Water-soluble CBD is one of the latest developments in the CBD industry, with products designed for both personal use and as ingredients for manufacturing purposes. This new trend has emerged for various reasons, ranging from improved CBD bioavailability and ease of use, to CBD becoming more widely known and the demand for CBD products increasing.
- CBD oil is lipophilic and hydrophobic – or why oil and water don’t mix
- What does water-soluble CBD mean?
- The immediate benefit of water-soluble CBD: your on-the-go CBD
- Bioavailability benefits of water-soluble CBD
- CBD bioavailability: how the human body absorbs CBD
- Why bioavailability is higher with water-soluble CBD
- How can water-soluble CBD be used?
- The future of water-soluble CBD
CBD OIL IS LIPOPHILIC AND HYDROPHOBIC – OR WHY OIL AND WATER DON’T MIX
CBD extracted from a cannabis plant is in the form of an oil. Oil and water don’t mix, as the saying goes, and this is true for CBD as well.
CBD is lipophilic, which means that it can be absorbed and dissolved only in oily substances. That’s why CBD product formulas use coconut oil or other oils as their support substance (also known as the “base oil” or “carrier oil”) in which CBD oil is dissolved.
If you have ever put a few drops of cooking oil into a glass of water, you will have seen how the drops of oil swiftly rise to the surface of the water and remain there. Even if you try to stir them into the water, they will temporarily break into smaller droplets but not dissolve. Very quickly, the drops will form again, and the oil will separate from the water once more.
In scientific terms, oil is hydrophobic: it cannot effectively mix with any water base, neither can it be absorbed by a water-based support substance. CBD is no exception: it is difficult to mix it permanently and completely in a water base, such as a beverage or a fruit juice. Nor can it be readily absorbed by our body, which is 60% water.
WHAT DOES “WATER-SOLUBLE CBD” MEAN?
CBD comes in various formats, such as tinctures to use under the tongue, gels, and lotions to apply on the skin, edibles, beverages, and e-liquids for vaping.
To prepare these different formats, CBD needs to be mixed with other ingredients. Depending on the product, some of these will be oily, and others will not.
For example, a CBD tincture will consist almost entirely of oil, whereas a beverage containing CBD will have water as its main ingredient. Clearly, in the latter case, managing to mix oil and water effectively is crucial.
This is where water-soluble CBD comes in.
A water-soluble ingredient is defined as one that can easily mix with a watery base, become homogeneous, and stay mixed. The base may be water, juice, water-based infusions, or any other water-based mixture. So, in order to prepare a beverage containing CBD, a water-soluble CBD ingredient is necessary.
Water-soluble, therefore, means a form of CBD that can be mixed into water and stay mixed without forming oil droplets again.
It should be stressed that water-soluble CBD still is an oil. However, through nanotechnology, it has been broken down to its smallest possible form: micro-sized particles that will mix easier with water molecules due to their diminished size. Nanoemulsion technology (which, put simply, consists of mixing CBD nanoparticles with other surfactants designed to enter the body more efficiently) can further enhance CBD nanoparticles’ ability to mix with water in the human body when absorbed.
THE IMMEDIATE BENEFIT OF WATER-SOLUBLE CBD: YOUR ON-THE-GO CBD
One of the biggest benefits of using water-soluble CBD is its practicality. If you prefer to take your CBD in your tea in the morning, in your water while you work out, in your daily fruit juice, or while you are having a smoothie with a friend, then water-soluble CBD makes that easy for you. Just add a few drops into your beverage, and you’re good to go.
Helping with this is the fact that water-soluble CBD usually comes in small bottles with a built-in dropper, just like a tincture would. Therefore, it is easy to calculate your dose and add it discreetly into your glass or plate. This makes water-soluble CBD a safe and easy way of taking CBD throughout the day.
Using water-soluble CBD in your beverages is also more cost-effective than buying ready-made CBD edibles and beverages.
BIOAVAILABILITY BENEFITS OF WATER-SOLUBLE CBD
There are many claims that the most important benefits of using water-soluble CBD are as a result of its higher bioavailability.
The term “bioavailability” refers to the amount of an active ingredient that manages to enter the bloodstream through a specific administration method. Oil and water do not mix, and the human body is almost 60% water. The body has specific mechanisms for absorbing oils through the digestion process and the gastrointestinal system, whereas a large percentage of the oil is “lost” during first-pass metabolism, never to enter the bloodstream.
Water-soluble CBD is believed to have a higher bioavailability and be better absorbed by the body compared with other forms of CBD.
While more scientific research is still needed to support these claims, it is thought that the quicker rate of absorption will, therefore, allow the CBD to reach targeted points of tension in the body quicker. More studies, including blood plasma analysis and comparative studies between different forms of CBD, is needed, while the technologies used for producing water-based CBD also need to be documented and appraised. However, if the claimed benefits are proved, water-soluble CBD could become the next big thing in the CBD industry.
If the claims surrounding it are proven, water-soluble CBD could be more beneficial for your health — and your finances, as increased bioavailability means that you need less CBD to reach the desired effect, making it a cost-effective way of consuming the cannabinoid.
CBD BIOAVAILABILITY: HOW THE HUMAN BODY ABSORBS CBD
Typically, 100% bioavailability would be achieved if you administered a substance directly into the bloodstream; for example, intravenously. Obviously, oral supplements and vitamins, as well as preparations applied topically on the skin, can never reach such high bioavailability because digestion and skin absorption stand in the way.
Concerning CBD, there are three main administration methods: ingestion, inhalation, and topical application. Each has different bioavailability scores, with studies showing that the highest bioavailability rates are achieved through inhalation (e-liquids consumed by vaporizing). While ingestion is the most widely used format and easiest way of taking CBD (through tinctures, capsules, beverages, edibles, etc.), it also has a much lower bioavailability rate, estimated at somewhere between 6% and 15% (most research places it at a little under 10%). That is because CBD goes through digestion and what is called the “first-pass metabolism,” where the liver and its enzymes break down and “cleanse” what we eat.
A better rate of CBD bioavailability can be achieved by sublingual (under the tongue) administration of tinctures: the soft palate and the mucosal membrane under the tongue allow for more immediate absorption by the bloodstream than if CBD is swallowed. Studies suggest that CBD bioavailability can reach 20% this way.
If a company claims 100% bioavailability for oral supplements or skin lotions, you should question its trustworthiness.
WHY BIOAVAILABILITY IS HIGHER WITH WATER-SOLUBLE CBD
In the case of water-soluble CBD, nanoparticles show some useful qualities that could increase bioavailability. In the human body, nanoparticles can pass through membrane walls easily due to their tiny size. When the water-soluble CBD is further enhanced by nano-emulsion, bioavailability can be improved even more.
This means that orally ingested water-soluble CBD would have less difficulty getting from the digestive tract into the bloodstream, although it would still go through the first metabolic pass and the liver enzymes.
If water-soluble CBD is used sublingually as a tincture, it would also have a better chance of passing through membranes and entering the bloodstream, again due to the nanoparticles’ small size.
Finally, if water-soluble CBD is used in gels and lotions and applied topically to the skin, absorbance through skin molecules would be increased for the tiny nanoparticles.
However, as mentioned, claims that water-soluble CBD could reach bioavailability as high as 90% or 100% are not based on scientific evidence, which is still lacking. Such claims should be questioned until research concludes on proven bioavailability rates.
Even so, whatever the final CBD bioavailability rates may be, the benefits of water-soluble CBD remain intact. As with any CBD product, through trial and error, you will soon find the right CBD dosage for you, depending on the preparation you use.
HOW CAN WATER-SOLUBLE CBD BE USED?
Water-soluble CBD can be your easy, discreet, and portable way to take your CBD daily dosage with your food and drink.
Ways to use water-soluble CBD include:
- Make your own beverage. Simply drop the necessary drops into your infusion, fruit juice, smoothie, or other non-alcoholic beverage.
- Prepare your own CBD water. CBD nano water has recently grown in popularity and is mainly used to relieve pain during or after sports activities. However, ready-mixed CBD water needs to be stored away from light to retain its beneficial qualities, and you can’t be certain that these standards have been followed throughout the logistics chain. With water-soluble nano CBD, you can prepare your own CBD water before you start your training or right after you finish your workout. Just add a few drops into your water bottle, shake it, and drink. This is also the perfect solution for you if you are environmentally conscious and prefer to use your own water bottle instead of buying bottled water and beverages.
- Add it in your food. Any water-based food (such as soup) is ideal for adding water-soluble CBD to.
- Use it as a tincture. A CBD tincture is defined as a concentrated oil, usually with a built-in-dropper. A CBD tincture can be used without further preparation — just put the required number of drops under your tongue, and the effects will start to kick in after around 15 minutes. A few drops are enough for treating most ailments. Water-soluble CBD can be found in tincture form and has the same qualities, only it is broken down into nanoparticles. This makes it even easier to absorb into the bloodstream, meaning you could, therefore, see the effects even quicker.
- Check out gels, lotions, and other skin products. Since our skin is mostly made of water, it absorbs oily substances with difficulty. Water-soluble CBD, on the other hand, with its smaller particles, can get through the skin easier and be more effective as a result. Check CBD skin products for water-soluble CBD in the listed ingredients.
THE FUTURE OF WATER-SOLUBLE CBD
Water-soluble CBD seems to have a bright future in the CBD industry. The demand for ready-made edible products or beverages makes it crucial to develop a form of CBD that can mix well with water-based drinks — and remain mixed without separating.
Although there is not yet enough research concerning water-soluble CBD’s bioavailability, and many products come with unproven — and possibly unsubstantial — claims, this has not stopped companies from producing new CBD-based products. However, most ready-made beverages currently available need shaking and stirring before being used. These products are going through their toddler age. As demand is expected to grow, so will the technology and science behind CBD, providing us with better, enhanced ingredients and products.
Beverages and CBD water are addressing growing trends: people leading an active life and playing sports, as well as those who look for natural, organic products as opposed to chemical ones. Therefore, the demand for good-quality, organic water-soluble CBD can only grow.
Furthermore, the environmental conscience movement is also growing rapidly. It is expected to motivate an increasing number of people to avoid products in single-use plastic packaging. Instead, it will increasingly encourage people to make their own preparations in reusable containers. This is an important reason for the CBD industry to produce easy-to-use, cost-effective forms of CBD that can be used in home-made preparations. Water-soluble CBD could answer all of these various demands effectively.
However, as with any format of CBD, it is important to remember that not all water-soluble CBD is made equally. When choosing water-soluble CBD, check the labels for organic cultivation methods and third-party lab testing that identifies chemical residues. Question any claims that seem unjustified and look for a pure product from an honest company.
As research and scientific appraisal of CBD products increases, water-soluble CBD seems to have the potential to answer both individual needs and industrial requirements by providing enhanced bioavailability and mixing effectiveness.
Have you tried water-soluble CBD? What was your experience? Let us know in the comments!