestive distress in large amounts|
|High smoke point, 350° F, great for cooking||Low smoke point, 284° F, not good for cooking|
MCT Oil and Digestive Distress
One important thing to note is that MCT oil in large amounts may cause digestive distress in some individuals.
Many members of my cannabis community have reported that consuming too much MCT oil, either in an edible or sublingually, causes digestive problems.
MCT oil can cause significant gastrointestinal distress, such as diarrhea, vomiting, bloating, and cramping, because it is metabolized differently by the body.
Additionally, it is not recommended for individuals who have liver problems.
That is why it is important to start low and go slow, just like all things cannabis, that way, you can see how your body reacts.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions I receive in my Well With Cannabis Community about making infused MCT oil at home.
Yes, if you want a stronger, more potent infusion, you can make this MCT oil infusion with FECO. Follow the directions for making FECO here, including directions for mixing with MCT oil after cooking. You can also make infused MCT oil with other types of cannabis concentrates.
You may want to consider making a small test batch before making a larger batch. This recipe calls for 1 ounce of flower and 16 ounces of MCT oil, which will yield a large batch. If you want to make a smaller batch first to see if MCT oil infusions are right for you, use this cannabis flower to oil ratio guide.
How to Determine The Dosing
Want to get a more accurate guesstimate of the potency of your cannabis infusions and extractions? Try our popular edibles calculator!
Not sure what your perfect dose is? Learn more here.
Want To Make This Easier? Use A Machine!
If the process of decarbing and infusing feels like too much work, an all-in-one countertop device may be a perfect all-in-one solution.
My personal favorites? The LEVO and Ardent FX, but you can review the most popular infusion machines here.
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More Oil Recipes You Will Love
My Edibles Made Easy Online Cooking Course will teach you how to easily make cannabis edibles and topical recipes at home. This step-by-step video course will teach you how to infuse, extract, and create edibles with many different product types – all from the comfort of your own home.
Learn more and enroll today →
How to Make Cannabis-Infused MCT Oil
This easy, step-by-step beginner’s guide will teach you how to make cannabis-infused MCT oil at home. It can be used as a sublingual tincture or a base for many cannabis-infused recipes.
- ▢ 16 ounces MCT oil
- ▢ 1 ounce decarbed cannabis flower
- ▢ 1 teaspoon liquid sunflower lecithin
Lay a clean tea towel down on the bottom of the crockpot. This will create a buffer between your mason jars and the crockpot, potentially preventing any jar moving or cracking during cooking.
Fill your crockpot with enough warm to hot water to cover the top of the mason jars you plan on using by an inch to create a water bath.
Place the digital thermometer into the water. Start the crockpot heat on high. When a temperature of 185° F is reached, turn the crockpot to low.digital thermometer
While the water bath is heating in the crockpot, measure and decarb the cannabis flower. Click here for a full cannabis decarboxylation tutorial, if needed.
Evenly divide the MCT oil between the mason jars you plan on using. You can either use pint-sized or half-pint-sized jars, it’s you’re preference, just be sure they fit in your crockpot. No matter the size, be sure to leave a ½ inch headspace from the top.
Evenly divide the decarbed flower between the MCT oil filled jars. Stir well. Wipe the rim of the jars with a clean paper towel and place the lid on. Tighten the metal ring to finger-tip tightness, it does not have to be tightened all the way. Do not tighten too tightly.
After 4 hours, carefully remove the lid, followed by the jars from the hot water. Set them aside to cool.
Once cool enough to handle, you will want to strain the MCT oil through a paper filter and funnel, cheesecloth, or French press to separate the plant matter from the oil.
Save the leftover cannabis pulp for use in future recipes. Then return the prepared cannabis oil to whatever jar you would like to store it in. We use a small amber tincture jar.
Store the prepared cannabis MCT oil in a cool, dry place. It will last longer if stored in the refrigerator and even longer if stored in the freezer.
- Yield: ~16 ounces / ~2 cups
- Temperature Control: The water bath does not need to stat perfectly at 185° F the entire time. Any temperature between 170°-190°F is OK.
- Safety First: I recommend you sanitize your jars by keeping them submerged in the 185° F crockpot for 10 at least minutes. This step is not necessary, but good practice for safety and hygiene.
- Floating Jars: Sometimes the mason jar will float when placed in the water bath. This is no need for concern, simply put something heat and water safe over the top of the jar to weigh it down, a clean rock works well.
- Alternative Carrier Oil Options Include:
- Olive oil
- Avocado oil
- Hemp seed oil
- Grapeseed oil
- Coconut oil
Did you make this recipe or have a question? Join hundreds of members inside private Well With Cannabis Community for help, support, and to share your edible creations!
April 30, 2022 at 7:13 am
Hi Emily, made your cookies and they were great!, I bought your 2oz MCT oil to make the store bought gummies. I am confused on how much flower to use when decarbing ?
April 30, 2022 at 8:45 am
Hello Linda! I am so glad you enjoyed the cookies. You can use my Flower to Oil Ratio Guide to help you decide how much flower you want to add to your infusion
May 05, 2022 at 5:25 pm
How do I determine how much Feco to fuse with mct oil?
May 07, 2022 at 10:20 am
Hi there, Anna. You would want to take your personal needs and tolerance level into consideration and go from there. The more oil you add, the more diluted and less potent the infusion becomes. For example, if you had 1mL of FECO with 750mg THC and added it to 30mL of MCT oil (a standard bottle size) you would divide 750mg/31mL to get around 24mg of THC per 1mL dopperful. If you doubled the amount of oil to 60mL, it would decrease the dose to around 12mg of THC per 1mL dropper. I hope this helps.
May 31, 2022 at 2:32 pm
Can I use a pot on a stove top or in the oven? I do not have access to a crockpot or instant pot.
June 01, 2022 at 7:42 am
It looks like in the picture that the entire mason jar is submerged in water inside the crockpot. I just want to make sure that thats how the mason jars are meant to be – fully submerged?
June 01, 2022 at 9:38 am
Yes, you can use the stove top, Nancy. Just get a pot large enough to hold your water and mason jars. Fill the pot with water to create a water bath and add your jar of goodies. Bring the temperature up to 160-190ish and keep it there for 4 hours for the infusion process. When you’re done, turn off the heat, discard the water, and proceeded as normal
June 01, 2022 at 9:39 am
Hey George! The *can* be fully submerged, but they don’t have to be. It will depend on how full your mason jar is. You will want to ensure the contents of the jar are covered by the water line.
August 14, 2022 at 1:18 pm
Thank you so much for your content! Wanted your opinion to see if I should grind up the flower after it’s been decarbed? I appreciate your input!!
August 14, 2022 at 2:19 pm
Hey Dawn! Thank you for your kind words I personally do NOT grind before or after decarbing. The process of grinding when making edibles just causes more trichomes to fall to the bottom of the grinder and releases more chlorophyll into the final product. I just leave it in popcorn sized pieces before infusing.
August 24, 2022 at 9:16 pm
Hi Emily, as always thanks for all the wonderful information! Is there a difference between using FECO to infuse my MCT oil and just infusing the MCT oil using the InstaPot method? I realize potency will be affected by amount of both cannabis and MCT but is there a health benefit to making FECO first? Cheers, Michelle
August 24, 2022 at 9:25 pm
Hello Michelle, you are most welcome! I think both options will provide you with the benefits of a full-spectrum final product and in most cases it just comes down to personal preference But if a higher potency is what you are looking for, making FECO first is certainly the way to go.
Thanks for coming! Let me know what you think:
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Hello, I’m Emily Kyle. I help people just like you sort through misinformation, conquer fears, and find support on your cannabis journey.
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