MCT Oil vs. CBD Oil: Differences, Benefits, and Uses

MCT Oil vs CBD Oil

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The use of MCT oil and CBD oil for health has risen in the past several years. Although they are sometimes used for similar reasons, the majority of their uses and their chemical compositions are quite different. If you’ve been curious about how MCT oil stacks up against CBD oil, you’re in the right place. This article aims to clarify their differences, potential health benefits, and when to choose the right one for your pets.

What is MCT Oil?

Definition and Sources

The acronym MCT stands for Medium-Chain Triglycerides. MCT oil is a form of saturated fatty acid that is easier for the body to digest compared to long-chain triglycerides (LCTs) found in other foods. It is typically extracted from coconut oil or palm oil, though it can also be found in some dairy products.

MCT oils have several studied health benefits:

Health Benefits of MCT Oil

  1. Quick Energy Source: MCTs are rapidly converted into energy, making them an immediate fuel source for your body.
  2. Weight Management: Studies suggest that MCT oil can aid in weight loss by increasing the release of two hormones that promote the feeling of fullness.
  3. Brain Function Without Weight Gain: The ketones produced from MCTs can provide an alternative energy source for the brain.
  4. Antimicrobial Properties: MCTs have been shown to combat harmful bacteria and viruses, although it’s not known if they do this when used in the diet.

What is CBD Oil?

CBD oil is a product derived from the cannabis plant, specifically the hemp variant, which contains less than 0.3% THC (the psychoactive component). CBD stands for cannabidiol, one of over 100 cannabinoids in cannabis. Broad-spectrum oils contain no THC, and full-spectrum oils contain THC.

Health Benefits of CBD Oil

  • Pain Relief: CBD oil is known for its analgesic properties, particularly for chronic pain conditions.
  • Anti-Inflammatory: CBD helps in reducing inflammation, which can be beneficial in treating autoimmune diseases.
  • Mental Health: It has been studied to see if it can be useful in treating a range of mental health conditions like anxiety and depression. Some of these studies show promising results!
  • Anti-Seizure: FDA-approved CBD oil is also used for treating epilepsy and other seizure disorders.

Key Differences Between MCT Oil and CBD Oil


  • MCT Oil: Usually derived from coconuts or palm oil.
  • CBD Oil: Extracted from the hemp variant of the cannabis plant.

Chemical Composition

  • MCT Oil: Composed of medium-chain triglycerides.
  • CBD Oil: Primarily made of cannabidiol, along with other cannabinoids and terpenes.

Main Uses

  • MCT Oil: Mostly used for quick energy, weight loss, and cognitive function.
  • CBD Oil: Primarily used for medicinal purposes like pain relief, reducing inflammation, and treating mental health issues.


Which One Should You Choose?

For Quick Energy

If you are looking for quick energy, especially before a workout, MCT oil would be your go-to option.

For Pain and Inflammation

If you are dealing with chronic pain or inflammation, CBD oil for dogs is more suitable due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

For Mental Health

Both oils offer mental health benefits. MCT oil may offer cognitive function support without weight gain, while CBD oil is more suited for supporting anxiety and depression.

For Weight Loss

MCT oil is your best bet for weight loss, as it can help you feel full and boost your metabolism.

In Pets

MCT oils are being studied in dogs to see if they’re good for seizure treatment. These studies show that there may be a good potential for this use. CBD is most often used for pain, anxiety due to separation/travel/fireworks in dogs, and other pain or panic related ailments. 

How to Use MCT Oil and CBD Oil

  • MCT Oil: Can be taken as a supplement, used in cooking, or added to coffee.
  • CBD Oil: Usually consumed sublingually, or can be incorporated into balms, lotions, and even foods.

Side Effects and Precautions


  • Excessive use can lead to fat accumulation in the liver.
  • May cause digestive discomfort.


  • May interact with other medications.
  • Not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women without consulting a doctor.

Wait: My CBD oil says it has MCT oil in it!

This is normal! In fact, MCT oil is one of the best things to find in your CBD oil. CBD extract is thick, gunky, unpleasant, and extremely strong. To dilute it out to where it’s safe for you to use, or for you to give your pets, it has to be mixed or carried in something else.

This is where MCT oil comes in. MCT oil dilutes and carries CBD extract in amounts that make CBD easy to measure and use without overdosing (or having to try and give your dog something really gross!) For this reason, we refer to MCT as a carrier oil.

Relievet uses MCT oil as our sole carrier oil because of its health benefits, safety, because it can help your pet absorb CBD more readily, and because it tastes nice! Because you’re giving your pet such tiny doses, we almost never hear that dogs had digestive discomfort, and the amount used will not cause liver fat accumulation. 


While MCT oil and CBD oil both offer a range of benefits, and the “oil” in CBD oil is often MCT oil, they are different in terms of sources, chemical composition, and uses. Understanding these differences can help you make an informed decision based on you or your pet’s individual health goals. Always consult a healthcare provider before adding new supplements to your routine, and consult a vet before changing your pet’s health supplements!

biscuits story

Biscuit's Story

Chris Kjolseth | CEO, Relievet

I was unprepared for what would happen to my dog, Biscuit. 

Ever since she was a puppy, she’d spend her days running and playing. I’d take her on walks, to the beach, and dog parks.

Unfortunately, at age 10, she started to limp after trips to the beach. It broke my heart to see her in pain doing what she loved the most. I started feeding her a raw food diet and added high-quality supplements to ensure her nutritional needs were met. Unfortunately, while she loved the food, the limping persisted.

I went to the vet, who looked over Biscuit and said she was likely limping due to joint inflammation. She gave us something to help. This worked well at first. Biscuit was moving around more freely, and was limping less. 

However, a few days later, It was to my absolute shock that she…

Read Her Story

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