Understanding MCT

Posted by Max Brown on

We’re passionate about terpenes, or rather — the flavors, aromas and reported entourage effects produced by those terpenes. These elements are an incredibly important part of our industry space which means it’s paramount to get them just precisely right.

Let’s start out with the basics — what exactly is MCT oil, and what is it used for? MCT or Medium Chain triglycerides is a colorless and odorless substance made from coconut oil or palm oil. MCT oil is used as a thinning agent in cannabis and CBD vape cartridges. Vape cartridges contain active extract material, a thinning agent, and don’t forget about terpenes. Before any extract can be inhaled as water vapor, it first needs to be dissolved within a thinning agent such as MCT. The other thinning agents used for vaporizing oil are PG (propylene glycol), PEG (polyethylene glycol) and VG (vegetable glycerin).

So why do we prefer MCT in our line of flavors? Well, MCT’s are considered safe and healthy enough to be sold in stores as a health supplement, which is a pretty good start. MCT carriers have many added benefits other than simply serving as a carrier. They can improve glucose levels in individuals who suffer from Type II Diabetes, help control appetite, aid in weight loss, and are also used as an immediate source of energy rather than being tucked away as a fat store. MCT is not associated with any negative health risks.

Propylene glycol is a synthetic organic compound used in things like food coloring, toothpaste and asthma inhalers. It is a viscous, colorless liquid which is nearly odorless but possesses a faintly sweet taste. Though the FDA recognizes PG as generally safe for consumption, it should be avoided by those who suffer from allergies as it is allergenic. A 2017 study conducted at the Medical Marijuana Research Institute of Arizona concluded that vaporizing oils utilizing PG may risk harmful exposure to byproducts. Polyethylene glycol, which can contain ethylene oxide, is used in antifreeze and considered not safe for human consumption.

Multiple studies have shown that PEG break down into the carcinogens formaldehyde and acetaldehyde — especially when vaped at high temperatures. Vegetable glycerin is a vegetable based clear, colorless, and odorless liquid with an incredibly sweet taste and the consistency of a thick syrup. It’s used as an agent in toothpaste, cosmetics, shampoos, soaps, herbal remedies, pharmaceuticals, and other household items. While it produces the largest vapor clouds, there is evidence that VG can cause stiffness in the soft coverings of the lungs in some people.

So, are MCT’s healthier for you? Arguably yes, though this is still a hot topic of debate for some. The bottom line is that in comparison, MCT’s are by far the best carrier agent. They offer nutraceutical and medicinal benefits — something no other carrier has — in addition to the primary function of dissolving the active without separation so that it can be vaped. There is no conclusive evidence that vape pen consumers will develop pulmonary illnesses or cancers. Vaping has shown to offer the fastest, most efficient delivery system for cannabis and CBD and is by far the most convenient.

Everything you need is packaged up nicely within the vape cartridge. Whether you’re a manufacturer or a consumer it’s up to you to know the ingredients before buying.

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