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What are MCTs?

MCT stands for Medium Chain Triglyceride. These are lipids (aka fats) found in natural sources that have two or three fatty acids and medium chain lengths (6-12 carbon atoms) which makes them easy for the body to process.

Where are MCTs used?

MCTs are used in a variety of different products and have grown significantly in popularity due to the rise of the modern wellness trend.

Food – MCTs are found in the cooking oil aisle as an alternative to traditional long chain triglycerides (LCTs) such as canola oil and olive oil. They are known to be healthier alternatives because the body can more easily metabolize medium chain triglycerides and therefore they are less likely to be stored in the body as excess weight. The popularity of the keto diet, which involves a high fat diet and intermittent fasting to put the body into ketosis, has made foods that are high in MCTs even more popular. This includes MCT oils, like coconut oil, and other forms of oils and powders that can be included in recipes, protein shakes, and health shakes.

Cosmetics – MCTs have long been used in cosmetics and personal care products. They impart a nourishing smooth sensory profile without being overly greasy or oily. The most commonly used MCT for cosmetics is caprylic/capric triglyceride (CCT) which is a combination of C8 and C10 carbon chains. CCT is lighter and less oily than longer chain oils, such as safflower oil or olive oil, which makes it ideal for cosmetics.

CBD products – MCTs are coupled with CBD in many forms including ingestibles and topicals. Next, we’ll take a closer look at this favorite couple.

Why are MCTs used in tandem with CBD

In the food industry, medium chain triglycerides are proven to be easier to metabolize and so they became popular in the health and wellness space. Because of this characteristic, they are also often used as carriers for CBD. It is thought that MCTs may aid in the body’s processing and absorbing of the CBD. Increasingly, this pair is used in many different tinctures, gummies, supplements, and oils.


Of course, when we talk about CBD topicals, the way the CBD interacts with your body is completely different. Topicals don’t rely on digestion for you to feel CBD’s beneficial effects so MCTs serve a different purpose in these products. In skincare and other topical products, MCTs are cost-effective carriers for the CBD. In skincare oils, including an MCT helps you deliver CBD to skin with a soft & nourishing feel. In water-based products, MCT helps incorporate CBD into the formula while still having those amazing sensory effects.

Target market for MCTs

Trends crossing over from food to beauty is nothing new – think organics, antioxidants or superfoods, the list goes on and on. As consumers continue to explore the wellness benefits of CBD coupled with MCTs it’s easy to assume the pair will grow in popularity in cosmetics as well. Claims about MCTs in skincare are already starting to pop up in CBD skincare products like Smith & Cult Locked & Lit Lip Balm.

No matter what format your CBD is in, the combination of cannabinoids with MCT appeals to wellness gurus, keto lifestylists, cannabis users, and the casual health seeker. These increasingly growing categories of consumers are tuned in to hero plants and natural ingredients.
If you are looking to add an MCT to your CBD product, check out INOLEX natural and sustainable MCTs – SustOleo™ MCT and Lexol® GT-865 MB.

Medium Chain Triglycerides from INOLEX

SustOleo™ MCT

Medium Chain Triglyceride
  • 100% natural from non-palm sources
  • Medium chain triglyceride emollient
  • Comparable sensory to caprylic/capric triglyceride
  • Nourishing after feel with low residue
View Product

Lexol™ GT-865 MB

Medium Chain Triglyceride Emollient
  • 100% plant-based emollient
  • NATRUE approved
  • High quality caprylic/capric triglyceride
  • Derived from RSPO Mass Balance palm oil
View Product

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