Just when you think you’ve got to grips with CBD terminology, a new concept comes along and turns your knowledge on its head.
CBD oil is available in many forms, from sweet gummies to plain capsules, but perhaps the most exciting new development is water soluble CBD.
Water-soluble CBD promises higher bioavailability, which means that more CBD can be utilised in the body.
Water-soluble CBD can also be added to hot and cold drinks, so it’s the ideal choice if you’re not a fan of sublingual drops.
It’s a good idea to approach any new CBD product with a healthy amount of scepticism.
However, water-soluble CBD oil could offer an upgrade to standard CBD oil, and it also opens up new methods for enjoying your daily CBD dose.
What's in this Guide?
What Is Water Soluble CBD?
CBD is not water-soluble in its natural state, but it can be processed to make it water-compatible. And this is about as close to water-soluble as we can get at this stage.
The most common method of creating water-soluble CBD is called nanoemulsion.
An emulsion is a mixture of two or more liquids that wouldn’t usually mix. A great example of this is oil and vinegar. If you pour vinegar into oil, the two will stay separate.
However, if you whisk them together, the fat molecules in the oil will break up and disperse throughout the vinegar. The result is a mixture that appears uniform – and tastes delicious on salad.
Emulsifying CBD works in a similar way. Nanoemulsion involves smashing the CBD particles into nano-proportions and then combining them with an emulsifier.
This doesn’t really make the CBD water-soluble.
Instead, it would be more accurate to describe it as water compatible.
The particles of CBD are small enough to appear to dissolve in water, but the CBD does not make a solution with the water. Another benefit of nanoemulsion is that the CBD particles can pass more easily through the mucous membranes.
How Does Water Soluble CBD work?
For CBD to be put to work in the body, it needs to enter the bloodstream. And this is the start of our compatibility issues. Blood is around 92% water. And CBD is naturally insoluble.
From our example above, we know what oil and water don’t mix. So when we ingest CBD oil, the body has to break it down to access the phytocannabinoids.
When using sublingual CBD oil drops, some CBD is absorbed directly into the bloodstream via the small blood vessels in these thin mucous membranes. The rest of the CBD is swallowed and passes through the digestive tract, where it is then processed by the liver.
Unfortunately, a lot of the CBD is wasted during this process, which is what the term bioavailability refers to. The bioavailability of CBD oil is between 13% to 19%. Some studies placed this as high as 35%.
But this still means that between 65% to 87% of the CBD oil is not utilised.
While CBD is naturally insoluble, it can be emulsified into a water-soluble product. This means it can be added to drinks and ingested.
This allows it to pass through the digestive tract into the bloodstream.
Is Water Soluble CBD Better?
The biggest selling point for water-soluble CBD is its higher bioavailability. Some companies place their bioavailability as high as 100%.
However, it’s worth noting that 100% bioavailability claims are little more than marketing hype.
The only way to achieve 100% bioavailability is through intravenous injection. Otherwise, a percentage of the CBD will be broken down by enzymes in the digestive system.
So, while water-soluble CBD may help to increase bioavailability, we haven’t quite reached 100% yet.
Another benefit of water-soluble CBD is the longer shelf life. This is great for both retailers and consumers. If water-soluble CBD offers higher bioavailability, then it’s likely the average person will use less of it.
And this means they might hang on to a bottle of CBD for longer.
A water-soluble CBD will also get to work faster. This is because the smaller particles can pass through the mucous membranes easily, which means they will be rapidly distributed to the bloodstream.
Is Water Soluble CBD Safe?
Nanoemulsion comes with some risks. Ingesting nanoparticles increases the risk that the substance could accumulate in organs.
In addition, we don’t know enough about the long-term effects of ingesting nanoemulsified CBD to know if this is safe.
Without further research, it’s difficult to know for sure if nanoemulsion impacts the safety of CBD.
Another concern for any CBD customer is the manufacturing process. It can be difficult to know what you’re getting with very little oversight and few industry standards.
Provided the product doesn’t contain high levels of THC, there is very little regulation in the sector.
Unless sourcing your water-soluble CBD from a reputable company that you know and trust, it might be best to steer clear until we know more about how nanoemulsified CBD works.
Using nanoemulsion techniques on poor-quality CBD could introduce nanoparticles of contaminants, which could be hazardous to health.
How To Take Water Soluble CBD
Water-soluble CBD can be taken in a number of different ways. You can enjoy it as sublingual drops, just like you would with a regular CBD oil.
Hold the liquid under your tongue for 20-30 seconds before swallowing the remaining liquid for best results.
Another common way to enjoy water-soluble CBD is in drinks. For example, you could add it to your morning coffee or smoothie. This method would be comparable to taking a CBD capsule.
And finally, you can add water-soluble CBD to food. CBD breaks down when heated, so it would be best to add it to cold foods.
For example, you could add it to salad dressing, chilled sweet treats or create CBD butter.
The Future of Water Soluble CBD
Bioavailability is a big problem for the CBD industry. This is why many companies are investing in research into better extraction and processing.
This can only be a good thing for the sector, but it’s not without its risks to consumers.
If you decide to explore water-soluble CBD products, be wary of marketing hype and choose a product from a reputable source.