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Is CBD water-soluble?

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Contents

  1. What is water-soluble CBD?
  2. CBD bioavailability
  3. How is water-soluble CBD made?
  4. The science behind water-soluble CBD
  5. Does CBD oil have to be water-soluble?
  6. How long does water-soluble CBD stay in your system?
  7. How can water-soluble CBD be taken?
  8. How is water-soluble CBD isolate made?

Think back to grade school, when you first experimented mixing oil and water. You’ll likely recall that oil sits on the water but doesn’t combine. Cannabidiol (CBD) oil has a similar reaction. CBD oil is hydrophobic, meaning it is repelled by water, and resists absorption by the body, leaving up to 90% of the cannabinoid to pass through the body unused.

Enter water-soluble CBD products. CBD is more compatible with water when it is formulated as a water-soluble product such as a nanoemulsion, liposomal product, or microemulsion. The CBD does not truly dissolve in water but water-soluble CBD is helping to unlock the cannabinoid’s potential by making it more effective and versatile.

What is water-soluble CBD?

In water-soluble CBD formulations, the CBD molecules are manipulated to dissolve better in water. However, the term water-soluble is inaccurate, since CBD molecules will never fully dissolve in water, but can be transformed into a more water-compatible form.

“It isn’t that the chemical composition of CBD is changing to be more soluble in water, because then it wouldn’t actually be CBD anymore, but CBD can be packaged in a more easily absorbable vehicle,” explained Matthew Halpert, Ph.D. Halpert is a lecturer in the Department of Pathology and Immunology at Baylor College of Medicine, and a CBD researcher at Medterra, a manufacturer of CBD products.

When CBD molecules are incorporated into water using an advanced process that breaks the oil particles into tiny molecules, the body is able to derive more benefits from the product. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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When producing water-soluble CBD, the oil particles are separated into tiny molecules by an advanced technological process. The molecules are then coated with a carrier or surfactant to stabilize them and keep them suspended in water. Smaller particle sizes allow the CBD molecules to disseminate more easily throughout water.

When CBD molecules are incorporated into water in this way, the human body is able to derive more benefits from the product. The human body is composed of up to 60% water so it makes sense that the more water soluble a product is, the easier it is for the body to transport and absorb it.

CBD bioavailability

To fully understand the benefits of water-soluble CBD, it’s essential to understand the bioavailability of CBD. Bioavailability can be defined as the quantity of a substance that enters the bloodstream. CBD in its traditional oil form resists absorption into the bloodstream, which delays the onset of its impact on the user.

Another issue that limits oral CBD from reaching the bloodstream is a phenomenon called the first-pass effect. The concentration of the compound is greatly reduced before it can circulate throughout the body’s system because it can’t progress past the liver when ingested as an oil. This reduction in concentration also results in a decrease in bioavailability.

Reduced bioavailability affects some of the most common and convenient forms of CBD such as capsules, soft gels, tinctures, and edibles. Vaping CBD oil can yield more benefits because the molecules are transported by vapor particles and are therefore more easily absorbed by the lungs.

How is water-soluble CBD made?

Ultrasound is used to create vacuum bubbles in the CBD molecules, which causes them to implode, hit surrounding bubbles, and break into smaller droplets. Water-soluble CBD is generally either prepared as a liposome, nanoemulsion, or a microemulsion.

“Water-soluble” CBD boasts a rapid onset and greater efficacy. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Liposome: Liposomes are a potent way of delivering nutrients to the body. With liposomal CBD, the CBD molecule is surrounded by or attached to a fat.

Once the liposome reaches its destination and fuses with the cell, it releases the CBD. Liposomal CBD droplets measure between 100 and 5,000 nanometers.

Nanoemulsion: Nanoemulsions atomize CBD molecules even further, making them easier for the body to absorb. Smaller drops create a larger surface area to interact with the body’s tissues and enzymes.

The average size of a droplet of nano-emulsified CBD is 25 nanometers. Nanoemulsions are usually mixed with penetration enhancers to help spread the CBD further. They can be taken either orally or topically, with uptake occurring almost immediately after administration. This should result in higher potency and faster onset of action for lower doses.

Microemulsion: CBD microemulsions are also available but are less common. Microemulsion droplets measure between 100 and 5,000 nanometers, which means they can penetrate a larger surface area, but they require the use of surfactants to dilute the compound.

Microemulsions require ten times as many surfactants as nanoemulsions. A surfactant is a substance that helps to reduce the surface tension of CBD oil, increasing its ability to spread and disperse. Less is more when it comes to surfactants in products which will be ingested, which is why nanoemulsions are more popular.

All of these formulations increase the bioavailability of CBD so it can be better absorbed by the body.

The science behind water-soluble CBD

Both liposomes and nanoemulsions have been well-researched with a range of compounds.

“There are decades worth of scientific research that provide evidence of liposomes increasing the bioavailability of molecules not easily taken in by the body,” Halpert said.

Liposome, nanoemulsion, or a microemulsion formulations increase the bioavailability of CBD so it can be better absorbed by the body. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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However, research on liposomal CBD and CBD nanoemulsions is still in the early stages. There are a few published studies which suggest promising results.

A 2018 review published in “Molecules” found that the lipophilic nature of CBD rendered it a good candidate for nanotechnology drug delivery strategies.

A 2019 pre-clinical study investigated the efficacy of a CBD nanoemulsion in rats. The researchers found the nanoemulsion improved bioavailability by about 65%, and accelerated the onset of action of the CBD.

A 2018 study published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences investigated the bioavailability of Sativex oromucosal spray compared with a CBD/THC nanoformulation in 14 healthy male volunteers. On the days that the volunteers received the nanoformulation, they experienced faster absorption and improved bioavailability of the product.

Does CBD oil have to be water-soluble?

CBD can still offer benefits when administered as an oil. For those who prefer their supplements in a more familiar form, CBD oil will likely eternally hold appeal, although it doesn’t have the bioavailability of water-soluble CBD. It is likely, however, that the trend will continue towards more CBD products that utilize the nano-emulsification process.

CBD can still offer benefits when administered as an oil. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Halpert does stress, however, that not all water-soluble CBD is necessarily better. It can actually be worse if made using poor production techniques.

How long does water-soluble CBD stay in your system?

The absorption rate, the degradation rate of the CBD, and the receptivity of the individual to the product will all contribute to the length of time results are felt.

“The jury is still out on how long water-soluble CBD can remain in the body,” Halpert said.

Although there is no hard and fast answer, it is worth noting that high-quality, third-party tested, water soluble CBD boasts quicker onset and greater efficacy. Water soluble also requires a smaller dose due to its enhanced bioavailability, meaning the same size bottle of CBD should last longer.

How can water-soluble CBD be taken?

Water-soluble CBD is highly versatile and is often sold in liquid or powder form. It’s also available in oral, topical, and nasal spray forms. Nanoemulsified CBD is translucent, meaning it is visually undetectable when stirred into beverages. It can also be incorporated into food, allowing it to be widely used in everyday life.

Water-soluble CBD is also particularly useful when applied as a topical formula. While oily CBD creams sit on the skin, water-based serums can more effectively soak in by penetrating the spaces between cells.

How is water-soluble CBD isolate made?

CBD isolate is created when CBD molecules are subjected to a more complex process of extraction than full-spectrum CBD oil. The end result is CBD isolated into a crystalline form, without additional cannabinoids or terpenes.

Even CBD isolate, a highly purified form of CBD, is still hydrophobic. Nanotechnology is needed for CBD isolate to become more compatible with water.

“Water-soluble CBD isolate is the exact same CBD isolate as before, but it just goes through this extra process of packaging on the nano-scale,” Halpert said.

Is CBD water-soluble? Copy article link to clipboard. Link copied to clipboard. Contents What is water-soluble CBD? CBD bioavailability How is water-soluble CBD made?

Is Water-Soluble CBD Better Than CBD Oil?

One of the most popular groups of products on the market – and one that’s gaining traction like crazy – are those that contain CBD. CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is one of over 100 chemical compounds (referred to as cannabinoids) that comes from cannabis plants.

They can be used for many different purposes, they come in many forms, and they’re completely safe for use.

But, as consumers decide how and when to incorporate CBD products into their daily routines, one aspect to consider is the two most popular forms that CBD can come in. Here, we’ll be focusing specifically on water-soluble CBD in comparison to CBD oil, the characteristics and uses of each, and how to determine which might be a better fit for your lifestyle needs.

What Is CBD Oil?

First, let’s talk about CBD oil. Without a doubt, it’s one of the more common CBD products you will see on the shelves these days, but equally as common are some of the misperceptions that surround it. Essentially, CBD oil is simply any product where its CBD component has been extracted from a cannabis plant, then added to an oil (such as coconut or hemp seed oil, for example) to be diluted.

What Are the Characteristics of CBD Oil?

Because CBD oil is an oil, just like any other, its characteristics are similar to those of other oil types. Though it contains CBD (which, you’ll recall, is a cannabinoid), CBD oil does not contain another well-known cannabinoid called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the chemical compound responsible for the psychoactive effects of “getting high” that users often experience when using marijuana and other cannabis products. Because CBD oil does not contain THC, a key characteristic of CBD oil is its ability to transfer some of the benefits of cannabis, but without the psychoactive “high” sensation.

As an oil, consumers can use CBD oil in a variety of ways. Users can ingest CBD oil, apply it topically, or inhale it. But, given the physiological constraints that oil undergoes while being digested in our digestive systems, researchers have concluded that rubbing CBD oil directly onto the skin, dropping some under the tongue, or even vaping the oil can bypass these digestive blockages and allow all of the CBD and its benefits to enter the body’s circulation. If CBD oil is ingested normally, it’s estimated that only about 10 to 20 percent will actually reach the bloodstream.

What Is Water-Soluble CBD?

Like CBD oil, water-soluble CBD does not contain THC which, you’ll recall, is what produces the psychoactive “high” effects. But, unlike CBD oil, water-soluble CBD is a CBD extract that has been scientifically converted to a water-soluble form, making it much easier for the body to absorb.

What Are the Characteristics of Water-Soluble CBD?

CBD, a naturally oil-soluble substance, is converted into a water-soluble one by way of breaking down the oil into small particles then coating the particles with a bio-encapsulation that ensures the CBD is stabilized. In essence, what we are left with is a light, water-soluble, powdery CBD extract that can be fully digested and absorbed by the body.

What Are the Common Uses of Water-Soluble CBD?

Once CBD oil has been encapsulated to be made water-soluble, its uses can be expanded to nearly any product in which consumers want to include it. Because of its amazing potential to be fully absorbed in the body, water-soluble CBD gets more bang for its buck when added to drinks, foods, or other means of consumption. When water-soluble CBD is used in this capacity, there’s no fear of low CBD absorption levels, nor is there fear of psychoactive effects (since, again, water-soluble CBD does not contain THC).

When Is It Better to Use Water-Soluble CBD?

Though choosing between water-soluble CBD products and CBD oil products is obviously each individual’s choice, the key to deciding which could be right for you is by evaluating your priorities.

Do you like the taste of CBD oil? Do you like applying it topically to your skin as part of your care regimen? And how about vaping CBD oil – do you enjoy it? If so, continuing to use CBD oil as a means to glean its benefits, while also enjoying the product itself, is perfectly fine and recommended.

If you’re not a strong fan of CBD oil’s taste, if you’re not interested in using it as a skin enhancer, or if you’re not interested in vaping the oil, water-soluble CBD is the better option to choose.

If you’re simply interested in getting the maximal results of CBD, without the psychoactive effects of THC, consider incorporating water-soluble CBD products into your diet.

In conclusion, is water-soluble CBD better than CBD oil? Though each individual’s CBD priorities will affect the answer to this question, there’s no denying that water-soluble CBD is more easily absorbed by the body through a wider variety of consumption methods.

But, the choice is yours.

Interested in Learning More about Which CBD Product Is Right for You?

If you’re interested in learning more about what you can expect from CBD oil and water-soluble CBD, look no further than The Hemp Doctor.

At The Hemp Doctor, our goal is to give customers accurate information on CBD and hemp products and to provide only the best, safest, and purest hemp and CBD products available on the market. If you’re interested in learning more about CBD products, how water-soluble CBD differs from CBD oil, and how you can use both in a variety of ways, contact us online today.

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