Lemon essential oil as carrier for cbd tincure

Essential Oils to Pair with CBD

Many people have seek out the benefits of CBD oil for its potential healing properties, which got us thinking about other natural remedies like essential oils, and how these two might work well together. Essential oils aren’t created in the same process as CBD oils, nor are they administered in the same fashion.

However, these two oils are similar in the sense that neither is a verified form of treatment for any condition, yet individuals have used these holistic methods of healing to find their own relief.

We felt that it was necessary to outline what essential oils work best when paired with CBD, and what purpose they may be best suited for based on anecdotal and scientific evidence.

For sleep

Your body’s endocannabinoid system helps maintain and regulate hormones that play a role in mood, pain sensation, and even sleep patterns. The cannabinoid receptors throughout the body absorb CBD, which may help balance hormone levels related to sleep and stress.

Some people use CBD as a sleep aid to help calm their mind and body before bed, especially those that frequently suffer from restless nights due to insomnia, anxiety or excessive stress. CBD holds potential for enhancing sleep, but you can utilize essential oils in conjunction with CBD to promote relaxation and a quality night’s rest.

One of the most popular essential oils is lavender, as it has many wellness properties. Lavender has been shown to relieve stress and induce sleep, and many people turn to this essential oil for its calming effects.

Beyond lavender, roman chamomile essential oils have soothing qualities that might help you drift off into a nice slumber. Chamomile has an ancient history of healing, and these essential oils are commonly used as a mild sedative to reduce anxiety, nightmares, insomnia, and other sleep issues.

For an energy boost

Although CBD may offer improved sleep quality when taken at higher doses, many people are unaware that CBD acts as a stimulant when dosed in small amounts. CBD attaches to CB1 cannabinoid receptors in the central nervous system, which have a functional interaction with adenosine receptors.

Caffeine, another well-known stimulant, agitates the same receptors to enhance concentration and fight off feelings of tiredness. When using modest CBD potencies for a boost of energy, these effects may be amplified when CBD is paired with essential oils that promote alertness and focus.

Lemon essential oils are great for starting your day off right, as they are commonly used to alleviate stress and reduce fatigue. The powerful citrus scent of lemon has also been shown to amplify positive moods, which might rejuvenate energy when you’re feeling sluggish. Peppermint essential oil is another good option, as it enhances memory and increases alertness. In addition, peppermint offers a cooling sensation that stimulates one’s olfactory and somatosensory receptors in multiple ways.

For relaxation and restoration

CBD is often praised for its analgesic and anxiolytic properties, which have the potential to enhance relaxation and stress relief for some users (this is why many people take CBD oil for anxiety). CBD may also be useful when applied topically to localized areas, as it might reduce pain, swelling, or tenderness with its anti-inflammatory effects. Although CBD may help calm the mind and body on its own, employing the help of essential oils like eucalyptus and jasmine is a natural way to heighten the possible relaxation effects of CBD.

Much like peppermint essential oil, eucalyptus essential oil has a soothing property thanks to its signature cool feeling and strong scent. Eucalyptus may also stimulate the brain to reduce mental exhaustion, or alleviate joint and muscle pain with its anti-inflammatory effects. After all, it’s easier to unwind when you aren’t overly tense or uncomfortable.

Relaxing can also be difficult when you feel stressed or anxious, which jasmine essential oils may be better suited to address. The scent of jasmine can encourage a sense of well-being, and it’s often thought that it calms the nerves without causing sleepiness, unlike many other essential oils.

Carrier Oils for CBD: How to Choose the Best One

Adrienne Dellwo is an experienced journalist who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and has written extensively on the topic.

Verywell Health articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and healthcare professionals. These medical reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more.

Lana Butner, ND, LAc, is a board-certified naturopathic doctor and licensed acupuncturist in New York City.

If you’ve ever used a CBD oil, you’ve gotten more from the product than just cannabidiol (CBD). For multiple reasons, manufacturers include a carrier oil, too.

As its name suggests, a carrier oil delivers (or carries) the contents of the active compound. In this case, it’s CBD. In the realm of beauty products, carrier oils dilute essential oils because the essential oil may be too strong on its own. (For example, a lavender reaction from lavender oil can cause the skin to itch, burn, or break out in blisters.)

Carrier oils are important to CBD because they help dissolve the cannabinoid’s molecules so they can be absorbed by the body. Many carrier oils are similar, but they may have differences that could be important to you for various reasons. For example, most of them are nut-based or plant-based, and you could be allergic to them. Oils that are taken orally may not taste good to you. Reading the label is a smart move—as long as you know what you’re looking for.

This article explains the purpose of carrier oils and the possible side effects. It also describes the six carrier oils you’re likely to see in stores and online, including their advantages and drawbacks.

Marketing Outpaces Science

CBD is an abbreviation for cannabidiol. It’s one of 100-plus chemicals in the cannabis plant that may have health benefits. It’s widely assumed that CBD oil can relieve arthritis pain, chronic pain, and chronic nerve pain as well as reduce inflammation, ease anxiety, and improve sleep. Researchers are actively studying other uses for CBD oil, particularly in terms of slowing cancer cell growth.

Purpose of CBD Carrier Oils

CBD products use different carrier oils, sometimes alone and sometimes in combinations. They serve several important functions:

Better Absorption

One key reason for using a carrier oil is that it improves bioavailability, which means it helps your body absorb CBD oil. CBD is fat-soluble, which means that it dissolves in oil rather than water. Fat-soluble substances are better absorbed when digested along with fat, even in small amounts.

When you digest water-soluble substances, like sugar or many vitamins and minerals, your digestive tract sends them directly into your bloodstream (because blood is a water-based liquid).

Fat-soluble substances can’t be absorbed this way. Instead, your digestive tract sends them into fatty tissues and they’re distributed through your body by the lymphatic system, which is part of your immune system. Any excess is stored in your liver and fatty tissues for later use.

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All carrier oils are fat-soluble, which means CBD dissolves in it. Then the oil carries the CBD into the proper tissues so they’re more accessible by your body.

Know Your Tinctures

CBD products have introduced consumers to a new lexicon. For example, concentrated CBD oil usually taken through a dropper is known as a tincture.

Easier Dosing

CBD is a potent chemical, which means you don’t need much of it for a medicinal effect. However, this poses a problem when it comes to dosing. To deliver accurate and consistent doses, it’s easier to measure out a dropperful of CBD-infused oil than a tiny amount of crystalline isolate (which is CBD in pure form).

Added Health Benefits

Carrier oils sometimes include health benefits all on their own. For example, olive oil has gotten a lot of attention for its heart-healthy benefits.

If there’s an oil you’d like to get more of in your diet, adding it to your CBD regimen is one way to get it. (This said, it remains debatable whether one or two droppers of carrier oil a day is enough to have any tangible effect on your health. This is another CBD-related topic that falls under the category of “more research is required.”)

CBD Products Come From Hemp

CBD products almost always are derived from hemp, which is botanically and legally different from the marijuana plant. By law, CBD products can’t contain more than 0.3% THC (short for delta-9- tetrahydrocannabinol ), which is the chemical in marijuana that creates a high.

Side Effects and Precautions

Most people don’t have side effects from common carrier oils. Some oils, though, may not be right for people with certain illnesses or who take certain medications. Always check with your healthcare provider before adding anything to your dietary regimen—even a “natural” product like CBD in a carrier oil. Natural doesn’t always mean safe.

If you have tree-nut allergies or other food allergies, be especially diligent about selecting CBD products with carrier oils you know are safe for you. All ingredients should be specified on the label.

For topical preparations, know that some carrier oils or other added ingredients may cause an itchy, red rash called allergic contact dermatitis. Others may cause a skin reaction after sun exposure. Be sure you’re familiar with the potential side effects of whatever products you’re using. And play it safe by testing a miniscule amount of topical oil on an obscure patch of skin to see if you develop a reaction.

What About Essential Oils?

Carrier oils aren’t the same thing as essential oils used for aromatherapy. Essential oils are highly concentrated, which is why they have a strong fragrance. Many essential oils can cause poisoning when ingested or absorbed through the skin, even in small amounts. This is true even if the oil comes from something that is normally safe to ingest, such as nutmeg.

Essential oils are often used topically (on the skin) after being diluted by a carrier oil. Essential oils themselves, however, should never be used as a carrier oil. Some topical CBD formulations may include essential oils such as lavender or eucalyptus oils because of their purported health benefits.

Before using these products, be sure you’re familiar with the ingredients and that you’re not allergic to any of them. Watch also for side effects, which can occur soon after using them.

Common Carrier Oils

Some CBD oils may contain one or more carrier oils. Some common carrier oils are:

  • Medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil
  • Hemp seed oil
  • Olive oil
  • Avocado oil


MCT oil is the most common carrier oil for CBD products. It can be derived from coconut or palm kernel oil, but coconut is the most common source. On labels, it’s sometimes listed as fractionated coconut oil, which means it contains more liquid than solid compared to normal coconut oil, thanks to fatty acids.

Medium-chain triglycerides are a type of fatty acid that your body can quickly absorb because it doesn’t have to break it down via digestion before sending it off to the lymph system. It also absorbs easily through the skin.

Long-chain triglycerides require more digestion time. Short-chain triglycerides are often consumed by gut bacteria before they’ve had time to be absorbed. So MCTs are the most useful.


  • Quick absorption due to molecular structure
  • 90% saturated fat, which also aids absorption
  • Light, thin oil
  • Almost flavorless
  • Doesn’t require chemical processing
  • Less expensive than some carrier oils
  • Slow to break down and go rancid


  • Temporary digestive side effects (nausea, gas, diarrhea, vomiting) in some people
  • Possible excessive build-up of ketones in the body (dangerous with poorly controlled diabetes)
  • Not recommended for people with liver disease
  • May interact with cholesterol-lowering statin drugs

Additional Health Claims

Some scientific evidence suggests that MCT oil may:

  • Help with weight loss by reducing your appetite, increasing metabolism, and making your body burn calories faster
  • Have benefits for people with autism, epilepsy, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Activate the immune system to fight yeast and bacterial overgrowth

While promising, much of this research is preliminary. More research is needed before MCT oil can be recommended for these uses.

Scrutinize Coconut Oil Labels

If the label of a CBD product says “coconut oil,” it’s likely regular coconut oil and not MCT. While perfectly fine as a carrier oil, regular coconut oil may not have all of the same benefits of an MCT.

Hemp Seed Oil

It may come from the same plant, but hemp seed oil (sometimes called hemp oil) and CBD oil aren’t the same thing. CBD comes from the flower while hemp seed oil comes from the seeds. The seeds contain fewer beneficial chemicals (cannabinoids and terpenes) than the flower and in much lower concentrations. However, they do contain some hemp phytochemicals that aren’t present in the flowers.

Using hemp seed oil as a carrier oil for CBD may contribute to what’s called the “entourage effect,” which basically means that combining parts of the plant may make each component more effective than it would be alone.

This quality makes hemp seed oil a popular choice for “full-spectrum” products, which contain all of the component chemicals of the hemp plant rather than just CBD.


  • Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which may lower inflammation
  • Ideal ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids
  • High antioxidant levels
  • Good source of fiber
  • Contains magnesium, calcium, iron, and zinc
  • Possible entourage effect


  • Lower solvency than MCT oil, meaning it can’t hold as much CBD
  • Higher priced than MCT oil
  • Flavor (sometimes described as “sharp” or “herby”) may clash with some palates
  • Side effects may include diarrhea, nausea, throat irritation, slow heart rate, high blood pressure

Buyer Beware

Some companies try to pass off hemp seed oil as CBD oil. Be sure to check the ingredients and amount of CBD a product contains before you buy it. All reputable companies should provide this information on their labels and websites.

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Additional Health Claims

Hemp seed has been used medicinally for a wide array of conditions, most of which have not been researched enough to say for sure whether they’re safe and effective. The conditions include:

    , for its anti-inflammatory properties and blood pressure and other conditions involving skin inflammation

Olive Oil

Olive oil is probably the carrier oil you’re most familiar with. It’s certainly the best researched. It’s become one of the most commonly used cooking oils because of its many well-established health benefits:


  • High in iron, vitamin K, vitamin E
  • Rich in antioxidants
  • Highly trusted
  • Absorbed by the skin even faster than MCT


  • Its long-chain triglycerides are slower to absorb than MCT (but may absorb more efficiently)
  • Lower solvency than MCT, meaning it can’t hold as much CBD
  • Thicker than most other carrier oils, which may be unpleasant
  • Flavor is relatively strong and may be distasteful to some people

Additional Health Claims

Thanks to a significant amount of research, olive oil is known to:

  • Boost immunity
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Increase good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol
  • Prevent blood platelet clumping, which can cause heart attacks
  • Aid in blood clotting
  • Improve gut-bacteria balance
  • Support proper nerve function
  • Prevent cognitive decline
  • Protect bones from thinning (osteoporosis)

Avocado Oil

Avocado oil has become more popular for a variety of uses, including cooking, as researchers have learned about its health benefits. As a CBD carrier oil, it’s used most often in topical products, but you can also find it in products that are meant to be ingested.


  • Quickly and easily absorbed by your skin and digestive tract
  • Nutty flavor may be more pleasant than some alternatives
  • Especially good for topical uses
  • Rich in antioxidants
  • High in vitamins A, B, D, and E


  • Much thicker than most carrier oils, which may be unpleasant
  • Significantly more expensive than many carrier oils
  • Higher allergy risk than many carrier oils

Additional Health Claims

Most of the research into avocado oil has been performed on animals, not people. Until researchers take this next step, preliminary evidence suggests that avocado oil may:

  • Lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol, which decreases the risk of heart disease
  • Improve glucose tolerance and reduce insulin resistance, providing protection from diabetes
  • Improve metabolic markers

Avocado oil is less likely than many oils to clog your pores, so it’s popular for topical use. Plus, its slow drying time may help it last longer than some topical preparations.

Allergy Warning

Avocado allergies are possible. If you experience itching in your mouth after ingesting avocados or avocado oil, don’t ingest any more before talking with your healthcare provider about it. Some allergies tend to occur together. People with avocado allergies may be especially sensitive to:

  • Bananas
  • Watermelons
  • Cucumbers
  • Kiwis
  • Other fruits and vegetables
  • Latex

If you have an allergic reaction to any of these things, you should be tested for a reaction to the others as well.

Extreme Symptoms Are Possible

Extreme allergy symptoms, such as difficulty breathing or anaphylaxis, are uncommon (but possible) with avocados because digestive enzymes tend to break down the allergen before it’s absorbed into your body. Get emergency medical attention if you experience these symptoms.


Carrier oils are important to CBD because they help dissolve the cannabinoid’s molecules so they can be absorbed by the body. Many carrier oils are similar, but they may have differences that could be important to you for various health reasons. One key reason for using a carrier oil is that it improves bioavailability, which means it helps your body absorb CBD oil. Besides, to deliver accurate and consistent doses, it’s easier to measure out a dropperful of CBD-infused oil than a tiny amount of crystalline isolate (which is CBD in pure form). Carrier oils also may have health benefits all on their own. Four common carrier oils are medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil, hemp seed oil, olive oil, and avocado oil.

A Word From Verywell

Many people are quick to ask: “Which CBD carrier oil is the best?” Now you know that the answer depends on several factors, including the type and uses of the CBD product, whether you have allergies or certain health conditions, and your personal preferences. So look at it this way: If you try one oil and don’t like it, you can always try a different one. Meanwhile, be sure to ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for advice along the way.

CBD, Essential Oils, And Terpenes – What you need to know

Have you ever wondered about the smell and taste of your CBD tinctures?

Why do some tinctures have an earthy odor, and some have aromas like mint, and still some others don’t seem to have any smell at all?

What makes some CBD products taste nutty, or grassy, or even bitter?

We followed our nose to find the best answers to your questions about CBD, terpenes, and essential oils and and here is what we found.

Full Spectrum CBD and Terpenes

Terpenes (terpenoids) are the chemical compounds responsible for the aroma and flavor of a plant.

They serve an essential purpose in plants: terpenes may attract pollinators or even repel predators that may consume the plant.

It is a combination of terpenes that give many CBD oils their unique smell and taste.

Hemp plants used to make CBD include a variety of terpenes. Some of the common terpenes found in cannabis include Limonene (also found in citrus plants), Pinene (also found in Pine), Linalool (found in lavender and over 200 plant species) and Myrcene (also found in thyme and lemongrass).

In CBD oil products these terpenes interact synergistically with the cannabinoids.

Some call this the entourage effect, and it’s the reason terpenes have become such a significant piece of the cannabis puzzle.

Full spectrum CBD is best for preserving naturally occurring elements valued for their beneficial effects.

These include: cannabinoids, vitamins, beta carotene, minerals, essential fats, and proteins.

Full spectrum CBD oil products also preserve the natural hemp terpenes, which is why you may notice an earthy smell and flavor.

Experts recognize that this natural aroma and taste is associated with a full spectrum CBD, and therefore offers the benefits of a full spectrum product.

Other types of CBD may not include all the beneficial cannabinoids, terpenes, and other elements found in full spectrum CBD.

Broad spectrum CBD is full spectrum CBD without the THC.

There are two ways that broad spectrum CBD can be manufactured.

The first is to add beneficial cannabinoids (minus the THC), terpenes, and flavonoids to CBD isolate.

The second method is to make broad spectrum CBD through additional processing of full spectrum CBD to remove all trace amounts of THC.

CBD isolate, obtained with supercritical CO2, only contains the single cannabinoid: CBD (cannabidiol). This process of extracting CBD removes all of the terpenes, leaving little to no flavor or aroma.

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It also removes flavonoids and other valuable cannabinoids like CBN, CBDV, THCV, CBG, CBC, and THCA, which work with your Endocannabinoid System (ECS) to help promote balance or homeostasis.

Keeping Your Body In Balance

The ECS is involved in multiple physiologic processes.

It is one of 12 systems that helps maintain your body.

Research being done to understand how cannabis affects our bodies led to finding and naming the system.

ECS receptors and endocannabinoids, which are chemical messengers produced by the body, work together along with enzymes to promote homeostasis.

Plant substances, or phytocannabinoids such as CBD, can stimulate or interact with your ECS.

And other natural plant compounds, particularly terpenes, have actions that are complementary to phytocannabinoids.

Despite the importance of terpenes, cannabinoids, and other beneficial elements, some companies will try to mask the taste, smell, and appearance of CBD by adding unnecessary ingredients such as artificial flavors, sweeteners, and colors.

Consumers looking for a full spectrum, natural remedy with clean, simple ingredients should read labels carefully.

Essential Oils and Terpenes

Hemp is not the only plant that delivers terpenes.

Almost all plants contain terpenes that can be extracted to create essential oils. Essential oils are highly concentrated oils obtained by cold-pressing or steam-distilling plant seeds, leaves, stems, roots, and, or fruits.

Terpenes are the primary component of essential oils along with other hydrocarbons.

Essential oils are not the same thing as natural or artificial flavoring, which may help with the flavor of the product but do not offer the benefit of terpenes.

Do not confuse essential oils with fragrance. Produced with potentially harmful chemicals, fragrances are not appropriate for consumption. When in doubt, always consult with a medical professional before trying any new substances.

There are hundreds of varieties of essential oils, each containing a specific mixture of terpenes, and each offering a unique set of benefits.

For instance, lavender contains a high linalool terpene concentration and is known for its soothing, relaxing properties.

Many people think essential oils are just used for aroma. Diffusers have become a popular way to use essential oils.

Others apply essential oils topically or add them to products like lotions and balms. It’s important to note that not all essential oils are made for consumption by humans, but some food and supplement companies are taking advantage of their terpene-rich benefits.

Several essential oils are generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for food and other products made for ingestion including CBD oil tinctures.

Examples include essential oils of Thyme, Coriander, Lemon, Ginger, Peppermint, plus others.

These essential oils will add both aroma and flavor, and of course beneficial terpenes.

CBD & Essential Oils Together At Last

A few pioneering companies have recognized the importance of terpenes in both full spectrum CBD oils and essential oils, and they have investigated ways that these substances may work together.

In some cases, the essential oils bring terpenes already found in the full spectrum CBD, so the existing terpenes have a greater effect.

In other cases the essential oils bring terpenes not found in the CBD, and provide added benefit by enhancing the overall terpene profile.

In both cases, essential oils may enhance the intrinsic benefits of CBD, and savvy brands are are offering CBD Oil tinctures formulated with essential oils to support specific health goals and regimens.

Here’s some information about CBD oil tinctures from one such company, CANVIVA ™ , including a description of the essential oils in each of their products.


A balanced digestive system is an important part of overall wellness.

CANVIVA enhances its BALANCE CBD Oil Tincture with Fenugreek and Thyme essential oils.

These essential oils complement the CBD oil by enhancing the terpene profile, specifically the terpene gamma-terpinene.


Keeping your energy level at an even keel is good both physically and mentally.

CANVIVA enhances its BOOST CBD Oil Tincture with Coriander and Lemon essential oils. These oils complement the CBD oil by containing high levels of the terpene limonene.


Relaxation is important to your overall well-being.

CANVIVA CALM CBD Oil Tincture contains Bergamot and Ylang Ylang essential oils.

Limonene and linalool terpenes in these essential oils enhance the benefits of the CBD oil.


Soothing sore muscles and reducing inflammation are part of recovery for athletes and weekend warriors alike.

CANVIVA RESTORE CBD Oil Tincture , is enhanced with Turmeric oil and Ginger essential oil, which complement the CBD oil.

Together, they boost the terpene level of trans-caryophyllene.


A good night’s rest can help you be your best you every day.

CANVIVA REST CBD Oil Tincture , enhanced with essential oils of Chamomile and Clary Sage , complement the CBD oil by intensifying the terpene linalool.


A calm mind can improve your focus and thought process.

CANVIVA FOCUS CBD Oil Tincture includes Holy Basil (Tulsi) and Lemon Balm essential oils.

These oils complement the CBD oil and contain the bisabolol terpene.

How To Take A CBD Tincture

Enhancing CBD with essential oils provides safe, effective choices perfect for wherever you are on your health and wellness journey.

So what is the optimal way to use these products?

Whether your tincture is a pure CBD oil blended with a carrier oil such as MCT, or that CBD oil tincture is further enhanced with an essential oil, the best way to take CBD oil tinctures is sublingually, or under your tongue.

Swallowing CBD is not the most efficient delivery method. It can take longer (as much as two hours) to take effect. Plus, its concentration lowers as it passes through the digestive and metabolic systems.

Depending on the strength of the tincture, a few drops held under the tongue for about one minute will allow absorption of the CBD into the bloodstream with a faster, stronger onset than just ingesting it.

The CBD absorbs directly into the capillaries and mucous membranes of the mouth, bypassing the digestive system and metabolism in the liver. The remainder may be swallowed, allowing for additional absorption. In this way, an individual choosing the sublingual delivery method may receive both immediate and long-lasting relief.


Choosing safe, full spectrum CBD products for yourself or a loved one is an important decision.

You want a brand that you can trust and CBD products that are natural, pure, and effective.

CANVIVA’s hemp-derived cannabinoid oil is phytocannabinoid-rich, full spectrum, and organically grown in the U.S.

CANVIVA’s mission, to be your trusted, go-to brand, begins by providing safe, effective, superior CBD products.

With six unique CBD oil tinctures formulated with essential oils, and no added flavors, sweeteners, or colors, they are a leading brand offering functional tincture products.

From inspiration to information, to education, CANVIVA is here to help you maximize your health so you can be your best you.

For more information about CANVIVA CBD products or how essential oils can enhance your CBD experience visit the CANVIVA website.