Water-Soluble CBD, Why Is It Better?
Not all cannabidiol (CBD) products are developed in the same way. When CBD is extracted from cannabis sativa (or hemp) plants, it is in the form of a waxy or oily mixture. This can be dissolved in a carrier oil such as MCT. However, it can also be further processed to create water-miscible CBD or what some refer to as water-soluble CBD products.
How is Water-Soluble CBD Made?
CBD is hydrophobic, meaning that it does not dissolve in water on its own. It is also lipophilic, meaning that it dissolves in fat. These oil-based CBD particles need to be digested over time to shrink down to an absorbable size, this is why CBD is often recommended to be taken with food for better results. This ultimately results in the CBD losing its effectiveness over time as it is metabolized.
Although CBD is a naturally oil-soluble substance, it can be converted into a water-soluble one by a process called nano-emulsification. CBD nanoemulsion involves the use of an emulsifier, this forces two typically incompatible substances (like oil and water) to mix with ease. Nano emulsification causes CBD particles to explode into even smaller ones without losing their value.
After reducing the size of CBD molecules, those CBD nanoparticles are then placed into a fatty emulsifier—where it dissolves in fat—so that, upon consumption, it reaches the bloodstream very quickly. This is what makes it possible for CBD and the water in the bloodstream to mix.
How Effective Is Water-Soluble CBD?
A key term in the supplements world is “bioavailability.” This term is defined as the amount of a substance that enters the bloodstream when introduced into the body and so is able to have an active effect. Essentially, it's the number of nutrients and components in the product that are actually absorbed. In regards to CBD, if a CBD product has high bioavailability this means that it contains CBD that is processed in a way that it can be absorbed in a higher rate.
We lose the bioavailability of vitamins and supplements (CBD included) through something called the first-pass metabolism effect. The first-pass metabolism effect is when supplements are metabolized at a specific location in the body which results in a reduced concentration of the product once it does reach its site of action or systemic circulation. When swallowing an oil-based CBD product, most of the CBD is destroyed when passing through the body and into the liver. This happens before reaching general circulation, leaving a fraction left to reach the bloodstream.
One of the best ways to overcome the first-pass effect is to convert the naturally oil-soluble CBD extract into a water-soluble form. This makes sense because the average adult is anywhere from 50–65% water. So, water-soluble CBD is absorbed into your stomach and lymphatic system easier and at a higher concentration than oil-based products.
Benefits of Water-Soluble CBD
It’s More Easily Absorbed
Water-soluble CBD usually has higher bioavailability than oil-based CBD, meaning you get the full benefit of the product you ingest. Studies have shown water-soluble CBD is 4.5 times more bioavailable than the oil-based equivalent.
It Absorbs Faster
Water-soluble CBD is absorbed more quickly by the body. In fact, water-soluble CBD only takes 0.7 hours (about 40 minutes) to reach maximum concentration.
With Water-Soluble CBD, You Get CBD and Nothing Else
Most water-soluble CBD products are among the purest forms of CBD available.
Water-Soluble CBD Allows For Consistent and Accurate Dosing
The high bioavailability and consistent absorption of water-soluble CBD, among other properties, means you can enjoy exact control over your dosing. With standard CBD oil, you don’t know how much of the CBD will be absorbed by your body. With one dose you might absorb say 50 percent, with your next dose (using the same methods), you might absorb only 25 percent. Water-soluble CBD provides consistent dosing.