CBD has been appearing in a wide spectrum of consumer goods recently, from topical salves to seltzers and soap. Now add olive oil to the list of CBD-infused products.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a chemical in marijuana that does not contain THC, the psychoactive ingredient that produces a high. CBD is now commonly sold in oil, extract or pill form, or as an additive to consumer goods.
CBD, like all cannabinoids, are lipophilic, meaning that they love fat. They are most easily and readily absorbed when paired with a fat such as olive oil.
Though the research on CBD’s effects is still in its infancy, companies selling CBD and CBD products, nutritionists and everyday users claim it can be used to soothe ailments from anxiety to inflammation, and the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved its use in treating epilepsy.
But what does the research say about CBD and what happens when it is mixed in olive oil?
See more: Olive Oil Health News
Emily Kyle, a holistic cannabis practitioner and registered dietician, said the early research on CBD suggests it can help with “anxiety and depression, sleep disorders, epilepsy and seizure disorders, pain and inflammation. It is believed that CBD can nourish the body’s own endocannabinoid system, which is directly responsible for maintaining homeostasis or balance, in the body.”
Though the amount of CBD and its purity matters in its potential effectiveness, Kyle said consuming it with a fat, such as olive oil, can help the chemical work.
“CBD, like all cannabinoids, are lipophilic, meaning that they love fat,” Kyle said. “They are most easily and readily absorbed when paired with a fat such as olive oil.”
Kyle said it is important to pair CBD with an overall healthy diet to ensure the best outcomes, and that “olive oil is an excellent heart-healthy option to pair CBD with.”
Brooke Brun is the co-founded KB Pure Essentials, which sells olive oil and CBD products, including lip balm, deodorant, shampoo, makeup remover, body lotion, tinctures and more. KB Pure Essential products are made from a blend of CBD and olive oil, in part to improve the taste and aroma of the products, but also because of olive oil’s health properties.
“CBD is fat-soluble, so we chose a fatty oil to blend with the CBD,” Brun said. “It also helps with the taste. Alcohol or MCT oil supplement oils tend to have a really bad taste. High-quality olive oil on its own has many benefits to the brain and physical health so we felt it complemented the benefits of the CBD.”
Brun said KB Pure has a trained chemist on staff to ensure the ingredients in their products do not interact in a negative way. In fact, the process to blend the CBD and olive oil requires attention.
“The CBD concentrate won’t just simply mix with the olive oil,” Brun said. “It needs to be heated – but not too hot –and homogenized into the olive oil to make sure you are getting a consistent dose of CBD each time to take it. If you do not do that, the pure concentrate is like sap that will just sink to the bottom of the bottle of olive oil.”
That said, Kyle added that everyday people can absolutely combine olive oil and CBD at home to create a mixture that works for them.
Brun said KB Pure products are commonly used by seniors and athletes to manage pain, and that she recommends folks interested in trying CBD and olive oil combinations try topical salves at first.
“About 80 percent of our clients are trying to manage their pain and/or get off opioids they have been taking for years,” Brun said. “Our clients dealing with stress management or sleep issues typically go for the sublingual oils since there are not really any neurological benefits from using CBD topically.”
Keep in mind, as with everything that is ingested, that there are risks or at least potential risks. The FDA is still researching the long-term effects of CBD, how it affects special population, such as pregnant women and children, and its cumulative effect – if a person ingests it, uses it in a salve and takes another product, the outcome for every person is yet to be determined.
And the FDA warns that CBD and CBD products are “being marketed with unproven medical claims.” In short, though CBD is legal at the federal level, use it at your own risk. And, Brun said, be mindful of its effects.
“It is not a cure, and it doesn’t work for everyone who uses it,” she said. “But that’s the same for every medication and supplement out on the market today.”