Many CBD-infused products are available these days — tinctures, oils, capsules, edibles, beverages, etc. — and many contain water-soluble CBD.
But when deciding which product to buy, how do you choose the right one? Does water-soluble CBD make a difference in the final product?
Everyone’s curious about CBD, from how it’s extracted to its potential benefits and what to look for when shopping.
Looking for the best water-soluble CBD for pain relief? You found it.
Related: Shop Water-Soluble CBD
What Is Water-Soluble CBD?
The definition of water-soluble CBD is simple to understand; it’s how it works that’s important, and we’ll cover that, too.
Water-soluble CBD is simply CBD that can disperse in liquids. When we extract CBD from the cannabis or hemp plant, it’s an oil. And oils can present challenges in terms of dosage control, sensory profiles, reliable manufacturing, and accurate labeling.
Making CBD water-soluble gives manufacturers of infused products the ability to create CBD products that not only taste great but have accurate doses and offer predictable effects.
Water-Soluble CBD and Bioavailability
If you want to understand why water-soluble CBD works the way it does, it’s essential first to know how our bodies process oil extracts vs. water extracts.
When you ingest oil-based CBD, its bioavailability is limited — oil is hydrophobic (meaning it doesn’t dissolve in water), and our bodies contain around 60% water. The result is difficulty processing and absorbing the oil.
Your metabolism plays a role, too. For example, when ingesting CBD oils orally, the cannabinoid gets absorbed into your GI tract and delivered to your liver. Your liver metabolizes the CBD before a small amount moves to your circulatory system.
What’s the problem with that? Your body can’t absorb CBD in oil form as readily, and the onset can take much longer.
In contrast, we have water-soluble CBD. Our bodies can better absorb and process water-soluble CBD because the oil emulsion is hydrophilic (Meaning is can be absorbed in water) instead of hydrophobic — it’s water-friendly.
The emulsion process breaks down oils into smaller particles for greater stability and dispersion, allowing for more efficient absorption in our intestinal tracts and leading to a much faster onset of CBD’s effects.
The Four Methods of Creating Water-Soluble CBD
Next, let’s look at how water-soluble CBD is made. All water soluble CBD is made water soluble through a process of emulsification. Emulsification is defined as a process of dispersing one liquid in another immiscible liquid.
They can be produced either by mechanical (high-energy method) or chemical process (low-energy method). High energy processes are extremely expensive and rarely used in Nano CBD.
1. Water-Soluble Chemical Emulsion with Emulsifiers or Surfactants
Think salad dressing. Physical dispersion is the simplest way of making water-soluble CBD. Think about an oil and vinegar dressing that separates when it sits — you shake it up, and they combine; that’s physical dispersion.
While it’s an easy, inexpensive method of creating water-soluble CBD, the result is a product prone to clumping, settling, and layering. In addition, it doesn’t protect the CBD from oxidation like emulsification.
This is a very inexpensive method of mixing oil and water. The cheapest and easiest way to create water-soluble CBD is through a chemical emulsion. The process uses requires food grade emulsifiers like lecithin or polysorbates, which are added and mixed vigorously to ensure the droplets remain dispersed.
The benefit of this method is it is cheap and easy and doesnt require any expensive equipment. The down side is the particle size is not small enough for topical absorption and there may be a high concentration of chemicals that can be irritating to the body.
This process results in a water and oil combination that works together, and the cannabinoids are equally and uniformly distributed throughout the liquid. However, the particle size can not be reduced enough to get topical absorption.
But why does this matter?
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If a manufacturer left CBD in its oil-based state and tried to add it to water (for example, when making an infused beverage), the oil would rise to the top. As a result, the first sip would not taste great, but more importantly, the CBD wouldn’t be evenly dispersed throughout the drink, causing dosage concerns and inconsistent results for consumers.
Picture putting a drop of food coloring in a glass of water — the color doesn’t sit on top; it will eventually evenly disperse throughout the water on its own.
2. Water Soluble Chemical Emulsion with Co-Solvents
This method of creating water-soluble CBD uses water-miscible solvents to produce better uniformity and solubility. However, while using co-solvents can create great water-soluble products, there are some issues.
For example, the aroma and flavor of the solvents can stick around, and the CBD can attach to the lining of containers.
3. Mechanical Emulsion with Ultrasonic Dispersion
Another method to make water-soluble CBD is ultrasonic dispersion — tiny droplets are produced using a sonic wave. However, it’s a capital-intensive method and requires using significant amounts surfactants in the process.
Often, this method means manufacturers can’t accurately label their products as all-natural or organic; while some surfactants are natural and organic, not all are.
4. High Pressure Homogenization
This is by far the most expensive and best way to produce water soluble CBD or a true Nano Emulsified CBD. Think milk. It takes special processing using high pressure homogenizers to keep milk from separating.
This is also the pharmaceutic companies make water soluble drugs.It is a highly technical process and takes special engineering, but the end product is always the best it can be. It also doesn't require solvents or harsh chemicals.
And it doesn't leave any harmful residues like ultrasonic emulsification. If you can find products made with this type of process, they will be more expensive but they will be superior in many ways.
How to Use Water-Soluble CBD Products
You can find various water-soluble CBD products in many different forms. How quickly you absorb CBD depends on how you consume the product and the particle size of the water-soluble CBD. If ingested, the fat content of the meal will also effect the rate of absorption.
For example, drops and tinctures are popular — they absorb quickly and are simple to use; many just put a drop or two under their tongue. The tissue in your mouth and under your tongue is highly vascular; it contains blood cells that will absorb CBD.
Using water-soluble CBD orally with products like edibles and beverages is also common. However, how quickly your body will absorb CBD mainly relies on the particle size of the CBD emulsion.
However, the fastest way to absorb water-soluble CBD with a mean particle size of 40 nanometers or below. Topical CBD is non-absorbable is the particle size is above 100 nanometers. So make sure the product you’re using has the smallest particle size available.If the topical is clear and in the form of a gel or serum, it’s highly likely the particle size is small.
If it is in the form of a balm or a cream, it is likely to not have a small particle size. The smaller the particle size, the more transluscnet the water soluable CBD. For example, our Nano CBD Serum is one of the fastest absorbing, most efficient products for pain relief on the market having the smallest particle size of any product. We measured.
Searching for the fastest absorbing CBD around? See if it can relieve your pain today.
Related: Who Is Dr. Bradley?
Shopping for Water-Soluble CBD: What to Look For
It’s essential to only buy high-quality CBD products — look for water-soluble CBD with the following qualities:
- Safe ingredients: Look for natural, food-safe ingredients.
- Look for products that don’t have any harsh surfactants or cancer-causing solvents.
- Stability: The emulsion process used should create a shelf-stable product.
- Homogeneity: The CBD should be evenly dispersed throughout the product.
- Improved sensory: Some methods of creating water-soluble CBD can result in a bitter taste and aroma — look for manufacturers that take steps to control the flavor profile.
- Quality assurance: The manufacturer or water-soluble CBD should have third-party testing results available publicly.
- Accurate dosing: The combination of stability and homogeneity helps manufacturers label their CBD products with near-perfect dosing.